Mabel Watson Payne was asleep in her bed when I took these pictures late at night around her apartment, experimenting for the first time with small apertures and low light and long exposures. Her Christmas tree (above) looks very much the same as it did last year – except that she does not remember last year's Christmas (when she was only one year old and could not talk yet) – or at least she does not remember last year's Christmas in any way that she will admit to. But last year she found the tree novel and thrilling, while this year she seems to take it more for granted, so there must be a fund of non-verbal memories functioning in there somewhere. In fact she is still checking out Halloween books from the library and asking to read those more eagerly than the Christmas books the adults around her are promoting.
Thursday night (when these pictures were taken) marked the first full night in the lifetime of Mabel Watson Payne without the company of her parents. I came and spent the night at the apartment as their proxy and was glad to find myself accepted as a workable temporary substitute.
There are still ten days left for Christmas indoctrination, and I predict that Mabel will have left Halloween behind by the time it is her duty to set out treats for Santa Claus and the reindeer.