TML Bonus Chapter: Little Lily
*Disclaimer: The TML Bonus chapters can be read separately, however reading Chapters 1-10 of The Mafiosa’s Little may help you understand some of the backstory and references. Also, none of the events in these bonus chapters will transfer to the original story. This is simply a ‘what-if Lily regressed’ short series.*
My phone vibrated loudly against the kitchen counter.
The 4:00 PM alarm meant it was time to wake Lily. If we let her sleep any longer, there was a chance she wouldn’t sleep at all tonight.
“Mario, start waking her up.”
“Bro, come on. The game’s almost done. You know I won’t be able to finish it with her whiny ass awake.” he grumbled from the recliner.
“It wasn’t a question, I want her awake by the time I come back downstairs.”
I could hear Mario grumbling to himself as I walked to the stairs with my afternoon work in tow. The last two weeks had been busy with the addition of Lily. We’d been working on getting her records wiped from the US government systems but it was harder than we anticipated. Don was handling most of the required paperwork while I began the process of getting her Italian documents.
By the time we fly home, she should be a legal Italian citizen with years of records as proof.
“Lily….wake up..” Mario said softly.
I walked back into the living room annoyed. “I asked you to do one thing, Mario. If you expect her to wake up while you’re still doing that -” I pointed to his obvious attempts at keeping her asleep. His hand patted her middle back while he used his foot to rock the recliner back and forth.” - You’re more foolish than I thought.”
He rolled his eyes, “Here me out. If she wakes up, she’ll just whine and complain, and interrupt the last few minutes of the game. Besides, she’s perfectly fine sleeping for a few extra minutes. I don’t even mind her chewing a hole in my shirt.”
I walked over to the side of the recliner and pulled the blanket away from her face. Sure enough, she had a chunk of Mario’s shirt in her mouth as she lightly sucked on it.
“See, she’s tired and obviously enjoying sleeping on me.” He smirked.
“Cut the shit, she needs to wake up. Unless you want to stay with her until they get home?”
He huffed and turned the TV off in response.
I quickly took a picture of her sucking on his shirt before attempting to wake her, “Principessa, it’s time to wake up.”
She didn’t move or make a sound.
“If you don’t wake up, I’ll warm my cold hands up on your back.” Mario taunted.
She still didn’t move or show any indication of hearing us.
“I warned you little one.” Mario smirked, snaking his hands under the back of her shirt.
She lurched forward and let out a pitiful whine while sucking harder on Mario’s shirt. Her eyes opened a second later and took in her surroundings.
I smiled as her hazel eyes found mine, “Hey Principessa. We thought you’d never wake up. Are you hungry? Do you want some toast or applesauce?”
“How could she be hungry?” Mario chuckled. “She’s been sucking on my shirt for the last hour.”
Lily looked up at Mario and then back at me. Her eyes watered and she let out a sniffle before turning her head into Mario’s chest and letting out a soft cry.
Mario and I froze, listening to her cries slowly become louder against his chest.
“Hey, principessa, what’s wrong?” I cupped her exposed cheek with my hand and wiped the tears streaming down her face with my thump. “Talk to me, Lily. Tell me what’s wrong so I can help.”
“I - I -” sniffles racked through her body for several more seconds, “ I coode.”
Mario and I looked at each other in confusion.
“Listen, babygirl, you’re gonna have to be more clear than that if you expect us to understand you.” Mario muttered.
“I coooooooode.” She cried out, sobbing louder into Mario’s shirt.
Realization hit me like a ton of bricks. She was in a headspace. She woke up in a headspace!
I racked my brain for what ‘code’ could be in toddler speak. It’d been almost 15 years since I’d been around a small child.
“Hey, shhhh, Lily. You’re alright. Shhhh. Are you -” I moved my hand to her back and rubbed gently. My eyes landed on Mario’s hand, still laying below her shirt. “ - Lily, are you cold?”
She turned her tear stained face to me and quickly nodded; unable to talk through her continued sniffles and strangled sobs.
“Mario, take your hand out of her shirt.”
I smoothed the blanket over her back and contemplated my next move. We weren’t expecting her to regress into a headspace so soon. It was always the hope but given her Big personality with Gisella over the last week, we didn’t think she’d regress for another few weeks at least.
Her sniffles quieted down until there was only an occasional hiccup escaping her lips while she continued to suck on Mario’s shirt.
“Are you hungry? Do you want some milk?”
She nodded against his chest and closed her eyes.
“Keep her awake, I’m going to make her a bottle.” I said to Mario on my way out of the living room.
“Uhh, how am I supposed to do that!?!” His panicked voice easily reached the kitchen, though I didn’t bother answering him. “Lily, uh..no sleeping, OK? I - you - um - open your eyes kid. Enzo will be back any second.”
I chuckled at his words. He clearly had no experience with kids; he’d have to learn quickly if Lily stayed in her headspace.
“Alright, principessa, here’s your bottle.” I said, walking back to the recliner. “Do you want to feed yourself or does Mario need to help?”
Her eyes lit up at the sight of the bottle in my hand. She released Mario’s shirt and leaned her open mouth towards the bottle’s nipple.
“Ahhhhhhh,” her mouth stayed open as the cute noise became louder and louder. Her eyes were glued to the bottle and eventually moved to mine in agitation.
I chuckled and moved the bottle’s nipple to her mouth; she eagerly sucked and let out a soft moan while laying her head back onto Mario’s chest.
“Hold the bottle up so she doesn’t get any air.” I instructed Mario. “When she’s done, pat her back in case she needs to burp. And don’t let her down until I get back.”
“Wait! Enzo. My man. You can’t leave me with her!” He panicked. “What if she starts crying again?!?”
His hand gripped the glass bottle tightly and his eyes bounced from Lily to the bottle and then to me. “I have no idea what I’m doing, you’ve gotta take her!”
“Relax, I just have to call Don and let him know she’s in a headspace. I won’t be more than a few minutes.”
The look on his face was priceless. I considered it karma for all the times he teased Lily over the last few weeks.
I walked to the office and dialed the familiar number. Don answered by the third ring and I quickly briefed him about Lily’s current headspace. As expected, he said Gisella would make the decision to come home or not.
In the meantime, Mario and I were expected to keep Lily safe from the non-baby proofed house and with any luck, in a headspace.
“Lily, no! Don’t! If you’re done - no! God damnit. No! Lily! I’m serious!”
High pitched giggles echoed throughout the living room, drowning out Mario’s jumbled scolding.
“Fuck! Look what you - NO! I swear to god, Lily!”
I walked into the living room and took in the most adorable scene I’d witnessed in years. Lily sat in Mario’s lap with the bottle clutched in her hands. Her chipmunk cheeks had milk stored on each side. In a split second, she dropped the bottle and brought her hands to her cheeks with such swiftness, Mario didn’t have time to block the oncoming milk that sputtered from her mouth. His shirt and face were covered in a fresh coat of milk as Lily giggled for the second time.
“Fuck! No, you’re not doing that a third time. Fuck no!” Mario grabbed the bottle from her hands and chucked it on the couch.
She searched for it with sad eyes, and when she couldn’t find it within seconds, she let out a screech and then, “F - uck”
“Of course you say that loud and clear.” He groaned.
I walked further into the living room and put her bottle on the table near the couch, “I leave you alone with her for less than 5 minutes…” I shook my head and held my hands out to Lily. “Don’t swear in front of her. Signora Gisella won’t be pleased if she comes home to Lily’s vocabulary including the F-word already.”
Lily looked at my hands and then back at Mario.
“She already knows it.” He argued. “She said it at least a dozen times in her first few days.”
I sighed. We’d have to give him a crash course to understand a Little’s headspace. “Lily, I have your bottle. Do you want it?”
Her eyes lit up and a toothy smile spread across her face at the mention of her bottle. I’d never seen her smile so sincerely.
Signora Gisella would fall more in love with her if she stayed in such a young headspace.
I happily picked her up and walked to the couch. She clung to me until I showed her the bottle, and then her eyes were glued to it as I placed her between my legs, facing the TV. Her grabby hands almost reached my outstretched arm but fell short a few inches.
“No, no principessa. Use your manners.”
She huffed in annoyance and turned her head into my chest. It took her almost a full minute to realize I wasn’t giving in. She finally tilted her head up, fluttered her eyelashes, and pushed her bottom lip out to make the cutest pout I’d seen since Kira was little.
God help Signora Gisella and Don. She’d have them wrapped around her finger in minutes at this rate.
“Nice try, Principessa. You need to use your manners.” I chided lightly. She didn’t need to know how close I was to giving her anything and everything she wanted.
With the pout still on full display, she whispered the word I was looking for, “...peaz..?”
“Good girl!” I praised, bringing the bottle to her lips.
She eagerly sucked and relaxed into my chest.
“Sooo, can we put the game back on?” Mario asked.
“No, put cartoons on. We need to keep her occupied until bath time.”
He groaned and scrolled through the channels until talking animals filled the screen.
And that’s how we sat for the next two hours. Lily sat quietly in my lap, playing with my fingers, and watching whatever show played on the screen. Her occasional giggles filled the quiet space and warmed my heart. This was the happiest I’d ever seen her.
I was thrilled to get some of her giggles and smiles on video for Signora Gisella. She chose to end their evening early but wouldn’t be home for at least another 3 hours. I prayed Lily would stay in her headspace until then, or at least wake up in a headspace the next morning.
During the fifth talking animal show, she shot upright and propelled herself out of my lap and onto the floor.
“Owie.” she whispered, rubbing her knees.
“Are you alright!?” I pulled her to her feet and studied her facial expression. There were no tears threatening to spill or any indication of an impending meltdown.
“I go pee..”
Shit. I knew there was something I was forgetting.
“Did you pee already?”
“Nooooooo,” She giggled. “I go pee…”
Before I could react she ran to the corner of the couch, jumped onto the cushions, climbed over the edge, and ran towards the master bedroom chanting ‘pee pee pee pee pee pee pee’.
“All you boss man.” Mario chuckled from the kitchen stool.
I ran after her, scolding her as I went, “Lily! Walk!” She was surprisingly fast for being so short.
As I neared the threshold, a door inside the master bathroom slammed shut, causing a painting to thump against the wall in protest.
“Lily! We don’t slam doors. You need to wait for me.”
“Bu I go pee!”
I grasped the door handle and tried to push it open.
“Lily.” I sighed. “No locking doors. Let me in.”
“Nooooo, I. GO. PEE.”
“Are you yelling at me?”
“....noo….?” Her voice dropped to barely above a whisper.
I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself at her response. It was phrased as a question and sounded like it came from a completely different girl from the past few weeks. She no longer sounded exasperated or irritated, as she usually was. I doubted she felt anything but happy at this point. Her headspace seemed young enough to block out any negativity that happened before her nap this afternoon.
The toilet flushed and a loud thump sounded through the door.
“Did you fall? Are you alright!?” I rattled the door handle, anxious to have my eyes back on her.
“Yaa.” she squeaked, barely audible from behind the door.
“Can you please come out now?” The risk of injury increased the longer she stayed in there alone.
Within seconds the door slowly opened to reveal just her face.
She looked guilty, almost on the verge of tears, “You madah me?”
“Am I ...mad at you?” I questioned lightly, lowering myself to her level, “No, principessa. I’m not mad. But it’s not safe to lock doors or run off by yourself. Please don’t do it again. OK?”
“..otay..” She sang, dashing out the door.
I threw my arm out and wrapped it around her waist. “No, no. Not so fast little girl. Wash your hands.”
She groaned and threw her head against my chest as we walked to the sink. I continued to hold her by the waist while she washed her hands, soaking the counter and her shirt in the process.
We made it back to the living room before she started struggling to get down.
“What’s wrong? Do you want more milk? Another cartoon?” We still had hours before Don and Signora Gisella would arrive. She needed to stay happy and in a headspace for as long as possible.
Her head tilted to the side again as she looked at me with the familiar puppy dog eyes. “Pay wif me?”
“Sure principessa.” I chuckled. “What do you want to play?”
Her eyes roamed around the room, in search of toys I presumed. We hadn’t quite thought to buy toys yet. The likelihood of her going into a headspace seemed almost 100% out of the picture given the last few weeks had been a struggle.
“HORSIE!” She squealed.
I followed her outstretched finger to Mario’s hunched back at the kitchen island. He glanced back at us and did a double take.
“The fu..heck she pointing at me for?”
I was going to enjoy this.
“She wants to play, and guess who she wants to be her horse?” I smirked at him.
“Oh, hell no!”
It was too late. I let Lily down and watched as she jumped over the couch again and stood next to Mario’s stool, pulling at his shirt expectantly.
“No. Absolutely not. Go watch TV.”
“...peaz..” she sang, twisting from side to side and putting her pouty face on display for him.
“Are you really going to say no to her?” I asked in disbelief.
“Come on, Lily. Don’t you want to watch TV? Sit on the couch and cuddle with Enzo?”
“No, tank you.” she sang again.
Fuck, that was adorable. I should have gotten that on video.
“Fine. 5 minutes of playing horse and then you’re back with Enzo. Got it?”
She jumped up and down, giggling and pulling at his shirt.
Giggles and fake horse noises filled the living space for the next 30 minutes. Mario tried to get her off his back after 5 minutes but she expertly managed to sucker him into playing horse by using her newly discovered puppy dog eyes and pouty lip. I don’t think anyone could tell her no after seeing her begging face.
I looked up from my phone and saw her sprawled on her hands and knees. Mario was distracted by his phone at the kitchen counter again.
“Lily, are you alright?” I saved the email draft and set my phone on the table. “Mario, you can’t leave her alone.”
Before I could reach her, she pulled herself up and brushed off her red knees. This was the third fall in less than an hour. I was beginning to see a trend; a clumsy trend.
Her eyes were glued to the backyard, more specifically, the dog that was walking the perimeter a dozen feet from the door.
“PUPPYYYYYYYY” She yelled. “I see puppy peaz.”
She jumped up and down in front of me, giving me the familiar puppy dog eyes and full pout. This girl was good. She knew exactly what to do to get her way.
“You can see the puppy for 10 minutes and then it’s bath time. Deal?”
“No, D -eal” I enunciated.
“Eal!” she repeated.
“Alright, alright. It’s a eal” I chuckled. “Mario, start her bath in 5 minutes. I’ve got a conference call in 15 so you’re gonna have to bathe her tonight.”
I didn’t wait for his disgruntled response as Lily and I walked hand in hand out the backslider to visit Lupo, the fully grown ‘puppy’.
Uploaded: 6 Sep 21 - 2.9K words