American in Spain

Bathtime Fun

July 21, 2010
Bathtime Fun (frame cap)

by erikrasmussen, on Flickr")Well, Nora, you keep getting more and more interesting to be around. You have no trouble whatsoever pulling yourself up to standing on almost anything, but you still lack the ability to stand up from a sitting position pushing off only the floor.

Sometimes you surprise me, like when your grocery store friend, Tona, recently asked you, "¿Dónde está la nariz?" and you pointed to your nose. I immediately asked you, "Where is your nose?" and you gestured correctly again. But you either forget things or choose not to do them. You've completely stopped saying your first word, Up. And your rhinolocation trick happens so rarely that seems an awful lot like chance. But you do communicate. Boy, do you communicate!! With gestures. It's obvious to anyone around you when you want to be picked up or where you want to go when you are being held. As soon as you are in someone's arms, you are pointing in the direction you want your newly tamed steed to go. Oftentimes you will point to a bookcase full of items and make us either guess which item you want, or pick you up and take you to the bookcase until the granularity of your point is so fine that you're holding the object you wanted already.

The only two words you use regularly are the interjection of surprise, "Oy!", and the word "No!" And oh my, do you ever make your displeasure about the state of the world known! It's very important to you who is touching – or not touching – objects and surfaces around you. At your grandparents' house last weekend, we were bathing you in the little bathtub on their kitchen table, and you would get absolutely incensed if anyone put their hands on the bathtub as you were playing in it. "No no no no!!", you'd shout, removing their hands from the tub. It was so cute that we had quite a good time annoying the crap out of you (figuratively, this time).

Our friend, Luisma, was just visiting from England, and by the second day you could somewhat tolerate his presence. The game I like to play with you, because it involves me resting and you getting worn out, involves a yellow wind-up chick that hops across the room. I wind it up, we both watch it hop a couple meters away, and then you go get it and bring it back to me. Whenever Luisma made even the slightest movement to help fetch the chick, you shouted "No no no no no no!!!" and ran as fast as you could, while gesticulating wildly and holding on to the table, to get the chick. After recovering it, you'd glower at him and mumble indistinguishable swear words under your breath like the Looney Tunes characters do. You're really not very nice with people.

Your bipedal balance is improving each day, and sometimes you forget that you still really should be holding on to something or someone and you trot across the room. With only the slightest hand holding you have the confidence to sprint around, often leading, ironically, to you needing the hand to catch your fall. All the parents that say that, "One day my kid just started walking!" seem, to me, to be like your afternoon diaper, if you know what I mean. Every time I think about declaring, "She can finally walk!" you trip over something or lose your confidence. It's such a gradual gradient.

You know, Nora, we can only make the "well, she's learning two languages" excuse for you for so long, you know. At some point you're going to have to start talking with our words and not your words.

We had played for quite a few minutes in the tub before I decided to get the camera. Your tendency to get irate when people touch your things means that when you have three objects, there's always one that's available for me to grab, which makes you put down one of the ones you have to take it away from me, and we repeat the process. It's awfully cute, and I really do think that you understand that it's play and are not just getting more and more angry with each round.