Lots of kids have a favorite toy or a security object that they cart around: a teddy bear, a blanket (often something satiny), something. Although she seems to be warming to stuffed animals in general, my daughter doesn’t seem to have a particular affinity for any particular object, at least not yet.

But she has gotten the notion to cart objects around.

The black mini-backpack lay on the floor. I’ve been using it as a very inglorious purse, one that lets me haul around a diaper plus her water bottle plus the usual needs, like keys and a wallet and expired coupons that I never intended to use anyhow. With one strap, it’s certainly not a daypack or even a bookbag (although I currently have a copy of Sylvia Long’s version of Hush Little Baby in there, a nice nature-filled twist on the materialistic original). It has little bungee crisscross cords in an “x” across the front (for holding in small blankets for hour-long camping trips?). My daughter crawled up to it (she still has not gone more than one or two steps at a time, and even then, it’s not an everyday thing!), grabbed the bungee cords, and pulled them towards her. They did what bungee cords do: they stretched. The bag stayed where it was.

Not one to take “no” for an answer, my small determined (read: stubborn) girl pulled while leaning at the same time, and the bag shifted. We marveled at the fact that she figured out how to make it move on her own and didn’t just leave the bag where it was. Then she began to crawl, the cords in her hand, and dragged the bag along with her. Its pattern was the same as her first movement of it: pull, stay, PULL, move; pull, stay, PULL, move. Every few moves, she’d stop to rest. A couple of times, she even sat on the pack itself. (Since it had a water bottle in it, I don’t see how it could have been very comfortable, but then again, I don’t have the kind of  padding a cloth diaper has to offer!) We watched her for nearly twenty minutes as she trekked around the room with the bag, engrossed in her work.

Not content to rest on her laurels, she’s since toted around an empty cooler, the mini-backpack again, her highchair, Pinkie the stuffed penguin, and the diaper bag. She’s hauled around her Fisher-Price Go Baby Go! Bat and Wobble Penguin, a tallish plasticized creature with colorful balls inside its clear plastic belly. Apparently, she thought he needed to learn, so she took him by the wing and brought him over to the bookcase and began to pull out books. He’s not as good at turning the pages as she is, however.

Her world, which used to revolve around her and her alone, is widening, and she doesn’t want to explore it alone. She needs to be prepared, so she’s bringing things with her. You never quite know when an expired coupon might come in handy.