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Oh, Cora

I’ve been proud of the fact that
Cora’s been saying her name for a few months now –
it’s so cute to see a toddler’s satisfaction at
pointing to herself and saying, “I Cora!” But just over
the last week or so, Cora’s adjusted her name slightly, much
to our first puzzlement, then embarrassment. Cora now calls
herself, “Oh Cora!”

The first time I heard her doing this I wasn’t sure I heard
her right. I tried to figure out what she was asking for –
“Go Cora”? “Show Cora”? But nothing fit. I
finally had to give in and acknowledge that she was saying
“Oh Cora!” I just couldn’t figure out why.

Then one morning, I gave Cora breakfast
and in her eagerness to devour her yogurt and granola, she put down
the spoon and began picking up huge handfuls of the food, the
faster to shovel with, my dear. I turned around and saw her
granola-infused hair and said wearily, “Oh, Cora.” Cora
nodded sagely and said, “Oh, Cora.”

I began listening to the family, and noticed we say that a lot.
Just after breakfast Cora snatched a toy and ran from Maddie.
“Oh, Cora,” Maddie said resignedly as she went to try
to –gently! – wrest the toy back from her little
sister. A while later my mom wandered into the bathroom and found
Cora systematically unrolling the toilet paper. “Oh,
Cora,” she said, and Cora grinned.

Apparently we’ve been saying this so much that my child now
thinks her name is Oh Cora.

Cora will gravitate especially fast towards this name when she
knows she’s doing something wrong: “Oh, Cora! Oh,
Cora!” she’ll yell as she frenetically runs around the
room holding a forbidden purple marker. It’s as if she has
dubbed her evil twin, the one tempted to all the bad things, with a
slightly different name so she can avoid the blame.

I’m reminded of the Bill Cosby routine in which he asserts
one of his kids grew up thinking his name was Idiot, or some such
thing. So I know it could be worse; at least Cora doesn’t say
“Stupid” or “No” when referring to herself.
That’s some kind of proof that we’re reasonably nice
parents, right?

Just last night my husband informed me that my daughter’s use
of the “Oh” has spread to other words –
“Oh, fire” or “Oh, dolly”. I don’t
know what to make of this: does she think this is some weird
grammatical rule of the English language?

Or is she simply trying to turn everyone and everything Irish?

This is O’Mommy, signing off.


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