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Monday, May 20, 2013

Attention all Dads : you need to read this

Seriously, you do.
It's comedic genius.
The best parenting book I've read (sorry Kaz Cooke, but this is even funnier).
Paul Merrill's Muddle Your Way Through Fatherhood is a book about being a Dad, by a Dad.  A Dad who happens to have a wicked sense of humour and a way with words.
It's bloody hilarious, and there's pretty much nothing off limits.
There's information on how to deal with underachieving kids, overachieving kids, parenting a nerd or a nightmare pubescent, and how to handle child bullies (yours and others).
It even covers the tough questions - sex, drugs, poor life choices.
If you're not one for reading, fear not - there are a number of helpful flow charts and diagrams.
It is a very clever take on the realities of what to expect when your partner (or, as Paul puts it, "wife/girlfriend/lesbian egg donor") is expecting.
From the reality of holidaying with kids, tackling Mothers Day, covertly naming your first born after your sporting hero, to when and how to lie to your offspring responsibly - it's all covered.
Each chapter follows the growth of kids, what to expect at each stage, and the do's and don't's for Dad's navigating the whole fatherhood gig.
While The Feral Threesome are all still in the school age range, I'm definitely keeping this book on hand as they grow.  Real advice on how to really handle situation (without group hugs and over-emoting) with humour is exactly my style.
Muddle Your Way Through Fatherhood covers how real people handle parenting's tricky situations.  Not how Super Nanny and Dr Phil would handle them were they to mate and produce a golden child.
And if you're still unsure how to stumble through fatherhood, then don't worry - there's a section on the best and worst celebrity Dad's so you can model yourself on their examples.  Or not.
Honestly, I really loved this book.  This is the one I'm going to buy for Dad's to be in future.
It's pants-pissingly funny (a rating that should be available on Amazon and The Book Depository), but it's also true.  Facts are offered up with maximum wit and sarcasm, which is just how I like them.
Muddle Your Way Through Fatherhood will be available on Amazon from June 1st.
Seriously, bypass the yawnsville factual books and get this one.
And if the Dad in your life isn't quite cutting it, get him a copy too so that he may brush up on his fathering (and husbanding) skills.
The giveaway
I have a copy of Muddle Your Way Through Fatherhood to give away.
For your chance to win, comment below with the best piece of fatherly advice you were either given, or you would give.
And I'm after real advice, nothing airy fairy like "cherish every moment".
Something along the lines of "train them to follow your football team as soon as possible, so your wife is less likely to protest about having to watch matches, when presented with the pleading eyes of her beloved offspring".
Entries close midnight (WST) Monday 27th May.
The fine print
  • Entry is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only
  • Maximum of one (1) entry per person
  • Please, please, for the love of vodka, remember to register your comment with an email address - if you enter as 'anonymous' or choose not to provide an email address on the comment form, how am I supposed to contact you if you win?
  • Entries close midnight (WST) Monday 27th May
  • Winner drawn and published on the blog Tuesday 28th May
  • Winner has seven (7) days to respond before I get a bit ranty about the extra time and effort I've put into trying to contact them, before conducting a re-draw.


  1. I'm answering on behalf of my'better' half who'd say - make sure you defer all questions, important or otherwise, to your wife. This will train the kids to bypass you with every question so you can watch TV undisturbed even when she's interstate and you're at home.

  2. Similar to Char's point - Do not learn to say Dad - only learn to say Mom - whenever you want permission to go somewhere - ask Mom, when you want permission to do anything - ask Mom, and then don't come and ask me to see if I will say something different to Mom - we cannot be split and divided - and don't ask me first because I never know what the 'right' answer is !!
    Even when you are with me the whole day, wait for Mom to get home and then bombard her with your requests because everyone knows - Mom's are better homework helpers, crafters, cooks, story tellers, bathtime supervisors and putting to bed experts.
    Have the best day !

  3. I've spent a lot of time thinking about 1. what piece of fatherly advice you were either given, or 2. you would give. And then I realised that this was making me really depressed. Does anyone really want to know that Dad never gave me fatherly advise. I doubt it. Dad taught me to run fast, in terms of getting out of his way for fear of being belted. And 2, I myself am not a Dad, I'm a Mum so can't give an example. BUT, I married the best guy ever, and his best fatherly advise to our 7 year old daughter and 4 year old foster son would be, it's not lost until Mum can't find it. That's what he tells the kids all the time when they have misplaced something. He asks, "did you have a girls look, or a boy's look". "Don't worry, it's not lost until Mum cant find it". Also to teach the kids early to yell, "no way maggots" at the footballing umpire's decisions. Something that I find so embarrassing when sweet Miss 7 yells at the top of her lungs! Love reading your blogs :)

  4. My dad was a man of few words and our family had already seen my oldest brother "having to get married". (He is 12 yrs older than me).

    So when I first started dating my eventual ex-wife, my dad's only advice to me was, "Don't get her pregnant"..short and sweet.

  5. I don't know if it was advice as such, but I recall being about 14 when my stepdad said to me "If you want to experiment with alcohol, do it at home. That way, we know where you are, we know that you are safe, and we will be here to hold your hair out of your face when you are throwing your guts up in the toilet. Help yourself to the liquor cabinet whenever you want". The funny thing is that it completely put me off trying alcohol for at least the next 3 years because I wasn't sure if he was messing with my head/testing me.

  6. "Son, it's time for me to pass on my words of knowledge about women.
    1) If they ask you to do the washing, put coloureds in with their best white top. You'll never be asked again.
    2) If they visit their Mum for a week, one pair of undies can last you 4 days - right way around, back to front, inside out right way around and inside out back to front. On the morning she is due home, have a shower (it's been a week) and toss the washing up in with you. Oh, and make the bed as if you did it every day.
    3) Intimacy is nicer if you chat lovingly to her first. A tap on the shoulder followed by asking 'Are you awake?" does not work. I'm speaking from experience here.

    1. Love it. Congrats Aussie Ron, you are the winner!

      Now if only I could locate a means to contact you.

  7. A few years after I started work and was struggling to move up the corporate ladder, my mum was telling me all about putting myself out there, networking and making myself stand out. Dad, on the other hand, simply said "sometimes you have to endure the shit to get to the shine". Best advice ever - and something that I still remind myself of a lot when I'm up all night with a grumpy baby, or when Miss Almost3 is mid-tantrum or.. almost any shitty situation really!


  8. If you're asked to do chores around the house, stuff it up good and proper so you're never asked again. If it's washing, put the woollens in the dryer. If it's cooking, use sugar instead of salt. Or vice versa. If dishes, break something. Or everything.

  9. I have heard "Son, a girls looks are not what's important. They all look the same in the dark."

  10. My Dad told my brother on his wedding day
    "you can be right - or you can be happy"!!

  11. I'm answering for Hubby - who is the best Dad ever, mostly, sometimes!
    He is always telling our five boys to be go for what they want in life no matter what it takes. And to not go through life and make the mistakes he made!
    He was never given any money advice from his parents when growing up - so he gives LOTS to his sons. NOW if only he listened to his own advice :)

  12. My Father to my brother: if the Mother can cook, and cook well, then chances are the girl can cook & you won't starve.

    Ever practical my Father!!



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