American in Spain


March 14, 2010

Well, Nora, here we are, less than ten days until your first birthday, and I must say that you're a little on the slow side. Other kids that were born with you in March (or even April and May!) are pulling themselves up to a standing position, and some have a smattering of vocabulary. And you, my dear, can't even crawl!

This is nothing new. Over the past year, you've shown nothing if not a chronic, systematic laziness that makes sloths look hyperactive by comparison. Pretty much ever since I cut your umbilical cord on that cool March morning, you've been annoyed that the world has had nothing but expectations of you to do stuff. You refused to breast feed, instead preferring to have the milk dropped into your gaping mouth requiring you only to swallow. The only thing you learned faster than your contemporaries was to turn yourself over onto your back, thus requiring less effort in the long run. Your future looks bright as a welfare mooch. This evening, I caught you gazing at Mommy and Daddy's university diplomas hanging on the wall. When I told you that getting one of those requires a lot of effort, you puckered your face in that new way you do when you're angry.

We'd be more disappointed with you if you weren't the single most beautiful human being on the planet. If you were uglier, you'd have a bigger problem on your hands, but the culture you were born into allows for pretty blond women to do pretty well for themselves without much effort.

And it's not that you're inactive. Quite the contrary! Some babies I've seen sit around all day without lifting a finger. They're the ones that look like they ate the Michelin man. You are completely the opposite. You kick and thrash all day. One thing that you do that amazes me is how when you're on your back, you lift your legs up high in the air and bring them down with such force that your entire lower back is lifted off the floor. You have abs of steel and heels as hard as diamonds. Your mother has known for well over a year now that you were a kickboxer trapped inside a baby's body. It's no wonder she thought you were a calf. With all this thrashing about, you burn every single calorie that you ingest, thus causing your only real medical problem: You have weighed 7.4 kg (16 lbs) for over six months!! Since before you could sit up, you haven't gained an ounce! I would be more worried about this problem if you didn't look so darned healthy to me.

To be honest, I'm not really all that worried about you. Some flowers bloom later than others. Everybody learns to walk eventually. As long as you can teeter around bipedally and understand a few phrases by the time it's time to start kindergarten, you should be fine.

I include, as evidence of your physical prowess and mental intellect, the following two videos. The first shows your chosen mode of locomotion around the living room floor and your ability to mimic a tongue clicking sound. The second shows the extent of your verbal skills.

At the beginning of the second video, you're not pooping, even though it may appear that way to many viewers. Your deuce dropping grunts are completely different. This is just a growl of frustration you've figured out how to do.