Twenty Miles, Three Playgrounds, and a Fountain…

I am delinquent in my postings.  I know I have a quota from Zinger to fill and September is almost over. 
Friday we got in the mail a flyer for a Grand Opening Party of JW Tumbles in Ashburn.  It’s one of those kiddie gym thingys.  It’s free, it’s two hours, I figure I’d take the kids and go check it out.  So Saturday Morning, The Husband said he’d come with us if I would bike there.  I’m thinking we will have one-on-one coverage for the kids AND I’ll get some much needed riding in.
So we loaded the kids up in the bike trailer and rode the 10 miles into Ashburn to this gym.  Let me just say that the Tot Land at Dulles Mall was much better than this place.  This was not the quality of a Little Gym or the Community Center Q goes to.  It was equivalent to a Chic Filet playground for over $100 a session.  It was just a bunch of indoor playground equipment like you’d find at Chic Filet.  It was packed.  No one was watching their child.  I got into it with two mothers in the thirty minutes I was there.  The Husband and I decided it was time to go after I got into it with the  fat lady in grey sweat pants.
The kids start crying because it was time to go until we told them we were going to have lunch at the fountain.  There was a fountain in the shopping center and we ate Subway at the fountain.  The kids had more fun eating at the fountain then the JW Tumbles.  We attempted to get Four a hair cut at the Barber Shop but the little man was not going have anything to do with that.
After lunch, we packed the kids back up.  Now it’s almost nap time and their patience with us is fading.  We gave them each their cookie from their Subway Meal and started biking home.   Half way home we stopped at this cool playground along the WO&D trail.  We release the hounds and spend almost an hour there.  They had a ball.
We all biked home and everyone got a bath.  Kids slept really well.
So lets recap – I got a 20 mile bike ride in.  The kids had more fun at the FREE fountain and the FREE Playground then the JW Tumbles (which runs >$100 a session).  Now I have had Q in Tot Gymnastics for almost a year.  It has been great for her.  She has learned to listen to directions the best that an almost four year old will do.  But I would not take her to JW Tumbles when I can go to the Tot Land at Dulles Mall for Free.  
Ok, that’s two playgrounds… where is the third?
Sunday was an Open House at Little Gym.  I sucked it up and paid for Little Gym this summer because the Community Center didn’t have classes due to summer camp.  So I got invited to their open house.  It was sooooooooooooooooo much better run than the open house at JW Tumbles.  Was it chaotic?  Duh – it involved kids.  Was it stressful?  No.  Was it well organized and staffed?  Yes.  Did I snap at any parents? No. I stayed there for two hours with Four and Q.  They had a blast.  Loved it.  Loved it.  Loved it.

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3 Responses to Twenty Miles, Three Playgrounds, and a Fountain…

  1. Evil_bastard says:

    Hmm, my wife and I are just starting to take my daughter out to different play areas (now that she can walk). We\’ve had mixed experiences (ranging from fun, to somewhat boring), but nothing that made us actually snap at other parents.

    I can only guess at what Ashburn moms must be like at close quarters and wouldn\’t want to have to deal with that edgey vibe, given that I would probably emotionally scar everyone (including myself) if I had any sort of altercation involving my kids (kid, singular for now, okay).

    That is no fun for anyone.

    Glad to hear the free stuff is the fun stuff — I think capitalism should keep its ugly mug out
    of children\’s learning, fun, and development. By the way, have you noticed how commercial
    Sesame Street has become? I remember, as a child, learning about how from each according to
    ability, to each according to need, was such a great concept and that the kid doing his own thing
    would probably end up on Stalin\’s shit list at some point.

    And, now, well, it just isn\’t the same somehow.

    Which reminds me: \”Street Smarts: Growing up on Public television\” would not be too godawful of a book title.

  2. adrienne says:

    Why I snapped, by Adrienne:
    For the record I rarely snap at parents. But, apparently it’s been asshole parent month.
    I have snapped 3 times in the last three days at a paretn. A the JW Tumbles there was a picnic table with brochures and staff talking to people.
    I just had biked 10 miles and I was in complete bike gear. There was no line. Just mass chaos. I sat down and picked up a calendar and
    started reading it. Ashburn Mom – “Excuse me. I’m next. I’ve been waiting 10 minutes.” It wasn’t the words, but the tone. I replied, “Why
    don’t you sit down next to me on the bench and have the next turn.” I stayed there sitting reading a brochure.

    Time #2 at the gym 30 minutes later. Four is dragging me by the hand across the gym. This woman tries to break me and Four apart and makes
    a snippy comment to get out of the way. a)I’m not letting go of my child’s hand because we are in your way. b)your child is not on a piece of
    equipment or going on a piece of equipment. This is the fat lady in the grey sweat pants.

    Time #3 was at the playground Monday. This woman tried to lecture me that it was dangerous to bring water cups on the playground. 1)They
    were high up on a fence so no kid under 8 could get them. 2)You shouldn’t let your 2 yr old wander the playground with a bag of popcorn lady
    and i told her so. I haven’t given Four popcorn yet. I didn’t let Q have pop corn till she was three and it’s always sitting down.

    I think I’ve told other people that its not the kids that bug me. It’s the parents. We have a Home Owner Association Playgroup that I
    affectionately call “The Cult” and I won’t join it. But that’s a whole posting in itself.

  3. Evil_bastard says:

    Wow, aside from my friends there, I do not miss NoVa at all.

    I’d imagine anything sponsored by an HOA would be cultish in nature (do they have classes for
    kids on how not to depreciate mommy and daddy’s property values by writing on the walls in crayon — or seminars on how kiddie pools in the yard are contributing to the real estate bust?)

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