3 - Cultural Differences

Cultural Differences
By * * * (to be revealed later) * * *

Dad always traveled for work. He would be gone for weeks at a time as he went off to one country or another. Every now and then Mom and I could go with him. This summer, we had one of those chances. None of the other kids in my fourth grade class had been to another country, and I have been to five. Sometimes we go to major cities, and other times we are off in the country somewhere at a remote factory. Dad tries to get me to learn some about the country we are going to. He also wants me to learn the language, but no matter how much he has pushed, I still only know one language, the same one I have spoken since I was a baby. He knows at least ten languages. It is strange to hear him talk in another language, but it does come in handy when we are at restaurants. As long as my dollies don’t start talking in foreign languages, I will not worry about learning them.

This summer Mom and I have been exploring the area while Dad is at work. We have found several nice parks and a few yucky museums. Mom likes them, but I don’t. In every country we went to, I would get at least three new outfits, usually dresses. Two play outfits and a dress-up outfit for going out to dinner or something fancy. Mom would always pack fewer clothes for me, knowing she would buy me outfits when we got to the new country.

No matter where we went, Mom likes to point out to me how things are just like they are at home, even though we are in a different country. Yes the food is different, the people speak a different language, but most other things are the same. Mommies take care of little kids everywhere. Kids enjoy playgrounds everywhere. Kids beg Mommy’s and Daddy’s for a new toy in a store everywhere. Little kids just like me carry dollies or stuffed animals around all over the world.

Tonight, Mommy and Daddy decided they wanted to have a date. I think they just want to do all that kissy stuff without me. Daddy arranged for a babysitter to watch me at the hotel while they go out. I am used to babysitters, but I don’t like them around bedtime. I wear diapers every night, not because I am a baby, but because I still wet the bed almost every night. I do occasionally wake up dry, but they are usually wet by the time Mommy gets around to changing my diaper. I never see the point of rushing off to the potty if I have a diaper on. Mommy has tried Pull-Ups at times, but they sometimes leak. When we are traveling or away from home, Mom insists on diapers so we have no leaks. Well, almost no leaks.

Mommy promised they would leave late, and she would put a diaper on me before she left if I wanted. That way, the only reason the babysitter would need to change me is if I was wet before I went to bed, or if I had to poop. I don’t poop in my diapers. Sometimes poop will sneak out into them, but I don’t poop in my diapers. So if I had to poop, I would need to get the babysitter to take the diaper off so I could go. Then the babysitter would need to put a new diaper on me. I didn’t like this plan, but I didn’t have much choice. It also was not the first time a babysitter has had to put a diaper on me.

Just before the babysitter was to arrive, Mommy sent me in to go potty and then she put my night-time diaper on. She had me dress in my pink pajamas. They didn’t hide the diapers, but I liked them. They were frilly. When the babysitter arrived, I was sitting on my bed playing with my baby doll. I was telling my dolly all about what we saw that day. Daddy explained some stuff to the babysitter in some strange language, and then Mommy and Daddy kissed me goodnight. Mommy told me to be good and they left.

The babysitter was a girl with black hair, who was old, maybe twenty years old. She didn’t speak my language and I didn’t speak hers. She did know a few words, which is probably why she got to be my babysitter. She could only say about one or two words to express what she wanted to say, but it was usually enough for me to figure out what she wanted. We played with my baby doll for a while, finally dressing her for bed too. Then we colored in my favorite coloring book. Afterwards, she checked my diaper, how embarrassing. It was only a little bit wet, but she decided she needed to change it anyways. Then she just said one word “Bed”, but I knew what she meant.

Hugging my dolly, I fell asleep while the babysitter read a book.

I was woken up by a strange guy shaking me. He was talking to me but I didn’t understand a think he was saying. Looking around, I found the babysitter, but she looked funny. She looked kind of scared, but that wasn’t quite it. The guy that woke me up and another guy in the room were wearing a uniform, and both had guns. They looked like Police maybe or military. Holding on tight to my dolly I sat up and tried to figure out what was going on.

After an attempt to talk to me, the guy that woke me up turned to the babysitter and talked to her. She did not say a thing, but seemed to look worse the more the guy talked.

The babysitter came up to me, prodded on by the guy, and sat down next to me. With much difficulty she finally said, “Mom . . . Dad . . . dead . . .car . . . boom . . . you . . . go.” Then she pointed to the man.

I didn’t know what to say or do. I just hugged my dolly tighter. They wouldn’t understand what I said anyways. I had so many questions and . . . and no one could give me an answer.

The babysitter stood up and pulled the blanket away. She reached her hand out for mine, but immediately the man who had been quietly standing by the door suddenly started to talk and point at me. This caused the other man to look at me and then he talked to the babysitter. The men seemed concerned about something. After a few minutes, the babysitter went over to the suitcase at the end of my bed and came back to me with my windbreaker, some socks and my sneakers. She dressed me and then went about packing up my stuff. The guy that woke me up was going through all the drawers and putting our stuff in Mom and Dad’s suitcases. After the babysitter zipped up my suitcase, she went over and got my diapers and put them on top. This was embarrassing, but the men didn’t seem to notice.

It seemed like no time at all passed before I was sitting in the police car outside the hotel, with my dolly in my hand and my backpack, luggage, and diapers on the seat next to me. Mom and Dad’s stuff was loaded into the trunk. I figured I would be taken to the police office, but I wasn’t. The men, well I guess I know they are police officers now, brought me to a house. It was dark out, so I couldn’t see a lot from the outside.

Inside the house, a lady immediately directed me to a bedroom with two beds. I was brought over to the bed in a corner of the room. The lady took my socks and shoes off and my coat, I just let her. She then changed my wet diaper and tucked me in. Before leaving the room, she brought a bed railing up which I hadn’t seen earlier. I was too tired to object. When she shut out the light I curled up with my dolly and quickly fell asleep trying to figure out what had just happened.

Waking up in the morning, I found my dolly still in my arms and my thumb in my mouth. I still sucked my thumb from time to time and Mommy and Daddy always told me to stop. The events of last night started to come back and I started to realize I was no longer in the hotel. I started to cry, realizing that Mommy and Daddy would never again tell me to get my thumb out of my mouth. I knew I should take it out now, but I didn’t.

Keeping the blanket up around my neck, I sat up in bed. Looking around the room it looked like a typical little kid room. There were two kid beds and a dresser. The dresser looked like it had a changing table on top. I saw some shelves with little kid toys on them. Between the two beds there was a small little table with a lamp on it, and what looked like a tub of baby wipes. My open suitcase was laid out on the other bed.

The lady that had put me to bed last night came in and found me sitting in the corner, blankets up to my neck, thumb in my mouth, and dolly tightly held. She smiled at me as she came over to the bed and lowered the bedrail. She was talking in a calming Mommy type voice, but she was not my Mommy and I did not understand a single thing she was saying. She wiped a tear from my cheek and smiled at me before going over to my suitcase and picking out some clothes.

The lady came back with one of the new play-outfits we had bought just the other day along with a few other clothes like socks and sneakers. She started by taking my pajama bottoms off and laying me down. I assumed she wanted to get my night-time diaper off. She quickly had it off and had me wiped clean. Before I realized what she was doing, she had a new diaper put on me. I tried to complain and tell her that I do not wear diapers during the day, but she didn’t understand me, just like I didn’t understand her. I tried harder to explain by pointing to the panties in the stack of clothes she brought over. The lady smiled and quickly put the panties on over the diapers. That is not what I wanted to happen, but she didn’t understand.

I tried to take the panties off and undo the tapes on the diapers, but she slapped the back of my hand and said something to me in a stern voice. I obviously had to wear diapers for now. Maybe I was going on a trip, Mommy often made me wear diapers when we went on plane or train trips, just in case I fell asleep.

The lady quickly had me all dressed and brought me out of the bedroom. On the way out she put the diaper in a pail next to the changing table. On the way down the hall, I found the bathroom and we passed a room, looking like it belonged to a little boy. The living room had some places to sit, some toys on the floor, and a TV. We continued through to the Kitchen. A little boy, maybe five years old, was sitting on a booster seat eating something that looked like Cream-of-Wheat. He waved at me saying something. His Mom immediately reprimanded him, probably for talking with food in his mouth. Oh how I wish I could understand what they were saying.

The lady led me over to the table and had me sit down. She pushed in my chair and walked away. I looked at the boy and started looking around the room. I was interrupted when the lady came back and started fastening a bib on me. I tried to explain that I didn’t need this, but she continued. I tried to take it off and again found my hand slapped and told something in a stern voice. Okay, I guess the bib stays. I looked over at the little boy. He was not wearing a bib. He was maybe five years old and I was ten. Why do I have to wear a bib?

I soon found a bowl in front of me and a cup with a lid. Again I looked over at the little boy, he had a regular cup, but I had one with a lid. Why did I have a sippy cup and he didn’t? I tried to take the lid off, but found my hand slapped again and that same thing said to me in a stern voice. Was that the word “NO”?

I looked down at the food. Daddy always said I had to try everything, so I did. I didn’t like it. I tried the drink, now that tasted a little like milk so I drank it, even though it was in a sippy cup. When the lady saw I wasn’t eating the food, she came over and tried to feed it to me. When I started to complain, she stuck the spoon full of food into my mouth. I found this repeated several times. Every time I opened my mouth to complain, she stuffed it full of food. I definitely needed that bib before the meal was over. When the bowl was empty, the lady cleaned me up and took the bib off.

By this time, the little boy had already left and was playing in the living room. The lady brought me to the living room and sat me down on the floor. She brought some baby toys over and put them in front of me. I looked at the toys and then up at the lady in confusion. Did she really expect me to play with these? They appeared to be even too babyish for the little boy. I was ten years old and about to enter fifth grade, why was she treating me like I was a baby. As if to answer my question, the lady reached down and lifted up my dress to check my diaper.

That was it. She thought I was a baby because of the diaper. All I had to do was show her I wasn’t a baby. But how could I do that?

I just sat there with my dolly staring down at the toys. The lady sat on the couch and watched us. Eventually I got board and started to play with the toys. I hadn’t been playing long, when the little boy blurted something out and went running down the hall. I leaned back so I could see where he was going. He went running into the bathroom. That was it, all I had to do was use the toilet instead of my diaper and the lady would know I was a big kid not a baby. I didn’t have to go now, hopefully it wouldn’t be long. I really want to be a big kid again.

I was having fun with some blocks, when the little boy came back. He sat down and joined me. We built a castle, and with some little toy people and cars we were having fun playing with what we built. We couldn’t understand anything the two of us said, but we could play together knowing what the other wanted. Mommy would say that was because kids are the same all over the world. At the thought of Mommy, I started to cry.

The lady picked me up and brought me up onto the couch with her. She just held me and stroked my hair. She was calmly saying some things that I didn’t understand. There on her lap, I put my thumb in my mouth as I started to calm down. Sitting there, I couldn’t get Mommy and Daddy out of my mind. I tried to stop crying, but I couldn’t. I don’t know how long we sat there before I finally stopped crying, but it was a long time. Even once I stopped, we continued to sit there, with the little boy playing on the floor.

We were interrupted when the phone rang. The lady didn’t need to get up. She just reached behind her and picked up the phone. After she had been talking for a bit, I felt the need to pee. Like I usually do when I am wearing a diaper, I started to relax. Fortunately before any pee came out I realized I didn’t want to do that. I made sure I had stopped the pee from coming out before getting up from the couch. Looking around, I noticed the little boy looking at some picture books and the lady was still talking on the phone, apparently unconcerned by me getting up.

I started to walk down the hall, stopping at the bathroom door. I turned and looked at the lady. She was looking straight at me smiling, but still on the phone. Her expression changed when I started to enter the bathroom. She immediately put down the phone and ran down the hall. I heard her yell that word again. The one I thought might be “NO”. She was also saying other words. I managed to get into the bathroom, close the door, and had lifted up my dress to take the diaper off before the lady got into the bathroom.

She did not look happy with me. She again said that word and slapped the back of my hand. It didn’t hurt, but that is what you do to babies to tell them “No”, not big 10 year olds like me. She pulled me out of the bathroom and back to the living room. She sat me down on the floor and handed me a stacking toy and my dolly that I had left on the couch. As she sat down and started talking again to the person on the phone, I tried to explain to her that I had to go to the bathroom. I knew she couldn’t understand me, but I tried. I even lifted up my dress and pointed to the diaper and said “NO”. She just smiled at me.

I just sat there, holding onto my dolly, staring at the stacking toy. It wasn’t fair, I wasn’t a baby. The little boy rolled a little ball at me, it bumped my leg. When I didn’t respond, he crawled over, got the ball, and went back to where he was. He then rolled the ball again over to me. Without paying any attention to the boy or the ball I pushed it away. It headed completely to the other side of the room away from where the boy was. He went and got it. Returning to where he was before, he rolled the ball again to me. I did the same thing, with the ball going to a completely different location. After several of these, I finally started to send the ball back to the boy instead of just pushing it anywhere.

While playing ball with the boy, the need to pee came back again. I didn’t even try to hold it. I just let it out. Not like anyone was going to let me use the toilet. As the ball was going back and forth, I wondered how long I would be stuck in this stranger’s house. Would I ever get back home? If I did, who would take care of me?

After getting off the phone, the lady went into the room I slept in. She came out with my suitcase. My hopes raised, was I leaving? Unfortunately, she went to the kitchen and opened a closet. Inside were a washer and dryer. She was just washing my clothes.

As the morning progressed, the boy tried to play with me. He would bring books over and other toys. He would read to me or tell me about the pictures. Since I couldn’t understand him or read the words, I do not know which he was doing. He would play cars with me, blocks, and we even did some coloring. I wasn’t interested in any of it. Even the coloring, I just moved the crayons back and forth on the picture.

After the clothes were switched from the washing machine to the dryer, the lady brought me back to the bedroom to get my diapers changed. She had moved the changing pad off the dresser and onto the second bed. I was too big to fit on it, but she laid me down on the pad so my diaper was on it, then she promptly changed my diaper.

“You know I am not a baby. I can use the toilet if you let me,” I said to the lady.

She just smiled down at me as she fastened up the diaper and pulled my panties back up. She didn’t understand. Before pulling my dress down, she tickled my tummy making silly noises. I didn’t laugh, but I did crack a smile. That did appear to make her happy. Holding my hand she walked me back out to where the little boy was. Without letting go of my hand, she got the little boy to follow and we went into the backyard. We spent the rest of the morning playing in the backyard. I spent a lot of time just sitting on the backyard swing, slowly pushing it back and forth with my feet.

Lunch, like breakfast, included a bib and sippy cup, and the little boy had neither of these. The other odd element was that my food was cut up into small pieces, and the little boy’s wasn’t. I ate the food this time, so I didn’t have to be fed. At the end of the meal the little boy just wiped his face with a napkin, where I had my face and hands cleaned with a damp wash cloth by the lady.

After Lunch, we all sat down on the couch with me and the boy on each side of the lady. She read us a story. The book had some nice pictures that I tried to make a story too, since I did not understand a thing she was saying. After one story, the little boy tried to convince his Mommy to read another story, at least I assume she is his Mommy. The lady wouldn’t do it. She took the two of us down the hall. Stopping at the bathroom she sent him in to go potty. He went right in, sat down on the toilet and peed. He didn’t even close the door. We waited outside. His Mom needed to remind him to flush and wash his hands.

We all then went into his room where he was put down for a nap. She tucked him in and kissed him on his forehead. Giving him a stuffed animal, we left the room. I did notice that he did not have a bedrail on his bed. The lady, holding onto my hand, led me down to the living room. Picking up my dolly from the living room floor, she turned and went down to my room.

After changing my wet diaper on the changing pad, she brought me over to the other bed and tucked me in. I told her I don’t take naps anymore, but she just smiled at me as she lifted the bedrail. As she left the room, she darkened the room by closing the curtains and turning the light off before shutting the door. I was alone with my dolly, tucked in for a nap. Did she actually expect me to sleep? There in the dark with nothing to do, I started thinking about Mommy and Daddy again. My eyes filled with tears and I found my thumb back in my mouth.

I was woken up by the lady putting my clothes into the dresser. Did that mean I was staying here? How long would I have to stay here?

“I want Mommy,” I said as I started crying.

The lady quickly came over, dropped the bedrail, and tried to get me to stop crying. She brought me up onto her lap and rocked me as we sat there on the bed. After a while with me still in tears, she checked my diaper which was wet. She carried me over to the other bed and changed my diaper. The then carried me back over to my bed and rocked me some more. I finally stopped crying. Leaving some clothes on top of my dresser, she brought me out to the living room where the little boy was already playing.

We were not playing for long when the lady had us clean up. Once we had the living room cleaned up, the boy was all excited and went and sat down on the couch. I followed. The lady went over and turned the TV on. We watched a very strange Sesame Street show. It was weird watching Big Bird talking in a foreign language. It was a baby show, but I enjoyed watching it.

At the end of the show I was curled up on the couch with my thumb in my mouth and dolly hugged close. The TV was shut off, but I didn’t really want to get up. The little boy was bouncing all over the room. The lady put some crackers and milk out on the kitchen table. The boy pranced over and climbed up into his booster seat and munched down. I just stayed on the couch. The lady came over and covered me up with a quilt, stroking my hair and making sure my dolly wasn’t covered up by the quilt. This made me smile.

I spent the afternoon on the couch, mostly watching the very active little boy and thinking about my new life. When I needed to poop, I laid there thinking about what to do. I wanted to get up and go to the bathroom, but that hadn’t worked before. I really didn’t like the idea of pooping in the diaper. After a lot of thought, I decided to try to use the bathroom again.

The lady was not in the room, she had gone down the hallway a few minutes ago. I quietly got up and peeked down the hallway. I didn’t see her, so I headed for the bathroom. She came out of the boy’s room, stopping me before I reached the bathroom. She tried to direct me back to the living room, but I tried to explain to her I needed to poop. I even pointed to my bottom. She must have understood at least part of what I was trying to say, because she turned me around and looked down my diaper. When she found it still dry and clean, she patted my bottom and sent me back to the living room.

The little boy tried to get me to play with him, but I went back to lying down on the couch with my dolly. I wasn’t there long before I felt the need to poop again. I didn’t want to go in the diaper, but I had no other choice. I just let it come out. I looked around, but was surprised the little boy didn’t know I was pooping. Could I really pee and poop in my diaper and no one knew when I do it?

When the lady came back into the room she was carrying my dolly’s clothes. She put them on the other end of the couch. I laid there for a bit more before my dolly talked me into changing her clothes. She was still dressed for bed from last night and didn’t like that I had a pretty dress on and she didn’t. Sitting up, I was reminded of the poopy diaper. Ignoring it, I quickly got to work changing my dolly’s clothes. My dolly pointed out that I was the baby now and she was the mommy since she wasn’t wearing diapers. I quickly changed her panties to diapers, telling her she shouldn’t have pooped her panties if she wanted to be the mommy.

The next time the lady walked through the room, she stopped on her way to the kitchen. Looking around for a second, she headed over to me. Getting me up, she checked me, quickly discovering the poopy diaper. I was afraid of what she would do. Mommy never liked it when she found ‘skid marks’ in my panties, and got mad when it was more than just ‘skid marks’. What was this lady going to do with me for having a poopy diaper?

To my surprise, she acted and treated me just like she did when I was just wet. She used more wipes, but she didn’t appear to be mad or upset. She even did that tickle the tummy thing again. This time I smiled more than last. While she was tickling me, I heard a word I had heard before. In fact, I have heard it a lot. Both the lady and the boy have said it, but I can not figure out what it is. She said it again as we were leaving the room.

The lady stopped at the bathroom to wash her hands. I stood and watched. She was saying some things to me, but I didn’t understand. As she was washing her hands I felt a need to pee. I looked at the toilet next to me and then at the lady. I just relaxed and went in the diaper.

Back dressing my dolly, I thought about how she didn’t know my diaper was wet. I really could just pee and poop in the diaper right next to someone and they wouldn’t know. My dolly couldn’t believe I could do that.

I was on the floor playing with the little boy when the front door opened. Seeing a man walking in, the boy immediately ran over and jumped up on him. The boy was lifted up high above the man’s head and then flown around before being put back down next to me. The man looked at me and said a few strange words. But . . . but one of those words was . . . was . . . my name? I smiled at the man as he headed off to the kitchen.

He just said my name. It sounded weird, but he said it. It sounded weird, yeah, he didn’t say it right, but it was my name. It sounded a lot like . . . like . . . like the strange word the lady had been saying to me. Had she been saying my name all day?

The adults stayed in the kitchen till dinner. When the lady came in to get us for dinner, she sent the little boy in to go potty first and then turned to me. I was carefully listening this time. She did say it, she said my name. Well sort of said my name. She tried to at least. It sounded very weird, but I guess it was my name. I said my name back to her. She stopped and looked at me, then said my name again, still wrong. I said my name again, but slower. She tried to change the way she said my name. This went back and forth till the boy came back from the bathroom. At that point the lady came over, taking my hands, she got me up from the floor and we went in to dinner.

I got the regular meal treatment; bib, sippy cup, and small cut up food pieces. The man did not seem to feel this was strange, so he was no help. I ate almost everything on the plate. When I wasn’t eating anymore, the lady fed me the rest. I didn’t think that was fair, since the little boy left food on his plate and he wasn’t fed the rest of the food. Dessert was a pudding, with a piece of fruit put on top. I reached down and pulled the fruit out to eat with my fingers, getting pudding all over my fingers. It was yummy. The lady giggled at this, and handed me the spoon. The meal ended with her wiping my face and hands with a damp washcloth.

The man played with the boy and me for a bit, before we were off to bed. The bedtime routine included a story, the lady brushing my teeth, undressing and putting my pajamas on, a diaper change, and tucking me in with my dolly. It ended with her bringing the bedrail up and turning the light out. I lay in bed thinking about the day and wondering if this was my future. Was I stuck with this family for life, being treated like a baby?

The next several days went pretty much the same as the first. We didn’t always stay home, but how I was treated didn’t really change. I found I would occasionally just start crying for no reason. During these times I always wanted Mommy to come make it better. The lady tried, but she wasn’t Mommy. The little boy often tried to offer me a baby toy when I started crying, but all I wanted was Mommy.

Something new did happen on the second day however, the man came home from work with some new diapers for me. I don’t like them. They are big, bulky, and have a plastic outside. My diapers had a ‘cloth like’ outside, these were plastic and noisy. On the third day, I ran out of mine and had to start using these new ones.

As time progressed, I found watching Sesame Street each day was helping me learn some words. I didn’t attempt to say them, but I did start to understand some of what others were saying. By paying attention to the lady and little boy more, I also learned the words for ‘diaper’, ‘bed’, ‘eat’, and ‘no’.

Diapers, bibs, and sippy cups were now a normal part of my life. I didn’t like it, but after a week, I was getting use to them. I was just expected to play all day. The only problem was I only got baby toys to play with. My dolly had fun, but I got bored a lot. The lady was nice and I never really got in trouble, except when I tried to go in the bathroom without her. Toilets, regular cups, and trying to take my own diapers off were very clearly not allowed.

Before all of this, I only wore diapers at night and while traveling. I was used to wearing diapers around people I didn’t know, but this was different. Back then if I wanted to use the potty, I could. I would sometimes wet the diaper when I wore it during the day, but I almost never pooped in them. Now I was wearing them all the time. Since there was no reason to, I didn’t try to stop my pee or poop anymore. When I felt the need, I just let it come out or pushed it out. I found myself wetting and messing my diapers whenever and wherever we were. It didn’t matter if we were in the car, at the store, or even the time we went to a service at this church or temple place.

It still amazed me how I could wet or mess my diapers with people rarely knowing when I was doing it. When I was pooping, they would notice sometimes when I had to push it out or it was noisy coming out. There was one embarrassing time out shopping when we were in the middle of an isle. The poop was starting to come out and to get it the rest of the way out I squatted down and pushed. A lot of people were looking at me. If I had known I would have had to do that, I wouldn’t have relaxed when I felt the need. No one ever appeared to know when I wet my diaper. At this point, wetting just seems to happen without me thinking much about it.

More embarrassing than wetting or pooping the diaper away from home, is when we ate out at a restaurant. Being a big 10 year old wearing a bib, having a sippy cup, food being cut up for me, and being fed some of the food like a baby gets a lot of stares. Knowing all this is happening while I am also wearing a wet or messy diaper makes things even worse. I tried to act as much like a big girl as possible, for when I didn’t they treated me even more like a baby.

Over a week after I came to this house, a new person visited. When she came in, she smiled down at me. I was sitting on the floor with my thumb in my mouth, and my dolly being hugged by that arm. Baby toys were scattered all around me, the little boy had been delivering them for a while since I wasn’t playing with anything. The adults went into the kitchen to talk. After a while, the lady who had been taking care of me brought me back to my bedroom. She changed my wet and poopy diaper and then sat me down on my bed. She smiled at me, and looking up at the new person standing in the doorway, she stood up and left the room.

“Hi there, my name is Mrs. Eaton. I work at the embassy and I am here to take you back to your country,” the new lady said in my language. “Let’s get you packed up, we have a plane to catch.”

“You, . . . You can speak my language,” I stammered out.

As Mrs. Eaton got my suitcase out from under the bed and started emptying the drawers into it, she explained that I would be going to live with my Uncle and his family.

“What happened to Mommy and Daddy?”

“Oh sweety,” Mrs. Eaton stopped what she was doing and came over and sat on my bed next to me. “No one told you? You poor dear. Your Mommy and Daddy were in a car accident and died.”

“But Daddy is a good driver.”

“Yes he is sweety, but there was a man in another car that hit your Mommy and Daddy’s car.”

I was in tears, struggling to listen to everything Mrs. Eaton said. She explained that she had talked with my Grandma and my Uncle. She said she was going to take me to them.

As Mrs. Eaton finished packing my clothes, I sat there hugging my dolly sucking on my thumb. She finished with my suitcase and was putting my coloring books and my dolly’s clothes in my backpack. She also stuck several diapers, a tub of wipes, and a change of clothes in the bag.

“Do I have to be a baby on the trip back home,” I asked?

Mrs. Eaton looked at me in confusion. I explained how I had been treated like a baby ever since I got here. How it wasn’t fair that the little boy was treated like he was older than me. How they kept giving me baby toys to play with that the little boy didn’t even play with anymore. I was 10 years old, not a baby. She apologized for the treatment, telling me everyone thought I still needed things like bibs and sippy cups. They thought I still played with baby toys. She explained how the police said the babysitter reported you needed to have your diaper changed before she put you to bed. I explained that I only wore diapers at bed time and on long trips, I didn’t need the diapers during the day.

Smiling at me and giving me a hug, Mrs. Eaton said, “Well then, I will treat you like a big girl on the trip back then if you can act like a big girl. Okay?”

“Okay,” I said smiling. I relaxed into her hug, holding tight onto my dolly and putting my thumb in my mouth.

When we left, the boy and the lady who had been taking care of me gave me hugs. I was at the door when she came up from behind and slipped something into my backpack. Mrs. Eaton said it was just something the lady wanted me to have for the trip and not to worry about it. I quickly found myself again in the back seat of a car with my suitcase, backpack, and a package of diapers. This time however, I know where I am going. I am going home.

While going through security at the airport, the security guard opened my backpack. That is when I found out what had been added to my bag; a sippy cup and bib. After getting to the diapers and wipes in the bag, he smiled down at me and then looked up at Mrs. Eaton. She smiled and nodded at the man. He found even more of my diapers in her carry on bag. He asked questions about where we were going, where we had been, and if this was my first plane trip. Fortunately, he didn’t ask about the baby stuff. Mommy always said I should never be embarrassed about wearing diapers on an airplane, lots of kids my age wear diapers on planes. But I know, other kids my age do not travel with bibs and sippy cups in their bags. Only babies do. My dolly was glad when we were done with security, she never likes going inside the big dark x-ray machine. She doesn’t understand why she has to go on the belt and I can walk through the special doorway.

After the embarrassing trip through security, we got lunch. I was glad Mrs. Eaton kept to her word. It was the first meal in a long time where I wasn’t wearing a bib. I did have a cup with a lid, but so did Mrs. Eaton. We both had cups with lids and straws coming out the top. After lunch we headed down to the terminal to finish waiting for the flight. On the walk down, I had my dolly in one hand and what was left of my drink in the other. Mrs. Eaton took my drink away from me before we reached the terminal, saying that I was spilling my drink the way I was holding it. With a sippy cup I never had to worry about spilling, I forgot I didn’t have a sippy cup.

Just before we loaded the plane, Mrs. Eaton brought me into the bathroom. She checked my diaper and saw that I was wet. I didn’t remember when it happened. She looked around and saw a big changing table. Before I could object she had me up on the changing table and laid down. I tried to tell her I wasn’t a baby.

“I know sweety, but I need to change your wet diaper before we get on the plane. This is the best place to do it.”

I couldn’t really argue with her. I was wet and Mommy would always make sure I as in a dry diaper before loading the plane too. Once I was changed and she had gone potty, we were off to the plane. By the time we got on the plane, I was tired. I don’t even remember the airplane taking off.

When I woke up, I was under a blanket sucking my thumb and cuddled up with my dolly. On the tray in front of me was a bag of peanuts and my sippy cup. Mrs. Eaton said it was so the water wouldn’t spill if there was turbulence or someone bumped the tray. It did mean I could put the cup in my seat while I colored on the tray, but would a big 10 year old be drinking out of a sippy cup?

The trip back home was long. It took three plane transfers and one lay-over where we didn’t change planes but Mrs. Eaton and I did get off to walk around. It also gave Mrs. Eaton a place to change my diaper. I did poop in the potty once on the trip back, but there was at least once where Mrs. Eaton was dealing with some poopy in the diaper. I tried to hold it all in, but I just couldn’t. She didn’t complain, just changed me.

The bib stayed in my backpack the whole trip. I ate all the food myself, I was never fed any food. At one of the airports, Mrs. Eaton replaced the sippy cup with a cup with a fold down straw. Now that is a big kid cup.

Grandma and Uncle Ted met us at the airport. Mrs. Eaton and Grandma talked for a bit while Uncle Ted and I got the luggage. I asked him about Mom and Dad’s luggage, and he said that was sent home through the mail. Once we had all my stuff, we rejoined Grandma and Mrs. Eaton. She said goodbye to me and wished me luck. Before leaving, she told Grandma that I probably will need my diaper changed before the drive home.

Grandma thanked Mrs. Eaton, and then looked down at me.

“Grandma I don’t need a new diaper.”

“Well, let’s go to the bathroom and make sure. It is over an hours drive home, wouldn’t want you in a wet diaper all that time.”

Grandma took me to the bathroom. I was really hoping my diaper wouldn’t need to be changed, but it did. Unfortunately, this bathroom also had a big size changing table in it and Grandma chose to change me on it.

“It is so nice to have you home again,” Grandma said as she undid the diaper. “We missed you so much.”

I just lay there in silence.

“Oh my, it is a good thing we changed you now,” Grandma said as she was wiping me clean. “It looks like we have a little poopy here. We wouldn’t have wanted you getting a diaper rash now, would we?”

After all I had been through, I was just happy to be back home. Once she sat me up after the change, I gave her a big long hug. I only had to stop when someone else need to use the changing table to change a baby. I was Home.

The End