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Wildlife sighting: Pack of dads

Welcome to our park. Please be aware that rare wildlife has been sighted in the area today. Use caution as animals may defend territory and need plenty of space to care for their young. 

Time: 10:30am (approx.)
Location: Playground equipment, benches, open fields.
Species: 10-12 adult males with offspring

It's unusual to see this sub-group a dozen at a time caring for their children as a pack. Adult males are identifiable by the presence of a diaper bag on shoulder, flip flops, t-shirt or golf shirt. Young are much smaller and frequently seen carrying peanut butter sandwich or juice cup. Rangers ask that you do not feed the wildlife as some are on special diets. Ask before taking photos. 

There was a group of us at playgroup in the north suburbs yesterday and my son was in rare form. I had a super proud moment where an older kid fell off his bike while Cole was watching and Cole came to get an adult for help. Well done. Mostly he ran around with a group of boys who had a noise gun. My daughter was busy sitting under the playground equipment with a group of 6 girls and a box of chalk. But my son also has the habit of occasionally having a casual chat with strangers. 

So, when he'd been especially chatty with a group of women on one bench, I felt the need to go apologize for his bothering them. It was fine and the conversation with them quickly turned to...all the dudes. It wasn't "accusing" in tone or anything. Just curious. Very confused. Bewildered. You could have set down a family of penguins. Or a sculpture made out of cereal boxes. She'd have probably had the same reaction. It was a "what's the deal? Explain." 

I said we're all dads...most of us Stay At Home Dads...we like to get together and have our kids play together and talk. She innocently asked, "do you all know each other...like old friends?" 

"No, no, nothing like that," I tell her. We met online via social media and do playdates and evening dad hangouts and stuff. That had to marinate on her for a beat. Then she said, "good for you." 

Mind blown.

Later on, I made the mistake of answering a little girl who wanted to know if she was allowed on some equipment with, "if it's ok with your daddy."

"I don't have a daddy, just a mommy." My bad. The odds of the parent you needed to check with on this day just happened to tilt male and I guessed wrong.

She came back..."my mom says it's ok." Carry on. 

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