Sunday, December 2, 2012

Coast to Coast Polaroids

My daughter's end-of-October weekly Polaroid project with Mabel Watson Payne naturally, even inevitably took up the all-consuming passion of those days for picking out pumpkins and for putting on costumes. Mabel as Cool Cool Robot poses above with her three-year-old friend who impersonated Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. 

Mabel's green metal bucket (above) has served many purposes since its arrival as part of a more complicated present last Christmas, but this is the only instance where I have seen it used as a hat. The stuffed white bird (about to be eaten by a wooden alligator – Mabel is rather fond of  having animals eat one another – ) is a pigeon representing The Pigeon, protagonist of a series of books Mabel has checked out repeatedly (with her father's help) from the San Francisco Public Library. She and her parents found this plush stuffed version of The Pigeon in the gift shop at the grand and glorious New York Public Library when they stayed in Manhattan on a short working vacation this past summer. Like everything in the gift shops of all cultural institutions, The Pigeon was absurdly overpriced, but Mabel already was in love with the character, her parents were already in love with the character, and there was no doubt in anybody's mind that The Pigeon had to be procured.

Mabel's grandmother in North Carolina hosted the family for Thanksgiving. Mabel has spent every Thanksgiving of her life (three of them now) in North Carolina, which surely establishes a tradition (in my observation little children love rituals and traditions of the personal sort that pertain just to themselves and their relations). Above, Mabel and Nooe can be dimly perceived in the midst of a herd of small goats. There is another picture elsewhere (reproduced below – not a Polaroid but an Instagram) showing Mabel feeding hay to one of these goats.


As also there are many other non-Polaroid pictures here documenting Mabel's after-brunch stroll with her usual entourage plus her California grandparents (after the return from North Carolina) along a high San Francisco lookout.