Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Busy Baby

At the Chinatown playground Mabel Watson Payne stood and studied the big teeter-totter while some bigger girls used it. She summoned up memories of past experiences – and then (when she was good and ready and the bigger girls had moved on) she launched herself at the teeter-totter with the kind of determination that can only be crowned by success.

After we were done bouncing she had me bend down so she could show me how the blue-coiled springs worked from underneath.

Next she paid a flying visit to the train, handling all the controls in turn.

But there could be no lingering because there were too many other things needing to be seen and done.

Such as compiling a leaf-and-twig collection and then displaying it (with a fetish-like symmetry) on a colorful bench.

Back at home, Mabel Watson Payne, finely coated in sand all over, was summoned by her father to the bathtub.

Feeling righteously tired and very clean, she showed how well she can help in the job of putting on long sleeping socks that won't slip off in the night (to be combined with one of the few sets of pajamas she has that don't come with built-in feet).