I want to show my young adult main character, as being very enthusiastic and excitable about her interests, mainly I want her to make a big deal about wanting to wear her mother's ceremonial (but highly functional) armour. She sort of hero-worships her mother (who wore the armour a long time ago), who uses her excitement about the armour as a 'carrot' early on in the story.
My issue is that personally I don't tend to show my excitement externally, but I do tell people! I'll say "I cannot for Thursday!" or "I'm so excited for our next game together!!" If I ever want to show it myself, it's more or less a conscious choice, otherwise I look blank/passive. I'd rather not have to write "Main Character felt excited" or "'I'm excited', said Main Character".
My strongest idea of what an excited person looks like somes from my nieces and nephews who are all between 5 and 10, where as I want my main character to seem like she has the maturity of a 16-20 year old. When my nephews and nieces express excitement they jump up and down, scream and shout and repeat phrases over and over:
PLEASE! Please, please please, PLEASE Khalu! Can I have a piggyback! Please?!
Having re-read some of my exploration writing (writing without a fixed outline or plan) I've noticed because I was subconsciously basing her excited behaviour on my nephews and nieces — she comes across as extremely childlike, because that's my best grasp of what being outwardly excited is. I don't want that. I feel like this is the thing making her seem much younger than she is, and I want her excitement to be believable.
A complicating factor is that this character is short (due to being a 'fantasy Dwarf' she's 4'1"), fat (she's a round 'baby' face), and she knows she can use that as well as put on an innocent face/show puppy eyes so she can deliberately get away with figurative murder. As well as this, she's fairly naive/irresponsible anyway means I'm portraying her as even more childlike than if it was just her excitement.
As an example of this, at one point she eats some food her mother made for somebody else, but she weasels her way out of it by just exclaiming to her mother (this isn't the exact text - I can't get to it right now):
"Oh no mamma, your bread just vanished!" Fin said, hoping her mother would play along "And why would that be, young lady?" "...because it was too tasty?" she ventured, hopeful her mother wouldn't be too mad "Oh, then do not worry, I'll make up another batch!" her mother replied dottingly
Later, she gets overcharged by a merchant who wants three more coins:
Fin dropped the three extra coins into the merchant's hands, and stared up at him with artificially forlorn eyes - like parting with the money was the hardest thing in the world. She held her fake sorrowful expression for a heartbeat longer than she thought was safe.
"I'll let you off this time," he said, ruefully passing the coins back
Still got it, Fin thought to herself.
When she gets excited, I've written her as 'bouncing up and down' and her 'eyes watering' with excitement, and saying things like "Really Pabbi? You'll help me put the armour on? Thank you, thank you, thank you!" (n.b. 'Pabbi' is what she calls her dad)
How can I show she's extremely excited about stuff, without making her come across as a child - especially when other parts of her personality are quite childlike and immature?