Cordelia Is Two!

Cordelia turned two on Thursday, which was kind of sucky for her because it was her fourth day of nursery school and so she's still suffering from lots of separation anxiety. I felt like a monster leaving her crying and miserable in the arms of Lakeisha the teacher on her birthday, but when I waved at her through the window on the way out she was already smiling a little bit. They made up for it by giving her cake because it just happened to be the day for their September birthday celebration.

Altogether, counting the nursery school party, Cordelia had four birthday parties; one last weekend at Baba and Zaida's with a chocolate cake and presents, one on Thursday night at home with a plain cake with pink icing and more presents — we got her one of those rugs with roads and railways and stuff printed on it (Delphine's idea), and Hop on Pop — and yet another this weekend when we made a dinosaur-shaped cake just for the fun of it. We like cake, what can I say?

Nursery school is going well. I signed her up not to give myself a break — I think it's actually created more work for me — but because I thought it was time she started to have a life of her own, to gain some independence away from me, and to be exposed to all the rich and interesting things they offer at nursery school. It seems to be a really good facility; they always have lots of interesting activities set up when we get there in the morning, the teachers are lovely, they have a real music teacher with a guitar in every other week, and every week they take a picture of your child and save it in a portfolio that you get to keep at the end of the year.

The only catch is that the school is about one and a half kilometers from home, around a fifteen minute walk. I originally thought it was going to be a longer walk than that, before I actually tried it, so I was quite pleased. On Thursday I strapped on my running shoes and put the girls in the expensive but very cool jogging stroller / bike trailer and ran up there, which of course also took about fifteen minutes because I am that slow and also running with a stroller sucks. But it's better than running at 7:30 at night when all I want to do is collapse on the couch.

Cordelia can count to twenty, which is kind of odd for a two-year-old. She loves to count, but she's not really counting per se. I think she knows about counting in some sense; she knows you do it when you have a lot of something, and that you count for a while and then stop and the number you stop at means something, but she really doesn't map the actual number of things to the words she's saying. She loves to over-count and usually ends up with "seven" of whatever it is. Also when people ask her how old she is she says "three!" She just likes numbers.

Incidentally, Delphine's friend Ursa also loved counting and numbers, to the extent that she still calls both letters and numbers "numbers". This is interesting because Delphine used to call numbers "letters". Shall we typecast them as the Wordy One and the Mathy One already?

Cordelia talks in full sentences, and she has reached that age when she comes out with syntactically perfect sentences which leave me speechless. "Help me put my sweater on!" I hear it and it's a perfect sentence, and then I realize it came from my tiny baby! She doesn't do full sentences all the time, though. Mostly she's still trying to cobble together communication with the few words and bits of grammar she knows, backed up with pointing and when all else fails, shouting really loud.

Communicating is complicated by the fact that she doesn't know her colours yet; when Delphine was this age at least we could figure out what she wanted by saying, "What colour is it?" Cordelia, for whatever reason, can't get her colours straight. For a couple of weeks everything was blue ("bah-loo!") and now things seem to be mostly red. If you drill her you can get her to get a colour right for a few minutes but then if you go back to it later, she goes back to guessing. I find this rather perplexing; she doesn't seem to have trouble learning the words for anything else. Either she can't map the colours to the names, or she can't distinguish the colours for some reason. Anyway, you aren't really expected to know your colours until you're three or even four, so maybe there is some mental or visual development yet to come which will resolve this. In the meantime all the grandparents have made it their mission to help her learn colours.

Cordelia sleeps from about six thirty until six thirty or seven in the morning. Well, I put her to bed at six thirty; usually she stays awake talking and singing to herself until seven. She also naps from one until two or two thirty. (I got all my sleep advice from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, so if you want a narcoleptic child and a rich adult-only evening life you should read it too.) She scared me on Friday by not napping at all; I wondered if she had decided that since now she's two she doesn't need a nap. But then she napped yesterday and today, so I think I still have a napper. It's nice because she naps while Delphine is in kindergarten, so I get some time to get stuff done in the afternoons. If I am not too tired to think; afternoon is not my brightest time.

Cordelia has peed in the potty exactly twice, both times under the tutelage of Baba. I suppose she is more or less ready to be properly potty-trained, which is exciting in the sense of no more diapers, but I am not looking forward to the process, the constant trips to the potty and interrogation regarding her need for the same. "Do you have to go pee? Do you have to poo? Do you want to sit on the potty?" However, it has to happen sometime! The nursery school teachers say they are happy to help, so maybe I will rope them in and see if we can get it over with. That would be awesome.

Tomorrow is Monday, and October, and I have a million things to do so I had best get to bed so I am not tired and grumpy all day.