Thursday, May 29, 2008

(Growing) Strength in (Increasing) Numbers

It's getting a tad more crowded around last bell — although far from overpopulated — school days at the edge of the playground. That's where the dads stand waiting for their kid(s), usually one, occasionally two, sometimes three ... and almost never together. While the ladies chat away about who knows what, the men stand mute, reading, staring at cell phones, nodding their heads in greeting. (Or at least that's what I did while waiting for the release from school of Things 1 and 2).

Oh, a mom will occasionaly drop a comment on her way to networking with the other estrogenies, but only sometimes is it encouraging. As Kevin Mitchell, author of St. Louis Dad: A Manual for New and Expecting Dads noted in an interview:

Moms were suspect of a dad at a playground at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday. I was almost always the only man at library story times. At the grocery store, I got, “Oh, you’re babysitting today, huh?” Babysitting?!? It’s my baby.
But reinforcements are arriving for dads. The calvary is being called and blowing the horn (or perhaps serving as an echo chamber) are the dads' groups. A recent piece about Chicago's "Modern-day Mr. Moms" (how much longer does the world have to put up that the icky MM abused cliche) noted amid statistics and stories of the growth of SAHDs and other father-centric caregiving that the Chicago group underwent a leveraged buyout — web page speaking — and now have their news found with notice of dads groups from around the US at, "a resource and community for stay-at-home dads, fathers who are primary caregiver in their family, and other involved dads."

** The promised land of playground parity for pops lies far in our future and Moses is still in the bullrushes. **

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