Tonight, when she asked what was for dessert, I told her she needed to do some bouncing on the trampoline first to earn her treat through aerobic exercise. At first, she was fine with that. By the time she'd finished reading the article on the next Harry Potter film in Entertainment Weekly, however, she had decided that she was too tired to exert herself. But then she changed her mind and told me she did want to jump. And then she changed it again. . . and again and again.
I had given up on the proposition and already stowed the trampoline away when she made a half-hearted effort to muster energy for the activity. "Wait," I told her, "I'll get the little trampoline and jump next to you." That inspired her. Instead of playing one of her standards like Marilyn Monroe or a musical, I selected some music in the funk tradition. She had watched Muppets in Space earlier in the evening and declared affection for the Commodores and Earth Wind and Fire numbers on the soundtrack, so I figured it was worth a shot.
She loved it. Instead of just bouncing, she practiced some of her martial arts techniques by pretending to attack me while I alternately defended myself and then acted as though I were going to attack her back. From Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" through Earth Wind and Fire's "Let's Groove" and Prince's "1999," we made vigorous use of both our legs and arms and had a blast in the process. It tickles me that she asks to see my silly "Move On Up" dance -- I regularly do trampoline exercises to that one -- and makes me proud to see her practicing her flying kicks, which have proved quite difficult for her until now. Not surprisingly, our respective exertions left us sweaty, out of breath and feeling way better than we did before starting.