Planning a play date with the dad instead of the mom? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD, who is in kindergarten, has made good friends with a little girl in her class and wants to set up a play date after school one day. The girl's dad is the one who picks her up every day, so we introduced ourselves and exchanged numbers.

I suggested meeting at the park, and he gave a vague answer and said something about how my DD was welcome to come play at his house too. He seems very nice, I don't get any weird vibes, but there's no way I'm sending my DD home with anyone I don't know well.

Normally I would just come along and visit with the mom while the kids played in this sort of situation, but I feel weird going over to their home when it's the dad I'd be hanging out with instead of the mom.

What would you do? How do I politely insist that we meet at the park? The girls really like each other, so I want to handle it well in case this ends up being a long-term friendship for them.

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#2 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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I don't think you need to feel weird about going to his house.  I've taken my kids to playdates with dads.  Unless your husband is unreasonably jealous or you're so attracted to this guy that you don't trust yourself to be alone with him, going to his house seems like no big deal.  I mean, your kids will be right there with you.  I wouldn't insist on the park; I would just treat the guy like any other parent and go to his house.

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#3 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 01:37 PM
 
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I'd invite them to the park or another indoor play area with a specific day and time a few times then consider playdates if they still get along. Having the first few at your house may also work and you can offer him a beverage if he wants to stay. I wouldn't expect to be invited to stay for a kindergarten playdate whether it was mom or dad at this age. After preschool it is very rare for a parent to stick around whether a mom is hosting or not. I think having to host kills the joy of having another child around for your kid to play with so I tended not to invite the parents who couldn't detach from their kids after the first couple playdates. Not allowing the other family to host also comes with a cost and I wouldn't go that route if I had it to do over again.
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#4 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 01:39 PM
 
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Could you phrase it as an invitation? "Dd is always hyper after school, so we're going to the park! Want to join us?"
Though I must say I prefer playdates with the Dads myself...
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#5 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies! Daffodil, logically I know that I should treat it no differently than if it were the mom, but for some reason it just feels odd. There are definitely no attraction or jealousy issues.

One_Girl, I agree that having to host the other parent all the time ruins the ease of a play date. But this guy and I don't know each other at all, so we're still in the timeframe where it's normal to accompany our kids and get to know each other.

Hmm. I'm definitely more comfortable having the park be our first meet-up place. Come to think of it, even with my 4th grader I can't think of a time when we've gone to someone's house (or had them to our house) without having met up a few times at a neutral place first -- that just seems to be the norm around here. There's a park right next to the school, so that just seems to be how most people do it. I think I'll just tell him we're going to the park on such-and-such day and invite them to join us.

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#6 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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Even if it was a mom I would want to meet at the park.

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#7 of 81 Old 01-13-2014, 04:29 PM
 
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I treat dads and moms the same. I'm a student SAHP so for play dates I tend to migrate to parents in similar situations - just because of time availability. I also tend to enjoy home-based playdates. I say, go, and enjoy yourself with this dad. The chances of him being pleasant to hang out with are just as likely as another mom being pleasant to hang out with, IME. 


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#8 of 81 Old 01-14-2014, 12:07 PM
 
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He's the parent, treat him like one-unless you want to be accused of being sexist. For the record, some kids prefer playdates in the home. What if the dad's child wanted to have the playdate at his/or was it her house? 'Sorry honey, your friends mom is a woman, and im a man, so we  have to go to the park'...you see how silly that is....or what if its too cold' sorry honey, im a man, your friends mom is a woman, so you cant have a playdate with your friend'

 

I mean, the playdate is for the kids, not the adults. Put them first. Thats how i see it.

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#9 of 81 Old 01-14-2014, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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contactmaya, thanks for your post. I don't disagree with you. I'm not sure if you saw my post #5, but in it I said that I've never gone directly to the home of a new friend without having a few meet-ups at a park or other neutral location first. I think that's my primary issue, rather than the fact that it's a guy. The way it's typically gone in the past is that we meet up at parks and stuff a few times, and then once us parents are comfortable with each other, we start having home-based play dates where one parent just drops off their kid and picks him/her up later. (Whether isn't usually an issue where I live -- we use parks year-round.)

Anyway, I texted him to say that my DD and I are going to the park after school tomorrow if they'd like to join us. I'm not sure if my feelings are coming from a place of sexism or just wanting to get to know the family better in a neutral place, but I gotta go with what feels most comfortable for now.
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#10 of 81 Old 01-14-2014, 03:27 PM
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Anyway, I texted him to say that my DD and I are going to the park after school tomorrow if they'd like to join us. I'm not sure if my feelings are coming from a place of sexism or just wanting to get to know the family better in a neutral place, but I gotta go with what feels most comfortable for now.

Regardless of where it is coming from, you can be straight-forward too.  Just say that in the past you have always had a couple "trial" playdates at a local park to see how the kids interact before you leave them alone at another family's home.  In our area, peole do everything you can think of. . . from sitting (uninvited through a long playdate) to driving off before even seeing the child get in the front door.  Granted, I kinda fall in the middle. . . but if I notice that a parent seems hesitant to drop off, I do a casual invite along the lines of "would you like to come in for a few minutes until they get settled" -- that way I don't end up entertaining a parent for the afternoon.  At the same time, if my dd is feeling shy/hesitant (or if it is me) and I am the person dropping my child off, I will often step in and state that I will be staying for 5-10 minutes to make sure dd gets acclimated.  I don't want to impose on the host, but I do want myself and my child to feel comfortable.  

 

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#11 of 81 Old 01-15-2014, 12:10 PM
 
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Anyway, I texted him to say that my DD and I are going to the park after school tomorrow if they'd like to join us. I'm not sure if my feelings are coming from a place of sexism or just wanting to get to know the family better in a neutral place, but I gotta go with what feels most comfortable for now.

I think that  if you did this regardless of the  parents gender, then its not sexist, just what you usually do so to speak.

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#12 of 81 Old 01-16-2014, 09:37 PM
 
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There may be a small problem here. Do you think his wife might have a problem with any of this? You don't know if she is the jealous type, or if she might not like the idea of her husband inviting a woman to their house for the play date. Out of respect for the wife, I would schedule a play date at a public place, not the house. If you knew her very well, and were sure she was ok with the situation, then that's different.

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#13 of 81 Old 01-16-2014, 10:07 PM
 
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I'm with BeckyBird. I don't think there's anything strange or sexist about not being totally sure how to handle this. There was a SAHD I met that I wanted to invite to a playground once but I honestly didn't know if it was appropriate! I just didn't know what to do.

Normally I invite folks over to the house. I like hosting, I guess!!

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#14 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 05:03 AM
 
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Maybe this has to do with how frequently we come across SAHDs...?  To me, this is just a no-brainer that you treat the dad just the way you would treat a mom.  At least to me, it would feel like a discredit to me, my marriage and my partner if another woman didn't hang out with my partner because of a presumed jealousy problem. For me the whole mom/female solidarity thing (which I value) would be expressed by assuming that this woman speaks with her partner and everyone is on the same page. 

 

And, if you have a pretty diverse group of friends, this kind of thing will continue to become an issue, no?  It has for me. My oldest is 12 and in most of her friend's families all the parents work out of the home in some capacity. Everyone divides responsibilities differently and when an event is planned and parents are involved it's not like we get to pick which parent attends and in what capacity. I've been on two overnights where it was the father attending and many, many get togethers where the father drove, stayed for drinks and we had a great time. This always makes me feel closer to the entire family. 

 

This is not to say, Lima, that it didn't take a slight adjustment for me when this first happened to us!  I still have to check myself that I'm not defaulting to the mother all the time when it comes to arranging stuff. My instinct is to go for the mom's email and I know that's a source of frustration for some families in my community. But, if we all help get out of that mindset -- I think it's better for everyone. 


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#15 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 05:07 AM
 
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I agree with Becky also. Plus I don't know if it's a man thing or what but my husband is lax on mentioning things that others would normally point out and if his wife is the jealous type that could get weird as in.... Kid: X came by with her mom today and they stayed to play all afternoon. Mom: Who was here? The mom? All afternoon? Mom to Dad: Who is that? Why didn't you tell me? Dad: I don't know.   Especially if she isn't the kind of mom to stay with her kid at someone's house it may look awfully strange to her as to why you were there and stayed. LOL yep could get weird. I'm just saying my DH forgets to mention things all the time that I think would be mention worthy. 

 

Personally I don't let my kids go to ANYone's house without me getting to know them first. Anyone. I wouldn't feel anymore comfortable leaving my kid with the mom either. As for home visits I wouldn't want to stay and visit with a dad without knowing how the mom felt about that. I'd prefer neutral playdates (that I always start with) until I was comfortable with dad/kid and then the 5-10 min settle my child in at their home and leave for the home play date once comfortable. This is for the kid as well as the parents though... I want to get to know the kid some to make sure it's a friendship I would even want to encourage also. 

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#16 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 05:41 AM
 
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To be humbly honest...  the idea that mothers won't do something with another father because they are worried about another woman being jealous makes me kind of sad.  It feels like the opposite of solidarity to me. 

 

Some of my favorite music is about the subject of jealousy...but in practice I find that adult relationships with SO much more to focus on (like little children) there just isn't time or energy.  And, besides, who am I to make (what I consider to be) a negative assumption about some other woman. Nope, not for me. 

 

In general, I think it best that we not assume other women are jealous types.

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#17 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 05:46 AM
 
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I done think the possibility of a spouse feeling jealous is a factor to consider when deciding where to have a playdate. This is probably just the independent single mom in me, but I really don't get how it possibly make sense to assume that all sahds have a psycho jealous wife and to avoid certain venuew because of this. Are we also assuming this for lesbian couples or is it just the straight guys who made a poor choice when it came to picking a spouse?
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#18 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 06:03 AM
 
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How do you know women who invite you to their houses don't have jealous, controlling husbands who don't want them to have any friends?  Out of respect for people's (possibly crazy) husbands, should you also avoid going to women's houses unless you know for sure their husbands are okay with it?

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#19 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 06:29 AM
 
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I'm guessing the last few posts were directed at me? If someone feels comfortable going to other people's houses at random that's up to them. I don't think of it in terms of losing a womanhood bond by thinking another woman may be jealous instead I view as a respect for her feelings either way but that's just me. Like I said even besides the jealousy issue though I still think neutral playdates are preferred first regardless of it you're dealing with the mother or father. I don't like my kids in anyone's house that I don't know first or around kids I don't know that much either.

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#20 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 07:47 AM
 
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To be humbly honest...  the idea that mothers won't do something with another father because they are worried about another woman being jealous makes me kind of sad.  It feels like the opposite of solidarity to me. 

 

Yeah that. 

 

Id like to think that when we arrange playdates its for our  kids, not because we are looking to get laid. Seriously. Im not rearranging my own childs  playdating life on the whims of a imagined jealous spouse.  You have to see how petty this is (not aimed at the OP but the posts that came afterwards)

 

Men are not just sex machines rearing to get laid, using their children as a means to find other women. Women are not automatically irrational jealous types who fear losing their husband whenever he has an interaction with another woman.

 

Can we assume that most people are not like this?

 

This imagined jealous spouse makes the whole thing doubly sexist.

 

Above all, put the kids first, they just want a playdate.

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#21 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 07:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crazyms View Post I don't like my kids in anyone's house that I don't know first or around kids I don't know that much either.

They know each other well enough to want a playdate. What do you want, a background check? Credit history perhaps?

 

(some people require that before they begin dating nowadays)

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#22 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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Sorry to say but all children aren't good. My kindy son has a "friend" at his school that he came home talking about in the beginning of the school year. Turns out now that child is very aggressive with the other kids and has now been known to beat up on other kids. He was in trouble yesterday at school for punching my son and this has happened with other kids. My son was hit by this boy earlier this year and was "not friends with him anymore" then turned around and was friends with him again because "he's being nice to me now mommy." I want to know that the child my kid is playing with is not going to be a danger or ill influence on them in some way. Maybe I'm wrong for that? Should I assume if someone is under the age of 10 they can't be bad in some way? Sorry but in this society that isn't always the case. I think implying I want a background check on a child is a little harsh. Maybe I didn't explain myself well enough to begin with but like I said before I was merely offering my opinion in response to the op's question. If it is different in some way to yours or someone else's that's fine and doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your opinion or mine. 

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#23 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 08:20 AM
 
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I work outside the home and my husband stays home with our two children.  I'm not jealous that other mothers see my husband when the kids play together, and I think it does women a huge disservice to immediately assume that this would the case.  Who knows why the dad suggested meeting at their house.  If it were our family, it would be because the go-to playdate park of choice has super crappy sight lines and its impossible to keep track of more than one child because the play structure is very spread out.  We have a fully contained backyard with trees, pets, and chickens, and a ton of toys/swings/bikes so it just easier to meet there. 

 

That said, I wouldn't allow my child to go alone to the house of someone I didn't know well.  They're a little young for that at this point anyway, but I'd need to be reassured that the home is safe (e.g. drugs, firearms, other family members).

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#24 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 10:42 AM
 
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I'm guessing the last few posts were directed at me? If someone feels comfortable going to other people's houses at random that's up to them. I don't think of it in terms of losing a womanhood bond by thinking another woman may be jealous instead I view as a respect for her feelings either way but that's just me. 

Mine wasn't directed at you -- but more to anyone who mentioned wife-jealousy as a reason to avoid a playdate at the home of a family where the father would be the host. Yes, sure, there are many reasons that a person may not want to attend a home playdate. If fear of the other parent being jealous is one of them...that just seems unfortunate to me. I don't know why. I think it has to do mainly with an unwelcome assumption - one that I would not want to be made about me.  

 

I wanted to point out that what feels like the safe assumption in terms of being respectful of another woman, may not actually be the case.  

 

That likely comes down to something like "do unto others". That, I think we can all probably agree on.  And, I do think we rarely go wrong with that. 

 

I have an amusing anecdote for this thread... 

 

My DC is doing a project with a friend at a farm about 40 minutes from our city this coming weekend. The friend is getting a ride from either her bisexual mom or her hetero step-father. I told them that whoever was giving the ride was (I kid you not!) welcome to stay and have a drink and a dip in the hot tub with me while the kids work. I imagine that wouldn't fly for some on this thread. :rotflmao 


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#25 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 09:17 PM
 
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All I'm saying is that you should probably check with the wife to see if she's fine with her husband spending time with another woman. How is that "unfeminist" of me? Rather, it is a bit presumptuous to assume the wife will be totally cool with the situation, isn't it?  I'm not saying all women are jealous creatures and all men are horny toads, but in some cases, women are not ok with their husbands inviting and entertaining another women. Some men are uncomfortable with their wives spending time with other men. This is a reality. Some people are different than you, and have different opinions and hangups. Since this is another couple's marriage we're talking about here, maybe it would be best to make sure everyone in that marriage is alright with the situation  (rather than just assume).

That's just my opinion.

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#26 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 09:38 PM
 
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All I'm saying is that you should probably check with the wife to see if she's fine with her husband spending time with another woman. How is that "unfeminist" of me? Rather, it is a bit presumptuous to assume the wife will be totally cool with the situation, isn't it?  I'm not saying all women are jealous creatures and all men are horny toads, but in some cases, women are not ok with their husbands inviting and entertaining another women. Some men are uncomfortable with their wives spending time with other men. This is a reality. Some people are different than you, and have different opinions and hangups. Since this is another couple's marriage we're talking about here, maybe it would be best to make sure everyone in that marriage is alright with the situation  (rather than just assume).

That's just my opinion.


Are you kidding??  Check with the wife to make sure it's okay for her husband to host a playdate where a mother accompanies the child?  That is beyond ridiculous and insulting to both the husband and the wife.

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#27 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 09:49 PM
 
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 Some people are different than you, and have different opinions and hangups. Since this is another couple's marriage we're talking about here, maybe it would be best to make sure everyone in that marriage is alright with the situation  (rather than just assume).

That's just my opinion.

 

Crayfishgirl, do you really think everyone has the same beliefs and opinions as you? People are different, you know.


 
 
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#28 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 PM
 
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I, too, am saddened that mothers on here would assume that the wives of SAHDs would expect to give "permission" for playdates.  Seriously?  My partner stays home with our kids and if another woman phoned me to ask if it would be ok to be hanging out with him while the kids played would be disturbing - not from a jealousy perspective but from a WTF perspective! 

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#29 of 81 Old 01-17-2014, 11:51 PM
 
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Identitycrisis - I understand what you were saying and no you're right that playdate wouldn't fly for me LOL. I know some don't agree with me (obviously no one but Becky I think) but it's just my opinion. It is a do unto others thing and I see it as respectful. I have a marriage and a family. I wouldn't want to do anything that would cause harm to someone else's marriage or family so I feel better about getting to know the family before making assumptions that she would be okay with. I'd feel bad if she wasn't and my assumption caused marital grief and possibly family issues for the child as well. Just my opinion.

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Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD plus and spending my days
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#30 of 81 Old 01-18-2014, 05:34 AM
 
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What occurred to me (other than the fact that there are obviously differences of opinions on what sort of assumption or lack of assumption a person should make about how another woman may feel about her partner spending hosting a playdate) is that SAHDs in all the areas where I have lived are still in the minority. So, if they're doing all the regular parenting things that other caregivers do they will often be with other women.  
 
If I can ask (because I'm kind of surprised by the difference of opinion here) to BB and Cms, are you friends with any SAHDs?  See, I think the assumption that the female partner is "ok" with this is built into the childcare arrangement. 
 
Another reason I ask is because I think that being a SAHD is pretty tough. A lot of what they do with their kids is still dominated by women. I'm sure it's REALLY hard to break into that. To strike up a conversation, to get into the group, to plan a play date. It's hard for women to meet other moms!  We have countless threads about that. SHADs and WOHMs don't need us worrying about some imagined jealousy issue. Most likely they just want their kids to have a nice group of friends and parents who like to hang out with each other. Just like the rest of us. 
 
Believe me I KNOW darned well that people have different beliefs than me. Oh, my gosh!!  And I think a pretty good case can be made for the fact that we make assumptions about what people may or may not be ok with all day.  It just seems infinitely less complicated to me to just leave the decision about this up to the two people in the marriage. 

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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