Dad or Alive: Confessions of an Unexpected Stay-at-Home Dad, a memoir of Adrian Kulp’s first year at home with his baby daughter, is funny and touching, real and raunchy, with an uncensored POV that is uniquely male. (For better or for worse, I now have some idea what my fiancé was really thinking in the delivery room.)
When we first meet Adrian, he’s more focused on the Phillies than on fatherhood, grappling with the loss of his man cave to make way for the nursery and wondering how he got himself in such a jam:
“Did I dream of being a dad when I grew up? Not really…I dreamed about one day taking Daisy Duke out on a date and feeling up her boobs in back of the General Lee. I dreamed about being an astronaut, wrestling in the WWF or having a cool helicopter named Airwolf.”
But soon enough he’s in the parenting trenches, fending off the stink-eye from airline passengers when he boards with his 2-month-old, testing the limits of the liberal Babies ‘R Us return policy and, hilariously, attempting to use the urinal in a bar men’s room with baby Ava strapped to his chest in a Bjorn:
“Ava’s feet split the ‘work area’ to the left and right perfectly, and even though I couldn’t see anything, I’d be fine. It was a little bit like Malkovich putting together that gun under the table to shoot the president in In the Line of Fire.”
While delivering plenty of the light-hearted parenting anecdotes that blog readers expect, Adrian also digs deeper, grappling with questions of identity in the face of change. The crash and burn of his Hollywood career soon after Ava’s birth is riveting, relatable stuff, especially in today’s economy. Even though I knew what would happen (*spoiler alert* – Adrian becomes a stay-at-home dad and launches a popular blog), I found myself in suspense and rooting for his resurrection.
Truly, I loved this book – a perfect Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift, sure, but treat yourself, too – stash it in the bathroom, lock the door, and sneak chapters during Dora the Explorer. On sale now at Amazon or wherever you like to buy your books.
And you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s my Q&A with the author himself:
CB4M: You give us free stuff every week. Why should we buy the book?
ADRIAN: Let’s just talk about the cover of the book for a minute. It’s fucking awesome. Do you know how cool it’s going to look sitting on your shelf or desk at work?
The free stuff that I lob out onto the Internet every week is just a taste. It’s like the little sample cups you get at Ben n’ Jerry’s when you can’t make up your mind. This book is a triple-scoop of all your favorites nestled into a warm, delicious waffle cone. Wait, what are we talking about again?
CB4M: I laughed out loud when you compared pregnant sex to straddling a refrigerator. Did anything you wrote get you in trouble at home?
ADRIAN: My wife is pretty cool about that stuff. She actually got MORE pissed off about the fact that I didn’t properly describe how she decorated our bathrooms in chapter 4.
Ever since she’s known me, I’ve never really had an edit button. My mouth kinda just falls open and the most unacceptable and politically incorrect diarrhea spills out of it onto the floor.
Plus, I think a lot of times she gives me carte blanche because she doesn’t really have a good sense of humor. She thinks she does, but she doesn’t.
SHIT. That might get me in trouble.
CB4M: If Dad or Alive gets made into a sitcom, who should play you on TV?
ADRIAN: Hmmm… that’s a really tough one. I’ve always been a huge Christopher Lloyd fan, but he’s like, 75, so that wouldn’t work. Jason Segal or Jason Bateman would probably do a good job. Maybe even Jason Statham… the kids would probably listen to me if I were The Transporter.
Honestly though, my top pick would be Louis CK. The problem is, he’s already playing my character on FX. Dude is amazing as a dad.
Note: A copy of the book was provided to me to facilitate the review. I guest post on Dad or Alive and blog-stalk its author.