While I’ve been posting pictures and videos, I haven’t actually written much about what Toren has been doing lately.  Language-wise, he knows a few words that he repeats regularly – “dada,” “mama,” “bye,” “ball,” etc.  He also occasionally says words but rarely when we ask him too.  Tonight he said “parrot” after I told him that’s what kind of bird we were looking at.

Toren’s gotten quite fast – he can really cruise when he wants to on his short little legs.  He climbs, but not a lot.

Perhaps the most interesting thing he does these days is imitate us.  We’re just entering the stage where his imitating behavior is spooky.  Debi was loading the dishwasher one day, and while she put the dishes in, Toren opened the cupboard right next to the dishwasher where we keep the detergent, grabbed a little detergent packet (we use Cascade), put it in the detergent holder, and closed the lid to the detergent holder.  That’s creepy!  Who knows what else he is picking up from us!  Now, Toren won’t let us put the detergent in the dishwasher; he insists on doing it and, of course, we strongly encourage it.  In fact, he’s become quite good at helping out, though not always when we want him to and not necessarily in the ways we want.  He’s pretty good about putting his dirty clothes in his hamper, when prompted.  He likes to put his diaper in the diaper genie.  He helps carry stuff, will turn on and off lights, open and close doors, and even scoot in his chair when he’s done eating.

We also occasionally are surprised by things he’s learned at daycare.  While his daycare sends home an information sheet everyday telling us vaguely what they did, because he can’t really talk, we don’t actually know what he’s learning.  Even so, we occasionally figure out what he’s learned.  If you say “apple” around Toren he’ll put his hands up to his mouth and start chomping.  That’s a daycare thing.  I just learned that if you say “crocodile,” he’ll repeatedly touch his two middle fingers against his thumb like a crocodile’s mouth.  If you say “lion” he’ll roar.  And just tonight I learned that he will moo if you say “cow.”  He’s also gotten good at rolling and throwing balls and pushing cars.

He’s also developing a sense of humor and play.  He tries to surprise us by mixing things up when we’re playing.  And it seems like he understands things more than we realize.  Here’s a funny story to illustrate this…

one of the symptoms of Down Syndrome is the tongue sticking out

A couple of weeks ago we were all eating dinner together.  Toren will mix up his dinner activity, combining eating his food with seeing if it will “smash” (grinding it with his index finger or thumb).  During one of his “smashing” interludes, he had his mouth partially open and his tongue was sticking out just slightly.  Debi, said, “Toren, put your tongue back in your mouth.  With it hanging out it looks like you have Down Syndrome.”  (Debi, of course, did mean this in an offensive way; the tongue sticking out is actually a symptom of Down Syndrome; as a genetic counselor, she knew that.)  Toren looked at her, smiled, then stuck his tongue out even further!

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