I’ve always loved studying stand up comedians since they are the closest profession to share the challenges of preaching. Engaging a crowd’s attention with one person speaking on stage for forty plus minutes is no easy task. While I often study great stand up routines I was eager to read comedian Jim Gaffigan’s book Dad is Fat. As the title suggests, this is a funny book about parenting. Specifically, a comedian’s insight into parenting five children. As a guy who is working on a big family myself I enjoyed his perspective. While the book is unabashedly funny, you can sense the conviction and determination that Jim brings to his role as a dad.
Failing and laughing at your own shortcomings are the hallmarks of a sane parent.
I was born with a heart that was two sizes too small, but when I saw my baby, it was like the Grinch discovering the true meaning of Christmas.
I guess the reasons against having more children always seem uninspiring and superficial. What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair? These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life. I believe each of my five children has made me a better man. So I figure I only need another thirty-four kids to be a pretty decent guy.
There were so many examples where Jim would humorously (and profoundly) provide unique perspective on the daily challenges of parenting. If you have kids or just need a good laugh today, here are some of my favorites.
I am undeniably lucky to have married a woman like Jeannie. She is energetic, hardworking, and takes incredible care of the kids and me. However, during our marriage there have been periods when she has become rather lazy. Jeannie describes these periods as â€œpregnancy.â€
Of course, pregnant women are not lazy. In fact, they are the opposite of lazy. Whatever they are doing, they are also always growing a baby. Even when they are sleeping, they are growing a baby. They are constantly multitasking. Iâ€™m often not even tasking.
A woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body. When you compare that to the maleâ€™s contribution to life, itâ€™s kind of embarrassing, really. The father is always like, â€œHey, I helped, too. For like five seconds. Doing the one thing I think about twenty-four hours a day.
Occasionally, a dog will be presented as some training method for having a baby. â€œMy girlfriend and I got a dog. We are going to see if we can handle that before we have kids.â€ This is a little like testing the waters of being a vegetarian by having lettuce on your burger.
Unfortunately, around the age of three, there comes a time when napping your child becomes counterproductive. Itâ€™s not worth it. The nap during the day for a three-year-old becomes a payday loan.
Have you ever noticed that the childrenâ€™s menu is exactly the same as the bar menu? Burger, hot dog, pizza. If you put the childrenâ€™s menu at the bar, people wouldnâ€™t even notice. â€œOh, cool. I can color in an airplane while I drink this beer and wait for my chicken strips.â€
If you ever take your kids to a situation where they must be quiet, bring lollipops. Theyâ€™re like flavored muzzles.
Parents burn out in big families. You can even see it in the naming of children. The first kid: â€œYou were named after your grandfather.â€ The sixth kid: â€œYou were named after a sandwich I ate. I loved that sandwich. Now go get your brother, Reuben.â€