On Sunday, Jenny went to her Readers and Eaters book club for lunch in Pasadena. Alice and I stayed home. We played with the frogs that have magnets in their hands and feet, and had them hang from the metal lamp.
On Tuesday, we took some photos before going out for a walk.
On Wednesday, Alice went bicycle riding down the street.
On Friday, Gretchen sent me a beautiful blue bow tie. I went to YouTube and watched some videos explaining how to tie it, and even though there are only three steps, it is surprisingly difficult. With some help from Mom, we finally got it to work.
On Sunday, Jenny painted Alice’s fingernails and toenails with pink Piggy Paint nail polish. As I was taking pictures, Alice looked at me and announced “Daddy, I don’t have time for this.” She was referring to the photography, not the nail polish. It is tough for someone so young to be hounded by paparazzi.
On Friday, Jenny and Alice sat down after a long day for a snuggle on the couch.
Then Alice practiced brushing Jenny’s hair.
On Saturday, Alice helped me dig up new growth from the crepe myrtle tree in the front yard.
Then Jenny went to get her hair cut.
Before bed, Alice practiced sliding on the wooden floor with her socks.
When we arrived in Ojai, Alice was painting with Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint. Mom put down a hard plastic sheet to protect the table, and then put paper on top. Mom then sprayed the paper with water, and then drizzled paint on top like a chef in a fancy restaurant. Alice used a paintbrush to spread the paint. Sometimes, they folded the paper in half to create a mirror image.
After paint, we experimented with the telephone. First I called the house phone so Alice could practice. Then Jenny got Gretchen and Kendra to call and talk to Alice. It was very cute.
For lunch, we had chicken sandwiches and Original Moose Tracks ice cream by Safeway Select. Alice had her ice cream in a cone, and when is started to melt and drip out the bottom, she started eating the cone from the bottom up. By the end, it was a big, delicious mess.
After lunch, we went down to the well. Last time it was much easier to pull out the pump because it was leaking, so the 25 feet of pipe that goes from the pump to the surface wasn’t full of water. We used Dad’s truck to pull the rope (Dad suggested Jenny drive in reverse so that she could see us while she was backing up). I got my arm stuck in the process and got a rope burn, but otherwise it came up without incident. The pump had managed to turn over, so there was a kink in the line and we had to cut off about 5 feet of pipe. One of the hose clamps broke, so we had to find a new one. Fortunately, Dad was able to find a replacement since by then the hardware stores were closed.
After we were done, I took a shower while Mom, Jenny, and Alice played Go Fish was dragon cards. Mom played with her cards face up and it took a while for Alice to figure out she could use that to her advantage and only ask for cards Mom actually had.
I like to think that Mom has planted the seed in Alice’s imagination that winning doesn’t matter. This is a simple, powerful, profoundly subversive idea. When we play games as a family, winning is very important to Gretchen. Dad likes to win too, and is very reluctant to play new games. I enjoy winning, but having fun is more important. When we used to play Pop 5 where you determine the relative point values for the other team if they are successful at identifying the word on the card by: drawing, humming, sculpting, letters on dice, or acting, I regularly encourage my team to award more points for things that would be entertaining to see, rather than just based on difficulty as is encouraged by the rules. This impulse is especially strong if my team has more points because it is more fun and engaging for everyone if it is a close game. I hope that Alice embraces this cooperative style of play, and learns that even in competition, we should be mindful of the feelings of others.