Mount Prospect author captures the funny side of parenthood

Mount Prospect resident Rick Kaempfer admits that his first years as a parent were a case of trial-and-error.

“And honestly, it was mostly error,” he said with a laugh. “I made so many mistakes.”

Kaempfer has collected memories of those shaky early years as a dad in a book titled “Father Knows Nothing,” out now from Kaempfer's own publishing house, Eckhartz Press.

The book documents Kaempfer's years as a stay-at-home suburban dad to his three sons, who now range in age from 12 to 19. He relates funny stories about games he'd play with them, like the one called “Hide,” which basically involved him finding a remote place in the house where he could relax with a magazine while the boys tried in vain to find him. Other pieces reveal his experiences taking his sons to the park and his thoughts about the many wonderful ways in which a parent can use a stopwatch.

The memories in the book actually first appeared as weekly columns that Kaempfer wrote for the Northwest Indiana Times and its associated website, The column ran for about nine years, and it developed a devoted following, Kaempfer said.

“I always tried to find the humor that's inherent in parenting, and people really seemed to respond to that,” he said.

It helped that Kaempfer knew a thing or two about how to tell a story. Before becoming a stay-at-home dad, Kaempfer worked for years in Chicago radio as a writer and producer, working with local industry stars like Steve Dahl. He now alternates between his own writing projects, which include both fiction and nonfiction, and his publishing duties with Eckhartz Press, which has put out 17 books from a variety of local authors.

“I had an advantage with this book, because there was a built-in audience,” Kaempfer said. “But the response has gone way beyond that. I'm very grateful.”

“Father Knows Nothing” is available in paperback format at, and in e-book format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple.

Mount Prospect author Rick Kaempfer has collected columns about parenting that he wrote for nine years into a book titled "Father Knows Nothing."
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