December 16, 2008

Montgomery County

I'm not much of an organizer, or a participator for that matter. Now that I have children, this is something that I'm trying to change. I'm comfortable being alone, but they should make up their own minds about such things. So far I have been quite successful in the endeavor, as Annie makes friends wherever she goes. If you are the lucky recipient of a random hug on a playground in New Jersey or Maryland, then you know what I'm talking about.

Montgomery County, our new home, threatens to take me from a person who was involved in nothing, to someone you'd see around town toting his kids and his latte, organizing play dates, or getting playgrounds built, or, I don't know, running for town council.

Today I took the kids to the Leland Community Center for an "open gym" from 10:30 to 12:00. They do this twice a week and get inundated with about 50 hopped up children, who run and scream and thankfully exhaust themselves for an hour and a half. Sidenote: Annie napped for three hours later in the day. Bonus. While I was there, I found out that my $25 annual fee gets me the playtime and use of all of the other Montgomery County facilities. There are too many to list here, but one of the Dad's that was there plays basketball twice a week at one of five different gyms in the area. In New Jersey I used to drive 40 minutes to play basketball. This fat Dad is going to play some ball tomorrow night. That sounds like a post all by itself. If I live to tell about it, that is.

You may have noticed that I put the words "open gym" in quotes. I was expecting a small group of moms and their kids, docilely playing on wooden slides, climbing through multicolored tunnels. Um, no. We walked in to a literal open basketball gym buzzing and swarming with children, from infants to five year olds. For this throng of children there were two trampolines, a gym mat, a donut thingy to sit in, a slide, and about 20 basketballs. It was a freaking free-for-all. I was happy that Annie is not only social, but kind of, ah, aggressive? She didn't take any crap from anyone. Not even the boy who kept taunting her with his toy fighter jets and yelling at her when she had the nerve to reach for them. Little creep. All in all it was a great trip. You do have to factor in the nap you know.

Let's get back to the new, more sociable, Unfinished Dad. Our new home just seems to be in this vortex of civic pride. We know most of our neighbors, who know the ones we don't know. We've been invited to crafting parties for the kids. Yes, I went, and met all the other moms. We dished recipes with a smattering of town gossip. Chevy Chase/Bethesda seems to be filled with people who care, a lot. Let's not forget that we had our lawn raked by a group of local business owners, who happen to be a 11 year old girls. Provided that all of this doing doesn't wear on me, I think that this will be a perfect environment for the girls to grow up in. Keep your eyes peeled for Annie and Tilda's House Cleaning Service: We Wear the Bibs, So You Don't Have To.


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