Parenting is no walk in the park and the trend of mommy bloggers showing how ‘easy’ it is, well is not always the reality. One dad decided to counteract the mommy blogger movement by creating his own Instagram account detailing his daily life with his four daughters. His Insta account quickly went viral and now has over 1 million followers tuning on a daily basis to see the antics that he and his daughters are getting up to. The account has been so successful that he was even offered a book deal to share his top tips for parenting in, and how he had to grow up really quickly to be an effective parent when he had his first daughter at 24.
The road to fatherhood has not been easy and his stories and Instagram posts definitely show this but in the most humorous way possible. Keep reading to see some of the funniest pictures and stories he has shared to date. They involve tears, bathing struggles, and a whole lot of tears and frustration that will make you laugh out loud, and just maybe, commiserate with this dad.
Meet Simon Hooper
Simon Hooper did not know that he would end up in a household of ladies effectively making him feel what it is to be outnumbered. But the birth of his four beautiful daughters has been a constant source of joy and a bit of frustration as encapsulated in this picture.
All he wanted was a simple headshot for his upcoming novel but it was not to be. Instead, his little daughter Ottie decided to throw a screaming fit and totally eclipsed her father during his moment of success.
Everybody has seen the adorable pictures of twin girls and boys dressed identically by their parents in an effort to double the cuteness factor. Well, Hooper decided he would not be one of those parents who dressed his twins in identical outfits. However, one thing he did not anticipate was that his twins would actually want to dress identically.
The screaming matches that ensued if he tried to dress them in separate outfits was not worth the fight. So, here are Ottie and Delilah in matching overalls and sandals looking as cute as can be. The only real problem with the two dressing alike is that it’s nigh on impossible to tell who is who making it hard for parents and childcare workers alike.
The twins feature heavily on his account as their shenanigans and problem-solving skills are unparalleled. When you are 18 months old it is hard to know just how some things are done, such as trying to get the milk left at the bottom of a cereal bowl during breakfast. The idea that you can just lift the bowl up seems to have alluded these two.
In another proud dad moment, Hooper documented how the girls decided to get every last drop of milk. One decided to go the dog method and just eat off of the tray, the other decided to use the whole tray and leverage it so she could drink from the bowl. All or nothing.
Even though Hooper and his wife have been married for 10 years now and share four very rambunctious children this has not stopped them from appreciating every moment together. They still make time for date nights although Hooper has made a note that the two have spent a lot of time focused on having children.
So, now it may be time to slow down. It sounds like four daughters are enough for these two. This means you should not expect to see another four added to this already big brood. It’s great to see just how much love he has for his entire family and even though there is always an edge of sarcasm, it stems from a good place.
It seems like this dad has a bit of trouble when it comes to bath time with his twins. Whenever his partner does it everything goes swimmingly, no crazy splash fights just a normal bedtime bath followed by storytime. It seems like the twins save the splashing just for him which means the floor is absolutely covered in water.
To top it off, the water has a tendency to seep into the floor and drip down into the room below. With his regular good-natured charm, Hooper puts a spin on these events poking fun at what his wife’s reaction will be when she sees the damage.
As a father of daughters, he knows that they will have to work on breaking glass ceilings and dealing with glass cliffs but he has words of wisdom for his horde of girls. They have his full support, and he expects them to chase their dreams and if it is in his power to help them achieve these he will.
They have the power to be trailblazers like the women before them who broke barriers like Marie Curie and Coco Chanel.
Daddy Day Care
Corralling one child let alone four is not an easy challenge on any day. But when combined with the need to go grocery shopping and then get everyone inside the house afterward take some true finesse.
Unfortunately, when one of the four decides to lay down in the middle of the sidewalk and just stares daggers at you it is hard to convince her that a vertical life might be more to her liking than a horizontal one.
These parents don’t let having kids stop them from living the musical festival life, in fact like any good parents they take them all along to enjoy the experience. It is the version of an adult circus, so it must be a lot of fun for these guys getting to have glitter was thrown around and all the brightly colored outfits.
With their trusty brightly colored headphones these four can go anywhere. The gift of music is for the entire family irrespective of age.
Having to travel for work can provide a much-needed reprieve which Hooper acknowledges but after the first two days, the silence and lack of someone asking for something or pawing at you become its own form of torture.
He misses his little ladies and their constant attention, screaming fits, and general adorableness which he likens to that experienced by victims of Stockholm Syndrome. How can a person miss cleaning up after someone who has had an ‘accident’?
Ottie and Delilah have two older sisters, Marnie and Anya who are both charged with childcare duties once in a while as is the nature of being an elder sister. Hooper says the help that Anya and Marnie provide with the twins, while they did not sign up for the task of big sister is a godsend when it comes to caring for everyone.
They may be unpaid little workers but that does not stop them from giving their all during their ‘jobs.’
Like bath time for two, bedtime for four is no walk in the park. Getting everybody bathed, teeth brushed, and tucked in should only take maybe half an hour. Two hours later this MAYBE is achieved but not without an impromptu game of hide and seek, emphasis on the hide rather than the seek and with a deluge of water in the bathroom the twins are ready for bed.
The older daughters tend to be a bit forgotten with the antics of the twins and are sometimes still waiting for their dinner. It’s not easy when the younger ones get most of the attention.
During one of his newscasts, Piers Morgan decided to draw attention to men wearing baby carriers and how this is not a sign of masculinity. Hooper did not like this statement and decided to bite back with his own quip about how the manliest thing a father can do is be a caregiver for his children, even if that means donning a brightly colored child carrier.
He hopes that one day this old school train of thought with men as breadwinners and women have homemakers will finally die out which is why he’s drawing attention to it.
Hide and seek is not always a day time activity. In fact, it can be utilized as a very effective way to avoid bedtime and with children’s toys easily made into weapons, it is even more dangerous.
Hooper likens bedtime to a warzone. Books can be hurled at you from any direction, lego can be strewn on the floor to create a minefield, but eventually, all this warfare tires out toddlers and the end of the war comes with the sweet release into sleep.
Drawing attention to a major issue in the United Kingdom, Hooper decided to tackle what exactly a men’s bathroom looks like for a father needing to change a diaper. Most men’s bathrooms are not kept clean to the same standard that the ladies’ rooms are.
To demonstrate this point he discussed just how vile they usually are, but the main problem for him is the lack of an area for a father to change his child.
Because he is constantly surrounded by those of the female persuasion one thing that has completely confounded Hooper is how female friendships work. As he watches his daughters grow up, and even his wife’s interactions with friends it is extremely perplexing.
One minute they are friends, playing together and laughing, and the next they are descended into an all-out brawl. What makes his girls turn on each other at the flip of a switch?
Silence Is Not Golden
Silence is typically considered golden but with toddlers, this is most definitely not the case. If they are awake and you cannot hear them then they are always up to no good. Ottie and Delilah decided to work in stealth mode and slather themselves in sunscreen.
While an effective means of preventing a sunburn it was somewhat undermined by the fact that it was inside and there was no sun to be found.
From Crib To Bed
Growing into a toddler comes with all sorts of new experiences, but after learning to walk perhaps the most exciting thing is being a given a bed. This means no more bars confining you inside at night.
These girls are now free to roam, even though they are supposed to be peaceful sleeping away. Each night Hooper and his wife have to rock, paper, scissors to see who gets the dubious honor of trying to corral the girls back to bed.
A marathon seems easy at this point for these overtired parents and that’s where summer holidays come in. Every school-age child lives for those two months off between the end of the term and the start of the new school year.
To parents all it means are screaming matches at home over food, entertaining children that become bored by anything that’s repeated, and a general sense of tension. But like all good things or bad, this too comes to an end once fall arrives.
Some people think that having kids means that your life is over. No more going out, no more having fun, you simply live for your children and their needs. While this is partially true this is not the reality that Hooper wants to portray.
He firmly believes that you can keep doing everything you love, you just need to be willing to incorporate your children into that world. Just look at them bringing their kids to a music festival, you can still do what you love!
Four girls mean a lot of hair washing, combing, and styling which all falls under daddy’s jurisdiction. According to his girls, mommy tends to be a bit rough, so Hooper gets to do all the styling before the kids head off to school and daycare.
Delilah and Ottie have curly blonde mops that definitely require some detangling but when a rushed morning comes around this age-old trick always works: just put a hat on it.
With the ability to walk, comes the ability to get into things that are not locked, such as the fridge. Delilah has become very adept at using the inside of the fridge as a ladder so that she can procure all sorts of goodies to keep her tummy full and the rest of her cool.
The butter often had the imprint of some toes in to, but the culprit was unknown until Hooper finally caught her in the act. His public service message is to please make future fridge designs feature a childproof locking mechanism.
After Sunset Or Before Sunrise
Anybody who has had or minded a child knows that bedtime and wake up time are the most difficult, especially since kids like to wake up before the crack of dawn. These girls are no different, when they get up Hooper or his wife have to start their day as well.
He would not say this is the ‘highlight’ if his day by any means but it all falls under the job description for dad. He would not have it any other way, even the clammy little hands touching his face first thing.
If You Need Help, Just Ask
Hooper’s account of fatherhood and the daily life he has with his lovely girls is both humorous and serious. He knows that parenting isn’t easy but for him, it is incredibly rewarding. Having four daughters is not easy and like any parent sometimes you need help. He wants to remind everyone that if they need a helping hand then they should ask for one.
There is no point grinning and bearing it until you reach a breaking point. Love yourself and know your limits.
Can I Help Daddy?
Speaking openly about letting his daughter’s help when they offer to, Simon said, “How do you make a complete dog’s breakfast out of the making the dog’s breakfast? The answer is by saying ‘yes’ to those 3 little words that have many parents recoil in terror – “can I help?” When a 3 year old offers you assistance, I find it’s usually followed by a sharp intake of breath & a slow acceptance that I’m about to lose several minutes of my life, as the simple task I was about to perform without bothering my grey matter, is transformed into an over engineered, glacially paced project where time stands still but the aging process accelerates.”
“Add twins to the mix, and your 1 man, 30 second job has to be subdivided into 28 micro tasks which can be allocated out, which is rapidly followed up by agruments, me redoing the whole thing & a chuckle brothers style ‘to me, to you’ carrying of an item that doesn’t need 4 hands. Sorry Pablo, breakfast is now lunch.”
We have all been there. When it comes to playtime with children, we can often wonder how we ended up in the situation we are in. We can go from an adult to playing a little girl who loves to play with dolls and wants her make-up done. Simon more than knows this feeling, he said, “One moment I’m method acting the crap out of my role as a granny named Lucy at an exclusive tea party hosted by the twins, the next they’ve abandoned me quicker than the entourage of a celebrity embroiled in a sex scandal to act out scenes from a budget version of king Kong.”
“In that moment, I transformed from being an engaged parent to a 36 year old man in tent who’s been left ponder his life choices whilst talking to himself in strange accents & drinking air from a wooden cup. Isn’t parenting wonderful. There’s a long list of things I’ve continued to do when the those with the attention span of an senile goldfish decide to sod off that includes colouring, Lego, playing with dolls & simple puzzles that I time myself to complete because, well, why not! Who else has been dumped mid play & continued on your own?”
When Parent’s Clash
When it comes to parenting, in most situations, the mother and father role remains the same. The mother tends to be the one that worries the most about everything while the father advises the children that it is more than fine to attempt something dangerous.
Simon took his girls and dog for a day out in the woods where he was more than happy for Delilah to have some fun on a rope swing that was 15ft in the air! He jokingly admitted that if his partner was there the scene could cause her to go into “mild cardiac arrest”.
All parents will know how important it is to avoid nap time, at least when the kids want it! Succumbing to temptation and letting his girls have a nap after nursery seemed great at the time until it came to their actual bedtime. Speaking of his error, Simon hilariously said, “I thought I’d get away with it. I thought it was safe. I thought no one would know. but I was wrong and now I’m full of regret.”
“I gave in to that most sordid of parenting sins – the danger nap. It’s that shiny irresistible treasure at the centre of the parenting Temple of Doom that calls to us like siren, with a promise of silence so we can actually get on top of things and be a normal functioning human being for 45 minutes, but as soon as you embrace it, the whole world comes tumbling down around you in a wall of screams that can shatter glass from several miles away & leaves the old faithful routine behind to die. Never mess with danger naps. Just say no, however strong the urge might be to give into it’s promises of peace – It’s just not worth it!”
Time To Sleep
If toddlers are really tired, they can sleep anywhere and Simon’s account is proof of this as he took a picture of Otti having a nap! He described the scene, “This is a prime illustration of the power toddlers possess to sleep literally anywhere. Thanks to copious amounts of fresh West country air, grandparent led activities designed to wear out glucose drenched children & a 10-minute tantrum over lunch that no one paid attention to, Ottie finally succumbed to the overriding need to inspect the inside of her eye lids on the mat by the back door.
I found her like this mid-meal when I became concerned the shouting had tapered off.”
The Art Of Persuasion
Sometimes, no matter what we do, we can’t get our children to listen to us, so we have to create a game to get them moving, although, it doesn’t always work out for us! “There are times that my children are so unresponsive to my commands that particularly lethargic sloths would call them slow. It’s at these moments (usually when we’re trying to nail a mudane activity like getting dressed or going to bed) I find myself concocting a one off game to stir them from their dormant state (like this double horsey ride I do to the sound of black beauty every freaking morning to get the twins somewhere near clothes), only to find i executed it so well that I immediately regret it as I know this will now become ingrained in my repertoire & demanded of me again & again.”
“I just hope I don’t I end up like a comedian who had one joke they were famous for & dined out on for a while, but then were forced to repeat said joke from the rest of their miserable lives until the day they were found crying in their dressing room repeating over and over again “I am more than a single punch line!” What have you started but now can’t stop for fear destroying the routine?”
Leave The Dog Alone
Kids love dogs, and we are lucky that our family pets allow our children to pull their ears, lie on them and anything else they may do and Delilah and Ottie are no different. If there was an award for ‘dog bothering’ these two would scoop the top spot.
According to Simon they could even write a book titled, “the secrets of dog bothering by the people who invented it”. At least his little pooch Pablo is a good sport and plays along.
Talking the whole family on holiday can be quiet the tasking, talking openly Simon said, “Holidays can be hard as although school may have broken up, parents can’t always take the time off which means we get caught the middle of trying to be present to meet our children’s never-ending demands to entertain them like an unpaid court jester while also trying to do our day jobs. Invariably the result is bored kids and frustrated adults who, had we been graded on our half term performance, would have had red circles all over our work & a note at the bottom saying “not your best effort, see me after class”.”
“But then there are those days like today when you realize if we stop putting pressure on ourselves to be all things to all people all the time, we’re more likely to relax and just enjoy the simple things like having an ice cream on the beach in February. Dialing down the hectic life we make for ourselves & taking things slow isn’t a bad thing. It’s something we should all do more off from time to time. Glad school starts tomorrow though!”