Mabel Watson Payne lined up the water sipper she took to Huntington Park alongside her other water sippers, one of many jobs she helped with after we got home at the end of Friday afternoon. During an ordinary day she will spontaneously create a chaos of toys and books and art supplies throughout the apartment, as is the ordinary way of babies. At the same time there will be signs like the above behavior that Mabel inherited a good many of the neatnik, hyperorganizational genes which undeniably govern a major component of her mother's character and my own.
When Mabel and I arrived (a bit damp and dirty) we found the apartment empty. Her parents had gone out to dinner and a movie. So it was up to us to
wash hands and assemble dinner and set the table and eat the meal and clear up the dishes and take a bath and get into
pajamas and read a bedtime story and drink down the small bedtime bottle of milk. This
ritual bottle is always taken in the rocking chair and there is always
singing to go along with it. On Friday evening Mabel instructed me to
sing Baa Baa Black Sheep – and before I had sung it even fifty times, she was sound asleep.