Robert Fulghum has been one of my favorite authors so I would naturally gravitate to a book written by his son. It’s tough, as the younger Fulghum would attest, to live up to the standard of one’s father and he like I falls a little short. Perhaps choosing not only your father’s profession (writing), but choosing his genre too (short, humorous stories about life) was too high a bar.
Maybe my expectations were too high for Like Father, Like Son. The stories were good and many had the simple humor that I like. It wasn’t overtly political though he did take a shot at Ronald Reagan, but in the snarky comment Hunter Fulghum exposed how naïve he himself was. I say “was” since the book was writing in the mid-1990s. I think it also was the fact that when he wrote this he was rather young himself and that came across in the stories, the humor, and the lessons. Over all the book was enjoyable.
Fulghum touched on one of my most touchy subjects. When our children were young I took an active role in their upbringing. Few things toasted my nerves more than when a woman, upon seeing me alone with my children, commented on how “nice” it was that I was “babysitting” my kids. Actually it still raises my hackles writing about it now.
“And I learned from the comment of both passing strangers and close friends that the common view is that fathers are not parents.”
My favorite quote was in a story about teaching his second child, a son, to use the potty. Any young parent knows that opinions are like A#@holes and everybody has one;
“I have heard from experts and other parents that you don’t want to pressure a child into potty-training, as it may cause problems later…Or perhaps an unpleasant potty-training experience is what gives birth to desire to attend law school or enter politics.”