Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bananas and Forks

On Wednesday morning we had some extra minutes in the before-school routine and Mabel got out some of her "molecule" blocks to make beds for certain favorite small-scale toy-persons.

Breakfast was croissants and milk and juice and bananas. We sliced up the bananas into coin-shaped pieces and Mabel used a forgotten silver baby fork to spear individual banana coins.

Vernal Polaroids

My daughter's weekly Mabel Polaroid project eeks out the diminishing stock of genuine (far outdated) Polaroid film. When this supply is gone, the switch to one of the newly-manufactured clone films will be inevitable.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yeti Rescue

When she wakes up in the morning Mabel spends about two minutes yawning and rubbing her eyes. After that, she sparkles wide awake. Tuesday morning I took this one, quick, sparkling picture at breakfast with Mabel in her Yeti Rescue Club pajama top. I meant to ask Mabel whether the yetis on the shirt are the ones who do the rescuing or the ones who get rescued  but forgot to ask. My granddaughter, in her eagerness for all of life, kept me too busy answering questions of her own (and reading books and fixing breakfast and washing hands and brushing teeth and choosing school clothes for the promise of a hot spring day in San Francisco).

Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Morning

All this week I will have the unusual pleasure of arriving in the predawn dark at Mabel's house while she is still asleep. And spending the early morning with her and participating once again in the wake-up rituals while her mother is away on a business trip.

Mabel kept me on track during this first morning – as I attempted to follow the getting-ready-for-school routine she knows so well. After eating breakfast and washing up and getting dressed, we had more than enough time to make a ramp for the matchbox cars, using books. Mabel decided we should take turns guiding cars down the ramp and into the garage.

When my cars reached the top of the ramp they tended to be frightened and unwilling to start down. They would hook their back wheels over the edge of the book, like brakes. Mabel would have to come over and talk to the hesitant little vehicle in an encouraging voice  "you don't need to be frightened, it will be ok, don't worry."  

Green + Orangey

"All day long he watched for openings, watched for matches, drawing pins, scissors, butter; jugs of milk, substances, qualities, things that would crash, would tip, would pour, would squelch, would glitter. He put his finger into holes. Into the cane holes of the chair seat, into empty knots in the wood floor; into channels where they stuck and would not come out. It was as though his thought not perfectly and constantly clarified into speech his mind flickered restlessly in his fingers. Like the blind and the dumb his hands spoke for him. His eyes saw and his hands asked."
 Enid Bagnold
The Squire (1938) 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sweater Monster

Mabel appropriated the heavy old tweed pullover I had pulled off and tossed aside after we came in out of the rain from our lunch expedition.

She rapidly worked her legs into the sweater arms and became a mysterious hulk.

The ancient stuffed toy named Orangey jumped into the game when the sweater monster started to droop (it would soon be nap time). Orangey became the sweater monster's baby.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Egg Timer

On Friday the plastic egg timer happened to emerge from the toy box first  at the beginning of Mabel's morning playtime after breakfast. She invented an elaborate game that she alone fully understood. It involved flipping over the egg timer, running from one part of the room to another, and making faces.

The bead-in-a-maze puzzle took over after the egg timer began to wear thin, but making faces continued to be fun for a while longer.