Tired of going down the slide, the boys decided to climb up the side.
It was the natural order of events that gave me little concern. They were taking a risk by ascending where most would descend but the sweet reward of reaching the top without having to run all the way around the playset was too much to resist.
“I have sticky hands,” Little Legs said as he embodied a boy-sized gecko using his hands and feet to move upwards.
He had the advantage of perpetually sticky hands, from a love of candy and reluctance of washing, to help with the climb. All signs of a bad parent, I suppose, but useful in the case of slide-climbing.
“Feet sticky, too,” Baby Brother added as he lizard-walked effortlessly behind his brother.
From the hill leading up to the playground, a little blond girl ran towards us.
“I’m going to make some new friends,” she said to her mother.
Her mother lagged a few steps behind her, loaded with a backpack, another smaller blond child, water bottles and a pink scooter.
“Guys, get ready to say hi,” I prepared them.
They were about to make a new friend and I was going to make a new mom friend and we were all going to be the best of friends. We already had blond children, overpacking and the need to get them outside in common.
The girl went straight to the slide having observed the boys from a distance.
“You don’t climb up the slide,” the girl said.
“You go down it,” she explained.
Her mother caught up her with and said, “You aren’t their mommy, that is for her to tell them.”
As the window of friendship potential closed, she gave a meaningful look in my direction. Her dark sunglasses made it impossible to tell her intentions. However, the tight, lipless line that was her mouth filled in the gaps of my assumptions.
I laughed and said, “Boys, slide down. No more climbing.”
Of course, they listened.
They promptly climbed, lizard boy style, back up the slide and camped out at the top where they declared, “No mommies allowed,” and returned to catching flies and scaring off bossy girls and their mothers.