First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Play Group: Stylin'


Play group at the Y today.  Twice a week whether we like it or not.  Play group also means it's both shower and shave day for me.  The twofer is rare.

Gotta get cleaned up for play group though.  Nothing crazy.  There were no hair gels.  Or hair combs.   I try to clean up just enough so it doesn't look like I own a still.

I do own one.  I keep it in the yard.  I like to make my own moonshine;  I don't like to share it with everyone.  Or anyone.  I'm drunk on ethanol right now.  

But I did clean up nice.  Shower, shave, deodorant.  Slid on a fresh pair of sweat pants.  Pockets and crotch intact

One has to look somewhat presentable at playgroup.  You never want to hear “Those little ones are beautiful. Whose are they?”

“You see that guy right there?  No, the one that looks like a mug shot?  That’s him.  Nice guy!”

So, I drank some Listerine and donned a clean, dark, hooded sweatshirt and and some big sunglasses and off we went.

It's mostly moms.  A few dads.

There is the mom who wears a different, brightly-colored, sparkly, matching, sweat suit every time.  Have yet to see a repeat.

The exhausted, "I have two young boys close in age, so that is why I'm wearing a Snuggy and my hair is done up with a twist tie so fuck you," mom.  I like her.  Then there is too much make-up for play group mom, oddly old mom, enthusiastic grandma, hippy mom etc.  Nice eclectic group.

The dads are me, big bald dad who won't let his three year old son play with dolls, another guy who might be a stay-at-home dad, and hip hop korean dad, who I haven't seen in some time.  Him, I miss.  

Then there is a new dad.  Sweat pants and sweatshirt, baseball cap, glasses.  I'd put his age at a fit mid-forties. I'm not sure what to think about him.  He spends a lot of time off throwing a football against the cloth gym divider or shooting hoops at an empty basket.  I first noticed him because his kid, a four-year old boy, often ended up hanging around me, talking to me or clinging to my shoulders when I sat.

This behavior is not that unusual.  There is a natural sense of chaos that emanates from me.  It is beyond my control and it is very attractive to little kids.  So I often have a small group of 3-4 year old boys attempting to wrestle me to the ground.

This kid just feels a little different because often, it feels like he is more in search of a pat on the head or a hug and less in search of a suplex.  I give those out free of charge.   I'll suplex you right now, lady.

At first, I figured that his dad was just new to the whole nurturing dad thing.  He was probably a little uncomfortable with PDA's and being the one in charge of looking after his boy.  Pretty normal.

Then today, while his son hung around with me or by himself, I looked over and the dad was sitting against the far wall, laughing and texting.  Didn't look up for some time.  I got annoyed.

Maybe I shouldn't be.  Certainly, it's none of my business.  Anyway, to finish this post up as it was supposed to be a fun one and instead has suddenly become way to long and faintly maudlin: would anyone out there do or say something?  If not now, later?  And what would you say?

Thanks guys,

Homemaker Man


P.S.  So as not to worry my wife, I wore a clean pair of jeans today.  No crotch to speak of, but they were freshly laundered.










12 comments:

  1. I'm not sure how making a comment to the uninterested parent is going to help anything if you want my honest opinion. Some people are just douchebags. It's unfortunate, but you can't turn them all into super parents.

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  2. I'm not authorized to give advice on this one because I have yet to procreate, but if I was at a play group for Fifty and some guy was ignoring his puppy, I'd probably try to befriend him to find out what his problem is (lame, I know, but I'm friendly like that).
    And also, I want a brightly colored, sparkly matching sweat suit real bad.

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  3. "Hi, my name is Viv, I'm the Snuggy Mom." Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

    IF my husband ever took my kids to the Y, he would be just like texting Dad. Except, he doesn't know how to text, and he would never take our kid(s) to a play group...or out of the house by himself. Texting Dad gets points for effort, even though it is a crappy effort...he could be texting from the sofa in his living room.

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  4. The kid that looked like he needs a hug, totally reminded me of the last time I was at Disneyland with my brother. He and I, being people-watchers, saw this woman ahead of us in line for Small World. For the entire half hour, she did not pay any attention to her child. So of course, the child was sad and bored. We overhear her tell the other person that she's here at Disney for her daughter's birthday in this really disgusted tone. The daughter is right there! Geez, and I'm sure the kid feels great about being here with you too, Mom. It's her birthday! You could at least try to fake paying attention. Ugh.

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  5. My suggestions lie somewhere between Candice and Sara Louise. Have you engaged him in conversation at all to find out what his deal is? Sometimes people occupy themselves with other things when they are not naturally comfortable in social situations or know how to approach and try to befriend other parents - especially ones who seem to be better at it than they are. Maybe he sees your natural abilities with kids and his social ineptitude keep him on the sideline?

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  6. I think the best thing to do is get involved with the dad casually. He either has social anxiety or just plain doesn't care about his kid, which is depressing (and explains the sense of him longing for affection you feel). Find something that this kid does well and say, "Wow your son is great. Where did he learn that?"

    His response to a casual comment like that should give you a better sense of where he is at. If he doesn't give it much thought, he is a douche. If he seems shy, then strike up a conversation and see where it goes.

    Just be careful; some people are crazy!!

    hip hop korean dad sounds like the bomb!

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  7. Pegz is right. When I am in large crowds and even small ones, I play with my cell phone because I'm not always the most naturally social person. Too nervous to go out of my way and approach strangers.

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  8. some good advice there in those comments. I got nothing!

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  9. I agree. You can't change him.. BUT I would still hug the little boy! Play with him, pat his head, and encourage him! Show him that real guys show their emotions and give hugs! BE A GOOD MALE ROLE MODEL!

    :) I like your descriptive wording in this post!

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  10. Thank you for the advice everyone. Seeing as how kids are easier for me than adults, I figure I'll make friends with the little boy and then eventually he'll have to talk to me and maybe something will happen from there.

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  11. Saying something to him probably wouldn't help anything. But it is sad...I have a close family member that is like that with her kids, then gets mad when they want me more than her...it's sad.

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  12. Hey man, careful with that still, don't let Boss Hog see it!

    I have to confess, I catch myself being that dude every now and then. Then I remember, oh yeah, my kids are only gonna be little like this once. And away goes the phone.

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