Hey kids! My name is Ginny. My children and I have seen you at this playground a couple of times. During the day, you’re with your nannies (They don’t speak a whole lot of English. It doesn’t seem to matter. A couple of rolls of the eyes, shrugs, and shakes of the head are all we seem to need.) In the early evening, we see you here with your dads. You’re young. You’re finding your way in the world. (You’re also finding your own genitals. These are exciting times for you, aren’t they?) The thing is, I like you. And I think there’s some things you aren’t gonna learn any other way. So I’m just gonna lay it out for you:
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DAD’S A DOUCHEBAG
1. He checks his Blackberry. A lot. And he can’t just glance at it while playing with you. He needs to stop what he’s doing, announce that “Daddy has to check his email” in a firm (and strangely loud) voice. He also needs the other dads to see him do this. How else will they know how gosh darned important he is? That he’s sacrificing to spend this time with you? Sadly, this rarely ever works. The other d-bag dads are doing the same thing, and won’t notice.
2. He tucks his shirt into his pants. There is no excuse for this. (Actually, there is. If he’s over 50, and you’re part of his “2nd Family”, then I can understand. He’s too busy paying child support and hoping the Viagra kicks in to keep up with how the “kids” are dressing these days.)
3. He’s overheard telling the other dads that he thinks it’s important to give your mom “this break” at the end of the day. You know, so she can clean up after supper, get the dishes done, do some laundry, tidy the house, balance the checkbook and mow the lawn. In peace.
4. He insists on using the playground equipment to do chin ups, thereby illustrating that he does, indeed, still “have it”.
5. While fulfilling his “hide” requirement in your game of hide and seek, he ignores the panic in your voice as you start to get really, really scared that he actually left the park without you. He lets you work yourself into a right frenzy before finally coming out from behind a tree. “Gotta toughen ’em up sometime!” he is heard to justify remark.
6. He uses one of these:
P.S. You might not get this now, but I’ll tell you this, for what it’s worth: It is entirely possible to be a great dad AND a douchebag. The fact that your dad is at the park with you leads me to believe he is, indeed, a good dad. What scares me is the way you adoringly look at him, and think he’s the coolest thing, evah. He’s not. And I’m just trying to break the cycle. (Maybe you have a cool uncle to use as a role model? Look into it.) Good luck, and godspeed.