Cora's Parents: Not Very Smart

July 1, 2021


Cora is a very smart girl, and sometimes she gets confused and saddened when she realizes the grown-ups in her life are not quite so smart.


The other day, for instance, I found her favorite dolly, Diggy, face down on the ground in the sunroom.


“Oh, Cora!” I said. “Diggy is left here all alone, and she’s crying!”

“No, she’s not,” Cora corrected calmly.


“Yes she is! She’s lying here on the ground and I can hear her crying!”


“No you can’t!” said Cora.


“She wants her mommy and she’s crying,” I persisted. “I can hear it.”



“No you can’t, because she’s just pretend!” Cora shouted, exasperated. “She is not crying!




Unfortunately, this sort of situation has happened not only with her mother, but with her father and her grandparents too. Everyone has this strange misconception that Diggy is alive – and not only alive, but that she is communicating with them in some form. Cora looks at her doll’s smiling plastic face and is pained that the people in her life confuse its tiny lifeless body with something living and warm and noisy like herself.


Luckily for all of us, Cora is generally willing to set people straight. But she doesn’t promise to do it with good grace. When people make a genuine mistake – when a grandparent genuinely seems to hallucinate that Cora’s doll is talking to him or her – she will explain the situation gently. But when her parents persist in making the same mistake, over and over, sometimes Cora gets a little frustrated.