Cordelia understands the word "no," or at least I think she does. When she makes a break for the dog water (which she invariably does a half dozen times a day) she shakes her head, slapping the dog water, and laughs as I say "No, no". I try to be firm and not show the slightest hint of a smile, although admittedly my face does a fairly poor job of hiding my emotions.
I try not to use the word too much because I don't want her to be one of those babies that wanders around chanting "no, no." However my first attempts at laying down the law have been utterly and completely useless. Eric doesn't fare much better; actually he has identical results.
Yesterday evening we were hanging out with my family and Cordelia started to gag herself, which she thinks is hysterically funny until she pukes. Of course I said, "No, no." She did not heed my warning and she did in fact puke all over herself. So, I commandeered the bathtub and gave the little lady a scrub down. When she was all fresh and clean we were sitting in a chair and she started up again, gagging herself and laughing. "No, no," I said, knowing how futile my efforts were I started to grab her hands and keep them from their mischief.
Then my mother intervened with a slight frowny face and said, "No, no," in a gentle but firm tone. Wouldn't you know it, Cordelia stopped her mischief. Instead she screwed up her face, stuck out her lower lip, let some large tears slide down her chubby cheeks, and released a mournful wail. My poor mother felt terrible and I started to laugh hysterically (not my best parenting moment I admit). Cordelia really milked it for about 15 minutes as my mother tried to make amends. Finally the word "no" got through to her.
This morning, as she made her first attempt at the dog water bowl I nervously tried out "No, no," and she just laughed at me and rushed for it. So, who knows what that's all about?