I Can't Make Cooper Play

63364fa904328ddcfe7643c606267fb3If you follow my blog you know that I have SEVERE anxiety over the fact that Cooper won’t play with me. Sounds funny, right?

Case and point. We went to a friends cabin over Memorial weekend. Totally laid back with zero expectations. Our friend has 2 little kids so we knew we were in good company.

Cooper spent most of the weekend in the back of our Yukon watching movies. It was really hard to watch. The other kids played outside the whole time. They played with squirt guns and caught fish and splashed water. They ran and rode 4 wheelers and the list goes on. Cooper threw rocks for a little bit and then starting whining to watch a movie. We eventually gave in because we had nothing else to entertain him with. We were at a really rustic cabin so our options were limited. The kid loves to swing and play in sandboxes and throw balls. We had none of those things.

This was one of the harder times I have had in a while. I felt like the world was passing him by. I can’t force him to play. It’s not possible and it won’t work. I tell myself over and over that he doesn’t know any different. But, as a mom, I do. I see the other kids laughing and playing. And there is Cooper. Eating Cheetos and watching a movie like a king in the truck. Wow.

I am starting to have moments where I feel like people are judging me. I DON’T want him to watch movies at a cabin but I honestly feel like I have no choice. I want him to have fun and enjoy himself. And I have to tell myself that his fun is watching Barney and Thomas. That is what he enjoys. He doesn’t see the value in the other games. This is who Cooper is and I have to accept it. Now yes, trust me, we limit the technology time when we are home. We are actually quite strict with it. But, this was a difficult setting.

There were other hard moments though too. He wouldn’t go inside to eat dinner. Jamie had to follow him around outside. And don’t even get me started on the whole sleeping thing. Life is so much harder when you are exhausted. We actually put Cooper to bed at 7 because he hadn’t napped that day. He fell right asleep but woke up every hour from midnight to 4 and then started our day at 4:30. This is not rare for this setting. Actually, we sort of expected it. But, that doesn’t make it any easier.

I think the huge point of this post is that I need to accept Cooper for who he is. Last night  I brought out a huge box of play dough.  Sawyer was so excited and played for 45 minutes. Cooper, on  the other hand,  grabbed a ball of play dough and threw it at me, laughed, and ran away. Little shit. In my mind, that is the best I can do. And thank God I have a little kid that WILL play with me. That makes the  sadness easier to take.  photo 2


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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!


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