Lil Buddy sparkled with energy until it seemed like his trembling, 5 year old body might burst with happiness. He narrowed his focus and went into his own world, dancing his very own exuberant preschool trance dance. He kicked his feet happily up and down and shimmied his arms by his sides, giving his dance a decidedly, early 60s, American bandstand look. He folded his arms and swung his hips side to side, bobbing his head. Finally, he opened up his arms and legs into a giant X shape to prepare for his latest, favorite move. "I'm 'pocketing,'" he said, as he slapped his swinging hips on each side.
Sweet Potata had been taking all this in as she made her way around the room, but now she stopped, mid-crawl, to look up at her brother and smile. There on all fours she began to nod her head to the rhythm of her big brother's dance.
"Look Mommy!" said Lil Buddy. "Sweet Potato and I are exercising! We are getting in shape!"
"I see you," I said. "I love your dance moves."
"Because if I do not exercise I will not be healthy?"
"Yes, dear," I answered. Lil Buddy had been obsessed with health and exercise.
"And I will be so tired?"
"Yes, you will not have enough energy," I said, although I wasn't sure this was possible.
"And my muscles will get all drongly?" He asked. Daddy and I smiled at each other from across the room. "Drongly" was by far, one of our favorite Lil Buddy words. It was an adjective used to describe everything from fireworks, to old spaghetti, to well loved books. It seemed to mean a combination of old, tired, well worn, and dingy. It was a highly useful word so we encouraged it.
"yes," I said, "your muscles will get drongly."
Lil Buddy heaved a heavy sigh and flopped onto his giant hedgehog pillows. "I'm tired, " he said.
"Eeeayah! Buhdapp!" said Sweet Potata, shaking a tiny, 11 month old fist in the air. Her little vocal outburst was so loud and funny that we all burst into giggles. Lil Buddy's giggles bubbled into snorts and he rolled around on the floor.
Sweet Potata just slid back onto her baby haunches and stared at us. It was as if she was saying "What's so damn funny?"
So I scooped her up and nibbled her cheeks, which made her giggle like the rest of us.