The Ninety-Seventh Chart (Spurts)

Sept. 6, 2013

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

As I’ve mentioned before, Five has begun studying Chinese in her new school.  Three days a week she comes a hairsbreadth closer to her goal of imbibing the essence of the Far East.  Kung fu and unlimited lo mein, anyone?

Because the girls go to two different schools, I pick Five up first and then we head on over to Seven’s school about five miles away.  During those five miles we talk about her day and on a particular day we discussed her Chinese class.  The class is still new enough—and Five is young enough—that I’m only getting information in bits and pieces.  So when Five told me that she would bring home a Chinese book and I asked her when, she still couldn’t tell me when or in what context her teacher had said this to her.

I couldn’t help smiling and teasing her a little bit about the book, though.  I told her I didn’t know how to read Chinese.

“You have to show respect,” she stated in a no-nonsense manner.  “It’s about time you learn Chinese.”

Given that I’m still trying to learn kidspeak, it might take me a while before I can tackle Chinese.  But I’ll be sure to put it on the list.


On another day as I drove from Five’s school to Seven’s school, I turned on the radio to the classical music station to add a soothing ambiance to the car.  After greeting me and hashing out the details of putting on her seatbelt and getting situated with her after-school snack, Five asked if I could change the radio to something that had “singing music.”


“I don’t want to listen to classical music,” she said.

“But classical music is good for your brain.  It makes you smart.”

“I’m already smart,” she responded nonchalantly.

Touché.  I changed the station.


After picking Seven up from school, I usually stay quiet for the ride home.  The girls enjoy updating one another on their day and sharing tidbits from their respective schools, and I have so much fun listening to them that I don’t say much.  I only interfere with their conversations if they start to bicker or if I have to give them any information pertinent to the rest of their afternoon.

As we drove home Five described an activity in school that dealt with sorting and identifying items by color, shape, etc.  To make the activity fun, the teachers had used fruit snacks and let the children eat some of the snacks when they finished sorting.

“The snacks looked like the original fruits, only smaller,” Five explained to her sister.

The “original” fruits?  Wouldn’t most five-year-olds say they would look like the “real” fruits, or maybe that they looked like the fruits “Mommy got from the store”?  What five-year-old knows the meaning of the word “original”??


During the weekend Seven and Five formed a band.  Granted, two people technically comprise a duo and not a whole band.  But try explaining that to two enterprising, enthusiastic “musicians.”

For a while the kids spent time in different rooms rehearsing their numbers.  When the time came for their world debut, they went from room to room looking for their audience and announcing the start of their exclusive concert.

“Come down to the family room for the City Band,” Seven broadcasted into our bedroom where my husband and I sat talking.  We assured her that we would definitely come to this premiere event.

When my husband, my father-in-law, and I got settled in the family room, we received a warm welcome from the City Band.  They thanked us for coming to the show.

“First we’ll start with the things we’ve practiced,” Seven explained, “and then we’ll go on to the things we haven’t rehearsed, so we’ll be bad at that.”

I like her honesty.  When was the last time you heard a major celebrity apologize in advance for concert mishaps?

That’s what I thought.

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