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DAD WORDS WITH JAKE DEAN

What up, dads? I have some exciting news to share: I finally Googled something that has been on my mind for years – “what do birds do at night?”. Turns out many birds are able to switch off half their brain when they need to have a sleep, keeping one eye fully awake and alert to predators. Very cool. Perhaps one day, with scientific and technological advances, us humans will acquire the ability to keep a watchful eye on our kids while simultaneously ripping a solid nap (imagine!). But, until then, I’ll continue writing nonsensical magazine column intros with barely one half of my brain functioning.

READ: POP GOES THE WEASEL – By James Patterson

I read a lot of literary fiction, which is sometimes like choosing the healthy yet tasteless salad for lunch. Occasionally you just need to pick the giant, disgusting, fast food sludge you know is terrible for you. Enter this book, by apparently the world’s bestselling author. This mind-numbing instalment follows Patterson’s regular hero Alex Cross hunting a deranged British serial killer with diplomatic immunity. It’s stupid, with awful dialogue and riddled with crime clichés, but it’s oh-so-fun, and if you can’t find it just head to a second-hand book shop and pick any of the other Patterson titles that inevitably line a huge shelf in it.
Available from Dymocks, $17.99 (or your closest op shop, probably)

READ: THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA – By Judith Kerr

Why didn’t I know about this book?! Written in 1968, it’s one of the best-selling children’s books ever, and sees a mother and daughter visited by a tiger, who eats everything in the house. There’s something really poignant about this book, with the tiger’s Mona Lisa smile, the girl’s adoring gaze at the tiger and an ending I’m still trying to figure out. Daddy-feels aside, your kid will love the beautiful illustrations and the fact there’s a fricken tiger eating all the food, so if you’re one of the seven people in the world that hasn’t read this book, add it to your roster.
Available from Dymocks, $14.99

WATCH: CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

This is a Sunday night special and it’ll make you evaluate your parenting decisions and what’s best for your groms. The film follows a family that has spent years living off-grid in the wilderness as they grapple with the death of their mother and their reintegration into society. Viggo Mortensen is brilliant as the tough yet tender father, with touching performances by the six children. But there are enough laughs on their road trip – to fulfil a mission to honour their mum’s wish to be cremated and have her ashes flushed down the toilet – so it’s not all heavy going. Lovely stuff.
netflix.com

DO: DIGITAL DETOX

At the risk of sounding like one of those people – I’m gonna be one of those people. I’ve taken a break from the endless scroll the past couple of months, deleting social media apps off my phone. It probably won’t be a permanent thing, and I haven’t detached completely (I still use the accounts occasionally for work and stuff), but I’ve already found my mood has improved and the time I’ve spent having fun with my kid, reading, keeping fit, etc. has increased markedly as my screen time (and my brain worms) have dwindled. Give a detox a go this summer, I dare ya.