My Little Lagartija

lagartijaDubsie and I have a weekend workout routine. “¡La pista!” (“The track!”) I yell, and she claps her hands and dashes off to find her baby jogger.

With me in my Nikes and her in her five-point restraints, we run to Banneker Park, a public athletic multiplex on 7th Street with an odd-shaped track that surrounds a baseball diamond. I narrate the laps because I worry about Dubsie getting bored. ¡Una vuelta! (One lap!) ¡Dos vueltas! ¡Catorce vueltas! Dubsie stares off into space or sings to herself. We comment on the other joggers, their shirt colors and whether they are moving fast or slow. Sometimes I pause to pluck her a dandelion or give her a water bottle. She feeds me a Cheerio.

When my run is over, I park the stroller in the grass and it’s time for Dubsie’s workout. We run on the lawn and hug a tree. We climb the steep grassy hill that fronts Seventh Street and say hi to the cars. Dubsie insists on wandering onto the track. “I do it myself,” she says. She careens from the slow lane to the fast lane, while Daddy waves off the passing sprinters. I do some squats, at the apex of which I fling Dubsie up in the air by her armpits, to much squealing.

Then it’s time for Dubsie’s favorite, which is lagartijas (lizards), the Spanish word for pushups. (Observe certain species of lizards and you will see they are always banging out a set.) Dubsie can’t do pushups yet — it’s very amusing to see her try —but she enjoys participating in mine.

“I am helping you, Daddy!” she hollers, and scoots to my side as I’m in the middle of forty reps and getting tired. She places both palms on the small of my back and presses down hard, all thirty pounds of her, and Daddy groans.



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