After my adventure the day before, I decided to relax this day and recover (I was feeling the previous day’s hike in my legs pretty good). So, Toren and I pretty much just hung out at the hotel. This did give me a chance to watch the Germany/Spain game, which was a major upset for my fantasy league, but a great victory for Spain.

After Debi finished her work, we went shopping to pick up a couple of things. Primarily, we were looking for a jacket or sweater for Toren. We didn’t have much luck with a jacket (Oregonians must think we’re crazy looking for a jacket when it’s 95 degrees here and they all think it’s hot, but to us, this is nothing compared to Florida). We ended up finding an over-sized turtle neck with long sleeves. It’s not ideal, but it will work.

After our short shopping trip, we were looking for a place to eat a late lunch and happened upon a Marie Calendars, which is Debi’s favorite restaurant out west – she loves the potato cheese soup and corn bread. Up until about a month ago, Toren was great in restaurants. He would sit on our laps and eat with us and nary make a sound. Well, now that he’s mobile, that’s just not happening anymore. He squirms and wiggles until you let him down, then he takes off, usually right for the kitchen. The hostess at Marie Calendars was smart enough to put us in a back corner all by ourselves so Toren’s antics didn’t disturb any of the other diners.

Anyway, here’s the real story. In the last couple of weeks Toren has really started to show that he can imitate us. He’ll watch me do something and then do it himself. I’ve read about social learning in books for years, but to actually see my son doing it is pretty cool. The dish I ordered came with french fries, which Toren sometimes likes (he’s gotten really picky in the last couple of weeks as well). I put some ketchup on the plate for dipping and ate a few fries, then gave one to Toren. He leaned over the table with the french fry in his clenched fist and dipped it into the ketchup. That was pure social learning – he saw me do it, so he did it. Now the good part: He then put the french fry with ketchup into his mouth and was clearly disgusted by it; his face wrinkled and he pulled the fry right back out. But he wasn’t done. He then sidled back over to me and put the french fry with ketchup on it into my mouth! I bit off the part with the ketchup, and he ate the rest. Yeah, I know, this really isn’t that amazing, but to us, Toren’s a genius! A funny genius, but a genius nonetheless!

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