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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Plight Of The At Home Dad

So I pulled into my son Cole's playschool parking lot this morning and it looked surprisingly empty.

He only goes Monday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 1pm (so I tend to really look forward to those mornings).

I spent the better part of the morning listening to him cry and whine about how he didn't want to got to school... only to get to school and find out that it was a TEACHER WORK DAY!

Now, I came home and saw that it was clearly marked on the calendar. But Monday my wife works late so I took the boys to hang out with another couple with kids and had dinner. Tuesday night I had band practice and last night I had to work a catering gig (pre-game cocktail party at UNC's business school prior to tip off for the UNC/NC State game) only to find that my free morning had disappeared.

And I have to say I think that if I was a mom, I would have had a least two to three calls from other moms in my son's class setting up play dates for the teacher work day, especially since we're experiencing record temps here in the Carolinas this week (yesterday it was in the 70s!).

Which brings me to yesterday: Weather was warm and I suggested to my son that we go to the park. Bored of the park we usually go to, he suggested the "yellow" park which is the park in this faux village community called Meadowmont that he knows about because we went to the pool there last summer.

We get to the park and thee is one mom with an infant strapped to her chest and another child with long curly read hair (held in barrettes) and they are having a picnic of sorts ON THE PLAY STRUCTURE. Another group shows up comprised of two moms each with infants slash toddlers who appear to be sisters and with their mother (i.e. grandma).

Then me and my son.

The moms immediately interact with each other with "grandma" starting off the AHD smack down when she asked the redheaded woman if my son belongs to her. My son has brown hair and blue eyes and, ahem, looks just like me! The redheaded mom (now officially referred to as "hippy mom") said "no" while one of the sister moms sort of gave me that "sorry my mom's a kook" look.

Grandma and her daughters decided to have a picnic themselves ON THE PLAY STRUCTURE and - possibly realizing how rude this was - asked the hippy mom if her kids would care to join them.

It was like I didn't even exist.

Shortly thereafter, I noticed hippy mom standing over by the tree line watching her daughter go pee. I was duly impressed that she had taught her daughter to stand up and pee until I realized that her daughter was a boy. He ended up peeing on his pants by virtue of letting them land on the ground where he had just peed. Did hippy mom changed his pants? No. He spent the rest of the time there swinging on swings and sliding on slides with pee-stained sweat pants.

Now I can sorta roll with that - you got caught unprepared but it was a nice day and figured it would dry out quickly. But what I couldn't understand was putting barrettes in your boy's hair. Fine, let your kid grow his hair long, but don't make the boy look like a girl. Grandma added insult when she made some comment about being "an older sister" to which hippy mom replied "brother."

Hippy mom left a short while later (after her son ran around screaming in my son's face acting like some monster; I wanted my son to break out a wrestling move on him as he clearly had the size advantage but he proved even wiser by just saying, "Stop, I don't like that,").

Then, as I'm helping my son cross the monkey bars I heard grandma shriek, "Where's my purse?" and I saw that her purse was by the monkey bars. One of her daughter's pointed to the monkey bars and said "over there."

Grandma got up, walked over, picked up her purse and put it down by her side.

So in one trip to the park I got vibed as a pedophile, excommunicated from parental conversation and insinuated I was a thief.

And now today I got blindsided by the teacher work day and wonder if there's a play date with several moms' of my son's classmates going on at some park somewhere.


Groovin' Dan said...

Props to you for nor being an uptight and paranoid dad, and for also not being so "permissive" that you'll dress your sons up like girls and let them run around in piss-soaked pants. Sheesh

moderndaydad said...

I've been there. More than once. I've come really dislike the park when it's just me and the kids. When I mentioned at the SAHDs convention (in the "What about me?" bitch session which I found incredibly frustrating to attend) that I found the SAH Moms the most difficult to deal with, I surprisingly got shot down by everyone else. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Next time maybe wear a wig and a dress -- I bet that would go over much better and cause the women to accept you as one of their own.

Another At-Home Dad said...

I can sympathize. I've had some similar experiences. Good post, thanks for sharing. I'll be adding a link to your blog on my site. I look forward to reading more of your dad stories!

HoorayForSaturday said...

Been there, done that. It's annoying.
I've actually been lucky enough to find a group of stay at home moms that are totally cool, open to guys like me, and they invite us to their reindeer games. I figured out that all of us just moved here within the past 11 months, so we don't know many others. I must have got in before they could be reminded they are supposed to hate men and not go near us crazies.