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Cora, Cora, Cora

Cora’s learned a new word recently
that’s almost as bad as the “mine” she picked up
in recent months: “Cora”.

Yes, the child has learned her own name. And of course, she’s
known it for a long time – she responds when she hears her
name called, and so forth. But pronouns such as “she”
or “he” or “I” are still a little beyond
her, which is why Cora’s discovery of her own name has come
in handy.

Cora can speak volumes with a surprisingly
spare sentence. Take this example: Cora strides over to our screen
door, breathes deeply of the lovely autumn air in the back yard,
stares contemplatively at the lovely leaf piles, turns to me, and
says, “Cora. Outside. Now.” Doesn’t leave much
room for interpretation, does it? Or if Cora’s going up the
stairs at night time and she’s barely putting one leg in
front of the other, her head resting on the step in front of her
she’s so tired, I’ll lean over and say, “Do you
want Mommy to help you up, honey?” Without lifting it from
the carpet, she’ll shake her head and say emphatically,
“Cora. Cora do. Cora.”

I actually find it quite adorable, the way she speaks like the
Russian woman about to give you a bikini wax: “You. Table.
Naked. Now.” So most of the time I sit back and enjoy the way
she revels in her newfound third personage. Many times, though,
Cora speaks of herself in a bid for independence, and often that
stubborn insistence on doing it “ALL Cora! No Mommy!”
makes any task twice as long as it needs to be.

Take getting into the car: Cora sees Maddie climb into the car and
car seat all by herself, so Cora decides she can do the same, never
mind that she’s only seventeen months old. So I’ll open
Cora’s door, leave her standing on the garage floor, walk
around, open Maddie’s door, wait for Maddie to climb in,
strap Maddie in, close Maddie’s door, walk back around to
Cora’s side, and see Cora hiney-side up, struggling mightily
to get up over the edge of her car seat, feet flailing emptily in
the air.

“Cora, let me help, honey.” “NO! Cora do! Cora!
Cora! Cora!” she’ll say, thumping her chest with one
fist for emphasis. I settle in for a very long wait.

Sigh. Maybe I pushed this independence thing too far.


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