Friday afternoon Mabel Watson Payne watched her Mamma extracting the contents from a FedEx box that had been driving her crazy with curiosity ever since its delivery with her name on it earlier in the day. This whole week has been saturated with birthday festivities and birthday preparations and the arrival of birthday presents, but each new twist on the story has continued to command Mabel's full and rapt attention.
Out of the box came a plush stuffed narwhal. Its single unicorn-style horn required careful investigation before Mabel determined that it was truly safe to play with.But the reassurance came quickly because she already knew about narwhals from that classic and favorite hard-page book,Baby Beluga.
At bath-time she requested the dragon that came inside her birthday backpack a few days ago. I picked out that dragon because I knew Mabel had been drawing dragons lately with Daddy, but was still pleased to discover that it stood in such singular favor. In the bath, Dragon played amphibiously with an intensely green frog made of strung-together sponges.