Latest Spurts: Eating doorbells and life on the run

January 11, 2019

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last few weeks, readers!

One day as we drove to music lessons, Ten piped up.

“Mamma, when did my artistic talent first show up?” she asked.

“Um, I’m not sure,” I said. “Maybe when you were 5 or 6.”

Twelve groaned. “I remember when all [Ten] used to draw was rectangles. Big ones, little ones. There were rectangles everywhere.”

“What were the rectangles supposed to be?” I asked Ten.

“Anything,” she replied with that casual air that artists can afford. “People. Buildings.”

“When was this?” I asked.

“During ye times of olde,” Twelve said, making the distinction of that “e.”

“And when were these times of ye old?” I asked.

“It’s ye times of olde, Mamma,” Twelve said. “Keep up.”

Maybe I’m just too old to do so. :>


In the last several months, we’ve introduced the girls to the Barone family from the hit comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond. Barring a few mentions of adult topics, which we try to catch with the Mute button (and sometimes actually manage to,) the show is pretty family friendly. The kids have enjoyed watching the family dynamics swing from high to low and back up again, always with comical results. Many of the situations stem from Marie, mother to main character Ray, meddling in everything Ray and his wife, Debra, try to do.

During one episode, Ten turned to me and said of my mom, “What’s wrong with Marie? Why would she act like that? Nani would never do this! She does cook good food, though. And, I mean, Nani’s weird, but she’s a good weird. Not like Marie.”

Yes, not like Marie. Because that would be—you know—weird.


During the holidays we traveled to South Carolina to visit family. It’s a 13-hour drive, which we split into two days. On the return trip, at the start of the second day of driving we settled into the van and I climbed into the driver’s seat.

“Okay, Mamma, drive, drive, drive!” Ten urged.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“She’s wanted in 18 countries,” Twelve informed everyone in the car. “It was 17, but it became 18 this morning.”

“What was the eighteenth?” I asked out of curiosity.

“Um, the U.S.,” Twelve responded as if it should be obvious.

“Yes, I was known countrywide,” Ten said, “but now in some cases it’s nationwide.”

“Aren’t countrywide and nationwide the same thing?” my husband said.

Ten thought about it for a beat then giggled.

“I meant continent-wide,” she said.

“That makes more sense…I think,” I replied.


Of course, we couldn’t let the conversation go there. The first question most parents would have asked wouldn’t have been the one I did—about the 18th country. I did, eventually, get around to asking the most obvious.

“What are you wanted for?” I said to Ten.

“Eating doorbells,” Twelve responded for her sister.

I didn’t quite know what to say to that. The whole doorbell-eating scenario arose when we went on vacation last summer, and I’m not sure where or when it started. But apparently it’s an issue. I have a child who eats doorbells and is now wanted by international law enforcement for it.

There could be worse things, I guess.







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