Men Behaving Dadly

Can something as complex as a father’s skill be measured? Yes, it can.

(page 1 of 9)

The other night, around 1 a.m., one of the little Closers started wailing. I faked sleep, and Mrs. Closer trundled off to soothe him. Next morning, I got a verbal beatdown from my wife. I responded that I’m better than 90 percent of new fathers, and she said, “Wanna bet?” Yes, I do. I devised a two-part test to measure a new father’s paternal chops: a questionnaire analyzing daddy knowledge and sensitivity, followed by a series of timed trials, each with its own point value. My wife administered my test, and I got eight other women to test their husbands. Each dad’s full questionnaire and scores in the 2008 World Sippy Cup are here at Chicagomag.com. (The print magazine for August had a selection of results for six of the nine men who participated.) 

FIRST PLACE

MATT M.
Community organizer, 37, Chicago


TOTAL SCORE: 69

As judged by his wife, Emily:
1. Does he know your child’s diaper size? Yes.
2. How many hours a night of sleep does your husband need? 7.
3. Does he know the size and consistency of your child’s last bowel movement? Yes, though it’s usually not a topic of conversation.
4. Did he put together the crib? Yes.
5. Does he have any skills the kid adores? Dancing to “Inside and Out” by Feist.
6. What would he do if there were a big game the same day as a party your kid was invited to? Go to the party and periodically check the TV.
7. Has he ever grocery shopped alone with the kid? Yes. Trader Joe’s on Saturday mornings.
8. Did he call you while he was there? Frequently.
9. Who does the bulk of the disciplining in your home? 60% me, 40% Matt.
10. If you were to ask him to get the wipes, could he find them without help? Yes.
11. How many different characters can he name from Thomas the Tank Engine? 1.
12. Does he know your child’s favorite book? Yes.
13. Does he know your child’s blood type? No.
14. Has he ever referred to time with your child as “babysitting"? No.
15. When the kid cries in the middle of the night, does he fake sleep? Not sure. Definitely needs to be told it’s his turn to go.
16. When you come home from a day out, does he head to the bathroom before the kids get their needs met? No.
17. On a scale of 1 to 10, how involved has he been in potty training your child (10 being totally involved, 1 being utterly uninterested)? 6.
18. Has he ever expressed violent emotions toward Raffi, Elmo, or The Wiggles? No, but we don’t listen to “Willaby Wallaby Woo” much anymore.
19. How does he do in the security line at the airport? He folds up the stroller and loads the bins. He is a pretty good sport about it.
20. How fast can he:
a) change a diaper (pee)? 19.7 seconds.
b) change a diaper (poo)? 47.3 seconds. He generally changes them without thinking twice that it’s his responsibility. Of course, it is not uncommon for me to find small tied-up plastic bags with a poopy diaper in random places around the house.
c) get kid dressed? 31 seconds.
d) assemble Pack ‘n Play? 14.1 seconds.
e) disassemble Pack ‘n Play? 26.4 seconds.
f) buckle kid into car? 15 seconds.
g) find small baggie of crushed Goldfish in packed diaper bag (estimation)? If I put them there Matt will NEVER find them. If he puts them there, there is a 75% chance he’ll forget about them.
21. Anything else? Matt bathed Lucy in 1 minute and 8 seconds, but I docked him 10 seconds for not cleaning her feet. Or legs.

NOTE: Matt works like a maniac and still managed to win the 2008 Sippy Cup. He is universally detested by the rest of us for setting the bar so high.

 

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comments
6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

This is hysterical. My husband would have done worse than all of you. even the Jay guy. if that makes anyone feel better.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

These are some seriously funny people - all of them. Especially the ones who scored lowest.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

The Closer is looking mighty hairy these days!!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

And green. That child in his arms looks petrified.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

My Fave Dad: #2, Jason! He gets up in the middle of the night 90% of time, which I think is unheard of. Plus, he's cute!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Anonymous 2:41 - You are totally married to this Jason. Admit it.

Though, he is cute.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

ANONYMOUS 3:03 PM: Anonymous 2:41 here. Haha I'm not. In fact I almost asked if he had a single brother!

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Father #2, Jason? Do you have a single brother?

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Closer - do you have a single brother? You are the one I covet.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Hey, I actually *am* The Closer's brother, but I am currently happily married and clearly a better father than Jeff. How could you not know where the wipes are? Then again, my wife loves wipes, and has them EVERYWHERE.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

I am #2’s wife. Yes, he is cute and did get up 90% of the time during year #2, but that is because I got up 90% during year 1. I was nursing, so I kind of had to and needed a year to recover from the lack of sleep. But, yeah, he is a good father. And sorry, he has no brothers.

6 years ago
Posted by The One And Only Jay

Ok, I've been taking quite a bit of ribbing for coming in last place on this so-called "competition." The Closer was gracious enough to allow me to write a rebuttal so that all of his fine readers can understand what a farce this exercise truly was. I have decided instead to list my top six reasons that the world sippy cup is no more a competition than a game of hopscotch is:

Reason 1. The questions had an inherent bias. So what if a dad doesn't know all of the Thomas characters? Perhaps I take them to the opera. Perhaps we don't believe in tvs or even trains. I mean, come on.

Reason 2. Some of the "parents" clearly had only one kid. Those of us who have multiple offspring know full well that having one kid is nothing more than being a parent-in-training, much like one who rides a bike with extra wheels is not yet a true cycylist.

Reason 3. The other dads clearly had younger kids. As my pics make clear, my kids are well out of diapers, thus we were going on memory in answering some of the questions. Had I better understood the public nature of what we were doing, I would have -- at the least -- borrowed a neighbor's kid or something.

Reason 4. Worse than being self-reported, the test was "wife-reported"; if I had understood what I was being subjected to, I would have at the least been nice to her for a day or two before the competition.

Reason 5: What's with the scoring? In the post 9/11 world, I can get yogurt through security so that my kids can fly with full tummies, and I get apparently no points for that? I've seen people roughed up for smuggling in toothpicks.

Reason 6. And last but certainly not least,what kind of competition doesn't allow you to play defense? (I guarantee that I could have moved up at least three spots if I could have boxed out when the other dads were speeding to change dirty diapers).

All that being said, I do want to thank the Closer for not pointing out that the ultra-embarrasing pictures of me and my kids were, alas, not posed.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

This is hilarious, and I don't even have kids. I hope the winner got a prize. A golden sippy cup, perhaps?

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Matt M, the winner, will indeed receive a Golden Sippy Cup, followed by a 30-city U.S. Daddy tour and a six-figure book deal. -The Closer

6 years ago
Posted by Papa

Now, let's all sing together....

I love you. You love me.
We're a happy family!
Shotgun blast...Barney hits the floor.
...No more purple dinosaur.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Man, Papa. I don't like Barney any more than the next guy - but that is harsh. That poor little tyrannosaurus.

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Where is the father answering questions on the mother? Although reality is a wife will diss on her partner - but the man generally knows better than to diss on the wife's ability. Sure that sounds sexist but is it?
I am guessing you would never think to do an opposite poll.
I am guessing it works both ways if it were an anynomous poll scale of 1 - 10
1.) How surprized are you with your partners parenting skills?
(to the favorable) to the (unfavorable)?
2.) How disappointed are you in your partners ambition?
3.) How much does your partner partaking of in household chores?

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

An opposite pole generally wouldn't work. Sure there are some exceptions to the rule that the woman does all the housework and raising of the children, but I am sad to say that in this day in age the responsibilities are still no where even close to equal. Even if a woman does work outside of the home the majority of the domestic duties still fall on her shoulders. And I don't really understand your questions... "How surprised are you with your partners parenting skills... How dissapointed are you in your partners ambition...?" These sound like loaded questions to me that are seeking pre-conceived answers...

6 years ago
Posted by Anonymous

Jay, you blew it, guy. Get with the program and quit rationalizing. One hint: you're not at work when you're at home.

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