Chart Number 165

By Ekta R. Garg

April 3, 2015

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

My younger child has some strong opinions about the world of fashion. Granted, she’s only six. She hasn’t had a chance to understand what kind of influence someone like, say, Coco Chanel might have had on this somewhat fickle field. But she knows what she likes and doesn’t like

“I don’t like dresses,” she’ll say often. “They’re too fancy.”

She uses the term “fancy” derisively, adding air quotes and squashing her face in disapproval. Never mind that she has two or three favorites in her closet. Where her big sister loves to look, feel, and act the part of a princess, Six eschews these very qualities of girlhood.

Except when it comes to painting her nails.

During spring break, after many weeks of her begging me and me alternatively forgetting and putting it off, Eight finally got her wish: I pulled out my nail polish and sat down on our plastic mat to do her nails.

When I’d announced earlier in the day that we’d paint nails, Six immediately said, “I don’t want to paint my nails.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“I’m sure.”

When I picked them up from their half-day spring break camp later, she changed her opinion to, “I’ll just watch.”

I hid a smile.

By the time we sat down after lunch to commence nail painting, Six had decided she wanted to paint her nails but added the quick disclaimer, “I’m only doing it because I like the colors. I don’t like fashion.”

“Okay,” I said.

As I proceeded with the tri-color pattern Six had chosen, she sat with fingers and toes splayed and said, “I feel so awesome right now!”

Maybe she’s a little into fashion after all.

***

Every week Six and the other first graders get spelling lists and prepare for their spelling tests on Friday morning. Because the kids have today off, the teacher decided there would be no test this week.

On Monday afternoon when I picked Six up from school, she announced she didn’t have a spelling list for this week.

“Really?” I asked. “Why?”

“Because we have Friday off.”

“Hmm,” I said in a teasing voice. “I think I’m going to have to email Ms. K. and tell her to assign some spelling words for the week.”

“You can’t tell her what to do,” Six said sagely. “She’s a teacher.”

I tried to press the point, but she was having none of it. A teacher’s a teacher and possesses omnipotence in the classroom. End of story.

***

A little while later as we drove from Six’s school to Eight’s school for afternoon pickups, I flipped radio stations and landed on one just in time to hear the opening notes of a song from my childhood.

“It’s just another manic Monday,” the Bangles sang.

I sang along with the radio as Six disputed the song choice from the back seat.

“This is boring,” she said more than once.

I refrained from telling her that before we had Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, we had the Bangles. I just kept singing. After listening to the chorus a few times, Six threw her hands in the air.

“Too bad, lady, you’re just going to have to deal with what day it is,” she said.

***

An early riser by nature, often in the mornings Six will wake up and come to our room to lie in our bed for a few minutes as my husband and I get ready for the day. I have no problem with this, but when I go to her room to make her bed and pull out the kids’ clothes for the day I get a little miffed when I see she’s forgotten to turn off her nightlight. It’s got a step button, which is easy enough for her to press, and I keep reminding her to turn it off before she leaves the room.

On Wednesday, yet again, I went into her room and found the light on. We’d just walked from the bathroom after her shower to the bedroom, and I scooted around her to turn off the light.

“You forgot to turn off the light again?” I asked.

“Sorry,” she said as she started to get ready for school.

“You know that electricity costs money, right? Who’s going to pay for it?”

“You are,” she said with assurance.

Wow. Okay.

“Well, we have to work hard to pay for these things,” I told her. “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”

“Yes, it does,” she quipped. “Money trees. Dollar trees.”

Who exactly taught this kid about puns? And why is she making such good ones??

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