On Father’s Day, we found it only fitting to feature the smartiest dad in town, Randy P, hubby to Jen P. (Photo courtesy Nanine Hartzenbusch Photography) Father of four beautiful children and married to Jen for 9 years, Randy has an amazing ability to find humor in any situation.
What is the best part about being married to Ms. Charlotte Smarty Pants?
I never have to plan anything or try to meet new people. She knows half of Charlotte, plans our social calendar and is very good at making plans with couples that she knows we both like. I am not very good at faking having a good time when the wife is cool and the husband is a tool. I am pretty sure that using the word tool in that context went out in the 80s, but it rhymed nicely.
Does that make you Mr. Charlotte Smarty Pants?
Not in the sense that I am nearly as smart or cool as Ms. But yes in the sense that I read the site almost every day, am very supportive, regularly contribute (proof reading, commenting and brainstorming for new ideas/content). I truly believe the site is one of the best examples of successful social networking around. Not even large corporations with endless advertising budgets have figured out how to do it well.
Are you as savvy a dad as Jen is a mom?
I think if you used the word savvy and my name in the same sentence Jen would wet herself from laughing so hard. However, I do consider myself to be a fun, helpful, creative, involved, supportive and dedicated dad.
What’s it like being a father of four?
It is obviously busy but I would not change it for anything (especially a fifth). Jen and I both have three siblings but the age range of our kids is much closer than our siblings and that excites me. I think the bond among them will be incredible and fascinating to watch evolve. As much as I don’t want them to grow up, I do enjoy thinking about them playing on the same sports team, watching out for each other and lucky Owen and Walker will always have their older sister’s friends around.
How do you find a way to give each kid their own special daddy time?
That’s a tough one. I think most parents struggle with that regardless of the number of children. I am certain most parents think about it and feel it far more than the kids, especially when they are young. Kids seem to have that out of sight out of mind mentality for a while. I do little things that I think have a big impact. For example, take one child to run errands, play a game, do homework, go to all of their school and extra curricular activities/recitals and go the their school and weekday school to eat lunch with them as often as I can. The girls used to help me do yard work and they actually enjoyed it, now “yard work is boring”.
What is your favorite activity with the four kids?
Just making them laugh. There is something special and contagious about a child’s laugh. No matter how bad of a mood I am in, if I can make them laugh I immediately feel better. Hearing a child belly laugh also helps bring everything else in perspective and reminds me of what is truly important and meaningful in life. Or maybe I realize that this is the only time in their lives that they will be laughing with me and not at me. Is it just me or do people not seem to laugh as much anymore?
How did life change for you when you went from the father of two girls to the father two girls and twin boys?
In every way imaginable. It was an emotional roller coaster. I will speak for myself and say I was a complete basket case. We found out Jen was pregnant a week before we bought a new house. The day before we closed we found out it was twins (had not calculated those expenses into the house budget). My company was going through a merger and lay-offs were eminent.
Everyone’s lives change with the birth of a new child, twins for the third and fourth child just presented a few additional challenges. You adapt and do the best you can. For us, everything worked out better than we could have ever imagined.
This may sound negative but is not meant to be but I get exhausted just seeing a new born now.
What would your girls say is their favorite thing to do with Daddy?
Probably whatever they felt like doing at that particular moment (eating ice cream, painting toe nails, dance party, swimming). But I think camping is most likely our oldest girl’s favorite daddy activity. Going to the beach is always a winner with both girls even though it is a family activity.
What would your boys say is their favorite thing to do with Daddy?
wrestle and tickle.
What is your favorite week night routine/activity?
Getting in bed.
My least favorite activity is doing the dishes. I hate doing dishes more than any household chore known to mankind. I would clean the bathrooms with my toothbrush every night instead of doing dishes.
What is the funniest thing that one of your kids has said to you?
There are some really good ones and I am drawing a complete blank. I may have to defer to Jen for this one. Our 4 year daughter old said something funny to Jen a while back. Jen was getting dressed and put on a thong and our daughter said, “Mommy, your panties are broken!” Recently, Owen said something funny (but really embarrassing) to a stranger. I was in Lowes buying light bulbs and a lady about 55 years old was beside us. She reached high above her head for a case of flood lights and dropped them all. A few of them shattered and made a loud exploding noise. Immediately, one of the 2 year old twins said “dammit you made a mess”. The lady almost fell over she was laughing so hard. Jen help me out on with some others.
I love hearing these stories so everyone please comment on your funniest…
Favorite family vacation?
The beach. Jen and I both grew up on the east coast of Florida and both love the ocean (scuba diving, fishing, boating). We often joke about wishing we could move Charlotte and all the people to the North Carolina coast and we would never leave.
You’re due for a new ride with 3 rows since your fam is so big – will it be minivan or SUV?
Actually, I think the silver bullet (1998 silver Accord) has many good years left in her. But when the day does come I think we will buy a minivan for Jen and I will drive her SUV.
Favorite place to take Jen for dinner?
Jen is wetting herself again from laughing really hard at this question. I am not a big restaurant person and she loves to go out to eat. Jen thinks I am scarred from childhood. My parents regularly loaded up our groovy wood grain paneled station wagon and went out to eat. I hated it.
I would have to say Cabo Fish Taco. We actually went there recently to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Lang Van is a close second although we have not been there in a long time.
What is the one thing about Jen that CSP readers don’t already know?
– Are you trying to get me in trouble? Hmm, how bold should I be with this one?
– She likes…, too bold.
– She used to…, still too bold.
– She wants to be an actual rock star. In her previous life, I think she played guitar and was the lead singer in a one hit wonder rock band.
What can’t you live without?
Food, water and oxygen, dah. That sounds like a Larry King interview question.
My family. I often think how great it would be to get away for a week and on the rare occasion I do get away (never a week), after a day or two I can’t wait to come home to see everyone.
Describe your ideal Father’s Day?
– This is a PG rated web site, so I will respectfully plead the 5th.
– If I have to answer I would say sleep until 8 (have not done that in probably 6 years), spend the day with the family at the pool, NO DISHES, put the kids to bed early, sit on the couch from 7-11 PM drinking a few beers and watching the last 4 hours of the final round of the US Open golf tournament. I am a pretty simple person. I bet Jen is really excited about the golf part.
Best kept secret in Charlotte?
I had a tough time coming up with an answer for this question so clearly nobody has told me the secret.
Maybe Harrigan’s Deli on South Boulevard? The “Dilbert” sandwich on a hard roll with extra house sauce could be the best sandwich in town.
Happy Father’s Day!