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The Other Kid

I’ve written a lot in the past few
weeks about Maddie and her adjustment to kindergarten, and some of
you are wondering how Cora has done. I know it looks as if
I’ve spent all my energy on Maddie, and certainly I’ve
been working hard with her getting settled into her new way of
life. But don’t worry – I haven’t neglected Cora.

As a matter of fact, Cora’s adjusting quite well to this new
schedule also.

The first few hours of Maddie’s
first day of school, Cora was a bit bereft, wandering around lost
without her big sister. She’s been used to Maddie going to
preschool, but this is much longer and more intense and Cora could
sense a difference. So she moped for a while, and draped herself
listlessly across the couch. Brian, who worked from home that big
day, came and snuggled next to her. My mom and I drifted worriedly
over and hovered around, hoping she was ok. Cora looked up at the
three adults and had a big realization:

I get the grown-ups all to myself now.

Yes, Cora’s quite happy with the new arrangement, and is
wallowing in her time with Mommy. She’s remarkably accepting
of Maddie’s long absences each day, and happily waves bye-bye
to Maddie every morning before turning happily to me with an
expectant “Now what?” If I thought my child was stuck
on me before, this is miles and miles above that.

We play together on the playground. We go for walks. We snuggle and
read lots of books. We are having the babyhood time we really never
had together, between our big move to Texas and the omnipresence of
Maddie. Cora is reveling in our time together, and I have to
confess that I am, too.

There are drawbacks, of course: Cora’s heightened Mommy
dependence has made trying to get her into Sunday school even
harder. And she’ll go through times of waking up at night
once an HOUR wanting a snuggle from me. A week before school
started, Cora mentioned that she wanted to go to Maddie’s old
preschool. After making her confirm that several times, I scrambled
to call the school, only to hear – no surprise – that
they’re full and have put Cora on a waiting list.
Cora’s been disappointed, but as time has gone by I can see
Cora doubting the wisdom of giving up Mommy time to go to some
nebulous preschool thingie.

I’m hoping that our intensified time together will make it
easier for her to go to preschool when it no longer becomes
optional in our house – that is to say, next year. But
I’m not holding my breath.


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