It had been a few minutes, three maybe. I looked at him, as encouragingly as I could, and spoke.
“OK, that’s good. It’s easy, just one, two, three and push.”
Two years as a parent have taught me:
- Kids do not have an accurate view of their own ability. Their enthusiasm always focuses on something that’s just beyond their reach.
- As a parent, there is nothing quite like the thrill of watching your child achieve something today that they couldn’t do yesterday.
Evidently troubled by the sudden and vocal queue of ‘big boys and girls’ that had formed behind him, my son froze – deciding the best way to cope was total inaction. Leaving me with limited options:
- Make a fuss, and climb up to (through the tiny hole) retrieve him. This would necessitate getting the entire queue to move to allow me to enter.
- Make a fuss, and climb up the slide – hoping it would bear my weight – to retrieve him. This would likely not go down well with the centre staff.
- Stand my ground and wait until my little one was ready to slide. This might take some time.
I opted for the last option – endeavouring to maintain my best approximation of an unconcerned grin as I gently coaxed my son.