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Having a child is like getting access to fantastically sophisticated science toy.

Not that I treat my daughter like a chemistry set.  But I do so enjoy watching her learn things.  At 18 months, she is getting pretty darn good at puzzling out how to get over, under, through, or into things.  She has about a dozen words at her disposal.  She can close doors but struggles to open them.  She understands almost every instruction we give her, including asking her to retrieve a specific set of pajamas from the other room.

My current favourite skill, however, is mimicry.  The most common one that Abby displays is “using a phone.”  Abby will toddle around, yakking pleasantly (if incoherently) into any number of phone-shaped object (including real ones, obviously).  She will then hold up the “phone” for one of us to pass along a quick word, before taking it back and wandering off again.

Abby also enjoys throwing things out.  And what’s crazy about this one is the fact that has a pretty darn good idea of what that entails; she only throws out “garbage.”  As an example, she was drawing with her crayons the other day when the paper cover slipped off.  She quickly took the paper – and not the crayon itself – over to the kitchen, opened the cupboard door, and dropped it into the trash can.  Mind you, the paper should have gone into the recycling bin, but not having shown her the blue boxes, I think she can be excused for that minor slipup.

She also likes to brush her teeth in the morning.  She’ll happily follow me up the stairs, reach up to grab her Winnie the Pooh toothbrush off the counter, and scrub away while I do the same.  I’ve never thought of dental care as adorable before, but this could change my mind.