To observe one or two dads strutting around with their kids in strollers during a weekday usually goes unnoticed…but, once it’s three or more, it solicits comments, questions, and stares. Enjoy this amusing guest blog post by NYC Dads Group member, Jacob Drill, describing a recent “mom-encounter” in New York City as he was traveling in a dad-pack – L.S.
In my previous post I wrote about how I began my quest to fulfill my New Years Resolution – to meet more stay-at-home & other active/engaged dads by attending the New York City Dads Meet-up Group event “Family Fun for Everyone” with Max , my 21 month old son, at the New York Kids Club in Battery Park. I had such a good time that two weeks later Max and I attended another “Family Fun for Everyone” event, this time at the New York Kids Club, East 67thStreet location. It was another great event, but my focus for this post is not on what transpired during the actual event itself, but what happened when Max and I left the space with the other dads and kids to return home.
As we were getting ready to leave New York Kids Club, there were a bunch of moms with their toddlers waiting in the lobby to enter the space. Two moms in particular stared with puzzled looks on their faces at the scene of all these dads bundling their babies up to face the very cold winter day. I was happy to volunteer and tell them what they were observing. One of them showed relief at understanding why there are so many dads there, as if there had to be an explanation, and the other one wondered aloud why their own husbands weren’t doing this.
As I headed downtown with two other dads, Marion and Charles, more women visibly reacted to the site of multiple dads strolling their babies down the sidewalk. I have to say that it made me feel pretty “bad-ass!” Even though it was just a pack of three of us, I felt a strong feeling of solidarity with all of the stay-at-home dads out there undoubtedly encountering the same thing. When the three of us got to the enormous elevator that was to take us down to the subway platform on Lexington Street, about 10 women had to make room for us to fit in. One woman remarked: “It is not every day you see three guys with their babies!” The women were giggly about it and asked about our wives. I chose not to answer that question in a serious manner since two out of the three of us actually have husbands, and who knows how long we could have been stuck in the elevator with questions from these curious women once that fact got out! We ended up getting off at the wrong platform, so we had to get back on the elevator again to correct course. There was no celebrity treatment from this next round of fellow passengers, but you could tell that they too were trying to figure out the deal — they were just more discreet about it.
A few days later, when Marion (another member of the NYC Dads Group) and I were reflecting on the experience, Marion equated it to the rare hawk sighting we recently witnessed in Madison Square Park, where everybody was standing around the tree gawkingand taking pictures. It is hard for me to see it, being so close and familiar to the situation, but apparently to some New Yorkers the sight of us stay-at-home dads out and about is like having a chance encounter with some exotic species. Hopefully though, we are not one of the endangered kind. Thankfully, the NYC Dads Meet-up Group is helping ensure that doesn’t happen!
Jacob Drill, is an at-home dad, with a 21 month old son, Max. You can read about more about some of his adventures at Gaddy Daddy, confessions of a stay-at home gay daddy.