Let It Slide
After my hockey game tonight I came home to collect The Beaner and then walked with him down to the Cherry Street Tavern to have a beer with my teammates. We got there before anyone else, so we went across the street to Coxe Park to play for a few minutes while we waited for everyone to show up.
The Beaner started with the littlest Little Tykes slide, then moved up to the larger Little Tykes slide, and then announced his intention of going down the huge metal corkscrew slide with the nearly-vertical ladder. "OK, I said, "I'll climb behind you." About four steps up, I got a little nervous—on my own behalf as much as The Beaner's. "Are you a little scared, sweetie? Because I'm a little scared."
"Yeah," he replied, but kept climbing. I climbed with him, one hand on his waist just in case he slipped or pitched to one side. When he got to the top, I did my best to hang on myself while helping him get into a sitting position. And then down he went. I knew from Al that he'd been down before, so I wasn't worried about the descent; it was the climb and the manuevers up top that scared me.
"Again!" he said when he reached the bottom. "OK," I said, and we began the climb again. About four steps up, he turned to me and said, "OK, Mommy?" in a tone that expressed concerned for my welfare. "Yes, honey, I'm OK." "OK," he said, and climbed to the top. I helped him get into a sitting position again, and down he went. I climbed down and went to meet him at the bottom. He held up a finger in a gesture intended to cut off any protestations I might be about to make, cocked an eyebrow, and said, "ONE more time."
And so we went up again, with him checking to see if I was OK partway up. When he got to the bottom this time, he just giggled and said, "do again!" Before I could make any serious argument against it, he was partway up the ladder again. "OK," I said, "but this is the last time, so make it count!"
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten!" said The Beaner.