The One Hundred and Forty-Fourth Chart

October 17, 2014

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts with quips from a six-year-old from the last two weeks, readers!

Since the start of first grade, Six has come home almost every day with reports on how some of the new kids in her class have adjusted. Because she attends a small school with a highly coveted program, most kids don’t leave unless their parents have to relocate for work. That means that the majority of kids who were kindergartners last year have the benefit of coming back as first graders together now.

Occasionally a spot does open for a new student to join, and this happened this year for Six’s class. Two or three new students joined the first grade this year. One student, in particular, has already made waves because of her spirited nature. Six had an opportunity to get to know this little girl more than her friends because the girl’s family moved into our neighborhood at the beginning of the summer.

This puts Six in an unusual position as referee between her old friends and the new student, and Six has also taken on the role of town crier. Her accounts of what happens in school definitely amuse me, but I think I also get a kick out of Six’s vocabulary. It has grown at an exponential rate.

“R. was mocking Ms. H in music today!” Six declared one afternoon when I picked her up.

“Really?” I asked. “What does mocking mean?”

“It means making fun of her. When Ms. H. was talking, R. was doing this.”

Six imitated her new friend imitating the teacher, and I had to shake my head. Until I read Harper Lee in junior high, I didn’t even know that the word “mocking” even existed.

***

On another occasion, Six got into the car clearly affronted at R.’s behavior.

“R. was making fun of Ms. K. today!” she said, clearly still in shock over the incident.

Ms. K. is the main first grade teacher and an experienced one to boot, but she does have 15 kids to teach. Add in the other 15 who are kindergartners in this school that does combined classes, and you have a room of 30 kids facing two teachers. Once in a while, of course, the teachers are going to miss the small things.

Six hadn’t missed it, though, and she felt so offended that she immediately shared the incident with two other first graders who are friends from last year. Once again Six’s vocabulary caught me off guard.

“When I told S. and S. about R. making fun of Ms. K., they gasped!” Six stated.

Okay, seriously, who is teaching this kid these words??

***

Six’s school combined Columbus Day with their fall break, so she had half of last Thursday, all of last Friday, and all of Monday off. Getting days off can pose a little bit of a challenge for both of us—she loves school so much that she doesn’t want to be at home, and I have a whole list of boring tasks like laundry and ironing to do that she doesn’t really care much about. But we manage to make it work.

One thing she gets to do when she has days off is watch a movie. On Friday she opted to watch one of the Tinkerbell movies on Netflix. While Six and Eight usually do a pretty good job of compromising on what they should watch, both girls often mention to me in private that they wish they got to watch their own picks more often. So I let them do it on these vacation days.

She’s seen the movie several times before, so I didn’t think that Six would even pay that close attention to it. But at one point Tink is trying to save the pirate fairy from drowning, and she and her other fairy friends dive into the water to get the fairy out. They do so, of course, just in the nick of time.

“Wings,” Six said with a little shake of her head.

“What?” I asked from behind my laptop.

“If their wings got wet, they can’t fly,” she pointed out. “But they’re flying right away.”

I nodded, unable to refute her logic. It’s a well-known fact: if fairy wings get wet, the fairies can’t fly. What was Disney thinking by letting this one slip?

***

On Monday after she took her shower, Six skipped to her room in her usual jovial mood. Many people meet her and tell me she’s a little on the quiet side. They see the impish smile appear, but they don’t often get to meet the imp herself.

I do. Every day.

Somehow Six began teasing me that the pair of underwear she’d just pulled out of the drawer was in fact a diaper. Skipping and gyrating around, she looked at me and said in one of her many faux accents, “How do I put it on?”

“It goes on your head,” I said drily.

“I didn’t say where, I said how,” she replied right away, managing to keep the accent intact.

This child. I tell you.

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