Why you should care
Because we should celebrate Father’s Day with a look at 16 dad types in all their many-splendored glory.
When it comes to mothers, we all know the types. The tiger moms. The soccer moms. The hockey moms. Classifying mothers into subspecies of homo parentus has become all too common. When it comes to fathers, however, we may have a social-media-fueled litany of the corny “dad jokes” (“How do you make a Kleenex dance? Put a little boogie in it!”). But, for the most part, dads have managed to avoid the Linnaean parental taxonomy imposed upon mothers.
1. Cool Dad: This breed of father can be found wearing Ray-Bans, flirting with 20-year-old baristas and disregarding the weight limitations on bouncy castles. Average daily time his children spend on electronic devices: eight hours and 48 minutes.
2. Cool-With-It Dad: The polar opposite of a tiger mom. This father’s offspring will never become concert pianists, but they will spray milk out of their noses whenever they hear the word pianist. Fireworks start at age 4; juvenile detention at 13. Favorite phrase: “Don’t tell your mom.”
3. Selectively Incompetent Dad: He may be a highly trained doctor, lawyer or superhero, but when it comes to routine tasks like dish-washing, he suddenly morphs into a dispensable moron who must be left alone to watch SportsCenter in the den while the other grown-ups (moms) hash out the “practical stuff.”
4. Renaissance Dad: That rare father who is capable of such Herculean feats as cooking a three-course meal with vegetables and changing a diaper in an airport toilet.
5. Coach Dad: His ball career ended with a blown-out knee in junior college, but the sky is the limit for yours. Correction: He is the limit. You’ll bow out of your Olympic dreams at age 10 after he continues to make you the example of “how not to do it” in front of your teammates.
6. Bleacher Dad: A sports-obsessed father who is just as intense as coach dad but without the wherewithal to actually attend practices. The bulk of his parental instruction takes place at the top of his lungs in public spaces. “Come on, Tommy. Get the bat off your shoulder!”
7. Art-of-the-Deal Dad: Life is all about the bargain, and if this is your dad, your childhood will be defined by 7 a.m. garage sales, ill-fitting “vintage” clothes and using an iPhone 3 to text your friends for help. Favorite phrase: “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
8. Shade-Throwing Dad: The Archie Bunker of fathers. When you told him at age 8 that you wanted to be an astronaut, he responded that the closest you’d ever get to Cape Canaveral would be waiting tables in Daytona Beach.
9. Carrier Dad: That self-sacrificing father who has relinquished his individual humanity in order to serve as a walking coat stand for diaper bags, Baby Bjorns and an oversize fanny pack housing used banana peels and 16 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer.
10. F*ck-Up Dad: He tries his best but he was not put on this Earth to raise the next generation, merely to compete against its members for entry-level jobs at Best Buy.
11. Workshop Dad: He’s completely devoted to you as long as the parenting task involves the right tools. He’ll spend most Christmases outside “tweaking” the massive light display and most of your birthdays in the garage trying to rewire your latest gift.
12. Stay-at-Home Dad: He used to trade commodities on Wall Street, but now he prefers to sink that unbridled testosterone into your long-division homework. You’ll never live up to what he “gave up” for you.
13. Absent Dad: You’ll treasure the few childhood memories you have of him until the day he turns up at your door when you are 28, asking for a loan and a spare bed where he and his common-law wife Kiki can crash for “a few days.”
14. Man-Child Dad: Your best friend when you’re little who gets gang tackled by your friends at birthday parties. Your biggest embarrassment when you’re older who gets tackled by police officers after crashing your frat parties.
15. Distant Dad: The Don Draper of fathers. Once every six months or so, he will take you to the zoo or the circus where you will awkwardly encounter his “friend” Maxine and her children, who seem to like him a great deal more than you do.
16. Overwhelmed Dad: That poor sweaty creature with two screaming children in the grocery store line whose only refuge from the bribing, pleading and trauma that await him during mom’s “day off” will be the five minutes he gets to play Candy Crush on his phone while the two ruffians suck down animal crackers in their double stroller.
Are there others? Tell us in the comments which type of dad you have.