Researching Fatherhood

13 08 2009

We took Azita to the University of Maryland on Thursday to take part in a study on language development. As a seven-month-old girl, her language hasn’t so much developed as shown promise for one day developing soon. But this a long-term study, so we went today to get the first one on the books.

I was more than a little excited about being “studied” as a parent. I was looking forward to seeing how my daughter reacted to words and researchers and a college campus. These are all things I really love. I wanted to be  a part of a university research project. I wanted to be “Subject B-13” or whatever they label subjects in these sorts of things.

It just wasn’t meant to be, and my dreams of being a footnote in a groundbreaking study on how humans learn to use the spoken word to communicate were crushed because most dads suck.

Yeah, I said it. Most dads suck, and I’ll tell you why most dads suck: Because there are never enough dads willing to participate in university research, so they only test children with moms. Allowing me to participate in the study would have introduced a new element, and damaged the research. I respect this so I didn’t complain to the researchers, but man I was hurt. Not because I took a half day off work, but because so many other dads didn’t. What the hell? A few hours off so our communication with our daughters and sons can help research.

When we returned from our adventure in College Park, I couldn’t stop talking to Azita. If I had a tripod I would have recorded me playing with her and emailed it to the research department — just in case any other dads decide not to suck so much.

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