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He Worships at the Altar of the Boob

Dear Cooper:

As a guide son, you are flawless, that requisite dose of captivating cuteness mixed with a heaping helping of “I know exactly how to get you to do whatever I want.” Even if it is rock you for an hour (me) or carry you around in circles until you fall asleep on a shoulder (MTM.) We are not baby people. We do not typically do these things.

But, we are Cooper people.

Here are the things we learned from meeting you:

1. You like to lie on your back and wiggle, free and clear of any encumbrance. Perhaps this is typical baby behavior, or maybe it is just your evidenced glee at being released from the jerking ministrations of me or MTM. I think you laughed for several minutes running, staring up at me from your back, and I don’t know if it was because I make genuinely funny faces or if you were saying “I am SO HAPPY you stopped trying to cuddle me and put me down.”

2. If you are ever constipated, I am the cure. Me. Your name for me will probably be Ex-Lax Lady, or maybe Correctol Mommy if you swing in that direction. I think you pooped your pants almost every time you were transferred to me. In fact, my first foray into holding you caused you to relieve yourself after a 72 hour dry spell. Dang. I’m good.

3. You like some boob, and you’re not picky. You stuck your whole arm into my dress more than once. Poor MTM didn’t know what to do when you tried to burrow your way into his shirt. I tried to excuse your behavior by telling your violated guide father this is just what babies do, even though I have no freaking clue what babies do.

4. I will never understand what it is like to be a parent, how to nurture and grow a person from seed to adulthood when all one really wants to do is stop time, capture random moments and freeze them into a collection of things they can revisit whenever they want until infinity. Knowing what it is like to gaze into your two-month-old eyes looking up at me, realizing that the next time I hold you won’t be that newborn-baby intimate – that’s tough. Don’t misunderstand me. I can’t wait to see all the variations of you: the sounds of your voice as your grow, the colors of your hair, the opinions you form and the interests you have. I don’t want to stunt you in infancy, to leave you tiny and helpless.

But, I know I will always long for the time when I held you. And, you looked up at me from the cradle of my arms. And, you smiled.

Too Much is Just Enough: Treasured Moments

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. They are really amazing little beings, so dependent on adults for absolutely everything, but, growing and learning right before our eyes. They laugh at things we have no clue about, they cry for whatever reason and they watch us all the time.

    Because you will not see Cooper all the time, you will have the pleasure of seeing the big changes that take place over time. When you are with them every day, you don’t have the same perspective or appreciation for those changes. So, not seeing him all the time is a bit of a blessing in disguise, best of all possible worlds.

    And, as an interesting aside, your blog title today is actually the #2 result in a Google search, only behind the Altar of the Boob Tube, that’s a TV in case you’ve forgotten.

    August 22, 2011
    • We’re going to skype with him some, and Kristen and Brian have a Flickr page. She updates it every day with a photo of Cooper for the family.

      Great. Who knows how many unwanted hits I will get from that Google search (though every unwanted hit is a hit. It isn’t my fault people look for twisted things on the internet.)

      August 22, 2011
  2. And you’ve done it again. Hit on the magical element of an essential part of life. How to cherish and hold onto memories/time. I have treasured memories of my sons as infants that I re-experience in minute detail. Both involve rocking them in dark rooms in the middle of the night…

    And you are right, breast fed infants do instinctively (when cradled in arms) look for the warm, soft source of nourishment. It’s called the rooting reflex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_reflexes#Rooting_reflex. It dies out pretty quickly, but is common in all. Bottle fed babies loose this pretty quickly. Want to avoid it? Hold them upright against your shoulder. It’s called the rooting reflex. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive_reflexes#Rooting_reflex

    August 22, 2011
    • I am not typically a ‘let’s look back and relive that moment’ kind of person, but holding Coop when he was so little will always be special to me.

      He roots on the shoulder, too.

      August 22, 2011
  3. Don’t we all?! I will not expand further for fear of downgrading such a touching moment. (BTW, I hate touching moments.)

    August 22, 2011
    • Carnell would it be more correct to say that you like touching moments–just not emotional ones?

      August 22, 2011
      • Ha!!!!!

        August 22, 2011
      • I like that. A lot!! Touching moments. Maybe groping even.

        Yup, makes me happy.

        August 22, 2011
      • Just think of that every time I write a post with touching moments. It will help you stomach it.

        August 22, 2011
    • Oh, go ahead. I always welcome your forays into things I didn’t mean.

      August 22, 2011
  4. Lori #

    There is nothing quite like a baby smiling at you…it just makes you smile and happy inside to know that you’ve caused a bit of happiness…and it’s NOT gas! 🙂

    August 22, 2011
    • I cause lots and lots and lots of gas where Coop is concerned. He must be smiling in relief. 🙂

      August 22, 2011
  5. You may think you will “never understand . . .” but I believe your brief visit with Cooper gave you more insight than you realize. There cannot be a mother who reads your post today and doesn’t wholly “get” what you’ve written and shed a tear or two.

    August 22, 2011
    • It is always a challenging exercise to try to make emotions real for people who have truly experienced them. It is one of the hardest things about writing this blog: does the story I am trying to tell feel genuine or hollow because I lack the experience myself? Glad this one hit the mark. It is easy with a cutie like Cooper as its muse.

      August 22, 2011
  6. Dang it! You got me again!

    You just brought me back to when I held my first grandchild for the very first time, and then of course, to first time I cared for him by myself (complete with the Correctol grandpa experience 🙂 ).

    You have the knack for going straight for the heart, my dear friend. Don’t stop, it’s wonderful.

    August 22, 2011
  7. They’re soooo perfect at that age. I’d never want to move backwards with Alec, but I have such fond memories of him at that age. It’s tremendous work, sure, but they’re so heart-breakingly perfect. It went too fast, but at least now I can play video games and crack wise with him.

    August 22, 2011
    • Who knows what gadget we will have to play with Cooper when the time comes. Right now, it’s ‘jump around’ and ‘peek-a-boo.’

      August 22, 2011
  8. Andra, this is kind of sweet and mushy. I dig it. Mostly because my sassy self started using phrases like “love you to the moon and back” and “ever-flowing fountain of butterflies and blessings” the minute I had a kid. Something about babies makes me talk like a half-drunk rainbow swimmer!

    August 22, 2011
    • That is so funny, Tori. Kristen (Coop’s mom) and I were just dancing like idiots in a public park trying to keep him entertained. The things those little people make us do, huh? 🙂

      August 22, 2011
  9. I don’t think you have to be a parent to do what you and MTM did… which is connect with your dear guide son.

    And my kids worship the same god as Cooper. Whenever I see a rooting baby, it makes my heart melt. It does not make me want to whip out my own boob if it’s not my child (just to clarify) but it’s one of the sweetest things about babies, to me.

    As guide parents, you are giving Cooper an incredible gift: The ability to appreciate him and love him in every stage of his life.

    August 23, 2011
    • Stages are things to be relished in life, even when we don’t always ‘get’ the stage. Especially when we don’t ‘like’ it much. Cooper is precious at two months, peaceful.

      August 23, 2011
  10. Andra. the sentiments expressed here make it quite clear you know more about what it is like to be a parent than you give yourself credit for! 🙂

    August 23, 2011
    • Liz, we all have those moments we’d like to freeze. It is part of being alive.

      August 23, 2011

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