The One Hundred-and-Fifth Chart (Spurts)

November 8, 2013

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

Heard from the kitchen while the girls came down the stairs:

Seven: “Isn’t it amazing that everyone thinks we’re twins?”

Five: “Yeah.”

Seven: “I’m going to give birth to twins when I grow up.”

Five: “Well, I gave birth to myself.”

Seven: “You can’t do that.”

Five: “Yes, I can.  I gave birth to myself.”

Now, a show of hands of the number of people willing to explain to this child how that possibly couldn’t have happened.

***

Last Saturday Five and Seven played in the family room, and out of the blue Five looked at me and declared, “A long time ago people didn’t have TVs, so they would use clouds and look at their shapes.”

“Really?”

“Yup.  And they didn’t have cars, so they used cardboard boxes.”

Okay, so now that we’ve gotten past biology, who’s ready to explain engineering?

***

The Sunday before Halloween I took the girls shopping for new costumes.  The wings on Seven’s costume from last year broke, so we had to get rid of it, and Five had outgrown her costume.  So we went shopping four days before Halloween.

As we drove to the store, the kids talked about what costumes they wanted.  Five mentioned princesses and fairies.  Seven shook her head.

“I want to be a witch,” she said.  “Fairies are passé.”

I nearly stepped on the accelerator too hard.  “They’re what?”

“They’re passé.”

“What does they mean?”

“It means they’re kind of old.”

Wow.  Do I need to worry about the day when Seven looks at me and says, “Oh, Mom, come on, you’re so passé.”

***

Earlier this week Seven and I dropped Five off at school, and we took this opportunity in our daily routine to work on the multiplication tables.  We’ve done this for several weeks now, with varying degrees of success.  Some mornings Seven breezes through the tables she knows and then tackles the ones that still stump her with a “can do” attitude.  Other mornings she chokes back the three or four tears that threaten to spill over.

On Wednesday morning Seven raced through her tables without batting an eye.  The previous day we’d had a morning of choking back the tears.  So I took the opportunity to point out the difference between the two ways she handled the situation.

“Did you notice how you got through your multiplication tables so fast today?”

“Yes.”

“Why do you think you got through them like that today?”

“Because I was patient and calm,” she replied automatically.

“And what’s the best way to solve a problem?”

“By being a patient and calm,” she repeated.

“Good,” I said.  “Just remember that.”

“I will.”

We’ve had one tear-choked moment since then, but if she can make it through more of these mornings with the “can do” approach we just might learn the multiplication tables before Christmas after all.

***

On another morning we got close to her school, and Seven commented on the fire station close by.

“You know, Mamma,” she said, “I saw that fire station on the first day of school and I knew that if I got hurt or something that I might be able to come here to the fire station.  It made me feel not scared of school that first day.”

“Really?”

“Yup.”

I’ve seen the fire station every morning since the school year started but didn’t know that Seven had made a note of it.  But in all the transition and upheaval involved in moving from one state to another, she found a small measure of comfort in something permanent and close to her school.  I’m so grateful for these little things.

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