I loved this recent comment on a post of mine from The Swede Life about her experience at open preschool :
It was all babies and toddlers 9 to 18 months, with their DADS. The classic second leg of parent leave people, men and older babies. Imagine, a child play center daytime in the middle of the week and not another woman in sight. It was just men in notably hip looking casual clothes, really nice shirts actually, and stylish eye glass frames playing with their babies, and loading them up in back carriers and big barnvagens to take them home.
This is so true. I am actually surprised that I see so many women at our open preschool. Because the whole open preschool concept is really tailored to 9 to 24 month-old kids. Little babies don’t need to play, and every single Swedish kid goes to daycare after the age of 2.
Parents really need the open preschool with the restless young toddler. And that has become the “classic” second leg of parental leave, as she puts it (I love that Sweden already has classic forms to men on paternity leave).
I keep meaning to ask the open preschool teachers about the changes, and I will, but when I go the men don’t act any different than the women, and I get self-conscious and imagine they will just give me (a Dad, after all) a blank look.
On the style note, the Swedish guys do really turn out for open preschool. I don’t get it. I want to show up in a flannel shirt and baseball cap but find myself getting presentable just before the baby smears oatmeal all over my shirt.