Sunday turned out to be a day of ups and downs for Dwayne Johnson.
He started out the day on a high note, celebrating his daughter Tia, who’d just turned 3. But as soon as he got the party started on social media, he found out that while she’s the light of his life, he’s not exactly her favorite fella anymore.
That distinction goes to Jason Momoa, aka “Aquaman.”
Over the weekend, Johnson took to Instagram to share a sweet shot of him with his little girl alongside a sentimental message for her big day.
“Happy Birthday to my sweetest lil’ Tia Giana,” he wrote. “Loving, kind, tenacious and tough (like your mama;) and my greatest joy is being your daddy. I always, ‘got you.’”
"Now that she’s finally starting to understand that daddy is Maui from MOANA, she has one very important question —'Daddy do you know AquaMan?'" he added with the crying-laughing emoji.
Yes, as far as Tia was concerned, having Maui for a dad meant that she just might get a close encounter with an actor she really appreciates. And as Johnson revealed in a follow-up post, she was serious about picking favorites.
The brief clip he shared next showed him holding Tia in his arms as she stared transfixed at a television playing the 2018 superhero flick.
“Look what Aquaman just did to that man!” the toddler said of one impressive action scene.
“I saw what Aquaman just did,” Johnson deadpanned back. “Is Aquaman cool? Is he the coolest? Who’s cooler, daddy ... ?"
She didn’t give him a chance to finish that sentence before shutting down the debate: "Aquaman."
Though Johnson vowed that he’d “hand out a fresh Aqua A-- Whuppin’ if this disrespect keeps up,” he put his pride aside to give Tia what she wanted: first, a drawing of the DC superhero and then using his fame to score her a Momoa meeting.
While Johnson couldn’t arrange a face-to-face meetup, he gave her the next best thing in the age of the pandemic, a video message from Momoa promising future adventures together and sending his love to the delighted birthday girl.
“I had to make the call...it’s what daddy’s do,” Johnson wrote alongside a clip of Tia watching her present. “I can’t thank my brother (Jason Momoa) enough for making this adoring 3yr old’s birthday the best EVER. Her reaction is priceless and what it’s all about.”
Johnson then included a message to Momoa in his post, writing, “This kind of stuff will ALWAYS be the best part of our fame. You epitomize one of my favorite quotes, ‘It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.’ Thanks for having my back - I’ll always have yours.”
Momoa replied in the comments with his own heartwarming thoughts.
"What an honor," he wrote. "We do it for our babies. for the next generation. happy birthday baby tia."