Illustration: Kyla Thomas (courtesy of Corey Richardson)

Editor’s note: Corey Richardson, the author of We Used to Have Money, Now We Have You! A Dad’s Bedtime Story, is a frequent VSB contributor. 

If you’re a father of any number of kids, as much as you love your children, the pragmatist in you always manages to seep into your thoughts. You love your kids and you want to play with them all day long; you’d also like to keep the lights on and would really like to have a place to live so you can pay the light bill.

Also, while I don’t think kids are nearly as expensive (early on) as everybody claims, they are not inexpensive. Diapers, wipes, cribs, strollers, clothes, DAY CARE, DAY CARE, DAY CARE, DAY CARE, toys, etc., all add up, and the things that you used to love doing—like brunch and waking up at 11 a.m. on a Saturday—become distant memories. Sounds like the makings of a story.

Well, one chap decided to do just that and wrote a kids’ e-book detailing all of it. Enter We Used to Have Money, Now We Have You! A Dad’s Bedtime Story, with words by Corey Richardson and illustrations by Kyla Thomas. The e-book is available on your Kindle for 99 cents.

Illustration: Kyla Thomas (courtesy of Corey Richardson)

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You know the book Go the Fuck to Sleep, written by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, that’s a kids’ book for adults? Well, Richardson’s book is the adult book you can actually read to your kids. It’s like Shrek 2.

In it, he details for his daughter the story of what life used to look like for Mommy and Daddy and how it’s changed. They love their bundle of joy, but that bundle has changed life for them, most noticeably the amount of money they have and what they do with the money they do have. It’s basically a parenting primer on how to answer the question your kids will one day invariably ask: “What was life like before me?”

And because all good things get better with time, Richardson’s book leveled itself up.

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You know how Go the Fuck to Sleep audiobook got the Samuel L. Jackson treatment, taking the already hilarious story to new heights? Well, Richardson’s audiobook gets the Phonte (“New Tigallo, New Tigallo, New Tigallo”) and Zo! treatment. Phonte Coleman of Little Brother, Foreign Exchange and Questlove Supreme fame (among many, many other things) handles the narration (and backing vocals), while Zo!—a multi-instrumentalist, composer, Foreign Exchange family member, etc. (among many, many other things)—handles the music, taking an already entertaining read to (their rendition of) “Return of the Mack” levels. The audiobook is available through Amazon’s Audible marketplace for $3.95.

As a proud papa, I enjoy humorous takes on parenting. Being an adult with kids comes with so many challenges that an opportunity to take a step back and laugh, and include your kids in that laughter, is always welcome. Kids are so curious about the lives of their parents, especially through pictures, that a book dedicated to that (enjoyable) struggle is just what the doctor ordered. And an audio version that includes two artists many of us know and love? Sign me up.

I just used the last little bit of money I had buying it, just so I can read it to my kids.

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Parenting! Yay.