The Thirty-Second Chart (Spurts)

March 16, 2012

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these fun Spurts from the last couple of weeks, readers!

During the weekend the girls and I were coloring.  I’ve long been a fan of coloring.  As a college freshman, my university-assigned roommate and I didn’t have much in common but one thing we could do together was color.  We actually bought coloring books and crayons that we would use as we watched TV together.  We discovered that coloring had something of a therapeutic effect on both of us.

To this day I still enjoy coloring, and on Sunday the girls and I had each chosen our preferred coloring books.  I worked on a picture of Minnie Mouse surrounded by flowers and butterflies, and I worked to make the picture look as realistic as possible.  Five and Three stopped working on their own pictures for a few minutes and began discussing my picture, offering comments and suggestions.

I had just begun working on Minnie’s face and colored her face with a peach color to make it look more realistic.  As I worked close to her eyes, I did my best not to get the crayon into the whites.

“Don’t color her eyes otherwise she won’t be able to see,” Three instructed me.

I nodded my head, making sure not to render Minnie blind by my coloring.

***

When I pick Three up from school, she’s ready to get home so she can eat her lunch and get to her nap.  Often I’m on the phone with my mom as I drive—it’s usually the only time in the day when I can touch base with my own mother and update her on our lives here in SLC, and I always talk hands-free via my Bluetooth when I’m driving—so I’ll turn on the radio, and Three will sit quietly in her seat, listen to the music, and watch the world roll by.

Three looks so intently out the window that I thought she didn’t really pay attention to what’s on the radio.  Until the other day when I walked from one bedroom to the other putting away clean laundry and I heard a little voice follow me into our room and start singing, “I’m only going to break, break  your, break, break your heart.  I’m only going to break, break your, break, break your heart.”

Some kids repeat nursery rhymes.  My daughter channels Taio Cruz.  Yes, this girl is definitely Harvard material.

***

On Wednesday Five and Three had their second visit to the dentist for a standard cleaning.  Five had anticipated the dentist’s visit with excitement since the weekend when I told both girls they would be getting their teeth cleaned.  Three followed her sister’s example by exuding enthusiasm, but when the hygienist actually had her in the chair she got very quiet and I knew she needed some moral support.  I held her hand and squeezed it occasionally as the hygienist worked on her teeth, so I couldn’t sit next to Five as she got her own teeth cleaned.  Consequently I almost missed Five’s hygienist say, “You’ve got a loose tooth.”

A loose tooth?  Are we there already?  I’ve been teasing Five relentlessly about the fact that when her birthday comes this summer she won’t be allowed to turn six.  We’ve joked about it back and forth, and she has tried to reassure me that as much as I’d like her to stay five she absolutely has to turn six.  There’s no stopping it.  Her favorite line these days is, “I have a million birthdays.”

I can’t help but smile at the optimism of her youth, and when she states this with such confidence I look heavenward and wish her a long, healthy, happy life.

And I guess conceptually I knew she would get older.  Kids, I’ve discovered, have this tendency to grow up when we’re not looking.  We spend all day every day with them and deal with the small moments of sibling conflict and lost toys and cold season, and we can forget that those moments represent the passage of time.  And just like that we’re standing at a juncture where we have our first loose tooth.

I’ve often observed that when a child loses his or her teeth, the shape of the face changes and the child starts to look older.  So not only do I have to deal with Five losing teeth, now I have to face the fact that my child will start looking different in the coming year or two.  And eventually she’ll no longer be a little girl.

Maybe I need to rethink these trips to the dentist.

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