|Cooper's loot from a recent neighborhood birthday party!|
When Cooper was a baby, I was a paranoid mom who was always trying to get him to reach that next step. I worried that he wasn't rolling over early enough. I couldn't wait to start giving him solid foods. And when he stopped sleeping in the pack and play outside of our bedroom door, I said he was finally sleeping in his "big boy bed" (a.k.a. his crib). I was anxious for him to grow up. Fast forward 5 years later and I want nothing more than to stop time.
We recently registered Cooper for Kindergarten and it hurts my heart. The idea of sending my little boy to an environment I can't control takes my breath away. I see spots. I lose feeling in my toes. I hate everything about it. On the other side, Cooper is excited and ready for Kindergarten. I'm the one who is struggling. Up to this point I have had control over all the influences in his life. I knew almost all the kids in his preschool class. I knew his teacher.
One of the things I love most about Cooper is his innocence. We're very strict with language and what the kids can watch on TV. The other day Cooper said, "Sorry. Mom. I almost said a bad word." When I asked him what he almost said he responded by saying, "Butt." Yes, he nearly said the word butt and felt compelled to confess.
After returning home from a play date I asked him how it went and he burst into tears. After 20 minutes of coaxing he finally admitted that he accidentally hit his friend's sister in the head with a bouncy ball. I asked if she got hurt and he said no. "Did she cry?" "No." But he was beside himself with sadness. His lesson in primary that week had been about repenting so we said a prayer that Cooper could be forgiven for hitting her with the ball and Cooper promised he wouldn't play with bouncy balls in the house around younger kids.
For the most part, Cooper isn't worried about what other people think of him. He very deliberately puts stickers on his face and arms to look like a monster. On more than one occasion, he's gone out of the house like this and he's SO PROUD of himself.
|Just a monster eating popcorn at Home Depot. Nothing to see here.|
Cooper also loves to make his own toys. He cut rectangles out of boxes and colored them to make a TV and two video game controllers. He pulled this out a few weeks ago when he had a friend over and was so excited to "play" Batman with this friend. This friend has an actual Batman video game so I crossed my fingers that he would share in Cooper's enthusiasm. Luckily, the playmate appeased Cooper for the appropriate amount of time before asking to play with something else.
Cooper has said he wants to be a scientist or inventor when he grows up and he could totally do it! This is Cooper's gun and bullet. He pushes the smaller tube through the larger tube and is entertained for days.
The truth is, I envy his tender heart and innocence and I hope he holds onto that for as long as possible.
A few more things about Coop. He got a new pedal bike this Spring and while he is more than capable of riding it without the training wheels, he loves having them on! He says he likes them because he can do tricks and ride one handed.
|Elliott the Elephant (from Cooper's preschool) was staying with us when Cooper got his new bike. Cooper is also wearing the necklace like a sash because he's dressed up like Chewbacca from Star Wars.|
Cooper has always been a great helper. He's also very neat. If his room is messy and it's time for him to take a nap he will tell me he needs to clean his room before he lays down. He is definitely his mother's child (he also knows how to effectively postpone nap time!).
|Helping clean Daddy's car.|
Cooper is very thoughtful and artistic. He made this card all by himself for one of his preschool teachers who is fighting cancer. Coop loves giving pictures to people and making cookies for others. During this last snow storm Cooper told me we should do something nice for our retired neighbors. I told him they were out of town. Cooper said, "We could shovel the snow off their grass for them."
|A rainbow and castle for his teacher.|
Cooper was brushing his teeth one day and I was playing with his ears. He told me not to do that because it made him look like one of the prophets with big ears. I just started laughing. He said one of the speakers at Conference had big ears. Later that day, Cooper handed me this picture. "Here's a picture of the man with big ears. He has white hair too."
|Any guesses on which Conference speaker this might be?|
Cooper can be summed up in a few words: thoughtful, creative, and entertaining. Gosh, I love this kid!