Father's don't have playgroups. Playgroups are for women to get around to make quilts and scrapbooks. Playgroups are for little wee ones to prance around and do some skipping, perhaps talk about the color pink a lot. I don't know really, because I've never been to a playgroup.

I go to Mangroup. That's what stay at home dad's do. Screw playgroup, bring on Mangroup. We do things like teaching our children how to defend themselves against Pinko Communist Charlie. We talk to each other about the best sniper positions in our neighborhood to accomplish recon. We tell our children that the 72 Dolphins were the best team ever, no more discussion. It's fact, look it up.

And apparently stay at home dad's decide that it's a great idea to have a barbecue at the park in the middle of January. It would appear that Mangroup maybe a little stupid as well.

But dumb as we might be at times, we are still tough. We are not sissies. We arrived at the playground and immediately put our kids in the circle of death, also known as the sandbox, and the day was on.

Dirt was flying and the fathers were all looking proud. Because we are tough and expect our kids to be tough and...........

"Dude, what are you doing with the paper towels? I know the slide is dirty, but what's with the paper towels? You are going to clean the slide? Dude, there are stay at home mom's here. They are judging us. We're supposed to be tough. Dirt is tough, we love dirt. Look at my kid in the sandbox, she is already got a mouthful of dirt. What, it's wet too? Ok, go ahead and clean it off. That's actually a good idea. But don't let the mom's see you, we'll never hear the end of it. Do you mind if I borrow one for my dirt-eating kid? Thanks."

It may have been cold but cold means nothing to the tough and rowdy bunch of the stay at home dad Mangroup. The cold just passes over us like an early morning piss chill. We shake it off and so do our kids, because we are raising tough kids. Kids that are self sufficient. Kids that can realize it's cold and so go rake a pile of leaves to lie under to conserve body heat. We are raising Bear Grylls type of kids.

"Hoss, for being such a tough guy, your kids sure do whine a lot."

The grill came out. And no sissy propane grill. No this was a grill that required man made fire, and wood and charcoal and tons and tons of lighter fluid. Later we would teach the kids the how to spell S.O.S. in Morse code with the smoke. And then to use the rest of the fire to sharpen the end of their homemade spears. That's what we do at man group, raise children that could kick any other kids' ass in Lord of the Flies. Give me the fucking Conch!

"Here sweety, come to Daddy. Did you fall down? Does it hurt? Do you want me to kiss it? There, all better. Daddy make it all better."

And there will be no fancy food served at this grill. If we were in France, they would be drinking beer. Yup, beer with the old man, a father's dream whether they are 21 or 2. Everyone brought some food and it was the same food. Hot dogs. Made from cows, pigs, a goat or two and possibly some sort of amazon creature that is now extinct. Because we teach our kids to eat meat because meat is manly.

"Hey guys, can we have some of your carrots? All we brought was Fruit Loops and I'm feeling kinda bad because all of you are busting out the grapes, carrots and ohh are those fresh strawberries?"

And after our manly lunch we set up a competition because every child needs to compete at something at all times. A bike race, yes, that seems very American and Stay at Home Dads are the most fucking American people on the planet. We will have ribbons and we will scream at the coach of the bike race because he is under utilizing our all-star. Quit holding them back or I swear to god I will grab that hockey stick and............

"Come on son, don't you want to ride the bike instead of the little truck? Look at the bike, it's great. I tell you what, I'll see if I can go get you one of those cool pink helmets, won't that be neat? No? Ok, let's just ride the truck for a little longer."

After the bike race, the children will get together to share some camaraderie. They will slug each other in the shoulder and get into deep philosophical discussions about the use of the timeout before kicking a field goal.

"Son, let go of my pants leg. Come on man, let go of my pants leg. Go play with some of the other kids. Come on boy, do it for daddy? Screw it, give me a hug instead. Do you want a hug? A little bitsy hug. Of course you do."

Triumph, good nature laughs, little two year old bar brawls. It's all part of the Mangroup. Independent children who are tough as nails because their father's are the same.

"Ok, does everyone have their blankie, Arnie or armchair cover? We don't need any meltdowns on the ride home."

Yup, Mangroup. Were men are men and our children are our minions destined to dominate the world.

"Who's going to scrapbook this weekend?"


  1. You mock the arm chair cover but it would keep you alive in a survival situation. Bear would use it for a floatation device.

  2. Ah, but I mock us all. As tough as we think we are, yet without a doubt we are at the beck and call of our children. Also, I would prefer an armchair cover over Little Hoss constantly eating handfuls of dirt every time we go to the sandbox. Seriously.