A Park and Some Dads

The Next Family

By Evie Peck

dump truck

It was an overcast morning.

“Wanna go to the park?” I asked, when I saw that my 19-month-old son Spenser had pulled everything out of his kitchen cabinet (all the stuff that is child safe like my Gladware, boxes of jello, bags of pasta etc.).

“Yeah!” he said, but he would have said that if I had asked him if he wanted to go to the doctor for a shot. He’s just enthusiastic.

So we went. We went to the nicest park near me, which is in a super rich neighborhood. This park is just a little cleaner and it’s smallish and I just convince myself it’s great because it’s surrounded by mansions.

There was no one there.

About five or six utilities trucks and one Prius stopped at the park and different men over the age of 50 tried to use the men’s bathroom, but it was locked. Creepy or smart? A little of both, I think.

Spenser and I played. We went down the slide together and I got soaking wet (from the drizzle and dew).

Then a dad and kid came along. “We love this weather,” the dad said to me. He had a British accent.

“I like it too,” I told him.

British dad’s child was 2 and so S played with her and British dad and I chatted. He seemed like a nice dad. Then he asked, “Are you going to have another child?”

OK, um, so personal!! But thank you for thinking I’m young enough to have that option (who knows, maybe I could).

“Maybe,” I said. I wasn’t going to tell him I was a single mom or anything.

Well, British dad wanted to really get into it with me. “My wife wants to, but I don’t.”

Wow. That was super personal!

“It’s hard to believe you could love another child as much as this one.” I put words in his mouth, so he wouldn’t horrify me.

“Yeah,” he said. “Right.”

“Well, everyone I know with two children says they felt that way, but they love the second as much.”

British dad nodded.

I think it would be really hard to be married to someone and have such a huge disagreement where one person might be really unhappy with the outcome. I mean, that’s part of marriage, I know, I’m just saying, marriage seems so difficult; like how are you expected to live your whole life with someone and compromise all the time??? I can’t help but think about how if I wanted another baby, I could just have one (or try to). There’s a lot of freedom in being a mom solo.

Another dad and child came along. This dad was pretty handsome -tall, rugged, athletic, lots of nice hair… his child had brought a bunch of trucks that Spenser wanted to put sand on and push around.

“Share, Patrick,” Handsome dad said to his son.

Patrick reluctantly let Spenser push around one of his toy trucks.

“You have the dumpy,” Handsome dad said to Patrick, pointing to a toy dump truck.

Dumpy? Eww.

“Thanks, for sharing the truck, Patrick,” I called as I saw S was not going to give it back anytime soon.

“Sure,” Handsome dad said, “Patrick’s fine. He has two dumpys.” He pointed to another dump truck toy.

Ewwwww. You are calling it a dumpy, to me?

“Patrick, get the dumpy!” Handsome dad called.

Patrick pointed to Spenser, pushing his truck. His non dumpy truck, I guess.

“Patrick, there’s a dumpy here and a dumpy there. You’ve got two dumpys! Go get a dumpy.”

He must have said, “play with your dumpy,” 25 times!!!

Handsome dad was looking so much less handsome. What if I were married to a guy who kept saying dumpy and probably called other things gross names too like during sex and stuff like “nippies,” or “yum yums” … I don’t know. I guess you can say, to your husband, stop saying that word, but once the damage is done…

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