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Cora's World | Part One

Cora's World | Part Two, can be found here.

Cora's World | Part Three, can be found here.

On our road trip to La Paz, in Baja California Norte, July 2013.

Less than two more years until I "retire" Cora from our blog. If you don't know about my plan to retire the girls at around age five from our blog, you can read my blog post about my reasons for it here.

In addition, you may want to check out this article, by parents even more hardcore than I am, entitled 'We Post Nothing About our Daughter Online.' And lastly, if you haven't seen why you should be concerned about GPS tagging on your cell phone and children's safety, then check out this article here.

While I'm still not sure what exactly a "retirement" will look like on the blog, I know I will post less frequently about her and start to keep the details of her life private until she is ready to take the keys of her own digital life and start using them herself.

On a Cora and mommy date in San Diego, July 2013.

Speaking of keys. When we were in San Diego this summer it was the first time in a long time that Cora had to sit in a car seat (since she could remember, at least). She didn't like it. She wanted to be with us and be free to move around (like she can in taxis and in buses in Mexico.) We kept explaining that it wasn't safe and that her car seat would keep her safe. 

"Mom?" She asked me one morning on the drive to Trader Joe's. "I want to sit in the front and dwive the car and you sit back here in my car seat, that's okay?"

I chuckled. 

"I have an idea, Cora. Why don't we ask a police man or woman, or a firefighter, if they think that is a good idea. I bet they would know if that is safe."

"Oh, okay, I look for a powice man then!"

And she looked and looked, but as is frequently the case, you can't find the police when you need them.

We found some firefighters though. While walking downtown to get Lyra's Social Security Card we passed Fire Station #1 and went up and knocked on the door. Cora took this moment to go instantly shy, so poor Mele and I had to talk to a bunch of firefighters and explain Cora's question.

The guys at the station sweetly explained that it was not safe for Cora to drive just yet and that she'd need to wait until she was a teenager to start learning. She took their answer very seriously and explained the whole thing to Eric later that night.

"It's NOT safe for me to dwive, daddy. I wait until I'm a teenager and then you sit in the back and I dwive." 

While we were in San Diego, Eric also took Cora up to the San Diego Fair (Joanna, a million thanks for the tickets.)

He enrolled her as the youngest kid in a pie eating contest and she walked away with this:

When she got home and showed me I told her that I had never met a pie I didn't like either.

Her ability to sit and focus on a task has grown tremendously. Yesterday she colored for almost an hour and a half on her own, intermittingly stopping to show us her work and talk about the colors she had chosen and why.

She is so curious about the world around her. This apartment is the first time she has seen a microwave and a coffee maker up close. She now pushes all the buttons for us (since she knows her numbers) and helps count the spoonfuls of coffee in English, Spanish, and French. Then she presses the 'on' button and watches the coffee brew until it is done.

This morning I woke up to find Eric and Cora having an immersive discussion about the solar system (note the planets on the laptop screen.)

It's all part of Eric's plan for Cora to be an astronaut when she grows up.

The quest for an astronaut in the family meant that we got this Buzz Lightyear toy when Cora saw it and her eyes lit up. Buzz is now part of the family and Lyra and Cora frequently have to negotiate who gets to play with him.

However, Cora says she wants to be a doctor. Here she is checking her baby's temperature. At first she said she wanted to be a 'butt doctor;' this was during all the lovely months of my postpartum complications. But now she says she wants to be a baby doctor and help babies come out of their mommies. A wonderful profession, if you ask me.

She desperately wants to know how to read. She knows her alphabet and we are working on the concept of phonics (she loves Sssssssssssssssss) but right now she seems to get sight words easier than phonics.

Excellent taste in literature.

When we were in San Diego I asked her to go into her room and pick out two of her books for us to read before she had quiet time. She came back with these. Well played, Cora. Well played.

Here she is working on reading.


For as much as we push being an astronaut or being a doctor, like most young girls Cora is not immune to the pervasive message of being a princess or a bride in kid's media. We don't have a TV but we have lots of movies and kid's shows on external hard drives. Cora's favorites are all of the Toy Story movies and all of the Shrek movies.

She spends a huge portion of each day playing 'married princess.' This was self-initiated, but definitely started after watching the Shrek series.

She whirls and twirls with her play cloths. She hums and marches and chants, "married princess" incessantly. Princess Fiona, Shrek, "dog" (what she calls the donkey), and "cat" (what she calls Puss in Boots) are now part of her coterie of imaginary friends. She makes them food and they all play "princess married" together. I wish I could justify spending $50 to get her this, but I can't, so her imagination will just have to suffice. So far, so good.

She first asked if she could marry me but I explained that I was already married to her daddy. She wants to marry her friends Solice and Ouest then. I told her that luckily she is growing up in a world where she'll be able to marry anyone she wants, girl or boy, and that made her happy.

The other day as Cora was twirling Eric stepped around her and said, "I love you, Cora." She whirled to a halt and looked up at him.

"Oh, you love me because I'm pretty?"

We both froze and looked over at her. Eric knelt down and said, "No, I love you because you are kind, and smart, and strong."

I added, "I love you because of how you share with your family, and because you care about people. But you are pretty, Cora, and that is lucky. And we promise to try to teach you to use your powers for good too."

And Cora nodded and kept on spinning as a married princess.

Reader Comments (9)

I truly love reading your blog posts, Charlotte. You are such an inspiration. Not just because you are giving your kids this amazing adventure (I mean, come on! Getting to sail around the world as a kid? How awesome is that!), but also the way you and Eric interact with the girls and the lessons that you impart on them. I can't think of a better way to respond to her asking if you loved her because she was pretty.

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin Smith

Erin!! So nice to hear from you. Thank you for your kind message. It is a joy to watch Cora to grow up and so much fun to teach her things too!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Her eyes are exquisite!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet lee Knizner-Enders

Love! Love! LOVE!! She is precious... love your writing... so look forward to crossing paths!! Keep up the great work! You're an awesome Mama!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

She seems like a very happy little sprite. I have a funny spelling/ reading story. We don't work on letters or reading at all with Naia (chat for a different time), so anyhow Zach was all excited one day and said, mommy look what I taught Naia... And says "M-I-L-K-S-H-A-K-E, what did I spell?" and she of course yells milkshake. And they both laugh hysterically and bed me for a milkshake. Crazy kids will do anything for ice cream!
Tell Cora we said HI!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercindy

Great post !

If Cora isn't quite up to sharing our friend and colleague Scott's enthusiasm for space, she probably soon will be: http://www.pressheretv.com/mars-rover-driver/

He's also written a book for children about space exploration: http://www.amazon.com/Mars-Rover-Driver-Ignite-Coolest/dp/1406259780

Hope to see you in a few weeks when we leave La Paz to go North for a bit before we head towards Panama.

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSven

She is smart, kind and considerate. And I love the intentional way you are raising her, and the way you celebrate her uniqueness. You can also tell her that we love her because she is Polite and like tangile sunshine! Gosh, she makes it easy to love her!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Cora reading is beyond adorable, mere words cannot express how precious she and her darling baby sister are. And both are smart, alert and so wonderfully loving and kind. Love the twirling too. Keep up the fantastic work Charlotte and Eric. Of you both, I am extremely proud. xoxoxoxoxoxoox

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBella

Charlotte - great post as always. I'm the father of the "other Lyra" up in Boston. I'm very interested in what you said about privacy and blogging about children. I read the links that you posted and was not impressed. To me, it's just common sense - of course you shouldn't post naked photos after a certain age, turning off gps encoding for your photos is also a good idea. Don't "advertise" that you'll be away for a certain time period. Be positive with your public posts. Those are pretty obvious things. With that said, the slate article is WAY over the top - a "digital safe" or whatever they're calling it? Facebook, Instagram, etc. accounts that have never been used? What's the point? First of all, those sites might not be around in 10 to 15 years. And second, imagine how sad I'd be if I were a young adult getting this package when I came of age: "Here you go son, here are a bunch of empty accounts." I'd be like, "Why did you do that? I would have rather seen photos of me having fun, visiting family and friends." We keep a tumblr page about Lyra and we mostly post a photo or so every day. I like the idea of chronicling our life with Lyra. I know a few people who have a strict no-online photo policy and they definitely take fewer pictures of their kids. That's certainly okay - being from the "film era" I have like three photos of me between birth and 15, and I'm fine. Anyway, I could go on and on about this, but I respect your decision to stop posting after a certain age, that certainly makes sense, but in the meantime I enjoy reading about what you're up to - and your daughters are very, very cute! Take care.

September 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAsa

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