Baby Cooper taking world in stride

Published 12:36 am Sunday, February 5, 2017

Our family celebrated a milestone Wednesday. The day marked two months since we officially became a family of four — five if dog Suzy is in the room, she hates being left out of such things.

The early days of baby parenting are strange.

On one hand the days seem to fly by, and in some ways it seems just like yesterday when Julie and I were timing her contractions in the wee hours of the morning, hoping they stayed far enough apart for grandparents to arrive to avoid dragging our 3-year-old out of bed.

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On the other hand the inherent lack of sleep makes the last two months seem like years in a way.

Julie and I take on the dual roles of night shift workers, effectively slapping hands in the dim light of the early morning as our “shift change” occurs.

We revel in each other’s good fortune, “He let me sleep nearly four hours last night,” and wallow in each other’s pain, “He would not go to sleep last night. My whole shift he was wide awake.”

These early days make me grateful I have a caring, loving wife. I cannot imagine how single parents make it through these early months.

Soon-to-be 4-year-old Anna is enjoying the role of big sister and only occasionally gets jealous of attention given to brother James.

For James’ part, the world is good. He’s rarely fussy — so far at least — with his angry cries only reserved for only when he’s starving.

Initially those starving moments came approximately every two hours. Now some of those periods are stretching to three and four hours — vital victories in our battle for sleep.

Shortly after James’ birth several people who have both boys and girls told me, “You’ll be amazed at how different they are.”

“You’ll soon know about the truth behind that book, ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.’”

Thus far, those parents are correct.

Anna was fussy as a baby. We struggled to get her to eat initially. James’ appetite is voracious.

Anna was often difficult to get to sleep, choosing to cry her way through the nights sometimes.

James rarely cries, unless he’s hungry. He’s content with whatever the world deals him. And he usually goes to sleep without much trouble.

Anna did not — and still does not — like to be left alone. James is pretty content with himself. He enjoys spending time laying and wiggling in his playpen.

Maybe his differences are just the differences between girls and boys, or maybe it’s the way we are nurturing him. Certainly, we’re far more comfortable now after Anna “schooled” us on being parents. That confidence certainly must lead to a more confident and comfortable baby as well.

Regardless, we are happy with the two blessings God has provided us.

Hopefully, James’ laidback approach toward life will continue. It had better or his life with a demanding big sister will have difficult days ahead.

On week one of his young life, Anna began laying down the law.

When we took him to her room one day, she knelt down next to him and said softly, but authoritatively, “That’s my doll house; I don’t want you to put any Power Rangers in there one day.”

She associates Power Rangers with boy toys.

James didn’t flinch at the demand.

Poor child. At least a portion of his future is almost certain to include hair bows and pink toenail paint, at least if Anna has anything to do with it.

If the first two months are any indication, whatever Anna throws at him, James will take in stride — so long as he’s not hungry when she comes at him with the toenail polish. If he’s hungry, Anna may be in for a bear fight.
Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or