Hey you. Over there pushing the stroller while your wife talks on the phone. You look like a pretty good dad. I bet you’ve burped your kid. Cleaned spit-up off your shirt yourself without waiting for your wife to hand you a towel. Held your kid for six minutes without dropping him. That’s all well and good, but know this: I’m a better dad than you. In fact, I’m the world’s best dad because once I watched my kid when my wife wasn’t around.
You’re probably wondering how this miraculous feat of dadding was inspired. Well, my wife woke up from the nap she was taking face-first into her salad and said she needed a night off to remember who she was. I said sure, if by “night off,” you mean an hour, and she said that gave her just enough time to fall asleep into a glass of wine at the bar down the street. I picked up little Turmeric from his bassinet so I could watch TV with him, but he fell asleep, so I heroically struggled through the nearly impossible feat of watching half an episode of Property Brothers with a numb, baby-covered left arm.
Then I took little Turmeric outside for a walk to allow other people to understand that I’m the world’s best dad. When they saw me pushing a stroller alone on the sidewalk without my wife, they said things like, “Oh my god, look at you, giving mom a break,” and “I just want to hug you because you’re pushing that stroller all alone like a true hero” and “Please, accept this trophy that says you’re the world’s best dad because I always have to bribe my husband with a dozen Papa John’s pizzas, a membership to the Beer of the Month Club and two tickets to the Super Bowl to get him to watch our kid while I go to the bathroom.”
When little Turmeric started to cry, I wheeled him home to comfort him the only way I can comfort myself when I’m down: by telling him stories about all the times I threw up after drinking beer with my buddies in college. “So Moose handed me the twenty-fifth shot of the night,” I said, but weak, little Turmeric wasn’t tough enough to stay awake for the end of one of the most epic stories ever told. I mean, I threw up into the shape of a star! Who wouldn’t want to stay awake to hear every single gory detail of that?
Can you believe that ten minutes after I put him down for his nap, little Turmeric woke up with a poopy diaper? I have no idea how to change diapers, so I just held him at arm’s length from me until his mom, the real diaper expert, came home. She reached out her arms for a hug, and I rewarded her with the only thing a mother who just arrived home and is expecting a hug really wants: an armload of dirty baby. “You’re welcome,” I told her.
So that’s how I became the world’s best dad in just one summer evening’s worth of watching my kid alone. If you want to be a better dad than me, you could watch your kid while your wife isn’t around for an hour and a half, or two hours if you’re some kind of gladiator of kid-watching. But let’s face it. You’re probably not up for that kind of pain, which is why I’ll remain the world’s best dad.
The other day my wife asked me if I could watch the kid while she wasn’t around for a second time, but I manned up and said, “No, what is this — a forced labor camp?” I’m already the world’s best dad for doing it once.