Social media has become an interesting place to learn about people’s lives – namely our friends, our favorite celebrities, and yes, some influencers, too. There are times, however, when we couldn’t help but wonder which posts are genuine and which are not. Besides, not everything we see online is real, right? So it’s okay if we’re a bit skeptical about posts that seem to make us feel like they’re living perfect lives.
Proud dad of 4 girls Simon Hooper exactly isn’t one to sugarcoat his words. Known on Instagram as Father of Daughters, Hooper has become a social media star with more than 1 million users following his account.
In his posts, the successful author shares what life is like living with his wife and their four daughters. His hilarious and insightful captions totally capture how it feels to be outnumbered by girls in a household.
“No, this is not a background extra milking their scene in some low budget B movie horror film. It’s the moment when I was getting headshots taken for my book & Ottie decided she absolutely positively couldn’t give me a moment to myself – transforming my moment, very much into her moment. Clemmie scooped her up seconds later & I can laugh at this now but it does remind me just how hard it can be to achieve the simplest of tasks when a wailing child is within close promixity – thanks @philippajames for catching the memory & exposing the realities behind the image you see in the book!”
“We vowed early on that we wouldn’t dress Ottie & Delilah the same as Frankly it weirds me (and other people) out & makes the task of identifying them harder than threading a needle while wearing oven gloves covered in baby oil. We wanted them to embrace individuality, to be a seperate entities unto themselves & forge their own paths forward through life. What do they want to do? Dress exactly the same, all the live long day. If I attempt to offer up garms that are not identical, the world implodes in a crescendo of screams that dissolve eardrums & both of them get naked quicker than still life model who really likes his job. After getting so close to the end, I find myself riding the long snake everyone hates, all the way back to square 1. They win. Wear what you want. Sorry nursery, good luck telling them apart. “
“Somehow, we blinked and 10 years of marriage with this one has vanished over the horizon in the rear view mirror, yet she still has the ability to take my breath away, give me the kind of heart palpitations that would worry a GP and generally make me feel like & act a 15 year old man child who knows he’s punching above his weight. Thanks for putting up with me, for having all the babies & for agreeing to share your life with me @mother_of_daughters , I promise to keep things interesting and to make our lives together the best they can be . Here’s to the next 10 – let’s just try to procreate less this coming decade.”
“Ottie & Delilah still confuse the hell out of me but I’m starting to see differences. They could be mistaken for a narcissistic toddler starring in the mirror, yet they’re obviously wired differently when it comes to tackling everyday problems that 18mth olds face. Much like a team building exercise at work that no one really a cares about (apart from Phil in finance) this morning the twins tackled the age old conundrum since bowls were invented – “How do I drink the milk at the bottom of the sodding bowl if the bowl’s stuck to the table?” Ottie opted for the traditional ‘spoon the milk on the table & face plant in it’ – standard. Delilah thought outside the box & employed brute strength to overcome the gravity of the entire planet & poured the bowl, tray still attached, down her gullet. Somedays I struggle to express in words just how proud I am of these 2.”
“I may have a Y chromosome where women have an X but that microscopic piece of biology should be the only thing that differentiates us as we all travel on this journey through life. As a Father of 4 daughters, I don’t want my girls horizons to be limited to what people tell them they can do, so I embrace my responsibility as a parent to support and encourage my girls to be what they want to be, to celebrate & further the accomplishments of those trail blazers that have gone before them like Emmeline Pankhurst, Ella Fitzgerald, Coco Channel, Marie Curie & Henrietta Swan Leavitt who, with a team of all female astronomers, catalogued the stars in the night sky when men told them they couldn’t. Our children will be the ones who will break glass ceilings, forge new paths & make the discoveries that takes the human race to places we can only dream of today, so my message to my girls is to GO BIG, GO HARD & do what they said you can’t do in whatever field you choose – be the boss of your own destiny.”
“Just so we’re clear, this isn’t an ad!! This evening I successfully picked up all 4 girls & completed an emergency shop on the way home. With my arms laden with life admin essentials, everyone disembarked from the car & bounded off towards the house, arguing over who could scream the loudest. Every that is apart from Ottie, who instead decided to do her best impression of discarded flavourless chewing gum & welded herself to the pavement. A 2 minute silent stand ensued during which time 3 people walked passed this small human obstacle & tried to help encourage her to give up on horizontal protest / cloud gazing session, yet she proved to be tougher to shift than lipstick from a carpet (and that’s tough, believe me). I honestly couldn’t tell you why this all started, but it finished with her getting up, starring at me with death ray eyes that went straight through heart and walked off as if I was nothing had happened. I’ve been in meetings where I wished I’d employed this tactic. Oh to be 2 again. “
“I always wonder how toddlers view festivals as it’s such a break from normal life. They see a lot of adults stand in a field usually reserved for farm animals & watch them slowly regress to being teenagers again, shouting “I love this tune!” Or “who’s this band – I’ve never heard of them”, while embarrassing their families by dancing as if their limbs were independently controlled by an invisible puppet master. They’re treated to a muffled audio experience of the world through neon ear defenders while observing other children run around, seemingly free of supervision (although in fact mum & dad are taking turns to have ‘eyes on’ & make sure they don’t stray too far), fuelled by a day long course of glucose supplied by parents wanting an argument free afternoon. Their nappies get changed under open skies & sleep covered in coats, only to wake and find they are still in same field, but the sun’s gone to bed, everyone’s covered in glitter & daddy is sporting a child’s tutu. It must be a very confusing sensory overload, but they seem to love it & a break from norm is something we all need now & again”
“Did anyone else get the memo to inform all parents that its international opposites day today? No? Me neither but Apparently all children have been informed it’s totally ok to do the exact opposite of what all overbearing full grown humans tell them to do. Case in point – this evening’s Bathtime – I said “please stop splashing! mummy will kill me when I forget to tidy this up later”. What they heard was “please go ahead & start up a toddler induced wave machine the scale of which could be used to test war ships, soak the floor & then flail about like a confined depressed killer whale which will eventually eat it’s trainer”. Turns out it’s fine though as the water has now drained through the cracks in the floor boards & has seeped through the ceiling downstairs. This only even happens when I’m in charge on my own. Coincidence? “
“Being an older sibling in what is classified as a large family can be a thankless task. Through no fault of their own both Anya and Marnie have been drafted in, conscription style, into being unpaid nursery workers to allow us breathing space to make dinner & reheat that cup of tea for the 4th that now has a skin so thick you can hold the mug upside, safe in the knowledge that nothing will come out. They had no voting rights when it came the size of our family or when we dished out roles & responsibilities and I’m sure that 75% of the time they find the small people that intruded on their cost setup & take up the vast majority of our parenting attention more an annoying than emptying the kitchen bin only for the liner to break , but without them stepping up, this mass of organised chaos we call family life just wouldn’t work. Here’s to the unsung heroes, to older siblings. You don’t realise it yet, but you’re the ones that keep us parents sane.”
“I seriously believe that all parents suffer from some form of mild Stockholm syndrome. Despite being oppressed & forced to work a servant to our pint sized captures, like a free buffet lunch, we always come back for more. This is especially true when I go away for work. The first day I embrace my freedom & revel in that rarest of commodities – silence. But within 48 hours I strangely miss being yelled at & forced to clear up other people’s poo and start to really pine for home. In my mind I would return to 4 perfect children who would greet me with open arms & proclaim their lives were incomplete in my absence. The reality was 50% of my girls acknowledged my return & within 5 minutes my tired jet lagged body had been transformed into fleshy climbing apparatus while i listened to a list of things that broke while I was away & now needed fixing. I don’t think Anya even knows I went away as she’s now permanently hard wired into Fortnite! I sure they missed me but it still amazes me how quickly normality is resumed!”
“Motivating a child to move that flatly refuses to use their own legs to support their body weight can be so frustrating, you end up developing a permanent eye twitch so dramatic, everyone around you thinks you’re trying to flirt with them. I’d employed the tried & tested method of walking away from the statue like infant until they are a mere dot on the horizon while repeatedly saying “I’m leaving now”, but like a dog who’d released they were about to be dragged to vets, she refused to budge, so, with no buggy, my parents carrying the shopping & me not willing to waste my already diminished bicep strength on carrying yet another child, I employed what I had available – A bag for life. It worked a treat – the only draw back – I now have one arm that Mr tickle would be jealous of. “
“Yes piers, this look is for you. Now I’m not one to get drawn into nonsense that is designed to provoke a reaction because, unlike Piers morgan, I’m in not a toddler in an adults body. But when a man, who’s views come straight out of the back pages of lads mags from the 1920’s, mocks men for carrying their babies in a carrier, I get quite annoyed. I’ve had a child attached to me for the best part of a decade and as anyone knows, accessorising your outfit by wearing a child is so in right now. In fact I used to double up for that extra ‘wow’ factor so I guess in his mind I must be 200% emasculated and basically have a vagina. There is nothing more manly than a dad demonstrating their ability to care for their child and if you think otherwise, then you look around and move with the times. One day the dinosaurs will all die out and turn to oil, leaving the next generation to laugh at the views of the relics that went before them, but in the mean time, let’s avoid giving a soap box to people who use it to simply annoy everyone.”
“Conventional wisdom tells us that the passage of time through space happens at a constant rate forwards, but when you have children, that changes. I can only conclude that there’s a rip in the space time continuum right above the girls bedroom as time just vanished this evening, leaving me feeling like I’d be screwed hard by a flux capacitor with anger management issues. One moment it’s 6.30pm & I’m rounding them up for a bath, then I blinked & it was 8.15pm the world had fallen apart. Bath time – a tsunami nightmare that would have drowned the entire cast of ‘honey I shrunk the kids’. Teeth – a stand off that ended in toothpaste in the eyes. Story time – A jackanory balls up that left me questioning my life choices. Bed time – a yoga session for hyperactive chipmunks that ended with Ottie hiding for 15 minutes in silence & me shouting down the street in the dark because I thought she’d gone (only to be found eating a chocolate egg under Anya’s desk covered in a blanket). Of course, as I’d focused all my energy on these 2, the elder ones hadn’t even had dinner! It may have only been a total of 1hr 45 minutes but I’ve aged several years on the process. I’m strongly considering calling Doc Brown to take be back to 2015 so I can get a vasectomy. “
“Usually bedtime is like walking into a warzone, a warzone with low level lighting, soft furnishings & bunny rabbits. Its a place where books are used as sharp cornered weapons and children break camouflage from underneath soft toys to lob bottle shaped milk grenades indiscriminately at people over 4 ft tall, but tonight was different. In the time it took me to get milk squared away and peg it back upstairs, the twins exhausted all of their energy reserves, allowing the silent assassin, sweet sweet jetlag, to stealthily slip in behind enemy lines and render them comatose. This was our victory photo. Of course the victory is bitter sweet as I now have to move these dead weights & will no doubt be revisited by them at 3am when they think it’s morning, bit for now, we’ll bask in the glory that is 2 little girls that fought the good fight, but lost to sleep. (See stories for vids).”
“Children are basically human versions of a ‘find my phone’ app – as annoying as it maybe, if kids are making a noise, you then at least know where they are, it’s when they’re silent that you need to worry as it usually results in a mess I’ll get blamed for, a lot of scrubbing & a dubious home insurance claim. This evening I walked in on the aftermath of ‘operation sunblock’ – a covert operation to liberate all the suncream from my confines of my bedside drawer. The results – 2 well moisturised guilty looking girls who smelt like holiday & won’t be getting a tan anytime soon & a floor more slippery that an overexcited eel who’d just won a jelly wrestling competition. Lessons to learn: 1). if its silent, something bad is happening & 2). I will always be the blame even if when I’m nowhere near the scene of the crime. “
“Dads change nappies too: Apart from the ballsy women with bladders apparently the size of a old pea that barge into mens toilets to avoid the queue of cross-legged females snaking around the building, many ladies probably have no idea what goes on in the room marked ‘Gentlemen’. Well here’s the secret – it’s usually a lot of guys peeing into urinals trying to overcome stage fright, a couple of blocked toilets, a few broken taps, a floor that’s like walking on glue and occasionally a guy struggling to change their kids nappy – jacket laid on the toilet seat, on his knees in a cubicle, keeping the broken door shut with his arse. Why? Because, believe it or not, in 2019 many men’s toilets still don’t have changing tables. That means we either rough it in the men’s, use the disable one go alfresco (behind a tree / down an alley) or pass responsibilities to the ladies in our lives. This needs to change. And I’m not just talking about the nappy. Any dad’s out there with horror stories to share? Is your country better than the UK? I want to get legislation changed so can do what has to be done in relative comfort and hygiene! “
“Seeing as 90% of my followers are the opposite sex to me, perhaps you can help me work something out. As a father and a man, figuring out the intricacies of female relationships with each other is more complex than solving a 12 sided Rubiks cube with my toes, blindfolded whilst reciting π to a 1000 decimal places. One moment they’re kissing each other for no apparent reason, the next, they’re ripping each others hair our in clumps so big, they could be used as wigs for dolls. Girls then seem to graduate to emotionally tearing eachother apart which can be 100 times worse than physical attacks. Many female relationships seem like they’re perpetually balanced on a knife edge between BFFs and mortal enemies & I’m flummoxed by the whole thing. I’m not saying that men are any better and this is obviously simplistic view but I’m interested as the concept of sisterhood is simple on the outside but a potential minefield on the inside!”
“Putting these 2 to bed tonight got me thinking about the families whose daughters & sons didn’t come home last night, those children who became victims of the tragic events that unfolded in Manchester last night & how those parents won’t get to kiss their kids goodnight. As a parent, you always do you best to shield your children from the darkness that exists in the world, but sometimes your best efforts can’t stop bad things happening to defensless victims who are just going about their lives. I hope that as my children grow up, the next generation can see a way through all the hatred that exists today and find a way to live harmoniously. Variety is the spice of life – learning about other cultures, beliefs and ways of living helps develop your own views, builds intelligence and enriches your life experiences. We just need a bit more love in the world. My thoughts are with the families that have been effected. Give your kids an extra big hug tonight. “
“Forget ultra marathons, this summer has been 2 month long endurance parenting test that’s pushed us beyond what we’d previously thought humanly possible. It’s tested our ability to balance childcare with work & to not forget where the girls are at any one time, our patience with bored kids (despite being offered every activity known to man) & our skills in pulling together meals that aren’t scoffed at my our in-house restaurant critics. @mother_of_daughters & I have be played off eachother, been eaten out of house & home on a daily basis, argued until the blood vessels ruptured in our eyes & confiscated screens over a million times while aging about 20 yrs in the process, but we’ve also laughed a lot, made some memories & emerged at other end of the summer holidays tunnel smiling & without having killed each other, so we must have done something right. Only another 16 more years of this to go before they all leave the nest & I start crying permanently for the rest of my life because I want them back.”
“The transition from cots to big girls beds is akin to getting transferred from Alcatraz to a minimum security prison that has an honesty check out policy at the gate. Now after reading 2 & half books (mainly to ourselves while they perform gymnastics and laugh at their own shadows whilst simultaneously down a bottle of milk quicker than a sailor in a drinking competition) & the lights go off, there is literally nothing more than our hopes and dreams to stop them conducting nocturnal excursions around their room, which they apparently carry out in lead boots, or at least that’s what it sounds like from downstairs. That’s the moment @mother_of_daughters & I play the old ‘it’s your turn’s game to see who has the futile job of returning them to their beds. Toddler straight jackets anyone? “
“To those that think having a child is the end of your social life, to those that think it’s all over. To those that believe that being a parent means a complete change in life style – don’t ever forget who you are and what you loved doing before your have a small version of yourself to look after. Embrace what you have and involve them in your life. Dont settle. Don’t turn things down. Dont become just a parent. You are who you are and having children doesn’t mean you should limit yourself or what you want to do, especially it comes to enjoying yourself. You can still smash a festival and be a good parent as demonstrated by my wife @mother_of_daughters . We are living proof!”
“There’s bed head & then there’s Delilah’s bed head, which has apparently taken some kind of performance enhancing drugs. Her 70’s style disco bouffon looked like the 3 way love child of don king, an angry box of vipers & a mound of candy floss and it quite literally blocked out the sun. Despite not being called Vidal Sassoon, I’m usually the one that deals with all the girls hair (apparently @mother_of_daughters pulls too much, which I’m sure she’s done on purpose just to give me more to do) but today Clemmie took one for the team, took command & did what any self respecting time-poor parent would do – forced a hat over this particular crime against hair styling & sent packing to nursery. They must have had fun removing it only to be confronted by medusa herself. Sorry nursery – There’s some clips & a tangle teezer in there somewhere.”
“No I did not disregard the instructions & over inflate ottie’s armbands with enough helium for her to take off. I did however invoke the right of every father to chuck their off spring as high as physically possible, while @mother_of_daughters watched on with her heart in her mouth before it went into cardiac arrest, packed up its bags & booked into recovery facility to get over the sight of her youngest sticking 2 finger up to Isaac Newton & defying gravity. From what I can tell, the rule is that for every child you have you can throw them 1ft. Anya got the timid 1ft job but Ottie gets the full 4ft treatment everytime and squawks like a fledgling bird & loves it. Aren’t dad’s just the best (and worst at the same time).”
“Either Delilah is using the fridge to conduct climate simulation training for a nursery day trip up the north face of the Eiger that I don’t remember signing the consent form for or I’ve just caught the person responsible of foot prints in the butter & the constant vanishing of yoghurts, frankfurters, grapes, blueberries and cheese strings. This also explains why she always had a cold stomach and looks permanently guilty. Note to all fridge designers – I need a decent fridge lock and shelves that can’t be used and steps. Anyone got any bright ideas to stop the human fridge magnets that doesn’t involve gaffer tape?”
“I’ll forgive you for thinking this was either a really low grade game of hide and seek or the very sad annual meeting between the only 2 members of the ‘National Pavement Appreciation Society’, but in fact it was a result of stubborn child not wanting to put a coat on in weather so cold it would have had snowmen reaching for the heated blanket. This horizontal protest was heading no where fast until @mother_of_daughters employed the old tried & tested ‘I’ll just lie next to this apoplectic child silently and see what happens’ technique and sure enough, Ottie’s brain overloaded at the sight of an adult on the floor, rebooted into recovery mode and she quickly dusted herself off and rode off into the sun. She still didn’t have a coat on, but you take a win where you can in these situations.”
“Much like logical reasoning & a tandruming child, heat & babies don’t mix well. This was this morning at a time that most people might call the night but the twins decided it was a perfectly acceptable time to start their, and therefore, our day. I’ve got home after a night out later than this! (granted, not recently, but still). For those professionals out there, note Clemmie is performing the classic ‘iPad over the face’ technique to maximise shut eye time while still providing entertainment. I on the other hand have no protection and was forced to stare at the ceiling, listen to fully grown humans in costumes talking like babies (never forget there’s a adults inside a teletubby – you’ll see it in a whole new light) while getting occasionally face grabbed by sweaty milk covered hands until my alarm went off – it felt like I was bring subjected interrogation torture but I had no answers.”
“Much like Bear Grylls, when the parenting team is cut by 50% for any period of time, you’re allowed to do things you wouldn’t normal do in order to survive (just with less drinking of my own urine). @mother_of_daughters has been away for 3 days now & although I haven’t drastically changed the rules or deliberately sabotaged the routine that’s taken longer to construct than the Sagrada Família, I may have created some subsidence in the foundations. It’s now ok to get dressed in the play room while eating breakfast. Clothes can be worn for 3 days in a row if desired because it’s not worth the argument. Scatter cushions are banished to the floor as they are a complete waste time (especially on the bed), the twins will now only get out of the bath if carried simultaneously like sacks of old potatoes while I whistle the theme tune to block busters (I have literally no idea where that one came from) & bedtime happens when I can get children to stop hiding & lie down. Oh & as a special surprise, the twins will now only refer to their mother as ‘Clemmie’ because I trained them to – ok, that change was just for my own entertainment. “
“This is a long one, but it’s worth it so bear with me. Day 6 & my parents are driving across the country to come & provide a helping hand. Having been on our own for so long, I’ve been running food stocks at bare minimum levels but after gazing into the fridge this morning, it became apparent that unless I wanted to feed my mum & dad cling film wrapped bowls of non descript half eaten meals, out of date yoghurts & veg that was growing new species, we were going to have to do a food shop before they arrived. Hands down the worst experience of the week – Delilah escaped the buggy & while chewing a pack of new Zealand lamb, proceeded to run away from me like a dog that had been stung in the arse by a genetically modified hornet. Minutes later a security guard returned her to me while I pleaded with ottie not to open the yoghurts. She ignored me & proceeded to dip her entire fist into it & do a picasso on the buggy. Oh joy. When we got to the checkout, i proceeded to unload everything from my basket , only to do a 180 & find my 2 Rays of sunshine had got out of their restraints again & were now proceeding to strip quicker than an overenthusiastic nudist on the first day of their holidays – Coats were thrown, wellies were discarded & trousers we round ankles. After members of the public helped load my shopping, i dressed them only for them to then scream solidly for the next 5 minutes without breath as I waited for everything to be scanned. I could actually feel my ass sweating from the stress as all eyes burnt holes in my head. I then forgot my pin number & after struggling to pull together enough cash , I realised I’d bought so much I couldn’t carry it home without ripping my fingers to bloody shreds. To top it all, I got home only to realise I’d left the beer I bought on the floor by the tils. As you can imagine, the twins & I aren’t talking right now. We need some space.”
“I wasn’t there, but after this morning, I’m pretty sure this is exactly how the product design meeting went at sudocrem when they first brought the product out: ‘Ok guys, i think we can all agree, we can be pretty proud as we have a great product here that all parents will use to protect their kids cherub-like arses, but we don’t want to make their lives too easy as we all know they already have way too much time on their hands, so let’s brainstorm some ideas to make it more of a hassle than it should be. Doug, got something to say?’ ‘Yes John, how about we stick a red label on it so children gravitate towards it.’ ‘Great! I like your blue sky thinking. Any others?’ ‘Yes, let’s make the lid easy for toddlers to open, forget screw caps, just a good pull would do the job.’ ‘Excellent stuff. But we need more. Anne, your go.’ ‘Ok, how about making the tub opening just the right size for kids to put their entire hand in’. ‘Genius. Now we’re cooking on gas. Any others?’ ‘we should make it absolutely impossible to get off clothes, carpets & fabrics in general’. ‘Bob, you’ve hit the jackpot. Take the rest of the day off and go hit the spa.'”
“You know when you do something & your kids find it so snot bubblingly hilarious that, much like a court jester, you are forever requested to do it over & over & over again just to satisfy the powers that be? About a month ago, I made the mistake of making a den (essentially my legs propping up the duvet) for the Ottie & Delilah to drink their morning milk in. I then shut them in & ticked from the outside. Standard really. They loved it. They loved it so much that they now demand it every morning. The only problem I have with this is that I have now be clocked square in the balls on no less than 3 occasions by a twin who’s adapted their bottle from a energy giving vessel of Morning sustenance into a weapon that renders men impotent. The results – a grown man wincing in the fetal position while 2 small girls look on, giggling like saddistic mainiacs while chinking milk bottles – they now think this is part of some kind of slapstick routine which im just thrilled about. What demeaning things are you subjected to in order to entertain little ones?”
If you’ve found these posts entertaining, do yourself a favor and check out Simon Hooper over at Instagram.
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