Week 2 of APL started today and as Junior hasn’t left home in protest yet, we went along to the local Dads playgroup – the brilliant Dads and Littluns which has a group in Wimbledon Park.
I guess I was a little unsure what to expect – my fears were either that this would be some seriously Organised Fun, or it would just be me and the priest of the church in whose hall the meeting was held. Fortunately it was exactly what I hoped a Dads playgroup would be – a room full of toys, and some welcoming fellow full-time Dads. Josh and Andrew seem to be the leaders of the group, and were very pleased to see Junior and I – both either had a child there, or had before they went to school, and quickly made us feel at home.
For Junior there were a lot (I mean a lot) of toys, of all shapes and sizes, which kept him amused until he got “New Toy Overload Syndrome”, a self-explanatory condition that last affected him on Xmas Day… For me there was the chance to meet some guys in the same situation as me (as well as one lady who is obviously a regular) with no-one thinking it’s in any way an unusual situation. As I said in my reasons for taking Additinonal Parental Leave, society as a whole hasn’t quite got its head round stay-at-home Dads yet, but it should.
The group meets twice a week, 10-12 Monday and Friday – Josh said they keep going through the holidays as well, which is good, and also means they often see their alumni. Those attending were drawn quite widely across SW London, indicating how rare this type of group is if nothing else. There were other dads in exactly the same boat as me, being a week further in to APL than me. I will definitely be going back next week, as it was just, well, nice!
Special shout must go out to the little lad who is expecting a little sibling to arrive later in the year, who took a real shine to Junior, and gave him some very sweet hugs and kisses, as he wants to practice playing nicely with little babies. Awwww!
To balance out this rather blokey beginning to the week, I’m going to try some Mother and Baby Yoga tomorrow. Assuming Junior/they’ll let me!