"I miss that sweet, snuggly little boy who loves his mommy," Melissa Rivers tells PEOPLE of her son Cooper, who's now 16

By Jen Juneau
March 06, 2017 12:30 PM
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Melissa Rivers has been a mom for 16 years now. And while she’s extremely proud of her son Cooper, she does have one regret.

“My biggest regret as a parent was not having more children,” the Fashion Police host, 49, admits to PEOPLE. “I wish I had more.”

” ‘Cause I love it — I love being a mom,” adds Rivers, whose son’s father is her ex-husband John Endicott. “I always tell him it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, just having him.”

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Rivers — who lost her mom, legendary Hollywood personality Joan Rivers, in 2014 — confesses that she’s a pretty strict person, but when it comes to her son, she can’t help being a little soft on him.

“I’m always like, ‘Okay, you don’t have to go to bed. Okay, you can have whatever you want. Okay, well I knew you wanted it, so I went ahead and got it.’ ”

“We’re both terrible at — and my mom was, too — when you buy someone a gift, not saving it for the actual event. So we’re always just like, ‘I got your birthday gift!’ ‘Oh, can I have it now?’ ‘Okay!’ We’re both terrible at that!”

Rivers shares that her son makes her laugh constantly, and that they “get a really bad case of the giggles” together a few times a week. But she sheds a tear over Cooper often, too — just because he’s growing up.

“I swear to God he makes me cry every day, he’s a teenager and he’s leaving his mother!” Rivers says. “I miss that sweet, snuggly little boy who loves his mommy.”

“And I know it’s still in there, but you know … he’s flappin’ those wings trying to get out of the nest,” she continues. “And I’m wrapped around those little legs going, ‘Don’t leave me!” ”

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Cooper takes after his mom in one huge way, she admits, in “negotiating everything.”

“He’s funny and he’s sarcastic, and I always say at least he comes by it honestly,” Rivers says. “But he’s having to learn that what will be funny [one day] maybe isn’t so funny coming out of a 16-year-old. You gotta know the room. Sarcasm doesn’t always play.”

And what inspires Rivers to live a healthy lifestyle? Her son, of course.

“Cooper’s an athlete,” she says. “So I think that sort of inspires all of us. We live in Los Angeles, so we really do embrace a healthy lifestyle in general.”