A faithful SDW (Subscriber Doin’ Work) named Alexandra sent me an email a while ago that caught my attention. She said many things, but one sentence read, “I know a lot about your passion for being a dad, but I really want to know more about you (hopes, fears, insecurities, quirky stuff). Care to share some nuggets with me?” No, it didn’t come off as creepy or weird, and she’s right – I need to do a better job of opening up completely. Hopefully by the time we’re done here you’ll learn more about me than you ever thought (or hoped) you would.
#1 – I’m the only person I know who despises chocolate, coffee, and potatoes. If I was stuck on a desert island with only those three items, I’d seriously consider eating a sand and sea water sandwich before taking any of the aforementioned items to my throat.
#2 – I curse a lot when I write, but I absolutely never, ever, ever, ever curse in front of my children. Even if I’m really pissed off. I don’t know why, it’s just wired inside of me. You’ll hear a lot of, “You better cut out that Sugar Honey Iced Tea or else you’re going in Time Out!” in my household. Eventually my girls will be able to read and then I’ll have to reconsider my philosophy on the “colorful language and writing” thing.
#3 – I never held a baby while standing up prior to having my own baby. The reason being is that I can be clumsy and I was afraid that I’d slip and send the kid flying across the room. Strange, I know – but before I became a dad I always held kids sitting down.
#4 – I had a horrible stuttering problem when I was little. When I say, “horrible” I mean I c-c-c-c-couldn’t string together three words without sounding like an amateur DJ cutting up a track. Granted, I’m over it now – and if you watched any of my recent television interviews or online spots you would never know, but it was extremely severe when I was a kid.
The fact “that kid” grew up to be a public speaker and delivered a commencement address in front of 3,000 people for the school where he had those struggles still boggles my mind.
Editor’s Note: On a somewhat related note, there are two words that I absolutely cannot pronounce properly no matter how slowly I say them: ambulance and refrigerator. If I had to read a sentence on TV about a man being rushed to a hospital in an ambulance because a refrigerator fell on top of him, it would literally take me about 10 minutes to do and an additional 10 minutes for you to figure out what the hell I said.
#5 – My doctors and teachers thought I was “learning disabled” as a child, and according to my mom they said that it would be difficult for me to keep up with the other kids academically because I was slow to pick up simple concepts and wouldn’t socialize with anyone other than my identical twin. That’s when my mom became determined to prove everyone wrong and she spent countless hours with me and my twin (who had the same problem) reading and working on multiplication tables to ensure we kept up. Fortunately, her determination paid off.
There’s nothing in the world better for children than having parents who believe in them.
PS – Don’t mess with my mama.
#6 – Many of you know me by my blog nickname of “Daddy Doin’ Work,” but my real name is Doyin (pronounced “doe-ween”). My dad was born and raised in Sierra Leone (an African country) and my name means “royalty or son of the king.” Now you know.
#7 – I have the world’s ugliest feet. When I stick my feet into the water at the beach, people look at me and wonder if I’m going swimming or if I’m using them to grab dinner.
#8 – I can write blog posts blindfolded, but writing my first book was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I know a lot of you operate blogs and maybe aspire to write a book someday, but holy shit – it is no joke. Now that it’s behind me, I can say that I have the utmost respect for any published author (especially if he/she wrote the book while chasing around young children).
#9 – My children’s book I WONDER comes out on May 3, 2016 and it demonstrates the immense power of fatherhood through photographs. If you’re a mom or dad who believes in the immense power of fatherhood as well, you definitely need to own it. Even though there’s a good chance you’ll catch a case of “sweaty eyeballs” when you turn the pages, you’ll love reading it to your kids because they will be able to see what modern fatherhood truly looks like from a diverse group of great men. The good news is if you preorder it now, it’s only $11 instead of the full price of $18 when it’s released in May – so you might as well get on it now. I’ll even sign your copy!
#10 – I prefer hugs instead of handshakes when I meet people. I don’t care if you’re a man, woman, or child – if we meet, I’m hugging the shit out of you. And I hug hard. By the time I’m done hugging someone, they’ll either want to call a chiropractor, light up a cigarette, or both.
#11 – I like to believe that I’m a smart, worldly guy – but I find sophomoric, childish, immature, dumb humor to be funny. The other day, a 60-year old woman at my local supermarket told me that she likes to “put a lot of nut butter” in her morning smoothie and I almost had an aneurysm in an attempt to keep a straight face. I really need to grow up.
#12 – Although I was born and raised in Massachusetts, I despise all Boston area sports teams (Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots). I won’t bore you with the “why,” but I never understood the unwritten rule that states one must be a fan of a team just because he grew up there. Anyway, I’m sure you can imagine that I’m less than pleased with the success of the Pats. NOTE: I’m a big Los Angeles Lakers fan, so if anyone deserves to be ridiculed nowadays, it’s me.
#13 – Speaking of sports, people always think I look like Ray Allen (former Miami Heat basketball player). What’s even crazier is I have an identical twin and nobody ever tells him that. It’s very strange.
#14 – OK, now it’s finally the time to spill the frog story. Most of you know that I’m deathly afraid of frogs, but I never told you why. Let’s rewind to when I was about 7 or 8. For a week or so in the summertime, there was this big-ass frog that would come by and sit on our porch every evening. I wasn’t particularly scared of him, but I sure as hell wasn’t about to pet him and love him and call him “George,” either. He had his space and I had mine. After about six nights in a row appearing on my porch, the big-ass frog was nowhere to be found. It was strange, but I didn’t make much of it. Then when I went to sleep that night, I heard a weird noise next to me…I had no idea what it was, but I figured that I’d turn on the light to check. Yep, you guessed it – that big-ass frog was an inch away from my face staring at me on my pillow. I screamed and literally pissed myself right there (no joke). My mom wasn’t about to get the frog out of the house herself, so she called my dad (who was in the middle of delivering summer courses at the local university as a professor) to come home and get rid of the damn creature. For about a month, I couldn’t sleep at night because I was afraid a frog was going to use my face as a lily pad. You know how people throw around the term, “scarred for life”? Well, that shit scarred me for life.
So yeah, there’s the story. You’re welcome.
#15 – Outside of my frog phobia, the constant fear of whether I’m doing enough for my girls keeps me up at night. Just like any good parent, I want what’s best for them and I find myself second-guessing my parenting abilities at times. Every parent is insecure (if they tell you otherwise, they’re lying) and that insecurity is what helps us all to be better moms and dads.
#16 – We will be friends for life if:
– You’re smart and can talk intelligently about worldly issues (even if we don’t agree on them)
– You can laugh at yourself
– You have a kind heart
– You like basketball and football
– You can make me laugh regularly
– You understand that you’re not a perfect parent and you don’t have perfect kids
– You don’t waste your time complaining about stupid shit
– You’re optimistic
– You’re a dreamer
– You keep your promises
– You smile often
#17 – If every food on the planet was healthy and was packed with vitamins, I’d eat pizza all day, every day. It’s the only food I can think of that is very difficult to mess up. In other words, if you make bad pizza you must’ve really tried to make bad pizza.
#18 – I’m not big on “celebrity-worship,” but I gotta admit that I have a really strong man-crush on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I just think he’s the coolest dude to ever walk the face of the earth. Somebody reading this blog knows someone who knows someone who knows this man. Make this meeting happen, dammit.
#19 – I’m extremely disorganized. For example, I receive a ton of email – and I make a point to read everything that comes in. Oftentimes, I read something and I’m like, “Oh, I have to respond to this, but I can’t right now,” and then I completely forget about it. So if I haven’t responded to an email of yours, please don’t take it personally – I can’t tell whether I’m coming or going most of the time.
#20 – When I was a kid I used to slice lemons in half, dip them in sugar, and eat them. Don’t look at me like that. You know you want to try it right now.
#21 – No offense to little boys (I was a little boy back in the day), but I’m so happy to have the opportunity to raise little girls. I learned so much about myself as a man by being around them. Greatest thing ever.
#22 – I absolutely love to cook and I never understood why some men think cooking is “lame.” Think of it this way: men love to build stuff, right? Isn’t cooking and baking kinda like building something? Each ingredient plays an important role in creating an amazing final product. The best part is you get to EAT the final product when you’re done “building” it. When was the last time you ate a desk or a bookshelf? Exactly. #CookingForTheWin
#23 – The one place on earth I want to visit is Australia. It’s just so damn beautiful in pictures and I’d just love to spend a week there with the family. I’m going to make that happen someday.
#24 – Oftentimes I get emotional when my kids do something cute or heartwarming. Either I’m the softest dude alive or I love my kids (or both).
#25 – I chuckle when people think that I’m the “Golden Boy of Success who has it all” or whatever. For every “success” I enjoy, I’ve probably failed at least ten times beforehand (oftentimes failing in spectacular fashion) – and if I shared every failure, it would be very depressing around here. But hey – as long as my failures don’t seriously hurt or injure anyone, I’m good. It’s all a learning experience.
#26 – I’m far from being the best dad in the world, but I absolutely love being a dad. Are my kids perfect? No. Can they be assholes? Absolutely. Do I lose my patience with them? Of course. Do I love them more than anything? YES. Some people were born to be teachers, musicians, doctors, etc. Well, I was born to be a dad. Nothing gets me fired up more than the unpredictable nature of this gig.
#27 – Not a day goes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars for having such an amazing group of readers and subscribers to my blog. I feel like I know those of you who comment on my Facebook page or Twitter feed frequently and I love hearing what you have to say. If you’re reading this, I hope I add the amount of value to your lives that you add to mine.
I’m extremely thankful for you. Keep Doin’ Work, my friends!