Chart Number 231

November 11, 2016

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

One morning as I helped Eight get ready for school, I watched her balance on one foot while she pulled a sock over the other.

“Do you know why I like socks?” she asked in her customary way of starting a topic from the middle.

“Why do you like socks?” I asked, already smiling. I knew this would be good.

“Because there’s no right or left, so you never get confused about what sock goes on what foot,” she said, switching feet. “I like that.”

I guess I’d never put a lot of thought into to it, but, yes, that does make socks incredibly convenient.

*****

While the rate of the girls losing teeth has slowed considerably, it does pop up from time to time. Last week Ten declared that she’d lost a tooth, and she pulled out the little stainless steel cup that has become our go-to for storing teeth for You Know Who.

“I hope the Tooth Fairy writes me a note this time,” Ten said, glancing at me. “It’s been a while since she’s written one.”

I didn’t say anything, just nodded.

“Are you sure you’re not the Tooth Fairy?” she asked, a little bit of suspicion lacing her tone.

“Do you really think I have the time or energy to come here in the middle of the night, take away your tooth, and leave your money?” I asked, circumventing her question. “I like my sleep.”

“Okay.”

Later that night I got into bed, turned off the light, and settled under the comforter to go to sleep. My mind began drifting, as it often does, to the events of the day. As my eyes drifted shut, I remembered Ten’s tooth.

Oh, crap, I thought. Now I’m going to have to get back up again.

Admittedly, this is one of the hardest things about having kids: getting up when you’re the most comfortable in your bed, when it’s really late at night, and you want nothing more than to succumb to the sleep that is dragging down your eyelids. But the Tooth Fairy had been chided before because she failed to take the tooth and leave any money, so I moved the comforter back, went into the closet to grab 50 cents from my purse, and my way through the semi-darkness to Ten’s room.

When I got there, I placed the two quarters on her nightstand as quietly as I possibly could. I picked up the little cup and got ready to drain it when I noticed that Ten had left a sticky note right next to the cup. Curious, I brought both the cup and the note back to my own closet where I turned on a night light, sat on the floor, and leaned toward the light to read the note.

“Dear Tooth Fairy,” it read. “Please write me a note. It’s been a long time since you’ve left me one. Sincerely, [Ten.] P.S. I know you’re Mommy.”

Busted.

*****

Although we’ve been in the new house several months now, we’re still getting used to some of its features that are different from previous places we’ve lived. This includes, namely, our alarm system. Earlier this week, before I headed out to lunch with friends, I decided to see if I could turn it on and put it in the “Away” mode. With a mental note that after I got back I would only have 60 seconds to turn it off before the alarm sounded and law enforcement was notified, I locked the door behind me and left.

Lunch ran long enough that I had just enough time to pick up the kids and their grandpa before coming back home. We walked in the door, chattering about school, and minutes later my husband came home too. He asked the kids about their day, and I collected lunchboxes and began washing the dishes.

Suddenly I remembered the alarm. We’d been in the house for about 15 minutes and it hadn’t gone off. No police officer stood at our door asking with polite awareness if everything was okay. I finished up the dishes as fast as I could and hurried to the mudroom where the door opens into the garage. I flipped the alarm panel open and began pressing buttons, trying to figure out why the alarm hadn’t gone off or if it was a silent alarm or if something else had happened

Ten came into the mudroom to grab her homework out of her backpack.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I murmured.

“Really, you don’t know?” she asked, her tone the perfect balance of snarkiness and amusement. “You just decided that after the dishes you would come in here and start pushing random buttons?”

I laughed, as much at her comment as myself. “Yeah, something like that.”

Just then I managed to put in the code correctly and watched as it began counting down the ominous 60 seconds.

“No, really, Mommy, what are you doing?”

“I told you, pressing random buttons.”

After a few more finger jabs, I got the alarm to deactivate. Then I explained to her what I had been doing. Her eyes got slightly wide as she realized how important it was for me to put the code in correctly with the right combination of activation buttons.

I couldn’t help laughing later at her question. Ten is most certainly developing quite the sense of humor. It’s become a treat, in many cases, to share in it, and she’s so witty at times that we don’t even mind being the subject of it.