Friday, February 8, 2013

Dotties and Exies

On Thursday afternoon Mabel Watson Payne decided to commandeer my backpack when I came over for a visit, just like she used to do invariably when smaller. She found a folder full of photocopies and decided to decorate one of them with a neon orange hi-liter. We talked about why the orange color looked bright against a white background but was almost invisible against a black background (in the dark margins of the photocopy).

Later, using other bits of scrap paper and other markers, Mabel invented a game she called "Dotties and Exies" and it was fast and exciting. Mabel would make a tiny dot on the page in one color and it would be my job to make a tiny X next to the dot as quickly as possible, because she would simultaneously be making another dot on another part of the paper – and it would also be my job to rush over there and make an X next to that dot. And the next one, and the next. As the paper got fuller and fuller of Dotties and Exies, Mabel would squeeze her new dots into ever-tinier spaces (calling out "Dottie!" each time) and I would exclaim each time at the seeming impossibility of fitting my Exies anywhere nearby. Her attention-span being far more developed than her small-muscle dexterity, this simple game kept us occupied for the better part of an hour.