By Ekta R. Garg
August 17, 2012
Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!
Last year when we moved here, Six declared at that time that she was no longer a baby and no longer needed to take a nap. So I did what any sensible mother would do. I renamed “nap time” and began calling it “quiet time” instead.
This didn’t fool the girls; they still know exactly what I hope will happen.
Six has long outgrown the afternoon nap, although she still occasionally will catch a few Zs if she’s incredibly tired (and I manage to spend enough time convincing her.) Four has begun the transition away from the afternoon nap—that is, we’re probably at 75 percent no-nap-taken and 25 percent nap-undertaken-successfully.
Don’t bother guessing what I’d rather prefer. Especially when I’m trying to write or edit.
But I do understand this transition is important and necessary; it’s just a matter of finding creative ways to occupy Four’s time.
Regardless, I still perform my duty as a mother (and hold my breath in hope as a writer) and take Four upstairs every afternoon after lunch. The fact that she doesn’t protest tells me she’s either figured out that she needs to humor me or she sometimes still sits on the fence about the whole nap thing. Sometimes, when I’m sure she’ll fall asleep in the afternoon—given her incessant yawning and eyes slightly swollen from the need for sleep—she doesn’t. I think she gets into her bed and then actually forgets why she’s there.
Earlier this week I heard Four calling from the bathroom; she had finished what she needed to do and wanted me to help her get cleaned up. As we washed our hands, she turned to me.
“Mamma, is it time to wake up from Quiet Time yet?”
“No, not yet.”
“But why are we doing fake Quiet Time? I don’t want to do fake Quiet Time.”
Sigh. She’s caught me red-handed. I just hope she continues to humor me for a few more months before dropping the ax completely on her “fake Quiet Time.”
In the course of the Olympics, we let the girls stay up later than their normal bedtime so they could watch the athletes compete and win in their various disciplines.
I’ve never realized this before, but some sports require more rounds of qualification than others. In the running portion of the track-and-field events, we saw various heats before the actual final gold-medal events. NBC would usually only show one or two heats for, say, the 400 m. race before showing the race itself.
With the big-name sports finished in the first week of competition, we turned our attention to those sports a little less publicized but no less difficult. And that’s when Six became an expert on Olympic diving.
Mind you, she had plenty of time to become an expert. In one round of competition, the divers must complete six dives—each. Add to this the fact that the divers undergo several—that’s right, several—rounds of qualifying competitions before reaching the final, and you can imagine how many times we watched young men and women try to slice through the water as clean as a hot knife through butter.
Six listened to the NBC commentators carefully enough that by the last couple of days of diving, she could have taken their place.
“Look at that dive,” she would exclaim after watching someone go into the water. “That was beautiful! There was almost no splash. Do you see the splash meter?”
When someone performed badly or not up to whatever mental judging standard she’d apparently set, she would watch the dive and then shake her head right away.
“Nope. Did you see the splash? That was too big.”
If my kids can’t compete in the Olympics, I wonder if there’s a chance I can get into the Games one year as the mother of a commentator…
With school starting next week, talk around the dinner table and at various other parts of the day has focused on what Six might experience in first grade and how Four will encounter pre-kindergarten.
One night this week the sisters discussed whether any of the kids from their previous classes would join them in this new school year. Four suddenly had a bright idea to confirm just who might be joining her posse this time around.
“Can you call my friends’ moms and dads on the phone so I can talk to them?” she asked as I served everyone dinner.
I couldn’t help it: I had to turn away quickly otherwise I would have risked her seeing how hard I tried not to laugh right at her.
I finally got it: my first “birds-and-the-bees” question.
In our home we have two tall standing lamps. The lamps serve a double purpose. In addition to lighting up our living room, each lamp has four glass shelves encased within the metal frames. The shelves are sturdy enough and large enough to hold smaller decoration pieces, and within one of these I’ve placed a picture holder that allows us to display different pictures at different times.
Earlier this week as we got ready to leave the house, Six spotted the picture that currently features in the frame. The picture shows taro root fields on the island of Kauai in Hawai’i. When Six was not quite two years old and I was pregnant with Four, we went to Hawai’i. My husband was attending a conference there, and the rest of the family went along for the ride.
“Where is this?” Six asked, charmed by the lush greenery of the large fields.
I explained that we’d taken the photo from the side of the road as we drove across the island one day.
“Oh, I don’t remember that,” Six said. “Was [Four] there?”
“She was there,” I said in a teasing manner. “She was in my tummy.”
“How does a baby get into a mommy’s tummy?” Four asked.
“God decides to give a mommy a present and puts the baby in her tummy,” I replied without hesitation. I smiled and stroked her face, and she smiled back.
Technicality aside, I saw right away that she felt satisfied with my answer and didn’t require anything else. And I don’t think it’s such a bad way for her to live and believe in these early years that babies are gifts to their mothers—just as mine have been to me.