Our new copy of ”Itsy Bitsy Spider” showed up at my office today, the replacement for gift from Big Sister that met an ignominious fate. It was a busy day at work and I ended up staying late, then hurrying through pouring rain to get home before Baby Dog went to bed. I made it with time to spare – bath time hadn’t even commenced – and pulled from my case the envelope that contained her new book. “What could this be?” I asked. Baby Dog reached tentatively toward the envelope, but didn’t quite touch it. “Open present?” she asked. Thus perished any doubt I had about whether this past Christmas had made an impression on her. She has processed the routine: wrapped-up thing = present = something to open = STUFF! Right now she remains fairly neutral about the whole thing, and hasn’t grasped the pleasure of doing the actual present-opening (Daddy had to unseal the envelope and pull apart the bubble wrap), but next year…oh, yes, next year. There will be expectations, won’t there? For now, she’s happy just to have Itsy Bitsy (or a reasonable facsimile) back. The book had to be pried out of her hand before she got into the tub, she held on to it through story time and night night songs, and went to sleep clutching it in her right hand.