The 2008 baseball season has barely started and I’m already reminded of what drives me absolutely nuts about America's pastime: The endless stats. And baseball, more than any other sport – is married to its statistics.
From the “fist time the home pitcher has struck out the side in the top of the first inning followed by a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first” to “the most extra base hits” – I was just about set to throw Kolby’s guitar through the TV.
Seriously, if the announcers gave one more stat about “the most this” or “the most that” – I might have killed myself. (Truth be told, I’m not sure if it’s the stats that drive me batty, or the Alex Trebek-like “this is the most important thing you’ve ever heard” delivery.) As usual, though, this got me thinking about parenting.
Parents are big on firsts, of course. And, we like to compete with our friends and brag about the first teeth, the first steps, the first poop in the toilet, the first porn surfed…You know, the things that melt a dad’s heart. Beyond the firsts, however, I suppose new parents can be as bad as baseball announcers and aficionados when it comes to stats.
And while new parents don’t have the typical stats found in the baseball box score, they/we do have our share of statistics, which could replace the traditional ERA, RBI, AVG, SLG, and so on. These might include:
PPD: In baseball, ppd means “postponed” (usually due to weather), but in parenting PPD=Poops Per Day. New parents are obsessed with the number of times Junior craps himself. Heaven forbid if it’s ever below the number that the books, doctor, Internet and random stranger on the street recommend.
COP: Staying with the poop theme, new kids cause parents to absolutely freak about the Color of Poop (also Consistency of Poop). Is it thick and black like oil? Or green, seedy and looser? Yes, these are important things to note, but like most baseball stats – most people outside of the few hardcore fans (in this case, family perhaps) don’t need to know.
SPD: A very important statistic for any new parents is the “Sleep Per Day” ratio. Since the typical night’s sleep has been obliterated, parents need to find a way to get their sleep throughout the entire day. Like a relief pitcher who might come in and only throw three pitches to end a game – the SPD might only be a few minutes at a time. The SPD is the total of all the 20-minute naps a new parent might get.
E1, E2, etc.: Depending on whether you have one kid, two kids, or three kids, etc., errors will be made by all of them. Spilt milk, taking off the diaper and spreading [filtered word]e all over the walls, whatever – the kid is gonna make mistakes. E1 would be such a “mistake” by the firstborn. E2, the second. And so on.
CFM: Like a blown save or a horrid win-loss record, the CFM is the stat most new parents hope to avoid. Yes, we’re talking the “Complete F*****g Meltdown.” Unfortunately, like the Cubs not winning a World Series, the CFM is inevitable. It will happen to every kid – even the ones that feign happiness and perfection at all times. (You know the type – give birth on Wednesday and start working out Thursday. Of course, we also know that these are the very parents who are most likely to snap.)
And finally, for the time being – my personal favorite:
WTFHWD: In order to get to the CFM a certain number of WTFHWD moments must be properly executed. These are private and/or public moments when like a batter taking his perfect stance in the batter’s box, new parents will be seen with a look of total apprehension and exhaustion, hands will likely be found on the head and lips can be read, “What the f*ck have we done?” After 10 or so such moments, the CFM can come at anytime.
If you just sit back and watch a baseball game – good or bad – for what it is, pure entertainment, and not worry about the endless statistics, idiot things the players do or don’t do, and stop taking it so freaking seriously…Well, it’s just a good time.
Parenting, it seems can be the same.