As I left a Monday Night Football game to help my wife put our two rascals to bed, the dimply duo requested a dance party in the room first. These dance parties consist of multiple songs from the radio or on CD to which they, well, dance. Seeing it as an opportunity to have them burn off whatever energy they had left at the end of a long day, we obliged, knowing it could make the overnight sleeping situation better for all of us.
Meanwhile, I missed half an hour of an important football game that had some serious implications toward my fantasy football team’s success this week. Between songs upstairs, I checked the score and some stats on my phone, but quickly put it back in my pocket any time either of my kids wanted my full attention. At first, I wanted to rush this process and get back to my game, as I hadn’t thought about pausing the live TV — what a useful technology when taken advantage of — when I came upstairs. I suppose I could have run downstairs for a minute and quickly paused the game, then run back up, but something happened that caught me off guard. I didn’t care anymore. And for a guy who worships football, that was shocking.
I was entranced by my daughters dancing. They were goofy, and each showcased very unique personalities as they performed. My eldest, who seems to want to be an actress, sang lyrics to the songs I didn’t even know she’d heard before, using dramatic hand gestures and facial expressions to portray the emotions the original singer may have on stage. At one point she even fell to the floor on her back and reached to the sky as she sang about something painful in lyrics I can’t remember. She just turned 5 last month.
My youngest, who turned 2 last week, meanwhile was bouncing around like a monkey about to start a fight. Her head flung down, up and around, with her arms wildly swung to the beat as if to ward off attackers. She laid down, put her legs over her head, then kicked them as if she was going to spring back up like a karate master. She didn’t, of course. Then, between songs, she went and found a headband, a pair of sunglasses, a toy necklace and bracelets and returned to the next song looking like a tiny female rapper with bling. My wife asked her if she was about to breakdance, to which my daughter shook her booty and then dropped to the floor to wiggle on her side.
I was mesmerized. The next time I pulled the phone out of my pocket it wasn’t to check a score, but to take pictures and record video of what I was witnessing. The footage was going into a vault to replay when they were teenagers and we forget how sweet they used to be. At some point, that video is going to make us fall in love with our kids all over again.
When the party ended, both of them whined for more. We declined their request politely and put them each to bed, then shared a laugh at how much fun that all was. We both agreed we should do it again, and then I remembered the game.
I ran downstairs and turned it back on. It was basically over at that point, and I’d missed a bunch of key plays that had made it interesting to begin with. And you know what? I didn’t even care. There will be more games next week, and in the end, my fantasy football team was murdered anyway. All I would have done is witnessed how that happened. And I’ll take a dance party over that any day.
Patrick Ibarra is the managing editor of the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.