I went to Del Taco last night, which is really amazing because they just opened one right down the street from us so I don't have to get on the freeway and drive 2 exits anymore. Big Event in my life. I am a HUGE fan of play places ;)
Anyways, I was there with another mom and we were chatting, reprimanding our children, and praying for them to eat the food we spent money on. All of a sudden a father opens the door of the play place, slides in his 18 month old daughter, closes the door, and gets in line to get food. The little girl just stood there. I looked at the other mom and we just started chatting about the differences between mom's and dads during play places. As a mom, I walk them into the play place, make sure they put their shoes in the designated slot, sit down, and stare at them until the get bored. Dad's drop off, hope for the best, and mostly just annoy the other mothers around them because now they feel responsible for another kid.
This mom was telling me about a time that she was at this particular play place and the father sat outside the play area reading a book while his 3 kids ran around the entire restaurant and play place(mothers were very appalled by the behaviour, of course ;) Then I told a story about how we were at the McDonald's play place a couple of weeks ago and this 2 year was running around the parking lot. Finally, a mother grabbed his hand and walked into the play place and yelled "Who does this kid belong to". A father looked up from his newspaper and went and got his kid. It was like HELLO YOUR KID WAS RUNNING OUTSIDE BY HIMSELF, but the kid was happy, the dad was happy, and all the mom's in the room had suffered a severe heartattack, hugging their children ;) I understand that dads and mom's are suppose to relate to their children in different ways, but really, let's not lose the child. lol.
It is just amazing how different moms and dads are at these play places. AND even more amazing is how these kids survive play places with their dads . And then I would like to throw out the question, as mothers why does it bother us that they aren't as high drama at McDonalds. Are we just really jealous that we can't sit and read a book and relax? I will never know or maybe I will just never admit to that!
* I do have to add though, that my husband is totally anal about play places and really put me to shame at watching them. I am really more free spirited then him, but I also am the oldest of 10. So I guess it is not all dads.