Disclaimer: I do not own. It's called Fanfiction for a reason people. Constructive criticism is accepted. Flames will be given to Leo and used to fight Gaia.
"Leo!" Esperanza Valdez, mother of a very hyper active Leo Valdez, shouted. She sighed as her three year old son ignored her shout and ran out the back door, laughing as he did so.
Oh, mijo, couldn't you slow down for a few moments. She thought to herself. Immediately Esperanza chided herself and remembered that being ADHD could one day save his life. She briefly sent a prayer to Hephaestus to protect their son, should he ever need it.
Esperanza was about to turn and start making supper in the kitchen, and watch Leo from the window when she heard a shriek and running footsteps. She immediately changed her course and nearly ran over her son as he ran screaming bloody murder inside. Esperanza picked Leo up with ease and tried to simultaneously calm him down and look for any danger.
When she didn't see a threat of any kind, Esperanza turned her attention to the rambling bundle of energy in her arms. Leo seemed to be speaking in rapid gibberish and all the worried mother was able to make out was giant, green, brown, loud and monster. The last one put Esperanza on high alert again.
"Where, mijo?" She asked gently. Leo pointed out to the backyard, which was still damp from the rain they had received last night.
Esperanza headed outside on alert for anything hiding in the shadows that could hurt her baby. Still seeing nothing harmful in the vicinity, she turned to her son and asked him to tell her were the monster was. Leo was no longer rambling and simply pointed towards the knee high patch of grass in the very back of the yard.
As she cautiously made her way over, the only thing she saw anywhere near the patch of grass was a large squat toad. Esperanza felt Leo shy away from it and on a hunch picked it up in one hand and put Leo down on the ground.
"Is this what scared you, mijo?" She asked as she held it up for him to inspect. Esperanza nearly laughed in relief when he nodded slowly never taking his eyes off the toad.
"Mijo", she said with amusement in her voice, "it's just a toad it can't hurt you."
Leo broke his eye contact with the toad for a moment and looked at his mother to confirm that she was not lying to him. He concluded that she wasn't and snapped his attention back to the toad, which hadn't moved. He stared at it with the curiosity of a child and hesitantly reached out to touch the still unmoving toad. His small, cubby, toddler fingers had barely grazed the toad's skin when it let out a loud croak and jumped swiftly from Esperanza's hand.
In a split second, Leo backed away as if he had been burned. He turned and screaming ran as fast as his short little legs could carry him.
"Oh, mijo." Esperanza shook her head fondly and watched as the toad that had caused so much excitement in the Valdez household today, hopped back into the grass. She sighed and started back to the house in order to find and calm her still screaming child. Her last thought before she crossed the threshold was that it was going to be a long ten years before he left for camp. But she didn't mind because to her Leo was the greatest thing on the planet, and she wouldn't trade him for the world.