Saturday, June 30, 2012

Making Faces

The parents of Mabel Watson Payne went out for dinner in the Mission with a group of friends Friday night, giving me the welcome opportunity to babysit. Daddy made up the dinner-plate before leaving – tofu-sticks, cheese-sticks, fresh raspberries and butterfly-shaped whole-wheat crackers – plus Mabel's long-time absolute favorite dessert of organic tapioca-pudding (known as ta-ta-yo-yo). I confined most of my picture-taking to this meal, with Mabel pulled straight up to the table but still anchored to her high chair. Depending on circumstances, I tend to feel uneasy dividing my attention between the baby and the camera when there are no other adults around – unless this small, active and unpredictable person is also securely strapped down and fully occupied. On the plus side, the camera is such an accustomed fixture that I don't believe it inhibits the liveliness of our exchanges at all. Or the spontaneity of Mabel's constantly morphing facial expressions.What a life of drama she leads! How vivid the narration!