“I am the proud parent of two amazing and complex young children. Ash (10) and Aayla (9). A few nights ago, while cooking dinner for them, Aayla asks me ‘Daddy Poo, will you take Davey with you tomorrow, everywhere you go?’ Now, as I was cooking and was doing my best not to burn the rice dish, I absent mindedly replied ‘Yes, Baby Poo, of course I will.’ I then hear her become noticeably excited as she retorts ‘REALLY?!’ It was at this point I realized exactly what I had just agreed to, and there was no going back. I do not purposely lie to my daughter, and I do not purposely let her down. ‘You know it, Squirrel! Me and my grandson are gonna do it all!’ You’ve probably noticed that in our family, little nicknames run rampant. I call her Baby Poo, Baby Girl, Baby Squirrel, Princess, Pony Princess…it goes on and on. Just a small way of letting her know that she is special, to me. So, she now knows that I’m locked into this adventure, and decides to up the anti. ‘Daaaaaddy? Can you buy Davey some clothes while you’re out? He doesn’t have any that fit him right. And will you take pictures for me?’
Oh hell, now I’m in the deep end of the pool, but without hesitation, I agree to this new added detail. See, Davey is her favorite doll. A yard sale doll that my wife had picked up for a dollar. Davey is a vintage ’80’s, anatomically correct, baby boy that many describe as being ugly, and not without merit, if you get my drift. But, Aayla (my daughter) absolutely adores Davey, calls him her son, and my grandson, treats him as if he is actually alive, etc. Cut to the next morning – I help the kids get ready for school – normal morning routine – all is good. As she walks down the driveway towards the bus, she turns and says ‘Don’t forget to go get Davey’s clothes, Daddy!’ Dang, lol, time to see what I’m really made of. I retrieve Davey from his little sleeping area, and go searching the garage for a car seat. I should probably mention that at some point during dinner, she had interjected the fact that Davey will need to be strapped in, everywhere we go. Because, you know… safety.
Davey and I go in, I grab a cart, strap him in (Daddy promised) and begin looking around, completely lost. I approach a young woman who appears to work there. She is smiling, going about her duties, looking like maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t bite my head off if I were to ask my dumb question. ‘Miss, where are your clothes for little babies?’ Still smiling, but possibly a bit confused as she just saw the 250 pound, six foot two, tattooed man wearing a shirt that says ‘Punisher’ who has what is clearly a doll strapped into his cart. She kindly directs me to the back wall, where the newborn clothes are, doing her job without pause. Now, I’m a bit fuzzy on the detail of which happened next, exactly – but either I explained first before going to pick out the clothes, or she asked and I explained – but the situation was explained, and smiles were exchanged. Good, she didn’t think I was a freak. I pick out a few outfits, try them on him to make sure they fit, but only two did, so I made my way to the cash register.
I go to check out in the line of my favorite cashier, because she knows me, and definitely doesn’t judge me. Not for doing things for my kids, anyway. Lol. I proceed to absolutely shock this beautiful little girl standing in line in front of me. She just can’t wrap her mind around why this big dummy has a perfectly good doll that she could be playing with! It was so cute and funny. Her momma exchanged happy, nonjudgmental words with me about Davey, the cashier innocently poked fun at me (a friend, I didn’t mind), we got Davey a sticker, I took some more pics for Aayla, and we left.
I’m just a Daddy that wants his kids to truly understand that I love them. I want them to be happy, and would gladly take on a potentially embarrassing situation, in order to keep my promise to them. Father of the year? Hardly. Father? You bet.”
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