Back in the Nursery (Chapter 12 Now Up)

Hey everyone, I’ve never posted here before but decided that I should spread my wings a bit and try my luck. I hope you all enjoy and please feel free to comment down below. I love hearing from people and am not afraid of being critiqued. Whether you love or hate it, I would like to know so that I can become a better writer and bring better content to the community. Hope you enjoy the read :slight_smile:

Prologue: What the Future Holds

I yawned, snuggling further into daddy’s side with a sigh as his hand rubbed over my back.

“You ready for bed, pumpkin?”

I shook my head, pointing towards the TV. “Just a few more minutes, please,” I begged, holding the please for extra cuteness, hoping he would let me finish the rest of Paw Patrol. I just needed enough time to finish the episode.

He nodded. “Just until the show is over.”

I smiled, turning back to watch the babyish show, probably enjoying it more than I should. I yawned again, rubbing my eyes, just a few more minutes. I could do it, I wasn’t a baby. But it seemed the more I told myself that, the more tired I got. My eyes felt so heavy. Felt like they were burning. I just needed to rest them for a second, that’s all. A feeling of relief washing over me as I did, it felt so good, so relaxing. I sighed, letting my body sink further into his side, my teddy bear cradled against my chest. The world around me seeming to grow farther and farther away as I drifted off, nearing sleep.

“Alright, I think I know a little girl who’s ready for bed,” he cooed, switching the TV off.

I jumped at his voice. “No daddy,” I mumbled, feigning being awake. “Just a few more minutes, please. Just until the show is over,” I begged, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

“You already said that pumpkin,” he said, standing up, “Besides, mommy’s waiting for you upstairs.”

“No, daddy please,” I mumbled again, burying my head in the couch, “I’m not tired, really.”

“Uh-huh, is that so,” he said, lifting me onto his hip. “Because it looked to me like you were falling asleep,” he continued, patting my diapered bottom. “And somebody needs a diaper change.”

“Nu-um,” I tried once more, wrapping my arms around his neck, taking in his smell as I laid my head against his shoulder, my thumb already nestled in my mouth. " Just like a baby ," I thought. Then again, that’s exactly what I was, a baby.

He chuckled, pulling my thumb from my mouth, “Do you want your paci, sweetheart?”

I nodded, letting him push the silicone nipple past my lips. " Definitely a baby, " I thought, nursing the infantile thing, cuddling teddy as I closed my eyes again.

“Now what do you say we go and get your soggy bum off to bed?”

I nodded again, sighing around my pacifier as he carried me off to my nursery. My nursery. Even after a month it still felt weird to say. I wasn’t a baby. Well, not by age at least. Technically though, I lived the life of a toddler. It was hard to believe that a month ago I had been going to school, playing with friends, and, you know, just being a kid. And now here I am, a diaper-wearing toddler being carried off to her nursery. Something that should bother me.

It would bother anyone, right? Having your entire life uprooted. Being thrown back to babyhood, back to diapers.

But it doesn’t bother me, it makes me happy, loved. Living everyday as though I were truly a baby. It adds a certain security. A certain comfort. A certain innocence.

Even now, my daddy’s strong, yet gentle hand patting my bottom, his other arm wrapped around me, holding me close as if I was a toddler. I was a toddler. His toddler. His precious little girl and he would never let anything happen to me. It makes me feel warm inside, happy.

“Well hello there, sleepyhead,” A new voice cooed, softer, more feminine.

“Mommy?” I asked, mumbling through the pacifier, opening my eyes as I was pulled from daddy’s shoulder and into mommy’s arms. And then, just like before, my head nuzzled into her neck, my head resting on her shoulder, her hand rubbing my back as she cooed, bouncing slightly.

“Yes baby, mommy’s here,” she whispered soothingly, carrying me over to the rocking chair.

She sat down, still holding me tight as she hummed, playing with my hair as she rocked. As she rocked, I closed my eyes again, sighing around my pacifier as I melted into her arms. Just enjoying the moment, enjoying the comfort and warmth she brought. The safety and security. She was my mommy and I was her baby. And I never wanted that to change.

“I love you so so much, sweetheart,” she cooed, rubbing my back.

“I love you too, mommy,” I mumbled around the pacifier, “I love you lots.”

We stayed like that for the next few minutes. Mommy and baby, cuddled up together on the rocking chair. My eyes growing ever heavier as her rocking lulled me to sleep.

“You ready to get your jammies on, sweetheart?” She asked, patting my diaper.

I nodded, slipping back from the edge of sleep, opening my eyes as I lifted my head from her shoulder, my arms still wrapped tightly around her neck.

“You’re such a cutie,” She smiled, kissing my forward, “mommy’s precious baby girl.”

I giggled, half asleep, as she stood up, carrying me over to the changing table. She sat me down on the soft pad, pulling my shirt off before laying me down. I hugged Teddy to my chest and focused on my pacifier as mom pulled my leggings off, leaving me in just my wet diaper.

She pulled out a fresh diaper and popped open the container of wipes. The tapes of my diaper were ripped open and I shivered, the cold overtaking where it had been warm moments before.

“Mommy’s got a surprise for you tonight, sweetheart,” she cooed, wiping my front side off, “Something a little different than your baba.”

I pulled my pacifier out. “What is it?”

She smiled at me, grabbing a new wipe. “Mommy wants to try breastfeeding you tonight.”

My legs were lifted off the pad, the wipe running over my bottom. “Breastfeeding?” I asked, my face scrunching.

She chuckled at my response. “Yes, sweetheart, breastfeeding.”

My legs were lowered back down onto the fresh diaper. “Like, from those?” I asked, pointing at her chest.

She chuckled again, powdering my diaper area. “That’s right, sweetheart, from mommy’s breast. That’s why it’s called breastfeeding.”

I shook my head as the diaper was taped up. “I don’t know, it seems yucky.”

She pulled me into a sitting position. “Breastfeeding isn’t yucky, silly,” she said, bopping my nose. “It’s just like nursing your baba, only mommy’s the baba now.”

“No, it isn’t,” I said, giggling, as she carried me over to the closet. “I don’t like it.”

“You haven’t even tried it, sweetheart,” she said, grabbing a sleeper from the dresser. “You never know, you might find its really really yummy.”

“Really?” I asked as she sat me down on the floor, guiding my legs into the sleeper. “Is it really yummy?”

“It is. When you were a baby, I couldn’t keep you off them.” She said, tickling my belly.

My face turned red as I kicked and squirmed under her assault. “Mommy… Mommy, stop it… I… I can’t breathe.” I laughed, gasping for air. Her assault eventually ended and after taking a moment to catch my breath, I looked up at her, pausing for a moment before answering, thinking. “Ok… I’ll try it.”

“Perfect,” she said with a smile, sliding my arms into the sleeper before zipping it up. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, mommy promises you’ll like it.”

I nodded, letting her pick me up, carrying me back over to the rocking chair where she sat down, coaxing me to lay back. Cradling me in her arms just like a baby, my butt nestled between her legs with my head cradled in the crook of her arm. I melted into her arms as she tucked a blanket around me, relaxing even further as I waited for her instruction. Enjoying being pampered, being babied. It was part of my bedtime routine. I was always bottle-fed before bed. A warm bottle of formula to help me sleep. It made sure I awoke the next morning with a wet diaper. Something meant to make me feel like a baby. And it did. That feeling of helplessness every morning, waiting for mommy or daddy to come and get me, to check my diaper, to change me, like some helpless toddler. But that was the point. I wasn’t a big girl anymore; I was a baby girl. Mommy and daddy’s baby girl. And they made sure I knew that.

“Alright, sweetheart, are you ready?” She asked, brushing my hair from my face.

I nodded, watching as she pulled the side of her bathrobe away, revealing her naked breast. I squirmed at the sight, unsure of what to make of it as she pulled me closer. It looked so big, so swollen, almost like it was full. Her pink nipple standing erect as though it were waiting for something, for someone. It reminded me of the nipple on my baba. A thought that brought me comfort.

“It’s just like your baba sweetie,” she said, taking hold of her breast. “Just open your mouth and when mommy tells you to, latch on. That’s all you have to do; mommy will take care of the rest.”

“Mommy wait!” I begged, turning my head to avoid the nipple. It was all happening so fast, so soon. I needed more time to think. “I… I don’t know if I want to.”

“Shh, it’s alright, sweetheart, just relax, let mommy take care of you,” she cooed, rocking me, soothing me as though I was just a little baby.

I turned my head back towards her, looking up with an infant’s fascination, that look of wonder and expectation. Expectation that she would take care of me, soothe me. I felt so little, so helpless in her arms. I felt like a baby.

“Just relax, sweetheart,” she cooed, smiling down at me.

So, I did.

I relaxed, falling victim to my heavy eyes once again as she rocked, lulling me to sleep as she hummed, singing me nursery rhymes. My eyes never leaving her nipple. I was so fascinated by it. It was so hypnotic. I closed my eyes for just a moment. I just needed to rest them.

“That’s it, just relax, sweetheart.”

I felt something warm and soft touch my lips, teasing back and forth as though it were begging to be let in. I opened my eyes, groggy with sleep. Her nipple was inches from my lips. I tried again to turn my head away, but she kept me firmly cradled in her lap. Just like a baby, so little, so helpless.

“It’s alright, sweetheart, just relax, open your mouth.”

So, I did.

I parted my lips just slightly, letting just the nub fill my mouth. Out of instinct, I took a tentative suckle before pulling back, my eyes going wide as a jet of milk streamed over my tongue, filling my taste buds. It tasted similar to formula: thick, sweet, and creamy. Only it was richer, tasted sweeter, creamier. It soothed my throat as it trickled down into my stomach, warming my insides. It triggered something primitive inside me, something subconscious. My eyes narrowed, focused on only one thing, nursing, the world around me seeming to disappear as though it never existed. I opened my mouth again, letting her slip her nipple in, clamping down with a proper latch. I suckled again, sinking into her arms as my body went limp. I was nursing. Nursing at my mother’s breast like an infant.

“That’s a good girl,” she cooed, patting my bottom, “such a good baby.”

My eyes drifted up past her breast, meeting with hers. She smiled down at me. Her eyes sparkling with motherly love, with pride and joy. The moment seemed so surreal. So impossible. A month ago, I would have been texting my friends, talking about some cute boy. And now, now I was laying cradled in my mother’s lap, her hand patting my diapered bottom as I nursed from her breast.

How had it come to this? What had I done to get here?

My brain scoured for answers, working to solve the puzzle as my body mindlessly nursed. To answer those questions, I would have to start back at the beginning. The day I found myself back in diapers. The day I found myself back in the nursery.

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Chapter 1: The Accident

“Emily! It’s time to get up!” A voice carried up the stairs, my mother, stirring me from my sleep.

I groaned, rolling over, trying to snuggle back under the warmth of my blankets, refusing to open my eyes even if it was just for a few more minutes. Why did waking up have to be so hard? Why couldn’t it be easy? And why was it so cold? I pulled my blanket up higher, curling up into a little ball, just trying to find a little warmth in the chilly morning air. But something was wrong. My blankets were freezing, damp even. I reached down, feeling them with my hand. My eyes shot open. No, not damp, they were soaked.

“No, no, no, no,” I whispered to myself, a wave of panic striking through my body, adrenaline pumping as I scrambled out of bed. Looking down at my pajamas, I wanted to cry. They were completely drenched, dripping with pee from my chest to my knees. That wasn’t the worst of it though, running my hand back over my bed I confirmed my worst fear, my sheets were soaked all the way down to the mattress. I had wet the bed. I had had an accident like some little kid.

“If only I had worn the stupid pull-up,” I mumbled, looking over at the infantile garment on the ground beside my bed. Bedwetting wasn’t something new to me. I had been having accidents on and off for the past few months, mostly at night. It was the reason I wore a pull-up to bed every night. Well, every night but last night. Last night after going to bed, I had decided to switch my pull-up for a pair of panties to try and prove that I was a big girl. To prove that I didn’t need to wear diapers to bed. Obviously, I had been very wrong.

When mom had first brought them home, she had tried to make me feel better about wearing them. She had called them “protective undergarments,” but we both knew that they were really just glorified diapers. Their purple design with Cinderella and Minnie Mouse made it known that they were indeed diapers. Diapers meant for potty training toddlers. But with my being the shortest girl in my class, they were almost to big on me. That alone was embarrassing enough to burn a permanent shame into my cheeks, a rosy red that burned fierce at the slightest mention of pull-ups. A constant paranoia. The only thing worse than that was knowing that I needed them like some little toddler. Waking up in the morning with Cinderella all faded out, letting me know that I wasn’t ready for big girl panties yet.

“Emily!” Mom shouted, “Are you up yet?”

“Ya, I’m up, I’ll be down in a few minutes,” I called back shakily, hoping she couldn’t hint the panic in my voice. I needed to hide my accident until I could do something about it, until I could clean it up. Something I had no idea how to do. I would figure it out later. Right now, I needed to buy myself enough time.

I looked over at my clock, I was already running late. There would be no shower this morning. Quickly, I pulled my wet pajamas and panties off, burying them deep down in my laundry hamper where hopefully nobody would notice them. That was the easy part. With my clothes hidden, I toweled off my body, trying to dry myself off as best as possible before pulling on a fresh pair of panties along with a pair of jeans and a cute t-shirt and sweatshirt. An appropriate attire for a Wednesday in the late fall. Winter was fast approaching and that cold, nipping chill was already in the air.

“Emily,” Mom shouted again, “It’s time to go, are you ready yet?”

“I’m coming mom, just a few more minutes,” I said, already pulling my bedding back into place, making my bed as if it was a normal day. I had no way of stripping my bed, let along hiding all my peed-on sheets and blankets. It would be something I would have to deal with later, and even then, I had no idea how on earth I would get away with it. Trying to get all the laundry through the wash without being noticed was a long shot. All that mattered in the present, however, was making it through the school day. One thing at a time. I just needed to stay one step ahead.

“Emily! You’re going to be late, let’s go.”

“I’m coming!”

I took one last glance at my room besides the slight stench of urine, it looked normal. All I could do was hope and pray that my parents wouldn’t find out. That they wouldn’t realize I wet the bed for the umpteenth time this month. And with that, I grabbed my backpack, heading for the stairs. My bare feet pitter-pattering as they flew down the steps, more running than walking. Mom was waiting for me at the bottom, her arms crossed, an annoyed look on her face.

“What took you so long, sweetheart?” She asked, handing me my lunch box, “You’re going to be late.”

She sounded like a broken record. “Sorry mom,” I said, my brain searching for an excuse, anything to prolong my little secret. To stay one step ahead. “I… I forgot to finish my math homework,” I lied, “I… I was trying to finish it before school.”

“Hmm, ok,” She said, brushing my hair from my face. "You didn’t have an accident, did you?

“Mom!” I whined, blushing as I brushed past her, “I didn’t wet the bed.” I hated being asked that question, even if I had had an accident, it made me feel like a baby being asked if I had wet my diaper. It was embarrisng. She didn’t need to know all my potty habits like I was some helpless little baby.

“I was just asking sweetheart,” She said, her demeanor changing, relaxing, “Now, hurry up and get your shoes on before I have to sign you in for being tardy.”

I sighed, relieved that my lie had passed for the moment. " Just stay one step ahead, that’s all I have do, stay one step ahead ," I thought, pulling on my socks and shoes while mom started the car. Heading for the door, I stopped by the pantry, grabbing a strawberry pop tart for breakfast before climbing into the car. I buckled in and then mom pulled out onto the road. We were off, driving to school. The car was quiet, only the radio breaking the silence between us. That was alright though, I didn’t want to talk, I just wanted to think, needed to think about this crazy morning. Staring out the window, I ripped open the pop tart wrapper, taking a bite of the sugary, sweet goodness as my eyes wandered, zoning out. It was going to be a long day.

Hours later.

I stared at the clock, tapping my pencil like a psychopath as Mrs. Patton’s voice droned into the background. It felt like I had been sitting through English for the better half of the morning, and yet, the lesson had only started five minutes ago. Sighing, I turned back, glancing up at the board, up at Mrs. Patton for just a second before burying my eyes in my notebook, busying myself with little sketches as I waited for lunch. Anything to take my mind of my accident. It had been playing in my head on a loop all morning. A nagging reminder of how much trouble I had gotten myself into. Tears welled up in my eyes just thinking about it. How had I been so stupid? I wiped my eyes with the side of my shirt, glancing around at the zombified class, making sure nobody saw that one stray tear. They hadn’t, and if they had, they were all too busy in their own little worlds to care. They had their own problems to worry about.

A while later, Mrs. Patton finished her lecture and passed out an assignment. Those zombified stares from the class turning to moans and groans as pencils were pulled out and writing began. Just another day at school. Another boring day.

I was only a few minutes into the assignment, my brain already dying with boredom, when they PA system screeched on.

“Mrs. Patton,” A hazy, muted voice called.

“Yes?”

“Could you please send Emily down to the office, her mother is here to check her out. She can bring her things.”

The entire class looked over at me as I slouched back in my seat. It was like being the one living person among a throng of the dead.

“Emily, you can finish the assignment at home and bring it back tomorrow,” Mrs. Patton said, seemingly unconcerned by the minor disruption.

I looked at her, confused. “My mom… Here to pick me up?”

She looked at me like I had three heads. “Well I don’t know any other Emilys in this class so it must be you,” She joked, “Once you pack your things you can go.”

My heart fluttered, pure excitement pumping through my body. My parents never checked me out early. It was like this entire wall of pressure had been lifted off my body. I could breathe again. I wasted no time in throwing my things into my backpack, zipping it up as I made a mad dash for the door. A few of my classmates stared at me longingly, wishing it was them being paroled from this awful place, as I slipped out into the hallway, the door slamming shut behind me, echoing throughout the empty hall. During class, the place felt abandoned, desolate. The vacant white walls blending in with the linoleum floor. The fluorescent lights overhead completed the look. The place felt like an insane asylum. It reeked of despair.

As I made my way down the hall, heading for the office, my giddy excitement disappeared bit by bit with each step I took. A nervous pit in my stomach forming in its place. My bed. My sheets. My pajamas. I’d forgotten about them in that moment of excitement. And now, every step I took was brining me closer to reality. Closer to having to deal with it. Assuming I hadn’t been caught. My pace slowed, trudging along with my head hung low. Could it be a coincidence that I’m checked out that day I wet the bed? Or had mom already found out? Either way, I wasn’t ready to face the truth. I wasn’t ready to see my mom or dad. I needed more time to think. And yet no matter how slow I walked; the office soon came into sight. My heart racing as I took those final few steps to the door. My stomach felt like it was about to come out my mouth. I wanted to puke. Taking a deep breath, I stepped inside.

The office felt entirely different than the rest of the school. A fake persona hiding the evil beyond its walls. It felt normal in here. Gone where the white walls and floor, that hospital-like feeling. The floors in here were carpeted, the walls painted a soft yellow. The fake plants in the corner making it almost feel homely. Mom was standing at the counter, pen in hand, signing a small stack of papers. The office assistant stood by her, pointing and talking as mom signed away. That annoying, permanent grin stuck on her all to cheerful face. Neither of them seemed to notice me walk in.

“He… Hello,” I squeaked, clutching my backpack straps as they both turned towards me, mom smiling. A soft, gentle smile at that. It eased the panic inside me, made me feel calm, relieved. Maybe it had been a coincidence. Maybe I hadn’t been caught.

“Hey, sweetheart, you ready to get going?” Mom asked, turning back to the papers.

“I… I guess so,” I said, stepping towards her, thinking for a moment before continuing, “Where are we going?”

The office lady butted in. “Well, as soon as your mom here gets these papers signed, I’m guessing you’ll be celebrating your last day of school.”

“My last day of school?” I asked slowly.

Mom took over this time, giving the lady a “not helping” glare as she set the pen down, handing the papers over. “That’s right, sweetheart, your last day of school,” She paused for a moment, “At least until we start homeschooling that is.”

“But… Why?” I asked, that knot in my stomach coming back. The room felt so warm. So distant. I could feel my stomach rising again.

“We’ll talk about it later, Emily, once we get home. Your father and I want to show you some things first.”

“No… I want to know why.”

“Emily… We’ll talk about it later, now come on your father is waiting in the car.” She said, grabbing my hand as though I was a fussy toddler. She didn’t miss a beat as she led me through the door and out to the parking lot. Mom dragged me by the hand behind her. I couldn’t understand why she was being so forceful. And then I saw the car. Dad was standing by the side door, his arms crossed, waiting. Definitely not good. He was supposed to be at work. Doubly not good.

As we got closer, he gave me a small smile, a kind of sorry look as he opened the back door. I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight, my eyes widening as I pulled against mom’s hand trying to get as far away as possible. This couldn’t be real life. It had to be a dream. A nightmare.

There, sitting in the back seat of the car was a car seat. A baby’s car seat all set up and ready to go. It felt like my entire world came crashing down around me. I knew it was for me. I knew it was because of my accident. They had found out. And this was my punishment. I could feel my eyes starting to water, on the verge of tears as I sat down on the ground, my body going limp.

“Mom… Mommy please,” I cried, looking up at her, pleading, “I’m… I’m sorry.”

“Emily, sweetheart, it’s not what you think,” she said calmly, bending down to pick me up. “We’ll talk about it on the way home.”

I was in complete hysteria as she carried me over to the car. My shirt soaking with tears as snot dripped down my face. I looked like a toddler having a temper tantrum. A total meltdown. I wanted to fight, wanted to fuss and kick and scream, but my entire body felt numb. Mom rubbed my back as she set me in the seat, smiling at me as she buckled up the harness. And then the door was shut. They both climbed in, dad in the driver’s seat and mom in the passenger’s seat, neither of them saying anything as they pulled out of the parking lot.

Minutes later.

I had run out of tears by this point, but my face was still red and puffy, evidence of my recent episode. I didn’t know what to think at this point. My parents didn’t seem mad, they actually seemed sorry for me. Sorry even though they just committed me to homeschooling and strapped me into a car seat. I was so confused. My brain ached just thinking about it. I wiped a stray tear from my face to see mom holding a couple of tissues out to me.

“Here, sweetheart, these will do better than your sleeve.”

It was the first thing any of us had said since getting in the car. I glared at her, crossing my arms as I looked out the window. She had just strapped me into a car seat, there was no way in hell I was about to talk to her.

She sighed, setting the tissues down within my reach. “Do you want to talk about it sweetheart?”

I thought about it for a moment, hesitated, before answering. “Is it… Is it because I wet the bed?”

She looked back at me. “No, sweetie, it’s not. That’s only part of the reason.”

Dad took this as his cue to jump in. “Pumpkin, your mother and I have been talking about this for a while now…” He said, pausing for a moment. “And after what happened today, we decided it was time to switch things up a bit. Time to take a break from the world for a while.”

“Your fathers right, sweetheart.”

“Ok, but why am I in a car seat?” I asked, pulling on the straps. I wanted to know why. Needed to know why. Needed to know what they were talking about.

Mom’s turn. “Well, sweetheart, when your father said take a break from the world for a while, he meant it,” she said, taking a deep breath, “I don’t even know where to start.”

“What your mother means to say is that we know being a big kid has been tough on you, especially this year,” he paused, looking over at mom who nodded back, “We think its best if you spend some time as our little girl again… Our baby girl.”

My brow furrowed at this. “What do you mean?”

Mom chimed in. “It’s means that for the next few months were going to be treating you as though you were a toddler.”

“A toddler?” I asked, “Like an actual baby?”

“That’s right, pumpkin,” Dad said.

A thought crossed my mind. Last Summer we had spent the weekend with mom’s sister. She had a toddler. A cute, little girl named Abigail. And as cute as she was, there was something about her I couldn’t forget, especially now. She was in diapers.

I looked up at mom, worried. “Don’t toddlers where diapers?”

They both looked at each other and then mom answered. “They do.”

“Am… Am I going to have to wear diapers.”?

She looked back at me. “Yes, sweetheart, you are. And being in diapers means using them to.”

She must have seen the look of shock on my face because she quickly added, "Don’t worry, sweetheart, it’s going to take all of us some time to get used to it.

I scoffed at that. She wasn’t the one that would be wearing and using diapers. “But what if I don’t want to?”

Dad again. “Well, pumpkin, you don’t really get a say in that. Your mother and I have already decided and that’s that. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.”

The car was quiet after that. I didn’t want to hear anymore, and they didn’t want to tell me anymore. Mom switched on some music to drown out the silence. I sat back in the car seat, sulking as I stared out the window.

A few minutes later, I saw the driveway come into view. We were home, something for the first time in my life I wasn’t ready for. Once Dad turned off the car, I tried unbuckling myself only for mom to intervene.

“Sweetheart, babies don’t do that, their mommy’s do.”

I blushed as they got out, dad disappearing inside while mom opened my door, brushing my hands out of the way to undo the buckle as though she had done it a thousand times before. Once I was free, she lifted me onto her hip like one would do with a toddler and carried me inside.

"You know I can walk, right?’ I told her, squirming in her arms. Even though I was light, neither of them had carried me in a couple of years. It felt awkward, out of place. It made me feel like a baby. Something I was not ready for.

Mom smiled, bouncing me to settle me down. “Well you better get used to it sweetheart, mommy’s going to be carrying you around a lot more from now on.”

I sighed, letting her carry me through the house and upstairs. At the top of the stairs she set me down, patting my butt as she guided me down the hall. My door was shut, all my posters and things had been pulled off the door. I wanted to stop, wanted to ask questions, but she pushed me forward, further down the hall. Dad stepped out of their bedroom, smiling at me as he motioned for me to step inside. I hesitated, afraid of what I was going to find. I felt mom’s hand on my back again.

“Go ahead sweetheart,” she said, “Go check it out.”

Reluctantly I did. I stepped into their room, my mouth dropping open with shock at the sight. There, at the foot of their bed was a crib. A baby’s crib. My pillow and a baby blanket already inside. My teddy bear lay over to the side with an extra quilt draped over the crib. A mobile hung from above. That wasn’t the worst of it though. Off to the side of the room where there dresser was, a changing pad lay on top. A small basket of supplies laid off to the side. I could see a set of diapers sticking out, taunting me with my future. I stepped forward, feeling small. I wasn’t even tall enough to reach the pad. They would have to pick me up, like a baby. I shuddered at the thought. And then my attention turned, looking over to where dad’s reading chair had been. In its place was a large rocking chair. The kind meant for nurseries. For nursing mothers. A burp cloth was draped over to top of the chair and a bottle warmer sat on a table just beside it.

I turned to face my parents. “Is… Is this for me?”

“It is,” mom said, walking over to the changing pad. She grabbed one of the diapers from the basket and held it out to me.

I stared at it, not wanting to be any closer to the infantile garment.

“It’s not going to bite you, Emily,” She said, “Mommy just figured you might like to see one before you’re wearing it.”

I nodded, reluctantly taking hold of the diaper. It felt so soft. The silky, cloth padding felt thick and fluffy in my hand. I looked over the admittedly cute design, cookie monster was staring up at me, smiling at me like I should be happy. Happy that I was about to be wearing him. It reminded me of the diapers Abagail had worn, just a bigger version. “Is this an actual baby diaper?”

Mom chuckled at the question, ruffling my hair. “Yes, sweetheart, you’ll just barely squeeze into a size 6.”

I glared at her, handing the diaper back. I had another question. “Why is all this stuff in your room?”

Dad spoke from behind me. “We figured that with a new baby running around that it would be easier to keep an eye on you if you were close by,” He said. “You know, to make sure you don’t go sneaking your diaper off in the middle of the night like you did with your pull-up.” He added, jokingly, trying to lighten the mood.

I blushed having my accident brought up, but neither of them seemed to care as the conversation kept on moving with me as the center piece.

Mom sat the diaper down on the changing pad before turning back to me. “Alright, sweetheart, can you come over here so mommy can get your diapee on?” She asked, patting the changing pad.

I shook my head, taking a step back, right into dad’s stomach. My head barely went past his belly button. He took hold of my shoulders with his hands and pushed me forward towards mom. I didn’t know what to do. That paralysis and numb feeling from before had come back. It felt like I was watching my body from afar, unable to control anything going on. I was standing right in front of mom now. She picked me up under the armpits and sat me down on the side of the changing pad, busying herself with my shoes and socks. As I sat there being undressed, I couldn’t help but look over at the supplies laid out beside me. On top of a baby’s onesie was the diaper from before along with a container of wipes and a bottle of powder. Everything needed to change a baby. Only, I was that baby. Something that didn’t sit right in my stomach. I didn’t want to be a baby. I didn’t want to wear diaper.

“Arms up,” Mom cooed.

I didn’t know what to do. I sat there like some helpless toddler as she pulled my shirt off, leaving my chest exposed to the world. Even though I had yet to hit puberty, I still couldn’t help but blush as I tried to cover myself up. Especially with my dad only a few feet away. It was embarrassing.

“Emily, sweetheart,” Mom said, pushing my arms out of the way, “You’re a toddler now and toddlers don’t care who see them naked.”

Those words stuck to me. The idea of having no privacy, no personal space, no modesty crossed the line. It made me mad. Made me angry. They had no right to do this to me. I wasn’t a baby and I wasn’t going to let them turn me into one.

“Emily, can you lay down for mommy so she can get your diapee on?” Mom asked, putting her hand on my chest, trying to guide me back, trying to get me to lay down.

“No,” I said, pushing back, swatting her hands away. “I’m not wearing a diaper.”

She seemed taken aback by this, shocked. Her eyes showed it. She looked back at dad who nodded, taking a step over beside her. Two against one.

“Emily, please lay down so Mommy can get you dressed,” Dad said, looking at me with a smile that pleaded for me to listen, a smile that asked for me to behave, for me to be a compliant little toddler.

“No!” I growled, kicking at mom as she tried again to take control. “I’m not a baby and I’m not wearing a diaper!”

Her demeanor changed. Her eyes narrowed and piercing. Gone was the sweetness and sympathy she had had before. Mommy mode had been turned on. It was clear she meant business this time and if I was going to keep being rebellious, she was going to show me who the boss was, who the mommy was.

“Believe me, little girl, you are going to be diapered and dressed in that onesie whether you like it or not,” She said, giving me the mom look. A look every kid knows all too well. “Now you can either lay down like a good girl or you can go over daddy’s lap. The choice is yours.”

“I’m not wearing a fu…”

I gasped, shocked as Dad stepped in, grabbing me with one arm like I weighed nothing, carrying me kicking and screaming over to the rocking chair. Sitting down, he held me in his lap, my arms pinned by his own as mom unbuttoned my pants, pulling them off, leaving me in my panties. I was already in tears, begging them not to do it. Pleading for my life. But it was hopeless. Dad easily turned me over, pinning me back down with my butt in the air, exposed. I was sobbing, tears streaming down my face as hysteria kicked in.

“Please Daddy, don’t,” I begged, struggling against his hold, whimpering as I squeezed my eyes shut. It had been years since I had had this done. “Please, I’m sorry.”

His hand came down, connecting with my backside. It stung. I squirmed in his lap, trying to make him stop, but his hand came down again.

“YOU!”

SMACK

“DO NOT!”

SMACK

“SAY THOSE!”

SMACK

“WORDS!”

SMACK

I was a blubbering mess by the end of the spanking. My butt throbbing, stinging from where dad had made contact. They had made their point. If I was going to be a good girl then they would be nice back, but if I was a bad girl then they weren’t going to be nice. Dad let me up, turning me back over in his lap, pulling me close to his chest as I sobbed. He held me there for the next few minutes, cradling me as I cried into his chest, soaking his shirt with tears. I didn’t want to look at either of them. I just wanted to be left alone, just wanted the day to be over.

Mom rubbed my back. “Now are you going to be a good girl while mommy gets your diapee on?”

I didn’t answer. My face still buried in dad’s chest. I felt his hand on my back, coaxing me.

“Pumpkin, you need to apologize to mommy.”

I thought for a minute, hesitated before nodding. I pulled my face out of Dad’s chest, looking up at her. “I… I’m sorry mommy.”

She crouched down level with me, locking eyes. They still looked serious, but they were back to being kind, understanding, and loving. “It’s alright, sweetheart, mommy forgives you. Now daddy and I really didn’t want to do that, but we make the rules, not you. Understand?”

I nodded again, trying to choke back the tears as dad pushed me from his lap, standing me back on the ground. He planted a kiss on my head from behind, giving my back one final rub for encouragement.

“Honey, do you want me to go get a bottle?”

“Please,” She said, holding her hand out to me. “Let’s get that diapee on.”

I took her hand, letting her lead me back over to the changing pad. I was promptly lifted and laid down, this time with zero fuss from my end. My feet just barely dangled off the end of the pad like a real baby. I felt like a real baby. As mom readied the supplies again, I watched Dad walk out the door. At least he wasn’t going to see me naked. I wiped another tear from my face, hiccupping.

“Here you go, sweetheart,” mom said, holding a pacifier to my lips.

I had little choice and fearing a second trip over dad’s lap, I let her slip the nipple into my mouth, nursing it like some little baby. As much as I hated the idea of having a pacifier in my mouth, it was oddly comforting, soothing. It helped me to relax and take my mind of the task at hand: my diapering.

“Good girl,” She said, turning her attention to my panties. “We won’t be needing these silly things for a while, will we?” She continued, working the last semblance of maturity down my legs before tossing them in the diaper pail.

With my panties gone, I felt so exposed, so infantile. I might of well have been a baby. Laying there, naked, suckling my pacifier as mom popped open the tub of baby wipes. I wanted to fight back, wanted to do anything to delay being diapered, but my tender backside told me otherwise. Sighing, I stared up at the ceiling, hoping this whole thing whole thing was just a bad dream, a nightmare.

It wasn’t.

I jumped at the unfamiliar feeling. The wipes were chilly and damp, and as mom wiped down my front side, I squirmed, whimpering as more tears came to my eyes. I wasn’t ready to be a baby.

“Shh, shh, you’re ok, sweetheart, you’re ok,” She cooed. “Just relax.”

She rubbed my belly, soothing me before pushing my legs to my chest, wiping down my bottom, making sure to clean every crack and crevice. And then it was done. My cheeks burning red as I realized mom had just wiped my bottom clean, something she hadn’t done since I was four.

I watched her next unfold the diaper, blushing as she gathered my legs in one hand, holding them up as she slid the diaper under my bottom with her other before setting me back down. I could already feel how thick the diapers were. The soft, fluffy padding lifting my bottom up off the pad. And then she sprinkled some powder over my diaper area, making me smell like a baby. A surprisingly nice smell, comforting. If only I wasn’t the one smelling like a baby. And then, much to my dismay, she pulled the diaper up between my legs, holding it against my tummy with one hand as she used her other to press the tapes down nice and snug. I had been diapered. My first since I was a baby. Unless you count the pull-ups that is.

Mom used a fresh wipe to clean her hands off, smiling down at me, cooing, “All done, now let’s get your onesie on.”

She seemed to be enjoying this a little too much. At least there wasn’t a mirror around. I probably look like a mess. After an afternoon of tears, sobbing, and snot, I probably look like a toddler post temper tantrum. Not a good look.

“And I’m back dad,” Dad said, entering the room. “Where do you want it?”

“Just set it in the warmer for a minute, I need to finish getting our little one dressed,” Mom said, lifting me off the dresser, setting me back on the ground.

The diaper was noticeably thicker than the pull-ups. It came up to my belly button, hugging my hips nice and snug. The padding between my legs forcing me to stand with my legs wider apart than normal. It made me feel unsteady, like a baby learning to walk. I now knew the difference between a diaper and a pull-up.

My attention was drawn back as a shirt was pulled over my head, my arms being pushed through the sleeves as though I didn’t know how to dress myself. And then, I watched mom, hanging onto her shoulders for balance as she pulled the fabric down to my crotch, three little clicks sounded in the air, and I felt a pressure pulling my diaper up, like it was hugging my body. Looking down, I realized I was in the onesie from earlier. It was white with pink embordering, my name etched out so cutely in large font. They had to of had it custom made.

“Are you good for now?” Dad asked, scratching his head as he backed towards the door, clearly uncomfortable with the situation. He had always been the big softie.

Mom nodded at him, lifting me onto her hip, carrying me through the room. She grabbed the quilt from the side of the crib, wrapping it around me before walking over to the rocking chair. She sat down, cradling me in her lap like a baby, my upper body resting against her chest, her arm supporting me, rocking softly as she hummed.

As mad at her as I was right now, I couldn’t help but relax in her arms, nursing the pacifier as she comforted me. After all I had been through today, even if it was her fault, I couldn’t help but feel safe in her lap, feel loved. At the end of the day, I was her little girl and she was my mommy and I would always feel safe in her arms.

“You know, sweetheart, your father and I aren’t doing this to embarrass you or punish you,” She said, “We’re doing this because we love you.”

I don’t know how being taken out of school, forcibly diapered, and being treated like a toddler showed love, but alright, go on. I wanted to say that, but it was clear she wasn’t expecting any input from me.

She continued. “We know that you’ve been struggling… That you’ve been unhappy lately and we just think that a little break from all the responsibilities of being a big kid will be good for you. Good for all of us.”

I nodded, sinking into her side, yawning around the pacifier, the day’s events finally catching up to me. I was exhausted.

“I love you, baby,” She cooed, patting my bottom. “Now close your eyes, you’ve had a long day and a nap will do you good.”

I nodded again, my eyes slowly drooping over the next few minutes, nodding off as her rocking lulled me to sleep. I was on the brink of nothingness. I felt her move me, slide me down a bit. I didn’t care, I just wanted to sleep.

“Good girl.”

I felt her pull on my pacifier, taking it from my mouth. I whimpered at its loss, missing its comfort, opening my eyes just enough to catch a glimpse of the baby bottle in my face. Its nipple aimed for my mouth. I was too tired to fight as it pushed against my lips, sliding inside. It was warm, comforting. I suckled out of instinct, a stream of warm liquid filling my mouth. I winced at the taste. It was thick and chalky with just enough sweetness to cut its bitterness.

“That’s a good baby,” Mom cooed, patting my diaper as she rocked. “Such a good baby,” She said, “Babies need plenty of formula to grow big and strong.”

Formula. That’s why it tasted so funny. As I lay there, nursing, the bitterness slowly went away. The more I nursed, the sweeter and creamier it became. It was so comforting, so soothing. It warmed my insides. Made me feel sleepy. I closed my eyes as I suckled. Relaxing as that feeling of sleep washed over me. The world seemed so distant. Mom patted my bottom, my diaper, like I was an infant. Her rocking and humming lulling me to sleep. I was just so tired, so exhausted from the day. I could feel myself drifting off. And then there was nothing.

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Good start. Looking forward to more of the story

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Chapter 2: Later that night

Music.

So soft, so soothing.

So quiet, so peaceful.

So relaxing, so comforting.

Nursery rhymes. It was nursery rhymes.

I nursed the pacifier in my mouth as my eyes slowly blinked open, taking in the world around me. The room was dark, but I could still make out a line of wooden bars in front of my face. I rolled over, staring up at the ceiling, still nursing the pacifier in my mouth as I watched the mobile go round and round. It didn’t register at first. For a moment it was so relaxing. So comforting. So peaceful. The warm blanket. The soft mattress. The gentle music. I was happy, content.

And then it hit me. The bars in front of my face. The mobile spinning overhead. The nursery rhymes. A crib. I was in a crib. I remembered. My heart racing as I relived the day. A day that felt more like a nightmare than real life.

The accident.

Taken out of school.

The car seat.

Spanked.

Diapered.

Bottle-fed.

It all came rushing to the forefront of my brain, overloading my mind with information. With emotions. I pulled the pacifier from my mouth, throwing it from the crib. I wasn’t a baby. But even as I thought that the crinkle of my soggy diaper told me otherwise. Made it known that I was a baby. That there was no escape from this prison. This treatment. I felt a tear run down my cheek. My eyes watering as I pushed myself against the corner of the crib, pulling my knees to my chest, hugging them with my arms as I buried my face. I could feel the tears coming. Like a flood waiting to be released. I wanted to cry, needed to cry, like some little baby.

“No! I’m not a baby, I’m not a baby, I’m not a baby,” I told myself shaking my head, trying to throw those emotions from my mind, trying to compose myself, trying to keep the tears away. I willed myself to believe it. But no matter how many times I said it, how much I believed it, the tears still fell. And as I started to cry, I felt a familiar pain rising in my chest. A sob waiting to be released. I tried holding it back. Tried to keep it inside. Letting my insides burn up as it inched closer to escape. I tried. I resisted. I fought. But it was too much. It was all just too much. I broke down, giving up, letting it out, sobbing. I felt broken, defeated. I felt like a baby.

The door creaked open.

“Hey baby, what’s the matter?” Mom asked, flipping on the light, blinding me.

I said nothing as she approached, pushing myself as far away as possible, curling up as tight as possible, refusing to look at her as I wiped away the tears, trying to hide the fact I was crying.

“Baby, Emily, what’s the matter, sweetheart?” She asked, reaching in to brush my hair out of my face. She noticed the tears. Her face showed it. “Why are you crying, sweetheart, what’s wrong?”

I pushed her hands away, crawling over to the other side of the crib, away from her, laying down with the blanket pulled over my head. “Go away.”

She didn’t say anything. Instead, I felt her hand rubbing my back, comforting me, soothing me. At least trying to. She gave it a minute. Letting me calm down, letting me grow comfortable with her presence before pulling the blanket from my face. “Emily, baby, you’ve got to talk to me, sweetheart.”

I glared up at her, angry. “Why?”

“Why what, sweetheart?”

“Why are you treating me like this?”

Her face softened, she sighed, looking me in the eyes. “Because I love you and want what’s best for you.”

“If you loved me, you wouldn’t be treating me like a baby.”

“Emily, that’s not true.”

“Yes, it is,” I seethed, a burning hatred in my eyes. “I hate you!”

She looked hurt by the words, pained. But she didn’t stop. Didn’t get mad. Didn’t hesitate. Her hand was still rubbing my back, still comforting me, still loving me as I let out my anger and frustrations.

That’s ok, sweetheart, you can hate me," She said, “But I will always love you.”

Those words. You can hate me, but I will always love you. Those words struck a chord in my heart, made me feel guilty, upset. I had never in my entire life said that to her. I had never been so mean. So cruel. My eyes blurred with tears. all she was trying to do was comfort me and shower me with love and I was pushing her away. It triggered something inside of me. Made me feel small. Made me feel vulnerable. Like a baby. It made me feel like a baby. I needed her. Needed her to know that I loved her. That I didn’t mean what I had said. More tears slipped down my cheeks. I looked up at her as I started to cry again.

“Mommy,” I whined, choking back the tears, “I’m sorry.” I barely managed to finish before breaking down, my breathing labored as I fell into hysteria. A mixture of painful sobs and tears. I was broken. I didn’t want her to leave me. I didn’t hate her. I needed her. Needed her to comfort me. To hold me. To love me. After all, I was her baby, and she was my mommy.

“Sweetheart,” mom said, pulling me into a high, holding me close, trying to comfort me, “You have nothing to be sorry for.”

I cried and cried. Cried into her chest like some little baby until she finally pulled me from the crib and into her arms. My face nuzzled into her neck, my tears soaking her skin and shirt where my face lay buried as she bounced, trying to calm me down. Soothing me like one would a baby.

“Sweetheart, where’s your paci?”

I pulled my head from her shoulder, realizing that she was looking for it in the crib. The very pacifier I had just so recently thrown from the crib. I looked her in the eyes, my worry meeting her calm, before pointing to the infantile thing by her feet, hoping I wouldn’t be in trouble.

She smiled, bouncing me once more. “It’s alright, sweetheart, you’re not in trouble,” she said, rubbing my back as she carried me over to the makeshift changing table. “Sometimes babies drop their pacis, mommy’s got another one for you and something else to make sure you don’t lose it again.”

I watched as she opened one of the drawers on the dresser, grabbing one of the many pacifiers inside. The one she grabbed had a ribbon attached to it. There was an entire collection of them. I squirmed in her arms at the thought of needing so many. A squirm that was soothed by more bouncing. Just like a baby. She held the pacifier up to my mouth, coaxing it between my lips. I didn’t fight her, I let her slip the nipple inside, nursing it like an obedient baby. My sobs stopped immediately. Silenced by the infantile thing. She clipped the ribbon to my onesie. A pacifier clip. I wouldn’t be losing this one anytime soon. Or throwing it.

“There we go, much better now,” mom cooed, bringing me over to the rocking chair. She sat down with me sitting on her lap, facing her with my legs off to either side of her. She pulled me into her chest as she rocked, humming along to the nursery rhymes still filling the room. Her hand never left my back, never left me exposed. She kept me close. Kept me safe. Comforted.

I lay there against her chest, nursing the pacifier as I listened to her heartbeat, my own breathing synching with hers as I slowly calmed down. And eventually, my tears stopped.

She held me there for another few minutes before pulling me from her chest, looking me in the eyes as she tucked my messy hair behind my ear. “All better?”

I nodded, rubbing the last of the saltwater from my face.

She patted my back. “Good, now how about we go and feed your little belly, Daddy made your favorite.”

“Really?”

“Really,” She said, “Now what do you say we go and get some?”

I nodded again and found myself back on her hip being carried from the room. And then I had a thought, something I had forgotten about in my tantrum as embarrassing as it was. Something mom had seemed to notice either. I pulled the pacifier from my mouth, hanging onto it as I clutched her shirt. “Mommy wait!”

She stopped in her tracks, her eyes worried. “What is it, sweetheart?”

I looked up at her and then back down at the floor. My cheeks flushed red as I mustered up the courage to answer. An answer that was barely a whisper. “I… I peed.”

She smiled, she seemed relieved, happy even as she patted my bottom, pinching the back of it to check for wetness. I squirmed in her arms as a finger intruded around the cuff of my diaper, feeling inside.

“I guess you do have a wet bottom,” She teased playfully, "I’m going to have to get used to checking diapers again, its been a while since there’s been a baby in the house.

“Mom!”

She smiled, guiding the pacifier back into my mouth before adjusting me on her hip. “You’re diapee’s only a little wet, sweetheart, I’ll change you after dinner.”

And with that, we were on our way again, my face a bright, rosy red. I had just had my diaper checked. Just like a real baby would. Something that mom had just hinted to being the new norm. It brought an uneasy pit to my something. A thought and feeling that soon drifted away as mom started down the stairs. I bounced in her arms with each step she took. A smell wafted up from the kitchen, an amazing smell. My stomach growled. I knew exactly what it was. Mom was right, my favorite, chicken cheese rice. My mouth watered at the thought of the cheesy chickeny goodness waiting for me downstairs. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was, but after having missed lunch, it felt like there was a hole in my stomach.

“Well, there you two are,” dad said, smiling as she looked up from the stove, “I thought I was going to have to come looking for you two.”

“Emily just needed some time to wake up, that’s all,” Mom said, walking up beside him, patting my back as dad skewered a piece of chicken, holding it up to my mouth.

Mom pulled the paci from my mouth, allowing me to open wide as dad slipped the fork in. “Mmmmmmm, that’s really good, Daddy.”

They both laughed as mom pushed the pacifier back into my mouth. Dad answered. “I’m glad you like it pumpkin, I figured after today you deserved a special treat.”

I nodded in agreement. Darn right they owed me after today. And chicken cheese rice was only the start of it.

“How much longer you got, hun?” Mom asked, carrying me over to the table.

“Oh, just a few more minutes. I’m waiting on the cheese sauce.”

“Alright, I’m going to get Emily buckled up, and then I’ll be back to help.”

“Sounds good.”

It was then I turned to look over at the table. My heart dropped at the sight. I whimpered, squirming in mom’s arms as she carried me over. I hadn’t noticed it at first. By some miracle, I had glanced over it. But now, now it was clear as day. A high chair. A baby’s high chair. Sitting right where my usual spot was; at the end of the table with my parents at either side. Both of them in reaching distance. Both of them able to help me, control me. It was a reminder of my current predicament. A reminder that I was now a toddler. My freedoms so taken got granted before now so easily stripped away.

“Hey, it’s alright, sweetheart,” Mom cooed, bouncing me as she moved to sit me down.

I shook my head, spitting the pacifier out, letting it dangle from the clip. “No, mommy, please,” I begged, clinging to her shirt, refusing to let go, refusing to let her sit me down. I looked up at her, my eyes watering, pleading with her to not make me sit in the highchair. But my pleas fell on deaf ears.

She sat me down, my diaper squishing underneath me, reminding me that I was sitting in my own pee without a care in the world. Just like a baby. I was no longer thrilled with the prospect of dinner, especially having to eat in a highchair. A stray tear dripped down my cheek. I crossed my arms, holding them close to my chest like a child refusing shots. I didn’t want to be a baby. I wanted to be a big girl. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to sit in a regular chair.

“Emily, sweetheart, you’re ok,” Mom said, wiping away my tears, “You’re a toddler now and toddlers eat in highchairs. It’s nothing to get upset about.”

I wiped my tears away, looking up at her. 'Mommy, please," I said, my eyes pleading with her. Bambi eyes. Sad eyes. I pointed at one of the other chairs. A big girl chair. “Can I please sit there?”

Mom shook her head. “Baby, you’ve got sit in your high chair. Mommy doesn’t want you to fall and hurt yourself.”

I don’t know why, but in that moment my headspace lapsed. It was like a moment of clarity. A moment of realization. I no longer felt so little and helpless. I no longer felt like a baby. I was a big girl and I knew it. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be sitting in a highchair. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be wearing a diaper. I knew that wasn’t supposed to call my mom mommy.

I pushed her arms away, glaring up at her. “I’m not a baby.”

“Emily that’s enough,” She said, slipping the pacifier back into my mouth. Her words were stern but gentle. A warning.

And I knew enough at that moment to listen. I didn’t need any reminders, my bottom was still warm from earlier and another trip over dad’s lap seemed worse than the high chair. I relented. Letting her take control. Letting her take care of me. Letting her baby me,

She smiled, coaxing my arms away from my chest, guiding them through the high chairs shoulder straps, buckling them together at my chest, and then again around my waist. A five-point harness securing my diapered bottom to the cushioned seat. It made me feel so little. So infantile. A feeling I wanted to resist but couldn’t. It was too strong. too controlling. It wiped away any thought I had of being a big girl. Made me realize that I was a toddler. That I had no control.

“Arms up, sweetheart.”

I was snapped out of my thoughts, I looked up to see mom holding the high chairs tray. I glared at her, pouting, as she slid the tray into place, locking it with a click before disappearing into the kitchen, leaving me to my own thoughts. I was trapped. My freedom taken away from me. But from their perspective, I was safe and secure. A little toddler strapped into her highchair. A place where I couldn’t get into any trouble while they finished getting dinner ready.

It was only a few minutes later when dad brought dinner over, setting it down on the table. Mom followed soon after, setting a pink, plastic child’s plate on the high chair’s tray along with a sippy cup of milk. I pouted, looking at my meal. It could only be described as a toddler’s meal. Little bite-sized pieces all scaled down to make sure I didn’t choke. All covered with dad’s famous cheese sauce. They were really taking this baby business seriously. And in the process had ruined my favorite meal. I looked up from my plate, dejected, as mom walked around behind me. A thing of cloth was drawn over my chest and mom busied herself tying it behind my back. A bib. She had just tied a bib around my neck. My cheeks flushed red. Here I was, sitting in a high chair with a wet diaper, my meal all cut up, and a bib tied around my neck. I looked like a baby. I felt like a baby. I was a baby. And mom and dad were acting like this was just another normal day. A tear dripped down my cheek. I tried wiping it away, but they had already seen it.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Mom asked, reaching over to wipe my face with a napkin.

I pushed her hand away, shaking my head, trying to hide my face, trying to keep myself from crying for the umpteenth time today. It was surprising I had any tears left at all.

Dad jumped in. “You ok, pumpkin?”

I nodded but said nothing, trying to pretend like they weren’t there. I just needed to be alone for a minute. Needed to think. I felt another tear drip down my cheek and reached up to wipe it away. But mom beat me to it. She held my chin up, giving me a small smile. I could see in her eyes that she cared. That she wanted to help me. Wanted to make me feel better.

“Do you want to talk about it, sweetheart?” Mom asked.

Again, I shook my head, my eyes shifting back down to the plate in front of me. Her hand disappeared, leaving me be. Giving me the space I needed in the moment. Letting me have just an ounce of freedom.

I closed my eyes, hesitating for a moment before opening them again, staring at the steaming food in front of me, at the little rubber fork sitting on the tray. I was hungry, but couldn’t bring myself to eat. Couldn’t bring myself to act like a toddler, to accept that this was the new normal. I shuffled in my seat, uncomfortable with both the prospect of being a toddler for the foreseeable future and the wet diaper underneath my bottom.

I glanced up, looking to my parents, they were occupied by their own meals, by their own worlds. My stomach growled. Again, my eyes drifted back to the steaming food in front of me. My mouth watered in anticipation. My body urged me to eat. Yelled at me to suck it up and dig in. It didn’t care if it was embarrassing or not, it just wanted to be fed. And the longer I sat there, staring at my plate, the hungrier I got. I was starving. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and even then the only thing I had had to eat was a pop tart.

And so I gave in. I breathed a sigh of defeat, a huff more like it, finally relenting, finally picking up the little rubber fork. And then mom gently grabbed my hand.

She gave me a small smile, pulling the fork from my hand, adjusting it so my fist was gripped over the handle much like a toddler would hold a utensil. But then again, that’s what I was in their eyes, a toddler.

I glared at her as she pulled away, leaving me to figure out the awkward grip. It was annoying, to say the least. Embarrassing, demeaning at the worst. But I didn’t argue, didn’t fight back, didn’t fuss. I accepted it for what it was and moved on. I was too focused on the pain in my stomach to care anyways. I had made up my mind. I swallowed my pride, my dignity, and slid the fork into the food. I awkwardly lifted it up and stuffed it into my mouth, spilling more on my bib and high chair than what made it into my mouth. But I didn’t care. It was amazing. An explosion of flavors all happening at once. Savory, salty, cheesy deliciousness that satisfied my atrophied stomach. I needed more and as I dug in for another bite, I could sense something, like I was being watched.

I looked up to see mom and dad watching me, smiles on their faces. Looking proud at their victory. Proud that they had gotten me to act like a good little toddler. Like some little doll. They had won again. And I didn’t care. I pulled the plate closer, digging in for more, stuffing my face a second time, and then a third time, and then a fourth time. Shoveling food down my throat as fast as possible. I couldn’t stop, I was starving.

As I ate, I looked up a second time, sneaking a glance at mom and dad, they had stopped oohing and awwing over me and were both back to eating, neither of them saying anything. It was going to be a quiet dinner tonight. Something I could handle. It was easier that way.

By the time dinner was over, I was covered in food. My face, bib, onesie, and highchair had all been victims of one spill or another. I looked like a toddler. I felt like a toddler. Sitting there with food all over me. But my tummy was full and I was satisfied. I could feel myself slipping off into a food coma as my parents started to clear the table and clean up from dinner. Mom came back, washcloth in hand, and started cleaning me up. The tray was removed and my bib was untied before she started working over my face and hands with the warm, damp cloth. Doing her best to clean me up. Something I was actually grateful for. It felt good to get the stickiness cleaned off my face. Felt good to be cared for. And then something happened. Something I was not ready for. My gut rumbled, catching me off guard, making me wince. A slight cramp came from my lower belly. An urge. My insides letting me know it was time to move the system along. Letting me know that it was time to poop. And there was a diaper taped around my waist.

This was going to be awkward. “Mommy?”

“What is it, sweetie?”

“I… I have to go to the bathroom.”

She started to unbuckle me, helping me down from the high chair. “Well, that’s ok, sweetheart, just go in your diaper and I’ll change you in a minute.”

“No mommy,” I said, my insides rumbling again as my face flushed red, “I… I have to…”

“Poop?” She asked, smiling.

I nodded, looking up at her expectantly, waiting for her to lead me to the bathroom, to take the diaper off, to let me use the toilet. A fantasy if anything. A dream. But this was reality. And reality sucks.

Her shoulders relaxed, her eyes softened. “Sweetheart, that’s what your diaper is for,” She cooed, her voice soothing, encouraging.

I shook my head. “Mommy, please,” I begged. The thought of defecating in a diaper sent shivers down my spine. Peeing was one thing, something I was used to, but the thought of deliberatively pooping in a diaper was disgusting. I couldn’t imagine it. Wouldn’t imagine it. And yet, it was a very real thing. My gut rumbled again. The urge more forceful than before. And mom had just sealed my fate.

“Sweetheart, you’re fine, all babies poop in their diapers,” She said, rubbing my back as she handed me my sippy cup, “Just go and I’ll come and change you in a minute.”

I wanted to say more. Wanted to fight and resist. Wanted her to listen to me. But before I could, she slipped the pacifier in my mouth and turned to head back into the kitchen, leaving me to poop my pants like some little baby. And I wasn’t having it.

“No!” I screamed throwing the sippy cup to the floor, my arms crossing in front of my chest, a scowl settling on my face. “I’m not a baby!”

The sink shut off, all was quiet. Both mom and dad turned to look at me, they didn’t look angry, didn’t look surprised. They looked tired, like they were exhausted from dealing with a fussy toddler.

I looked up at both of them, my eyes switching between there still faces, my heart pounding as I realized what I had just done. My face fell. I hiccuped, holding back the tears. “I… I don’t want to be a baby.”

Mom’s face fell at my own tear-streaked face. She looked upset. Upset that I was upset. Something that should be comforting, but it wasn’t. This was all her fault. Everything was.

Mom moved, stepping towards me.

“Mom… Mommy, I… I’m sorry,” I mumbled, taking a step back, trying to avoid her grasp, trying to escape, but it was no use. I soon found myself on her hip, the pacifier being pushed back into my mouth as she brushed a strand of hair from my face, bouncing me, soothing me.

She moved from the kitchen, heading for the stairs. “Honey, you got the dishes tonight?”

“Sure do.”

The last thing I saw before turning the corner was a look of relief on Dad’s face. Happy that it was mom dealing with my outburst and not him. I, on the other hand, was not as thrilled. And I squeezed mom’s shirt as she carried me away.

Upstairs, mom brought me to the bathroom, locking the door before setting me down on my feet. I backed into the corner, watching her as she started a bath.

My bowels moved again, begging me to let go. It was like my body could sense I was in the bathroom. I looked over at the toilet, a moment of hope that was crushed by the safety latch holding the cover down. But I already knew the toilet was out of the question.

“Sweetheart, you need to go so I can change you.”

Her voice made me jump, snapping me out of my thoughts, bringing me back down to reality. She had moved from the tub and was sitting on the toilet, her arms crossed over her chest. She looked calm yet stern. A parent disciplining their fussy toddler.

“I can’t,” I said, more tears forming in my eyes as I squeezed my legs together, fighting the ever-growing urge to go. To poop.

“Emily, it’s not healthy to hold it in, sweetheart, you need to go.”

“Mommy, please.”

She shook her head, refusing to answer me, waiting for me to do my business, to lose control. And I was going to fight it till the very end.

And fight I tried. I tried squeezing, tried everything to keep it inside. But it was too much. My body had already made up its mind. And I had no say in the matter. I was on the verge of tears as I felt my bowels moving, felt it moving down my system, pushing its way into my diaper. I tried one final, desperate resistance. But I couldn’t hold it in any longer. My body let go. It stopped clenching. My cheeks flushed red as the poop pushed into the back seat of the diaper, spreading across my backside as the diaper expanded. It was warm, squishy, yucky. A feeling I wasn’t used to. I felt dirty. My eyes blurred, filling with tears, turning to a silent cry as I broke down, letting the weight of my emotions all out at once. Out of everything I had experienced today, this had been the worst. Had made me feel the most babyish. The most infantile. The most little. It broke me. Made me realize that my parents were right. I was just a little baby. A toddler.

“Mommy?” I choked out, stepping towards her, needing her.

“Shh, you’re ok, sweetheart, you’re ok.”

I buried my head in her chest, letting her hold me in her arms, comfort me, coddle me. Even if she had been the one that forced me to do this, forced me to act like a baby, she was still my mother, and I needed her love, needed her to let me know that everything was going to be ok.

It was minutes later when she gently pried me from her arms, leading me over to the changing mat on the ground. She didn’t give any instructions and I didn’t need any. Her hands guided me down, laid me down. A pacifier was slipped in my mouth and I took it, suckling it to distract myself from the present. I felt her hands at my crotch, pulling the snaps of the onesie off, exposing the soiled diaper.

“You ok, sweetheart?”

I hesitated for a moment, thinking before nodding. Wincing as the sound of tapes tearing filtered in the air. Squirming as fresh air worked its way over my now exposed diaper area. My cheeks flushing red as a wet wipe worked its way over my front side, my diaper bits. My surprise as my ankles were grabbed together and lifted, exposing my backside to more wipes, to more cleaning. And then it was done. I watched mom fold up the diaper, setting it aside to throw away later. My mind still not comprehending the partial diaper change I had just expierienced. And that was ok. It was ok because mom knew what to do next. She knew to help me up. Knew to finish undressing me. Knew to help me into the tub. Knew to sing and hum as she scrubbed me with a warm washcloth. She knew how to care for me. Knew how to care for a baby. And I was brand new at acting like one.

My mind continued to wander as I sat in the tub, mom continuing to work the was cloth over my body, gently massaging my skin with the warm cloth. Her voice, so soft and soothing, urging me to relax, to rest in her arms as she lovingly cared for me. It made me feel calm. Made everything ok. It was easy to let go. To forget. To relax.

“Can you close your eyes for me, sweetheart?”

Her voice pulled me back in. I looked up at her, confused, looking for instruction, I had missed what she said.

Mom smiled back, a cup of water in her hand. “Can you close your eyes for mommy?”

I nodded, closing my eyes, letting her poor the water over my head, soaking my hair. And then her hands went to work again, lathering my head with shampoo, her fingers running through my hair, massaging the suds into my scalp. I closed my eyes, enjoying every bit of it. It had been years since she had washed my hair.

I felt another cup of water pour over my head, this one rinsing the soap from my hair. It left me feeling relaxed, carefree. Left me feeling loved. Made me feel like that everything was ok in the world. And then mom was helping me from the tub. I shivered as my wet skin came in touch with the world. That surreal warmth disappearing so quickly. Mom had a towel, pink and fluffy. She wrapped it around me, pulling me close to her, hugging me with her warmth as she dried me off. My mind and body on autodrive, finally relenting, finally understanding that it was ok to let go. That it was ok to be cared for. And then I was back in mom’s arms, being carried off to their bedroom.

I whimpered at the sight of the changing table, my mind remembering what all this was about. A whimper that was met with gentle cooes and shushing. Something calming and comforting. Relaxing. Mom laid me down, pulling the towel from my body, leaving me naked on the soft pad. She offered me a pacifier, guided it between my lips. I accepted, nursing the silicone nipple as I watched her gather supplies, watched her pull out a fresh diaper. A sight that was still unsettling. Needing a distraction, I stared off into the room, focusing on anything and everything that my gaze pulled to. Admiring the crib, admiring the work they had done to do all this. I jumped at the feeling of something cold. Something wet, but thick. A cream. I turned to look. Mom was massaging a cream into my diaper area, covering my front and back with a thick, white paste. It smelled medicinal, like a hospital. A diaper cream. I lost interest, breathing a deep sigh of relief as my gaze shifted towards the ceiling, my hands rubbing my eyes. I was tired. I hadn’t noticed that before. I heard a crinkle, felt my legs lift slightly, felt the soft padding underneath my butt. A diaper. My mind raced for a second, screamed at me that I should fight back, protest. But I didn’t. I laid docile like a sleepy infant as mom coated my diaper area with a sweet-smelling powder. It was soft, comforting. Something I remembered deep down. Baby powder. And then the diaper was pulled up, its top reaching to my bellybutton, the sound of tapes opening and then the hugging sensation as it was taped up. I was back in a diaper. It was more comfortable than I remembered from earlier. It was warm, dry, soft. Comforting. It made me feel safe and secure.

“Some one looks a little tired.”

My eyes focused again, looking up at mom, but I didn’t respond. I was too busy working the pacifier in my mouth.

“What do you say we get you dressed and into your crib?” She asked, smiling as she ran her hand through my hair.

Again, I didn’t respond. I didn’t need to. She lifted me off the changing pad, moving me to the edge of their bed where she laid me down again. Off to my left was a pair of pajamas. A cute short and shirt set. It was light pink, pastel. It was simple. Mom picked up the shorts, guiding them up my legs, lifting my butt to pull them over my diaper. She sat sat me up, swining my legs over the edge of the bed.

“Arms up.”

I reached up, letting her guide my arms and head through the shirt, letting her finish dressing me in the childish outfit. Letting her have total control like I was some helpless toddler incapable of dressing myself. I was back on her hip again, only for a moment, and then I was sitting in her lap on the rocking chair. She hummed, rocking gently as she played with my hair. My head rested against her chest. My eyes blinking, fighting off the urge of sleep. My brain slowly turning off. Drifitng, relaxing, falling asleep.

“Hey honey,” The voice was soft, a whisper, dad.

My eyes shot open, my hands reached up, trying to rub the sleep from my eyes. I felt a new hand on my back. It was bigger than mom, firmer, but still gentle, still loving. It was Dad’s. He kissed my cheek.

“Hey, pumpkin, how are ya?”

I groaned, tired and ready to sleep. Something dad chuckled at. I glared up at him. Again, he smiled. And then I was pulled from mom’s lap and into his arms. They switched places. Mom dispearing off to the bathroom and dad sitting in the rocking chair with me cradled in his lap. He started rocking, holding me close. I settled back in, relaxing in his arms. The room was darker than before. One of them had dimmed the lights. I rubbed my eyes again. Dad patted my bottom, my diaper. I was so tired. I closed my eyes. The pacifier was pulled from my mouth. I whimpered. Dad cooed, settling me back down. He was holding something in his hand, pushing it towards my mouth. A baby bottle. Just like the one from earlier. I pushed against his arm, my body reacting, fighting. An instinct. And then the nipple was in my mouth. I suckled, a stream of warm milk hitting my tongue. I winced at the taste. Something familiar and yet so new. It wasn’t milk. Too thick, too bitter. Formula. It was formula. Again, the same as earlier. It put my mind at ease. I suckled more, nursing from the bottle like a baby. The bitter formula turning sweet as my taste buds grew used to it. My eyes closed again, drifted again. My mind easing off to sleep as I nursed from the bottle. My tummy filling with the warm formula.

“Good girl, that’s a good baby, such a good girl,” dad cooed, patting my bottom, still rocking as he held the bottle, feeding me.

And then all too soon it was over. The bottle was empty. It was pulled from my mouth. I whimpered, opening my eyes. A pacifier was held to my lips. I took it, nursing the soothing nipple as dad lifted me to his shoulder, standing up. He kissed my cheek again and then he pulled me from his shoulder. I was being set down. Laid down on a soft mattress. The crib. He was laying me in the crib. My head touched the pillow, the blanket was pulled up around my shoulders. The mobile overhead was turned on. And then he was gone. I was left alone with the soft music and spinning mobile to lull me to sleep like a baby. The distant sound of my parents and running water in the background. And then I was asleep.

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Chapter 3: A Rough Morning

“Hunny, do you smell that?” Mom asked, stopping on her way past the living room.

Dad looked up from his Ipad, unaware. “Smell what?”

“Something stinks, kind of like a…”

Dad sniffed the air, chuckling, “It’s your turn, I changed her earlier.”

“Emily?”

At the call of my name, I looked up from the blocks I was playing with, meeting Mom’s gaze. She had a look of knowing on her face, a soft smile. A maternal look, loving.

“Do you have a stinky butt?”

I frowned, shaking my head. “No…”

“Emily?” She asked again. “Are you sure?”

“Uh-huh,” I nodded, annoyed by the question. I was pretty sure I would know if I pooped my pants, who wouldn’t?

She stepped towards me, closing the distance between us. “Can mommy check your diaper, sweetheart?”

I huffed, glaring up at her. I didn’t want to stop playing, didn’t understand why she was so adamant about checking my diaper, but complied with her wish. Standing up, I walked over to her, letting her have control, knowing that she wouldn’t find anything. I felt her hand at the small of my back, holding me in place while her other grabbed the back of my diaper and pulled it away from my skin. She held me there for a moment, peering down the back, checking for the poop I knew wasn’t there.

Moments later her hands retreated. I turned to go back to playing with my blocks, expecting to be set free, but she grabbed my hand, kept me by her side.

“Where do you think you’re going silly,” Mom chuckled, “You need a diaper change.”

“A diaper change?” I asked, confused. But that would mean… My face flushed red, I felt hot, dizzy. I hadn’t noticed it before, that sticky feeling, that warmth, that mushiness in the seat of my diaper. It was there now. All too obvious. I had pooped myself without even realizing it. I felt frozen in place, felt sick.

“I… I didn’t… I didn’t mean to.” I stammered, looking up at her, tears welling up in my eyes. I could feel a sob trying to escape my throat.

Mom lifted me onto her hip, rubbing my back as she carried me to the stairs. “It’s alright, sweetheart, that’s what your diapers are for,” She said, “For when you don’t realize, for when you have an accident…”


My eyes shot open, I gasped for air, my heart pounding out of my chest as I bolted upright in the crib. My shirt was covered in sweat, evidence from the nightmare I had just awoken from. But it was just that, a nightmare. It was all in my head, my imagination. It hadn’t been real. I told myself this, laying back, letting my head hit the pillow. My heart started to slow as my panic subsided. I laid there for a minute in the silence of the morning, composing myself, letting that silence take over, letting that silence calm me down.

As I lay there, my ears began picking up on the sounds around me. Mom’s soft breathing filtered into my ears, helped me relax as my breathing matched with her own. It was comforting, soothing to have her nearby. Dad’s snores, however, were absent, and yet I could sense his presence. I could hear the faintest sound of a TV show playing in the living room. The smell of pancakes lingered in the air.

Breakfast.

My stomach grumbled at the thought as I snuggled further under the warmth of my blanket, hiding from the chill of the morning air. I had recovered from my nightmare, and yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling it left me with. It was a dirty feeling, disgust. My mind switched back to the diaper taped around my waist. The subject of my nightmare. It was full from a nights wetting. Its warmth and squishiness was something I was well accustomed to, and yet, it was an entirely new feeling. A wet diaper felt different than a wet pull-up. The bulkiness, the babyish smell, it made me feel infantile, as though I were an actual baby. As though I belonged living the life of a toddler. Something that I knew should bother me.

And yet it made me smile.

There was something soothing about not having to worry, something soothing about having everything done for you. Even if had only been a couple of days since my return to toddlerhood, I could already feel myself sinking into the mindset of a baby. That state of happiness and carefreeness. It was surprisingly easy to let go, easy to allow myself to both be treated as a toddler, and act along with it. And yet it was difficult at the same time, shameful, terrifying. I knew deep down that it wasn’t natural, that I shouldn’t find joy in being cared for, that I should want to be independent and mature. But I didn’t. I didn’t want to make decisions, I didn’t want to have responsibilities, I didn’t want to grow up. But then there was the thought of losing control. Like the nightmare, the thought of ever pooping myself without knowing sent a shiver down my spine, disgusted me. It was all just so confusing.

Mom stirred in bed, rolling over, sighing. It snapped me from my thoughts, made my ears perk as I listened for her movement. I rolled over in the crib, sitting up to face her. She was sitting up in bed, drinking the last bit of water from her glass. She smiled upon seeing me. It was a genuine smile, a happy smile.

I smiled back, pulling myself up to the crib edge with a youthful grin on my face, watching as she climbed out of bed, stretching and yawning as she fought off the fog of sleep, waking for the day. She approached the crib, embracing me in a morning hug and a few too many loving kisses making me giggle in her embrace.

“Morning, sweetheart, how’d you sleep?”

I thought for a moment, enjoying the warmth and comfort she brought, thinking about the nightmare I had only so recently had, thinking about the emotions coursing through my body. I didn’t know how to respond, how to tell her. So I lied. “Good.”

“Ya? That’s good, where’s your pacifier?”

I looked down at my pajama shirt, at the pacifier clip dangling from my chest. I held it out to mom, my eyes asking her not to make me use it, begging her to let me have just one dignity this morning. And yet I knew it was pointless to even try. I had gotten well acquainted with pacifiers over the past couple of days. She took the pacifier from my hand and released the latch from my shirt, heading off over to the changing table where she grabbed a fresh one, a clean one, before returning.

“Mommy, please?” I whispered.

She shook her head, holding the light blue pacifier up to my mouth.

I frowned, staring at the infantile thing. I knew better than to make a fuss though. It was too early in the morning to fight or be difficult, it was easier for both of us if I just accepted the nipple.

And so I did.

I opened my mouth, letting her plop the pacifier inside, suckling it like a good baby as she held it there for a moment, making sure I wasn’t going to spit it out.

“Good girl,” She said, snapping the paci clip to my shirt.

I sighed around the pacifier, glaring at mom as her hands reached for my waist.

A diaper check.

We both already knew I was in need of a change, after all, bedwetting had lead me to this predicament in the first place, but still, a diaper check made it known that I was a baby, made it known that I was incapable of communicating the state of my diaper. It put me in my place, made it known that she was the parent and that I was the baby.

I watched, hanging onto the crib rail for balance as her hand cupped the front of my diaper, squeezing it, pinching it, checking for wetness. The squish of the diaper in her hand confirmed that I was indeed soaked. And then she reached around to my back, pulled me closer, held me still. I froze in place, a spike of fear rising in my chest. Her fingers found the waistband of the diaper, snaked inside, pulled it away from my skin letting a burst of air run down my backside. I could feel her eyes peering down the back. It was something so routine and familiar, and yet so scary. I could only think of one thing. My nightmare. That lack of control, that shock, that feeling of helplessness. And then her hands pulled away.

“Just a little wet this morning, I’ll change you in a minute,” Mom said, rubbing my back, kissing me on the forehead. She paused for a moment, looked me in the eye. “Are you ok, sweetheart?”

It took me a minute to process her words, to pull back to reality. I nodded, suckling my pacifier for comfort. Why was I suckling so hard?

“Ok,” She said, her eyes looking unconvinced, worried, “I’ll be back in a minute to change you.”

With that, I watched as she retreated off into the bathroom, closing the door behind her, leaving me to occupy myself in the crib. It was a test. I could spit the pacifier out, I could rebel like I had done the past few mornings. The thought crossed my mind like a fleeting dream, and just like that, it was gone. I had more things to worry about than the stupid pacifier. Besides, as much as I hated to admit it, it was kind of soothing, comforting. It was something to rely on in this state of unknown.

I sat back in the crib, laid back, waiting, needing a break. My mouth working the silicone nipple as I stared up at the ceiling. My mind couldn’t shake that nightmare, that feeling of helplessness, of restraint. It scared me, made me want to scream, made me want to act out. And yet at the same time, I was ok with so much of what was going on. I wasn’t even sure what I was afraid of at this point, couldn’t understand why I was feeling the way I was feeling. Couldn’t understand my emotions, couldn’t control them. It felt like my brain was going to explode. Like it was going to tear in half. A tear dripped down my cheek. I held my breath, holding back the sob, trying to keep myself together.

From the bathroom, I heard the sound of a flushing toilet. Mom. She would be back any second. I wiped the tear from my face, forced my thoughts from my mind.

Mom appeared from the bathroom, that same smile still on her face as she approached the crib. “Alright sweetheart, it’s your turn, let’s get you changed.”

She helped me from the crib, settling me on her hip for the quick trip over to the changing pad. A place I had been more than enough the past few days. It had been three days since I last used a toilet. Or was it four? I hadn’t used one since the day mom and dad picked me up from school. Something that felt like it had happened years ago and yet it had only been a matter of days. Had I known what was coming, I would have stopped by the bathroom on my way to the office, would have enjoyed that last moment of freedom. I longed to be able to sit in private and relieve myself, to be in control even if for only a second. And yet, I knew I wouldn’t have that kind of privilege for some time. For now, all my potty habits would be known and monitored. I was a baby in diapers. I had no control over my potty habits, had no control over my diapers, other than when I used them. It was mom and dad’s job, their responsibility to check to and change me. It was the very thing I had had a nightmare about. Something so simple, and yet so important.

The sound of tapes ripping snapped my mind back to focus. The morning air clung to my damp skin as mom pulled the diaper out from under my bottom, leaving me naked on the pad.

“Emily?” She asked, reaching for the baby wipes, “Are you ok, baby, is something bothering you, sweetheart?”

There was something bothering me, I did need to talk, wanted to talk. But how could I talk to her when I didn’t even know what was wrong? How was she supposed to understand when I didn’t understand myself? No, I needed to figure this out. I shook my head, looking away from her, letting my eyes wander as she wiped me down. Besides, it was weird talking to the person wiping your butt.

“Alright, sweetheart, I just want to make sure you’re ok, that’s all,” Mom said, fanning out a fresh diaper.

I stole a glance at her face as she slid the fresh diaper under me. It was the look of someone deep in thought. She caught me, smiled at me as she smoothed some powder into my skin. It was reassuring, comforting.

The room was silent as mom finished changing me. It wasn’t until she pulled my pajama pants back up and helped me sit up that she said something. “I just want you to know that I love you with all my heart, sweetheart,” She said, pausing, “And while all this may be confusing and frustrating and scary, I still love you, we still love you, more than anything in the world, and you can tell us anything, alright sweetie?”

I nodded my head, looking her in the eye. A spare tear dripped down my cheek. I tried to wipe it away, tried to hide it, but mom stopped me. She pulled me into a hug, held me close, let my face bury into her neck.

“It’s ok to cry, sweetheart, it’s ok to be upset.”

And cry I did.

The smell of pancakes intensified as mom carried me down the hallway towards the stairs. My head lay rested on her shoulder, my fingers playing with the pacifier clip as she rubbed my back, still soothing me from my cry session. It felt good to get it out, felt good to let my emotions run free. It made me feel more relaxed, happier, calmer. Mom had been right, it was ok to cry.

My head bounced on mom’s shoulder, jostling me from my thoughts as she carried me downstairs. I picked my head up, watching her every step as we made our way into the kitchen.

Dad was already setting food on the table when he noticed our presence. When he noticed my red, puffy face.

“Uh oh, why the sad face pumpkin?” Dad asked, meeting us in the kitchen.

Mom answered for me as she tossed my soiled diaper in the trash. “She’s just getting adjusted still, that’s all,” mom whispered, smiling at me as she played with my hair.

“Well, maybe some chocolate chip pancakes will cheer you up,” Dad cooed, pulling me from mom’s arms, settling me on his own hip with a kiss to my cheek. “Are you hungry, pumpkin?”

I nodded, letting myself sink into his arms as he carried me over to the highchair. I was reluctant to let go, but let him set me down and buckle me up. I still hated the highchair, still hated what it signified, but at the same time, I tolerated it, much like I tolerated my crib and even the changing table. It wasn’t like I had much choice in the matter anyway.

Dad finished sliding the tray into place, making sure it locked with the telltale click before reaching for the “Daddy’s Princess” bib he loved so much. He pulled it around my neck, tying it behind me while mom fixed a plate for me, making sure to cut up all of my food into bite-size pieces, making sure that a toddler could eat without choking. The way they worked together, the way they cared for me made it seem like I had never stopped being a toddler in the first place. Like I had always just been a big baby. And maybe I had. Maybe I had just been pretending to be a big girl and my parents knew that I was really just a baby. Maybe that’s why they put me back in diapers.

Mom finished fixing my plate and set it on the tray for me to eat along with a sippy cup of water. My stomach growled in anticipation as I reached for the fork, picking it up how I had been shown, like a toddler. Again, I didn’t care and there was no reason to fuss over it. I stabbed a piece of pancake and stuffed it into my mouth, enjoying the warm, gooey, chocolatey, sweetness exploding over my taste buds. Nutritional, no, tasty, yes. It did cheer me up, made me smile a bit as I reached for another piece.

“Emily,” Mom warned, “Don’t forget your fruit and eggs.”

I nodded at her mid-bite as I scoffed down another piece of pancake. “I won’t,” I said, reaching for a strawberry to please her, enjoying its refreshing tartness. It wasn’t that I didn’t like strawberries, it was just that the pancakes tasted so much better, and they had chocolate chips in them.

A few more minutes passed in silence as everybody ate. It wasn’t until the end of breakfast that Dad said something.

“Hey pumpkin,” Dad said, waiting for me to look up at him. “Mommy and daddy were thinking that we should get out of the house and do something today.” He paused, waiting for my reaction, but all he got was a blank stare as my mind processed the information.

Today. Outside. Me. Diapers. Baby. Public. “I… I don’t want to…” I mumbled, my blush coming back, hoping that this conversation would be over and that I could just enjoy another boring day indoors. But dad wasn’t having it. In fact, he practically ignored my answer.

“We were thinking that it would be fun to go and have a picnic at the park,” He said, “Maybe even play on the playground a bit. Burn off some energy.”

I shook my head. “I don’t want to…” I was louder this time, more forceful. Again, dad didn’t listen or chose not to listen.

“We know you’re worried about being seen in public, and we understand, the park we found is about an hour away and it’s supposed to be really…”

“I don’t want to!” I screamed at him, crossing my arms across my chest, standing my ground. “Not dressed like a stupid baby.”

Neither mom nor dad flinched. Neither one reacted in the way I wanted them to. I wanted them to be angry, wanted them to be made, wanted them to give me a reason, an excuse to scream. But they didn’t.

Mom spoke up. “Emily, sweetheart, that’s not your inside voice, and that wasn’t very nice of you.” She paused for a moment, looking me in the eye. “You need to apologize to daddy and say you’re sorry.”

I glared at her, huffing, refusing to give in, refusing to lower my arms, to apologize for what I had done. Why couldn’t they understand, why couldn’t they just listen for a second, why couldn’t they understand I didn’t want to go.

“Emily.” Mom said again, her mom-look more forceful than before. “Do you need a timeout or are you going to apologize to daddy?”

I stole a glance over at dad, trying to figure out my next move, trying to figure out how to spin this so I came out on top. Dad didn’t seem to have any emotion, maybe a bit of hurt in his eyes, disappointment, but his demeanor was calm. It didn’t give me much to work with.

“Emily, you’re going to apologize one way or another, it can be now or it can be after a time out.”

I looked back over to mom, our eyes locking for a moment, and then I shifted my gaze back to dad. I swallowed, looking down at the plate in front of me, refusing to look back at either of them, trying to hide my shame. “I’m sorry, daddy,” I mumbled under my breath.

“Emily, you need to speak up and look at daddy.”

I did as I was told and held my chin up, locking eyes with dad. He was still waiting so patiently, was still so calm. “I’m sorry, daddy,” I said again, louder this time, my voice shaking as the words escaped my throat. I could feel my cheeks reddening again, could feel tears forming in the corner of my eyes from the embarrassment of being scolded like a toddler in her terrible twos. But I was a toddler, and this was my reminder.

“Thank you for saying sorry, pumpkin,” Dad said, finally speaking up. “And I’m sorry for not listening to you, that wasn’t very nice of me either.”

Mom reached over, wiping my tears away with a napkin. “Thank you for apologizing, sweetheart, that was very nice of you.”

With that we went back to eating, only I wasn’t hungry anymore. I sat in silence, my head hung, down, my eyes focused on the pancake I was pushing around my plate. I wiped a few more tears away. I just wanted to be let down, wanted to be by myself for a minute, wanted privacy.

“Are you full, pumpkin?”

I looked up, nodding as I set my fork down, leaning back in the highchair as I waited.

“Are you sure you don’t want anymore, sweetheart?” Mom asked, “You didn’t even finish your pancakes.”

Again I nodded, slipping the pacifier back into my mouth, my only way of communicating that I didn’t want to talk anymore. They might be able to move on in seconds, might be ok with this new punishment, might be ok with reprimanding me as though I were a little baby, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t used to it, to any of it, and I just needed time to process things, to understand.

With breakfast finished, mom and dad cleared the plates while I sat in my highchair. I was still angry at them. Angry that they had disciplined me. Angry that they had treated me like some little child. I didn’t even acknowledge dad as he wiped my face and hands off before freeing me from the highchair.

“Do you want to watch some cartoons, pumpkin?”

I nodded, leading the way into the living room where I made myself comfy on the couch, curling up in the resident blanket as dad turned the TV on. He switched through the channels for a minute before settling on Peppa Pig. It wasn’t the most entertaining show to watch, but it was better than doing nothing. Suckling the pacifier, I laid back with my head resting against the arm of the couch, settling in to watch the show.

I was already into my third episode by the time mom and dad appeared from the kitchen.

“Alright, coolers packed, lunch is packed, everything should be ready to go,” Mom said, “I’m going to go shower really quick and then I’ll get Emily ready to go.”

“Sounds good, need me to do anything else?”

“Nope, I think we’re good,” Mom said, heading for the stairs.

Dad took a seat on the opposite end of the couch. I glared at him for a second, huffing, before turning back to Peppa.

“I’m sorry you’re mad at me pumpkin,” Dad said, “I didn’t mean to make you upset.”

I didn’t answer. Didn’t want to answer. I was still mad at him.

“Do you want to cuddle for a bit?”

I looked over at him, glared at him. He stuck his tongue out in response, making a silly face. It made me giggle a little, slip a little.

“Are you sure you don’t want to cuddle?” He asked again, holding his arms out, beckoning me over.

I glared at him for a minute longer before giving in. I unwrapped myself from the blanket, crawled over to his lap, let him pull me in close and hold me tight.

"I pulled the pacifier out for a second, just long enough to speak. “I’m still mad at you,” I said, I didn’t mean it, but still couldn’t bring myself to relent, to give in and be ok. I felt like by giving in that I would be giving up control. I felt like I would be admitting that I was just a baby. And I wasn’t ready to do that.

“That’s ok, pumpkin,” He said, patting my leg. “I love you anyway.”

I smiled at that. Smiled at that daddy-daughter moment as I cuddled further into his side, into his warmth, resting my head against his chest as I settled back in to watch Peppa. It made me feel so little in his arms, so babyish. It brought back memories from when I was younger, from when I would come and cuddle with him after my baths before bedtime. It made me feel warm inside, happy. It made me feel loved. I was so worried about losing control, so worried about slipping back into babyhood that I forgot what it felt like to even be a baby. How good it felt. And yet it still scared me. I still felt the need to fight it at every turn. But this time, this moment, was ok.

Mom appeared minutes later with an outfit in one hand and a bag slung over her other shoulder. The outfit consisted of what looked like a yellow summer dress and a pink diaper cover with white ruffles on the back. An outfit that would look admittedly cute on a toddler, it just so happened that I was that toddler. The bag had a gray base with a pastel blue top decorated with little stars. My name was stitched on the side in the same blue. My mind wandered for a second, tried to figure out what the bag was for. And then I saw the baby wipes sticking out of one of the side pockets. A diaper bag. It was a diaper bag. My diaper bag. For some reason, it hit me like a brick wall. The thought of needing a portable diaper changing bag made my spine shiver a bit. It reminded me why I was so uncomfortable with giving up control, with accepting toddlerhood.

Dad kissed my cheek before urging me off his lap. “Time to let mommy get you dressed and then we can go,” He said, patting my diapered butt for good measure as he guided me in mom’s direction.

Mom smiled, reaching for my shirt. “Arms up, sweetheart.”

I shook my head, pulled away from her grasp. “Mommy, please, I really don’t want to go,” I begged, using my best baby voice.

Her eyes fell, her smile shrunk, what was that look, understanding? Pity? She knelt down and pulled me into a hug. “I know you don’t sweetheart, but sometimes we have to do things we don’t like,” She said, “Especially when those things are good for us.”

“But what if somebody sees me?”

Dad’s turn. “You don’t have to worry about that, pumpkin, we’re going to a faraway park for that reason.”

“Daddy’s right, sweetheart, nobody will even know. Now come on, let’s get you dressed.”

Minutes later I was strapped into my car seat watching our neighborhood slip by. I suckled the pacifier to try and settle my nerves, to try and calm myself down. My heart raced at the thought of being seen dressed as a baby in public. It made me sick. Made my stomach feel as though it was tied in knots. The sundress didn’t help either. It may be good for playing in the hot weather, but there was no way I was going to be hiding all those ruffles along my backside.

“Emily,” Mom called from the front seat. “You can relax sweetheart, we’re going to have fun. Why don’t you try to take a nap and we’ll wake you up when we get there.”

I nodded, sitting back in the seat, letting my body rest. I closed my eyes, hoping for some relief, but none came. I was too worked up, too anxious to even think about taking a nap. No, this was going to be a long car ride.

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Great story

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What a Great story. I love the way you write your characters. It’s so descriptive that you actually make us feel like part of the story. Please give us an update. Can’t wait to see where this goes. Thank you!!!

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Very enjoyable read

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I just wanted to say a quick thank you to you guys that left comments, I appreciate it :slight_smile:

My Patreon Page :slight_smile:

Chapter 4: The Park

Small Creek Park.

The letters were painted a bright yellow on the simple and rugged sign. It was tucked away off the side of the road, hidden from those not looking for it. Dad slowed and turned into the entrance, its tight and winding path leading us further into the trees, leaving the sun behind as the darkness of the trees enveloped us. My anxiety was beginning to creep up, knowing that we were here, knowing that I would be leaving the safety and security of our vehicle soon. And then just as quickly as those trees had come, just as quickly as that darkness had come, they disappeared, opening up into a clearing. A meadow, hidden away like some kind of magical land. Dad drove a bit further in, parking across from a group of cars in the quiet parking lot. It brought me sweet relief knowing there weren’t many people here. Relief that still couldn’t curb the knots in my stomach.

The engine shut off, mom and dad slipped out of the car. Dad headed around back to the trunk, the sound of objects being pulled out reached my ears. Mom took her place in helping me, opening my door, unbuckling me, soothing my worried face with her soft smile.

“Sweetheart, it’s ok, you can relax,” mom said.

It didn’t help the panic in my eyes, didn’t help the anxiety beating within me. I pushed her away when she reached in to pull me out, shaking my head in fear. I didn’t want to get out, didn’t want to leave the safety and security of the car. “Mommy, please,” I begged, pleading with her one last time. “I’ll be good, I promise.”

Mom just kept on smiling, rubbing my back as she gently coaxed the pacifier back into my mouth, pushing my hands away as I tried to stop her. “This isn’t to punish you, sweetheart, we would never do that to you,” She said, reaching in to pull me out once again. “This is supposed to be fun.”

I shook my head, refusing to leave. If this was fun, I didn’t want anything to do with it. I wanted to get back on the road and go home. I wanted to be safe and sound inside the house where I didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing me. Where nobody would see me wearing a diaper and sucking on a pacifier. The pacifier. I hadn’t noticed, but I was suckling it hard, trying to self soothe, trying to fight the urge to scream and cry rising inside of me.

“Sweetheart,” Mom tried again, “I promise this will be fun, but you have to trust me.”

I locked eyes with her, they looked worried and sad, understanding. Like she understood the reason for my fear and reluctance. It helped quell the adrenaline coursing through my body, helped me to accept that I really had no choice in the matter. I nodded, letting her lift me from the car. I clung to her, gripping her shirt for dear life, my thumping heart beating hard against her chest.

She held me close, rubbing my back trying to calm my panicked body. “Your alright, sweetheart,” She cooed, “Mommy’s got you, you’re ok.”

It helped more than I wished it would. The dependence I was beginning to feel, the need for her I was beginning to have felt so good, so right, and yet so wrong at the same time. It made me feel so infantile and small when all I wanted at the moment was to be big and independent. To have my freedom back.

She carried me around back to where dad was waiting. He greeted me with a similar smile to mom’s, soothing and loving mixed with a hint of worry. He stood behind a stroller, my stroller, there was no other reason for it. Mom moved to set me down.

“No!” I cried around the pacifier, refusing to let go, refusing to be sat in such an infantile thing. The pacifier fell from my mouth as my diapered bottom hit the seat. “I want to walk,” I said, looking up at mom, fighting against her, trying to stand up, trying to get away.

Mom still smiled, still soothed as she gently guided me back in the seat, pushing the pacifier back into my mouth. “I think it’s better for you to ride in the stroller, sweetheart,” She said, pulling the buckle up between my legs. "It’s a pretty far walk still and it’s normal for toddlers to be pushed in strollers.

She was right. I nodded reluctantly, shuffling in the seat on my thick diaper as mom finished strapping me in. She adjusted the shade over my head, shielding my body from the burning sun, and then we were off.

I sat forward in the stroller, doing my best to look around, trying to take in my surroundings. There were some picnic tables gathered around by the parking lot, a small pavilion was off to the side of them, more tables sat under its cover. My eyes drifted beyond that, further into the clearing where there was a small jogging path, I followed it, watched it lead off into the trees. My eyes shifted again, looking ahead of us, the small path dad was pushing me toward. There was a sign there, clear as day with an arrow pointing down the path. The picture of a playground was printed onto it, the word itself was written beneath. I pointed ahead. “Is that where we’re going?” I asked, my words slurring around the pacifier.

Dad chuckled. “Yes, that’s where the playground is, pumpkin are you excited?”

I pulled my hand back, thinking for a moment. Any excitement I had was being squashed by the fear of the unknown that lay ahead, the anxiety of what was to come, of what might happen, of who might see me, of what people would say or think. Excited was not the word I would use.

I was pushed further down the path as mom and dad talked. I chose not to listen, but rather to drone them out and focus on the world around me, to let myself become absorbed with the sights and sounds of the woods. The constant buzz and noise of the suburbs was absent, that familiar white noise that occupies every second of life. Not even a distant car could be heard. It amplified the singing of birds and the scurrying of reptiles, made nature feel more alive. It fascinated me, how life here could be so different, so calm and quiet, peaceful. It let me relax for a moment, let that anxiety that had been growing all morning wash away.

And then the sound of voices broke through that bubble, rupturing the calm that had been, let that anxiety and fear rush back in to take over my body.

My eyes locked forward, watching the curve of the path in front of us. A man and a woman appeared. They were older with graying hair, cheerful smiles settled on their faces as they walked side by side. It terrified me, made me freeze in place. Made me pee myself. It started as a trickle and I tried to stop it, tried to stop the flow of pee into my diaper, but it simply wasn’t possible. That trickle kept growing until I gave in completely, letting it out into thick padding between my legs, letting my diaper swell with the warmth of my fresh urine. My cheeks flushed red, full of shame and terror. There was no other way to describe the feeling other than infantile. I pushed myself against the back of the stroller, trying to make myself look as small as possible, as insignificant as possible as they came closer. And then she caught sight of me, her cheerful eyes locking onto me, her hand moving up to wave as she mouthed hi to me. My fear and terror spiked as my eyes went wide, pure panic raging through my body as they still moved closer. And then they stopped, they stopped to talk. I felt like I was going to pass out, felt like I was going to vomit.

“I’m sorry,” The woman intruded, moving to shake mom’s hand, her attitude and Arora too cheerful and happy, like some kind of fake Grandma from a Christmas movie. “I couldn’t help but notice this little cutie here.” Her eyes beamed at me, eyeing me over as though I were a little doll to play with. “I’ve got a grandbaby around her age. They’re so much fun when they’re that young.”

Mom laughed, moving around the stroller to join her in watching me. “Yes, Emily is quite the cutey.”

“Oh, and where are my manners, I didn’t even think about it,” The woman said, her focus shifting back to my parents. “I’m Judy and this is Bob,” She said, motioning towards her husband who was now stepping forward.

“Mark,” dad said, shaking hands with Bob and then Judy.

“Jennifer,” Mom said, following suit and shaking hands. “And then you’ve already met little Emily here.”

“Emily,” Judy said, eager to have the conversation focused once again on me, on the little toddler. “What a pretty name.” She turned back to mom. “Our little Megan just turned four, a bit older than your little one here I’m guessing.”

Four? Older than me? I wasn’t sure whether to feel insulted or relieved. At least she thought I looked like a toddler, thought I was a toddler. It was better than being recognized as the big kid I really was. And so I want along with it, playing the part of a little toddler, suckling my pacifier as I looked off into the distance, pretending as though I wasn’t paying attention to the conversation, pretending as though this wasn’t the most heart-stopping moment of my life. Not that any of that could hide my red cheeks or the terror written all over my face.

“You’d be right, Emily just turned three a couple of weeks ago,” Mom said, smiling down at me as dad rocked the stroller back and forth, both of them treating me no different than an actual baby.

Again the conversation was on me, three sets of eyes looking down at my blushing, terrified face. My only hope at this point was that they wouldn’t notice my wet diaper, wouldn’t notice that I had peed myself like some little baby. I just them to leave, just wanted the attention to be on something other than myself. I let myself gaze up at the group of adults, my worried eyes standing out as I cowered in the stroller.

That didn’t stop Judy from doting on me with that smile of hers, a smile that could only be described as something reserved for little babies. “Oh and she’s a shy one, how precious.”

Dad answered this time. “Ya, meeting new people isn’t one of her strong suits yet.”

“That’s quite alright, I wouldn’t want to worry her any more than she already is,” Judy said, her eyes still locked on me. “Besides I’m sure she’s ready to go and play.”

“We hope so,” Mom said, “It was a bit of a drive out here so she’s been cooped up for a good while. Hopefully, the park will let her burn off some energy.”

Judy laughed, “I’m sure it will, playgrounds always seem to have a way of doing that.”

“They do,” Mom said, nodding in agreement.

Bob shook dad’s hand once again. “Well, we won’t take up too much of yalls time,” He said, his thick, slow accent intruding on the conversation as he motioned for his wife to finish up, winking at me. “Wouldn’ wanna keep the youngin waitin’ any longer dan necessary.”

And it was suit relief to my ears.

Judy, on the other hand, didn’t look too pleased, but she relented nonetheless. “Oh, I suppose I should get out of yall’s hair,” She said, “Anyway, it was nice meeting you all, and it was nice meeting you, Emily.” Her gaze focused on me once more as she waved goodbye.

“Can you say bye-bye, sweetheart?” Mom asked, taking hint at Judy’s voice.

I peered up at them, shaking my head before retreating back under the cover of the stroller, pushing myself against the back of the seat, suckling the pacifier for comfort. The thought of acknowledging these people, the thought of interacting with them was too much. I just couldn’t do it, couldn’t bring myself to do it. Like a baby, I felt

Judy waved mom off. “Don’t worry about it, Megan can be quite the shy one too. Yall have fun now.” She said, saying her final, reluctant goodbye before joining her husband.

“Thank you, we will.”

“Have a good one.”

And then, just like that, they were gone, and I was relieved. I let out a sigh of relief, the stress and anxiety leaving my body just as quickly as it had flooded in, leaving me in peace once again. And mom and dad didn’t even hassle me about not waving.

I was pushed for another few minutes until the trail started to open up. Again, like the parking lot, the world seemed to open up into a meadow, and as we rounded the corner, the playground came into sight. My eyes widened, dancing across the bright, vibrant blues and yellows and reds, all the different slides and towers and things to climb on. It was a playground like no other, a child’s dream. And as much as I hated to admit it, I felt an urge to go run and play. Something I hadn’t felt in years. It was like my inner child was bubbling up inside of me, fighting to get out. And I didn’t want her out, I wanted her to stay locked away, wanted to keep being the big girl I was.

Dad turned, leading us off the path, up a small hill that overlooked the park, stopping underneath the shade of a large tree. “Does this work?” He asked.

Mom nodded, stepping towards me, reaching for the buckle. “The shade will be good for eating later.”

I didn’t know what to do as mom’s hands took hold of the buckle, her hands brushing against the front of my diaper as she released the latch. I sat frozen as her hands hovered for a moment, lingered like they sensed something. Her hand discreetly reached under my dress, finding the front of my diaper, squeezing it between her fingers. I felt the padding squish between her fingers, could see the look of knowing in her eyes.

“Emily?” Mom asked, “Did you go pee, sweetheart?”

Reluctantly I nodded, that bright red returning to my cheeks, that shame as I felt my emotions rising. Only the comforting rhythm of the pacifier kept them at bay.

“It’s alright, sweetheart, needing changed is nothing to be embarrassed about.”

Her eyes meant it, meant every bit of it. And I wanted to believe it, wanted to believe that it was ok, but deep down I still couldn’t get over the whole diaper thing, couldn’t get over how having an accident had gone from being a bad thing to a good thing in a matter of days. My brain fought that logic, fell back on my years of potty training to try and resist it, tried to fight the diaper training that was happening right before my eyes.

“Emily, I promise that it’s alright, sweetheart,” Mom cooed, her hand rubbing my back as she coaxed me from the seat.

Dad had already laid out the changing pad, had already set out all the supplies needed to change my diaper. And it was right in the middle of the open, was right in the middle of the great outdoors. All somebody had to do was look over and they would see everything, would see me being changed.

“No! Mommy, please,” I begged, the pacifier falling from my mouth as I pulled away from her grasp. “Don’t change me here, please.” My voice was desperate, panicked.

mom knelt down in front of me, taking hold of my hands, looking me in the eye. “Sweetheart, nobody will see anything, nobody will notice, nobody will care.”

“But what if they do?”

Mom smiled. “All they’ll see is a baby getting her diaper changed. Nothing more, nothing less.”

I thought for a moment, thought about the heavy sag of my diaper, the uncomfortable dampness of it between my legs, thought about how nice a dry diaper would feel. But I also thought about the embarrassment of being changed outdoors, how anybody and everybody would be able to see, thought about how exposed I would be, how humiliating it would be.

“Come on, Sweetheart, you’ll feel better once you’re dry,” Mom said, trying again to lead me over to the changing pad, encouraging me to listen, to let her have control.

And I followed, I gave in. My mind screamed for me to fight back, screamed for me to do something as mom laid me back, but my body wouldn’t respond, I was on autopilot, a child under the care and control of her mother. Deep down, I knew this was best, knew this was the only way to get out of the wet diaper, to get away from the yucky feeling. I needed her to change me, wanted her to change me. And so I laid still like an obediant baby, suckling away on my pacifier as mom pulled my dress up and slid my diaper cover down to my ankles.

“There we go, just relax, sweetheart,” Mom cooed, rubbing my belly as she untaped the diaper, “You’re being such a good girl for mommy.”

I flinched, squirmed at the touch of the baby wipes, at their chilliness as they dragged against my skin, wiping away the pee.

“You’re ok, you’re ok, sweetheart,” Mom whispered, her hand pressing against my stomach, holding me firm as she continued to wipe. “Just relax, mommy will be down in just a minute.”

I looked away, looked out at the playground as my ankles were raised and my bottom was wiped. My eyes danced about the families below, checking to see if anybody was watching my change. And to my relief, not a single person seemed interested in my humility. Relief washed over me as my butt was laid onto a clean, fresh diaper. Relief that the change was almost over and relief that nobody had seen, that nobody had cared.

“Don’t worry, sweetheart, mommy’s almost down, just bear with me for another second,” Mom said, smoothing a fresh dusting of powder into my diaper area.

The powder smelled nice, felt nice against my skin, wicking away any moisture left over from the change. And I sighed as mom pulled the thick padding up between my legs, taping it snug around my hips. It felt good to be clean and dry. The diapers warm bulk adding a kind of security and comfort.

“There we go, all fresh now,” Mom cooed, helping me up. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

I shook my head, reaching my arms out for a hug. “Thank you, mommy.”

“You’re welcome, sweetheart,” Mom said, holding me close, rubbing my back. “And thank you for letting me change your diaper.”

I giggled as she patted my bottom. I could feel myself slipping away, could feel that little version of myself climbing closer and closer to the surface. Her and I becoming one as I let my defenses down, as I let myself become the toddler I was supposed to be. It was a happy feeling, nice and warm. It felt safe, and I felt loved.

“Now what do you say we go and have some fun?”

I nodded, climbing to my feet, my eyes turning to dad, my hand sliding into his own. “Will you swing with me, daddy?”

“I’d love to, pumpkin,” He said, following after me as I pulled him down to the playground.

Mom stood, shocked. “Oh, I see how it is, mommy changes the diapers and daddy does all the playing.” Her voice was happy, sarcastic.

Daddy and I both giggled at her. “You can swing to mommy, daddy has to push.”

More laughter, more giggles.

I ran to the playground, the little rocks sliding beneath my feet on the way. It brought back memories from when I was younger, from when life had been simpler, when everything had been happier and better. Just like now, that feeling of happiness that washed over my body as dad helped me onto the swing, taking his place behind me, his firm, strong hands pushing against my back. I smiled. A true smile, giggled like the little girl I was. In my fear of letting go, in my fear of returning to babyhood I had forgotten what this had all felt like, how much fun it had been, how loved I had felt. And yet, even in this moment, I could feel myself thinking back to school, thinking back to my friends, and my responsibilities. I knew that I wasn’t really a baby, knew that this was all just pretend, knew that I was supposed to be mature and grown-up. But right here, right now, none of that mattered.

“Higher daddy!”

“Not too much higher, pumpkin,” Dad chuckled. “I don’t want you to fall and hurt yourself.”

No, at this moment, all that mattered was that I was happy and that my parents were happy. This was a moment I would cherish and remember forever. Looking out over the playground from my swinging perch, I watched the other kids and toddlers running about. They looked so carefree and happy. Much in the same way I felt right now. The only difference was that they were actual kids and toddlers, I wasn’t. I was an imposter amongst their ranks. And I felt a slight bit of Jealsuy rising within me as I longed to be back in their place, wishing I had never grown up in the first place. At least then I wouldn’t know what I was missing, wouldn’t know what it was like to be free and independent. It would make letting go easier, would make this whole process easier.

I sat on the swing for a while longer, watching as more and more families left the park. Most of those leaving most likely leaving to eat their own lunches or heading home for nap time. It gave me an opportunity to explore and play. I didn’t have to worry about being judged if only a few people were here, and so I pulled myself off the swing, stepping towards, the play structure itself, hesitating, looking back for my parents.

“It’s alright, pumpkin,” Dad said, motioning me forward. “You can go play, I’m right behind you.”

I smiled, his words inspiring confidence inside myself. I turned back to the structure, my eyes scanning all the obstacles and things to climb, settling on a twisting later. I ran forward, grabbing the cool metal with my hands, climbing up, feeling free, feeling like a little kid again. And then I paused, looked back, a bit of worry in my eyes. “Daddy, will you come up with me?”

“I’m right behind you, pumpkin.”

I smiled again, taking his words in stride as I climbed to the top of the platform, looking around at all the options, all the exits and obstacles. My eyes stopped on the monkey bars. “Daddy, look,” I said, pulling him over to take part in my excitement. “Mommy, can you help me?”

Mom was already standing underneath, ready to help, ready to encourage. “Go ahead sweetheart, I’ve got you.”

I reached out for the bars, getting my grip, looking back once more for dad’s nod of approval, and then I swung out, holding tight as mom walked beneath me, ready to catch me in case I fall. Something that proved unnecessary as I worked my way across to the other side, pulling myself to the next platform. “Come on, daddy, hurry up!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming.”

I hadn’t realized how much I had missed this, how much I had missed running about and playing on the playground. How much fun it had been to run and jump and slide and play without a single care in the world. I looked about, searching for my next adventure as dad caught up. My eyes landed on a stairway leading up to a higher platform, a platform much higher than the one I was on now. I looked beyond it, looked at the twisting and turning slide leading from the top. That was definitely next. “This one, daddy,” I said, pointing towards the stairs.

“Well go on then, pumpkin, what are you waiting for?”

That was all I needed, I giggled running up the stairs, pulling myself up to the platform, looking out at the playground from my new perch. It was so cool up here. It felt as though I was on top of the world. I looked down at mom down below as she snapped a picture on her phone. “We’re coming down!” I screamed, sitting down at the entrance of the slide. “Slide with me, daddy?”

Dad sat down behind me, his legs on either side of my own. He pulled me onto his lap, wrapped his arms around my stomach as he scooted himself towards the edge, my giggles echoing into the slide.

“You ready?”

“Uh-uh.”

“Here we go!”

I leaned into him, giggling and screaming as we slid down the dark tube. Our laughs mixing together as we twisted and turned our way down the slide. The darkness quickly giving way to light as we slid out the exit and into mom’s waiting arms.

“Was that fun?” Mom asked, her hands assaulting me with tickles as dad held me pinned against him. All of us laughing, all us having fun.

“Ye… Yes… Stop… I… I can’t breathe.” I choked out between my giggles and laughs. Mom finally stopped and I was able to catch my breath, standing up, looking around, seeing what I wanted to do next.

“Where to, pumpkin?” Dad asked, still sitting on the slide. "I should start calling you monkey the way you did those monkey bars.

“Nu-uh,” I giggled.

“Ya-uh,” He said, tickling me once more.

I squirmed, laughing in his arms, resting for a moment before looking up at him, my gaze narrowed, serious.

“What?” He asked.

I grinned, standing up, pushing his stomach before turning to run. “You’re it!”

The look on his face was priceless, serious, as he turned towards mom. “You better run, honey, I’m it.”


We pulled our tired, exhausted selves up under the shade of the tree half an hour later. Dad lay on his back, exhausted from chasing me around. I followed suit, resting my head against his stomach, equally exhausted from being chased. It was mom who summoned her energy to bring us all water. Dad drank greedily from his water bottle while I sucked heavily on my sippy cup, the water adding just enough fuel to keep me going.

“You guys hungry?” Mom asked, pulling out our cooler.

We both nodded and dad moved to help mom pull stuff out and get lunch ready.

Minutes later I was handed a plate with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and grapes. A perfect lunch after a busy day of playing.

We ate in silence, all of us catching our breathe, enjoying the shade as we watched the other families running and playing down at the park. As much as it pained me to admit it, mom and dad had been right. Today had been fun, and once my anxiety and fear calmed down I had been truly able to enjoy it, all of it. It just felt good to get away from everything, to forget about everything for a little bit, and enjoy life.

I finished up eating and took another long draw from my sippy cup. With my tired body and a belly full of food, a food coma started to wash over my body. I was getting groggy, tired. I needed to sleep, needed a nap. Crawling over to mom, I laid down with my head in her lap, relaxing, breathing slowly as I closed my eyes.

“You getting tired, sweetheart?” She asked, running her fingers through my hair.

I nodded. “Mm-hmm.”

“Do you want your pacifier?”

Again, I nodded. “Mm-hmm”

Moments later I felt the nipple of my pacifier brushing against my lips. I opened, letting mom slide the pacifier inside. It settled against my tongue as I suckled it slowly, enjoying the comfort and relaxation it brought. I didn’t care if it was meant for babies, not now, not at this moment. All I cared about was sleeping, and it helped me sleep. Helped me to block out the sounds around me, helped my mind to drift off…

I next opened my eyes to see dad buckling me into my car seat.

“Hey, pumpkin,” Dad whispered, tightening the straps against my body. “It’s alright to sleep, baby, daddy didn’t mean to wake you.”

And with that he was gone, the door was shut, leaving me by myself. I still felt so tired, and sleep beckoned me back to its warm embrace. I suckled my pacifier, enjoying its comfort as I rested my head against the side of the car seat, closing my eyes, letting sleep wash back over me as my mind drifted off, a smile on my face. Maybe being a baby isn’t so bad after all.

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I just want to say this is a truly awesome story and I can’t wait for more, I think our little toddler would love some lotion massages during her evening change haha. But for real this story is really good and enjoyable to read can’t wait for more. Actually a cool suggestion maybe later down the line is her transitioning to cloth nappies. But yeah keep up the awesome work! :slight_smile:

Hey there !

Sorry for not commenting on the first chapters. It takes some time to get on writing one with words that reflect well what I think.

I really like your story and even if the plot is a “classic” abdl one ( I really really don’t mean anything pejorative here, classic is good) your writting, especially the thought and feeling description, touch me deep.
I can’t remember a story that had been as gut wrenchind as this one. I don’t actually know why I’m being so emotional while reading it (definitely not good at this kind of stuff) but I guess the duality of the pleasure of letting go and culpability of knowing you shouldn’t quite strikes a chord with me.

It was never as good and as difficult to read a fantasy I can completely relate with.

Hope to read more soon.

Thank you for your work.

Cheers!

Yes this is a great story so far. Would love to see her maybe meet others who are diapered also.

Thank you!!! And lotion massages are a great idea, I’m going to have to keep that one in mind. And as far as cloth nappies go, I know absolutely nothing about them, that’s something that was a bit before my time. I’m a 2000s baby :slight_smile:

Ha, no problem, commenting is not required, as long as you enjoy what I write as is even, lol.

And yes, the plot is definitely a classic. I’ve written here and there in the past, but this is my first true attempt at a novel, and so I wanted to start with some more classic material before trying something that is more complex like a diaper dimension story.

And thank!!! I love when people comment on how the story makes them feel. My goal with this story is to detail and describe the conflict within oneself and how you can both want something and not want it at the same time. While the story is essentially a diaper punishment story, I wanted it to be done out of love and wanted the protagonist to have these hidden feelings about the whole thing that they struggle to let out and understand :slight_smile:

Thank you!!! And a playdate with another maybe something done the line, and or she might be playing with actual toddlers, who knows :slight_smile:

Fair enough glad to be able to suggest some ideas

My Patreon Page :slight_smile:

Chapter 5: Life Continues

I looked out the car window, watching as people flocked back and forth from the store. It was busy. There had been a slight panic growing in my stomach all morning, making me feel nauseous. A feeling of fear and dread for what lay ahead. I knew it was just Publix, knew it was just a trip to the grocery store, and yet it was so much more.

“Mommy, do we have to?” I asked, my eyes pleading with her, hoping she would change her mind at the last second. Hoping that we would turn around and go back home.

“Sweetheart, mommy already told you that we need to go shopping, and I can’t leave you home alone by yourself.”

“But…”

“no buts.”

I huffed, sitting back in my car seat, pouting. “I don’t want to.”

“Emily…” The warning was stern, and mom’s look as she climbed out of the car made it known that I should stop while I was ahead.

She crossed over to my side of the car and opened the door. I gave her one more pitiful look as she unbuckled me from the car seat, lifting me down to the ground before reaching back in for my diaper bag.

“At least I was dressed with some sort of dignity,” I thought, looking down at the shorts and shirt set mom had dressed me in. The shorts were a simple pink with white leg cuffs. The material was stretchy and hugged my diaper, doing nothing to hide the thick bulge underneath. The shirt was white with pink outlining around the sleeves and collar, it had little shoulder straps sewn on like a baby’s onesie. On my feet were a pair of pink and white sneakers with white socks underneath. The outfit was cute, for a toddler.

“Come on, sweetheart,” Mom said, holding her hand out to me, waiting for me to take hold.

I didn’t want to, didn’t want to leave the car, didn’t want to be seen.

Mom stepped towards me, making the decision for me as she grabbed my hand. “Emily, come on, sweetheart, let’s go.”

Reluctantly, I followed, letting her lead me through the parking lot; our first shopping trip together as mommy and toddler in a great many years. I Had avoided this very moment for over a week now, had avoided being seen by so many people. I had made every excuse under the sun to keep mom from taking me out, and today had been the day she decided enough was enough. The only other time I had been out of the house was the trip to the park last weekend, but that had been deserted compared to this.

I trudged across the parking lot, trying to slow our pace, trying to keep the inevitable from happening as we made our way closer to the entrance. That feeling of dread and fear increasing with each step. It was just a grocery store; the same one I had been to a hundred times. It was just another everyday chore, and yet it was so scary, so new. I had never realized how many people were here before, but now, every person was a threat, was somebody who would see me dressed like a baby, diaper and all. I felt like I was going to be sick.

“Emily…” Mom said, looking down at me, trying to pull me along, trying to get me to walk faster. “We don’t have all day, sweetheart.”

I shook my head, pulled away from her. “Please, mommy, don’t make me go in there.” My eyes were starting to water as tears took form, as that panic manifested inside of me, all those emotions, all that fear and dread.

Mom sighed, looking impatient and yet understanding. As though she were just dealing with another fussy toddler. “Sweetheart, nobody will see anything but an adorable little girl out shopping with her mommy.”

“Promise?”

“Promise,” Mom said, picking me up, settling me on her hip. She grabbed the pacifier dangling from my shirt and slipped it into my mouth, holding it there as she waited for me to suckle.

And suckle I did, trying to soothe myself with the comfort of the soft nipple.

“Are you going to be ok now?”

I waited for a second before nodding, the look of fear still in my eyes as I clung to her shirt, uneasy as she carried me into the store, suckling the pacifier even harder as I tried to comfort myself. My eyes darted from person to person, waiting to see recognition in their eyes, waiting for them to realize that I wasn’t actually a toddler.

The clanging of shopping carts pulled my attention back to mom, back to the cart she was setting my diaper bag in.

“Can you sit down for me, sweetheart?” She asked, moving me from her hip, helping me to slide each of my feet through the leg holes on the cart. I hadn’t sat in one in years.

“Sweetheart, can you let go of mommy please?”

I nodded releasing the death grip I had on her shirt, taking hold of the handrail instead, looking up at her with my worried face as I shuffled about on the hard, plastic seat, trying to get comfortable. It was the one and only time I had been glad to be wearing a diaper, the thick padding providing at least some cushioning for my bottom.

Mom pushed the cart into the store, smiling at me as she walked. It was weird riding backward, and yet comforting at the same time. Being able to see mom, being able to have her close made me feel safe. And at the same time, not knowing where we were going, not knowing who was behind me let that feeling of anxiety and fear continue to flourish.

As mom walked, my eyes continued to dart from person to person, that look of worry still on my face as I scanned each face I saw. And still, nobody had stopped to gawk and stare, nobody had stopped to point and laugh, nobody really seemed to care, they were all caught up in their own little worlds. And the ones who did see me, who did acknowledge me, smiled and waved, mouthing ‘hi’ as though I were baby. And that brought me sweet relief.

Mom leaned forward, kissing me on the forehead, her hands brushing over mine on the handrail, rubbing them gently. “you can relax, sweetheart. I promise nobody will know; nobody will care.”

I hadn’t realized how hard I had been squeezing the handrail, how hard I had been nursing my pacifier. I nodded at her, letting my grip lighten, easing up on the pacifier, but still suckling it, still soothing myself as mom pushed the cart through the store.

“I know something that will cheer you up,” Mom said, passing through the produce area. It was always our first stop in the store. Only, mom kept pushing me along, passing it by. “How about we go and get a cookie.”

I looked up at her, confused, unsure of what to make of the question. We had never stopped to get cookies before.

Mom chuckled. “Would you like a cookie? We can go get one if you’d like?”

I craned my neck, trying to turn around to see where mom was pushing me. It was the bakery section, the sweet smell of baked bread wafted from the counter, but that wasn’t what my eyes settled on, that wasn’t what mom was pushing me towards. She was heading right for the cookie club. The free cookies. They were meant for little kids. And I was a… I was a little kid; I was a toddler. That meant I got a free cookie. The realization dawned on me as mom pulled the cart beside the case so I could see the selection. It still didn’t seem true.

I looked back up at mom, my eyes asking her if I could have one, waiting for her permission before getting my hopes up.

She chuckled. “would you like one?”

I nodded, turning back to the case, my eyes beaming with excitement as I pointed at the chocolate chip cookies. “I want that one,” I mumbled around the pacifier.

“Can I help you, mam?”

The voice made me jump and my eyes wandered upwards, making eye contact with the guy standing behind the counter. He was young, his face still immature.

“Here for a cookie?” He asked, smiling at me, his voice was higher now, using a tone reserved for small children.

I blushed turning away from him, hiding my face as my cheeks turned red.

“Sorry she’s a bit shy,” Mom said to the guy, giving him a small smile before looking back down at me. “But she would love a cookie.”

“Well then, you’re just in time,” He said, “These just came out the oven a few minutes ago.”

“Ohh, yummy,” Mom said, rubbing my back. "Which one do you want sweetheart? The chocolate chip?

I nodded.

“Can she get a chocolate chip, please?”

“A wise choice,” The guy said, “One chocolate chip for the princess coming right up.”

I let a small smile slip at the nickname and his silliness before turning back to watch, sneaking a glance as he pulled the cookie from the case. He caught me watching him and smiled again, giving me a little wave through the glass. The smile was warm and inviting, kind. I didn’t feel the need to turn away again, to hide, I felt comfortable around him.

“Here you are, madam,” He said, reaching over the counter, holding the cookie out to me.

I looked up at mom once more, making sure it was ok to take the cookie, asking once more for her permission.

“Well, go on sweetheart, it’s your cookie.”

Smiling, I reached out and grabbed it from the guy, pulling it close, feeling its warmth in my hands. He was right, they did just come out of the oven.

“Can you say thank you, sweetheart?”

I looked up at him, meeting his kind smile once more. “Thank you,” I whispered, my words coming out slurred around the pacifier, making me sound like a toddler.

“You’re most welcome,” The guy said, taking a bow, making me giggle at last before turning to mom. “She’s a tough cookie to crack, but I always get a laugh.” He chuckled at his own joke, waving to us as mom started to push the cart again. “Have a good one, mam.”

Thank you, you too."

I peered around mom, watching the guy disappear into the back as mom pushed me back to the produce section. I let the pacifier fall from my mouth. “He was funny,” I said, giggling at how silly he had acted.

“He was,” Mom said, pushing me along, stopping every now and then to add something to our cart. “He just wanted to see that beautiful smile of yours.”

I giggled, swinging my legs happily as I stared at the cookie in my hands, happy with my reward. I took a bite, letting the warm cookie melt in my mouth as its chocolaty goodness spread over my tastebuds. “Mmmm.”

“Is it good?”

“Uh-huh,” I said, taking another bite, swinging my legs happily as mom continued to shop. The word around me seeming to fade away, to become less important as I focused on my cookie, paying no mind to all the people I had been so worried about. It felt good to be treated so young, felt good to be rewarded for simple things like coming to the grocery store.

She came back with a bag of bags of vegetables, nothing I paid much attention to, nor that I could see as it was placed in the cart behind my back. I didn’t need to worry about stuff like that, didn’t need to let my brain get caught up in such adult responsibilities. My only job was to sit still and eat my cookie. And I had no problem doing that at all, had no problem pretending to be a toddler.

As mom wandered off again, grabbing more things, I stuffed the last bite of the cookie into my mouth, savoring the last bite before it was gone. And then I did the next logical thing to do, I turned to my fingers, licking the leftover chocolate off them, paying no mind to how it looked or what others thought, paying no mind to the chocolate smeared on my face.

“You are covered in chocolate, sweetheart,” Mom said, coming back to the cart, pushing me forward again, walking to the next aisle.

I giggled at her, continuing to lick my fingers as she pulled the cart over to the side. She went around the cart, behind my back, and started to rummage around in the diaper bag. When she came back, she had a baby wipe in her hand and stood in front of me, watching me for a minute before saying anything.

“Are you done eating your fingers, sweetheart?”

I giggled, nodding at her as I held my hands out, letting her wipe down each of my fingers and then my face all the while I was laughing at her, giggling, resisting playfully. Once she finished cleaning me up, she slipped the pacifier back into my mouth, holding her finger to her lips, letting me know I was being too loud as she continued to push the cart further down the aisle.

I suckled the pacifier, enjoying the feel of the soft nipple as mom went back to shopping. All I had cared about in that moment was having fun, there was no thought of what was proper and what was improper, no understanding of social rules. I had acted like a toddler, and it felt good. It felt good not to worry, felt good not to care, felt good to have all that fear and anxiety melt away as I grew comfortable with being in the store. It was beginning to get easier to pretend to be the happy, little, carefree toddler everyone saw me as. When everyone around me viewed me in that light, it was easy to slip away into that headspace and forget about being a big girl for a second. And so, I sat in the cart, suckling my pacifier, smiling, and swinging my legs like a happy child while mom shopped, taking me down aisle after aisle. My eyes still searching each face that passed us by, but it was for a different reason now. It wasn’t out of fear of being seen, but rather out of wanting to be seen. The kind smiles and little waves people gave me as they walked by made me feel cute and little, made me feel happy. And I giggled at every one of them. Putting on a show for them as I waved back, smiling with wide, bright eyes, enjoying being the center of attention, enjoying being the baby.

Only there was an ever-growing problem, an ever-growing urge. A familiar tight stretch, a pressure in my bladder. I needed to pee, and it was becoming ever more uncomfortable as I held it in, letting that pressure build. I started to squirm in my seat, squeezing my legs together to keep from having an accident. Something that had been so far ingrained in my mind; it was bad to have accidents. Only little babies had accidents. And then I realized what I was wearing, realized how I was acting. I was a diaper wearing-toddler, I was supposed to use my diapers, it was natural to use my diapers. And so I let it go, focusing off in the distance, letting my body relax as the warm pee soaked into my diaper. It felt good to be rid of that pressure, that uncomfortable feeling in my bladder.

“Good girl,” Mom said, smiling at me as she patted my knee.

I blushed at her praise. I hadn’t realized she knew, hadn’t realized she was watching as I wet my diaper. The thought of it was embarrassing, but it quickly left my mind as I felt something else. Another pressure was there, deep in my belly. A straining pull. I needed to go potty. I needed to poop.

“Mommy…” I whined, spitting out my pacifier, trying to get her attention. “Mommy…”

She turned to look at me, her soft smile still showing. “What is it, sweetheart?”

“I need to go potty.”

“You just went potty, sweetheart,” She laughed, walking over to me, playing with my hair.

“No, mommy… I need to go potty.” I said, that look of worry settling back over my face.

Mom still smiled, still played with my hair, comforting me, not looking surprised or acting concerned. “That’s alright, sweetheart,” She said, “You can go potty, and then we’ll go and get your diaper changed.”

I shook my head, squirming in my seat, holding back the waiting poo that was inching ever closer. “Mommy, please…”

“Emily, baby, it’s not a big deal, sweetheart, just go and I’ll change you afterward.”

I continued shaking my head, sitting back in the seat as tears formed in my eyes. I kept squeezing my legs together, refusing to commit such an infantile act in public. Sure, I had messed my diaper at home, had let mom change me, but that was at home, and we were at the store.

Those tears that had been forming in my eyes started to run down my face as mom pushed me down yet another aisle. I could feel myself losing the fight, could feel my sphincter muscles giving out, letting the warm mush squish out into my diaper, spreading out over my bottom as I was forced to sit the mess, my eyes going wide with shock as it all happened.

In my dazed state, I hadn’t noticed the strong infantile smell in the aisle. I looked over at the shelves and my eyes were met with a wall of diapers. The children printed on the packages seemed to stare back at me, mocking me for the accident I had just had in my pants, mocking me for needing diapers like some little baby. My bottom lip trembled, and I couldn’t help but let all those emotions bundled up inside of me explode out. All the fear, all the anxiety, all the happiness, all the giggles, the smiles, the excitement, the stress all of it, it was all too much. I started to breathe heavier, started to panic, letting the tears flow faster now as I started to cry, in a tantrum fit for a toddler.

And it finally got mom’s attention. She turned back to me from the diapers she was looking at, came to comfort me, pulled my head into her chest as she hugged me, trying to soothe me, trying to stop me from having a meltdown in the middle of the store.

“Emily, sweetheart, you’re fine baby, what’s the matter?” Mom asked, rubbing my back, and then she sniffed the air, smelled what I had done in my diaper. “Oh, baby, it’s ok, you’re alright, mommy will get you changed.”

But it wasn’t alright, I had messed my diaper, right in the middle of the store, just like a baby, like some little, helpless baby. And that was my breaking point, that was my last straw.

“Uh-oh, somebodies a little upset.” It was a new voice, a woman’s, soft and sweet, coming from behind me.

Mom looked up and smiled at the stranger. “Yes, I think we’ve had a little too much of the store today.”

The woman laughed. “I think we have to.”

I turned to see who it was, and my heart sank, I froze in my seat. It was a mother and her daughter. A little toddler, sitting in a shopping cart. A toddler just, just like me. Only she was a real toddler, and I was just pretending to be one. Or that’s at least what I told myself. There was no difference between us. The tears on her face matched mine, only her cries were being silenced by the pacifier in her mouth, the bulge of her diaper under her dress made it known that she was wet and in need of a change. We were the same. I cried harder.

Mom offered me the pacifier, trying to coax it into my mouth, trying to stop the flow of tears.

“No…” I choked out, pushing her hands away.

“Emily, baby,” Mom cooed, pleading with me, “It will help calm you down, sweetheart.”

But I didn’t want to be calmed down, I didn’t want to be soothed and cooed at like I was a baby. I wanted her to understand the way I felt, I wanted her to understand that I was uncomfortable and upset and angry and tired. I wanted her to understand that I wasn’t a baby.

Mom turned to the lady, still holding my pacifier. “I don’t understand, one minute they’re fine and the next they’re screaming and crying.”

“Yep, little Addison here is a bit grouchy and ready for her nap.”

“I think Emily needs a nap too, but first I need to get her pants changed.”

“I… I’m not… tired.” I said between my sobs wiping trying to wipe the tears off my face.

“Maybe not,” Mom said, offering me the pacifier again, “But you do need your diaper changed.”

I hiccupped once more watching as people stopped on their way to look down the aisle, curious to see who the crying baby was. It was enough to get me to listen to mom, and I finally let her slip the pacifier into my mouth, suckling it automatically as the tears continued to stream down my face. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I wanted to go back home. I wanted to go and play with my toys and snuggle up in my crib and forget this day ever happened.

“See, I told you it would help,” Mom cooed, rubbing my back as she pulled my head against her chest, comforting me once again. "well, I better go get this little one changed. It was nice talking to you though.

“It was,” The woman said, “Hopefully are little terrors didn’t scare everyone away.”

They both laughed at that one and then they were gone. It was just me and mom in the aisle.

“Do you feel better, sweetheart?”

I nodded, letting her pull away from me, suckling my pacifier as I tried to ignore the uncomfortable mess I was sitting on.

“Are you ready to go change your diaper?”

Again, I nodded. Mom turned the cart around and started to push me to the back of the store. I suckled in my seat, and when we reached the end of the aisle, I looked down the long strip in the back of the store. My cheeks flushed red darting between all the eyes watching me, all the eyes looking at my tear-streaked face, as mom headed for the bathrooms. If they hadn’t smelled me by now, they had to know I was being taken for a diaper change. And it was humiliating.

“Mommy, please don’t change me here,” I said, looking up at her.

“Sweetheart, where else am I going to change you?” She asked, grabbing the diaper bag from the cart. “I can’t leave you sitting in a messy diaper.”

“What about the car?”

“Do you really want to keep sitting in a dirty diaper while I finish shopping?”

“No…” I said, letting her lift me from the cart.

“Then let’s go change your diaper.”

Mom carried me into the woman’s restroom, thankfully, the one person inside was leaving as we entered. The baby changing station was on the far wall and mom set me down on my feet while she got ready to change my diaper. And I watched, shifting uncomfortably with the poop stuck to my bottom as mom opened the baby changing station before sitting the diaper bag down. She laid out my changing mat on top of the changing station followed by a fresh diaper, wipes, and powder.

“Alright, up you go, baby,” She said, laying me back on my back.

I suckled my pacifier, trying to ignore the change as mom pulled my shorts down, exposing my soiled diaper. I stared anxiously at the door, waiting for someone to walk in as mom untaped my diaper, lifting my legs to wipe the poop off my bottom. A wet wipe followed, cleaning off any remaining poop on my backside, taking that uncomfortable sticky feeling away with it. It felt good to be changed, relaxing, comforting. I let my mind start to wander and then the door squeaked. My eyes shot to the door, to the woman walking in. I froze in place, terrified by her presence, my eyes showing the concern and fear I held inside. She walked in, glanced in my direction, saw me lying naked on the changing table having my diaper changed. And the only thing she did was smile at me as she walked by and disappeared into a stall. Neither she nor mom seemed phased at all by the passing. And then I realized that in her mind, I was just another baby having her diaper changed. She didn’t see me as a big girl, she saw me as a baby. Just like all those people earlier. Even if I had had a meltdown, even if I had messed my diaper, their view of me didn’t change, they still saw me as a baby, probably more so than before. I smiled.

Soon after, mom was sitting me back in the cart, pushing me off to yet another aisle so that she could finish up shopping. And I was much happier. Being in a clean, fresh diaper felt much better compared to the soiled thing I had been in before. I was comfortable again, content. And all those people were still wandering the aisles, still smiling at me, still waving at me, uncaring that I had pooped myself. And I giggled and smiled back at them, happy to be the center of attention once again. Happy to be in a clean diaper.

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Chapter 6: Learning to Play

I laid on the couch, watching as yet another episode of Peppa Pig flashed across the screen, the bright colors and energetic characters melting through my brain as I stared past them, zoning off into nothing. I had watched enough cartoons to last me a lifetime. My gaze turned towards the ground, scanning over the toys scattered across the living room floor, looking for something to pique my interest, looking for something to put this boredom to rest. But I was tired of my baby dolls, I was tired of my blocks, I was tired of playing with toys meant for a toddler. They were boring.

Rolling onto my back, I stared up at the ceiling, sighing around my pacifier, taking comfort in the nipple as it eased my boredom, giving me something to fixate on while my mind wandered.

I wasn’t feeling very little today. I wasn’t in the mood to act and behave like some perfect, little toddler. I cringed, thinking back on my trip to the grocery store the other day, and how easily I had let myself become a toddler, how little thought I had put into my actions there. It was embarrassing to think that I could slip into that headspace so easily, that I could set my big girl mind and self up on a shelf and let myself become a toddler. It scared me that it came so easily. It shouldn’t be natural, and yet, it felt so right. And then my mind shifted to school, to what my friends and classmates were right now. A rush of frustration that I couldn’t be there filled my body. I wanted to know, needed to know what was going on in the world outside beyond this bubble of babyhood that my parents had sealed me in.

I shuffled again on the couch, trying to get more comfortable. My diaper didn’t feel quite right, and so I reached down to pull on it, trying to adjust the thick padding so that it felt better between my legs. And it was just my luck that mom walked by right then.

“Do you need your diaper changed, sweetheart?”

“No,” I said, my voice unenergetic, depressed. “It’s just uncomfortable.”

Mom smiled, setting down the laundry basket she had been carrying before walking over and taking a seat beside me, by my feet. “Well, first off, let me check it for you,” She said, reaching for the diaper, not asking, not waiting for permission.

“I don’t need a diaper change,” I said, kicking her hands away as I pushed myself further into my side of the couch, glaring at her from my spot. I didn’t need her to check my diaper like some helpless, little baby.

Mom sat back, a bit of shock in her eye, a bit of confusion, but no anger, no irritation. It didn’t seem possible to make her mad. “I’ve been checking and changing your diapers for two weeks now, sweetheart, what’s the matter?”

“What’s the matter is that I’m not a toddler,” I said standing up, starting to storm away from her.

“Emily, please come back here,” Mom said, her voice calm and settled yet serious.

I stopped in my tracks, thinking for a moment before turning to face her, arms crossed across my chest and scowl settled on my face. “No,” I said, letting my anger and frustrations seep out of me with that word. “I don’t want to wear diapers, I don’t want to use diapers, and I don’t want you to treat me like I’m some little baby!”

“Emily,” Mom said, her voice louder than before, “Come back here, please.”

I didn’t turn back this time, didn’t stop to say anything. I just continued on my path, storming out of the living room and heading for the stairs. I knew I wasn’t allowed to go up them myself. Toddlers weren’t allowed to use the stairs by themselves, but I didn’t care, I just needed to breathe for a minute, needed to get away from everything for a minute, needed to get away from mom for a minute.

“Emily.”

“Just leave me alone!” I screamed, starting up the stairs.

“Emily, where do you think you’re going, sweetheart?”

“I said, leave me alone!”

My footfalls echoed through the house as I stomped up the stairs, making sure mom heard each and every footfall of my defiance. I needed her to know that I was upset. I needed her to know that I was mad and frustrated and confused. And this was the only way I knew how to do it.

I threw mom yet another glare from the top of the stairs before I started down the hallway, heading for their room, a place I had come to consider my own with this baby treatment. I pushed open the door, taking in the familiar and comforting scent of baby powder, the smell of a nursery, before walking past my crib and changing table. I stopped at the rocking chair and pulled myself onto it, curling my legs and arms up into a tight little ball. My anger flared for a moment as I sat there, and then subsided, turned to something else. My chest rising fast and hard as a pain started to rise in my chest, and then I let it out, let all my pent up emotions out of my system as I started to cry, letting the tears flow. And those tears, that cry, turned to a sob moments after.

“Emily?”

It was mom. I looked over at the door, at her face as she slipped into the room, shutting the door with a soft click behind her.

“I… told you… to leave… me alone.” I choked out between my sobs, trying to wipe the tears away as she came closer.

“I can’t do that, sweetheart,” Mom said, kneeling down in front of me, reaching out to rub my back.

I broke down more, sobbing harder than before.

“Why are you so upset, sweetheart?”

I looked up at her with my red eyes and puffy face, trying to catch my breath before answering. “Because… I don’t… want to… be a… baby… anymore.”

Mom just kept smiling at me, kept rubbing my back as she let me cry some more. “Do you want a hug, sweetheart?”

I nodded, still crying as I unfolded myself from the little ball that I had been curled up in. I slid near the edge of the seat and held my arms out to mom, letting her comfort me, letting her warmth embrace me as she hugged me close and tight. I buried my face in her neck, taking comfort in her familiar touch and smell, her loving presence, all of it helping me to calm down as she held me in her arms.

“I’m sorry you’re upset, sweetheart.”

“No your not.”

Mom paused after that, still holding me tight, rubbing my back as she hugged me. “Why don’t we sit for a bit?”

“Ok,” I said, nodding, letting her stand up and pull me into her lap so that I was cradled in her arms on the rocking chair. She didn’t say anything for a few minutes. She just rocked, humming softly as she rubbed my back, letting my tears slow to a stop over the minutes as I got my emotions back under control.

I was the first to break the silence. “I’m sorry, mommy,” I said, and then the tears fell.

“Hey, hey, hey, it’s alright, sweetheart, it’s alright,” Mom cooed, rubbing my back, smiling at me as I choked my tears back once again.

“Are… Are you mad at me?”

There was a pause for a second. “No, I’m not mad,” Mom said, “Sometimes we all have big emotions that are hard to control. I just want to make sure you’re ok, and I want to know why you’re so upset in the first place.”

I shifted in her lap, thinking back to what had made me so upset. Thinking back to all the frustration and boredom that had filled my body. “I don’t want to be a baby anymore,” I said, “It’s boring.”

“That’s alright, sweetheart, sometimes we don’t like change because it’s hard. And it’s ok to be upset and tell others how you feel, but you can’t yell at mommy or daddy and then go and break the rules, you have to talk to us, you have to tell us how you’re feeling.”

“It’s just hard.”

“What’s hard?”

“Talking about the way I feel.”

“And why is that hard?”

“Because I don’t know how I feel. Sometimes I feel happy and ok with being a toddler and other times it makes me mad and angry and frustrated. It’s like I want to both be a big girl and a baby girl at the same time and I don’t understand why.”

My eyes were starting to well up again with tears and mom used the sleeve of her shirt to wipe them away, still rocking me, still soothing me as she listened.

“And that’s perfectly alright, sweetheart, you’re not always going to always like or be ok with what’s going on, but that’s why we talk about the way we feel so that daddy or I or both of us can help you navigate your feelings, alright?”

I nodded. “I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to be sorry, sweetheart, if anything I should be saying sorry to you for not understanding your emotions.”

“It’s ok, I forgive you.”

“Thank you.”

“But I still don’t understand why I feel this way. I don’t understand why I’m happy to be a toddler one day, like the other day at the grocery store, and then today I don’t even want to look at any of the toys. It feels like I’m two different people right now, and I don’t understand it.”

“You want to know what I think it is?”

“What?”

“I think that you’re just finding it hard to let go and be a kid again.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, you’re not two different people, sweetheart, you’re still you when you’re feeling bigger like today, and you’re still you when you’re feeling little like at the grocery store or at the park. Just sometimes the situation makes it easier to let go and forget. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious it can be easy to revert back to a time when you felt safe and secure. And at the same time, when you feel safe and loved and cared for, any shame or embarrassment you have with acting or behaving like a toddler disappears and you let yourself sink back to that headspace.”

“But how do I do that?”

“You know what, sweetheart, why don’t I show you?”

“How are you going to show me?”

“We’re going to go play with some toys and have a little fun.”

“But all the toys you gave me are boring, they’re meant for a toddler.”

“You didn’t seem to have any problem playing with them the other day.”

“Ya, but it was different, I was feeling little then.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea.”

“What is it?”

Mom slipped me from her lap, standing me on the ground.

“Come on, I’ll show you,” She said, heading for the hallway.

I followed her out into the hallway and to the spot where the attic ladder was. Mom grabbed the string holding the door closed and pulled it, opening up the spot in the ceiling and letting the ladder open up.

Mom turned back to me, holding out her hand. “I bet there are some more toys from when you were younger stored away up there, why don’t we go and see if you want to play with anything?”

“Ok,” I said, smiling, intrigued by this little adventure mom was putting together. I took her hand and let her guide me in front of her so that she could climb up close behind me, making sure that I didn’t slip and fall.

“Be careful, sweetheart,” Mom said, her hand on my butt as I started to climb.

“I’m being careful.”

Moments later, we were both standing in the attic. Its corners were hidden away in a frightening darkness until mom switched on the little light hanging from the rafters. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a little scared with the unknown and darkness that was the attic. Something mom seemed to sense.

“You’re alright, sweetheart, I’m right behind you.”

I turned to face mom, a bit of worry flashing in my eyes as I grabbed her hand. She smiled, squeezing back, reassuring me as she led me over to a corner where a couple of tote buckets were stacked.

“Now, I’m not sure what stuff is where, so we’re just going to have to keep looking through them until you find something you want to play with.”

“It’s like a surprise box,” I said, that feeling of excitement returning as let my hand slide from mom’s. And I watched her pull the first box down, setting it down between us. She pulled the top off and we both peered inside. It was a collection of my old children’s books, boring.

“Definitely not these,” I said my attention already shifting to the next box.

“You used to love these when you were younger,” Mom said, reaching down to pick up one of the books. “I used to read to you every night before you went to bed, you wouldn’t go to sleep otherwise.”

“Why don’t you read to me now?”

“You know, I just didn’t think about it,” Mom said, putting the book back. “Why don’t daddy and I pull some down later, and then we can read a story before bed tonight.”

“Yes, please,” I said, pulling on the top of the next box.

“Here, let me help you, sweetheart,” Mom said, easily removing the top. Again, we both peered inside, waiting to see what was inside. It was Play-Doh, a lot of really old and dried up Play-Doh. But there were still all the add ons that allowed you to make all sorts of things from kitchen stuff to cany to little animals.

“Can we play with this, mommy?” I asked reaching into the box, digging through to see what all was in there.

“Hmm, I don’t think this one is happening today, sweetheart, it’s been sitting too long,” Mom said, reaching for another box. “But we can get some more and play another day if you’d like.”

“Can we?”

“Absolutely.”

My attention shifted again to the third box as mom set it down. Again, she pulled the top off and we both peered inside. My eyes went wide with excitement this time and I started to jump up and down with giddy excitement like a child on Christmas morning. The little, brown logs bringing back endless days of fun and joy from my childhood.

“Lincoln Logs!”

Mom laughed as I started to dig through the bucket and pull parts and pieces out. “Why don’t we take this downstairs and play in the living room,” She said, coaxing the pieces from my hands before dropping them back in the bucket.

“Alright,” I said, jumping back up, “Come on, mommy, hurry, let’s go.”

“In a minute, sweetheart, slow down for a second, mommy has to put these other boxes back, and then we can go play.”

Minutes later, mom set the box of Lincoln Logs down on the living room floor and pulled the top off, letting me have at it.

I started to dig and pull out the pieces, humming to myself as I set off building a little house. Mom was starting her own little pile of logs, starting to build a structure of her own.

“What are you building over there, sweetheart?”

“A house,” I said, beaming a smile her way as I moved so she could see. “Do you like it?”

“I love it,” She said, making me giggle, “And what is your house for?”

“I don’t know yet,” I said, grabbing yet another piece and fitting it into place. “Right now it’s just a house.”

“Well, if build a house too then we’ll have two houses.”

And just like that, a light bulb went off in my head. “We could make a village!” I said, “And then we could make a castle and dragon could come and attack it! Just like a fairytale! And then we could have one of my dolls fight off the dragon and save the town!”

Mom laughed. “One thing at a time, sweetheart, let’s get these houses finished first and then we can worry about building a village.”

“Ok,” I said, my imagination racing and playing out every scene in my head as I continued to build, as I continued to play, letting any sense of time or the world around me slip away as I became absorbed in the moment. I let myself slip back to that happy place in my mind where all the cares and worries of the world disappeared, where I truly was a toddler. It was easier to stay there, like when we were at the grocery store, it was easier to stay there than to try and act like the big girl I knew I wasn’t. Acting big was tough and energy-consuming and brought sadness and tears and frustrations with it. But being little was easy and fun and brought joy and laughter and fun with it.

And soon, one hour turned to two hours, and our two houses turned to six houses as we made progress with our little village. Mom had even helped me build a little farm area where animals could run around and play. At some point, there had been a familiar build-up in my bladder, a familiar urge, but I had paid no mind to it as I played, ignoring the need to pee. Rather, I relaxed, letting it go, not caring, not thinking, as I let warm urine flood into the padding of my diaper. I didn’t even tell mom, playing was too much fun to stop and worry about something as silly as a wet diaper. A diaper change would only pull me away from my newfound toys.

And then naptime came.

“Alright, sweetheart,” Mom said, sitting back from the building she was working on. “It’s about time for your nap.”

“No,” I whined, looking up at her with puppy dog eyes, not wanting to stop playing.

“Ya, it is,” Mom said, standing up and stretching her legs. “Now what do you say we go and get you laid down in your crib for some sleepies.”

“But mommy, I’m not tired,” I whined again, still playing, still building the little village that has started to take up residence in the living room.

“Oh, but with that tone, you must be a sleepy girl,” Mom said, walking over to me, reaching down to pick me up from the ground. “And you have a wet diaper,” She said, patting my wet bottom, “When did you go pee-pee, sweetheart?”

“I don’t know,” I said, laying my head against her shoulder, slipping my thumb into my mouth.

Mom bounced me as she carried me towards the stairs, making me whimper more as I pointed back towards the living room, back towards my toys.

“No, you can’t go back and play, sweetheart, it’s naptime,” Mom said, patting my bottom again. “And where did you leave your pacifier? You haven’t used it the entire day.”

She was right. I hadn’t used it since my tantrum this morning. And I had no idea where I had left it. Worry crossed over my face, a few tears started to form as my bottom lip trembled. I wanted my pacifier, and I had no idea where it was. I wanted to panic with that thought, with the thought of losing my comfort object. I needed it, more so than I realized.

“Hey, hey, it’s alright, sweetheart,” Mom cooed, moving up the stairs, “We’ll just get you another one for now and mommy will find your other one while you sleep, ok?”

I nodded, settling back down onto her shoulder as my thumb found its way back to my mouth, understanding but not thrilled with her solution.

Moments later, we were back in mom and dad’s bedroom, back with that familiar nursery scent, that smell that was so calming and comforting.

Mom laid me down on the changing table and reached into one of the drawers pulling out a fresh pacifier, gently replacing my thumb with its soothing nipple. And I suckled it, laying loose and limp as she pulled my shorts off my legs and tugged my shirt free from my body, leaving me in only my wet diaper. But still, I didn’t struggle, didn’t fuss. I just laid back, enjoying the moment, enjoying being cared for as she fanned out a fresh diaper and popped open the tub of baby wipes. And then the tapes of my diaper were ripped off and the familiar, soothing coolness of a baby wipe worked over my diaper bits, taking with it the dampness of my pee. It made me smile behind my pacifier. Made me smile at how lovingly mom went about changing my diaper. How gentle and thorough she was. How she seemed to enjoy the bonding moment as much as I did, humming to herself as she worked the wipe across my bottom now. And then my legs were lowered onto a thick, fresh diaper. She smoothed a dusting of powder over my butt and privates and then taped the diaper up nice and snug.

“Alright, sweetheart, let’s get you tucked in,” Mom whispered lifting me from the changing table. She carried me over to my crib and laid me gently inside, taking care to make sure that my head was resting comfortably on the pillow and making sure that the blanket was tucked snuggly around my body.

And then the lights were off and she was gone.

I laid there for a moment, enjoying the warm bulk of my diaper as my eyes started to close, as my mind started to drift, slipping off into sleep.

And then I was jerked awake as my pacifier was pulled from my mouth, my eyes widening in shock before settling back down as another nipple was slipped into my mouth. I suckled it, receiving a warm stream of formula. That familiar, thick, sweet, substance flowing out over my tongue. It was comforting. I suckled more, nursing as my hands reached up, grabbing the baby bottle that had been placed in my mouth. The warm formula filled my tummy with a reassuring warmth allowing my eyes to close again, allowing my mind to drift back to sleep.

“Good girl,” Mom whispered, kissing me on the cheek. “Mommy loves you, baby girl.”

I smiled at her words as she slipped out of the room again, leaving me to nurse in peace. She had been right. It was easy to be little, to allow myself to slip into this state of being loved and cared for, to stop worrying about all those silly adult things that kept making me angry and upset. I didn’t like those feelings, didn’t like being big. This is what I want, this is what makes me happy. A clean diaper, a warm crib, and a comforting bottle. I liked being a baby.

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Chapter 7: Dinner Out

“Emily!” Mom called, “Come on, sweetheart, we need to get going.”

“Coming mommy!” I yelled over my shoulder, looking to see if mom was watching me, looking to see if she was waiting for me. She wasn’t. Good. That meant I had a few more minutes to play. I turned back to my toys, back to the Barbie doll that I was playing with. She was one of the people in the village that I had built in the living room. The same village that mom and I had started days ago after she had pulled that tote of Lincoln Logs down from the attic for me to play with. Only now, my play area spanned across the living room, taking up most of the space between the coffee table and the TV, and now involved train tracks, blocks, dominos, barbie, and anything and everything else I could get my hands on to keep building. Still, I smiled, thinking back to the first few houses mom and I had built. They were still there, right by the center of the village, but they paled in comparison to the castle dad had helped me build later that night. The block walls and towers surrounding the castle had been dad’s idea and they stood out amongst everything else that had been built. It had become our little project, and I was loving every minute of it.

“Emily!” Mom called again, “Let’s go, sweetheart.”

I looked over my shoulder, clutching the Barbie doll in my hands as mom appeared around the corner.

“What are you doing, sweetheart?” Mom asked, stepping closer to me.

“Playing,” I mumbled, my gaze turning towards the ground as I shifted my attention back to playing, trying to act as innocent as possible, not wanting to leave.

Mom sighed, kneeling down beside me, playing with my hair as she spoke. “You can play later, sweetheart, but right now we need to get going or we’re going to be late.”

“But I don’t want to go,” I whined.

“If you don’t want to go then I’m going to have to tell daddy that his little princess doesn’t go and meet him then.”

“Daddy?” I asked, perking up.

Mom laughed. “Yes, who did you think we were meeting for dinner?”

In truth, I hadn’t really thought all that hard on it. I didn’t even know where we were going. “Alright, I’ll go,” I said, “But can I play for five more minutes, please?”

“Sorry, sweetheart,” Mom said, shaking her head, “Daddy’s already on his way there, we need to get going.”

I nodded with a huff as I set my Barbie doll down, letting my eyes linger on the toys for a second before turning to mom. “Do you think daddy will play with me later?”

“I’m sure he’d love to,” Mom said, pulling me to my feet, “But right now we need to get your socks and shoes on so we can go and meet him.”

I nodded again, starting towards the entryway bench when I felt mom’s hand on my chest, holding me still.

“Let’s check your diaper before leaving,” She said, lifting up the back of my dress, slipping a few fingers past the waistband of my diaper so that she could pull it back and peer inside. “No poopies,” She said, letting the diaper snap back into place before reaching between my legs, slipping two fingers past the cuff of my diaper. “And no pee-pees.”

I blushed at the intrusion but said nothing as mom patted my bottom, urging me forward again.

“Now, let’s go see about getting you some shoes.”


The drive to the restaurant didn’t take long and dad was already standing outside his car waiting for us when mom pulled in next to him in the busy parking lot. I smiled at him through the window, kicking my legs happily as he approached my door, opening it.

“Daddy!”

“Hey, pumpkin,” Dad said, reaching in to unbuckle me. Once I was free, he lifted me from the seat and into his arms, kissing my cheek as he patted my bottom. “Did you have a good day?”

“Ya,” I giggled."

“Ya? That’s good. Did you miss me, cause I missed you?” He asked, tickling my belly, making me squirm and giggle in his arms, hiding my laughter in his neck, enjoying being with him, enjoying seeing him after his being at work all day.

“Is daddy being silly?” Mom asked, walking around from the other side of the car, diaper bag in arms.

“Uh-huh,” I said, nodding as dad bounced me in his arms, letting me catch my breath as he turned his attention to my hair, playing with one of my pigtails. “I love what mommy did with your hair today, pumpkin,” He said, “It’s so cute, and you’re my adorable, little princess.”

I let a few more giggles escape as I was carried towards the restaurant. I turned in dad’s arms to see where we were at. Despite being treated as though I were a toddler, I could still read. It was the Gondola House, a frequent weekend venture of ours. One that was an easy stop for some good homemade pizza and a family atmosphere. It was one of our favorites, and my stomach growled in anticipation as we approached the door.

Dad chuckled, tickling my stomach once more. 'Are you hungry, pumpkin?"

I nodded as mom opened the door, letting dad carry me inside. Almost immediately, my ears and eyes and nose were wound up with the new atmosphere, concentrating on the stimulus flooding my brain. The restaurant was completely open from the lobby to the dining area to the kitchen. Like one big room. And it was crowded and noisy, people were talking and laughing and eating everywhere. And then there was the smell of pizza wafting through the air. It triggered a bunch of different emotions within me. Hunger, anxiousness, worry, excitement. It was a change of pace compared to our quiet home dinners and I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I squeezed dad’s suit in my hands, clinging to him tighter as he bounced me in his arms, whispering to me, holding me tight as he moved further inside.

“It’s a little noisy in here, isn’t it, sweetheart?” Mom asked, rubbing my back as she walked next to dad.

I nodded, looking at her as I whimpered in dad’s arms.

“Would you like your pacifier?”

I nodded again as mom dug in the diaper bag, pulling out my pacifier, holding it up to my mouth, offering it to me. I let her slip the pacifier in, suckling it heavily as I tried to calm myself with the soothing nipple.

“You’re alright, pumpkin, you’re fine,” Dad cooed, kissing my cheek, “Daddy’s got you.”

But even with the pacifier, even with dad’s comforting words, I felt on edge. My eyes danced about the crowded waiting area like I had done at the grocery store the past week, and just like that day, nobody paid any mind to me except for a few friendly smiles and small waves. Only now, I wasn’t afraid of being seen as a big girl but was rather overwhelmed with the environment, it was like my emotions couldn’t handle everything that was going on around me. It was too much for my mind to take in all at once. I just needed a break from it all, needed it to be quiet and calm for a moment so I could collect myself.

“Hi, how can I help you tonight?” A woman asked. I turned to face her voice, her hazel eyes and kind smile meeting mine own worried ones. Her body seemed to soften as she stared at me, her eyes seemed to sparkle. Baby fever? I shifted my gaze from her stare, focusing on the name tag pinned to her shirt. Natalie. Her name was Natalie.

“Can we get a table for three please?” Dad asked.

“Sure thing,” Natalie said, “And what’s the name of your party?”

“Mark.”

“Alright Mark, we’ve got you on the waiting list. Just to let you know, it’s about a ten-minute wait and we’ll call you when your tables ready.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem.”

With that, dad turned to head back over to mom, standing with her in the corner, trying to keep out of the way of the hustle and bustle as people entered and exited. I tried to ignore them, tried to quell the worry and anxiousness that I was feeling by relaxing in dad’s arms, resting my head against his shoulder while I suckled my pacifier. His comforting hand rubbing and soothing my back as he bounced and rocked me.

“Excuse me, sir?”

It was a man, I turned my head to look over his way. He was older than dad, but not ancient, only a few gray hairs showed on his head, he appeared to still be in good health, and he was motioning for dad to take his spot on the bench.

“You should sit, you’ve got a little one with you.”

“Oh, no, thank you, I’m fine, really,” Dad tried to counter, adjusting me in his arms.

“Nonsense, please, I insist,” The man said, waving dad off, "I still remember those days, and while she may be a little one, she’s got to be a strain on your arms.

Dad thought for a moment before nodding, moving to take a seat. “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it,” The man said with a wink, “Us fathers have to stick together.”

Dad laughed at that, adjusting me in his lap so that I was facing him with my head laid against his chest. “You’re right about that one.”

And all was quiet for but a second.

“And what’s this little cutie’s name?” A new voice, female, sitting right beside us. I stole a glance at her before burying my face in dad’s suit. She was older, older than the man dad was just talking to, like old-old. Like grandma age. Gray hair and all. Why did grandmas always feel the need to ooh and aww over me?

“This is Emily,” Dad said, rubbing my back, “Can you say hi, pumpkin?”

I looked back over at the woman, back at her friendly smile as she peered over at me.

“Hello, Emily,” She said, her voice was soft and melted like honey in the air. She was nothing like that other lady we had met at the park. She was gentle and calm and soothing. She respected my space, and I liked her for that.

“Hi,” I mumbled, letting my words slur around the pacifier as I gave her a little wave.

Her eyes lit up my words. “My, my, aren’t you just a precious little thing,” She cooed, letting out that happy laugh that grandmas liked to do. Those chuckles laced with experience and love and hardship. “And how old are you Emily?”

I suckled my pacifier again, holding it tight against my lips as I thought for a moment. How old was I? I mean, what was I supposed to tell her? That I was a big kid who was supposed to be at school who was just charading as a diaper-wearing toddler sucking a pacifier. What had mom and dad said the other day, three? They had said I was three years old. That worked with me. Slowly, I held up three fingers, showing them to the lady while dad rubbed my back.

“A whole three years, huh, precious?”

I nodded, letting myself smiled from behind the pacifier as I kept my head against dad, listening to his heartbeat as the woman kept interacting with me, kept talking to me. I felt drawn to her for some reason. It was like I knew deep down that she was a good person, caring, and it made me happy that I could make her smile and laugh. Maybe being oohed and awwed at wasn’t so bad after all.

And then dad’s name was called. He said his goodbyes and thanked the man once more before heading for the hostess stand with mom by his side. I looked over dad’s shoulder at the woman and waved once more at her as I was carried away. She waved back, still smiling at me, still radiating that feeling of warmth and love across the room.

“Party of three for Mark?”

“That’s us.”

I recognized that voice. It was Natalie, the same hostess from before. I turned to meet her gaze once again, her hazel eyes still sparkling with that look of baby fever as she watched me in dad’s arms.

“Will you guys be needing a high chair tonight?”

I tensed up at the mention of a high chair. It was one thing to sit in one at home, but I didn’t want to use one at a restaurant in front of others. Dad patted my bottom, letting me know to settle down.

Mom answered. “We will, thank you.”

“Sure thing,” Natalie said, turning to another staff member, “Can you tell Ethan to get a high chair for table seven please.”

The guy nodded, disappearing from the hostess stand as Natalie turned back to us, grabbing a couple of menus and a couple of rolls of silverware. “You guys can follow me.”

I sank in dad’s arms, unhappy with the thought of the high chair as he carried me through the lines and rows of tables and booths, following Natalie as she led us to our table. A little booth tucked away in the corner of the restaurant. It was quieter than the main dining area, but the chatter and conversation of people still filled the air. And my high chair was already waiting there for me.

“Here you all are,” Natalie said, placing the menus down before motioning for mom and dad to sit, smiling at me as dad sat me down in the high chair, clipping the little strap around my waist before taking his own seat. Mom sat across from him.

Natalie handed mom and dad their menus and then set a piece of paper and a pack of crayons down in front of me, letting me look over the picture as she turned to mom and dad. “Just to let you all know, we are having a special tonight. It’s a Tuscon steak with garlic roasted green beans and mashed potatoes. If you have any questions please let me know. Your server should be with you momentarily.”

“Thank you.”

“My pleasure,” Natalie said, turning to leave.

I eyed the picture of Minnie Mouse in front of me, picking up the pack of crayons that had been left for me.

“Would you like me to open your crayons for you?” Dad asked, pulling me closer to the table.

I nodded, handing the little plastic packet to him, waiting as he opened the packet and poured out the crayons in front of me. There were only four colors: red, blue, green, and yellow. The basic colors that every restaurant seemed to have no matter what. In most cases, it didn’t matter, kids didn’t care enough to worry about what colors they had, all that mattered was that they were occupied long enough for the restaurant to get food on the table. But in my case, it was just going to make the picture I was about to color look all the more babyish with clumsy color choices. But I didn’t care, it was something to pass the time as mom and dad talked, and so I picked up the green crayon and went to work, making Minnie Mouse look a bit Grinch-like with her green makeover.

“What do you think, split a large and then get a small for her?” Mom asked, watching me as I colored.

“Ya, I think that’ll work,” Dad said, “What do you want, pumpkin, cheese?”

I nodded as I continued to color, not bothering to look up.

“Alright, cheese for the little pumpkin,” Dad said, “Do you just want to do our regular on the large then?”

“That’ll work,” Mom said, playing with my hair. "We should order when they come to take our drinks.

Dad nodded. “Works with me.”

It was only a minute later when our server came over.

“Good evening folks, my name is Ethan and I’ll be your server for the night. Can I start you off with something to drink?”

His voice made me jump and turned, craning my neck to get a look at Ethan. He was a ginger, he neat red hair, matching with his freckled face and brown eyes.

Dad answered first. “Can I get a lemonade and then a water for the little one.”

“Sure thing, and for you mam?”

“I’ll just do a water as well.”

“Awesome, and will we be starting with any appetizers or a side salad tonight?”

Dad again. “No, but I think we’re ready to order if that’s alight.”

“Sure thing, I’m ready when you are.”

“Can we get a large pizza? One-half Garden and the other half bacon, black olives, and mushroom?”

“One-half garden, and one-half bacon, black olives, and mushroom,” Ethan repeated, scribbling in his notepad, “Alright, anything else?”

“And then a small cheese, and that’ll be all.”

“Sure thing, I’ll get that in the kitchen right away, and then I’ll be back with your drinks.”

“Thank you.”

Ethan nodded and then turned away, heading off to the next table.

I spent the next few minutes coloring as mom and dad talked and Ethan came back with our drinks. There was something so soothing about coloring. It let me focus on this one thing and ignore the world around me. All that excitement and stress that had filled me when we first arrived. I could actually relax and give my nerves a break while we waited for dinner. And then, I finished my very green Minnie Mouse.

“Daddy look,” I said, letting the pacifier fall from my mouth as I tugged on his sleeve, trying to get his attention.

“What is it, pumpkin,” He asked, turning towards me, smiling as I held the picture out to him. He took it and spent a second looking it over before commenting on it. “It’s beautiful, pumpkin, you did a great job.”

“Can I see?” Mom asked. I nodded and watched as dad handed her the picture. “Oh, wow, good job, sweetheart, very nice,” Mom said, “Should we take it home and hang it on the fridge?”

I nodded, my smile beaming with their praise and approval as mom slipped the picture into my diaper bag, saving it for later.

“So,” Dad said, changing the subject, “Did you do anything fun today, pumpkin?”

I nodded, taking a sip of water from my kid’s cup. “Ya, I played with our village,” I said, “Will you help me build more when we get home?”

Dad chuckled, ruffling my hair. “We could do that if you want, but I was thinking we could watch a movie tonight.”

“A movie?”

“Ya, we could have a little movie night,” Dad said, “We could snuggle up with some blankets and pillows and watch a movie.”

“What movie though?”

“How about that new Trolls movie. The World Tour one.”

I thought for a moment before answering. “Only if we can have popcorn.”

“What kind of movie night would it be without popcorn?” Dad asked, tickling my side. “So what do you say, movie or no movie?”

I squirmed under his fingers, giggling, and trying to push his hands away as he tickled me. “And ice cream?”

“And ice cream.”

I nodded, satisfied with my bargaining. “Movie please.”

Things settled down after that and I sipped more of my water, letting my eyes wander past our table. I stopped when I saw another little girl across the room. She was sitting with her parents, her hair done up cute just like mine, the telltale diaper bag sitting next to her mom. A toddler, happy, and giggling as she colored her page just as I had done. Only, she was sitting in the booth and I was in a high chair. This girl, an actual toddler, had more freedom than I did. It made me blush as I slipped at that moment, remembering for a second that I wasn’t actually a toddler. And then I felt the urge to pee, and without a second thought, I let it out, let that warmth spread throughout my diaper as it swelled with fresh urine. I may not have been physically a toddler, but I was a toddler all the same. I was just like her.

“Alright, folks, here, we are,” Ethan said, snapping me from my thoughts as he set mom and dad’s pizza on the little pizza stand on our table. He set my pizza down on yet another stand, this one closer to me, but out of my reach. “One large, half garden, half bacon, black olives, and mushroom. And then one small cheese. Is there anything else I can get you, folks?”

“No, I think we’re good,” Dad said.

Ethan nodded. “Then please enjoy and I’ll be back in a couple of minutes to check in on you all.”

My stomach growled in anticipation as I watched dad pull a slice off a slice of cheese pizza and slide it onto a plate. And as mom tied a bib around my neck, dad cut that piece of pizza into bite-sized pieces before setting it in front of me.

I stared down at the mutilated piece of pizza in front of me and then looked up at mom and dad glaring at them as they pulled their own slices onto plates and began eating. It wasn’t fair that I had to eat my pizza and pieces, and I wanted to complain, but before I could my stomach rumbled, begging me to give in, to eat. I looked down again, at that mutilated slice. Pizza was pizza, right? I put aside the fact that I was out in public and sitting in a high chair with a wet diaper, wearing a bib with my pizza all cut up like one would for a toddler. I was hungry. And eating was all that mattered. Reaching down, I picked up one of the pieces and stuffed it into my mouth, chewing as I turned to watch that little girl again. Only the table was empty now. I let my eyes wander for another few seconds while I finished chewing and then turned back for another piece, this time keeping my focus on our table while we all ate in silence, filling out bellies.

A while later, the check was paid and we were all finishing up eating, with myself being the last to finish.

“Daddy, I’m done,” I said, squirming in the high chair, getting antsy from having been stuck sitting for so long.

“Are you sure, pumpkin?” Dad asked.

“Uh-huh,” I said, nodding as I pushed my plate away, letting dad take it from me and stack it with his own. “Well then, are we ready to go?”

“I think so,” Mom said, opening the diaper bag and pulling out a packet of baby wipes, “Just give me a sec to get her cleaned up, and then we’ll be ready.”

Dad nodded as mom pulled a single baby wipe out from the packet, taking hold of each of my hands one at a time to wipe them clean and then holding my head still so that she could wipe my face and mouth off before untying my bib.

The wet wipe was tucked away in a plastic bag along with my bib and the baby wipes were placed back in the diaper bag and then we were ready to go. Mom and dad stood up from their seats and dad lifted me from the high chair, resting me on his hip. And then he patted my bottom and finally felt my soggy diaper.

“Uh-oh,” Dad said, “Somebodies got a soggy butt.”

Mom turned and smiled at me. “Is that so, sweetheart, did you go pee-pee?” She cooed, reaching over to feel my diaper.

I nodded as she pinched the back of my diaper, blushing as people from the surrounding tables started to take notice, making me squirm more

Mom rubbed my back as she spoke to dad. “She’s not that wet, I think a diaper change can wait until we get home.”

My face wrinkled at this. The diaper hadn’t been uncomfortable before, but the idea of having to sit in my own pee until we got home made that squishy warmth feel cold and clammy all of a sudden. I didn’t want to wait, I wanted to be changed now, wanted to ride home in a clean diaper. “You’re not going to change me hear?”

Mom shook her head. “I’ll change you when we get home, sweetheart.”

“But I don’t want to wait,” I whined, starting to fuss and squirm in dad’s arms. A protest that got me no closer to a fresh diaper, but rather left me stuck with my pacifier in my mouth as I was carried out of the restaurant. There would be no clean diaper for this ride home.

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This is a truly awesome story I feel like one it’s finished I’ll have to re read the story to be able to soak it all in. Well done! :slight_smile: