Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cora at FIVE

The night before Cora's birthday I decided I needed to savor my last night with 4 year old Cora and carry her to pee (we always walk her to the potty before we go to bed) and nearly threw my back out doing so because somehow my kids are all getting really, really big!!

Cora is still filling up rooms with her sunshine and energy and causing seismic tremors with her lows.  Jacob is constantly saying "she's a piece of work" and generally means this as a compliment!  She's such an exuberant, insightful, emotionally charged, beautiful little girl and we are frequently left stunned by her strong being.

These days, Cora is most likely to be found coloring and/or listening to an audio book on CD.  She can entertain herself for long stretches artfully coloring symmetrical pictures.  You might also find her with lots of small, not-typically-found-together items playing an imaginative game by herself.  In those moments, it's likely that she's got 2-5 pieces of costume wear on and oftentimes a headband worn 1970's style around her head, not at all holding her hair back.

One benefit of being the middle child is that you have a playmate both above and below you.  In the rare moments when Jack and Cora are able to put aside their differences, they can band together to ride bikes in the driveway and play super hero games.  Or you might bump into Harry Potter and Harry Potter's sister also named "Harry" (Cora's idea).  More often, Cora and Luke are running around, laughing or Luke is a prop in Cora's play (and loving every minute of it he is.)

Cora is social and fun to be around.  She has deep relationships, most especially with her former classmate Milo.  They met at age 2 and were tight little buddies the two years they were in class together.  They weren't in school together the last year but have kept their parents motivated to get them together because every time they play it's for happy, independent hours of imagination.  Cora also has made some other good friends through Waldorf this year and will get to move into the role of Mother Hen next year as she becomes a Sunflower (the second year of Waldorf Kindergarten).  Many of her classmates will be younger and her teacher noted how this will play to Cora's strengths.  She is patient and nurturing and also likes to lead in play, so...it should work great!

Cora is our brown skinned, wild and curly haired, bright eyed child who can be so insightful and mature at times.  She operates best when well rested.  We achieved a major milestone this year as she now sleeps in either Jack's or her room and 90% of the time in a bed and not on the floor.  This ended a 1.5 year stretch of her moving to her "floor bed" in our room every night.  We try to get her to take 2 naps a week to keep her rested but that means signing on to an evening with a child who will still be awake when we go to bed.  This works pretty well though as she is independent and imaginative and is usually happy to play alone upstairs.

She still shatters like glass quite suddenly.  It oftentimes feels unexpected but definitely is more apt when she's tired or it's the afternoon of a no-nap day.  It's a jarring experience as she can be so upbeat one minute and literally a sobbing mess on the floor the next.  She can also get upset about the most irrational things.  She is the upbeat child in the backseat one minute and is kicking and screaming the next because we just affirmed the fact that her birthday was 5 weeks away.  Or the moment on her birthday when my happy, upbeat child all the sudden collapsed in the middle of the sidewalk because she didn't like that her birthday party was the next day and it was only family coming to her "birth day party" (something she had envisioned in her mind) that night.  I have a hard time in this type of moment because it is so irrational and out of the blue!!

Cora doesn't like to be told no and she can be easily offended.  But in true Cora style, she will also be completely happy 2 minutes later and doesn't show any sign of the storm clouds that just blew through.  She forgives and loves and definitely doesn't hold a grudge.

Not having her in our family would be like not having bright light.  It can overwhelm you at times but it makes everything so much more beautiful.  We are really lucky to be learning how to parent with this special girl.

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