The One Hundred and Forty-First Chart (Spurts)

September 19, 2014

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

My children have learned the power of the dramatic pause. And they’ve begun using it in everyday situations.

Last week as I helped Six get ready for school, I asked her what she wanted for lunch that day.

“I want—wait for it!—a honey sandwich!”

What makes it even funnier is the grand flourishes she adds when she states, “Wait for it!” Too bad that she has to use those flourishes on honey and peanut butter sandwiches. Maybe she’ll find some drama worthy of her abilities soon.

***

My children have reached wonderful ages where they can start investigating the staples of childhood. The trouble is that investigating those staples means finding out the truth about them and then crossing the threshold from little kids to little women. Interestingly I had two conversations with the girls in the last week that make me think we may cross the threshold sooner than any of us realize.

On Wednesday afternoon I picked up Six from school and we headed to Eight’s school. Six told me about her day, and we made small talk. As we slowed down for a red light, though, Six decided to tackle a more serious topic.

“Mamma, don’t joke with me,” she said. “Tell me the truth. Do you put the presents under the Christmas tree?”

Never mind that our conversation had gone nowhere near the topic of Christmas, presents, Santa, or anything else related to December. I was glad that she sits directly behind me in the car and couldn’t get a reading of my face or body language.

“[Six], Santa puts the presents under the tree,” I said, my heart rate picking up a little speed.

“Okay.”

***

The second conversation came after we all came home from school. Because Six lost a tooth over the weekend, the idea of making a living losing teeth has regained traction. Every time one of the kids loses a tooth, they come back to the same topic of conversation.

“Mamma,” Eight asked as she changed out of her uniform in Six’s room, “are you sure you don’t put the money and take the tooth after we lose it?”

I put on my most incredulous face and said, “I like my sleep too much to stay up late at night to take your tooth and leave money there.”

“Okay,” she said.

To be fair I felt a little bad. I wonder if the kids are going to come back to me with angry faces and arms crossed. Or if they might sue me for endangerment of childhood fancies.

***

When we moved to Illinois last year, the moving company broke part of one corner of our wooden bed frame. The broken piece has sat on our dressing table for the last year as a reminder to me to take a few minutes one weekend and glue it back on. I’ve actually debated whether we should even bother, and earlier this morning as I waited for the kids to brush their teeth in the morning I picked up the broken piece and considered it once again.

“You know,” Eight said, watching me, “I can crawl behind the bed and help you fix that corner.”

“Really?” I asked. “Are you sure?”

I didn’t realize just how obvious the doubt was on my face. My daughter read my expression to a T.

“Yeah. And besides, aren’t you the one who’s always saying I can do anything if I put my mind to it?”

I am, darn it. Lately I’ve taken to reminding my daughter that the only thing standing between her and the tasks she wants to accomplish is willpower. She has to believe in herself, I tell her, before she can do anything. But if she does believe in herself, there’s no telling what she’ll do.

So I guess this weekend we’re going to repair the bed.

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