The school year is in full swing and you’re likely to bump into a few dads at drop off and pick up. If you’re not sure who’s who, this tongue-in-cheek guide to school-gate dads might help:
Somehow he remembers everybody’s name and always seems to be surrounded by laughing mums. He’s also volunteered to help the kids with their reading. The teacher loves him; the other dads hate him.
Occasionally he’ll have had a shower and may even wear trousers that require a belt. Obviously he’ll slip into something with a drawstring when he gets home. He will tell you he has a very busy day ahead, but not so busy he can’t stop for a coffee and an almond croissant on the way home, and fit in an episode of The Walking Dead before he sits down at his desk/in bed. Console yourself with the fact his afternoon nap has been cruelly curtailed by the 3.15pm school pick up.
Dad who doesn’t do this much dad
He’s the one who has a look of panic on his face when you talk to his child because he has no idea who you are, even though, he’ll note, your kids appear to be best friends. His child will lead him around the classroom pointing out where everything goes which is when he’ll realise he’s left the book bag in the car and was supposed to bring a water bottle. In his day he shared an underpowered water fountain with 100 other children, which didn’t do him any harm. Although he does remember being very thirsty at school.
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Tough Mudder dad
Designed to make all the other fathers feel inferior, Tough Mudder dad walks to school with his children even when there is a Met Office weather warning in force. He never seems tired despite the fact he gets up at 5.30am everyday to make superfood smoothies and drill his kids on their spellings.
As you step into your car for the one minute journey down the road to work – stopping on the way to pick up a Kit Kat from the petrol station – he’s setting off on a 10-mile cross -country run to his office.
It might be a dark winter’s morning but silent dad is still wearing sun glasses – he knows limiting eye contact is the key to avoiding unwanted conversation or, worse, being roped into dressing up as Santa Claus at the Christmas fair by a member of the PTA. You know where you stand with silent dad. He’s not there for the chat and he won’t be joining the Thursday evening reception dads’ five-a-side team.
Silent dad gets in and gets out with the minimum of fuss and the least human interaction he can get away with.
Stay at home dad
He arrives with a baby strapped to his front, armed with the knowledge this could be his only opportunity to have meaningful adult conversation all day. That’s why he’s still talking to you as you put your keys in the ignition, wind up your window and accelerate away. If you’re in a rush, he’s dangerous.
Fun phonics dad
“Hey look, there are your friends! How do we spell ‘fr…ien …ds’? Let’s sound it out together!” Fun phonics dad’s kids don’t have as much fun on the school run as he does.
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