This morning, like most mornings, I was involuntarily awoken at 6am.
This isn't the first involuntary wakeup of the night, but it is the last.
This is the one where the bundle of boy is beaming. Crawling across my head, eating keys from my bedside table, and making noises that signal a general zest for life. There is no going back to sleep from here. It is now officially daytime. I begrudgingly pull my self out of warm blanket nest. I do not share Noah's enthusiasm for 6am.
Before I was a Dad, the children’s book ‘Go the F*#k to sleep’ seemed offensive at best and ludicrous at worst. Hearing Samuel L Jackson read it on YouTube may have added some extra comedic value, but I probably stuck up my nose and thought it was a ridiculous title written by a terrible parent with a heart of stone.
Fast forward to a time when these words have left my own lips feeling more like a desperate prayer than a satirical children’s book, and my perspective has been stretched a little. Even Psalm 137:9 looks different (the one about dashing babies heads on rocks). Ok, so that’s probably one of the most bleak reflections of humanity in all recorded literature, but I’m going to give the dude the benefit of the doubt and assume he had just been woken up for the fourteenth time in half as many hours by a nearby infant. It can make you think (and write) some crazy things.
This is a piece of writing about the S word.
A lot of people in this world don't have great Dads. Some are abusive. Some leave. Some are around but really not around. I don’t know what those things are like. Some people do have great Dads. And I am lucky to be one of them. Your Papa/My Dad, is a good man. A great Dad.
Noah, I want to be your great Dad.
has enormous brown eyes
smooth, plump cheeks,
and a little button chin
that can melt your heart
like butter in the microwave
When you blow raspberries in his neck
his giggles spill over like a waterfall
and your melted-butter-heart explodes with joy
has fresh eyes for the world
a wide, open heart
and I cannot tell him how much I love him
cannot kiss, cuddle, tickle, snuggle-the-poop out of him anywhere near enough
I have an abundance
of that weird, want-to-squeeze-and-use-naughty-words-to-describe-the-intensity-of-my-love kind of love
(You know the one right?)
a blood curdling
wild banshee scream
with sharp, prickly edges
that can endure, repeat and build in intensity
for small windows of forever
When you become a parent,
(at least, in my experience)
the shape of things change
grows, expands, pushes out to the edges of your chest
and presses down deep into your stomach,
becomes smaller and bigger at the same time
Sometimes chicken, chips and salad taste absolutely incredible.
And it has very little to do with the chicken, chips and salad.
Like when we were sitting in a room with a dear friend, a mate, a brother, who had jumped in the car and travelled 1.5 hours to bring this meal to us.
There are some clear differences between being a Mum and a Dad.
We could start with the obvious:
Noah didn't grow inside my body for 9 months.
He also didn't emerge from my private parts.
I don't happen to have breasts.
Each of those things means there is something between Sam and Noah that goes beyond the experience of parenthood I will ever have. Mysteries I will only ever observe in wonder.
Welcome to the (Parent) Hood Pt.3. Midwives Vs. Doctors - Things You Shouldn't Say to Someone with a Baby in the NICU
For Part 1, click here.
For Pt.2, click here
They are riddled throughout the path towards parenting, and seem to exist in every moment once you arrive.
Disposable vs cloth,
breast vs bottle,
prams vs wraps,
pink vs blue.
For Part 1, click here.
A few months ago, I had poo all over my hands.
Let's give that some context.
I was in the parent's room at Macca's.
It felt like there was poo all over the floors,
There was poo smeared up Noah's leg, on his hands, on his feet.
I needed back-up, badly.
This morning, my son tried to eat my nose. He’s currently commando crawling around the house, banging the ground with assorted kitchen utensils that have been offered up for entertainment and finding remnants of toast or capsicum on the floor from one of yesterday’s meal times. He squawks and squeals with delight, while eating one of his Mama’s Havianas.
Thoughts are banging around in my head. A writer who never writes trying to squeeze out some words, during this brief window of opportunity while little man licks Sam’s footwear and she sleeps. I have struggled to write poetry lately. This morning I wonder if it’s time to let go of that for a while; if it’s time to tell different stories with different words, to pause and let the beautiful chaos of the last seven months bubble up and out into whatever form it needs to take.