Dear Curly Mop
I can recall the exact moment that your fate was sealed. You weren’t even born yet. It was the day of my 19 week scan and your father and I were waiting for our turn. I desperately needed you to be a girl. I suspect he hoped you would be a boy. I remember saying to your daddy I felt sad that this would be the last time we ever saw one of our babies on the ultrasound monitor. He simply said ‘why is this the last time?’
In that exact moment the prospect of a third child became reality, and you became a middle child.
Two and a half years later, when you were barely two and just beginning to find yourself, you not only became a middle child, but a middle sister. Never the biggest, never the smallest, but always being lumped with one of your sisters as one of either ‘the two big girls’ or ‘the two babies’.
I knew the fraught position you were in, yet was powerless to change it. You were always being told to wait while I fed the baby. Then you were told to hurry up so we could get your oldest sister to pre-primary on time. You were pushed into bed so I could have a moment’s peace, then woken up again so we could do the afternoon school run.
Now at the age of three you have shown yourself to be independent, strong-willed, imaginative and stubborn. You are also completely immune to any sort of threat or bribe. The prospect of losing dessert or TV or a toy means nothing to you, and as such it can be difficult to control you.
The only thing that you seem to want is the one thing I find hardest to give: my complete, undivided attention. Hard because I have three children and a house to run and my writing. Hard because you always want to play imaginary games, but you don’t actually tell me what we’re playing, so I always get it wrong and you tell me off.
There are some things I want to tell you. I do tell them to you now, but you’re three and stubborn, and you don’t listen to anyone except Dora.
Although you will always be surrounded by the blonde bombshells, twins separate by five years, never feel you need to be like your sisters. Never feel you need to be the eldest and never feel you need to be a baby.