As parents, we sometimes go to great lengths to make our children happy. But one Indiana dad actually won the internet’s heart for a promise he kept to his daughter, and it involved an old baby doll named Davey.
Keenan Watkins went out shopping one day at his local Goodwill. He wasn’t alone though. Along for the ride was his daughter’s favorite doll, which he strapped into a cart and pushed through the aisles looking for baby clothes.
The father of two caught the eye of other people in Goodwill, including employee Sadie Jessica Marie Collins.
Collins couldn’t help but notice the big, tattooed man walking around the store, dressed in a shirt that had a “Punisher” nametag on it. That’s because despite Watkins’ “burly” appearance – he wasn’t too embarrassed to have his child’s doll in the cart, all to keep a promise.
After learning the heartwarming reason why Watkins was caring for the doll “Davey,” Collins decided to snap a photo and share it on Facebook. She wrote:
“I just think amazing parenting like this deserves recognition. This man sucked up all of his pride and went out of his way to clothing shop for a baby doll just to make his little girl happy and if that’s not love I don’t know what is.”
The internet fell in love with the father’s sweet and brave act. Luckily, Watkins responded with his own Facebook post explaining the whole situation.
Love What Matters shared his story on their Facebook page where it quickly went viral.
“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.'”
It was a done deal.
“I then hear her become noticeably excited as she retorts ‘REALLY?!!!?’ It was at this point that 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?'”
Even though it would have been a nerve-racking thought, shopping in public with a doll in tow, Watkins didn’t hesitate to agree.
“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.”
The next morning it was time for their adventure to begin – just a man and his baby “grandson.”
But first, they needed to prepare. Watkins wrote:
“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.”
The dad fulfilled his promise and took photos on their trip.
On their drive over to Goodwill, the pair treated themselves to a yummy snack. Looks like Davey was loving his time with Grandpa!
Naturally, they needed a cold soft drink too. Shh…don’t tell Mom.
Watkins shared what happened after they got inside the secondhand store, from his perspective.
“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.”
Watkins gave the employee an explanation of why he was shopping with his daughter’s baby doll. She smiled hearing the reason, making the dad feel relieved.
“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.”
Others took notice of the grown man standing there with a plastic doll in his cart.
“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.”
He’s a dad who loves his kids.
Not every parent would have had the courage to do what Watkins did, so he certainly deserves some credit! But to him, it was simply about making his child happy and keeping a promise. He concluded his post:
“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.”
"I am the proud parent of two amazing and complex young children. Ash (10) and Aayla (9). A few nights ago, while…
Since Love What Matters posted Watkins’ story on their Facebook page, it’s been shared over 13K times!
The employee’s post also went viral, which you can read below…
"SO, this guy comes into Goodwill today, he's a big dude. He has tattoos on his neck and arm and even a skull tattoo the…
Oh, the things we do for our children. But it’s all certainly worth it, don’t you think?
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