Rad Dad Chat with Rick 'The Temp' Campanelli - Parenting Article
When I’m not entertaining children from around the world with my rap-a-long books & songs, you can find me with my kids. I am a stay-at-home Dad by day and there’s just no job like it.
While working on Friendly Fables I have had the opportunity to meet and speak with some incredible parents. One rad dad in particular is someone who I have followed in various capacities over the years: Rick ‘The Temp’ Campanelli. From world trips with his kids, to nature hikes or just reading a good old fashioned book, this dad does it all with style and a smile.
It is now my great pleasure to share with you a recent Rad Dad Chat I had with Rick where he discusses parenting during a global pandemic, what he is looking forward to most, and some other fun answers about his life as a dad. We hope you enjoy reading it!
Questions for ‘Rad Dad’ Rick Campanelli:
Q: What dinner are you sick of cooking/eating the most during the pandemic?
A: First of all we love to cook and eat over here…we’re Italian LOL…but the one meal that I must have prepared over a hundred times during the pandemic is French toast… My boys absolutely LOVE their French toast - they ask for it almost every morning.
Q: What has helped your family stay safe and calm during this pandemic? Hikes? Music? Books? Dance parties?
A: We have done so much as a family because of lockdowns or just because of my wife and I both being stay at home parents - we love it. There have been lots of hikes, puzzles, LEGO’s, stuffy parties, Disney+...
Q: Despite so many awful days, I’ve been lucky to be with my family and have moments that I’m grateful for — what has the pandemic made you grateful for?
A: Experiencing a world wide pandemic like COVID-19 has made us realize that family and family time is most important…especially the very young and very old family members. My wife and I have always tried to spend as much time with family as we could before the pandemic and since the pandemic/lockdowns - we have just gotten that much closer.
Q: What’s a normal thing you miss doing the most? (I miss Mandarin buffets, is that weird?)
A: I also miss Mandarin buffets LOL…ah man, we’d go at least once a month. I also miss live music concerts (although my wife and I are so excited to finally go see Maroon 5 in concert tonight)!!
Q: Have you changed the way you grocery shop and your shopping habits?
A: At the start of the pandemic we were using the grocery delivery service a lot…we wouldn’t set foot in a grocery store…but as the pandemic continued we decided to venture into the grocery store but we’re able to streamline our visits.
Q: How many nights a week are you ordering in?
A: We love to eat in but we also love to cook. I would say we order in or do drive-through 4 times a week!
Q: How do you feel about kids going back to school? And if school closes again what are you going to do? (‘Go crazy’ is a valid answer.)
A: We are very excited to get the kids back in school - even though there have been play dates with one or two of their buddies - there’s nothing a kid needs more than being around his/her buddies to stimulate them…whether it’s learning, playing or just being social. If the school closes again (you never know) we would love that they would be back home with us.
Q: What do you say to your kids when they are feeling worried or upset?
A: Feelings are just temporary… We just try to reassure them that everything is going to be alright/calm them down by just talking through the situation and keeping positive.
Q: Are you going to go back to live events right away? (Concerts, Blue Jays, Leafs, Bills, Packers) If so, are you bringing the kids?
A: Yessir, Maroon 5 tonight, Las Vegas Raiders for their season opener, Tiger-Cats in a couple weeks!! I want to do it all again, NOW!! We are fully vaccinated and ready to start the world back up again!
Q: I know you are a prolific traveller and you must be missing exploring the world with your family. If you could go anywhere tomorrow where would you go?
A: Yes we absolutely LOVE to travel and explore. I have always wanted to take my family to Africa and hit up a safari or two. We love animals and to see them in their natural habitat would be the best!!
Q: Have you picked up any new hobbies / skills during the pandemic?
A: I have definitely spent a lot more time in the kitchen cooking - I love it there. In the 90’s my fave place to be was a mosh pit - now, it’s the kitchen LOL
Q: If you had a t-shirt slogan about your favourite pandemic saying, what would it be? Mine is: Keep calm and read on.
A: Haha, somebody already made one with my face on it…it reads… “Check your temp…I’m fine” LOL
Thanks Rick for your thoughtful and honest responses! To all the parents out there reading this, I would love to hear your parenting stories. Sharing our experiences connects us and reminds us we're in this together. Thank you for reading.