Podcast: Simon Hooper on Being A Father Of Daughters

My guest on this episode of Not Another Mummy Podcast is Simon Hooper – aka Father of Daughters. Simon has over 900,000 followers Instagram where he shows life from a dad’s point of view. He’s dad to four girls and you might have heard of his wife too – Clemmie Hooper, who is on Instagram as Mother of Daughters. (Listen to Clemmie’s episode of the podcast here).

Simon is also the author of a Sunday Times Bestseller – Forever Outnumbered – in which he talks about what it’s like to be the only man in a house of females! 

On the podcast, Simon talks to me about life with girls, and also how he balances ‘Insta fame’ with being just a regular dad. Simon explains that he and Clemmie have guidelines on what they will and won’t post online, and talk to their older girls about whether they’re happy to feature in their online content. We also talk about twins – he gave me some excellent tips which were much needed as when we recorded this episode, I was heavily pregnant with my twins!

Follow Simon on Instagram and buy his book, Forever Outnumbered, here.

Click play below to listen, or head over to Acast,Spotify or iTunes where you can rate, review and subscribe.

You can read a transcript of the podcast episode below.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

ALISON PERRY  

Welcome back to Not Another Mummy Podcast with me, Alison Perry.

I try to have a mix of well known people and guests that you might not have heard of on the podcast. And today’s guest has nearly a million followers on Instagram. So there’s a small chance that some of you might have heard of him. Simon Hooper is a dad of four girls and he documents his day to day life on Instagram as Father of Daughters, along with his wife, Clemmie Hooper, who is Mother of Daughters. He shows the ups and downs of being a parent and he shows the lighter side of fatherhood. He’s also the author or Forever Outnumbered, which is a Sunday Times bestseller. I recorded this episode of the podcast in August of last year. I didn’t put it straight away because I was heavily pregnant and I ended up getting way too tired to even pick up my laptop and edit a podcast. But back on that hot summer day, I travelled down to the coast, and I had tea and biscuits with Clemmie before recording this chat with Simon. Their house was buzzing. The twin toddlers were whizzing around on scooters, their middle daughter was looking after her hamster and the eldest was playing Fortnite on their tablet, while Clemmie cooked dinner for them all. Simon and I had a chat but why he started his Instagram, how competitive him and Clemmie really are over their following, how he juggles all of all of this with an actual proper job, and how he balances being online with day to day family life. He talks about how it’s just one photo or one video a day and the rest of the time. It’s just normal life. He also talks to me about getting more and more people talking about the role of dads in the birth process and dads’ mental health. It was a really good chat and if you listen carefully, you can even hear the twins in the background, totally loving life.

Simon, welcome. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Thank you. More importantly welcome here. 

ALISON PERRY  

Yes. So I’m sitting in your house, drinking your tea. Thank you. Okay. So for anyone who’s been living under a rock, tell us about yourself what you do? 

SIMON HOOPER  

Well, what I actually do is i’m a management consultant by trade. People don’t think I have a real job. 

ALISON PERRY  

You’re making it up. Come on. No, 

SIMON HOOPER  

No, I have a full time job. I’ve been doing it for almost 11 years now. So I work in operations management, which is my daytime job. Then in the evening. I have this Instagram account called Father of Daughters.

ALISON PERRY  

You put on the cape and the mask. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, exactly. Transforming to Insta dad. Yeah, what a title that is. Yeah, I mean, it’s just my documentation of my life with four girls being outnumbered, which is I started just over two years ago now two and a half years. And it was really just to kind of shine a light on what dads were doing in the family dynamic because when I started out, there really weren’t many dads and actually there’s still not that many, really. It’s an increasing trend. But there were lots of mums talking to mums about mum issues and parenting. And I just thought there’s 50% of the parenting team is missing from this. So that’s what I wanted to try and talk about and try and use some humor to inject into the conversation, because that’s my defensive mechanism. Really. I like to laugh at myself and the situations because otherwise you cry sometimes. 

ALISON PERRY  

Yes, a lot of the time! It’s quite interesting, though, because as you know, through the years as dads have become more involved, there is definitely that need for those conversations to take place. And I think that it’s probably it’s been quite a slow uptake. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, I think so. But I think this is also the changing role of dads in general, right? So traditionally, and from my own experience, Dad was the one that went to work. Dad was the one who was home late, he would kind of see me in the evening for a little bit and then during the weekends, we be doing projects and make building conservatories or whatever it is, you know, that kind of thing, which is where I got my love for DIY, by the way

ALISON PERRY  

Right!

SIMON HOOPER  

But I think with the advent of flexible working and the ability to work from home, more dads are being able to actually be involved in the day to day family life, rather than just being the weekend dad or the evening dad, and actually rolling up their sleeves and being involved, because in the grand scheme of things being involved in your children’s development is probably the most important thing that you can do. So that’s what I was trying to do. And I’m now in a situation where I work from home four days a week, and I can help do the pickups and drop offs and I’ve always been fairly roll your arms up your sleeves up and get involved anyway, but it’s really helped in getting a work life balance sorted for us. 

ALISON PERRY  

Yeah, that’s brilliant. Do you get a bit frustrated? You must still get comments here and there. You know, the thing poeple say, “Oh, Dad’s babysitting today”. Or, like, my mum’s quite guilty of saying, “Oh, you can tell that child’s been dressed by her dad”, you know, mismatched socks on or…

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah but I’m gonna put my hand up there and say I’m completely guilty. The thing is, I live with a woman who knows fashion. Clemmie can dress well, she can pull stuff out of the binbag and still look like she’s been on a catwalk. Whereas I’m more of a “Are they going to be warm? Yeah, fine. Well we can just get some stuff on then.”

ALISON PERRY  

Functional.

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, exactly. And if anything is mismatching and clashing it’s supposed to be fashionable. They are dressed like hipsters, I guess. And maybe that’s not the intention. But you know, that’s one of the things I’m not great at. But I still get some of those comments. And especially when I was out with all four of the girls, and this is when the twins quite young, people would say “You give Mum a day off?”. No, I’m not giving her a day off. Like there’s four kids! It’s a team. We have to work together to make it work. But that will change with time, I guess. But in the meantime, I just kind of say, “yeah”.

ALISON PERRY  

Yeah. It’s the easiest thing to say, isn’t it? Rather than say, “Well, actually, I’ll have you know…”, 

SIMON HOOPER  

I’m not going to get into an argument about it with someone  I don’t know.

ALISON PERRY  

Yes! Doris on the street. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, exactly. 

ALISON PERRY  

Exactly. And so going right back then, to when you did start your accounts…. Clemmie, your wife had her blog didn’t she –  Gas & Air, which was birth stories, which I guess was hooked off the fact that she is a midwife.

SIMON HOOPER  

Yes.

ALISON PERRY  

And her following started to build quite a lot. Was it a case that you looked at what she was doing and thought, “Actually, I could do that as well as she could”? Or was it more about being the voice of dads or…

SIMON HOOPER  

So yeah, I kind of watched the escalation of her blog. And it wasn’t just about birth stories, it was also about the real life experiences of being a midwife in the NHS. So lots of people maybe don’t understand what being a midwife really involves. So it was kind of exposing that and shining a light on to what it’s like to be on night shifts, and the stresses and strains of going through a birth process with someone because you get emotionally involved in that process. And there were a couple that really got traction, like the truth about maternity leave, which had like a million hits, and they got shared all over the world. Because she was the first person say, you know, maternity leave isn’t all that great. Sometimes, you’re forced into a room of people you don’t know, you go to baby yoga, that your kid screams out all the time, and you miss your friends, and you miss being mentally stimulated. So watching that kind of explode, was kind of, something went off in my mind, I felt there’s traction around this and people are interested in talking about it. I think it’s also, we were at this, this moment in time where technology has got to a place where everyone’s doing podcasts and video content is king and Instagram was starting to get big. And it’s at that age, we’re at the age where people have grown up with technology. And now we’re all having children, we want to talk about it. Because that’s what we do in our culture, we talk about stuff. And for me, Instagram is a therapy. Basically, I talk into this phone phone, I do kind of forget that it’s 880,000 people, sometimes I’m talking to. And for me, that’s what it was, it was a therapy thing to be able to cope with the fact that I’ve got four girls, and I don’t really know what I’m doing. So that’s kind of where it came from. Obviously, Clemmie gave me an initial shout out, she said my husband starting an Instagram account. So you can he can kind of show you what he’s going through. So that went from 10 followers, which were mainly my family to, I think it was like 1000 followers in two days. And that kind of gave me a building platform. But from there, you need to define a unique voice, a style, and figure out what you want to talk about. And what I wanted to talk about with parenting from a dads perspective, and being honest about parenting, because at that stage, there was lots of parenting stuff out there, which was the perfect life, you know, walking down a beach, holding hands, all dressed in white. And then they go back to the perfect white house, and have staged photos against the wall and look how wonderful things are.

ALISON PERRY  

And no one lives like that.

SIMON HOOPER  

No one lives like that. And if they do, I don’t want to meet them. They’re probably really boring. And they must spend all of their time just standing in front of the camera posing. I would love to see the outtakes of those where they’re shouting at their kids – that’s more realistic. Yeah, that’s where it started off. And then I started to find a love for video editing and making content that way too, because I think the traction is more video that’s engaging. But also, I was relatively unique in using the captions. Yes, I used relatively lengthy captions to provide context to a picture to explain the story behind what had happened. And that gave me a chance to be creative with my writing and inject some humor. And then that kind of got shared a couple of times, and then it got bigger and bigger and bigger, to the point of where we are today.

ALISON PERRY  

It’s funny, I remember chatting to you. I think you probably had about 18,000 followers, which at the time was huge. And Clemmie had about 28,000 followers at the time. I don’t know if you remember, but you said to me, obviously, you were joking. “I’m just going to basically get more followers than Clemmie and then I’m gonna shut my account down.”

SIMON HOOPER  

So I did say that. It’s kind of a joke, but kind of not, actually. When Clemmie, I spoke to Clemmie about starting an Instagram, she said, Oh, that sounds good. And I said, Yeah, I can I can get more followers in you inside of three months. And I did. But it wasn’t a competition, really. It was just one of those things, because I wanted to try and set a goal like, because the aim was to get a balanced audience of men and women, mums and dads, to kind of be honest with each other, rather than have a community of mums that just talked to each other and a community of dads. It’s like, the modern day equivalent of having a coffee morning and guys in the pub. I wanted to try and get rid of that and have women and men talk together. Because it’s a partnership. It’s a team thing, parenting. Of course, what’s happened is 90% of my followers are women. 

Yeah. So but that’s still I still have to put that in perspective, sometimes. That’s 88,000 guys, as well. Unfortunately, the guys, are the ones that stay silent. If they do engage, it’s by liking something. 

ALISON PERRY  

Are they really? 

Yeah. My husband follows you, but I’m pretty sure he’s probably never commented on any of your pictures.

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, I’m finding the number of men actually increasing slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, that actually engage with posts. But it’s predominantly women. So and I’ve my dm box is usually just full of questions from mums. So I’ve become this kind of online agony aunt. So instead of asking their husbands, they’ll ask me,  I don’t know anything about your personal situation. I can provide you general information about it, I try to reply to everything that I get in terms of questions, if I’m, if it’s something that asking for help with, then I’ll always answer, 

ALISON PERRY  

How do you manage that when you’ve got a full time job?

SIMON HOOPER  

I don’t sleep very much, actually! I go to bed at about half one, two o’clock, and then get up again at 630. But I’ve got four children again. So it’s taught me to not have very much sleep, and I can kind of survive on that. And not even survive. I’m just used to it now. Someone’s taking the time to message me, I always say the times message back and I read everything, everything.

ALISON PERRY  

And you get much feedback in terms of do you get people sort of saying to you, “Oh you really helped me” or “You’ve lifted me today”

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah I do, loads of those messages, which is really nice, obviously. Because the idea is to show the realities of life and to show that actually, we’re struggling with the same stuff as you and it’s okay, don’t worry about it. And some of the ones that got really good traction are about mental health support for men, as well as women. And men get postnatal depression as well. And it’s not something that’s widely talked about. And we don’t, we not very traditionally very good at talking about how we feel. So that’s one of the other things that I’ve tried to do is be a mouthpiece for those kinds of issues, to talk about anxiety, depression, how we overcome those things, how we can work with our partner, wives, girlfriends, to actually open up and realize that being open and honest, isn’t a weakness, it’s actually a strength. But all it takes is for one person, and in this case, it was me to talk about it. And then I find that they get those more traction and the messages off the back of that worth, once again, mainly from women, but to say, my husband and I have had a first honest conversation with each other about how we feel about our new family life, because it’s something that people always want to think if I’m struggling, then I’m failing. That’s not the case. So I’m glad I could talk about that. And then the other the other kind of key area that I’m trying to get into is about the role of dads in the birth process. And not just the birth, but the whole 40 weeks leading up to and I did a talk with the NMC the other day in Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, to a room of 150 midwives to talk about engagement with men in the birth process. And for birth partners, not just men, and how we can feel isolated as well. I was scared sh*tless in the in the pregnancies and especially with twins. I didn’t know what was going on. But I was I felt like I couldn’t ask some questions sometimes. And I felt like if I asked it I was going to be looked at as a dunce or and sometimes when the midwives were in the room, they were talking different language to me. And they’d say, Oh, do you understand? And I’d like nod. No, I don’t understand. I wish I could go back in time. And say it’s okay, if you don’t understand, ask the question. So it’s just one of those things that I’m trying to raise the profile of. And actually, I’d like to work in the future around maybe creating some kind of support pack for guys that can be handed out in hospitals as well, to say, this one’s for your wife, and this one’s for you. This is the information that could really help them. And a lot of that’s in my book, I kind of say it in a jovial way, kind of taking the Mick out of myself. But the idea is that you can learn from my mistakes. I guess.

Yeah. You should absolutely do that. Yeah, copyright the idea. Now! So anyone listening,

I’m just making the copyright sign with my hands now. So don’t take that idea.

ALISON PERRY  

No one steal that idea. An awful lot of what you guys do, you and Clemmie, you’re putting your lives out there for, you know, over nearly 1.5 million people to see –  how do you as a family manage that? How do you make sure that you’re not putting too much out there and still actually having some kind of normal family life?

SIMON HOOPER  

I think you’ve got to realize that a photo is a time in space, right? It’s not a whole day, I’m not a YouTuber who does a 40 minute daily vlog around everything that I’ve done, 

ALISON PERRY  

That must be exhausting… 

SIMON HOOPER  

I, I don’t I don’t know who’s watching it. I… there are some families out there that do that kind of thing and more power to them. That’s what they want to do. But I don’t do that. So I don’t feel like I’m overexposed, exposing anything. I talk about the issues that I want to, I do do a photo a day or try and do photo a day, because I live a daily life. And there’s a challenge every day. That’s why… the life of a parent, basically, yeah. But we have some rules and guidelines around what we will and won’t share as well. So you never see anything about where the girls go to school, you’ll never see their bedrooms. We have some rules about what we show in the bathroom, for example. And also, I don’t want to show any prolonged videos of the children crying. Yes, that’s real life, they cry. But that’s not fair. I don’t want to do that. So there’s you need to have some boundaries and pillars around what you will or won’t share. But we… those evolve over time, as well, and I’m sure we might talk about it later, but Anya my eldest, she’s, we had an honest conversation with her about her exposure. And does she want to be involved and say that she’s in this less now because she doesn’t like the Kardashian child that was never in the in the programme. Not I’ve ever watched it by the way. But that was her choice. And we have to respect that because she’s getting to an age where she might have a social media account at some point. And she might want to be seen as independent and all that kind of stuff. So

ALISON PERRY  

That’s just terrifying. though isn’t it, the idea of our children growing up and having their own social media accounts. And

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, yeah, well, I mean screens are… They are a positive in terms of buying peace and quiet, but they’re are negative in terms of the fact that we’re losing our children a little bit as well. I’m sure when you turned up here today, you saw Anya plugged into Fortnite? That’s what she does in the evening. Yeah, she sits in a room and just doesn’t talk to us. And we have to try and instill some rules around it. But how many times do you say, “okay, you can have 30 minutes screen time”. And then you realize two hours has gone past. “Oh, my God, I forgot about the kids and I haven’t given them dinner”.

ALISON PERRY  

That’s just normal family life, though. And, you know, I think that you’re right, having rules around that kind of thing really helps. My seven year old doesn’t appear on my Instagram or, you know, blog much at all, but she is desperate for her own YouTube account. All she wants is to be a YouTube star. And she’ll you know, you’ll hear in her bedroom doing pretend videos. And it’s like, it’s unavoidable.

SIMON HOOPER  

So that isn’t that strange, though, like 15 years ago? Or maybe 20? Oh, how old am I now, 25 years ago. Jeez! Quarter of a century. 25 years ago, we didn’t have this thing to aspire to be. So we want it to be something else. But now it’s YouTube. But our children don’t watch normal television. There is why would I wait for a programme to come on when I could watch whatever it is, like slime making videos until the cows come home? Yeah, so they Yeah, that’s the same as Anya, she wants to be an aspiring YouTuber. Of course. When I say “you do realize your dad’s a successful Instagrammer,” she said “yeah, but you’re so embarrassing”. It’s like I can’t win! I thought I’ve done what you wanted, or achieve what you’re trying to achieve. But apparently I’ve done it wrong so….

ALISON PERRY  

No, no, you will never be cool. And how do you switch off from it all? So obviously, you have said it’s just one picture, a snapshot. But you’ve got all those DMs coming in? And you and Clemmie, I’m guessing must have conversations where you’re discussing work because you both work in the same area. How do you just switch off?

SIMON HOOPER  

I don’t know, if we do. I think it’s become a part of our lives in a certain way. And I know Clemmie had a prolonged break. And there were reasons behind that. And, but she was able to kind of get away from it and have an Insta holiday. And I’ve never felt the need for it. And it’s just become ingrained in what I do, I guess. And I guess we actually just came back from holiday and we didn’t really post very much while we were away because we didn’t feel like we needed to. And sometimes you just need time to yourself, which was nice. And mainly the kids were in kids club. So we were just sat on the beach drinking mojitos which was quite nice…

ALISON PERRY  

The dream!

SIMON HOOPER  

 Exactly. 

ALISON PERRY  

That’s really good that you are able to do that. So I know that I struggle even on holiday, I still find myself. my hand kinda twitches towards my phone. And I just yeah, start that scrolling thing. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, I’m actually awful at using my phone. Yeah, so I know I said it was just a video or a photo. Obviously, the video editing takes a long time, and it’s coming up with the idea or the concept behind it. So there’s a lot of work that goes into that, that kind of video content for 60 seconds. And the the bit that I kind of enjoy is just kind of the writing part. And then I can kind of leave it as soon as I post it. I don’t really look at my phone. I’m not very good looking my phone during the day either. I don’t follow a huge amount of people. I follow people that inspire me, or people are working the same area. But in the majority of cases, my phone’s on silent, I don’t look at it. And it drives Clemmie insane. When she’s Whatsapping me about like, “can you get nappies on the way home?” I’ll get home. So sorry, I didn’t look at my phone. Hours and hours and hours can go past, a whole day can go past until I get to about 8.30. When I’m thinking about posting that I won’t have looked at my phone.

ALISON PERRY  

I think we all need to channel you, Simon, we all need to be a bit more like you in that respect 

SIMON HOOPER  

Well, no, because then that’s detrimental to your marriage, because then you don’t check messages and then you get in trouble. So no, don’t do that. But I think there’s a balance, right, you’ve got to realize that real life is in front of you, is looking up from your phone. And as much as we’re engaged in what’s going on and enjoying content online, content online is just one element of our day to day lives. And the real stuff is in front of you. So next time you’re sitting on the sofa with your phone in front of you and your children playing on the floor, put your phone down and go and play with them. Like I just don’t understand sometimes that we can spend hours and hours just ignoring them. 

ALISON PERRY  

Yeah, yeah, that’s true. So okay, so being a father of four girls. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah. Never saw that coming!

ALISON PERRY  

No! What’s the best thing and what’s the hardest thing? 

SIMON HOOPER  

The best thing, I think is the and this is going to sound corny, but I’ve been asked the question before. So I think the best thing is that I get to be a kind of benchmark for what guys should be like, I think I’m doing an okay job. The idea is to be so good or set the bar so high that no future boyfriends will ever measure up. Oh hang on…. I think there’s a car outside.

ALISON PERRY  

Road rage…

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, so it’s Yeah, so the idea is to set the bar so high that no future boyfriends will measure up. And I’m, I’m enjoying that role, I get to be the guy in their life. So yeah, I think that’s a good thing. That’s a positive thing. I think the most challenging is I’m a very level headed person, I don’t get stressed. I don’t kind of believe in it. And that’s not dismissing people who do suffer from stress, I just don’t really get stressed because in the grand scheme of things, none of it really matters. And I’ve got perspective on it. The bit I do struggle with is that I live with four girls who are emotional, and who do dive into this pit of despair and love to mull over in all the issues of the day and shout at each other and I just kind of let it wash over me. But I’m, unfortunately pushed into this position where I have to get involved, and you kind of get dragged into this middle of this argument or whatever it might be. And I’m put in the middle of this thing, and it’s usually between Clemmie and the girls – it’s like “You haven’t done this”. And they’re shouting at each other. That’s when Clemmie will say, “You gotta back me up”. “I don’t know what this was about. I’m in another room. I don’t know what this is about.” She goes, “You better back me up because otherwise that is it.” And I’m like: “Right. Okay. Anya, do what your mother said.” “You weren’t even here!” And then the only thing that brings them together is an equal hatred of me for not siding with either of them. And I’m just thinking there is a no win situation here! 

ALISON PERRY  

That is definitely a no win situation there!

SIMON HOOPER  

I think this is the role of many men in many houses – doesn’t matter boys or girls. They’re called into reinforce something that they weren’t involved in in the first place. And then after the fact you get hated. 

ALISON PERRY  

Poor dads! Oh my goodness!

SIMON HOOPER  

So yeah, that’s what I spent a lot of my time in the shed.

ALISON PERRY  

Yeah, I bet! Okay, twins. I need twin tips. Yeah. What’s your biggest piece of advice? For someone who’s about to have twin girls?

SIMON HOOPER  

Okay, twins, biggest piece of advice. I think the first one is don’t be too worried about telling them apart.

ALISON PERRY  

I’m honestly petrified Simon. And people keep saying to me, “oh, you be able to tell them apart. You’re their mum”. And I’m like, “No, but they’re going to look the same!”. 

SIMON HOOPER  

So I’m two and a half years into this strange twin journey. And I still can’t tell them apart. Okay, it’s getting easier because they can say their names. That makes it easier!

ALISON PERRY  

Has Clemmie tried to explain how she tells them apart?

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah. So it’s all in face apparently. The shape of the face, which is useless because I’m obviously face blind and don’t know, you know, can’t tell anyone. I’m just surprised I just don’t see blank faces across everyone. I’ve just got no idea. And I think we tried some identification things, like painting a fingernail or toenail, or leaving the band on one baby…

ALISON PERRY  

Which you can’t really do until they’re 18. Really, can you?

SIMON HOOPER  

Not really it tends to cut off the blood supply and hands drop off. So we don’t do that one. Or one wearing beads or whatever it is. And the thing is, I can never remember who’s wearing what. So if I’m involved in the dressing conversation, then I can do it at the start of the day. And but I think Don’t be too worried about it. Because as long as they collectively are happy and healthy. You don’t really need to be too worried for the first year because they’re babies they’re not going to go off independently and do something, they’re usually together, they’re not too mobile. So don’t put the pressure on yourself as long as they are collectively happy. And I refer to them as “this one”, “that one” and “the twins”.

ALISON PERRY  

Do they tell you? Do they tell you? Are they aware that you don’t necessarily know which one’s which?

SIMON HOOPER  

They correct me when I get it wrong now.

ALISON PERRY  

Do they? 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah, it’s taken me a long time to get to that stage. And there was an early stage when they first were able to say their names that they started lying about their names as well, because I…

ALISON PERRY  

I think I remember you saying that on Instagram.

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah. So I said, “Are you Delilah?” And she said yes. And I said, “Are you sure?” And she said, No. Great. So you’re already lying to me, which is like a view into my future because everyone who’s got twins that follows me is like “Wait until they’re 12/13. And if they’re still as identical as they are now they’ll swap clothes”. They’ll go and do something bad and the blame on their sister and swap places and all this kind of stuff. So we’ve got to come.

ALISON PERRY  

Oh the fun you’re going to have Simon!

SIMON HOOPER  

Well. The fun you’re going to have too!

ALISON PERRY  

Yeah. No no no, we’re focusing on you here. Okay, Simon I’ve got some quickfire questions for you, to end things on. Okay, um, who runs the world?

Clemmie?

You know, the answer is “girls” don’t you?

SIMON HOOPER  

I know! Who’s in charge of the girls? Clemmie.

ALISON PERRY  

Fail. What’s the last song that played on your Spotify?

SIMON HOOPER  

Oh, good question. I think it was Pina Colada.

ALISON PERRY  

Amazing. Because you were on holiday?

SIMON HOOPER  

No, it was while, Clemmie was working this afternoon. I could hear her singing “Penis Colada” while I was trying to do a work call.

ALISON PERRY  

She’s such a child. 

SIMON HOOPER  

Yes, she is.

ALISON PERRY  

Oh, my goodness. And finally, what’s been your most embarrassing parenting moment?

SIMON HOOPER  

I think losing my cool in the middle of Sainsbury’s and shouting across six aisles at Anya because she was on a scooter and riding away from me with a packet of crisps which I said she couldn’t have. I shouted so loudly that everyone turned to me. And Anya immediately turned around and came back with a head knelt down to her chest crying. That was the moment I just felt like the worst person in the world. But I had to ride it out. I had to be the “It’s okay. I meant to do that.” Whereas inside it was like, “Just kill me. Just kill me.”

ALISON PERRY  

Oh there is something awful about being so stern with a child that they immediately dissolve in tears. I just feel terrible, even if what they have done is awful. You just think “Oh, did I overstep the mark?”

SIMON HOOPER  

Yeah. And then everyone else starts thinking “That’s what they’re like all the time”. You don’t know me. “But that’s what that’s what he’s like”. I’m really not, I’ve just been pushed to the edge.

ALISON PERRY  

I’m a nice dad!

SIMON HOOPER  

Exactly.

ALISON PERRY  

Oh, Simon, thank you very much for being my guest today. It’s been lovely to chat to you.

SIMON HOOPER  

Thank you very much for having me. Thank you.

ALISON PERRY  

He’s a good egg isn’t he? I hope you enjoyed listening to that as much as I enjoyed recording it. If you did enjoy it, then you can go and check out the chat I did with Clemmie nearly 2 years ago. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Thank you for listening. And as always, please subscribe and rate and review the podcast and I’ll catch up with you next time.

Chat to me on Instagram: @iamalisonperryor on Twitter: @iamalisonperry

Music: Epidemic Sound

Artwork: Eleanor Bowmer


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