Carmen Is Licking Her Babies

Carmen is licking her babies. She licks their faces and they almost fall over. She’s so strong and they are so little but they seem to like it. It’s funny to watch them. They just fall over all the time with their eyes shut just getting licked around. I have my tummy on my special pillow and my hands under my chin. I’m watching them really close up which is fine because they like to be watched.

I always do this after work. I come in right off the Access-a-bus and get my pillow and get right in here. We’re all squashed up behind the sofa — me and Carmen and the babies. Mum told me to move away but she doesn’t really know Carmen like I know her. She doesn’t understand what it’s like. Me and Carmen have a special bond. In particular that is because she is my cat. That means I’m allowed to watch her close up.

Today I’ve got a bag of chips. These ones are chili or something really gross. Why would anyone make chips that taste so bad? If I was in charge of making chips I wouldn’t make anything so gross for sure. You can bet on that. I wouldn’t put them in the cupboard with the lock on either. I would have them out in big bowls. And good flavours. Not gross ones.

Little Black Cat is the one who gets the most milk. She always pushes the other kittens out of the way and gets right in there. I know someone else who is like that. My sister whose name is Ros Johnson. She always gets the best stuff and gets more than me even though she is eight years younger and that is the truth. Chips for example in particular. Ever since she was born that has always been the way. I just have to put up or shut up. That’s for sure.

When I watch Carmen I can see how much she loves her babies. She licks them and she feeds them. She looks after them and they are hers for sure. I get a feeling inside my tummy and in my heart when I’m watching them. It starts on one side and then it goes all around my body. I feel it right inside me. Really deep down and tingly. Especially tingly in my tummy. I think I know what it is but I’m not sure. I’m not going to tell anyone yet. It’s my secret and mine alone. I might tell Carmen — she’s been through all this before — but that’s about it to be honest with you.

Three Black Cats 1955 by Maud Lewis. (c) Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Used with permission.

Three Black Cats 1955 by Maud Lewis. (c) Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Used with permission.

Little Black Cat has opened his eyes now. Before when I was looking at him I could see his eyes were open. He’s all snuggled up real close to his mom under her neck. They have a special bond for sure. None of the kittens have got Down syndrome I don’t think. But they are still special and they’ve got a special bond. Just like me.

I’m going to Group Meeting today. I go to Group meeting on Sundays. On Mondays I go to work and then I watch movies and that’s it. Sometimes I have an early night and get my beauty sleep. On Tuesdays I go to Cheer which is pretty good actually. On Wednesdays I go to Special Olympics Bowling which sucks big time. On Fridays I go to Group Meeting and on Sundays I go to Group Meeting again even though I already went the day before yesterday. And on the other days I do more movies or I go out with my respite worker and go to the Mall or something. Really it depends.

Today is a Group meeting day though. We are doing “Sharing.” I don’t know whether I will share about my secret but I think that maybe I won’t today. I think I’ll do a puzzle book instead and use the new markers — there’s a new wordsearch and I am so totally awesome at those. Really, if you give me a wordsearch you would be amazed that I am so awesome at it. Some people think that people with Down syndrome can’t read but they don’t know about my talents with the wordsearches, that’s for sure.

I have decided that I won’t tell anyone else my secret for the moment. If it turns out to be really true, I will just let the baby grow and then when it is ready I will plan a big party and have a baby shower. I’ll have balloons and I’ll invite everyone from Cheer and Group Meeting and I might invite some of the people from Bowling but not Hayden because he just gets on my nerves to be honest with you. When everyone arrives there will be a big table that they can put their gifts on. Then I will sit in a big chair and there will be lots of balloons all around. Everyone will come up to me and give me their gifts and I will say, “Thank you. You are so kind.” They’ll be so happy to give me the gifts like a pram and I’ll have really cute clothes for the baby too. I think the decorations will be yellow because that is good for a girl and a boy too. I think I will have a girl first and then a boy afterwards.

I’m going to call my daughter Lynetta Spears Florence Johnson and then if I have a boy I will call him Wayden Mark Ronan Johnson. I won’t dress the girl in only pink because it is good to have other colours not just pink for a girl. We don’t all just like pink. Sometimes we like to wear other colours like black or purple or green and that’s the honest truth. If people give me pink clothes for the baby that will be fine. But otherwise I will choose all different colours. I will get a baby alarm too so I can hear when the baby is crying. I’ll take her into my bed and I will rock her in my arms and say “Go to sleep” and then I will sing to her. I will be very patient with her because I am good at being patient. I don’t mind waiting for things like being in the line at Tim Hortons. Also, I have good people skills for sure.

I will be a very good mom. I will love my children both the same. I won’t let one of them get more than the other and watch what she wants to watch on the TV and not let the other one watch her shows even though she has been waiting for ages. And I will make sure that my children are always clean. I know it will be hard work but that is OK. My mom will help me too.

Carmen carries her babies with her teeth. She bites up on their necks and brings them back when they run away. They don’t mind because its just Mother Nature but I think she should stop really. Little Black Cat came up to me today. She’s much bigger than the other ones now. She came up and licked my finger. It’s rough and wet and not wet at the same time. If I put my hand by her mouth she will lick me for sure.

I think I am going to date Hayden from Bowling. I’ve thought about it and it is quite a good idea actually. Anyway he asked me and I said yes so he is going to be my boyfriend now for a while at least. We might try sex too because that is what you actually need to do if you want to have a baby. I do know that if you feel tingly feelings in your tummy and in your heart that doesn’t mean you are pregnant. That is just the feeling that you have when you are looking at Carmen or another cat who has babies. It doesn’t mean you are going to have a baby yourself actually. The way to have a baby is to have a proper relationship and have sexual intercourse together and then you will feel the same tingly feelings but it will be because you are pregnant. Not because you are looking at a cat. I went to Group Meeting today and that is what they said there too. Also they said that you have to have sperm go inside you. I don’t mind that I’m not pregnant now. I know I will be a good mom someday. I will be patient for now and hang out with Carmen and help her be the best mom she can be. And that is OK for sure.

About Alice Evans

Alice Evans is a parent of a two children, one of whom has Down syndrome. After growing up in the UK and working in the arts in London for most of her adult life, she moved to Canada in 2006 and now works in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with young people and adults who have different abilities. Alice is co-founder and Executive Director of the SCRI Society ("The Club") in Halifax.

About Maud Lewis

Maud Lewis (1903-1970) was born in South Ohio, Nova Scotia and spent most of her life in a one-room house Marshalltown, NS. Lewis' painted house and many of her works are now displayed at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. Maud Lewis remains one of Canada's best known folk artists.

2 thoughts on “Carmen Is Licking Her Babies

  1. Debra Banting

    Authentic and creative. Well done!

  2. renate lindeman

    Lovely story, really enjoyed that. April licks babies. And horses too. They must taste nice, because her face lights up when she does it.


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