After a bunch of rather technical blog entries on my heating system and generator, it's time to check back with baby Darwin, as she approaches her eight-month birthday (coming up in two days). She seems to be developing into a very happy baby with a lot of personality.
Watching Dar develop, it's been amazing to me to remember how helpless human babies are for the first few months of their lives. They appear to need to learn to pick out objects in their visual field, and then to focus attention on them. Their motions start off seemingly random and entirely uncoordinated. They can't just reach for and grab things.
But approaching eight months of age, Dar now intently observes the world around her, and can see, grasp, and manipulate objects within her reach. She can't crawl yet, quite a difference from many other mammals whose babies pop out, stand up, and walk. Her latest accomplishment is shown to the left: clapping! (you can click on all the pictures in this entry to enlarge them, and return with your browser's "Back" button). Darwin seems to be extremely proud of this newfound skill, and will show it off at the slightest provocation.
Although Dar now typically sleeps through the night, she was up for several hours during a recent night, possibly because she had a slight cold (the hazards of daycare). Unable to sleep, she amused herself by spending a substantial amount of time clapping. It was only three months ago that she sat up unassisted for the first time (documented in my entry Milestones).
And for whom is Dar applauding? Why for the Boston Red Sox, obviously. Note that she's wearing her Red Sox uniform and bib. The opening game of the 2013 baseball World Series occurred yesterday evening, and it must have been Dar's enthusiasm that propelled the team to an 8-1 victory over the Saint Louis Cardinals. Note 1
Dar also wore her Boston bib when she visited for lunch last Saturday (you can click on the picture to zoom back a bit). Among other activities, she spent some time in her Fisher-Price bouncy chair, which is suspended by springs. She likes to play with the various toys attached to it, and to bounce up and down by kicking her legs on the floor.
Elissa reports that Dar has started to imitate things done by others. Elissa recently tapped two balls together in front of Dar. Then, after turning to attend to something else, she heard a sound, turned around, and found Dar tapping the balls, one in each hand. Although a simple act for any adult, this showed coordinated activity that would not have been possible only a short time ago.
Darwin observed what Elissa did, and decided to replicate the action herself. She picked up one object in each hand, managing to hold on to both, without dropping the first while she attended to the second. She then was coordinated enough to rap them together, completing the rather long chain of actions needed to replicate what she had seen.
The occasion of the lunch shown above was a visit by Don Frace, Ryan's father, who lives in Pennsylvania. Don has stayed with us when he visited in the past, but now that Elissa and Ryan have a house, there's a guest room for him there. Here he is, reading with Dar on our couch:
It's Autumn in New England, with Halloween fast approaching. This means that there are pumpkins all over the place, and a photo of your baby among the pumpkins is obligatory:
We'll check back on Darwin's progress from time to time. It's probably more interesting than my heating system.
Note 1: October 31, 2013 update, for posterity: Yesterday evening, the Red Sox completed their World Series victory four games to two by beating the Cardinals in Fenway Park in Boston. It was the first time the Red Sox have won the World Series in a game at home since 1918.
Darwin has quite a large wardrobe for a being who's been on the earth for less than eight months. Many of her clothes are hand-me-downs from friends and relatives who had their children earlier. Elissa purchased other items, and some, like the Red Sox uniform and bib shown, were bought by Margie. She even has an outfit that Sara purchased in China before Dar was even born (and before her sex was known).
Of course, Dar herself doesn't care about any of this - she could easily have a wardrobe consisting of identical Mao-style pajamas (speaking of China). But one of the pleasures of having a baby is dressing him or her up. [return to text]