Like many good stories, this one begins with a boy trying to impress a girl. Not just any girl would cause him to take new risks. But there was one. She was a little older than he, wearing a lime green swim suit with little flowers. Her curly black hair was pulled back in cute little pig tails. Her eyes lit up as she came over to bring him his toy duck. As he looked up at her, his eyes widened. Then she handed him his duck and he smiled like all sense was gone. He took the duck from the girl, which was no small feat as his eyes refused to stray from her face. He grinned that goofy grin that guys get when they instantly fall in love.
The little girl backed away to go play some more and dear little Ashton stood staring. He continued to play in the shallow end. Every now and then he would throw the duck over to her and she would bring it back to him. Even at 1, he's working on getting a girls attention! Eventually, the little girl decided to go down the small water slide. At 2 1/2, she was on to bigger things than duck retrieval.
Ashton had no intention of letting the little girl out of his sight. He'd tried the slide before, but was not a huge fan. Now though, the girl was going down the slide and he wanted to play with her. I put him on the edge of the pool and along with the rubber duck, he climbed the steps to the kiddie slide. The little girl was in front of him. She slid down and as he watched, goofy grin still firmly in place. And then something changed...
As he came up to the slide entrance, his eyes stopped searching for the small girl who had just went down. Instead, he became fascinated with a stream of water pouring from the top of the slide. He washed the duck and then looked at me. I counted to three and he came down the slide with a huge grin. I caught him as he came out and dunked half of his body in the water. Then he "swam" back to the edge of the pool. The little girl was long forgotten. He was ready to slide again.
In all, I would say he went down the slide about 20 times today. Each time the duck got a bath and then I counted to three. He grinned and laughed as his little body dunked in the water and then did his best to "swim" over to the side of the pool. Thanks to the slide, he once again only has eyes for his mom. And that's just how it should be for the next decade or two!