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August 21, 2003
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First Time Down the Big Slide

Short Version: Work. Too long a meeting. Joan's, oops, Jodie's with a trip to Safeway in between. Last day with Dante! Don't know if they'll get to meet up when Jet's in pre-school on Wednesdays. Home. Nap. Swimming. China Buffet. Talking all the way home, to stay awake. Sleep well.

We swam, again.

The Rec. Center has two BIG slides, which start at least a story above the pool, maybe two. One of them is pretty wide in diameter and doesn't throw you around that much. The other is very narrow and goes through nearly two complete loops before hitting the water. The larger diameter slide also goes outside the building for a part of the loop.

For the last several months, Jet has climbed the two flights of concrete stairs to the top to just watch people slide down the slides. He refused to let John or I take him down them, with a very emphatic, "No way!" and lots of kicking if we try to pick him up to take him. He kept creeping closer and closer to the entry pool of the big slide, as he watched dozens and dozens and dozens of adults and kids throw themselves down the tube.

After a full hour of playing and swimming (including the new game of jumping up to grab the rope of the 'shower' structure, which rains down water when the rope is pulled, and swinging to and fro in the resultant spray) Jet decided to climb the climb to watch. He tripped, two times, on the way up, and then fell off the concrete step to the entry pool. He was really tired. I managed to catch him on all those fall, but I'll have to admit that I did NOT want him to climb back down the very hard, very steep concrete steps.

So when Jet took the extra step of actually climbing INTO the entry pool, I took advantage of that fact. When the previous people had cleared the tube, I picked Jet up, took two steps, sat down with him in my lap, and launched both of us down the tube. He kicked twice. Then we hit the first curve and he hung onto me as I yelled, "Wheee!!" to try and convey that it was supposed to be fun...

When we hit the bottom, I lost my footing, and went under. I kept a hold of him, though, and hauled him to the surface as soon as I had my footing and he took his first breath to yell at me. He yelled at me all the way to the edge of the pool. Then he berated John, as he headed up the concrete steps again telling him to, "Go away! Go away! Go away!" But he headed up the stairs and John followed him. Next thing I saw was John picking Jet up at the top, when they were at the front of the line for the slide, then sit down with Jet at the mouth of the slide, and when they hit the water Jet was beaming, ear to ear, even AFTER getting dunked at the bottom again.

This time, when he got to the edge of the pool Jet asked, "Again? Again?" So he got to do the big slide another three times before we finally called it quits because he was shaking so hard. We couldn't tell if it was from cold or from adrenaline, but he calmed down pretty quickly after we got him into a hot shower. He was a little upset that we weren't letting him go down again, but we promised him that we'd do it again the next time we were at the pool.

So Jet got to ride the BIG Slides for the first time under his own volition and he'll probably do it again! Yay!

It was kind of sad having it be Jet's last day at Jodie's. Sam, Jodie's daughter, asked us to stay so that she could tell me about the movie, "All Dogs Go To Heaven 2". Jet loved it, so we stayed and watched it to the end. He was so tired, though, by the time we got to the car he was already half asleep.

Jet ate a lot at the buffet, I think he really likes being able to pick his own food, in small enough pieces and portions that he can just try something and have that be that. He ate fried rice, shrimp, fries, hot and sour soup. won ton soup with chow mien mixed into it, and then surprised both John and I by eating half a potsticker as well! I'll have to try those on him again at home.

He stayed awake in the car on the ride home because the light back there was on and I made an effort to talk to him as we went along, and to have him answer me. I did my best to listen, really hard, when he was talking and echo some of it back to him to show him that I understood. At one point a huge black and red firetruck drove right by us. Jet remarked, "Fire Engine! Fire engine!" and then he looked puzzled as it drove away, "Candy? Where candy?"

I guess he remembers the parades he's been to and the fact that the fire engine crews would throw candy to all the kids. "Fire engine candy!" Hee.

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