The Rec. Center has two BIG slides, which start at least a story above the pool, maybe two. One of them is pretty wide in diameter and doesn't throw you around that much. The other is very narrow and goes through nearly two complete loops before hitting the water. The larger diameter slide also goes outside the building for a part of the loop.
For the last several months, Jet has climbed the two flights of concrete stairs to the top to just watch people slide down the slides. He refused to let John or I take him down them, with a very emphatic, "No way!" and lots of kicking if we try to pick him up to take him. He kept creeping closer and closer to the entry pool of the big diameter slide, as he watched dozens and dozens and dozens of adults and kids throw themselves down the tube.
Yesterday, after a full hour of playing and swimming (including the new game of jumping up to grab the rope of the 'shower' structure, which rains down water when the rope is pulled, and swinging to and fro in the resultant spray) Jet decided to climb the climb to watch. He tripped, two times, on the way up, and then fell off the concrete step to the entry pool. He was really tired. I managed to catch him on all those fall, but I'll have to admit that I did NOT want him to climb back down the very hard, very steep concrete steps.
So when Jet took the extra step of actually climbing INTO the entry pool, I took advantage of that fact. When the previous people had cleared the tube, I picked Jet up, took two steps, sat down with him in my lap, and launched both of us down the tube. He kicked twice. Then we hit the first curve and he hung onto me as I yelled, "Wheee!!" to try and convey that it was supposed to be fun...
When we hit the bottom, I lost my footing, and went under. I kept a hold of him, though, and hauled him to the surface as soon as I had my footing and he took his first breath to yell at me. He yelled at me all the way to the edge of the pool. Then he berated John, as he headed up the concrete steps again telling him to, "Go away! Go away! Go away!" But he headed up the stairs and John followed him. Next thing I saw was John picking Jet up at the top, when they were at the front of the line for the slide, then sit down with Jet at the mouth of the slide, and when they hit the water Jet was beaming, ear to ear, even AFTER getting dunked at the bottom again.
This time, when he got to the edge of the pool Jet asked, "Again? Again?" So he got to do the big slide another three times before we finally called it quits because he was shaking so hard. We couldn't tell if it was from cold or from adrenaline, but he calmed down pretty quickly after we got him into a hot shower. He was a little upset that we weren't letting him go down again, but we promised him that we'd do it again the next time we were at the pool.
So Jet got to ride the BIG Slides for the first time under his own volition and he'll probably do it again! Yay!