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Darwin grows up

Ryan and Darwin walking hand-in-handMy granddaughter Darwin is exactly 19 months old today, and she's rapidly changing from a baby into a real person. A small person, to be sure, but a person with strong opinions about what she wants and doesn't want, which she can communicate to you in complete sentences. She's shown to the left walking with her father on a summer outing in Boston.

Her speech seems rather advanced for 19 months. Recently, her mother strapped Darwin into her car seat, and sat in the front seat of the car herself. But she didn't start driving immediately, as she first needed to fill out a form for Dar's daycare center. Elissa was startled to suddenly hear from the back seat, "Move, Mommy. Drive!"

As we cared for Dar at our house one day, Margie went off into the kitchen to fetch a container of yogurt. Darwin followed, saying clearly, "I come too."

Toddlers these days are often taught a bit of American Sign Language ("ASL") to use before they become able to form words. Darwin still uses these signs now that she's talking, but now frequently says the word as well. Her most commonly used signs are "more", "milk", "help", and "please".

Darwin has started to use the word "boo-boo" to refer to an injury, or to anything that causes discomfort. When she recently had a stuffed up nose due to a mild cold, she said that she had a "nose boo-boo". As the cold wound down, she pointed to her head and said "boo-boo", causing us to suspect that she had a headache. It's easier to deal with things that are bothering her when there's a good chance she can tell us what the problem is.

Darwin has always had a good appetite. When she first started eating Solid food at around six months, the process of feeding her was pretty messy (as you can see in the photos accompanying that blog entry). It didn't take long for her feedings to become much neater.

Except she's regressed a bit in that department, because now she often insists on feeding herself, with results that can be seen below. She opened her mouth as wide as she did because otherwise she might have missed it entirely. Besides, she had somewhat overloaded the spoon:

Darwin spooning yogurt out of a container   Darwin feeding herself, mouth open very wide

Darwin's play can get quite elaborate. She has quite a collection of dolls at our house, most of which she knows by name. She likes to line them up, and seems to have very strong opinions as to their exact order. Almost all these dolls belonged to Dar's aunt Sara, whom Dar calls "Rara". The name "Rara" dates back to a time when Dar couldn't say "Sara". Although we don't usually repeat these errors back to her, in this case, everyone likes her version of Sara's name, so we've all accepted it.

Having lined up her dolls, Darwin will then usually sit with them, as shown below:

Darwin with a line of dolls on a step

Darwin pushing a small shopping cartOn a recent shopping trip to Target, Elissa came across a toy shopping cart in the toy section. She took it off the shelf, and Darwin started pushing it around, imitating her mother.

Observing her mother putting items into the larger cart, Darwin started putting items she liked into her cart. Thus a new American consumer is born.

Fortunately, she wasn't upset when, at the end of the trip, Elissa put most of Dar's "purchases" back on the shelves. But the shopping cart itself had covered so much distance that it had become "used", so Elissa bought it.

It came with a bag of toy groceries, which included a toy egg carton containing a half dozen plastic eggs (you can see it in the photo to the right).

Elissa posted the picture on her Facebook page. Our friend Rhoda made the great comment, "I LOVE that she is doing a man's work. Is she cute, or what?"

What did Dar do upon returning home? As she does when she visits our house, she set up a doll party. But freshly back from a successful shopping trip, at this party, she saw to it that each of the dolls got its own personal egg:

Darwin with a group of dolls, each with an egg in front of it

Halloween is approaching. You may recall that Darwin found her first Halloween rather confusing. We'll soon see what she thinks of it this time around. At the bottom of my blog entry called Applause, posted just before Halloween about 11 months ago, I showed Darwin sitting in a pumpkin patch. I took a similar photo with my cell phone this year, for comparison:

Darwin standing in a pumpkin patch

Like last year's photo, the picture above was taken at Honey Pot Hill Orchard, in Stowe, Massachusetts. It's a great place to visit with kids, especially in the Fall. In addition to bags of healthful apples, don't forget to buy some apple cider donuts.

Darwin seems to be growing up very fast.

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© 2014 Lawrence J. Krakauer   Click here to send me e-mail.
Originally posted September 27, 2014

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