Chart Number 170 (Spurts)

May 15, 2015

By Ekta R. Garg

Enjoy these Spurts from the last two weeks, readers!

At the end of last month Eight auditioned at school for the opportunity to participate in the all-school talent show. Out of 540 students the teacher judges would choose 20 acts, and Eight had her on eye on joining that lineup with her violin.

Her audition came in the middle of a Friday morning. When I picked her up from school that afternoon, she said she’d felt a little nervous but that she got through the piece without any problems. The following week she got the word that the judges had chosen her to perform.

That week she had rehearsals for the talent show, again on a Friday and also last Monday. The rehearsals happened during school, and Eight had to miss a couple of other activities during the day. Somehow she forgot to take her violin for the Friday rehearsal, but we made sure she had it for the Monday dress rehearsal.

The talent show last Tuesday went well, and Eight performed Bach’s Minuet Number 3 the best I’ve heard it. This week after dropping Six at school, Eight brought up the talent show.

“It was a bummer that I had to miss Friday Fun in school,” she said, referring to her rehearsal.

I smiled at her valley slang and couldn’t resist. “What does ‘bummer’ mean?”

“You know, that something bad happened.”

“What bad thing happened?” I asked.

“I had to wait during the whole practice just to tell them I didn’t have my violin. Bummer,” she said, and I could have sworn she was ticking these things off her fingers. “I had to miss Friday Fun. Bummer. I had to miss library club. Bummer.”

Ah, the trials of life as a third grader.


Where she has incorporated valley swag in her vocabulary, my older child also knows the art of an innovative simile.

One morning as we drove to school, Six piped up from the back seat.

“C. and M. were in love, but I think they kind of broke up or something,” she announced.

“What happened?” I asked, trying to exude sympathy for the broken love of first graders.

“I don’t know,” she said, “but, I mean, it’s not like they’re in middle school, being all in love with each other.”

I’m so glad she and her friends understand the parameters of true love.

“Love is like a crinkly newspaper in our class now,” Eight said.

I frowned. “What do you mean?”

“It’s gotten old,” she explained. “Everyone knows that G. has a crush on someone, but he won’t tell who and we got tired of asking. And T. has a crush on every single girl in the class.”

Love gone old. What a bummer.


Yesterday when I picked Six up, we chatted about her day as we drove to Eight’s school. She told me that she and her classmates got to watch a rehearsal of a performance by some older students.

“The middle schoolers put on a play that was killer awesome,” she said. “It was totally killer.”

Killer awesome; I’m sure that’s exactly the kind of critique the middle school students crave.

She then trumped her own review by declaring the play better than the book Castle in the Attic, which her teacher read aloud bit by bit over several days. Considering that during the book reading Six would get into the car after school and narrate the latest events in the story with bated breath, her praise of the play definitely carried weight. She did waver for a few moments but then went back to her original assertion. The play, without a doubt, was killer awesome.



Eight had a bad experience with one of her classmates using some bad language against her (something I’ll talk about in greater detail in next week’s Chart.) She told me about it yesterday morning, and I told her she didn’t have to talk to that classmate.

“Don’t be rude or disrespectful to [that person],” I said as we drove to school. “Just stay away and don’t talk to [him/her].”

In the afternoon when I picked her up, I asked whether she’d had another run-in with her classmate. She said no, that the classmate had actually apologized.

“Really?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes,” she said, “but I’m not going to forgive [him/her].”

“Dude, you’ve got to forget it,” Six said right away. “Just break it.”

Dude?? Have my children made a trip to California recently that I don’t know about?

On the other hand, I appreciated her advice to her big sister to (in the words of Elsa) let it go.

(On a related note, I love California and people from California. No offense meant to anyone from there or with any ties whatsoever to the West Coast. Like, yeah.)