At nineteen months, my niece is showing more and more of her personality. She is just so much fun. Whereas I felt from day one that she was a stubborn and determined little individual, I never expected to find that she also loves to help as much as she can. I also can't figure out if she is highly risk averse or not. For instance, when she was learning how to crawl and walk, she was always very cautious and possible even slowed her progress by insisting she always had a foot behind her in case she fell. But then during this process, I once turned around to find her rocking her heart out in a child's rocking chair and then just leaning forward in the chair to reach down to get her toys on the ground below. She continues the same pattern at nineteen months in which she shows hesitancy to jump because that requires both feet leaving the ground but she shows absolutely no fear running around on a moving and stopping subway train which should cause just as much uncertainty on her feet.
In any case, I am pretty smitten with Baby. Here are a few scenes from the weekend:
(1) During dinner on Friday, I had the niece in my lap facing the table and was feeding her rice. (She can feed herself but the large spoon in the restaurant was unwieldy and too big for her mouth) If I tried to feed her something other than rice, she would shake her head and I would laugh and put it in my mouth instead. Baby decided to try her hand at feeding herself and I watched her scoop up a little bit of rice on her spoon and put it in her mouth. Then she took another spoonful and tried to feed me. However, since I was sitting behind her, the result was that she threw the rice over her shoulder and onto me (and the floor). I couldn't stop laughing at the result of her desire to help me out but had to put a stop to the mess she was making.
While on the computer and putting in my thumb drives, the drives would light up red when they were running. My niece put her hand on them and said, "It's hot." I smiled at her.
She tried the next thing the next day on the subways when she saw the blinking lights lining the platform indicate the doors on the subway train were going to close. "It's hot. It's hot." She was less than thrilled that we wouldn't let her go out of the subway and touch the lights.
She tried to describe something else as hot - she put her hand on an elevator window and insisted, "It's hot." I touched it and found that it was actually cold. "No, it's not Baby. Nice try."
(3) Baby loves pictures of herself. Looking at pictures of herself, I asked her, "Who is that?" She smiled and pointed at herself, "Me." I nodded. "Yes, it's You!"
Later when we were looking at other pictures of her, I asked her the question again, "Who is that?" She pointed at herself and, imitating almost perfectly my voice from before, said, "It's You!"
I am really good at confusing personal pronouns for my niece.
(4) My niece decided to try dressing herself. After putting her in her pajamas, she took the clothes we had just taken off her and tried to put them back on. She managed the skirt pretty well. But then she tried to put on the shirt the same way she put on the skirt. All of us adults just sat back and laughed as she maneuvered herself into this second "skirt" and then stood up and tried to walk around. We tried to show her how to really put on the shirt but she couldn't manage more than just putting it on her head like a hat.
(6) We went to a fancy bakery for a dessert on Saturday and splurged on a few cupcakes to share and a few macaroons. Baby insisted to getting a bite of one of the macaroons so we handed it to her and let her take a bite. She decided she didn't like it and squished the macaroon in her hand, crumbling it into small pieces and then brushed all those gooey crumbs off her hand over the side as the stroller while us adults tried desperately to take the remains of the macaroon out of her hand before they were lost. What is one baby's trash is another aunt's treasure.