For as sweet as Cordy appears, there’s a strong stubborn streak in her that many don’t realize until they’ve spent some time with her. She was by far the most strong-willed toddler I’ve ever encountered, and although she tends to be more cheerful than angry, she is very set in her ways and unwilling to waver.
Lately, we’ve been having a strange issue with Cordy that has had me puzzled. She’s decided that if she doesn’t like the name for something, or has already named it before learning of the item/animal/person’s real name, she’ll call it whatever she decides. Never mind that you tell her the correct name – if she doesn’t like it, she re-names it.
Over Labor Day weekend we went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival. As we crossed the big bridge in the middle of the village, Cordy marveled at how it went three different directions and declared it to be “The Triple Bridge!”
“Actually, Cordy, this bridge is named the Y-bridge. Can you think of why it would named that?”
“Ummm…because they wonder WHY it has three parts to make it the Triple Bridge?”
“No…it’s because it’s shaped like the letter Y. So they named it the Y bridge.”
“Well, I think it’s named the Triple Bridge.”
“Sorry, sweetie, it’s not. The real name is the Y bridge.”
“Well, the real name is the Triple Bridge for me.”
While object names aren’t that big of a deal, it’s the naming of people that gets more difficult. She still sees her Pre-K teacher at school and refers to her by her maiden name, even though she’s been married for a few years now. That teacher had a baby last year, too, and Cordy decided the baby’s name should be Sunshine. No matter how often we told her the baby’s name, she insisted the baby was Sunshine.
When we visited her school right before the start of the school year a few weeks ago, she saw one of the aides in the hallway and gave her a big hug.
“This is Ms. Fox!”
The aide responded, “Actually, Cordy, that’s not my name anymore. I got married and so I have a new name. My name is now Mrs. lastname, but I know that’s hard to say, so you can just call me Mrs. R now.”
Cordy paused and thought for a moment. “No, that’s OK, I’ll just keep calling you Ms. Fox! I like that name better.”
And if that wasn’t enough, she also creates new words based on mispronouncing words she reads in books. (She’s way ahead of grade level in reading, so she encounters lots of new words in the books she reads.) If she doesn’t know how to pronounce a word, Cordy makes up her own pronunciation. When you tell her how the word is actually pronounced, she’ll continue to use her version anyway, no matter how many times she’s corrected.
I’m not sure when this phase will pass, but I hope it’s soon. I can appreciate her desire for some control over her surroundings, although I’m getting really confused by multiple names for people and things. At this point I feel I need to keep a Cordy-to-real life translation dictionary just to keep up with her.