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Katie’s playmate

by Joan Hershberger | February 7, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

At family gatherings little kids’ eyes search for “someone just like me.” At three, Katie found Abby, two. The two inspected each other before returning to their mothers. At four, my grandson went up to a bit taller boy at a yard sale and said, “hi!” The oldest grandson immediately gravitated to his much younger boy cousin when they first met, only to realize the years made a difference in what they could play.

So when all her siblings left, Katie, 5, wanted a playmate. She found me, the only person not rushing about working.

“Come on Grandma, let’s sew,” Katie said.

I found a comfortable spot to sit and opened my sewing bag. I pulled out a scrap of Aida cloth, a large needle and cards of leftover DMC threads.

“I want light pink.”

I unwound a couple feet chanting. “Pink, pink. You stink.”

She grinned, “pink, pink, you think.”

I started to thread the needle.

“No, let me!” she insisted. She quickly poked the thread through the needle’s eye. “Here, tie it.”

Katie stitched random lines across the fabric using all the thread.

“Now I want orange.”

“Nothing rhymes with orange,” I said as I separated the thread.

She tried, “borange, korange” and other silly words, threaded the needle and stitched.

My attempt to show Katie a simple stitch design ended when her sisters arrived home. “I’m gonna go play,” she said dropping the fabric.

At bedtime she brought me her doll Allie in a pink carrier. “You watch her. She needs her paci.” She placed the magnetized pacifier over the doll’s mouth.

“Now hold her and pat.” She laid the doll on my shoulder. I patted a few times then left the doll laying on my shoulder. Katie picked up her backpack. “Here are her toys, some food and a Bible to read.” Katie pulled each item to give me. She ran over to the pile of toys in the corner and returned with a wooden block painted to look like a container of milk. “And here is milk for her breakfast. Allie will sleep down here tonight. You take care of her.”

“Okay. Allie isn’t going up to bed with you?”

She adjusted the doll carrier and tucked my blanket around the doll before going upstairs to bed.

“I see you are watching the baby,” my daughter observed in passing.

“I have a carton of milk to give her in the morning,” I indicated the wooden block.

The next morning, Katie ignored the doll. “Let’s sew.” With her sisters gone again, she needed a playmate.

I pulled out the sewing basket. She sewed light green, light blue, light purple and light yellow and quit. “Let’s sew on the sewing machine,” she said.

“Okay, I’ll get it,” I said.

Katie’s mom overheard us, “I’ll get it.” Quickly she returned with the old fashioned sewing machine and a bundle of fabric. “Here is an apron we started a long time ago and never finished.”

I pinned. Katie pushed the button on the foot pedal. While I prepared the apron to sew, Katie picked up the scissors, “I want to cut.”

I looked around for something, “Do you want to cut the cloth you sewed?”

She cut off all the knotted tails and loose ends, arranged them in a wad on the Aida cloth and pushed the pedal as I directed the fabric to stitch them in place.

She said, “These are the eyes and the nose.” She never finished the mouth. Her sisters returned. Katie dropped the cloth, scissors and thread and announced, “I’m going to go play with them.”

With no one to play with me, I finished the apron efficiently, but it was not as much fun without a playmate.


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