American in Spain

State of the Offspring Address - October 2012

October 31, 2012
Smiling Nora

We had a major breakthrough in potty training this month. Several months ago we prematurely tried to have Nora not wear diapers at night, but the result was a full week of having to get up sometimes more than once during the night to change sheets. After ten nights or so, we called it quits and went back to the peace and tranquility of wearing a diaper at night. Lately the diapers have almost always been dry, and I considered suggesting we try it again, but we came up with a plan. As a computer nerd, I like algorithmic rules, so we decided that "Until she gets up by herself at night to go pee, we'll continue to use diapers. When she is capable of getting up to go to the bathroom at night, we'll try without diapers again." Concentration

Well, a few weeks ago, she did it. She didn't make it all the way to the bathroom, but she came and told us she had to "do pee-pee", so I helped her take off her diaper and get up on the toilet. We left the diaper off for the remainder of the night. The following night, we discussed it with her and she fully understood that if she had to urinate at night, she would get up all by herself. And she did! But she woke me first. When I turned on the bathroom light, she was so dazed that she hit her head on the door, cried a little bit, and then hit the door again. Poor thing.

Studious Nora

The third night, I heard the bathroom door opening, saw that the light was on, and heard the toilet seat being put down, and, to my surprise, my wife was still sleeping beside me! I got up to shower Nora with praise. She is very proud of herself for sleeping without a diaper now. It has been a few months since she's had any daytime accidents bigger than a few leaked drops. At 42 months of age, she might finally be potty trained! (as potty trained as any of us really are)

Pony Tail

Inevitability reared its ugly head one morning in the form of my first experience (I have no sisters) with the ubiquitous first world problem known as "chewing gum stuck in little girl's hair". My first instinct was the correct one. Those "home remedies" – e.g. ice, peanut butter, etc. – are crap. We had to cut our losses, so to speak. No noticeable damage, but just enough trauma to learn from.

If, should you meet 'er, my girl's height shan't surprise you. 'Tis but a meter.

In preparation for our upcoming trip to the United States in November, my mother inquired about Nora's height and weight in order to acquire the appropriate car seat. We hadn't weighed or measured her lately, so I was curious to see. She came in at 100 centimeters (3' 3.7") and 14.6 kilograms (32 lb, 3oz). So excited, was I, about her hitting such a metric milestone, I wrote a haiku.


We had an incident this month that cracked me up, but it requires some backstory. We've had this running joke since August that "Nora knows how to speak French", because we taught her the French-sounding phrase "Le pee-pee in le potty" (speak with exaggerated French accent). Every week or so, it comes up, and we pretend that it sounds French, which she thinks is as silly as it is. One day, however, when she was on her way to the bathroom, I said, "Le pee-pee in le potty s'il vous plaí®t!", and she repeated as she had heard: "Do pee-pee in the potty if you want to play!"

Right now, as I write this, Nora is off on a field trip with her school. I packed her little backpack with a sandwich, some juice and some water, and took her to school where they all piled into a bus to head off to a local zoo that I'd never heard of called Karpin Abentura, which is pretty much due south from us, but in the Basque Country. They have animals and prehistoric animatronic creatures as well. I volunteered to go as a chaperone, but there was only one spot and another mom got it. It's just as well, as there will be future field trips that might be more fun that I'm still in the pool for.

Smiling Nora

The state of the offspring is strong!