Emily Maynard
Emily Maynard is looking for love -- and a daddy for her 6-year-old daughter, Ricki -- on this season of "The Bachelorette." ABC

Emily Maynard is serious about finding lasting love on The Bachelorette. She wants a man who will accept her unique circumstances and be a father to her six-year-old daughter, Ricki. So the child-allergic need not apply.

This woman knows exactly what she wants, so who better to help out than her fellow mom friends? This brings production to a park with a playground, where Maynard's friends await. Maynard says more than once that these women are protective over me (prepositions are not her strong point) and entrusts them with the task of helping her weed out the guys who lack a paternal instinct.

Finding that diamond in the rough is a tough job for Emily's friends, -- it can be so hard to see past those chiseled bodies, even if they aren't always so sincere or especially bright -- but they did manage to have some fun. Sean, a blond, blue-eyed, 28-year-old insurance agent from Dallas, Texas, certainly made their day. He obliged when they asked him to take off his shirt and do push-ups. One mommy even sat on his back as he did his shirtless push-ups, and she said that doing so was a dream come true, which makes us wonder if she's been drinking the Fifty Shades of Grey Kool-Aid.

At one point, Maynard demanded the contestants who claimed to be family-friendly put their money where their mouths were. She blew a whistle and out came running about a dozen small children, headed straight to where the boys were congregated, forcing them into impromptu playtime.

As we know, nothing lasts forever on reality TV. This is a game show and there's an elimination process that's not limited to the end-of-episode rose ceremony. Single dad Tony, who was quite weepy because he missed his young son, left early with a gentle nudge from Maynard, who said she understood his pain. We saw this coming, really, but it was kind of funny to watch Doug, a fellow contestant, attempt to console the single father, especially when he likened the attention span of five-year-olds to that of a hummingbird. Words of wisdom? Maybe not, but Tony took off anyway after Maynard gave him a gracious goodbye.

Speaking of abrupt goodbyes, we also saw the end of Shelly. Remember Shelly? That egg Travis brought along, saying he would take care of it the way he would take care of Maynard and her daughter? Yes, that Shelly. Travis and Maynard agreed that if you love something you must set it free, which in this case meant smashing Shelly on the ground and making a giant splat for the Bachelorette crew members to clean. Oh, wait, are those the PETA sirens blasting in the distance? Maybe Maynard and Travis should have made a meal out of Shelly instead. Then she wouldn't have gone to waste (or made such a mess).

It was kind of unexpected to see the whole impromptu playground segment, but the episode was (almost) balanced out with tender-hearted and funny moments. Maynard's friends certainly cut to the chase about the whole becoming a dad issue while still managing to have some fun (they made some of the guys dance for them, for one thing). Doug and Sean ended up getting stamps of approval from Maynard's friends, while Stevie was among those to leave. It'll be a while until it's whittled down to the final four, but in the meantime, there will be plenty of laughs to be had.