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Daddy Needs a Drink: An Irreverent Look at Parenting from a Dad Who Truly Loves His Kids-- Even When They're Driving Him Nuts [Paperback]

Robert Wilder
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

May 1 2007
A Santa Fe dad shares heartwarming, comic, often ludicrous tales of raising a family in this laugh-out-loud book perfect for anyone who enjoys the edgy humor of David Sedaris or the whimsical commentary of Dave Barry. Waxing both profound and profane on issues close to a father’s heart—from exploding diapers to toddler tantrums, from the horrors of dressing up as Frosty the Snowman to the moments that make a father proud—Robert Wilder brilliantly captures the joys and absurdities of being a parent today.

With an artist wife and two kids—a daughter, Poppy, and a son, London—Robert Wilder considers himself as open-minded as the next man. Yet even he finds himself parentally challenged when his toddler son, London, careens around the house in the buff or asks the kind of outrageous, embarrassing questions only a kid can ask. A high school teacher who sometimes refers to himself jokingly as Mister Mom (when his wife, Lala, is busy in her studio), Wilder shares warmly funny stories on everything from sleep deprivation to why school-sponsored charities can turn otherwise sane adults into blithering and begging idiots.

Whether trying to conjure up the perfect baby name (“Poppy” came to his wife’s mother in a dream) or hiring a Baby Whisperer to get some much-needed sleep, Wilder offers priceless life lessons on discipline, potty training, even phallic fiddling (courtesy of young London). He describes the perils of learning to live monodextrously (doing everything with one hand while carrying your child around with the other) and the joys of watching his daughter morph into a graceful, wise, unique little person right before his eyes.

By turns tender, irreverent, and hysterically funny, Daddy Needs a Drink is a hilarious and poignant tribute to his family by a man who truly loves being a father.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Though he entering an already crowded field of pithy family essayists, Wilder's first book still resonates as an idiosyncratic charmer, avoiding the easy jokes for more carefully calculated wit. The familiar perils of parenthood-diaper changing, sleepless nights, inappropriate early words-are enumerated with an easygoing prose style that is consistently clever without ever trying too hard. Wilder is at his best when he ventures slightly farther afield from the standard set-pieces of the genre, such as in the show-stopping piece "Blood on the Tracks," in which he attends a music class for his son taught by a psychotic woman named Judith. Wilder perfectly conveys the nightmarish situation, recalling with escalating anxiety the rhyming couplets in which the teacher sings all of her instructions ("Repeating notes in such location / Is called proper audiation").. Unfortunately, the collection of 33 essays can get repetitive, and also suffers from the disjointed chronology that sometimes plagues works such as these. Nevertheless, Wilder deserves praise for his humor-especially his deadpan and appropriately dispatched profanity-as well as for the well rendered portraits of his worrying wife Lala and his two children.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Wilder's collection is spiced with sharp-eyed but never cruel observations of kids' befuddling behavior and hilarious scatology…. His love for his family comes through without ever seeming cloying…. Capture[s] the absurdity and joy to be found in the most important job a man can do."—Los Angeles Times

“Robert Wilder’s hilarious and boldly candid essays about the realities of parenting go down like gin and tonic on a hot summer afternoon.”—People

"More profane, more ironic and at times more touching than a whole stack of well-meaning child-rearing manuals....Even if your husband or father or brother isn't much of a reader, Daddy Needs a Drink would be sure to make him laugh."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing out loud! July 16 2006
Format:Hardcover
I bought this book for my husband, thinking he would enjoy a comical look at parenthood through the words of a fellow Dad. I started reading the first few pages before giving it to my husband, and couldn't put it down! I laughed out loud throughout the book at the hillarious and honest look at parenting from a father's perspective. I will be buying this book for friends and family (Moms and Dads alike). A wonderful lighthearted look at the ups and downs of raising children!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching, Laugh-Out-Loud Look at the Thrills and Trials of Being a Devoted Dad Oct. 9 2006
By Rachel Kramer Bussel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Daddy Needs a Drink is a delightful peek into Robert Wilder's child-filled life, highlighting the ridiculous charm of his kids, Poppy and London, and the daily dilemmas and lessons parenting has taught him. From the first few pre-pregnancy tales, one of which involves listening in to his neighbors' dalliances via baby monitor, through his kids' adventures and misadventures, Wilder proves that he's laughing at himself most of all.

More than just "cute kid stories," Wilder explores the ways teaching his children right from wrong can often be unsettling for other adults, such as when his son decides to say the word "pussy" at many an inopportune time (not to mention "hipple") or teaching him about dwarfs ("dwarps" in London-speak). He explores his son's addiction to his nuzzies (blanket lint) and their attempts to wean him off of them.

Wilder also has an eye for the hypocrisy of other parents and teachers, pointing out their excesses and eccentricities. On the beach, he describes sitting near "High-Maintenance Mom" while he makes sand mermaids for his kids. When High-Maintenance Mom's daughter comes over to see what the fuss is about, Wilder writes: "The little girl left her mom and wandered over to what must have seemed like more fun than an outdoor office where your boss ignores you." No matter how much he may roll his eyes at certain parenting conventions, Wilder will never be the kind of dad who blatantly ignores his kids.

And, while humorous, Wilder exhibits a vulnerability that's refreshingly honest, most notably when he shares a crying bout upon observing his daughter on the playground. He's a dad who's willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, wearing a filthy Frosty the Snowman outfit, buying outrageous amounts of school supplies, and generally humoring his kids without spoiling them. His essays about his own father, whose love for Sam's Club knows no bounds, show their own deep connection.

Wilder's greatest gift is in making readers laugh, but never at the expense of anyone else. There are stories that his kids will likely one day laugh right along with, and he includes himself in the punchlines. He touches on telephone etiquette for kids, how to deal with his children's voluminous output of artwork, and balancing the needs and wants of two adults and two kids harmoniously, while also giving a glimpse into the rest of his family and his friends' adventures in parenting (where the terrible twos extend onward well past that famous age). This is well worth reading, whether you have (or even like) kids or not, and while his love and awe for his kids is clear from every page, Wilder manages to be hilarious and tender, but never sappy. Wilder doesn't claim to have all the answers, and learns along the way, painting fatherhood as an ongoing journey of learning, growing, and being changed by his role as a parent, and his humorous writing is all the better for this lack of a master plan or know-it-all advice. I will be giving this book to all the new dads I know.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must For New Dads With a Sense of Humor June 18 2006
By Stefanie Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a fellow author, and a new mom, I read this book thinking I'd find a dad who doesn't really get it but that it might be humorous. Well, I was wrong. He totally gets it every bit as much as the bored stay at home moms I know. If you don't laugh at the chapter entitled "Pussy" you probably don't have a pulse which means you have bigger problems than what book to buy. I definitely recommend this book to all dads who want to see that other dads know what you're going through. Good luck out there!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest Parenting Book Yet! Dec 13 2006
By Trent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you are a parent or wanting to be a parent, you should definitely read this book by Robert Wilder. It is a collection of his memories as a father, from the first time he changed his daughter in an Olive Garden Restaurant men's room, to having worn a snowman suit called Frosty and baking in his own fart and stench just to get the love of his daughter. Wilder also narrates the frustrations of being a parent and drastically looking at it in a very side splitting and hilarious way. If you want a book that will make you "pee-in-your-pants-laugh-out-loud-kind" of way and if you want to see the different lengths parents will do to get their children's love, this is the book to read. You will also find in this book how a family friend reacts when his 3 year old son drops the "F-BOMB word", or when a 6 year old girl asks Wilder, "Daddy, what is rape?", and a kid's question on why the sky is blue followed by who, what where and when interrogations. Although this book is about parenting and children, Wilder's language is on the rated R range, which I think is a very effective tool for the adult readers to find amusing, not to mention one chapter that has rated R dialouges with.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read May 26 2006
By J. Beach-Ferrara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Hilarious, closely-observed, refreshingly honest, moving in unexpected ways. The book deftly avoids the saccharine territory of so many books about parenting and just nails the strange, important details of domestic life. "Crying in America," a triptych of essays, is at the book's heart and ought to be shared widely.

In short, a great read and one I'm passing along to people of all stripes - men, women, those who parent, those who have been parented.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHRISTMAS TREE! May 15 2006
By Jennifer Guevara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm not going to lie...I am not done with the book, YET! But in a wierd way, I don't want to finish it. I want it to keep on going...I want it to always be there, to crack me up with its unique and witty writing style. I want it to be there to make me laugh so loud, I startle my dog. I want to keep reading the funny accounts of Mr. Wilder's life...the parts that make me laugh even when I'm not reading...when I am walking around the mall, or sitting at the teacher's lounge eating lunch. Everyone says, "What are you laughing about?". I say, "Read the book!"

Trust me people, its HILARIOUS! You won't want it to end :)
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