All of it.
I love the little sounds of huff and puff that come out of her mouth breathing little face. She's working so hard to get things where she wants them and... I just disappear. I fade into the background.
She's hard at work, deep in play, safe at home, with Mom (that's me.)
Confession: I had to google how to pronounce the word 'sentient' today.
Fact: I was saying it wrong.
Dotty is sentient and it shows and shows and shows. Don't get me wrong, I was fully aware that she is a perceptive and feeling human being, but there's been a shift in her showing it. My Babe is ten months old and makes me laugh like a madwoman. She does things hoping to illicit a desired response and I can see it in her actions on the regular. Whether it be in the bath when she wants a toy, in the high chair when she squeals for a bite, or any other time she wants to tell me whats on her mind. One of my new favorite things is the belly blowing.
Since she was a tiny little Beeble I've been kissin on her belly and blowing raspberries onto it after baths, while changing diapers, while we play--anytime and all the time. It's just too cute of a little belly to ignore and the well-termed cute aggression gets the best of me. Plus, her little bellybutton is just staring back at me and that's where we started, tied together by pulse and blood.
Recently our bed time routine has begun to more consistently have book reading and some baby led play time. We read through three or four books and then I do what she does, I follow her lead, we wind down without screens.
But she, little adorable, has begun blowing raspberries on *my* belly and quickly turning her cute little cherub face to mine to make sure I'm laughing.
Oh my god the melts.
She's so tender and pure and soft and strong and smart and I just.... I just can't even.
I guess it’s time for some sort of year in reflection. 2019 is tomorrow. I don’t like the idea of looking back and wishing things were different...
(I do wish I hadn’t had that chicken noodle soup for lunch that is now wreaking revenge on my bunghole and keeping me home on this “holiday”)
Maybe not different, but looking back as to what went wrong in some fake analysis, veiled hope that I might learn from it or do something different next time, if there is a next time. There’s a couple of pressing thoughts, a couple of thentheresthat’s that keep recirculating in my head. I don’t know if that means they’re important or if it means that I am shallow, readable, operating on some level of surfaceness.
I keep thinking about how this was the first year in a long time nobody held me. Granted, I did a lot of holding. Still holding. Holding this teething fever into the new year holding...
No one held me.
What a sad thing that is.
What a sad statement. It creates a chill in me and my brain nips are erect and trembling. I don’t enjoy this vulnerability. Especially when I feel vulnerable for two.
I’m a creature built for companionship.
I love deeply.
I find joy in acts of service.
I will bend the sky so my love can be the stars.
This is the first year I’ve bent it for ourselves, I bought warmer sheets so we are less cold at night.
I are now we.
I reinvented my purpose while grounding all the egos of my nature.
I held myself upright.
I held myself accountable.
I held up up my part of the deal.
I held space.
I held the door open.
But I keep thinking about arms and warm and how fucking cold it is outside.
And then I think about how alla this is prolly just weaning hormones and the boiling fact that haven’t had sex in over a year while the ghosts of wangs past are all around and haunting.
I’m really grateful that the goals are aligning, that’s my other thought. Grateful that my family has their health and togetherness. I’m grateful for this rickety roof sheltering all of us. I’ve been able to really manifest a future for myself with my daughter.
Starting, well, starting tomorrow I guess.
In 2019 I will be teaching “Caretake and Me” painting classes at the Lucky Childe. The Lucky Childe is a new, amazing, family centric, all inclusive café where your kids can play and eat good food and hang out and do homework. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’m excited to put some of my momentum behind the place.
This year I’ve also pitched a program to the Nevada Museum of Art—Stroller tours. One day, two days, three mornings—whatever it turns out to be, pack up your kiddo and meet me at the museum and will go on a kid friendly tour of the artwork. I’m hoping it really takes off and I’m excited to partner with such a respectable organization.
My dream of getting to take my child to work is slowly coming true. Creating my own future, independent. I might not be held by anyone, but at least I’m not being held back.
It’s been a transitional year for people around me as well. My moms health, my brothers happiness, my dad’s retirement. Friends, too. Friends that once played a large role in my life have withdrawn since I’ve had a child. I think there’s truth to that myth... that rumor? That saying? that once you have a child your childfree friends taper off. Moms make new friends with similar alignments to cope with the isolation.
We’re just trees in two separate forests now. Trees trying to break through the crown with no hard feelings because every tree needs the light.
And then there’s my lil seedling, sapling, sweet lil bundle.
You know how I know I love you? I let you have the carrots from my chicken noodle soup. Best bites. Always.
You know I know I love you? You take a shit and I feel relief.
You know how I know I love you?
I vacuum daily.
I chew when you chew.
I’ve willingly tasted your spit just to be kissed by you.
I make your food for every meal.
i feel it when I hold you and can’t stop feeling it when you aren’t near.
I tolerate the idiocy of *ahem* because I want you to be able draw your own conclusions.
You came out of my body this year, into my heart last. Our souls are on a path together and I’m in awe of your fearlessness, curiosity, softness, and humanity.
And your amazing JLo booty that I know didn’t come from my genes.
Heres to wishing together, walking together, laughing, and holding.
Cheers to my kin.
My better half.
The precious sweet potato, Nugglebuns Beeble, DottyMo Rey Go made of star stuff.
It's 9:30 in the morning and I just pounded a beer.
For the first time in what feels like ages I'm home alone. Mom is out running an errand, I took Wyatt to school, Dotty to FOB's, Brother is at work as always... and it's just me.
Having to see FOB at 9am on Tuesday mornings makes me want to drink.
Makes me want to feel less.
Makes me angry.
Makes me remember.
We're also creeping up on a year dump-iverssary of preggo Mallory and lots of feelings are being trudged up.
Feelings that make me want to pound a beer at 9:30am at home because it's better than stopping by Shea's for whiskey and shenanigans I can't afford.
I want to dance.
It's 10:15 in the morning and I just cracked another beer.
I feel like acting out.
I feel like being irresponsible.
I feel like singing.
I feel like screaming.
I want a brief reprieve from accountability.
I want some recklessness.
I want loud music and cleavage and lipstick and posture.
I want a red dress and dim lights and musk.
I want toothy grins and glitter and glamor and sound.
It's 11:30 in the morning and I miss my daughter and her little hands gripping the handle of her car seat.
It's 11:30 in the morning and I'm grateful for my life as is, untrapped trying to make happy the unhappy.
It's 11:30 in the morning and I need a nap.
I can’t get this little moment out of my mind and I keep getting filled with preemptive regret that I might forget it before I illustrate it in any way.
Probably about two months ago... Dotty and I were sitting in the shower as we do daily. It’s part of our routine to get ready for bed.
She just loves it.
Her face lights up when we enter the bathroom, her legs wiggle and kick as the water turns on. Her hands grasp everything, her eyes widen and fill with wonder and sugary anticipation. This particular time she was standing assisted and facing the shower curtain and watching all of the water droplets dribble down like thousands of glistening crystals and she looked back at me and smiled.
It wasn’t a smile like she’d already been smiling and happened to turn her head.
It was the very first smile where she knew.... and then I knew that behind her eyes she was showing that she wanted to share this moment with me. That I was there. She looked back at me. And smiled because what she was doing was making her happy and she wanted to make sure I was there with her in that happiness. It was a very cognizant moment between she and I.
I can still see it so vividly.
The water droplets on her little nose, the pink in her cheeks from the warm, the way her eyebrows darken when wet, the way her hair parts like tiny rivers to let the shower streams pass through. Her chubby fingers pressed against the water crystals on the lining. The light reflecting off of all of the above. Her big brown eyes turning ever so slightly over her left shoulder with a giant grin because I’m her Mom.
And she is happy we are there.
I don't even know where to begin.
The frustration with the treatment of women and their pain?
My trip to urgent care for a degenerative compressed vertebrae?
The child support enforcement case I've had to create?
The attempts at sleep training?
Going from exclusively breast feeding (EBF) to formula feeding (FF)?
The leftovers that compose Mallory?
Let's start with some good.
Dotty is six months old today and currently sleeping soundly on her belly in the other room. She's a proud little miss. When you hold her hands from seated position to have her stand up she lifts her head real high, chin up, to see who is watching her and collect her accolades. She mimics, she grasps. she rolls, she squeals, she yells, and she loves adventuring. We haven't moved onto solids yet... but soon. I'm still researching so maybe my anxiety will chill a bit on it.
I know, I know... they days are long and the years are short.
That's true all the time.
But now I have this little time-marker that is all day, every day and... I can't imagine my life without her. All I want is to quiet all the noise around our life and live it--human drama, money drama, FOB drama, disappointments, physical struggles. I want to quiet it all... and give her the most static-free, sweet song sounding existence possible.
Mini blog time.
More later--for now.
Morning smiles are some of the best smiles to be had. They've traveled straight from dream land, restful and pure. Sometimes you get them upon delicate baby eye opening, sometimes after a few minutes of feeding, sometimes both, sometimes more.
Don't be too anxious for them.
Because your little bundle of soul and joy will vomit inside your smiling mouth.
Mallory Kate is a blogger, artist, single mom and funny girl outta Nevada.
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