Playground of Riches

by doodaddy on February 12, 2008

I took Boo over to a well-to-do neighborhood today on an errand to find Working Mom a Valentine’s Day present. (Y’all remember it’s coming up?)

They have an enormous playground: it comfortably held 49 adults and about the same number of kids. I know the exact number because, well, I counted them. I had to make guesses about a few people, but it came out roughly:

4 grandmothers
28 nannies
17 moms, of whom 8 were visibly pregnant

Notice anything missing? That’s right!

There were no dads. No men, in fact, but li’l’ ol’ me.

Serves me right. I had been getting cocky, thinking that this whole stay-at-home dad lark was no big deal and heck! everyone’s doing it, I’m always running into other SAHDs all over town. Today, I was reminded that in much of the world (including among the affluent, apparently), we’re still pretty rare.

The ladies were actually pretty nice to me, especially considering that I was going around counting them and jotting down notes. One 37-week preggo mom and I had this lovely conversation as her 2-year old and Boo teeter-tottered:

Me: "Wow, I love your daughter’s shoes!"
She: "Thanks! I have a hard time finding ones that fit."
Me: "Where’d you get them?"
She, in a whisper: "Um, Target."
Me, in a conspiratorial whisper back: "Yeah, I know, sometimes they have the best kids’ stuff!"
She: Gives me a look like I’m from outer space, maybe the planet where men know things like the difference between Target and Wal-Mart.

And the kids? Well, one of the greatest things about being the only dad on the playground is that you attract a lot of attention… Boo and I had four or five admiring toddlers follow us around by the time we left.

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in playground,stay-at-home dad,surrounded by mommies ·

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan February 12, 2008 at 2:33 am

I don’t like it when I attract the attention of all the kids. i’m frequently not only the only man at the playground, but the only parent actually playing on the equipment at the playground. The rest of the adults are just reading magazines / talking etc.

Consequently the kids all flock round me and i start getting very paranoid that people start worrying I’m a pedophile. sad but true.

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jessicab February 12, 2008 at 9:26 am

My hubs is 6’5″ and although he is a very big man he is very approachable by children. I can’t believe you were able to keep up with your count. I usually lose track by 10.

I FREAKIN’ LOVE TARGET.

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doodaddy February 12, 2008 at 9:27 am

Well, it was a little rough, but luckily most of the moms weren’t really moving — just standing around talking to each other!

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Avery February 12, 2008 at 10:03 am

As if Target is a dirty little secret! Now, if she’d said she dug them out of the dumpster in the alley behind Value Village, I might understand the need to whisper. Those pickings are SOOO last season.

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Rattling The Kettle February 12, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Does Working Mom know that you spend you days flirting with pregnant women at various playgrounds around town?

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doodaddy February 12, 2008 at 5:00 pm

God, who *doesn’t* flirt with pregnant women? I swear there’s a “be nice to me” pheremone because it’s all I can do to keep myself from offering chairs and stuff.

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