Rosie Johnson Illustrates
Freelance illustrator
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Notes from the studio (it’s a shed)

Dadding. The verb.

The word dad is a noun. But I’m here to mess with the grammatical rules (not only by starting a sentence with But.) Being a parent is active, I think we need to make dadding a verb. If making the baby in the first place- fathering- gets to be a verb, then surely the trickier bit that comes after - the ‘dadding’ deserves to be?! It’s the act of parenting. Nothing passive about it (and the same goes for mumming of course, but this is clearly a Father’s Day kinda post.)

Let’s give it a whirl: You gave your child a massive hug when they felt wobbly? Excellent dadding. You didn’t lose your s**t when they were being unbelievably slow getting their shoes on? You mummed that beautifully. You listened to your child’s worries about a friendship issue and didn’t try to ‘fix’ it straight away? Wow! You dadded it right out of the park. Who’s with me? I’ll get onto the Oxford English Dictionary. To dad: to be kind, loving and present.

Father’s Day is the 16th of June and you can fully ignore it if you like, just the way your father ignored you when you were telling him that fascinating story of how you found a bee in the playground but actually it turned out to be a bit of fluff while he was right in the middle of watching the FA Cup Final/ a lie-in/ something your Dad liked more than your stories. Or… you can embrace it, just the way your Dad embraced you when you fell off your bike or came home after a sleepover or just wanted a cuddle.

In starting this blog a vague memory floated up … hang on, I thought, I think I’ve written this but better 2 years ago. A quick search back through the archives will show that yes, I absolutely did write this corker of a Father’s Day blog in 2017. I stand by it all. Go and have a read if you fancy. Don’t worry, I’ll still be here.

You’re back! What did you think? Moving eh? Now, enough of all that talk of gender roles and high-mindedness. This is my hard-sell piece. The following items are things that you can buy from me for the dads in your life. They are ethically made from an independent business, so you can feel satisfyingly smug about buying them and I can feel satisfyingly validated in my choice of career.


If you’re reading this between Friday the 3rd of May 2019 at 9 am and Sunday the 5th of May at midnight- then you can get FREE UK SHIPPING on all the t-shirts, sweatshirts and bags in my merchandise store. Even if you read it later, the following is still true- every single piece is 100% organic cotton, printed in a wind-powered factory, packaged in paper rather than plastic and delivered to you by a fully sustainable postal service worker.*

*this part is unverified.


P.S If you’re reading this via my newsletter and you signed up hoping for news of my 3rd (business) birthday surprise, don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten. I will be giving the newsletter subscribers a little exclusive in the next email. If you’re reading this straight from the blog and are NOT subscribed to my newsletter, come and join my cult, ehem, gang of groovy types. Sign up to the newsletter here.

Have splendid days, go and be nice to some dads. I’m off to chat to Susie Dent in dictionary corner about my excellent plan…

R