(Rachel and Cordelia playing outside)
Rachel is a dreamer, an artist, a space case. She's always thinking and as a result, will often be looking at you but her mind will be somewhere else. My sister used to ask if there was anything not-perfect about Rachel and that would be it. Her nickname is 'turtle' and it's perfect for her because she is often painfully slow to do things. It's hard to pull her back down to earth. She is such a girly girl. She loves princesses, butterflies, rainbows, unicorns, fairies, flowers, and all things pink and purple. She loves to dance and sing and even did a solo dance at her preschools year end show last year.
(her own choreography. this was just a couple weeks after she chopped her hair off)
Rachel was 26 months old when Cordelia was born, so she doesn't really remember much about it. I was really torn regarding what to tell her when Kingsley was coming. Mostly, we tried to prepare her for us not being around much after his birth. Once he was home, she wouldn't know that his special things were anything different than any other baby and that's basically how things are. She talks about when she was a baby and she needed help going pee-pee. She catheterizes her dolls. She asks if she liked medicine when she was a baby. She assumes all babies have a therapist to come play with them. She doesn't know that Kingsley 'should' be sitting or crawling. She just thinks he's Kingsley.
About a week after Kingsley and I were home from the hospital, I found her crying in her bed. She was afraid that we were going to go away again, back to the hospital. Although the daily SB things don't phase her, I think another hospital stay is going to ruffle her a bit so I've been trying to talk to her about SB more lately. She can't get the words right. She calls it "his Spi'Bify" "Spidipida" "S'barf" (she thinks barf is tremendously funny).
I've been pointing out pictures of kids in wheelchairs in her books, pointing out handicap parking spaces. She doesn't say much, which typically means she's processing. I'm waiting for the day when she starts asking questions, which should be soon, when she's ready. Last night, she asked why Kingsley can't pee and I explained where her spine was, where Kingsley's boo-boo was and how that means his spine doesn't tell his body to do some things. She found that very interesting. More thinking.
Now, if Rachel is in the other room and everything is quiet, it's a pretty safe bet that she's drawing or reading. If Cordelia is in the other room and everything is quiet, it's a pretty safe bet that you are going to regret that moment of quiet when you discover what she's done. Cordelia is almost 2 and a half years old. She is the two year old that I have heard about, but never experienced with Rachel.
(that's my mom freaking out to the right there. Cordelia was trying to copy Rachel hanging upside down, minus the hanging-on-with-the-legs part)
Cordelia jumps, climbs, runs, spills, pours, yells, rips, screams, body slams, knocks over, eats, dumps, and dances her way through life. If it's tied down, she'll untie it. If it's closed, she opens it. If you say no, she screams YES. My dad says she's just like me. She loves music and has a killer bootie shake. She loves playing house, dolls, being near other kids, being outside and doing anything Rachel is doing. They are best friends and best enemies. They go from giggling and hugging to hair pulling and screaming just like my sister and I would. ;)
There was a time when we were worried about Cordelia not talking much. The best way to describe her and Rachel's communication are those parody's of Lassie where the boy is able to understand entire stories through a couple of barks. Their conversations often sound like this:
R: Oh, you want this doll that I have right here because you think it's yours?
R: Oh, you want to feed the baby and put her to sleep? You think she should be wearing pajama's because it's time for nigh-nigh's?
C: (confused look)
R: And then when she's asleep you want to ask Mommy if we can play computer games and play with the markers?
R: But you think Daddy won't let us play with markers because we left them out and you coloured on the wall and he got mad?
R: Well. Maybe you can tell Daddy that you promise you better not do that again and then he'll let us do it.
C: (snatches doll and runs away)
Cordelia is a firecracker, but there are a couple moments in every day that I absolutely love. When she first wakes up, if you can catch her before she pees in her pj's or tries to flip herself out out of the crib, she'll be half asleep and quiet and eager for cuddles while the last lingering bits of sleep are still on her mind. It can last anywhere between 10 seconds and 10 heavenly minutes, and then BAM - off she goes. The same is right before bed. She'll yell "BABY BOO-GA DEEP BOO SEEEEEEE!!!!" (translation: Baby beluga in the deep blue sea) until I pick her up, wrap her in her blanket and snuggle on the glider and sing to her while she buries her head on my shoulder and sucks her thumb. There are many days where this is the last thing I feel like doing, but once I'm there, I'm always glad I did it. She's also exceptionally quiet and shy when we're out in public. She'll give people her shy smile as she hides her face in my leg, quiet as a mouse. We go out a lot. ;)
(see the teeth marks? no idea when it happened, but when asked Cordelia readily admitted that it was her)
The girls think Kingsley is a living doll. Even better, he responds to them. No one can make them laugh the way they can. I could do the exact same thing and he'll give me a snicker. They do it and he errupts into deep belly laughs, head thrown back like it's the best thing he's ever seen. His eyes light up when he sees them. He'll crane his neck, searching for them when he hears their voices. They entertain him better than any toy could ever.