and here it was.
oliver's first summer, he had just turned three. his teacher ended up taking him down with her. his second summer, he had just turned four. they pretty much had to just push him down. and he somehow managed to get stuck halfway down. i thought, this is it. this is his year. he slides down terrifying, dry slides with abandon. he's going to do it.
his classmate, abby, is three. about the same height. they stood in line together, holding hands, switching weight from one leg to another. conspiring about their freshly-blossomed uncertainty. they left a considerable gap between themselves and the first step to the waterslide as the line fell away in front of them.
they hesitantly went up together. i could see from my perch on the far side of the pool that there were negotiations going on. oliver was seated at the top and then unseated. and then they both came back down the steps and sat on the edge of the pool with their teacher. i went out into the steambath with violet and abby's father and we cajoled for all we were worth. initially, oliver's face began screwing up to cry and i could only imagine it was due to unrealized dreams, and ain't that a kick in the pants.
after great effort and dewiness of brow, we somehow managed to convince them both back up the steps and one of the female instructors hopped up there as well to help, likely because they all wanted to get the fuck out of their and go have lunch. i noticed everyone else was gone at this point.
the female sat at the top of the slide and they finally just picked oliver up and sat him down in front of her and i thought they were going to go down together (which she had said was against the rules) and then off went oliver. likely with a push. abby's dad ended up sitting at the top of the slide before getting her pushed down.
but oliver still wasn't talking to me and it took some coaxing to get him to say he liked it. i don't know if he said it under duress. he refused sean's attempt at a high five on the way out, soooo...
abby's dad said she wanted to have a swim play date with oliver. so we'll see. i kind of had the hots for the bearded man-cute woman couple with the three kids in different classes, but nothing came of it.
i took oliver for the celebratory, briberatory apple juice i had promised and on our way home, we discussed why our family doesn't support factory farming, animal-based circuses, or ponies going in circles. i always wish i could remember how we end up on those conversational paths. like the time he picked his nose and ate a boogar at Buffalo Gap and this led me to explain the solar system, telescopes, and microscopes to him.
i think i've been managing to not accidentally dress myself like the kids. but it returned with a vengeance on this day.
he was wearing a swim accessory with the face of a koala on it. the ears wrapped around his arms. you'll just have to take my word for it.
getting in line.
making plans to dash out the back door and into a life in the woods.
not willing to move up in line. i think abby needed to pee, but her father said she was just anxious.
oliver's first attempt. the negotiations begin.
the negotiations continue poolside.
success! sort of!
not speaking to me.
ps: we will be returning for our fourth session as a pike next time.