Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Otsu

On Friday afternoons Mabel Watson Payne escorts her mother to a baby/mother yoga class in the Mission. Today after their class (under gray San Francisco skies) I met them at Little Otsu on Valencia Street. Every year since long before Mabel Watson Payne consented to grace the planet with her presence, my daughter and I have been in the habit of meeting on a December afternoon at Little Otsu to buy our planning calendars for the coming year. These are only available at Little Otsu, designed by exclusive Little Otsu artists – and this year's selection can be viewed here. My daughter likes a compact planner like a small paperback book while I favor one of the oblong spiral-bound jobs that lays flat on the desk where I can readily see the whole week at one time.

After Little Otsu we all walked back to Spencer Alley, ate shawermas from Truly Mediterranean, and tried on the muslin prototype of the baby Christmas frock that we are collectively conceiving, step-by-tentative-step. After the last report on the mock-up construction here, I decided (after discussions with the client and her mother) to rip off one of the sleeves and substitute an alternative cut, less full at the top and more open at the bottom, designed to end just above the elbow. It was this second sleeve that everyone this afternoon agreed to prefer. On other fronts the neck-opening and yoke fit well, the length looks just about right, and the new reduced fullness in the body works better. My daughter checked the see-through on the red embroidered fabric that will compose the finished garment and she wondered about a possible lining – an idea to keep in mind and investigate further as the work progresses.

It felt like kind of hurry-blurry time in comparison to the serene sleeping-and-playing-and-nursing days that mother and child more often spend happily and quietly together in their downtown apartment while daddy is off working, but there was much patience and cheerful coping in evidence midst all the activity.

Some people suspect that Mabel Watson Payne is beginning to cut teeth, while others are waiting for more certain signs. I know for sure that she bit on my finger today in a newly purposeful way.