Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Thing #66: Impromptu dancing

So here we are at New Thing #66! I don't know how accurate that is because sometimes we didn't really do a New Thing and other times I crammed like three into one post and there was that time when Grandpa was sick that I didn't do much blogging because there was so much else going on. I've been thinking about New Things in other parts of my life lately. I'm not sure if it's a spillover from this blog or not, but I decided that for the month of November I was going to do something I've never done, and think about getting healthy from the inside out. I've been posting a different healthy habit each day on my Facebook page. I'm trying to walk the talk but sometimes I forget to drink enough water or my motivation to work out becomes non-existent. I think I mentioned awhile back how I am challenging myself to avoid all junk food (aside from birthday cake for the three big birthdays this month) for the entire month of November. I have come to realize how much I love garbage food and how I'm not one of those people who can just have a wee bite. It was really getting out of control. Last night when Daddy and I were watching one of my favourite shows, "The Biggest Loser" (or as we like to call it, "Fat People Crying" because seriously, someone cries on every episode but so do I, especially when they get letters from home), there was this doctor on there who noted that it can take weeks to months to rewire your brain so you prefer to eat healthy food and just ONE WEEK to undo it all. Why am I telling you this? I have no idea now. I know I had a point when I started. Was it that I was going to tell you about this awesome fruit smoothie I had today? Maybe. Anyway, eating better is hard. All I want right now is nachos dipped in chocolate and topped with swedish berries. Maybe I better stop rambling and get to the business at hand instead.

I had intended to take the LP to this really cool park overlooking the lake I recently discovered when I took a wrong turn one day. There were huge piles of brightly coloured leaves, slides, lots of swings and other playground equipment. I thought they would really dig it. They had a half-day at daycare and I thought it would be a great place to go once I picked them up. Unfortunately, when I went to fetch them, LP2 only had one shoe and had done something to the warm clothes he was wearing when he left the house. Our daycare provider put him in the backup outfit in the diaper bag but I guess he has had a growth spurt (AGAIN) since the last time he wore it, because the pants and long-sleeved onesie were now capri pants and a three-quarter length onesie. Not warm enough for playing outside in. Are you concerned about the one shoe? I'm pretty sure he kicked it off en route to daycare this morning and it is in the back of Daddy's car. Please don't worry about it anymore. He will not go through life missing a shoe.

LP1 asked if we could go "to the small library". With all our library debacles this week, I think she just wanted to go to one she was familiar with and finally bring home some books. I'm always up for a library visit, so I figured we could go home, change LP2 and go for a walk to the small branch that isn't too far from us. Once we got home, however, it became clear that both of them were winding down and wouldn't last a car ride to the library, much less a walk. The sky was also clouding over and I knew rain was going to fall at any given moment. What on earth were we going to do?

Inspiration sometimes comes from stupid things. LP1 sat down at our digital piano and was doing her usual thing where she presses all the buttons to produce a variety of squeaks, chirps, bells, whistles, chimes and even the odd piano-sounding noise. I had just scooped up LP2 to prevent him from playing in the dog's dish yet again and was bouncing him around. He let loose with some giggles. We started to dance to the "music" LP1 was playing. And then I got my idea for today. LP1 enjoys being...ummm...."directive" (to put it nicely). She's at that two-year old stage where she likes being in charge. So I told her to keep changing how she played so that LP2 and I could change how we were moving. She was immediately on board with this game. She would play softly and LP2 and I would tiptoe. LP1 would mash the keyboard and we'd run around in a circle. The tempo would change and we would either go fast or slow or I'd swing LP2 into the air. Eventually LP1 began telling us what to do. Much of it involved me running in a circle around the playpen with LP2 in my arms. Both of them found this hilarious.

When she eventually tired of this game, LP1 declared we needed to dance. I turned the radio up and the three of us shimmied and boogied and bounced all over the living room. I was holding LP2 under his arms and swinging him around when LP1 decided it was her turn. For the next five minutes, I had to alternate between each kid. When I was absolutely breathless, we played a game where I would tell LP1 how to dance. I made up a silly song that had parts like "and now we shake our arms, our arms, our arms! Okay, it's time to kick those feet!" as I went through all the body parts. Naturally she wanted a turn  being the person who says what to move. I obliged. And once again, I was out of breath. Fortunately at this point they were both pretty tired and it was easy to start getting them ready for their naps.

Maybe I've said it before but I've come to realize that our New Thing doesn't have to be something truly spectacular. Sometimes just exercising some creativity and doing something together that makes us happy really is enough. That half-hour of dancing and playing in the living room was the absolute best half-hour of my day. We were just having fun, being silly and laughing. And really, isn't that what childhood should be all about?

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