As you wait with bated breath for the birth of the next British royal, and consider the recently-born North West (named, I believe, for the now-defunct airline), might I recommend Jim Gaffigan’s book “Dad Is Fat”? I thought it was a hoot, and you know that I’m not exactly a kid person. (By which I mean “not at all.”)
Gaffigan identifies himself upfront as “the Hot Pockets guy.” Despite my love of all things encased in pastry, I first heard of Gaffigan when he played the lead in a sitcom based on the life of David Letterman. I don’t remember its name, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about that sitcom. Anyway, he’s a funny man from the Midwest (Indiana), so I penciled him on my mental good list.
Cue to this book, in which Gaffigan writes about the logistics of parenting five small children in a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment. This is a lifestyle which is technically summed up with the acronym “WTF.” Props to him, though, because he is surprisingly full of aplomb for someone who I can only assume has literally handled tons of crap.
That’s the thing about kids: They’re messy, and noisy, and hungry, and inconvenient. They take up space and prevent you from doing all the grown-up sorts of things grown-ups do. (Get your mind out of the gutter; I’m talking about dinner and a show. Jeez.) To Gaffigan’s credit, he obviously loves his kids and his wife, no matter what. Even when his son’s very first written sentence was the titular “Dad is fat.”
(I obviously don’t have the parenting gene, because expending energy and resources only to create someone who insults you makes no sense to me.)
So for the parents out there, who inevitably say that parenting has been both the hardest and greatest thing they’ve ever done, read this book to have a laugh and commiserate. For we childless, read this book to have a laugh and be reminded why no thanks, nuh uh. The chapters are short, almost like comedy bits, and I finished the whole book over two long reads. Even a parent should be able to manage that, right?