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    'Confessions of the World's Best Father'

    In his new collection of hilarious and poignant family portraits, "Confessions of The World's Best Father," Dave Engledow and his little daughter Alice Bee depict one parent's heroic journey from clueless new dad to World's Best Father.

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    There can be only one 'World's Best Father' -

    In his new collection of hilarious family portraits, "Confessions of the World's Best Father," photographer/author Dave Engledow and his little daughter, Alice Bee, depict one parent's heroic journey from clueless new dad to World's Best Father.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 66 -

    Apparently, fathering is not going to be quite as easy or glamorous as it looks on TV. These past nine weeks since Alice Bee arrived in our house have provided a nonstop barrage of crying, peeing and pooping at all hours of the day and night, wreaking total havoc on my daily routine.

    Alice Bee’s constant need for attention has also prevented a proper replenishing of the groceries, meaning we were totally out of the coffee creamer this morning. Luckily for me, when I checked the back of the fridge I discovered a cache of milk that Jen had bottled up for Alice Bee. I’ll have to ask her where she bought the stuff – it was a bit sweeter and thicker than our regular milk, but my coffee was amazing.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 226 -

    We have now been on our own for six days, and this morning I noticed that Alice Bee was quite a bit grungier than Jen normally keeps her.

    Earlier in the week, I perfected a technique I was sure would revolutionize diapering – by simply adding a new diaper on top of the old one each morning, I had managed to keep my hands poop-free for days. However, I was now beginning to suspect that I had merely been prolonging the inevitable.

    Since Jen also neglected to leave instructions for me on exactly how to bathe a baby, I had to figure it out on my own. I vaguely recalled reading somewhere that babies are unsafe in as little as two inches of water, which obviously ruled out using the bathtub. Luckily, I remembered that our washing machine had something called a “delicate cycle,” which seemed entirely appropriate for someone with such smooth skin. Stripping Alice Bee down to the original diaper, I managed to get her sparkling clean just in time for Jen’s return.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 248 -

    This morning the TV alerted us to the fact that a big weather system is headed our way. I’ve always loved stormy days, and I’m really excited about sharing this new experience with Alice Bee.

    I spent the morning going over all the details of how to prepare our home for the impending storm and divvying up the assignments. I sent Jen to the store to buy staples (batteries, mayonnaise, bottled water and toilet paper) while Alice Bee and I stayed behind to take care of tasks around the house.

    I easily completed my duties getting the inside of the house ready, and now that the rain is beginning to fall, I have a wonderful surprise ready for Alice Bee: a warm cup of hot cocoa, her favorite stuffed toy and a cozy blanket are here waiting for her. I sure hope she shows up soon.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 258 -

    I love s’mores. Even before becoming a father myself, I used to daydream about the pure joy of introducing my progeny to the gooey, chocolaty, graham-crackery decadence of a perfectly crafted s’more. But Jen insists that Alice Bee is still too young to go camping.

    Today, however, I had an epiphany – I could teach Alice Bee how to make s’mores from the safety of our own backyard using charcoal briquettes instead of building a dangerous campfire.

    I was so proud – she quickly figured out how to spear the marshmallows with the pointed stick I carved for her. However, the charcoal fire she built was not anywhere near big enough to get a proper char on her marshmallows, providing me the perfect opportunity to educate her about the magical properties of lighter fluid.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 317 -

    Halloween! According to Jen, Alice Bee is not yet old enough to go trick-or-treating with me; however her small size provided an invaluable advantage in helping to prepare our family’s jack-o’-lantern this year.

    The part I’ve always hated the most about carving a jack-o’-lantern is cleaning out all of those slimy, stringy pumpkin guts. Fortunately, Alice Bee fits in there perfectly and had no problems getting the inside of that pumpkin as smooth as … well, as her own bottom.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 393 -

    Alice Bee has become obsessed with the toilet, but unfortunately not for its intended purpose. No, her fascination stems from seeing how many things she can splash into the water before Jen or I discover what she’s up to.

    I should have known something was going on this afternoon when she readily agreed to go down for a nap without any fussing or fighting at all. I think I was just so relieved to actually have a bit of alone time that I didn’t think twice about how odd it was that she was actually cooperating at the normally reviled naptime.

    But sure enough, I hadn’t been in the shower longer than a minute before hearing a splashy commotion; peeking out, I discovered that she had filled the bowl with all of my most important things.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 414 -

    Divvying up the chores has turned out not to be such a big hassle. The yard looks great thanks to Jen’s mowing, and I still get to read the sports page thanks to Alice Bee’s help with the iron.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 498 -

    Jen caught Alice Bee playing with the toaster again last night. After another 30-minute lecture about how I am “10 months behind” on my promise to baby-proof the house, Jen finished by directing me to, at the very least, teach Alice Bee that the toaster is not a toy.

    Taking Jen’s directive to heart, this morning I carefully showed Alice Bee how to plug the toaster in to the socket, walked her through how to drop the bread in and even how to perfectly butter each slice when it pops up.

    I figured she’d enjoy this process, but I had no clue that she’d take the job so seriously. Apparently, her quality-control protocol requires her to test each piece before putting it on the plate. I have no idea where she got the inspiration to do that.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 527 -

    Jen has finally gotten fed up with having to buy new clothes every time Alice Bee and I do the ironing, so we’re switching chores and I’m in charge of the lawn this week.

    I know from my own traumatic childhood experiences that a gas-powered mower is definitely not the sort of thing an 18-month-old can safely operate, so I was truly delighted to discover that the mower we own is powered by electricity. Alice Bee has been operating electrical devices for months now, so running this new piece of equipment should provide little challenge for her.

    It was pretty hot today, and Alice spent a good portion of the morning whining and procrastinating. I finally laid down the law and told her that I wouldn’t give her any milk until the lawn was perfect. She ultimately got the yard looking gorgeous, but not before I had used the last bit of milk for my coffee. I think Alice Bee learned a valuable lesson today about the importance of finishing tasks in a timely fashion.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 580 -

    Alice Bee loves Pizza Night. And while Jen is away, I’ve been teaching her every aspect of making the perfect pie. Last week, I showed her how to toss the dough and make homemade tomato sauce, and the week before that she mastered using the peel to quickly get the pizza in and out of the oven.

    Tonight we’re going to work on presentation – I know Alice Bee is really excited about finally getting to use the shiny pizza cutter (or, as she calls it, “da circle knife”) that has fascinated her since she was a baby.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 593 -

    I’ve decided that it’s time for Alice Bee to start mastering a sport. And with only four years until Rio, Alice Bee’s really gonna need to get over her fear of heights if she’s to have any shot at all of making the 2016 diving team.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 600 -

    We have a new sport! While playing in the crawl-space earlier this week, Alice Bee discovered an old set of weights, and we are now in our fifth day of training for the clean and jerk. I'm pretty sure Jen will approve of this new event. I don't have to spend any more money out of the joint account to fund it, and since there's no water involved, our hardwood floors should be safe from any additional damage.
    Dave Engledow
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    Day 648 -

    Unbeknownst to me, Alice Bee has secretly been posting our family photos online for several months now. Apparently, the images went viral last week and have now been seen all over the world.

    Things got so crazy that Alice Bee and I were even invited to appear on the TODAY show earlier this week. Meeting Matt and Savannah was pretty cool, but our appearance was marred by Alice Bee’s continued attempts to escape the stage during the live broadcast.

    Now that we’re safely home from NYC, I am having Alice Bee review the video of her performance and write a five-hundred word essay on how to comport herself on national TV.

    Excerpted from "Confessions of the World's Best Father," copyright (c) 2014 by Dave Engledow. Used with permission by Gotham Books, a division of The Penguin Group, all rights reserved.
    Dave Engledow