Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baby Racing

It's a big surprise when you walk into a pub here and see a dad with a pint of beer in one hand and a year-old baby hanging in a carrier on his chest. In the States, you just don't see dads taking their kids to the bar...I don't even know if that's legal in the States (if not, it probably should be...).

I was remarking on this to a guy we met during a pub crawl last night who shared a good story about what happens when men are in charge of the kids. Mike is originally from Miami. One of his friends there, who had recently become a dad, invited Mike to a park in Miami to hang with his son.

Hell no, Mike said, he wasn't about to get stuck co-babysitting. Trust me, said the dad, you'll have fun. So Mike went to the park and found there was a group of other young dads with babies. And that they race the babies. And that they bet on the babies.

Turns out you need 2 adults per team. The dad goes to the end of the straightaway to coax the child and give the baby something to race to. The other adult holds the baby in place until the race starts. All the babies were in the crawling stage for the most part, but still had to be handicapped for age. A few months here and there makes a big difference when everyone is still in diapers. A baby with a 6 month lead was forced to start farther back.

The dads all bet on the kids as well, and prior performance is weighed heavily: "Well, last week your kid just rolled over so I have $5 against him." How often dads bet against their own kids would be an interesting thing to know.

When Mike and his friend got back to the house, the wife asked him if he had fun. Oh yeah, it was great, Mike said. "We played on the swings, walked around...had a great time."

"Don't bullshit me," she said, "I know you were betting on my kid."

And that's what happens when you let dads babysit.

Just out of curiosity, I googled "baby racing" and apparently this is a sanctioned sport in Lithuania:

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