‘Guess How Much I love You?.. All the way to Duplo’.

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As today is World book day, I thought I’d use this post to mention a book which my kids love, and, I think, really helped them appreciate the concept of love and just how crazy I am about them. Yes this is another sappy post! Going by my stats, this is what you like, and well… I’m quite sappy too.

When my kids were toddlers, and after i’d smothered them in kisses, telling them every night I loved them, I thought to myself ‘how do they really know what the word love means and how do they know just how much I love them?’ I knew they realised I took great care of them and I adored them, but how could they possibly appreciate the intensity of that love?

During my pregnancy I wondered how I would bond with them, how would they become MY babies. I needn’t have worried. When they were born, BAM – I was instantly bowled over, a major surge of oxytocin did the trick and I was instantly and deeply infatuated with my two little bundles. The penny had dropped when I realised – Oh my god, this is how much my parents love me!

Of course I’ll never forget the evening they were born. Dylan had some fluid in his lungs and spent his first night in SCBU (special care baby unit). I closed my eyes and desperately tried to maintain the blurry image I captured as he was whisked away for treatment. After all the excitement had passed, I was propped up in bed and the midwives left me to it. It was 1 a.m. and the ward grew quiet. I was now alone with Eva. She lay in her cot beside my bed, staring at me silently. I couldn’t move much as I’d had a caesarean and a reaction to the spinal had left me shivering with the cold. I couldn’t pick her up, but I pulled her cot closer and reached in. She grabbed my finger and stared at me while I chatted to her. Although I was desperate to see Dylan, we shared some precious moments and bonded for a short while before we both fell asleep.

My husband arrived back early the next morning and I asked him to find Dylan – the SCBU nurse had said we could collect him as he was no longer in the incubator. My husband, the proudest man in Ireland wheeled in an enormous cot with little Dylan (all 7 lbs 3 ozs of him at only 36 weeks!) lying in the centre. I was still glued to my uncomfortable hospital bed at this stage, as I was only ten hours out of surgery. My husband put Dylan in my arms. This was the first time I had held him. After half an hour or so and intermittent tears, I realised how he liked to be swaddled and held – perched up high on my shoulder peeking over the side. My husband took him and I felt very proud telling him how to hold him the way he preferred. In that short time we had bonded and were beginning to get to know his little, emerging personality and I had fallen head over heels in love.

Fast forward two crazy years or so and I thought about whether my kids really knew how much I loved them and a lovely friend told me about the book Guess how much I love you?  a best seller and modern classic by Sam McBratney.

The first time I read it, the kids’ eyes widened. They were as gobsmacked as ‘little nut brown hare’, the little character was told by his daddy just how much he loves him. The book really worked and helped them grasp how much their mummy loves them – all the way to the moon and back again. And lucky me. I am loved all the way to Jupiter, and Pluto and Uranus and the moon and back again and to the moon and back again and again n’gain n’gain!!!’

Eva overheard Dylan’s excited declaration of love for me and professed to love me ‘all the way to Duplo’ (Jupiter). How cute is that?!

Every night we compete to see who loves the other the furthest. This little gem of a book is very sweet and worth having, especially if your kid seems a little anxious or insecure about something and some gentle reassurance is all they need.

Photo credit: David Castillo Dominici @ freedigitalphotos.net

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Categories: Articles, Twins!

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20 replies

  1. A gem it is! We love this book. The title caught my eye, because like you said, “How do they know just how much I love them?”

    Loved hearing about your very, brand new experiences with your babies. I also had a C-section and completely shuddered when you talked about the shakes you got from the spinal. I looked like a crack-head afterwards, I was shaking so bad. No one told me about that part!

    • I hadn’t heard about that possible reaction either. My teeth were chattering so much I could barely talk. I was too scared to hold Eva in case I dropped her, and the midwives didn’t seem to understand. Glad you enjoyed that post, sort of a birth story really.
      Did you have a great birthday?!

      • I did. It was a bit of a panic last Saturday because my babysitter bailed last minute but…6 no’s later and finally a friend said she would watch the kids for me. She’s an amazing fellow SAHM that knew I needed a night out. lol…sounds awful right. The night turned out great though. I was a bit spoiled. My friend’s know it’s the little things that make me the happiest so right about now I am coffee and wine rich! 🙂

      • You have brilliant friends! They choose fantastic gifts and mind your kids too?! Hang on to those guys ;O)

  2. What a sweet post. I’m going to find a copy of that book! I know, it’s amazing what you realize about your parents once you have kids of your own. Hard to imagine how much you love them.

    • Really mushy isn’t it? Lol! I was going to do this post back around valentine’s day but got delayed slightly. You should definitely buy it. In a while, they will look up at you and think ‘wow I AM really special’. :0)

  3. Aw, lovely post. Mini has gone off books a bit of late. Hoping to get her back into them. Her old favourites were Brown Bear and any of the Hugless Douglas stories.

    • Hi Aedin.
      We go to the library and if they really enjoy a book, we might fork out and buy it. They really love their books. I kind of forced it upon them and started reading to them as tiny babies! As twins, they can grow tired of the competition, so they love that bit of one-to-one time in the evening before bed. I’ll look out for Hugless Douglas :o)

  4. Lovely post Olivia, and beautiful memories linking your twins birth to love. A great read.

  5. So sweet. Brings back memories of me and my mum and dad. We did the same. I ended up saying I love you higher than the sky. Over sixty years ago and it seems like yesterday. Nice job and love your writing.

    • Hi Drew. That’s so nice that this brought back memories for you. Lovely to hear that everyone does this and we’re alike in more ways than we may realise. So pleased you like my writing! I hope you and your daughter are doing well xx

  6. Well done Olive, very proud of you! You made me cry reading this as it brought back so many memories of my own! Xo

  7. Aw thanks Liz.. Always feel bad for making people cry, even if they are happy, emotional tears. Thanks for reading and commenting. Big Hugs to the girls xxx

  8. Great post, brought back a lot of memories when my little man was in the SCBU and those first few days of his life that I couldn’t be with him, such a wonderful feeling when they are finally wheeled into the room! I’m still in awe of how you carried such brilliantly sized twins!. We absolutely love that book, , D puts his hands behind his back when he tells me how much he loves me which is to the moon, sun, Pluto and back again!!! Little miss O sings the theme tune of the cartoon series of the book every time we read the book.

    • I did that post for myself more than anything. Don’t want to forget. I was the biggest pregnant person I’d ever seen – I know we probably all feel that way. People would stop and stare, some people even felt the need to tell me how massive I was! I didn’t know there was a tv series. :0)

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