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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Move Your Ass and Your Lungs Will Follow
Skylar and I have both been dealing with a rather nasty beginning-of-the-school-year bug over the past week. As a result, she is even more likely than usual to succumb to feelings of being overwhelmed by the simplest tasks -- as her teacher said today, all the girls in her fourth-grade class seem to have entered the zone of maximum sensitivity -- and I have exhibited random bouts of ire in addition to the doom-and-gloom demeanor that has become de rigeur for me of late.

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.

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6 comments or Leave a comment
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: September 9th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm sorry you're feeling under the weather--both of you, "you" in the plural. I know how that can be and it sucks. But even with sickness as the occasion, this post really made me smile--and it sounds like you were both smiling a bit too tonight. And that makes me glad. Very glad.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 9th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Oh, yes. We were smiling. Now we're back to not smiling. But the residue lingers enough to compensate.
derdriu From: derdriu Date: September 9th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Can I just say that Skylar has the coolest parents ever? 'Cause she does.

Honestly, reading about how you interact with her makes me feel better about the very idea of parenting and has actually helped me pinpoint where my parents went awry.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 9th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's so nice of you to say! We do our best. But, wow, the onset of puberty -- and we're just at the stage when the hormones start surging -- is going to be hard. She's so volatile, with that artistic personality.
derdriu From: derdriu Date: September 9th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
But I take hope in the fact that you seem willing to acknowledge and work through it, rather than asking/demanding that she suppress it. I am fairly positive that all of my major bad habits came from that act.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 9th, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Good point. We aren't going to do that. But it sure is painful to help her with her flame-outs, which are mounting apace.
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