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  • jdettmann

1-2-3-4 Tell Me That You Love Me More

This pregnancy I have been plagued with insomnia, which is not something I have ever experienced before. I was the kid who could fall asleep in two blocks in the car, or while sitting on the front step waiting to be picked up to go to school in the morning. I have, until now, remained a good sleeper. But these days, about four nights a week, I wake around 3 and don’t drop off again until ten minutes before May Blossom starts her morning litany of requests for pasta, peanut butter on toast, milk, readings of various books, the immediate appearance of the cat, cuddles, and diktats about my hair and face.

During those hours I toss and turn, reorganise my fortress of pillows, eventually start reading blogs and email on my phone, and finally get to the point of worrying about anything that can be worried about and some things you’d think wouldn’t rate second thought.

High on the list is the logistics of where the fuck we are all going to sleep when NB gets here. The study will become May Blossom’s room, but that is right off the kitchen so we will have to cook and eat like mice in the evenings. Her room will become the baby’s room, though it will sleep in a bassinet in our room until it’s a few months old or we leave the bassinet at the holiday house like we did when May Blossom was 11 weeks old, whichever comes first. But that leaves Gusto.

Gusto is a Bastard of the Night. Before we had a child she slept in bed with us, and every morning at 3.30 she would start agitating for food. She was so reliable we dubbed her the Three-thirty Monster. We wrote a rap about her. She was cute. It was funny. It won’t be funny if she is roaming the flat at 3.30 waking up a baby and a toddler. These days she sleeps in the study, with three closed doors between us and her. That works well. That won’t work when May Blossom moves into that room. For the life of me I can’t figure out what we are going to do with her.

Plans run through my head for hours like a personalised version of that riddle about getting a chicken, a fox and a sack of wheat across a river without anyone eating anything they shouldn’t. I can’t figure out the answer. Maybe if we got a fox it would help.

But that worry doesn’t top my list. Far more disturbing is my constant fear that I have used up all my love. You see, we got a really, really amazing first kid. Apart from the not-sleeping, she is the funniest, cleverest, sparkliest, coolest dude around. She sings most of the day long, either the theme from Play School or 1-2-3-4 by Feist. She dances with joy, cuddles with abandon, and talks a blue streak. She’ll try any food, and shares my passion for olives and pickles. She is a hard act to follow.

So what if we’ve used up all our cute? Will I love a baby that dulls in comparison to its sister? Will I only love it in a sympathetic way? That would be awful. May Blossom has already begun to express reservations about sharing with her new sibling (at least that’s the impression I got when I told her the new baby would get to ride in the back seat with her and she yelled “May Blossom NO SHARE CAR!)’. I must admit, I see where she’s coming from. We aren’t used to sharing each other. She will struggle to share her parents and I will struggle to share my love. I can’t see how I won’t.

Do you have more than one child? Do you really love the second one or do you just say so because it seems uncool and unkind to blatantly prefer your firstborn? My own parents can’t help me out on this one because although I am their second child, I am and have always been in all ways so vastly superior to my older brother that they can’t have suffered like this.

Maybe when these thoughts plague me in the night I should just take some deep breaths and drink a mug of warm milk. Or go wake up Gusto for some company.

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