parenthood, poop, Sam

Answers, and The Good Enough Baby.

Thank you to all who participated in last week’s “Sam By The Numbers” quiz. Without further ado, the correct answers:


Only one person got the correct answer: 500. For the record, all answers were independently checked by a third party who was given total access to the folder of checklists we have compiled in Sam’s first two months — checklists which exhaustively chart his wet and dirty diapers, his breast feedings (in minutes, on the Right and/or Left, with a star to indicate if it was a bottle feeding), and the frequency and volume of Erin’s pumping. Also the number of baths he took. Yes, we know this sounds insane. We don’t care. The chart gives order and structure to Sam’s days and our tireless efforts to quantify (and perhaps justify) our effectiveness as new parents. How long will we continue to use these charts? Who knows? When does one decide to stop breathing? That’s how indispensable the charts remain to us. So judge away. We can take it. Just don’t take our charts from us. THE CHARTS ARE EVERYTHING.

Moving on.


Though it surely felt like two gazillion times, the correct answer is 509. Whoever clicked the final answer clearly hasn’t the faintest idea about raising a child. You don’t give a baby goat milk. That’s pretty basic. This person should be ashamed. Goat milk. That stuff is disgusting.



This was, as John Sherck noted in the comments, a misleading question. By “dirty diaper” we meant “poopy diaper,” and yet the verb “filled” could imply either number one or number two. We apologize. This is why we do not design polls or surveys for a living. We should also have noted that our definition of a “dirty” diaper is pretty liberal. Even if there’s just a smear in there, we counted it for the first two months, at which point we agreed to tighten up the strike zone, as it were, and only count the truly dirty diapers which run out the sides if you forget to turn the ruffles out. Seven people got this one right: 435 was the correct response. Again, whoever voted the last response should be ashamed. Baby poop does not smell like roses and periwinkle. It smells like goat milk and fish guts. Except when it smells more like bear tinkle instead.¹



Though Scooter Thomas drinks himself a lot of Zima, the correct answer here is 50 cans of Coke. (The exact tally from the charts was 609 ounces.)

Thanks again to all who participated.

While on vacation, we happened to read an excellent primer on parenthood by Andy Borowitz called “The Good Enough Baby.” As Mr. Borowitz notes,

As new parents, we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. We settle for second or third best when we buy a house or a car, and, when it comes to choosing a spouse, ninth best will often do. And yet, for some reason, we throw this time-tested principle out the window when we have a baby. We try to be “perfect” parents and raise the “perfect” baby, even if that means taking care of the baby “all the time.”

For more of his provocative parenting wisdom, click here.


1. We have no idea if bear tinkle actually smells bad, but it’s funny to say out loud. Go ahead and say it. Bear tinkle. Who’s in a better mood now? That’s right, you are.

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