I’m an involved dad. I don’t babysit my kids. They’re my kids. When they’re with me, they’re with their parent so it’s not babysitting. It’s that mentality that is ever present whenever I leave the house with any one or both of my girls. I will admit though, I am hypersensitive to when people apparently treat me differently when I am the parent present. Sometimes I think people are trying to figure out whether I’m the manny or if that’s actually my kid (gasp! A black father taking his kid out and having a good time! Alert the propaganda machine!). Anyway, there is situation where I am not imagining things: getting invited to play dates.
Frequently, my mother, mother-in-law or my wife take Lady C to the park, museum, playground, or somewhere with other children. It is guaranteed that they will be approached by one of the parents of the children that Lady C is playing with to have a follow-up play date. We have had many conversations about the reason that she was in such high “demand” for play dates but that’s a blog for another time. Whatever the reason, Lady C had a very busy social calendar thanks to the playground connections.
It is a different experience when Daddy takes Lady C to the playground!! Well, not on her part. Definitely on mine though. Lady C interacts with as many kids when she is with me as she does when she was with the women but I never receive an invitation to have a subsequent rendezvous. Frankly, no-one even speaks to me on the playground! And it happens everywhere I take the kid.
I’ve wondered if the man in the playground is creepy? Were the women with children afraid to invite Lady C lest they invite a strange man into their home or give their number to one? I never get an invitation from strangers and even got shaded by one of the parents in a program that Lady C was in. She knew me as the person who dropped Lady C off all the time and wanted her to have a play date with her child. She mentioned it and then asked WHO she should talk to to set that up. ME, I replied!! ME!