Chart Number 166

April 17, 2015

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

Our local park district is holding an art contest for anyone in the area who wants to enter, and both kids created pictures especially for the contest. We dropped off their pieces at the cultural center, and on the way home the kids talked about all things art-related—including hair in unnatural colors.

Six mentioned that one of her classmate’s siblings had dyed her hair pink.

“And how does a person make their hair pink?” I asked.

“With chemicals,” she said.

“That’s right,” I said. “The chemicals turn their hair a different color, but they can also damage your hair.”

“That’s why it’s called hair dye,” Eight said.

I’ll admit, it took me a couple of seconds to translate the pun, but then I got it. And she’s right. I guess that’s why it is called dye.


Eight and Six have made steady progress in their guitar lessons, and they’re both learning songs and technique from the same book right now. The book, called Easy Pop Melodies, takes interesting and culturally significant pop songs and breaks them down in easy-to-play guitar arrangements.

Both kids are working on the song “Every Breath You Take” performed by The Police and written by Sting. I grew up hearing this song on the radio and in other places, and I always took the words to mean how Sting wrote them: as a sweet song designed to bolster confidence that the recipient will always have someone to count on.

Eight, however, didn’t quite see it that way.

“If you think about it,” she said, “it’s kind of a creepy song. ‘Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you’.”

I had to smile wryly. When you put it like that, it kind of is creepy. And, really, for those of us married or in a relationship, do we want our significant others watching absolutely every single move we make?

Didn’t think so.


Last week my husband’s sister and her son visited us for the whole week. It was a special treat for us; they don’t get to visit very often. We all enjoyed their trip, but the kids had to balance school and extracurricular activities. They also had to share a room.

On Tuesday of last week, after I dropped Six at school, Eight and I made our way to her school when she told me that the grownups had been talking too loudly the night before. Apparently we were keeping her and Six up.

“We wanted to close the door because you were being too loud, but it didn’t exactly work,” she said.

“What do you mean it didn’t exactly work?” I asked. “It’s a yes or no thing. Either you can close the door or you can’t.”


“You mean you both wanted to close the door but neither of you got up to do it?”

“Um, yeah.”

She started laughing, and I couldn’t help joining in. I reassured her that we would close the door that night so she and her sister wouldn’t have to debate with one another and their fatigue about who would actually do it.


Family visits will get into gear again at the end of May, this time when my parents and sister come to see us. My husband has taken a couple of days off for their visit, and he mentioned we could make a trip to Chicago while the family was here.

Earlier this week I told the kids we were thinking about visiting the Windy City.

“What hotel are we going to stay at?” Six asks.

Okay, I know this kid likes hotels, but I didn’t know what she was getting at.

“I don’t know yet, why?” I asked.

“I hope it starts with an R and ends with a Z,” she said. Even though she sits behind me in the car, I could hear the impishness of her grin.

“And that the second word starts with a C and ends with an N,” Eight added.

Go figure. You give the kids the privilege of staying in the Ritz Carlton once, and they’re going to come back for more.


This past Sunday as I carried something down the stairs for my sister-in-law, I slipped on the fourth step from the bottom and fell pretty hard. Aside from jarring me for several minutes, I hurt the base of my spine (read: butt), and the impact worked its way up to the base of my neck (read: the base of my neck.) Both of my arms hit the step in a subconscious effort to catch me; the bicep in my right arm got strained a little bit, and my left elbow started hurting right away.

About 15 minutes after I fell, Six came to me in the kitchen. She saw me cradling my left arm and asked how my elbow felt.

“It still hurts a little bit,” I confessed, “but thank you for asking.”

She looked at me with her large brown eyes and said sagely, “At least no one broke a bone or hit their head.”

And even though I still felt my body vibrating a little bit from the fright of the fall, I appreciated her observation.