Used to be, I spent hours every day running in figurative circles - the kind induced by a meaningless job with plenty of meetings. Today, like many days, I spent much of an hour having real circles run around me, courtesy of Julia, a decidedly non-lonely long-distance runner. As in so many domains of her toddlerhood, she has a reliable procedure worked out:
- She says, "Dada, yit. Yit down." and tugs my arms.
- I sit down, cross-legged with my arms pulled in. Today I also had to hold her three-foot tall organutan doll, Mike.
- With a shout of "Wun! Wun!" she starts running laps around me, usually clockwise.
- Though usually she makes no sound but heavy breathing as she goes round and round, every so often, just to keep me informed, she mixes in an announcement - "Wunning! Wunning!" - or maybe an impromptu game - "Boo!" as she pops out of the blind spot behind me.
- If I relax and stick out my legs, she says strictly, "Moof!" and makes me move them back in. If I start idly whistling, she halts right in front of me and shakes her head, "No, no, no," waving her tiny hands at me. Either way, she starts jogging again as soon as I correct my deviant behavior.
- After a certain amount of time, she stops, panting softly, and says, "Wizzy," her eyes visibly swimming from having run those tight circles. Usually this is momentary, until her head clears and she can start up again.
It's only sitting still, but it's one of the funniest and most fun things I've ever done.