My furry four-year-old

I've never had that oft-expressed fear that I won't love my second child as much as I love my first. I don't think (I don't think) it's because I don't love my first child… It's just, everyone says, Don't worry; you will. And I believe it. I've loved plenty of new people in my life, and I haven't had a problem expanding that love to fit them in. Yes, some of them have exited that love as well, or had the love morph and change into a more distant affection, but I'm going to imagine my four-year-old (at the time of birth, or thereabouts) will be staying pretty close, of necessity. I mean, he still can't pull his pants up after he pees, for crying out loud. He needs me.

I have worried that I won't love my firstborn as much as I love the second, at least for awhile. I've heard this is a common phenomenon, and I've experienced it to some degree already when Corin was born. I brought him home, and Luna was there, meep-meeping for attention. And I just looked down at her and thought, Boy howdy, are you hideous. You're so…furry.

And, the thing is, I kept telling my rational brain, No, she's not, stupidhead. She's a beautiful cat. But I simply couldn't see it, not for months. I petted her, but under duress. I'd much rather have been smoothing my hands over chubby-soft newborn limbs and nuzzling that rockin' fauxhawk.

So I imagine when this new baby comes out, I'll be all, Get offa me, you big gangly big old big thing. You have too many…limbs.

And I'll have to, like, keep it to myself and all, because Corin might not appreciate being told he's abhorrent in my sight.

I have to imagine it's an evolutionary trait, this strong preference of the mother for the newborn. The newborn, after all, is vulnerable — but also really, really, really, really annoying. If the mother didn't attach so strongly, there's no way we'd have survived till now.

Eventually I saw Luna as pretty again — and, frankly, a lot less work than this baby I was strangely enamored with. I imagine the same will happen with Corin, given time.

Till then, I'll just have to hide the shudders. For now, I'll enjoy that I still see him as my original adora-baby. Those big pink cheeks, the ringlets over his ears, his snub nose, his rounded belly, the dimples over his knuckles that are persisting, to our delight. My little cutie. My big boy.

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