One day, we took the kids to the local swimming pool with their older cousins. Son #1 and Son #2 were thrilled to be hanging out with their teenage cousins. My little ones admire their cousins greatly and try to act just like them. Their cousins are absolutely amazing particularly because of the sincere attention they pay to their ankle biting relatives. A lot of teenagers might be annoyed by two young tots shadowing their every move. Yet, these two teenagers take the time to talk and play with Son #1 and Son #2 on their level.
When we arrived at the pool, Son #1 and Son #2 sprinted to the booth. They hopped up and down screaming with excitement as my husband handed several dollar bills to the cashier. The cashier gave us a brief synopsis of the pool's amenities and then motioned for us to enter. We parted ways as we each took a child to the changing rooms. Son #2 pulled on my hand straining to exit the boring changing room. I laughed and said. "Alright. Alright. We'll be outside in a second."
My youngest son and I passed through the dimly lit hall into the bright sunshine. A clear, gleaming pool stood before us with small fountains, a splash pad, and water slides of varying sizes. The kids' eyes grew wide with awe. Then, they raced to their relatives lounging by the water. Son #1 whirled in circles, tugging at our arms and shouting about the water. Son #2 pushed on my legs and pleaded. "Les go wim!" Finally, my husband and I took the kids to the shallow end of the pool and entered the icy water. (It may have been hot outside but the water in the pool was definitely not bath water.)
Son #1 played with one of his cousins in a couple of the interactive water features. They ran from buckets of water and slid under mushroom waterfalls. Son #1 practiced swimming in the slightly deeper end of the shallow area. Sometimes, his cousin took off to the water slides in the deep end of the pool. Son #1 even made a few friends while sliding down the water slide at the shallow end of the pool.
Son #2 was a bit more timid about getting into the water. At first, he tiptoed around at the edge of the splash pad and avoided the interactive buckets and waterfalls. Then, he noticed something odd about the edge of the pool. Every now and then, tiny fountains would pop up as if from nowhere. He yelped out in surprise the first time the fountains popped up beside him. I placed my foot on top of one of the holes and blocked the spray the second time the fountains appeared. Son #2 grinned impishly and copied my moves. Pretty soon, he was hopping up and down the line of fountains covering as many of the holes as he could.
As time passed, we began to play another game. When Son #2 would get close to one of my fountains, I would splash him by kicking water into the air with my foot. Son #2 gleefully laughed and ran away. Sometimes, he would retaliate with splashes of his own. We kept at our game for quite a while until Son #1 called me over to watch him swim.
While I watched my oldest son swim, Son #2 continued to stomp on the tiny fountains. Another toddler soon joined his game. They leaped from fountain to fountain in an effort to stop the spraying water. Son #2 thought their game was fun but decided to ramp up the excitement. The next time the little friend came near, my youngest son swept his foot across the water to splash him. His young friend looked confused. I strode across the pool and admonished my naughty son. "No splashing babies! O.K.?" Son #2 looked at me sincerely and said. "O.K."
The two little ones continued to play peacefully until Son #2 splashed him again. I gave my youngest son the stinky eye and shook my finger at him. "That's not nice." I said sternly. Son #2 meekly replied. "I sorry." Then, he resumed playing nicely with his friend.
Some time later, I noticed that Son #2 had splashed his tiny friend again. This time, his friend decided to get even. The little one swiftly scooped water up into the air and skillfully splashed my youngest son. Son #2 looked shocked for a moment and then began to cry. The little boy's father quickly came over to scold his young son. Before the little one could get into trouble, I ran over and explained. "My son splashed your little one a few times before your son finally splashed my son. I was actually hoping your son would get him back." The young father and I laughed at the situation.
After the father and his son were gone, I picked up my baby and wiped his face. "See what happens when you splash other people?!?" I said in a playful manner. Son #2 grunted and wiggled down from my arms. The little rascal had not learned his lesson because he began to splash at me once again.