Yesterday, I picked up niece up from her daycare in place of her mother. It was the first time she has seen me in a while. She just stared at me as I gathered her up, and her coat and took her out to my car. She didn't mind being with me - in fact, she chose me to hold her over others at some points. However, I wasn't sure that she knew which aunt I was.
Then, we had a moment alone. Alexis looked up at me and put her hand on my mouth. I looked at her confused, so she did the same thing to her own mouth. And I recalled a funny little trick I had taught her over the summer - Yayaya. I looked at her and laughed. "You do remember me!" She smiled and then giggled.
In the time since I last saw my niece, she has changed a lot. She has new teeth, she no longer has a turning radius of five feet and "Baby" has almost completely left her vocabulary. She also knows how to perform simple tasks, "Take this to your Mommy." "Here, Baby, help me hold this." "Make sure you hold my hand." "Riley is trying to go outside - go get him!" (For that one, I ran after her to find her trying to close the door to make sure her beloved cat did not run outside) She also says, "Oof, oof!" when she sees an animal that resembles a dog and can make the sign language sign to tell you that she's hungry.
Tonight, I pulled out my camera and she spent the evening taking pictures of herself. After each photo, she would flip around the camera to look at the digital display of the picture. "Who is that?" I would ask. "Mama," she always said back while pointing at her nose. I laughed at her and she'd turn the camera around again and take more pictures of herself. I tried to teach her to say, "I love you" tonight. It ended up with her pointing at me and saying, "I, I, I" I think nouns and formal names are not her forte.
Here are some selcas (self-portraits) of the baby. She thought they were all masterpieces.