new-kids-at-playgroundIt was splendid weather in Philly and the burbs this weekend. Mother and W spent all of Saturday tending to our side yard and Sunday I took W to the playground near his school.

Weekends at this playground are interesting. We are at this playground, pretty much, every single school day. We know it very well, we know the kids and parents that come, and there is an ease to it.

Weekends are a totally different bag. Sunday, in particular are fun to study.

Sundays the playground is a fascinating study of sociology.

Carpool Mothers

You can spot this Mother by her repeat counting of heads. Often she will be in mid thought/conversation when she suddenly cranes her neck up and mouths, “one, two, three…” followed by a, “hey! Have you seen _____?” She is harried keeping up with multiple jackets that have been flung into various corners of the playground. She might ask you upwards of five times if you are a room mother in her chid’s school.


Parental modules of the masculine form rule the playground on Sundays. They flaunt their athletic interest/ abilities and often have an agenda that they try to impose. “Listen, I brought this basketball so that we can practice.” Dads typically gravitate towards each other and do a version of chit-chat. Some Dads become showstoppers and initiate bold games of chase. Other Dads make the choice to shadow their child’s every move up and down each slide and across every bar of the monkey persuasion.

New boyfriends/girlfriends

Spring is in the air and Sunday afternoons at the playground are now the perfect place to introduce your kids to your new flame. In daylight! Around other kids! Some parents with “special friends” stay on the outskirts of the playground, arms deep into each other’s back pant’s pockets. Other “special friends” leap into play in an attempt to show just how easy it is.

Visiting Family

A spillover from Saturday, visiting families on Sunday can be tired but enthusiastic. Often visiting family can be overheard exclaiming skill sets in awe. “Look at how my nephew totally OWNS that slide!”


This group usually spends Sundays at the playground frowning at the visiting relatives sitting on THEIR BENCH. Regulars also do a bit more child shadowing to make sure that their child is jiving with 50+ new kids. If you need to know where the trash cans are you can count on a regular to let you know. Regulars will also let you know that smoking in the playground isn’t cool.

What kinds of people are at your neighborhood playground on the weekend?

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