Whenever Alexander is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney Channel, there are two things he tends to scream out when he's watching each episode.
The first is:
"Do you want to say the magic words?"
And the second is:
"They're doing the hot dog dance!!!"
At the opening of each episode, Mickey invites the viewer to come inside his clubhouse. To make the clubhouse appear, you need to say the magic words. ("Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse!") Mickey invites you to say them with him.
And, at the close of each episode, when the riddles or problems are all solved, Mickey and his friends to the "Hot Dog!" dance.
It's the "Hot Dog!" dance that Alexander gets most excited about. Because to him, it's not just about him participating along with Mickey and the gang, it's about everyone in the house participating. Actually, not everyone. Mostly Mom.
You see, I could be sitting beside Alexander and watching the show with him, but that doesn't matter. I'm not the optimum "Hot Dog!" dancer. Francine is. When Alexander yells out that they're doing the Hot Dog Dance he usually adds "Mom!" onto the end, because Mom is his favourite person to do the "Hot Dog!" dance with.
We all have our different dances (I do the Goofy dance -- well, most of it at least, since I haven't figured out how to pop my hat up in the air about 3 feet like Goofy does) and Francine does the Minnie Mouse dance. Alexander, of course, does the Mickey dance.
But again, it doesn't matter if I'm already dancing along with him. When they song starts, Alexander yells out "They're doing the Hot Dog Dance!" at the top of his lungs in the hope that Francine joins in. And, if she's within earshot (and his call has quite the range), she joins in.
I'm not sad to be left out. It's simply a preference Alexander has for this particular activity. Francine is his "Hot Dog Dance!" buddy. I suppose I'm his "Wall-E Video Game" buddy, since he prefers playing that computer game with me.
It's interesting how, at even such a young age, there are preferences for certain people matched up to certain activities. We all have our "Hot Dog!" like preferences, now, don't we. This type of habit is something that remains our entire lives. Think about certain activities you do with different types of friends. Aren't most of them typically slotted into nicely defined "holes?" How much cross-over is there?
IE, when there's a particular activity do you usually do them with a certain set of people? IE, you might have your preferred "drinking" buddies, your "games" buddies, your "philosophical debate" buddies, your "lunch" buddies, your "talk shop" buddies and your "gossip" buddies.
What other kinds of "buddies" do you have that you associate with a particular task or activity? Personal social context, it seems, plays a large role in our lives.
If you opened up your mind to include others who aren't normally associated with a particular task or activity, what would that look like? Would the experience be given a new layer of complexity and become better because of a new perspective the new person brings to it? Would it evolve? Or would it devolve?
Maybe in some cases it would be better, but in others it might be worse. How do we decide?
Certainly something to think about.