I don't know how much longer I'm going to keep doing these. I always think I've been able to hold on to my previous self - the way my life was pre-baby - but I catch myself doing incredibly predictable mom things. And I roll my eyes at myself. The other day I was saging some crystals while Hawk sat in his little chair watching me and I was like, "See? We don't have to be like everyone else. We can still be how we were," (we, meaning me). Then Hawk was napping so I folded the laundry while boiling bottles and while watching my recordings of House of Bryan from HGTV because I have a serious crush on Bryan Baeumler. Crushing on the Home and Garden guy? COME ON VANESS. I call him Hawksley's honorary dad. And if Bryan isn't on I play Vampire Diaries on Netflix because Damon. I realize I'm pathetic.
But it looks like our little guy is spending his first Christmas in our new family home - so maybe all those DIYs will come handy! Thanks Bryan! (Insert heart eyes here) I'll definitely be sharing our new home with you since it's wedged in the middle of a birch forest and that's AMAZING. Our things are all packed and we move in just a short while. Which quickly brings me to... everything is more stressful with a baby, especially moving. I feel like I have to plan and plan and plan just to make sure things go semi-smoothly. Hawksley is becoming more work, and slowly but surely I've let all my side projects go, starting with the retirement of my column. That was pretty hard. When I got rid of my fun sporty cross-over for something bigger to fit our car-seat, I felt a little part of myself die. Derek was pumped, "I can fit in your car now!" Closing my column is just like the car. I can't really grasp just how different everything is from only, say, two years ago.
Milestones! Hawksley is a beast. He's the biggest baby! Shortly after three months, he just started growing without stopping. Some of his pants are for 12 month olds! He wears 6-9 months on the regular and he's legitimately heavy. At his checkup his doctor said he had a huge growth spurt. He used to be tiny (being born almost a month early) and only in the 15th percentile. But now he's in the 80th percentile for height. My dream of raising big strong boys might be a reality. I just hope he's kind and soft spoken like Derek. I can tell his shoulders will be broad and it's so weird. He is already wearing a football jersey meant for next year. It's insane! He was born early! Isn't he supposed to be small?
I see all these women posting pictures of their kids and the milestones their little ones hit. It's always followed up with "Slow down!" buuuut, I'm always like, "YEAH HAWK! BIGGER FASTER STRONGER! Take over the world already!"
I'm going to be the worst hockey mom. Or jazz mom. Or whatever.
He started eating food at four months, and he loves sweet potatoes. Green beans make him cry (me too), and he cries when he has to stop eating. He's super flirty and smiley, but for some reason when my camera comes out he gives this death stare. It's perfect. That's how I know he's my child. The camera hates me too.
His hair is really starting to get thick... and I gave him a little haircut because he had these weird scraggles and since we're a hair family I just had to. (I was raised in hair salons) We are already starting to grow his future manbun. His jack-o-lantern eyebrows are the focus of everyone's attention and he is seriously looking intuit-y. Amazing!
I'm sort of pushing Derek to get his Metis card even though he doesn't think he needs it for anything. But, I think it would be nice for Hawksley. Is that weird? I think culture and heritage are so important. I feel such a huge pull to Aboriginal cultures since having a Metis baby.
He and Rogue are besties. Look at them with their matching knitwear! He watches her all over the house and reaches for her a lot. She lets him pull at her - she let's everyone pull at her - but their little bond is starting to show. I was really worried about how Rogue would be at first, but she's proven to be her kind sensitive self. How am I surrounded by all these beautiful sensitive types?
Hawk loves to fly. (How fitting!) Or be upside down. It's the best thing. He is super ticklish but only mum knows how to tickle him. Dad can't do it. (Derek and I don't have names anymore because we're gross loser parent people) He's rolling over, and I'm betting he's crawling by Christmas. This kid kicks non-stop and his jolly jumper is the best thing to happen to him since flying. He doesn't watch cartoons (I'm sure it's too soon for cartoons anyway) but he legit loves sports, especially football and soccer and baseball. I think he just likes the green field. But he will watch it for hours and not complain. He also will watch Bryan, his honorary papa. WORKS FOR ME.
He goes to bed between seven and eight - I'm so lucky - and he usually sleeps through the night until 7AM, and he will sleep in his swing downstairs 'til eight or nine. Who is this kid? I always wake up just before he does. It's so weird. We still have this weird connection as if he were in the womb. I know what's wrong, I know when he wakes, and I definitely know when he's pooping. He turns purple...
We're pretty close to getting teeth. It's been... fun.
Derek has been out of town a lot or working really late. I have no idea how anyone can be a single parent. When I wake up with Hawk and put him to bed all without seeing Derek, I'm pretty much desperate for some adult contact. It sounds like an easy job - staying home and just watching some baby - but it is exhausting. You can't do anything but pay attention to the kid, and sometimes Hawk and I have a competition as to who can cry the hardest, longest and loudest. Seriously. I'm sure our neighbours aren't that bummed to see us go. Sometimes I feel like I'm being punished for all the times I didn't cry and maybe should have. I wear the fact that I'm not a "cryer" like a badge on my chest.
Da Universe be like, "PUNISHMENT! MUST SHED TEARS!"
I think it's so hard staying home because there is no dynamic. It's monotonous, and you can only play peek-a-boo for so long. And Hawk thinks peek-a-boo is bullshit anyway. The days seem to blend together, and sometimes I find I have no idea what day it is. It's hard to care about yourself, and all those stereotypes of women letting themselves go once they have a baby are because you're exhausted and you don't give a shit what your baby thinks you look like. And if you don't ever see your partner you REALLY don't care. You can fit a shower in if your baby decides to nap for a consistent amount of time, and even that's dodgy because you should probably use that nap time to wash the dishes or do a load of laundry or eat something other than pizza pops. I've finally got over the clean house thing. Whatever. Since we're half packed, I've moved all the baby things I need into the living room and we basically live there for the day. Yup. I've given up by five months. When Derek had to work over the weekend, I thought it might finally push me over the edge, but we got through it, and I packed up our things for our move while Hawksley slept.
The real kicker is I've been spoiled - my mom watches Hawksley on Fridays and I use that day to run our errands, and get all my freelance work in. Yes, that's my secret. But since my mom is also moving she hasn't been able to watch him. So it's just been me and baby, day and night and on weekends and I literally feel like my brain is melting sometimes. It's so hard to explain. All you want is to peace out and do what you want, meet your friends at a patio and have some sangria while casually texting your boyfriend to seem busy and cool. I can't do anything I want, ever. It's so strange! Thankfully, Hawksley is more fun now, but he's also more work and more personality. All my priorities have gone up in the air, and their currently hanging out up there until I can take a second to look at them and decide what truly needs attention.
Derek has the other pressures. He feels bad for not being here as much, I squawk because I want more help from him, he's trying to focus on his new business - it's a lot. I can't imagine a kid talking back to me through something like this. My wrath would be unleashed, and I finally feel like I reeeeeeally understand my mom's personality and who she is. I don't know how she raised us alone after my dad died. We were good kids, but I was a shit head sometimes.
Friends are either amazing, or the absolute worst. Seriously! Some people totally get it, and others just don't have a clue. "Why aren't you texting me back?" "I've been calling and calling." "Why don't you answer me?" "I haven't seen you in forever."
Moms cling to other moms because those people know to just leave you alone and they don't keep texting you if you don't respond. They get it. They deserve a meddle. You just can't keep up with everyone, and the phrase four quarters are better than a hundred pennies really resonates. After all, the penny is extinct now. When I do have a free moment, I want to spend it with Derek, the man I love, because we hardly see each other and if we do, it's usually fixated around getting something done - like snagging baby formula, calling the bank or fixing something in the house. I genuinely don't realize the time that has passed between seeing friends, and suddenly it's like OMG I haven't talked to my best friend in a week! When did I last call my sister? (True story: I wasn't responding to texts so my mom started texting D. Whoops!)
Seeing a group of friends at once is the secret. It's like, "Ahhhh, I fit everything in! I can still do it! HAHAHA I AM THE CHAMPION!" These little one-on-one visits that I used to constantly fill my time with feel like such a luxury. Just like sleeping past 6AM is a luxury. I can't really grasp just how different everything is. I don't know who I am. I'm usually the one that creates, does, or charges forward. Right now, I just want to chill. I just want to hide and not have to do everything all the time. I don't want to be seen.
I took a week off from everything. From writing, from this website, from all work in general. From facebook, from instagram. Social networking was seriously giving me anxiety. Actually my whole phone was. So if you text me and never heard back... it was probably through that time. Sorry! And you know what? I felt bad about it. But it was the only way I could watch Hawksley for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without going crazy sans Derek. Single parents need to be celebrated, worshipped... and given a bunch of money. I think what bogs me down is when I'm trying to get something done and I'm interrupted by a crying baby. I get so frustrated because I just want to work on my stuff! I've been commissioned to write some Canadiana poetry, and I've promised myself that is the only additional work I'm taking on. I'm trying to balance these two lives and it's impossible! They both need to change. I'm not who I was. And I don't know who I am. I'm officially in transition.
I pumped out a human for Pete sakes! I need to be in the shadows for a bit. I need retreat.
Are you following me on instagram? I post super cute pictures of Hawksley, Rogue and Derek, and it's pretty neat to see Hawksley transform through his hashtag #babyhawkman. Hashtags are weird, but I've found what makes them so cool - growing babies! ...And harboring collections with your friends. My friends and I started #lovenestwars since we hardly see each other and we love to celebrate our cozy homes with our cozy loves. Viva le hashtag. Come find me @roguewoodblog.