Dear Dave

Tuesday 17 May 2011


Meet Ed. Everyone always thinks Ed has the day off. Why else would he be out and about with three small children? But Ed has a wife with a paying job and a belief that parents should screw up their own kids rather than leaving it to strangers. Most importantly, he also has a pen-pal...

Unlike in all those housedad horror stories you hear, Ed is happy and competent rather than repressed and hopeless. He just has a tendency to find himself in awkward situations surrounded by crazy people. Through dealing with these disasters, he passes on his knowledge of how to survive as a full-time father. As he describes it, 'The hours are long, the holidays are rubbish, the pay's a joke and there's heavy exposure to toxic biological waste. On the plus side, there's plenty of fresh air and exercise, a steady supply of hugs, relatively little stress, strong job satisfaction and an army of amusing minions. You also get to play Hungry Hippos and call it work.'

Ed writes to another housedad, Dave, offering advice on everything from potty training to surviving a zombie invasion. He also details his encounters with Steve, his wife Sarah's clueless manager. Steve is Useless Dad. He has two young children but barely knows which way up to hold them. Ed endeavours to teach Steve to be a more involved father, while trying not to endanger Sarah's career prospects in the process. Then, when Steve is fired and becomes a reluctant housedad himself, Ed has to show him the ropes and convince him that career isn't everything. Along the way, there's also Scary Karen to deal with, Super~Mum, the GrandParent of Doom and a very smelly teenager.

Throughout it all, Ed uses his difficulties to illustrate how to cope in a world full of sleep-deprived women and toddlers with toilet issues.

You can use the archive over on the right to take a random dip into Ed's world or start off where it all began.

Remember, being a housedad isn't difficult. It just requires some effort, a lot of patience and plenty of practice. A poor sense of smell also helps.

DadsDinner lives! (In miniature...)

Dear other Daves and non-Daves,

Hope you've had a great year. I've been busy teaching physics at adult evening classes, pondering the nature of life after toddlers and, in rare moments of peace and solitude, communing with my Xbox. I'm still not sure who I am or where I'm going but at least the physics thing has allowed me to share my confusion with some other people along the way (and practice my evil scientist/parent laugh. MWAH-ha-HA!).

Sadly, I don't have time to start blogging again properly. However, just to let those of you who are still signed up to the feed know, DadsDinner is now on Twitter. That's right! The same encouragement, wry humour, reviews and child-related madness but in bite-sized chunks of 140 characters or less. Sign up here:

Follow DadsDinner on Twitter

If you're not on Twitter and can't be bothered to join, don't worry - there's a handy round-up of the best bits just over there -------->

Alternatively, it's in a more readable format on the DadsDinner Homepage. If you check back once a week, you won't miss much.

Also, in recognition of this occasion, I've been giving the website a little spring clean to make everything easier to find and thus you may notice a small flurry of activity over the next day or two. Best bits so far include previous/next buttons at the bottom of each blog post and a much friendlier archive system which should make locating fun reviews and reading Dear Dave in chronological order much less hassle. There's never been a better time to revisit the lives of Ed, Rob, Useless Dad, Scary Karen, Super~Mum, Ned the teenager and the GrandParent 0f Doom.

Then again, if you don't have time for that, did I mention Twitter?

All the best,


PS If you do sign up for Twitter and manage to convince 15,000 other people to do the same, I'll be filled with well-being, warmth and generosity, and bring back Dear Dave. How's that for a deal?

/Snickers to self and watches tumbleweed roll by, safe in the knowledge he'll never have to blog properly again...