Miss Cordelia is now four years, four months and twenty days old,
and she is well settled into being four. Four is a year of
experimenting with power, and a year of great emotion.
Cordelia still loves to be with Mummy, but she can be pursuaded
away by a sufficiently compelling offer. On Sunday Zaida stopped
by to take her out. At first when we asked if she wanted to go
with him she said, "Mummy!" and clung to me. But when I rephrased
the offer—"Don't you want to go on an adventure with
Zaida?"—she perked up. "Adventure?" And off she went.
Tonight I was talking her through the plan for tomorrow, as I
do every day, and I said my friend Tanya was going to pick her
up at school and take her for lunch. She pulled the "Mummy!"
thing again, but I said, "Otis [Tanya's little boy] wants you to
come play with him," and then she was fine with it.
Cordelia can get herself dressed to go outside all by herself. She's
so good at it, in fact, that her teacher wanted to make a PSA video
to try and pursuade kindergarten parents to teach their
kids to dress themselves. I don't get to see this skill, however,
because when I go into the class to help with mittens and zippers,
she becomes all helpless and I have to zip her up. I don't help with
boots and snowpants, though, because it is literally easier for
her to do it herself—she's gotten competent enough that when
I try and help we end up working at cross-purposes and getting in
each other's way. So fortunately that's off my plate.
Cordelia has friends! She is friends with Anna, and Zoey, and
Scarlett and Samantha. Anna was her first friend of the year,
and neither of them will go into the schoolyard without the other.
They walk in together, hand-in-hand. Anna is an SK and a good
head taller than Cordelia. She's very quiet; we had her over for
a playdate and Cordelia was in charge, telling her what to do
and when. She was so proud to be the authority.
Cordelia is in swimming class this term. She and Delphine take
half-hour classes, first Delphine then Cordelia, so DeeDee hangs
out with me by the pool while Delphine has her class. She makes me
draw pictures made of shapes, and then she has to count the shapes.
Then I draw her name in bubble writing and she colours it in.
(When Cordelia has her class, Delphine and I each read our books.)
Today when I picked Cordelia up from school she was crying. I
know enough not to ask what was wrong right up front: she has
to get some of her crying out before she can talk to me.
But her sobs didn't seem to be slowing down, so I asked anyway,
and she said she hurt her head. I tried to figure out how
she had hurt her head, presenting various possible scenarios—did
you trip and run into the wall? Did someone push you?—until
she agreed with one. She said she had slipped and fallen into the
wall. I didn't see any bumps or scrapes but I was appropriately
sympathetic. We picked up Delphine and headed over to Tanya's
place, where we have lunch every day.
But just as we got to Tanya's Cordelia started crying again—sobbing!
I knew if she'd only bumped her head it would have been forgotten
by now, so I asked if something bad had happened at school. She
nodded, and after further questioning I got her to say that
someone had hurt her, but she wouldn't specify how. She was really
miserable, and eventually (after the retching started)
I realized that the problem was actually that she was sick. She
was nauseous and had a headache—the whole story about someone
hurting her and her bumping her head was just her trying to explain
to herself why her head hurt. She's never had a headache before!
Nonetheless, she insisted on a bandage, so in addition to acetaminophen
inside her, she had a nice big bandage plastered over her forehead.
Incidentally, this was the progression of her illness: headache,
cry, nap on mummy, puke, cry, rest on mummy, puke, rest in stroller
(with Otis next to her looking very dubious), watch Dora,
sleep on bathroom floor, sleep on couch, wake
up, take acetaminophen, watch Backyardigans, better! The whole
thing took less than five hours.
Cordelia's nicknames: DeeDee, Boo, Cordeliaboo, Cordeli-bum,
Bootle, Chuckles, Bubbles. Her teacher calls her Cordie.