This is an important chapter. It starts off a lot of things.
Hope you like it,
They were soon on the highway, headed south. Grace examined the car seat as she nursed her ba-ba. The harness was a five point restraint, holding her securely in the seat. It wasn’t tight, or uncomfortable, but when Daddy had to hit the brakes hard earlier because someone pulled out in front of them, the straps kept her sitting back where she belonged. She was surprised at how comforting that was. Of course the fact that it looked just like a little child’s car seat made it even better.
The excited tingle in the pit of her stomach made her smile around her ba-ba. She was outside! She had a ba-ba, and her paci, and even had a very thick wet dipey on. Even better than that, she had a daddy! Every interaction with her baby things had taken place behind closed doors, and only when she was alone. Sitting there, up where she could see everything out the windows, nursing her ba-ba, she felt liberated to say the least.
Grace turned away from the window to look at the man responsible for her sense of freedom and smiled. She loved this man so much, there were no words to express it. A second later, she turned away from him, embarrassed. The last thing she expected was for him to slide two fingers inside the pantleg of her short-alls and poke her wet dipey.
“That’s a good girl,” he said. “Daddy’s going to check your dipey every couple of hours Baby, and there’s no reason to be ashamed that you went pee pee. You did exactly what you’re supposed to do. After all, if you can’t take the dipey off, and can’t tell me you need to go, then what else is there, but to go in your dipey?”
The embarrassment dissipated most of the way when he said that, but Grace knew she had gone on purpose, not because she couldn’t hold it. After thinking about it a second, she decided it didn’t really matter. There wasn’t much difference under the circumstances. Even if she had held it, the results would have eventually been the same anyway. It was better to go before she felt uncomfortable. Feeling better about it, she smiled at him.
“That’s it, you need to just let go and be a little girl for a while,” he prompted. “In fact, it’s way past your bedtime, so why don’t you drink your ba-ba, snuggle with your bunny, and go night night?”
Grace had to admit she was tired. It had been an emotionally exhausting day. Being a good girl, she hugged Fluffy tight, laid her head over against the side of the car seat, and said, “Nigh’ nigh’ Daddy.”
“Night night Baby.”
She nuzzled Fluffy’s soft ear when she felt Daddy’s hand on the back of her head. He gently rubbed her hair in a downward motion, again and again until she finished her ba-ba, took her paci, and fell asleep to the soft music playing, and gentle motion of the vehicle.
A little over three hours later, Alex looked over at Grace, making sure she was still comfortable. He would have to really tip the guy that had provided the car seat to Tom. It was exactly what he was looking for. She looked so cute snuggled up with her bunny and pacifier.
He was surprised at how hard Grace was fighting this. Considering how much she wanted this, she had to be awfully frightened to push back so hard. She sat looking terrified in the bedroom, and yet she all but begged him to take her.
He smiled when he considered that that was the entire point of this trip. He wanted to help her to stop being terrified of the little girl inside. He saw it when he caught her, and he could see it when he told her they wouldn’t be at home this weekend. The idea that she had spent most of her life needing something that terrified her, made Alex hurt for her. There was no question in his mind it was a need. A person doesn’t lie to their husband, and take a chance on ruining a good marriage for a whim, at least not a rational person, and he knew, of all of the things Grace was, she was rational.
She had worried him when he explained that once they left, there was no turning back. The look in her eyes said, “I don’t want to go.” He was so glad when she relented though, he just wanted her to have an opportunity to let go for a while.
Ten minutes later, he pulled into the parking lot of the resort. Trying to be very quiet, he got out of the SUV, moved around to the back and opened the large hatch. It only took a second to find what he was looking for, and he had the aluminum unfolded in seconds. Once the hatch was closed, he walked to Gracie’s door and opened it. He was thankful that it was warm out tonight, that way she should stay asleep.
Reaching down below the car seat, he pulled the latch that released it from the base. With a silent heave, he lifted her from the vehicle, and gently set her on the stroller frame, reclining the seat so she would be more comfortable. He made sure her feet were on the foot pads, and smiled as she began nursing her paci in her sleep.
Grabbing the diaper bag from the back seat, he hung it over the handles behind her. A second later, he started rolling toward the lobby of the resort. As he approached the doors, he couldn’t help whispering, “Well, it’s now or never.”
He rolled the stroller up to the registration desk, and was ecstatic when the sixty something year old woman manning it smiled as she looked at Gracie. “Mister Cleary?” she asked quietly, a second later.
“How did you know?” he asked with a smile.
With a chuckle, she answered, “It’s not every day someone calls to make reservations and explains that they’ll be escorting a sixteen year old toddler.”
Blushing, Alex replied, “Well, you’ve definitely got me there.”
“Oh, don’t worry, you’re probably tired from the trip.”
“Yes, a long drive. Fortunately, she slept the whole way.”
“What’s her name?” the woman asked with a smile.
“Gracie,” he answered, and then added, “She’s my Amazing Grace,” with a loving look to his wife and little girl.
“Awww… isn’t that sweet,” she replied with a smile.
It was five minutes later that Grace heard low voices talking. The feeling of her paci distracted her, and she began nursing, getting enormous comfort from it. She could feel her soft bunny against her face, and snuggled Fluffy closer with a contented sigh, unwilling to open her eyes.
A second later, the urge to stretch struck her, and she pushed her arms up over her head to the extent of her reach, smiling as she felt the short-alls put pressure on her dipey, pulling it closer to her skin. Just before she was going to bring her arms back down, she heard a ripping sound, and the pressure was instantly released from between her legs.
Curiosity made her look down to see what had made that noise, and she saw that the seam that ran through the crotch of her clothing had pulled apart. In her tired state, it took a second to recognize that there was Velcro stitched to the material, and it had come apart.
The next thing that caught her eye was the old woman standing behind what looked to be a hotel counter. Fear gripped Grace as she saw the woman staring at the puffy white plastic of her very wet diaper. She hoped this was a dream, because as she looked around, she discovered that she was sitting in the middle of her worst nightmare.
It seemed like a lifetime to Grace, but it only took a few seconds for her to try to do several things. First, she tried to sit forward, attempting to get out of the seat. She wanted to run and hide. When the straps refused to yield, she sat back and pulled at the cloth of her short-alls, trying desperately to cover her wet diaper. The harness held her back in the seat so she couldn’t even reach the back part of the seam. Last, she tried to turn, hoping that would give her enough reach to get the diaper covered. The straps weren’t going to let her hide the evidence of her immaturity.
By the time she realized that during all of this activity, the lady had been watching her nurse her paci, she was frantic. In her desperate state, she almost called out Alex’s name. Luckily, she did what he asked, and thought before she spoke. “Daddy?!” she cried out in a frightened voice.
He was there in an instant. When she felt the harness release, she sat forward, still trying to pull the jean material down to cover her diaper. Daddy looked at her and said, “Let go Gracie.”
She took her hand away from her dipey, and clung to him, crying her eyes out.
“It’s all right Baby, Daddy’s got you,” he told her softly, rocking her back and forth in a slow motion. “Shhhhh…shhhhh…it’s okay, I promise.”
Grace wanted to scream! He hadn’t given her any warning, or time to get used to the idea. Instead, he had somehow taken her from the car and brought her into a public place to wake up showing the whole world she was a twisted individual; that she wanted to be a baby.
She gave a fearful glance to the clerk behind the counter, and was shocked to see the woman smiling at her with a kind expression. That helped a lot to keep her from saying anything that would give them away. The wet diaper made her bottom itch, and she shifted slightly. She wanted to die when Daddy said, “I know you’re uncomfortable Baby, and I promise I’ll get your dipey changed in just a little bit.”
It was surreal. Of all the things that could have happened, this was the worst. She sobbed as Daddy continued to rock her. It took a minute, but she figured out that it was out of her control. There was nothing she could do to make the situation any better. A second later, the look Daddy gave her when he told her to let go came back to her mind, and she understood. He wasn’t talking about her clothes. He wanted her to let go and be a little girl.
She thought about this for several seconds as tears continued to stream down her cheeks. Through all of this, she had been subject to all of the limitations, and drawbacks of being a child, but hadn’t really let herself enjoy the benefits. She didn’t know how much more stress she could take, and decided she would have to give in.
Almost on cue, she looked down and saw her bunny laying on the carpet in front of her. She had just reached out to it like it was the antidote to a lethal poison she had just ingested, when a childhood memory flashed through her mind. Without thinking, she cried, “Bun-bun!…Bun-bun Daddy!”
Grace looked like he had handed her her drowning puppy he had just saved, when he brought her bunny to her chest and said, “Here he is Baby, here’s Bun-bun.” She pulled the soft stuffed animal into a tight hug, nuzzling her face against it’s head. A second later, she was grateful when Daddy placed the nipple of her paci against her lips. “Here Baby, take your paci and sit back so I can fix your pants.”
The paci calmed her even more, and she sat back and let him pull the seam of her short-alls back together, covering her dipey.
“It’s okay Sweety, you’re alright,” the clerk told her with kindness. “You love Bun-bun, don’t you Baby?” she asked.
Grace looked at the woman with frightened eyes, and nodded her head. She was so grateful that the lady hadn’t laughed at her that fresh tears fell from her eyes.
“Awww…I bet he loves you too, doesn’t he?”
With another nuzzle to the bunny, Grace nodded again, her mouth working overtime on her paci.
“Okay Baby, I need to talk with the nice lady, and then I’ll get you snuggled down in bed, okay?” Daddy asked her with a kiss to her cheek.
“Okay,” she responded in a tearful voice.
“You’re okay Sweety, I promise,” he told her with another hug and kiss. A second later, he stood up and turned around to face the counter. “I’m sorry her clothing came apart, I know most people don’t want to see the diaper of a child her size.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” the woman said with a dismissive wave. “The poor baby was terrified.”
“Yes, I know. The problem is, I wasn’t going to leave her in the car to wake up alone, and in the dark. She really doesn’t like the dark.”
Grace felt really guilty when he said that. It was her own fault that things went the way they did. He was trying to do what she asked, and not leave her in the dark, and she had been furious with him for it.
“You made the right choice,” the lady said. “You’re a loving father that really cares about that little girl, and it warms my old heart to see it.”
“Now, let’s get you checked in so you can get Gracie changed and down for the night.”
“Yes, I think some serious cuddle time is in order.”
“You keep talking like that, and I’ll be blowing my big old honker in a minute,” she said with a chuckle.
Grace felt lucky that that woman was the one to be there when her nightmare came to life. Of all the people that could have been manning that desk tonight, this kind and gentle lady was it.