Rattle, rattle, rattle.
"Sounds like the Mama is playing with the ladders," said the Husband. We were in our office in the front of the house. Fortunately, we can hear the rattle of ladders through the window.
I sighed. Looking away from the computer, I said, "It's time to give her medicine anyway."
"What are you doing?"
"I need to prune the persimmon tree," she said.
"Here, take your medicine," I said, handing her a cup of water and the pill box. "Move away. Let me do it."
"I can do it," she said.
"Yes, you can. But, I'm doing it," I said, struggling to put the ladder in the narrow space.
"Just those two branches shooting straight up," she said. "Not the one with the fruit."
Climbing the ladder, I saw that she had already cut a few branches that she was able to reach from the ground or standing on her three-foot ladder. I sighed.
"That's an apple," I said.
"That's a persimmon."
"No, it's an apple."
"Are you telling me that the persimmon tree now makes apples?" she asked in her you're-crazy-how-are-you-my-daughter voice.
"It's a branch from the apple tree," I said in my you're-nuts-how-are-you-my-mother voice.
"Show me the apple branch," she demanded from below.
I pulled down the persimmon branch. The apple hung clearly from its branch.
The Mama laughed. I laughed.
"I thought the persimmon tree finally had fruit," said the Mama.
"Shall I cut off the branch?"
Altogether, it took me 10 minutes to prune the fruitless persimmon tree, which would've taken the Mama half an hour. I quite enjoyed it—the sawing, the clipping, the precarious perch on the ladder, and the following of instructions from the Mama as she sat on her tiny green bench beneath me.
No doubt, the Mama missed that very satisfying feeling of standing on the ladder pruning away.