August 9, 2013
By Ekta R. Garg
Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!
As we pulled out of the driveway of my parents’ home in South Carolina, the girls got settled into their seats for the two-day journey back to Illinois. All of a sudden Five looked up, her face creased in disappointment.
“I left Grapes at Nani House.”
For their birthday, the girls’ aunt had sent a box full of various goodies and one of them was Grapes. A small purple poodle that doubled as a purse.
It’s an animal: Five’s first love. And it stores small things, which Five also enjoys. Since her toddler days she’s put small items into things she can carry. She’s channeling her inner bag lady, I guess.
She’d taken Grapes to her maternal grandparents’ house but had forgotten to pick up the poodle before we left. I tried to explain to her that we would return to “Nani House” soon and she could play with Grapes then. Despite her disgruntlement she finally agreed to let the issue go.
After about 10 minutes my dad called, saying my husband had left a pair of formal shoes at the house. Because my husband needs the shoes for work, we turned around to get them. As we drove back, Seven spoke up from the back.
“When we get back to Nani House, I’ll run inside and get Grapes for [Five.]”
My heart melted a little, and it finished melting when we rolled into the driveway and she jumped out of the car and trotted into the house. She came back two minutes later with Grapes in hand, and I had to compliment her on being a good big sister.
One day while watching recorded episodes of “Tom and Jerry,” we saw an ad for a magic ice cream maker. According to the commercial even kids can make ice cream! Just add cream and ice and shake for three minutes! And if we called immediately they would double our order and add two spoons to match the ice cream maker!
We watched several children jump around in excitement that only ice cream can induce, but the fake excitement didn’t really prompt any of us toward the phone.
“Do you really need matching spoons?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Five said, holding up her hand and shrugging with one shoulder. “Why can’t they just lick the ice cream?”
“I know, what’s up with the spoons?” Seven chimed in, rolling her eyes.
I couldn’t help grinning as I got a glimpse into many more TV conversations in the future. Can’t wait to see what infomercials we bash then.
Thanks to the less-than-stellar job done by our moving company, all of the balls the kids used to play with ran out of air. Most of them got deflated because the packing team placed the balls in boxes under heavy objects. As we kept unpacking the boxes the girls’ disappointment continued to mount. Now that we have a nice, large backyard where they can play, they’ve been eager to toss or kick a ball around.
When we got back from our trip to “Nani House,” we promised the kids we would buy them a new ball. And then we got busy with finishing our unpacking and trying to attend things like school registration for Seven and a back-to-school picnic for Five. My husband and I are also in the process of studying for the written test at the DMV, which is required in order for us to obtain Illinois driver licenses.
All that to say we forgot to buy a ball on our several outings this week. And when we returned this evening from a quick trip to Walmart—after telling the girls earlier in the afternoon that we would definitely buy them a ball—Five’s frustration at our forgetfulness came through loud and clear.
I sat down on the sofa with Five and apologized profusely, and she managed to eke out a few tears. I told her she had a right to feel upset because we’d told her today we would buy her a ball, and to compensate her father and I would take both sisters out and buy each of them a ball. We talked about what colors she might like to buy, and her beautiful smile started to creep across her face.
To make sure she knew how sorry I was, I used American Sign Language to say “I’m sorry” by rubbing a fist in small circles across my sternum. Five responded by swiping her palm across the empty space between us.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“It means it’s all right,” she said. Then she threw her arms around my neck in a tight hug, and once again I felt grateful for how easy it is for my young children to forgive my faults. I hope they remember this when they’re teens.