In Emmett's defense, Saturday morning's excursion was his first experience with a bouncy house, so some trepidation is understandable. But when a kid only the day before announced, "Look, Mommy! I'm standing on the moon!" while perched on the arm of the loveseat, and proceeded with, "I'm jumping on the moon!" while flailing himself on the cushions, one might reasonably assume he'd more thrilled to be able to perform such actions with permission this time. Apparently one would be wrong.
His sister took some warming up, as well, but by the time she discovered new "friends" (some legit, from church, and some brand new to her, but everyone is always welcome), she was running through the maze with the best of them.
The slides were an issue, which was sad because it was a large part of the experience overall. So, the second time I accompanied our daughter down, I pointed to the warning sticker at the top of the hill, indicating tandem sliding as a taboo. "See," I told her, "You're supposed to go all by yourself."
"Yeah. But let's go anyway."
That's my little rule-breaker.
After that, it was all about the law - only because it gave her leverage over her brother.
"See, Bubba? It says to go by yourself."
And that was all it took to convince the little guy we had to push and pull onto the inflatable in the first place (the one who had spent the majority of the past hour stepping gingerly toward a bounce-house before hurrying away before we could talk him into it) to declare, "I have to do it all by myself!" And off he went, scurrying up the rubber-covered ladder/stairs to throw himself down the nearest slide (nevermind the fact he had never even been interested in the activity with accompaniment, let alone by himself).
Before we knew it, we had a sliding fool and a social butterfly scurrying hither and yon among the growing crowd.
Oh, and their little brother? It was all we could do to keep that guy from climbing the ballooned sides himself from moment one. This little man knows no fear. "They don't want to play?" he seemed to say, "Don't worry, I've got this!"
Oh how different children can be.