Cameron McLeod lay on his back, staring up at the white painted ceiling tile decorated with decals of teddy bears and ABC blocks. He sucked on the large rubber nipple, the plastic shield of the pacifier pressing against his lips. His hooded sweatshirt and onesie were pushed up to his armpits, and the plastic strap securing him to the changing table was tight; Mrs. Vesper had the unfortunate habit of fastening it too tight, as if she thought that somehow made it extra secure. He felt a tugging sensation on his hips and lower abdomen as a fresh diaper was taped around him.
“A clean diapee feels better, doesn’t it?” Ms. Sweeney chirped in her sugary sweet singsong voice. Her diaper changes were much gentler than Mrs. Vesper’s. She had gotten called away by a phone call, so Ms. Sweeney had stepped in and finished changing him.
He tilted his head, looking up at his teacher and licensed regression therapist. Her plump, ruby red lips smiled down at him and her brown eyes twinkled, full of the joy of life. Her short, curly black hair frizzed around her head like a fuzzy dark halo and huge rhinestones sparkled in her earlobes. She chattered away, mostly to herself, not expecting her charges to answer.
Most of them could or would not. Cameron caught her eyes and returned her smile behind his binky. He was one of the few who could. He had a hand full of classmates in the special education; regression therapy curriculum. His only reply to her was a smile. Dirty diaper, clean diaper, it made no difference to the eighteen year old. He had been in diapers since he was six. The last day he had worn big boy underwear- they had a print of Spiderman, he recalled that specifically- his life had changed forever.
He shivered at the memory, his heart skipping a beat
“It’s cold, huh, baby?” Ms. Sweeney cooed as if he were a toddler. “Let’s get you all fixed up and snugly warm again.” She unfastened the changing table security strap, pulled down his blue onesie down, fastening it over his diaper. He heard the metal snaps click shut, pressing the padded bulk closer to him and felt some of the cool baby powder shift in his diaper, sliding down towards his butt. He felt her tugging on his pants and heard all those snaps click shut.
The cold was not what made him shiver, but that was something he did not want to talk or think about. He was happy the cool days of early autumn were growing colder as winter approached. Wearing pants and long sleeves was a lot more acceptable in the cold weather than it was in the warm. It was normal. He would rather be stared at for being dressed like a weirdo in the warm weather than to expose what lay beneath his clothing, and he did not mean his diapers. The snaps on all his pants, and the telltale bulge of a thick diaper, coupled with the loud crinkly noise they made, all gave away his diapered state anywhere he went. No, what he hid from the world was the painful mementos of the fateful day that changed the course of his life forever. That day was the reason he still wore diapers, and why he was in the regression therapy program.
Ms. Sweeney watched her student’s pretty face crumple. Cameron had better control of his emotions than her other students, and he was the one who had been through the most. He had also been through the most intensive therapy. When reading his files for the first time, she had been horrified at the nightmare the boy had survived. He had also spent several years in a mental hospital that specialized in intensive regression therapy.
“What a cute ducky!” She tapped the yellow duck embroidered on the chest of his blue onesie. “What does the ducky say?” She asked, fearing he was having a melt down and wanted to distract him from it, like she would distract a baby having a tantrum.
Cameron stared up at his teacher. He knew what she was trying to do, distract him from his thoughts. The technique worked with patients who had been mentally and emotionally regressed. It had worked on him in the hospital, when he had been little more than an overgrown infant. It worked on his classmates, who were kept emotionally regressed. He played along.
“Woof-woof!” He spat his binky out.
“Silly baby. Puppies say woof. Duckies go quack-quack.” Ms.Sweeney cooed then pulled his hooded sweatshirt down, hiding his ducky and his onesie from sight. “Uh-oh.” She smiled and slipped his binky back between his pink lips.
Cameron opened his lips so she could slip the rubber nipple into his mouth.
“There we go, all done!” She held out her hands, and Cameron placed his hands in hers, allowing her to help him sit up then jump down from the changing table. His hooded sweatshirt hung loose on his slim frame. It was light blue with white and baby blue stripes on the sleeves. His jeans would have passed for normal jeans except for the snaps running along the inner legs all the way up to his crotch, to make for easier diaper checks and changes. His plastic backed diaper crinkled noisily with each little movement and the thick padding around his crotch was familiar and comforting.
“Tank yew.” He lisped behind his binky to Ms. Sweeney as she tugged at his pants and shirt once more, fixing them now that he was standing. A little bit of drool ran down his chin and plopped down his ever-present bib. A bright yellow ducky clip with a blue strap secured his paci to his shirt.
“You’re welcome, sweetie. Go back to your seat now.” She patted his heavily padded bottom then set about cleaning up the changing table and throwing his used diaper and wipes into the diaper genie.
He started across the regression room, which resembled an adult-sized daycare. The thick bulk of his diaper forced his legs apart, giving him an unsteady toddler waddle. He toddled past the locked classroom door when loud voices drew his attention to the glass window in the heavy door. It was locked to prevent any regressed students from wandering out, for their own protection of course. The regression room was more like a daycare in the high school, and students in the regression therapy program were little more than oversized toddlers and babies.