Thursday, June 18, 2009

Super Duper Cooper

Where do I start? When Cooper was born, I was going through a difficult time. My father had just passed away a couple of months earlier, and I missed him terribly. Add to that shifting (to put it mildly) hormones, and without knowing it I had fallen into a merciless depression. I was basically nursing Cooper to keep him alive, but other than that I really didn't care to have much to do with him. It sounds horrible, I know, but it's true. Of course not having much to do with him was impossible. He was moody, uncomfortable, and very, very clingy. I was also moody and uncomfortable. But clingy, I was not.

Let's skip to the good part. After being diagnosed with clinical depression, and several attempts at prescribing and dosing different medications, Cooper and I were finally able to bond after about a year. And guess what... he's still clingy. Only now I love it. I hope he's always clingy. I just said to Tom tonight, "Cooper is the most cuddly boy ever. He's so willing... and malleable!"

So, Cooper is his momma's boy. And I love it. He wants to be with me always, and while I realize it's a possibility that I may not be doing him any favors, I'm more than willing to let him feel that way. We just love to be together.

He's remarkably smart. He's a very good reader. He loves to be challenged with big words, and just ploughs right through them, not afraid of getting them wrong, which doesn't happen very often. He has a quick wit, and I'm afraid he gets his sarcastic sense of humor from me. After getting scolded by his teacher recently, he could only blame me.

"It's your fault, Mom."
"MY fault?"
"My fault you got in trouble?"
"How so?"
"Because you were funny first. I was just trying to be like you."
(Sarcastic) "Sorry for getting you in trouble at school, son."
"It's O.K."

He's also a math whiz. He is always our banker in Monopoly, and we never have to double check him to make sure he's not ripping us off. In fact, he's corrected us on occasion. He loves Sudoku, and although he's still at a beginner level, he doesn't need or want any help, and figures them out all by himself. He holds his own in chess with his dad, gives us a run for our money in checkers and backgammon, and has simply mastered tic-tac-toe. He may not always win, but he never--and I do mean never--loses.

His interests now are: guitar--he takes improv lessons with Tom, and some of the melodies he creates are absolutely beautiful; singing, which he mostly does privately and independantly, but rarely hits a bad note; soccer, which he plays in a league, and basketball, which he plays in our yard; computer, DS and wii games; and, of course, breakdancing. It's so fun to watch him breakdance, because his personality totally changes. He gets dead serious--almost a stank face--and just lets the music take over. He dances like he reads--without fear. You almost feel privileged to witness it, even though it's obvious he won't be cast on SYTYCD anytime soon.

He has made a friend. They've known each other all year at school, but it wasn't until about a month ago that he was able to work up the courage to get his phone number and call him. On his first night there, which was meant to be a sleepover, he called me around 10:30 saying he was scared and wanted to come home. I was a little disappointed, I suppose. I'd hoped he'd be brave enough to last the night. But secretly I was relieved to have him home with me. I'd missed him. When I went to pick him up, he got in the car and said, "I guess I just don't like being away from you." That didn't suck.

The following weekend, however, he struggled through the night there, but emerged proud of himself in the morning. Since then they've spent every weekend together, and have seen each other every day since school ended. Either Cooper's over there, or Christian's over here. We like Christian. He's painfully shy, I think, and barely says a word, but he's starting to open up a little more. Cooper just thinks the world of him.

So now he's looking forward to being a second grader. He's been saying for a while he already feels like he's in the second grade, because "well, I've doing second and third grade homework for a while now." And he reads at a fourth grade level. But his less-than-model behavior has kept him in first grade. In fact, it's kept him in the principal's office a few times. He peeked into the girls' bathroom, laughed at a girl whose "butt crack was peeking out," and in his most recent escapade, peed on the playground because he didn't want to miss any recess time. Each time I'm shocked, and each time I try not to laugh while his teacher explains it to me over the phone (picture me moving my hand alternatively between covering my mouth, covering the phone, and wiping tears from my eyes). We're hoping he'll do better next year.

He's adorable when he sleeps. I am often taking pictures and sending them to Tom while he's on the road, with the caption, "Another One." One cannot have enough pictures of Cooper sleeping. So, for your enjoyment (please bear in mind these were taken with my low-quality, grainy cell phone camera):

And one more, with his eyes open; so you can see what he looks like these days. Actually, this photo was taken a little over a year ago, but he looks so grown up in it. He still looks like this, pretty much.

I know, right?
In short, we feel so privileged to have Cooper--and Jensen, while I'm at it--in our family. They're both such great, talented, inspiring children. If you don't know them, I feel sorry for you. Tee hee.
Up next.... Tom's latest misadventures.


Sarah M said...

hahahahaha I love that he peeked in the girls bathroom! I can only imagine how hard it would be to scold him for that!

Melinda said...

Thanks for sharing! I feel like I know Cooper a lot better now! After our conversation on Sunday about Sudoku and how talented Cooper is at doing it, I was wishing I could learn little things like that about each one of the Primary children. I also appreciate the honest expression of your feelings and difficulties when Cooper was a baby. Most of us are afraid to be open about our so-called "weaknesses", but those of us who were privileged to read this post have grown stronger because of your courage and willingness to share. Thank you, Maria!

Ali said...

Cooper IS a fantastic break dancer, I have seen him myself!! Thanks for updating me, isn't this a great way to Journal!!! ali

Megan said...

I love his reasoning for peeing on the playground. so efficient!