She heads for the play equipment. She will not be deterred. She wants to slide. She will slide. If any one tries to stop her she will screech and cry in hot displeasure. She climbs the stairs. She gets to the top of the baby slide. It's short and curved and slow. It's a safe slide for a baby to play on as she learns the physics of sliding. Today she doesn't even glance at it. She keeps climbing stairs. One foot... two feet... She stands at the summit, smiling down at the world around her as she surveys it from her new vantage point at the top of the BIG SLIDE. Slowly she slides a tiny foot toward the edge. She slides it back. She plants her feet and squats and stands, yelling with excitement. She edges one foot forward again, and then back. Again she squats. She kneels and turns her backside to the top of the slide and dangles one foot over the edge, and then retreats to a sitting position a safe few inches away from the edge. She is grinning with pleasure at her new found perch. She is yelling excitedly to the big kids all around her. She is not ready to go down the BIG SLIDE just yet.
Moments later her big brother appears behind her. He talks to her and they laugh together and then he gathers her in his arms, places her in front of him between his legs and they swoosh down the slide together. Her face is alight as she searches for me, making sure that I see her as she takes her maiden voyage.
The next hour is happily spent tottering her way up the steps and waiting as big brother and big sister meet her at the top and place her in their laps for the ride down. Every single time her face lights up, she smiles, her mouth wide open with delight, and she turns her head to face me, to watch me watching her as she enjoys her descent.