1. She is funny and knows it. Ever smiling, she will do whatever she can to get a laugh. Some of her jokes fall flat. Last week, she had a bowl of popcorn and dumped it on the rug. I was not pleased and asked her why she did that. “I funny, Nana.”
2. Deliriously Happy 90% of the time, furious the other 10%. She is delighted to greet the day and all it has to offer. You should see the greeting we get when we arrive. Jumping, twirling, hugging. She’s like a puppy except for no tail wag. You should also see her when you’re trying to get her to do something she doesn’t want to do, such as getting dressed. Arms folded, scowling. If you persist, she escalates to screaming/running away. I have not learned how to win a battle.
3. Physical prowess is her superpower. She has stunned her swimming instructor not just with her skills in the water but also with her upper body strength and ability, singular among the class, to hoist herself out of the pool. She runs everywhere and stunned her preschool teachers when they held a “fun run” which Cora continued to run and run and run long after the other tots were done. I think we have a future marathoner. Also, she can do a hand stand. (Cora says “Swimming lessons? I could teach this class. Also, please notice my tattoos.”)
4. She is also fearless, and loves to climb and jump from high things. I watched her travel from the living room to the kitchen by jumping from couch to ottoman, racing to another couch, jumping from that to climb up on another ottoman and then scaling a barstool. We can’t keep up with her and no longer take her to the park.
5. Cora has been slow to talk, but perhaps it is because she has her own language and sees no reason to abandon it. Animals are referred to, not by their names, but by the sounds they make. A pig is a snorting sound. A monkey is “Ooh ooh Ahh Ahh.” She calls Lo “Wa Wa”for no apparent reason. We have all started to adopt her lexicon. When she is hungry, she asks for “Nummy Foo.” So now, all tasty food is nummy foo. But, my all time favorite is her renaming of the bumblebee to the Humble Bee. (Seen here enjoying some truly nummy foo.)
6. Cora is highly independent. She won’t hold your hand. She potty-trained herself. She wants no help with anything, but is very generous with helping others. Nothing is more charming than her frequent offer of “I will help you, Nana.”
7. From her earliest days, Cora has loved animals – both stuffed animals and live ones. She is happy to watch squirrels, bugs and birds. She surprised the zookeepers at a recent childrens’ Night at the Zoo event. Cora alone approached the glass enclosure of the main event – a large black bear, put her hand and head against the glass and communed with the bear. I think the bear liked her too. (Note the custom humble bee made by her Great Aunt Thia.)
8. Despite her adoration of her princess and mermaid-loving big sister, Cora has her own interests. She loves super heros. Spider-Man is a favorite and she is now the proud owner of a set of Marvel collectible figurines (a gift likely most popular with reclusive 30 year old males.) She loves the child-friendly super heros called “PJ Masks” which was the inspiration for her birthday party theme. I have seen her take her PJ Mask character dolls and treat them as babies complete with diapers, bottles and a ride in the doll stroller. (Also note in the above photo, the PJ Mask-patterned birthday dress)
9. Perhaps due to her great expenditure of energy, Cora is great sleeper and still naps! Even better, she is still in a crib and while she could easily climb in and out of it, she respects its boundaries. When she opened a cute raccoon stuffed animal gift from Aunt Sally and Uncle Robbie, she shouted “Awww! For my nap!” Then ran to put it in her crib for safekeeping.
10. She is very loving. I think she scares her dog cousin Gertie with her desire to hug and hug. She is too active to snuggle like she used to, but shows her love in important ways. She recently expressed that “Nana and Papa are my best friends.” She charms us with her devotion to Wa Wa. She makes sure each of us is possession of our possessions such as delivering everyone’s phones and water bottles to them.
So, very happy 3rd birthday to this funny, naughty, sweet, exuberant, unique child. Although Cora’s resemblance to me has been noted by many, she and I could not be more different. I was a timid and obedient child who lacked any physical skills. Hence, I could not be more pleased to have such an exciting alter ego!