It seems like the other day that Noah was born. Funny thing being that Big Brother 2014 started a day after his arrival so technically, it’s been 71 odd days and counting. Now, I somewhat underestimated just how time consuming little man would be. You’re probably laughing thinking “well duh” and yes, think that but – I actually thought I was more than organized post him being born.
I’m in writing mode for my next project at present. I scheduled one/ two days a week whilst on paternity leave to go over the project but did I even read a line of txt whilst I was on leave? NO!
Noah swallowed my time off so fast it was unreal however, I love every minute around him. I watch Noah every, day, everyday! And every day, he plays tricks on me – growing right under my nose and I’m missing each moment, his hair that now curls, or how his smile develops. He can now see from a distance whereas before, I’ve had to be in his face. One thing that still shocks me is the fact that this child does not vomit! He has upgraded to 5 ounces, he backs this like he has been stranded in the desert for 3 days! the speed in which this milk goes would bring all kinda slang out in folks i.e. “oh lawd” “kaaii” “OMG” etc. His set routine is in place, every three hours he starts to rustle without us prompting him to feed. His neediness has increased massively. I was quite stern with the whole getting caught up in the “being held” trap. I tested him once, left him for a minute or so – he cried and cried, then soon calmed down. He calls for attention for the littlest things, the more I respond – the more he won’t learn. It’s not me being harsh towards him but the speed his brain functions amazes me. Though he cannot put two & two together yet, he responds based on senses/ feelings/ tones, the bare minimum of communication – he makes it his all.
I noticed two things very early on in fatherhood:
1) 2 weeks paternity leave is really not enough. In fact, it’s sh*t. Life is just about getting its routine by the end of the third week. To ask a father to bond with his child, as well as be a support unit for the mother – in two weeks? Is not fair. This was something I wasn’t prepared to do. For me – two weeks made no sense. I blocked out the whole of June and it was the best move in my opinion.
2) I became slightly envious of the son and mum time. Of course I had to start work again but knowing how much he’s growing every day, and the fact that I’ll be missing crucial moments that should be shared, worried me a little. I’d arrive after work at times and he would look at me like a stranger, or he would be sleeping. Our bonding time through the week was minimal, I felt like I was losing him already. Over dramatic maybe but deep down, I believe that our fear is rehashing things/ traits of people in our lives that we would rather remain buried. My fear is becoming a father that wasn’t really there for me when I needed. There’s this fine line of not wanting to be That man, and also being a natural father (without the pressure of what not to be). This battle that I constantly go through, that I don’t discuss with people. So when the weekend comes, I ensure that I’m as free as possible to catch up with him, to catch up on what I’ve missed.
Two months in and it’s had the tough moments as well as the beautiful. I think back to a conversation I had with a close friend I recently connected with again after a solid year of not communicating. I’ve always wanted the best for him, which in turn had me very blunt in my approach. The last we spoke (last year,) I was just that. However, at that time, that’s not what he needed. I’ve had various “tough” fatherhood experiences that I’ve shared here and there via social networks, bearing in mind – these are pretty much thoughts out loud. Within minutes, I soon receive the “welcome to fatherhood,” “yup, join the club,” “ah, now you are a dad” and so on. Though I know the obvious, it would be cool to just get a “I hear you” or “you’ll be fine” in the same way my friend at that time wanted a “don’t stress it, rest and know you are learning as each day passes,” than me pointing out the obvious. I guess I’m realising that the smaller things count.
I’m realising how much more I respect single mothers that raise a child, or more than one child on their own. Empathy for some is like a film you watch, you sit through and what is seen evokes various emotions. This was very much me prior to Noah, working with/ friends with single mothers that would share stories that I could feel, but never understand even though at that time, I thought I did. I understand now.
I’m questioning why any man would leave their child. Each to their own of course. Circumstances play a huge role in this however, I’m talking to the man that just upped and left, to the man that got jealous of the attention that’s shifted to the baby, I’m wondering what the deal is with that man, because I look in my child’s eyes – amidst his sporadic outbursts and laughter, and know even if! things don’t work out as it should between Nat and I, I will not be some picture in the corner that gathers dust.
I realised that some folks I wanted to share this experience with, now want nothing to do with me. This hurt, like really hurt. It felt as if there was this countdown going on to little man’s arrival, and as soon as he woke the heavens with his cry – they were out. Reasons behind this? I have no clue. I’ve had quiet nights and wondered whether I was selfish. This severing friendships thing was new to me. I get that people argue, but what fails to register are folks that have no decency in the process of this break up. I say break up because that’s truly what it felt like. To have moments where a picture or caption brings up a memory that only That person can relate to – and then proceed to forward it to them via Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and find that contact through all these social streams have been cut, left me a little stunned, and hurt. Maybe it’s the assumption that now I’m a dad, I can no longer relate to things or hang out as much, I don’t know, all I do know is that I was not prepared for that to happen.
Finding balance, a skill I’m still learning.
So much to explore. Oh and he pooed up his back, he actually missed skin, this was like some rocket poop, that landed just below his neck.
AND WHY DOES NO ONE EVER TELL YOU ABOUT THE CHEESY NECK SMELL?
Until next time.