So this is it. The News Article Significance has finally reached it's inevitable end. And, while I'm sad that it's over, I am so glad that it happened. These past few months have just been the most fun and sharing my love of Sheldon/Penny and all of their wonderful friends has been worth every minute!
So thank you, from the bottom of my heart to each and every reader and reviewer.
I guess I'm not too sad because I'm going to begin working on the missing moments sequel this weekend, which will chronicle both missing moments from the actual show to Shenny family moments.
It will be called The Cooper Combination Chronicles, so keep your eyes open for that.
Thank you again.
October 14, 2014
I wake up to the phone ringing just after three in the morning, letting out a groan.
I just got him to sleep.
Pulling myself from the bed, I rush out of the bedroom and into the living room, praying the noise hasn't woken him yet and wrench the phone from its cradle on the end table. I don't even bother checking the caller I.D. because I am frankly kind of irritated that someone is calling the apartment this late…or early depending on how you look at it.
"Hello?" I rasp tiredly into the phone, and hearing a long whine come from the bedroom.
"Good morning. May I speak to Sheldon Cooper, please?" A very British sounding voice comes over the line, sounding oddly far away. I glare at the floor, completely affronted that someone is calling Sheldon at three in the freaking morning.
"May I ask who's calling?" I demand, glancing toward the dark hallway, where the crying continues to come from the bedroom.
"Oh, of course. My name is Reginald Cavendish," he explains as the crying stops and I sag in relief, "I'm from the—"
"One moment please," I cut him off, seeing Sheldon come into the living room with his arms full.
"Who could possibly think it's appropriate to call us this late at night?" Sheldon whispers as I hold the phone out for him.
"It's for you," I inform him, "Some British guy." Sheldon gives me a befuddled look, handing me the bundle and taking the phone. I sink beside him on the couch looking down into the bright blue eyes of my five month old…who is teething.
"Sheldon Cooper speaking," Sheldon says tiredly into the phone, furrowing his brow in confusion.
"Sorry, Sweetie," I tell the baby, bouncing him a little and trying to coax him back to sleep.
Now Shane Cooper wants to play and be wide awake. At three in the morning. Oh, the joys of having a baby.
"Fine, but only until Daddy is done," I tell him, scooting down onto the floor with him sitting between my legs as I reach for his play blocks. (You know, the one with the bucket and the shapes cut out that the blocks fit into, but the babies can't usually figure out until they're a little older. Mostly, Shane chews on them. Personally, I don't see the appeal, but they make him happy, so who am I to judge what he chooses to drool on? (Provided it's not a pair of Manolo Blahniks.)
"I'm sorry," Sheldon says, sounding a little uneasy, "you said your name is Reginald Cavendish and you're from the…?" He drops the phone and stares, unblinking into space.
"Sheldon!" I exclaim, reaching for the phone and hearing the man on the other end.
"Dr. Cooper? Dr. Cooper?"
"Hi, Mr. Cavendish? This is Dr. Cooper's wife. I think he's having a slight stroke," I inform the man, "Is everything okay? Is there a problem?"
"No, no problem, of course," Reginald Cavendish explains stoically, "I've just informed your husband that he's just been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his work with the CERN Supercollider last year, and his contributions to the subsequent discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle."
"Say what?" I ask, wondering if this is a prank. "Howard, I swear to God, if this is you, I am coming straight over and beating you to kingdom come—"
"Mrs. Cooper! I can assure you, I am no prank caller!" Mr. Cavendish says, sounding dangerously like he's chuckling, "Your husband really did win. And deservedly so."
I'd kind of forgotten about the whole thing, it seems like so long ago now. We'd gone to Switzerland back in July of last year and Sheldon had provided exact calculations which had led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle for sure.
Coincidentally, that was the night we conceived the bouncing bundle of joy that's currently trying to gnaw on his plastic blocks.
"Just a minute," I tell the man on the other line, who is probably halfway across the world from us, before shoving the phone back into Sheldon's hand and shaking him gently.
"Talk!" I hiss at him, making him blink and sort of snap out of his trance.
"Dr. Cooper speaking," he says quickly, listening for a moment, "I see. Of course I accept."
Snickering, I turn my attention back to the baby sitting between my legs, now banging the blocks against the plastic bucket they go in. I have to admit, when I realized that my baby was going to look like a carbon copy of his father, I kind of prayed he'd be more on the normal side of the spectrum. (Meaning, not aspiring to be Spock until he's thirty-two and gets his shit together.) So far, Shane just shows signs of being a normal, sweet natured baby with dark hair and big, bright blue Cooper eyes. He's sort of doing this thing where he's trying to crawl, but he looks more like he's going Mission Impossible on the floor and belly crawling around. It's adorable. Sheldon still insists that he's going to be a genius. He claims he started showing signs of it as early as six months old.
I still say he's a damn Whack-A-Doodle.
My old bedroom has now become Shane's nursery/playroom, decorated with bright green walls and cartoon jungle animals. I'd been so sure he was a girl before we'd found out he was a boy. I'd been craving chocolates and carrying higher and when I told Sheldon this, he gave me a sermon on how I put stock in nonsense mythical stories and old wives' tales.
You should have seen his face when Shane was born. He looked like he might faint or throw up from the exertion of it all. You know, because he did so much work. (Sarcasm) Ah, the truth was, we were both scared to death and completely awestruck by the tiny person with the familiar swirl of dark hair on his sweet little infant head. And now, I can barely remember what life was like before Shane Lee Cooper.
The truth is, I don't want to.
I'm still working on Home Planet, even though we're on hiatus for now until after the holidays. Charlie and I talk on a daily basis, and Sheldon and I have even had dinner with he and his family a few times. We're probably going to be seeing a lot more of each other now too, because he just bought the rights to my memoir, which I published late last year with his help.
He's told me that he thinks the story would make a great sitcom. I'm skeptical, but what do I have to lose? And I get to be an executive producer. Yes, Penny Cooper is moving up in the world.
We're calling it The Big Bang Theory.
"Yes, I will look forward to your email," Sheldon is saying, flushing brightly with excitement. It doesn't look like any of us are going back to sleep anytime soon. He hangs up the phone, replacing it carefully in the receiver, while I stare expectantly at him.
"Well?" I ask, carefully placing a couple of pillows around Shane before getting up and sitting back on the couch beside Sheldon.
"It's finally real," Sheldon murmurs, swallowing before looking over at me. "I've won the Nobel Prize."
"I know!" I tell him enthusiastically, "Mr. Candy Dish just told me!"
"Penny, that was Reginald Cavendish. He's one of the members of the Nobel Committee. We've been so preoccupied with the baby, that I completely forgot the winners were being announced today!" He laments, "My God. I've finally done it…I've done what I set out to do when I was eleven years old."
"I'm so proud of you, honey," I tell him sincerely, feeling my eyes prickle with tears of pride, "I knew you would win." I drape my arms around his shoulders, feeling his arm slip around my waist, pulling me tightly against his plaid pajamas.
"And you were right," Sheldon adds, "it is most certainly preferable having someone to share it with."
"Sweetie, I'm your wife," I remind him, laughing, "I'd probably be proud to death if you won a pie eating contest."
"Don't be absurd," he scoffs, but he's beaming from ear to ear. Checking on the baby, he's still sitting up and studying his plastic block intently as if he's trying to figure out whether he wants to continue to chew the crap out of it or throw it.
The muffled sound of an infant crying makes me nearly jump out of my skin as I hear a quiet knock at the front door. Sharing a look with Sheldon, I hurry to the door and open it to find a frazzled Leonard staring at me with bloodshot eyes and wild hair. He looks like he hasn't shaved in days. Lying in the crook of his arm is his barely three week old daughter, Olivia.
"You have to help me," he whispers, looking at me over his glasses. "Amy just got to sleep and she has to eat again in an hour…and we're out of coffee…and she won't stop crying." Sighing I hold out my arms.
"Give her," I instruct, taking the little baby and cradling her carefully, searching her linens for her pacifier.
"What are you guys doing up?" Leonard asks, pulling out the coffee and moving to the coffee maker.
"Oh, we decided to have family time at three A.M.," I quip, rolling my eyes. "Actually, the phone rang and woke up the baby."
"The phone rang? Who the hell would be calling at three in the morning?" Leonard inquires, pouring water into the coffee machine.
"Reginald Cavendish from The Nobel Committee," Sheldon answers as Flash hops onto the couch and curls up at his side.
"Reginald…from the—" Leonard stops dead and turns to Sheldon, "the winners were just announced weren't they?"
"Yes," Sheldon answers him casually, leaning forward and snatching up a block off of the floor, before reaching for the baby wipes on the table and cleaning it off. Shane lets out a sound of protest at losing his block. "Here," Sheldon tells him, handing the germ free toy back to him. (Which goes straight back in the mouth. Ah, the joys of teething.) The baby lets out a noise of contentment.
Yeah, you enjoy it while you can, kid…this three A.M. playtime business ain't happening again.
"And?" Leonard prods, now awake as I try to comfort his daughter. How is this fair? I fish out the darn pacifier and make sure it's clean before putting it into the baby's mouth as the door busts open and Amy flies in, looking a little worse for the wear.
"Bestie! I can't find—" She stops, seeing me holding Olivia and Leonard standing with his coffee halfway to his mouth, looking a little sheepish.
Rule number one: Do not disappear in the middle of the night with your weeks old infant daughter while the mother has no idea where you are.
"It's okay, Ames," I assure her, "Leonard just came by for some coffee because you guys were out."
"I see," Amy says, turning to her husband before whacking him in the arm. "Don't ever do that again, Leonard Hofstadter! I nearly called the police!" She's being a little irrational, but it happens. When we brought Shane home, I stayed up for twelve straight hours, terrified I was going to miss something. Thankfully, Sheldon's mother and MeeMaw were in town for the week and when I did pass out, they took care of him while MoonPie was at work. Shane has been crowned MeeMaw's little Snickerdoodle. I guess it's better than MoonPie Jr.!
But, as far as being a parent goes, Sheldon does continue to surprise me. Of course, he was a little overbearing when I was pregnant, but he made up for it with the little things. Like the foot rubs. Thank God for the foot rubs. He also finally broke down and got his driver's license after we got married. It definitely made getting to the hospital when my water broke a lot easier as I was in no condition to drive. He still isn't too keen on driving all over, but he will if he has to.
Other than that, things are pretty much the same...aside from the fact that we have a kid. That Leonard and Amy have a kid. Raj finally asked Bridget to marry him over the summer, when he took her to meet his family in India. And Bernadette finally admitted she wants to try to have a baby. I think having all of us around for support gave her the push she needed. The only downside is she has to get busy with Howard Wolowitz to do it.
Not with a thousand condoms.
"So, what's going on?" Amy asks, sagging in exhaustion against Leonard, who puts an arm around her waist.
"Sheldon just got a phone call informing him that he won the Nobel Prize for Physics!" Leonard tells her excitedly. Amy, being Amy, gives a slight nod, glancing at Dr. Whack-A-Doodle.
"Congratulations," she tells him, her tone not changing, "I would be more enthusiastic, but I haven't slept in three weeks and I can't feel my face anymore."
"It gets better, Sweetie," I assure her, meeting Sheldon's still flushed face. "Just watch when she gets teeth. Let me tell you, breastfeeding a baby with teeth is not fun."
"Preaching to the choir sister," Amy agrees with a stoic nod, "My nipples look like—"
"Ah!" Sheldon cries, covering his ears and making a face while Leonard and I snicker. Shane laughs, seeing his goofball of a father acting like a nut, as he bangs his blocks against the top of his little bucket, trying to figure out how to get them to fit in the little same shaped openings. He's still a little young for that.
"Here, I'll take her," Amy sighs, pulling Olivia out of my arms and patting the baby's padded bottom. "I think she needs a change," she announces, looking back at Leonard. "Were you going to stay up all night or did you want to come back home to bed?"
"I'll be right there, Ames," Leonard says, taking another drink of his coffee. Amy nods.
"If you hurry, I'll let you cop a feel when she's a asleep," she adds, smirking in my direction. I shake my head, stifling a laugh. Finishing the coffee in one gulp Leonard gives me a guilty smile and a shrug.
"Well, as long as we're awake…" He says, following after Amy and shutting our door behind him.
"We have to call your mother as soon as we get up in the morning," I state, crossing to the kitchen, grabbing Leonard's mug and taking it to the sink to wash.
"I suppose we will," Sheldon agrees as I return, "Of course, she still refers to the Nobel Prize as 'that Noble prize.' Drives me completely crazy." Sinking into the seat beside him, I tiredly rest my head against his shoulder, yawning.
"You're counting down the hours until you can rub it in Leslie Winkle's face, aren't you?" I laugh, realizing the baby has become quiet. Praying he fell asleep, I look up and notice him hunched over the bucket with a very intense expression on his little chubby face. He looks like he's thinking really hard…or something else.
"I can scarcely wait until Shane surpasses that hellion of hers in all things," Sheldon admits, resting against the back of the couch, "that child is a menace."
"Sheldon, he's two,"I laugh, still watching the baby stare at his toys, clutching the star shaped block in his tiny hand. "Hey, Mini Cooper, don't you wanna go to bed?" I ask, not receiving a response. It's like Sheldon when he's working on a problem. "Besides," I continue, looking back at Sheldon, "I don't want that to be the only thing his life revolves around. Being smart." At Sheldon's skeptical glance, I go on, "And, who's to say he's going to be a genius. He hasn't shown any signs yet, and—"
I notice Sheldon's eyes narrow, looking past me down at the baby. Whirling my head around, I watch in silent wonder as my five month old son proceeds to carefully and deliberately turn the star shaped block, fitting it perfectly into the respective opening. Scanning the floor, I notice all of the other blocks are gone too. Shane must have done the same with the rest of them. He then looks up at Sheldon and I with an expectant look on his face as if to say, "Now we can go to bed." Slack jawed, I turn to notice Sheldon half grinning at his son with a mischievous look on his face.
"Oh balls." I mutter.