Happy Labour Day! If you’re not ready to let go of summer quite yet, we suggest adding Dad is Fat to your list of what to read in Toronto while the sunshine lasts.
It took me ages to finish Dad is Fat and for good reason – I simply did not want it to end. An essay at the end of each day this summer made me laugh out loud, reminded me that all parents go through the same stuff and also helped avoid the nightmares brought on by my other summer addiction – The Walking Dead.
Seven People, Two Bedrooms
Jim Gaffigan is an American stand-up comedian who finds most of his material through his experiences as a father of five children, aged newborn to age eight in the book. All five kids, along with Jim and his wife, live in a two-bedroom apartment in New York, an arrangement that would put any parent to the test. One of the essays is even titled, “How to Put Five Kids to Bed in a Two-Bedroom Apartment.” That one is accompanied by an illustration that will have you howling.
The Best of Times and the Worst of Times
From being questioned for having midwife-attended homebirths, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t just Jeannie and me; there was a midwife there which means we believe in witchcraft,” to the sudden regrets of finding himself in a fancy restaurant with five children, “As we are walking to our table, it is clear that everyone eating in the restaurant knows that it’s a gigantic mistake.” To playdates where he has nothing in common with the parents, “Suddenly I’ve travelled back in time to when I was single and trapped in that awful double-date scenario,” Jim shares his delicious humour and daily terrors of leaving the apartment with small children.
POV – Dad
I loved reading about the world of parenting from the point of view of a dad. Jim writes, “As a dad, you are Vice President. You are part of the Executive Branch of the family, but you are the partner with the weaker authority. In your children’s eyes, you mostly fulfill a ceremonial role of attending pageants and ordering pizza…Being ‘President Mom’ is a position outside of our pay grade or skill set. We can’t breastfeed, and we wouldn’t know how to braid hair anyway.” I don’t think that is wholly true but I am sure a whole pile of fathers think it!
This book is funny and you will drive whoever is sitting next to you crazy while you are reading it as you will be constantly laughing and insisting on reading passages out loud. Pick it up and don’t put it down, or do as I did and savour it, one delightful essay at a time.
Dad is Fat is available at bookstores and online.
What was number one on your list of what to read in Toronto this summer? Leave a reply and share your book recommendation. Or tell us what you thought of Dad is Fat.
Dad is Fat
*Photo courtesy of Random House Canada