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Another Legalist In the Family

Keeping in mind that I’ve had
several outside sources verify that I do not make these stories up

Cora is proving herself to be every bit the literalist that Maddie
is. Maddie will meticulously correct people if they aren’t
precise with their language, and that correction extends lovingly
(I hope) to Cora as well; she’ll correct Cora if Cora calls a
pink crayon “red”, saying, “Actually, Cora,
it’s red, not pink, ok?”

I expect this at Maddie’s age – she’s nearly four
(!!) and needs order and definition in her life.

I do not, however, expect this at Cora’s age – but
she’s showing signs she’ll be even worse than

Yesterday at lunch I caught Cora dipping
her Tings in her water, and said, “Cora, are you dipping your
chip in your water?” (Classic Mommy mistake- never ask a
question to which you know the answer!) “Unh-unh.
Nope,” Cora replied emphatically. I was taken aback, since
she’s not yet lied to me, but then she said, “No chip,
Mama. I dipping Ting!”

Right. Sorry.

To say that these moments throw me off would be an understatement;
I simply don’t expect this level of linguistic precision in a
less-than-two-year-old. And there’s no animosity in the
correction, or sarcasm, or criticism – just an effort to be
precise with the truth.

I know this runs deep in her, because she demands accuracy even in
the midst of high drama. Cora’s going through a phase of
hating things going over her head, and cries and screams when
something has to be slipped overhead. Last night with the
pj’s was no exception; she bawled and pleaded, but eventually
acknowledged “Not too bad” after the shirt came on. She
was still hysterical, though, when I sat down in her chair for a
snuggle and night-night book.

Trying to calm Cora down and get everything into the chair, I got a
bit flustered, gathering all her favorites to me as I cuddled her
close, still actively sobbing. “Here, baby,” I said,
rocking and hugging, “Here’s your bunny, and
here’s your penguin.” “Not penguin, mama!”
She screamed. “It’s flamingo!”

I looked down and sure enough, she was right. Dang it. Even the
whole shirt-over-the-head thing wasn’t traumatic enough to
jar it out of her.

I’m not so much looking forward to the teenage years.


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