Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The New Daddy Test

"What's your new father IQ?"

So reads the title of the only such quiz I was able to find on the Internet. 

No crusts on your PB & J, right Luke?
Like most expectant dads, I'm interested to know just how much I don't know. I figured I'd have a decent showing on this test with a score falling somewhere between "average" and "slightly more informed than the baby you'll soon be taking care of."

So, before I took the test, I operated under the assumption that this thing would be of some use toward gauging my areas for improvement. Wrong.

At first glimpse, the site didn't exactly smack of legitimacy and by the time Question 6 rolled around ("What sort of postpartum present would your wife turned mom appreciate most?") I knew this might not be too useful.

Long story short, I got 13 out of 15 correct and was right back to where I started: on the hunt for an assessment of how ready I am for the identical twin boys that will soon find their way out of Mrs. Blackwell's tummy. 

In the end, I know that there is no test that will ease the expectant dad's anxieties. There is no way of knowing how well you'll handle long, sleepless nights, non-stop caretaking and the overall grind of raising kids until you actually do it. 

But, if you're looking for other examples to ease your worries, I recommend  turning on Good Morning America. There, every morning, ABC's crack news team never fails to deliver a story about some derelict mom who left her kids at home alone while she went to buy drugs or about some father who decided to let his four-year-old drive him to the liquor store as he was too hammered to drive. (A man's got a responsibility to get drunk, but not drive drunk after all.)

Judge him only when your kid is as obnoxious as Lisa.
Today's "GMA" installment of the "don't feel bad about your parenting because you'll never be this horrible" was about a woman who left her two sons (a two-year-old and a four-year-old) alone in her car at a gas station for several hours. (In fairness, this lady claims to have amnesia about where she was for the 12 hours she was missing and was genuinely upset about leaving her kids.)

That said, brain experts noted that this type of incident is extremely rare - far rarer than, say, a dad letting his four-year old steer the minivan to the Liquor Mart. 

If you're in the mood for immediate gratification in the form of knowing that you're bound to be better than some parents, here you are. (Though, I'll say in advance that I object entirely to the inclusion of Homer Simpson on this list.)

Happy reading and, remember, no matter what you find, it's likely that you're your own toughest critic. And, if this cliche doesn't make you feel better, just remind yourself that you'll find your own way to the liquor store, thank you very much. 

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