You may remember that Santa brought me a sketchpad, but I never mentioned what you can do with it. Besides the obvious features (you can draw stuff with a pen, then erase it), this one has four stamps that you can use to draw animals very quickly. Taking the stamps out of their designated spots (on top of the drawing area) is very easy, putting them back is like solving a puzzle. Even though I struggled with this puzzle in the past, now I can solve it quite quickly. I am ready for more challenging puzzles!

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A balancing act

When my parents put me on the changing table, I usually try to get busy with something. Sometimes I just talk to them, answer their questions or repeat whatever they are saying. Sometimes they feel like singing a song and I get excited and clap. Sometimes I really need to play with something (a diaper, a box, a bottle). That something has a pretty good chance to end up on the floor after I play with it for a while. But not necessarily: today I got busy with a box of wipes and I ended up balancing the box on my feet. If everything else fails, I may try Cirque du Soleil.

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How to operate drag toys

I have been operating drag toys on and off for a while now; however, today I spent quite some time dragging one of them around the house. The toy was a wooden bear who holds its hands on the front wheels. Because the front wheels are mounted off-center, the hands move up-and-down as you drag the bear around the house. You should not be afraid of operating drag toys because it is very easy: you simply get the string and pull it – the toy will follow. Minor problems could occur: for example the string may get stuck around a wheel (especially when you turn around to change the direction). In many cases you can still drag the toy. If it bothers you that the wheel does not turn, you find a grown-up and explain the problem by pointing at the toy. They have a gift of figuring out what went wrong and can fix it for you. The toy may also tip over – this is something you shouldn’t need any help because it is easy to flip the toy back on its wheels. For some reason my toy tipped over quite frequently today. Do you think that daddy would tip the toy over just to get some pictures of me trying to flip it back on its wheels?

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The musical table is under control

My musical table is totally under my control. And not only because I know how to push its buttons to make it play notes and tunes, but I can even climb on top of it. My most recent accomplishment is turning it upside-down and using it in this unconventional position. You may believe that there aren’t many uses for an upside-down musical table, but the pictures below will just prove you wrong.

Once you get between the legs of the table... ... you can sit down, ... ... fall while you try to get out, ... ... chill, ... or get stuck and start crying

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I am stacking

Have I ever told you how I play with everything except for toys? Well, that’s because my parents never buy toys that a baby would enjoy playing with. Now they finally gave me a Big Bird Stack-a-Nest toy that is worth looking at.

There is a lamp post, three colorful rings and the Big Bird’s nest. You are supposed to stack the rings on top of each other, then put the Big Bird’s nest on top of the lamp. It is very easy to take the rings off the post by turning it upside-down. However, I could not – yet – figure out how to stack the rings (for some reason my fingers always get between the ring and the lamp), so I simply put the Big Bird’s nest on top of the lamp and use the rings as bracelets.

Doesn't this look like the Romanian flag? The rings come out very easily The Big Bird's nest goes right on top Just like this Do you like my bracelet?

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Defying gravity

My experience shows that defying gravity is not only possible, but it may also be fun! Here is how you can do it:

  • Find an object that is intentionally placed out of reach (I decided to go for the alarm clock).
  • Lift one of your feet and firmly place it on the wall (headboard in this case).
  • Don’t forget to bring your other foot up – leaving it behind may disqualify you from the attempt to defy gravity.
  • Keep going as long as your continuous assessment of the situation shows that you have not reached your objective.
Pointing to a shiny object I started climbing with my right foot Gravity defeated Sometimes you need to keep pushing... ... until you get where you wanted.

I heard that there is a guy commonly referred to as Spiderman who is – allegedly – able to do almost the same thing. I will have to challenge him to see who can get the alarm clock first.

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Enjoying the park

I love bark because it helps me develop my fine motor skills. I can play with bark for almost a minute before I try to taste it. Once I got a piece of bark in my mouth, then my parents tortured me for several minutes until I finally opened my mouth and gave it up. I also like crawling on bark – maybe I should request a surface like this at home instead of tile or carpet.

I like playing with bark, ... ... even though I am not allowed to eat it I will try somewhere else I will cover myself with bark I'm on the move again

Another thing I love is walking. I would walk all day long if my parents would provide me with the support I deserve. Unlike in other occasions (when they try to convince me to play with my toys every once in a while), I got a lot of support in the park. I walked on the sidewalk, on bark, and – most interestingly – up and down the curbs.

Walking on the sidewalk Walking on bark I can walk pretty fast It is hard going up this curb This was easier

Before we called it a day, I also checked out the play set they have in the park. Now it would be quite dangerous, but one day I will be old enough to play there. So I must make sure that they installed everything I need to have a good time.

On the bridge On the platform There is a slide behind me Peekaboo Exploration complete

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Fluid dynamics revisited

I have observed fluid dynamics for a while now, I still consider it fascinating, and this is why I use every opportunity to study it more. I have frequent opportunities to get close to water:

  • after I eat and my face is a total (or partial) mess.
  • when I take a bath.
  • when I (ahem, excuse my french) poop. In these circumstances one of my parents washes my behind (and sometimes both of them get involved in this laborious task).

A set of basic fluid dynamics experiments is illustrated below. Since my face is clean and I am not getting ready for a bath, guess what’s in my diaper? If you are like “Ew, gross”, just don’t think about it while you look at the pictures.

Just imagine the phenomenological complexity You cannot catch the jet The water goes around your finger Wait, my experiment is not over yet Ok, I can continue the study with my foot

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Play buddies

Today was one of those days when we stopped in the park to take a look around. We saw the water splash area: they turn on the water only when it gets hot (usually later in the day). I met some other baby and – as usual – I got very excited.

In mommy's arms Water splash area Water splash area Checking out the play yard Overwhelming the other baby

The pictures below tell the story of our ride to the park , with mommy hauling my trailer and daddy on his roller blades. Sometimes I get very excited during the ride, sometimes I am just chilling. Sometimes I pay attention to what happens outside the trailer, sometimes I am too busy chewing on the straps.

I like this Thinking about stuff Don't you ever get tired of taking pictures? Chilling with my feet up Sleeping in my car seat

The last picture above shows me asleep while we were on our way to my twin friends Sara and Sina. We ate, we played, we even watched some cartoons on TV. Sara knows how to walk around by holding onto furniture. She doesn’t really care if there are obstacles in front of her: she simply uses them as extensions of the furniture. At some point I was one of those obstacles and let’s just say that it wasn’t pretty (I even cried a little).

Hey, Sara, look at me! Watching cartoons Playing with Sina Sara doesn't care about obstacles With mommy and daddy

Before we went home we took a walk around a little lake next to a golf course.

The kids With the lake in the background In the gazebo

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