9 Kinds of Dads at the Pool

I really enjoyed the Scary Mommy post “Types of Moms you Meet at the Pool” and I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t very much diversity in the Dad ecosystem at my favorite aquatic habitat. So I donned my trusty fedora and set off to do a little field research, and now I can safely say I’m wrong. I present the results of my findings, complete with fake Latin names because I watched a lot of Wile E. Coyote cartoons as a kid.


1) Just-came-from-work Dad

Paternis inasuiticus

This Dad is typically a nocturnal species, emerging as the sun starts to set. He appears, usually at swim practice, in full office garb, instead of going home to change first like a sensible person. This appears to be a remnant of behavior from pre-Dad days, as it advertises his fitness to reproduce by showing that he has a Real Job. If the mate is already present, it is definitely a show-off move designed to allow his mate to demonstrate her success at garnering a suitable breeding partner.

2) Yelling Dad

Paternis bellowsalota

This species’s primary habitat is on the shores of chlorinated bodies of water. This species is notable for a wide range of calls it performs at maximum volume. No one is sure why the Yelling Dad does this, but some researchers theorize he is attempting to use the air from his lungs to propel his offspring across the water. Yelling Dads are usually wearing athletic clothing from some other sport, frequently football, which leads other researchers to believe that perhaps this is not a distinct species at all and just some dudes who are lost on the way to a sports bar.

3) Statistician Dad

Paternis pencilpocketus

The “Stat Dad” is frequently found perched somewhere above chlorinated bodies of water, quietly but intently observing every activity in the pool. This dad is most known for his detailed, multi-tabbed, color-coded spreadsheet showing his offspring’s relative rankings at the club, state, district, and national levels. Statistician dads favor baseball caps and actually care about baseball. Do not make the mistake of assuming that their lack of volume does not equal ferocity: many a rival has woken in the hospital recovering from mechanical pencil stab wounds and a clipboard-induced concussion.

4) Fun Dad

Paternis throwthekidicus

Paternis throwthekidicus is the only observed aquatic species of Pool Dads. Fun Dads seem to prefer repeatedly ejecting their offspring from the water in what appears to be an attempt to get their offspring to swim away and start their own family. This never seems to work, however, as the offspring continue to return, only to be thrown again and again. Paternis throwthekdicus is easily identified by the outrageously bad pair of swimming trunks that were obviously purchased by his mate in an attempt to disguise his suitability for breeding and ward off competition. Sometimes Fun Dads can be found in the more shallow bodies of chlorinated water, in which case they can be identified by nearby pink or blue-colored offspring and/or an abundance of pool toys and flotation devices.

5) Granddad Dad

Paternis granpaternis

Grandad Dad is a close relative of Fun Dad and engages in similar behaviors, just a little more slowly and with more attendant grunts of effort. Paternis granpaternis frequently displays black markings on the feet up to knee height, and may also have a large floppy hat. Late in the day, although sometimes as early as lunch time, some are observed to turn bright red in coloring, because back in his day he didn’t wear sunscreen and he turned out just fine, no matter what your grandmother might say.

6) Office Dad

Paternis gottaworkus

Office Dad appears to be a relative of Paternis inasuitacus, and some researchers believe they might be the same. Office Dads are normally only found at indoor pools on the weekends, usually with the laptop, inkjet printer, folding desk, wheelie chair, and Nespresso machine. They can also be identified by their detachment from their surroundings, conversations with imaginary friends, and shortened life expectancy. Researchers theorize this may be an evolutionary  “dead end”.

7) Slacker Dad

Paternis notthatmucha

Paternis notthatmucha’s habitat is any shady spot near the pool which enhances the visibility of his smartphone. Noted for their drab plumage such as flip flops, shorts, and a faded Dead Milkmen t-shirt. Slacker Dads are notable for the lack of accessories associated with their (probably) nearby offspring, including pool toys, sunscreen, towels, and frequently bathing suits.

8) Hercules Dad

Paternis toofiticus

Paternis toofiticus is notable for being the most muscular of the Paternis family. Attire is usually a pair of Oakley sunglasses that are welded to his cranium. Females are advised to maintain at least a 10 foot separation as spontaneous, airborne pregnancies have been documented arising from close contact with Hercules Dad. Also avoid eye contact as that may cause leg weakening and uncontrollable lip-wetting. Researchers are unable to determine how this species can maintain a state of physical near perfection and be good with his kids because he’s obviously a giant d-bag I mean just look at him.

9) Mom Dad

Paternis nurtura

Paternis nurtura is a recent discovery but researchers are startled to find these members of the Paternis family in ever-greater numbers. Unlike every other member of the genus, the Paternis nurtura bears the primary responsibility for raising the offspring. This mystifying behavior has led some to believe that this species is actually not actually of genus Paternis at all, because everyone knows boys can’t be be loving, nurturing, or responsible. Mom Dads are identified by their multitude of pouches which contain an assortment of wipes, snacks, drinks, toys, and burbons.

Further research is recommended until Labor Day, ideally with a cooler containing beverages of an uncertain nature. If you spot any new species, let me know!



89 thoughts on “9 Kinds of Dads at the Pool

    1. Prime Directive: do not interfere with the native cultures. 😉

      I may have, at various points, shown up at the pool in a suit, or in flip-flops. I may have also attempted to throw my kids to freedom, or I might have taken a nap. As far as I know, I have never impregnated anyone just by getting within 10 feet of them. I may or may not have a Scottevest travel jacket with 27 pockets, including both a “Sippy Cup” pocket and a “Daddy Juice Cup” pocket.

      Liked by 9 people

  1. Is there an iPhone dad type? One who surfs the net and watches old swim videos on YouTube of their kids swimming while their kids are actually swimming?

    How about a documentation dad that records everything, but isn’t actually paying attention to what he records? I.e. he’s more into the actual of act of recording itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dads who are routinely seen splashing about the pool with their off-springs but with eyes busy profiling the statistics of the delicately nurtured moms around in the pool would fall in which category? Perhaps in one called ‘paternus oglosus’?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like “Catch 22” classic or like “awkward 90s fashion mistakes” classic?

      Thanks for reading!


  3. Henry read once of a tenth breed of dad; the Paternis Pervertis. Known for their sporting of black out sunglasses that they use to intensly watch the female species. They have been known to linger behind the rest of the family and watch other people’s mating partners from afar. Most recent scientific research has revealed that with this particular strain of Paternis, the Pervertis may very well share a connection to the feral species. Best to mantain a safe distance.


    1. “Cross-breeding dads” sounds like it would require a LOT of beer, and possibly Science, to be successful.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The “Latin” in this post brings back fond memories of my own dad trying to pronounce the various species names in a book we had about penguins – and butchering them horribly! I’m not sure where he fits in this spectrum because we only ever swam in my Mom’s hometown, and Dad was seldom present. “Paternis Nothereacus” seems too harsh considering he was (is) such a great dad outside of the pool. How about “Paternis Thereinspiritus”?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are pretty accurate descriptions of the types of dads that you see at public pools. I’ve personally seen more “mom dads” than anything else. They’re usually the ones that are forced to carry the pool bag with all the towels and hold the hands of his offspring while the mom is either too busy trying to find enough open chairs or is either isn’t present at all.


  6. Cute read, thank you for posting! Especially noted the “slacker Dad” showing off his smart-phone, from which he has difficulty averting his eyes, causing his offspring to repeatedly bellow, “Look at me Dad, look at me!”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha my dad was the paternis throwthekidicus, he loved throwing me in the water, but embarrassingly was given Speedos by his mate, to show off her choice of partner. Eek. I was very you g so luckily wasn’t too scarred and loved being thrown and backflipped into the pool. Thanks for the giggles and excellent Latin interpretations

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This made me laugh out loud! Peternis throwthekidicus. How in the world did you come up with these? Brilliant, just brilliant.


  9. A good article makes you laugh, a great article makes you laugh and comes to mind whenever you are in a situation…This is a great piece, from now on, I will be mentally scrolling through this list of Dads in my mind when I go to the pool, about 500 steps away from where I live..Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is very funny! thank you for sharing… I went ahead and emailed this straight to my dad! haha 🙂


  11. Tireponyman thinks you really nailed it good and with good humor. The office dad rings a bell. Good that you didn’t observe any hero dads.


    1. Hero dads are usually observed from a perspective of about 3 feet off the ground but tend to disappear by 5 feet in altitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love it and look forward to continued documentation of the multiple habits and rituals of the paternus species. Perhaps in time we will also research the maternus species in as much depth.


    1. Researchers have attempted to understand the Maternis species for a very long time with very little to show for it. So far the entire body of research can be summed up by “Likes chocolate. Usually.”


  13. I’d add LAD-DAD…the middle-aged dad who thinks he still has his early 20s cool (or at least yearns to)…may bring a guitar to the pool with him, will definitely be wearing designer sunglasses, combat shorts and a retro band t-shirt…may try to engage in conversation about Starwars…and while splashing with his children, will secretly be aching for those long-gone hedonistic poolside days during his travels round Thailand…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Step away for a few weeks and look who gets FP’d? This was a great piece, I’m reminded coming back to read it again. I really enjoyed the added comments as well Cheers!


  15. As a Floridian, I also have witnessed another breed of Dad: Northernus Skinburntacus. They are readily visible due to the varying and often colorful hues of reds and oranges their skin becomes. I believe the color is intended on attracting mates…or possibly a warning to predators…some more research is needed.


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