The Seventy-Second Chart (Spurts)

Feb. 22, 2013

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

During the Martin Luther King Jr. long weekend in January, my husband surprised me with a trip to Vegas to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.  In addition to other surprises planned that weekend, he sprung Celine Dion tickets on me when we stopped in Caesars Palace for dinner.

Six and Four really don’t have that much exposure to Celine Dion’s work, so they got bored.  Granted, they’re still kind of young to sit through a concert, but it only lasted an hour-and-a-half and was completely family friendly (things my husband checked out beforehand.)  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and I chalked up the girls slouching in their seats to typical kid boredom, figuring they didn’t really pay attention much.

Last week I picked up Four from school and turned the car toward home.  I turned the radio on as usual, and “Listen to Your Heart” by D.H.T. came on.  Halfway through the song, Four spoke up from the back seat.

“Is this…um…”

I waited patiently for her to finish her question, not having a clue where it would go.  With Four, a question that starts “Is this…?” could cover any number of topics.

“Is this…um…Celine Dion?”

I breathed in deeply and listened to the song for a moment.  I had to admit that the lyrical quality of “Listen to Your Heart” did share some similarities with Celine Dion’s ballads.  And I had to remind myself that even though they may not look like it, kids are paying attention to much more than we realize.

***

On Valentine’s Day both kids brought home white paper bags that they’d decorated and filled with Valentines from their friends.  The girls chattered excitedly at dinnertime about what they’d received in their bags, and their respective parties.  Suddenly Six grinned and made an announcement.

“E. likes N. and N. likes E.,” she said, stifling a giggle.  “They—should I say it?”

Amused at her facial expressions, my curiosity got the better of me and I nodded.  “It’s okay.  You can say whatever you want.”

“They have a crush on each other.”

I paused.  How do you react to that?  After a minute I made sure to keep my face neutral.  “What does that mean?”

“It means little kid love.”

At that point I smiled.  If Six’s definition of having a crush means “little kid love,” then I think I can live with it for now.

***

Earlier this week after school I settled Four at the dining table with her customary peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich for lunch.  She eagerly finished the sandwich and drank her water, and then turned to me.

“Can I please have a cheese stick?”

“Sure,” I said.  “Just give me one minute.”

“Don’t I sound so big and mature?” Four asked, grinning at me.

Big?  Mature?  The funny thing is, as I brought her cheese stick to her and she continued to smile at me, I got the eerie feeling that she knew exactly what “mature” meant.

I had to remind myself that she is, in fact, only four years old.fit

***

While the kids usually get excited when they talk about their birthdays and getting older, last weekend Six had a moment of regret about turning—well, six.

We went to a favorite family haunt—Sweet Tomatoes, the salad buffet restaurant.  My kids don’t fit the regular kid profile when it comes to salad, because they actually love it.  They start their meals with their favorite picks from the salad buffet and then go on to macaroni and cheese from the pasta side, pick something from the fresh fruit bar, and then make a beeline for the dessert offerings.

Kids’ meals for 3-to-5-year olds include a juice box.  Once kids turn six, they don’t get the juice box anymore.  When we’d all filled our first salad plates with our selections, the lady at the cash register asked the kids’ ages.  We told her, and she handed us one juice box for Four.

“What about me?” Six asked.

I explained the situation to her, and she frowned in slight distress.

“I didn’t know that,” she said slowly, processing the loss of this particular perk of being five years old.

You know what they say: growing up is hard to do.

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