Cordelia is Sixteen Months Old

Cordelia has been talking for a while; her first words were about the same as Delphine's, "up" and "cat" and "Daddy!" In the last couple of weeks her vocabulary has really expanded; "stuck" and "spoon" and "Mimi", "baby", "milk", "'delia", "book", "more".

She's changed in the last few days. We make fun of Blake's parents because they always say the girls have changed, every week: "she's changed so much!" But this week Cordelia really has changed, with her words, with putting ideas together, with wanting to be read to; even her face looks less babyish.

Cordelia is very good at putting things away; she joins in when I'm putting toys in boxes, she puts books back on the shelf. She loves lining up cups on coasters; she loves order. I think she's going to be the neat one.

I've complained before about how tedious and high-maintenance babies are, and I'm not about to stop, at least not until Cordelia is past the tedious and high-maintenance stage. Babies and stairs, particularly, don't mix; if I were smarter I wouldn't have moved from a one-floor condo to a three-floor house until after Cordelia could manage stairs.

Here is what I have to do if I need to go to the bathroom when I am with Delphine:

  1. Say "Hey, Delphine, I am going to go to the bathroom".
  2. Go upstairs, do my business, and come back.

Here is what I have to do if I need to go to the bathroom when I am with Cordelia:

  1. Find Cordelia.
  2. Pick up Cordelia.
  3. Open baby gate, carry Cordelia upstairs.
  4. Go into bathroom, close door, put Cordelia down, do my business while trying to pursuade Cordelia to stay out of the trash, leave the toilet brush alone, and not unravel the entire roll of paper.
  5. Pick up Cordelia.
  6. Carry Cordelia downstairs.
  7. Lock baby gate.

It's just... ugh. It's just that little babies are so physical! So physically demanding. And prone to falling off things. Cordelia falls off things all the time; she has fallen off the step stool, off an upturned Lego container, off the couch... it's a rare day, in fact, when she doesn't fall off something.

On the other hand, there something nice about babies. Cordelia adores us; she is delighted to see us every morning, she comes to us when she is sad or hurt, she loves to cuddle and kiss and play with us endlessly. We are her life, her sun and moon and stars, in a way that we just aren't with the infinitely more complicated Delphine, who tells me I am not her friend at least once a week, who sometimes gives me the silent treatment when I pick her up from daycare, who argues about every damn thing just for the sake of it. Cordelia is still at the stage where she is our little dolly, she can safely be objectified, whereas Delphine is well on her way to being an actual person, and like any person, she on occasion objects to being scooped up and snuggled, she sometimes wants to be left alone, she frequently has desires which conflict with ours.

I'd still rather that than have to carry her everywhere, though, which is why I am still looking forward to Cordelia being a little older and little more physically autonomous. But for now I am enjoying the unadulterated baby love.

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