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On Identity and Houses

I was an artist once. I used to watercolor and draw and spend entire weekends suspended in time. Having a baby will alter your identity, no doubt about it. But buying a fixer-upper will annhilate it.

So badly I want to fast-forward three months. By then the remodeling will be complete and we’ll (probably… maybe?) have the house in some kind of order. The Giant Baby will have already figured out all of the places where Mommy hides while playing Hide and Seek, and also the places that get her into trouble. We’ll have floors and a functional shower and the hanging smell of forty years of nicotine won’t greet us in the mouth when we walk through the door.

Perhaps by then we will have established a regular eating routine. Maybe we’ll be on friendly terms with our kitchen instead of a first-name basis with the Wendy’s drive-thru employees. Maybe we’ll use the dining room table for sharing meals instead of as a receptacle for sharp, swallowable, and breakable items to keep away from Sally Longarms. And maybe by then she won’t refuse to eat every GD thing I attempt to coax past her lips.

Maybe life will feel sort of normal again. Maybe it will feel like today.

Today was the reprieve in a string of frenetic, emotional, stressful days. Today was a sun break amidst the storm: The Girl and I spent the day by ourselves, being regular and finding things that make us giggle. I decided to stop stressing about her sudden change in eating habits. I decided to move deliberately instead of restlessly. I chased her around Target. She said hi to strangers. I tried sharing a Yumm Bowl with her but she refused, so I ate my lunch and she ate a spoon. She helped me reorganize kitchen. We watched Friends. We played our nighttime game up and down the hallway. She gave me sweet little hugs and I died some. She passed out happily and early enough that I still have a smidgeon of energy left to finish a comic, put a few words together, and soak up the deliciousness of remembering that the artist is still inside me somewhere.

Time, please go faster.

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Mama Bear + Baby Bear

Rare footage of the *actual* Kate and Laura spotted in the wild. See them graze calmly in the lush pastures of domesticated indoor living. As not to disturb their early morning ritual, this depiction was taken via drone at a near birds-eye vantage point. A true sight!
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Inktober: Week One

October is my favorite art month of the entire year, partly because the changing of the season is so darned magical, but also because of Inktober. (Read about it here: https://www.mrjakeparker.com/inktober-1/) I’m posting this week’s drawings here as a “week in review.”

This is he first time since Baby that I’ve really drawn, like with real paper. And I barely drew anything while pregnant so it’s been a LONG time since I’ve played in this space. I avoided it for a time, too, because I felt like I lost a lot in my hands and in my eyes. I’m happy to report that drawing is muscle memory like anything else, and it comes back way more quickly than you think. Thank god.

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Child Portrait 9/25/18

I discovered a tool in Procreate that I’ve never used before. It’s called Dry Ink and MAN it’s a beautiful tool. It ends up feeling like ink and oil pastel simultaneously, offering the precision and responsiveness of a great pen while blending with the sensitivity of paint. My daughter took a few monster naps this week so I got some solid blocks of art time. My tank has been refueled! At least for a minute.

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Just Once I’d Like to—

Before I had a baby and I still had some semblance of a life, I kept a fairly substantial number of completed comics in the queue. At any given moment, I could post a comic. It’s like having a fat savings account: most of the time you never need to use those funds, but knowing you CAN just feels damn good.

Then I became a parent, but I was still able to maintain a cushy queue during those first couple months while my daughter was still in the larval phase and slept most of the day. Much too quickly, though, she started sleeping less, requiring more, and leaving a trail of soiled items in her wake, ready to launder. Now I blink and a week goes by, my art untouched in seven-plus days. The comic savings account has dwindled. I’m livin’ on the edge, paycheck to paycheck. I’m always low on funds and can never seem to get ahead. I save up a little and then it disappears.

So, this is my little joke with myself. When I’ve stopped and started a piece twelve times, when I never have a substantial chunk of time to make headway, when I save a little only to then spend a lot…

This is my life now.
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Adult Rompers, etc.

Posted the Jumpsuit comic today and I’m mentally reviewing the six (or so) times in my life when I’ve tried on a glam one-piece jumpsuit. All six (or so) of those times produced the same result, and I inevitably form the same conclusion: jumpsuits are created for some other type of woman who may or may not exist. Like JLo.

It’s probably for the best anyhow. I’m not keen on the idea of having to get naked to take a wizz.

Oh, I included this drawing just for funsies, so this post wouldn’t look too sad and empty. The drawing is still in progress and represents my Saturday morning state. Pants always optional. Rompers prohibited.
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