Chart Number 155 (Spurts)

January 23, 2015

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

We’re leaving for Hawaii this weekend for a week-long vacation, so this past Sunday I chatted with the girls about the actual travel portion of the trip.

“What do you girls want to do in the plane?” I asked as I ironed some shirts.

“I don’t know,” they both said.

“Sleep,” Six said.

“Sure, you could sleep,” I said, wondering if that’ll actually happen. This child spends most of her time on planes tracking the movements of the air hosts and hostesses, wondering when they’re going to bring her the next cup full of cranberry juice. But a mother can hope.

“I don’t know,” Eight repeated, contemplating the idea.

“I can send you in the back to the galley where the stewards and stewardesses are, and you can work with them,” I said.

“What, you’re going to send me to Stuart?” she quipped, turning to her sister who caught on to the pun. “And who’s Stuart-ess?”

“Stuart?” Six echoed with a giggle.

“He’s my boyfriend,” I bantered back.

“Oh, is he the one who whistles at you all the time?” Eight asked.

Given that my text message alert had whistled not too long before this, I nodded.

“Yup. He does that to tell me how cute I am.”

The girls kept giggling, and I just had to roll my eyes. Stuart indeed.


On Monday when the kids had a day off from school, Eight spent most of the day working on her math homework for the trip. Six decided she would do absolutely nothing.

It may sound odd that I’m pointing this out, but you have to understand that normally this child turns into a whirlwind from the moment she wakes up. She’s chatty, she laughs, she makes funny faces and loves to joke about pickles (don’t ask me why, I don’t have the first clue) all before breakfast. She’s notorious for waking up early on the weekends, and she loves the distinction as the early riser.

In the last few weeks, however, I’ve noticed that she’s started waking up a little later on the weekends. At first I attributed it to the dinner parties we would attend that would run long past the kids’ bedtime. But then Monday morning happened.

On Monday I went to Six’s room to wake her up, and she frowned while her eyes stayed closed. It was about 8:45, and she begged for more time in bed. I almost wanted to ask her where my real child had gone.

Eventually I got her up and we got started on our day. Eight and I knew we would have to tuck in to the day for a marathon math session, and Six stayed pretty patient as she waited for her sister to finish. I offered her some workbook pages left over from the summer.

“No, I don’t want to do them,” she said just as casually as I’d asked.

I tried not to do a double-take. Last summer I had to beg Six to stop working on her workbook.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“I’m sure.”

“Uh…okay,” I said. “Why don’t you go read a book then? You can either sit on the sofa or go cuddle on your bed with Simba.”

“Good idea,” she said, and she trotted off to read.

I wonder if this is a phase or a subtle shift in personality.


Despite the improvement in the weather, everyone in our house is still fighting the remnants of colds and coughs. I just bought extra cough drops yesterday because the kids and my husband and I have started having longer conversations about sore throats and runny noses.

During the weekend we pulled out the warm mist humidifier for Six so that she could be comfortable while she slept. Early in the week, though, she got a little better and my husband and I decided she didn’t need the humidifier anymore.

On Tuesday evening Six came to me as I washed dishes after dinner. She crossed her arms, cocked one hip, and tilted her head.

“Mamma, my humidifier isn’t on. Is it supposed to be on?”

I wanted to laugh at the way she stood there, almost tween-like, but I didn’t. I just turned back to the dishes.

“Well, let me finish here and I’ll come up and check it, okay?”


I washed the last dish and jogged up the stairs. As I said goodnight to Six, she asked about the humidifier again.

“Papa and I think you don’t need it anymore,” I said, holding my breath a little. I didn’t want a major discussion right before she went to sleep.

“Okay,” she said, surprising me, “but I should still eat the cough drops.”

“Definitely,” I said, smiling into the dark.


Yesterday Six had a half day off, so we went from home to Eight’s school to pick up Eight. As I drove I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw Six leaning back in her seat.

“Are you okay, [Six]?” I asked.


“Just thinking?”

“I’m thinking about what I want to draw.”

“Oh, well, that’s pretty cool,” I said.

“I think I’m going to draw a beautiful swan,” she said.

Because all-things-vacation are on my mind right now, her mention of drawing made me think of something else.

“Hey, [Six], do you know where the lap desks are?”

The kids have these great lap desks with carry handles and two zippered pockets on each desk to store pencils, crayons, etc. The desks have come in handy more than once on long trips like the one we’re about to take.

“I think I know where one of them is,” she said, a sliver of doubt in her voice.


She didn’t say anything for a moment, obviously deep in thought.

“Could it be in the drawer on your side in Di-Di’s room?” I asked, referring to the nightstand she’s claimed.

“Maybe,” she said.

We didn’t talk about it for the rest of the ride, and after picking up Eight from school the girls started chatting about other things. We went to their music lessons and came home. I went straight to the kitchen and started making dinner, and truthfully I’d forgotten about the lap desks until I heard Six calling from upstairs.

“Mamma, I told you I knew where the lap desks were!”

Wow. Not only did she remember, but she went looking for them.

“Can you go put them in my room on top of the suitcase?” I asked her.


Hmm. This could come in handy in the future on laundry days.

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