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This Week’s Fantasy

This Week’s Fantasy

I come downstairs and see my 5 year old practicing his piano. He’s practicing a song he wrote called “Riding the Waves”. It’s a little derivative of “Breathe Me” by Sia but he’s added some nice changes. If he can add a strong bridge, he’ll have a hit on his hands. And yes I know I sound casual, but I am constantly amazed that my five year old son made up a song one day and consistently plays it the same way every time. Then I turn and see my 2 year old who has just discovered singing. He is belting out “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from The Lion King. He’s not just singing it however. He’s crooning. He’s bending the notes in a way that would impress Michael Buble. The emotion on his face makes me utterly convinced how eager he is to begin his reign over the Serengeti. This real life scene transports me into the following fantasy which is laid out instantaneously in my head…

My boys continue to develop their vocal and instrumental skills as they grow older. Braden, the older brother, becomes not only prodigious on the piano, but the drums and bass as well. He also becomes a brilliant songwriter. Henry, the younger, develops his singing voice and good looks while learning a little rhythm guitar.

At 13 and 10 respectively they cut a fun little video of an original tune and post it on YouTube. It quickly explodes into a viral sensation garnering millions of hits and the Bieber-esque journey begins.

The boys are signed by Hollywood Records and the band name officially becomes LoPrete. The P is capitalized so that it can have a more aerodynamic look on CD covers. Much like the VH in Van Halen

They make their national television debut on “Teens of 2018!” the new Disney Channel show. Their first CD “Meet LoPrete” goes multi-platinum and the ensuing world tour is the largest grossing tour of the year.

They begin work on a Disney XD sitcom called “Brothers in Rock!” which quickly climbs to the top of the ratings. Critics call the Lopretes “charming….likeable….naturally talented.” Variety writes” The eldest, Braden, exudes a Lennon-esque bad boy confidence and rugged handsomeness while Henry fills the McCartney dreamy eyed gentle soul role”

Braden and Henry Loprete are named one of Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People of the Year. Miss Walters, who has ignored calls for her retirement and instead chooses to increase the soft filter effect on her camera, interviews the boys as well as their parents. Ally, their mother, is a celebrity in her own right as her 10 year old business and radio show has reaped national recognition as well as a multi book deal and reality show on the Lifetime network. Chris, their father, has recently recovered from a mild heart attack and looks aged and …well…just tired. He’s proud of the boys though and while he does take a small percentage of their profits to cover expenses and invest in a college fund, most of their money goes to them. He’s charming and funny, but at times borders on stealing the spotlight from the boys. Almost as if he’s making it about him. It’s not quite Michael Lohan but it’s still kind of embarrassing. Luckily the editor of the piece puts a stop to any grandstanding that takes place.

LoPrete enjoys continued success for 5 more years and two more albums. When LoPretemania begins to wane the boys decide to jump off the fame train and continue a normal adolescence. Luckily their father has not only been fiscally responsible enough to set enough money aside for college, but has made a number of smart investments that has made enough for the whole family to retire to the beaches of Hawaii where the father will host the morning show “Aloha Waikiki!” and-



I am hurled back to reality by an ear piercing scream and a cacophony of piano notes as my two year old has begun to bang away on the keys. My five year old begins to bang away as well…on my two year old. My wife tries to break them up all the while yelling at me, “DO YOU THINK YOU COULD WAKE UP LONG ENOUGH TO HELP ME WITH THESE DAMN KIDS?!” I move to intervene with a hint of a smile breaking out on my face. This will make a great story for the Barbara interview.

The Housedad Interrogation

The Housedad Interrogation

Written by Guest Blogger, Edmund Farrow

“So, are you on holiday then?”

It’s the question I fear most. I never know exactly how to answer and it usually comes at an awkward moment, such as when I’m trying to break up a fight between my kids or I’m having my haircut. If I’m really unlucky, I get asked it when I’m trying to break up a fight between my kids while I’m having a haircut. This is obviously worse – difficult explanations are made so much harder when having to hiss threats at a nine-year-old as someone waves scissors around my ears. Normally, though, the question is just well-meaning small talk at the supermarket from an acquaintance or a stranger, designed to make me feel better as I extract a small child from an disastrous encounter with a cereal display.

“Actually, this is me at work,” I mutter, tipping Cheerios out of my daughter’s pockets. “I’m a housedad.”

“Oh!?” The amiable grin on my inquisitor’s face dissolves and they take an involuntary step backwards. Surprise, disbelief, pity and fear fight for control of their wildly-jiggling eyebrows as they realise they’ve blundered into a whole different conversation from the one they were expecting. Then they pull themselves together and remember that it’s rude to stare. They try to think of something encouraging to say.

They usually fail and resort to asking, “Do you enjoy that then?”

I mean, where to begin? I get to watch my kids grow and learn. I have opportunities to play with them, teach them and delight in them that most dads can barely dream of. Do I enjoy being a housedad? Of course I do.

Then again, it can be tough going sometimes. I’ve had to watch Finding Nemo 537 times, for instance. Being a housedad is a daily parenting adventure but it’s also a job.

Back in the day, when I had three children under the age of five, I was constantly busy. There wasn’t time for anything much beyond looking after the kids and trying to stay sane. I regularly had to choose between sleep and time to myself. Getting enough of both was a perpetual juggling act.

The last couple of years have seen a steady improvement. Aside from the occasional nightmare, they all sleep through the night. They all know how to get dressed without assistance. Very rarely, they can even all entertain themselves at the same time and leave me in peace. It’s a crazy new world of wonder I’ve entered. Better than that, my youngest started school this year and I have several hours to myself every day.

Unfortunately, when well-meaning acquaintances learn this, they immediately ask, “Are you thinking of going back to work then?”

Er… Did I say every day? I meant every weekday when school is on and none of my kids are sick. That’s something quite different. At best, I have twenty-seven hours a week with which to pursue another vocation and that’s if I leave shopping and cleaning until the weekend, don’t stop for lunch and ignore any travel time. Most weeks it’s more like twenty hours. Many weeks it’s none.

This limits my career options.

Explaining is more trouble than it’s worth, though. Everyone assumes that, as a man, I must be leaping at the chance to get out of the house and win some bread. It’s only natural, after all. Personally, however, I’d rather have a lie down. I’m due several years’ worth of lunch hours as it is…

I counter by mentioning that I run a parenting website but, sadly, by this point, I’m already irredeemably marked out as ‘slightly odd’.

My interrogator’s eyes narrow. “Does that make any money?”

“That’s not really the point. I get to pass on what I’ve learnt, encourage other parents, build my self-esteem and share a few laughs.”

“So, that would be a ‘no’ then.”

“I do get free computer games.”


For some reason, this always impresses people enough to cover my escape. I make my excuses and leave, mumbling something about having to find my children. Then I set off in the direction of the bickering, following a trail of little old ladies who’ve been barged into freezer units, their rubber-soled shoes waggling out from amongst the packets of frozen peas.


I wonder if mums who ‘only’ stay home and look after their kids face the same kind of thing?

Having all three at school has brought new possibilities. That said, they still need me around an awful lot for the time being. The website (DadsDinner.com) has been going well and is hopefully the beginning of a self-employed writing career but I’m not holding my breath. I’ve got plenty to keep myself occupied – not least with ten years of chores to catch up on. Realistically, my main task for this first year of freedom is to figure out what I’m doing in the second.

Got to start back into the world of paid employment somewhere, I suppose…

Running a successful business with children around is an impressive feat. Hats off to all of you who’re giving it a go.

Located in the UK, Edmund Farrow has been a housedad for nearly ten years and has three children, aged 9, 7 and 5. He vaguely remembers that he was once able to program computers. In 2007, however, he finally got fed up of being told how common housedads are these days by everyone he spoke to, despite the fact he was normally the only one they’d ever met. He decided to set up a website, DadsDinner.com, to share what being a primary carer with only one X chromosome is really like. Dadsdinner offers advice, encouragement and humour to parents, prospective parents and especially stay-at-home dads. It includes guidance on everything from potty training to surviving a zombie invasion, along with reviews of such housedad essentials as home delivery services and films with explosions. Don’t tell anyone, but mums enjoy DadsDinner, too. Sometimes it gives them scary ideas about getting their men more involved in childcare. (Well, scary for the men in question, anyway…)

Hangovers, Weekends and Daylight Savings

Written by Chris Loprete

I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are gearing up for a safe and happy holiday season. We parents really are very lucky because seeing the joy and excitement in our children at this time of year makes us feel like kids again. It’s so much fun to be a part of isn’t it? There is one little warning I’d like to give to all of the new parents out there however. While you’re dolling yourself up to head to the office holiday party or the gift and cookie exchange party down the block or the New Year’s Eve extravaganza you’ve been waiting for all year; while you’re leaving instructions for the sitter and kissing your kids goodnight and saying, “Be good for (insert sitter’s name here), go to bed when she tells you and we’ll see you in the morning”; while you’re doing all of that remember one thing: KIDS DON’T KNOW WHAT A HANGOVER IS.
Date nights and adult gatherings are a rarity now for us ‘rents aren’t they? When one comes around and we actually envision an evening of adult conversation that doesn’t involve our child’s bathroom habits we jump at the chance faster than lions jump on a gazelle that tweaks a hamstring. Even though babysitter quotes have become outrageous (what are they, unionizing?) we’re willing to spare the extra sheckels to get an evening away. We may even have a drink or two. Even for those parents who don’t drink, that doesn’t stop you from taking full advantage of the night off and staying out a little longer than usual, right? And then after “making rather merry” we come home in the early morning hours, stumble into bed and sleep the sleep of the dead knowing that the hours we lost in the beginning of the night, we’ll make up for by sleeping all morning. And then (seemingly 5 minutes later) at 7 AM we feel a tap on our forehead and a small voice pierces our throbbing skulls saying, ”I want cereal and cartoons!” What the…? Now? Why? Don’t they know that mommy and daddy had several spirits last night and have only been asleep for 5 hours? Don’t they feel those jackhammers pounding into our cerebral cortex? Answer: no they don’t. And if they did…they probably wouldn’t care. And if you think you can just croak, “later” and turn and go back to sleep, I got news for you. Those jackhammers will increase by one. And it will get louder and louder and more and more powerful. And this one doesn’t have an off switch.
It’s not just hangovers either. You could be sober as a judge and go to bed Friday night thinking the weekend has started which means sleeping in for the next two days. And you’d be right…if “sleeping in” means getting up even earlier than your alarm usually goes off. My alarm clock is smarter than my 3 year old son. It realizes that Saturday and Sunday are non working days for me so it automatically shuts off and lets me sleep. My son saves the day though and makes sure I’m up at the EXACT time my alarm usually goes off during the week. My alarm almost shrugs and says, “Sorry, guy. I tried” My 3 year old knows the days of the week.: ”Monday, Toosday, Wenday, Fursday,…”,and he knows Daddy doesn’t work on “Satday” and “Sunday”…but hasn’t quite learned the concept of “sleeping in”. Or else he has and chooses to ignore it.

Another concept they don’t get is the two times a year when most of the country changes their clock forward or back an hour. For those in Arizona and parts of Indiana you can stop reading because you don’t change your clocks and therefore don’t have to deal with this phenomenon (freaks). The rest of the country just recently “fell back”. Now that gives us cause to rejoice because it’s an extra hour of sleep, right? Right…if you don’t have small children. Our little ones have not fallen back one minute and continue their clockwork ritual of waking us up bright and early. The difference? Instead of 7 AM it’s now 6 AM! Somehow they get themselves on track eventually, but just know that ”fall back” now refers to sleep time as in “Tonight we fall back on an hour of sleep.”

So take heed new parents. Enjoy the holidays as much as you can. Go out, see friends, and party like the old days. Just know that there will be a price to pay. Eat, drink and be merry…for tomorrow you’re up early.

Kid Kwotes

Kid Kwotes

I peeled an orange for my son, Braden and put it on a plate for him on the kitchen table while he was on the couch watching TV. Then I told him, “Braden, there is an orange here with your name on it.” He got up off the couch very enthusiastically, and ran over to the table where the orange was. After a moment of looking very confused, he looked up and asked, “where is my name?”

Is your kid hilarious? Share your funny stories and kid quotes here. We will be choosing the ones that make us laugh the hardest and posting them on our newsletter. The next one may be yours!!