Monday, May 19, 2008

Park Dads

Now that the weather is warmer, we're spending many of our days and evenings at the park. The boys love to play and swing and throw pieces of mulch into the drains, and Lincoln is content to be pushed around in his stroller or sit under the gazebo with me. loving my content third child.

Because I'm with Lincoln and he's not old enough to throw mulch into the drains play yet, Jason runs around with the boys and I get to people watch. One of my favorite activities.

I've taken particular interest in one group lately...

Park Dads.

They are one fascinating bunch, and I'm here to break 'em down for you.

Blackberry Dad: His hands are tied up 'cause he's busy checking his email and fantasy baseball scores online. (yes, they have fantasy baseball, too. Ugh!) His online life is so important that he needs to check his email, oh...every thirty seconds, and watching little Susie as she manages to climb up the rock wall for the very first time isn't nearly as important as his portfolio value. Blackberry Dad is LAME-O!

Real Estate Dad: His hands are tied up, too. One is holding his cell phone and the other one is flailing all over the place as he conducts business while paying no attention to Johnny who's blocking all the other kids from going down the slide. He's loud, and doesn't seem to care that "that kind" of language isn't really appropriate for a playground full of tots. I give Real Estate Dad the stare down if he comes over to the gazebo.

New Dad: I love New Dad. His little buddy just turned one and can finally walk. New Dad has been waiting to bring him to the park all spring, and has no concept that Billy is too small to climb up the ladder. Or monkey bars. Or rock wall. New Dad takes Billy from activity to activity until he finally realizes that Billy can swing for about 3 minutes until he's tuckered out, and that his dreams of hanging from the monkey bars with his boy will have to wait until next year. I always tell New Dad how cute his little guy or gal is.

Camera Dad: He was "New Dad" last year, and little Molly is finally old enough to enjoy all of the activities on the playground. And, he's gonna capture them. With his new mega expensive and confusing camera that he swears he doesn't need the manual for. He shakes his head periodically because as soon as he's about to capture the perfect shot, Molly falls down and starts crying, or runs away, or more likely, starts picking her nose. Camera Dad usually puts the camera away after a few minutes and just enjoys watching Molly play. Silent high five to Camera Dad.

All-Around Cool Dad: The quintessential playground Dad. He climbs on the monkey bars, slides down the slide, and gets chased all around the playground. He pushes the swing with both hands, and only checks his cell phone for the time to make sure he's not late for dinner. He teaches and inspires and says "You can do it" over and over. He comes to the park to just be with his kids. I happen to know an All-Around Cool Dad; I'm married to him.

And, lest you think I'm some kind of one-woman playground police force, I'm not.

I'm just nosey perceptive.


  1. That's a definitive list of park Dad's. I think you have them all covered. I like cool dad's too. I grew up with one and married one! My Dad graduated from cool dad to cool Grandpa!

  2. LOL! Love the last line. (Still laughing). So, Dave totally falls in the same category as Jay (of course). Is there such a thing as Camera Mom. 'Cuz, yeah, that would be me.

  3. what a great breakdown! i have so much to learn. i love the mulch-in-the-drains idea. makes me laugh...

  4. Okay--- This totally needs to be published. This is hilarious and very perceptive. I LOVE it, Sar.

  5. I love, Love, LOVE this post!!! It is humorous and insightful all in one little package! Isn't it great to be married to the all-around cool dads? I confess, I frequently use the playground as social time. I play with Adeline, but I love to chat with the other moms. Patrick could care less about the other adults there. He is ALL about our baby girl!

    I'm watching her play right now, and she really is too cute for this humble mom's opinion.

  6. I'm afraid I'm Blackberry Mom. That's why Just "All-Around Cool" Dad takes Just Son to the park. I can't seem to get away from Chat.

  7. I love park time! How funny that you've observed these different traits. Sounds like you have an awesome husband like mine!

  8. yay for people watching. or in this case, daddy watching.

    i like your breakdown. wait until your boys are doing organizized sports. the breakdown then will be even more interesting.

  9. In defense of Blackberry Dad and Real Estate Dad -- at least they are at the park with their kids.

    I know it isn't ideal!

  10. I truly love this...and that picture of Lincoln right next to this comment box with that pacifier. Good stuff.

    Okay, you forgot...Dad who would rather play computer games at home than take his girls to the park. I'm not bitter.

  11. hey Sar, we're lovin the park lately too; I love to go to the park right before bedtime; so nice to come home really tired. We were just there w/our cool dad yesterday. it is cute watching the dads. I like the overprotective ones that are scared their little people are going to kill themselves; I think sometimes they are going to have a heart attack right then and there.

  12. Oh geez, we are so new mom and new dad. Next year we will be camera mom and camera dad!! But I know Michael is destined to be an all-around cool playground dad... =)

  13. I can't wait until the time my husband can be a "cool dad". Until that time, he'll just continue being the "cool uncle".
    Great blog!

  14. Is there a category for moms who don't enjoy the park? LOL - I just like our swingset outside...and the sand at the playground gives me the heebie jeebies!


  15. Just wait until your awesome playground dad turns into an awesome coach. Mine did and I just love watching him teach our children.

    This was very funny and insightful. Almost, too real. I was lazy-stay-in-the-car while the kids played on the playground mom today. I definitely didn't score any good mom points today.

  16. So true, so true!

    Ps. Happy 1st B-day Short Stop!

  17. So glad to say we had the all around cool dad, too! They are the best!

  18. This was a great post! Accurate and entertaining!
    I'm with Momma Roar, my back yard is my preference. Seems everytime we go to the park, someone is sick the next day. I don't do the play things at the mall either, I look at them as one big germ fest!
    And I'm happy to say, I married a cool dad too=)

  19. that is so funny. I will have to say that Brian is definitely the "all around cool dad"....oh yes, he is right there with the kiddos...playing tag and sliding on slides. I have always loved that about him!