Dad is Fat, the new book by Jim Gaffigan (yes, that Jim Gaffigan) is a book about parenting, but it is not your father’s parenting book (assuming your dad read parenting books). There aren’t any cures for colic or the common cold, nor are there steaming bowls of chicken soup ladled out for the soul of your choice. Rather, Dad is Fat is an honest look at the reality of parenthood and the humor that sustains us all. But funnier.
Gaffigan and his wife, Jeannie, whom he credits generously (and wisely), are parents to five children under the age of eight—all living loudly in a small two-bedroom apartment, and he is still trying to figure out exactly what happened.
The book is an easy read, broken into short, quick chapters, which is reflective of Gaffigan’s years as a stand-up comic—stories and punchlines delivered in rapid time, but the relative brevity might also be attributed to his experience as a father: time is fleeting and attention spans more so.
That isn’t to say that Dad is Fat is only suitable for parents. Gaffigan’s comedy is as prevalent on page as on the stage, and fans of one will surely appreciate the other. However, the difference lies in perspective. While a non-parent will most likely enjoy the humor, parents will presumably find many of the stories to be downright relatable, and everyone knows that empathy makes stuff 25% funnier (actual percentages may vary).
My favorite line in the book isn’t a joke, but some painfully funny truth: The thing about having a bunch of kids is that you end up doing once-in-a-lifetime things more than once in a lifetime. That nails it, and I only have two kids!
Gaffigan riffs on such parenting staples as bedtime, family films, clothing, diapers, and everything else we have all freaked out about at one point or another, and he makes them funny—mainly because it is all happening to someone else, and other people suffering is hilarious.
For instance, have you ever been overwhelmed by the number of classes available for smaller kids? Gaffigan feels your pain:
“I really wasn’t prepared for the amount of classes offered to little children. When I was a kid, there was only preschool and watching television.
“Once your child is born, the “classes” for one- and two-year-olds run the gamut from pointless to useless. You are essentially paying an enormous amount of money to take your baby to some room in order to interact with them.”
“There is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor.”
On having five children:
“Imagine you are drowning… and then someone hands you a baby.”
Gaffigan delivers his insight with a tongue-in-cheek and somewhat gallows humor that will have readers laughing out loud (also, LOL). Dad is Fat is great for parents that need a good chuckle or soon-to-be parents that need more things to be afraid of. It’s a win-win.
Dad is Fat is available now and makes a great Father’s Day gift.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).