“You do know we’re too old for this, right?” Crisanta asked, adjusting the hem of her babydoll before readying her sleepy eyes for the camera’s flash.
“Well, Camelia can’t just do it by herself,” her mom told her. “Kalina, could you maybe smile a little for me?”
Kalina sighed, putting on a fake, though passable, smile. She was obviously still not in the best mood - she’d been supposed to go play some game or something the day before, but, since she was grounded, she hadn’t been able to. Crisanta didn’t see how that was any big deal, but she’d decided it best not to tell Kalina that.
“If you say so,” Crisanta shrugged, beaming for the camera, curling both hands around the handle of her currently empty basket. In all reality, she didn’t mind too much, but she felt like she needed a token protest, for appearances’ sake.
Her mom glanced down at her camera, making sure the picture had turned out well. Her dad looked over her shoulder, then up at the girls. “Beautiful,” he said. “My little Easter flowers.”
Crisanta could see Kalina rolling her eyes beside her as she fiddled with her skirt, and even she had to admit it was a little corny, like it was every year, but she didn’t say anything about it. “All right, are you all ready?” their mom asked.
Crisanta and Camelia chirped, “Yep!” while Kalina mumbled something that sounded vaguely similar. Crisanta could see a few eggs already, hidden in pretty easy places like halfway beneath the sofa and behind the end table for Camelia to find, and one on top of the shade of the lamp on the end table.
“Then let the hunt begin!” their mom announced, sending the three of them scurrying off on their way. Crisanta playfully pushed her way in front of Kalina, who had also apparently noticed the bright pink plastic egg sitting on top of the lamp.
“Yeah, and -I’m- the cheater,” Kalina grumbled quietly as she passed, on her way to check behind the TV, a rather popular hiding place in the past.
“Grow up,” Crisanta whispered back, snatching up an egg from behind a stack of DVDs at the entertainment center. “I barely touched you.”
“Found one!” Camelia proclaimed proudly, bending down to pluck up egg at the couch, setting it gently inside her basket, as if it were a real egg.
“Good job,” their mom said encouragingly.
“You’d better hurry,” Crisanta teased Kalina, who was now checking the bookshelf. “We’re gonna be done before you find even one.”
Kalina spun around, but managed, with obvious difficulty, to bite back whatever she had been about to say, replacing it with, “Maybe if you’d quit bothering me.”
“Okay then,” Crisanta chirped, hurrying off to the dining room. She knew she really should probably leave Kalina alone, but there was just something about the day - maybe because it was already so nice and bright out, maybe the ears off the chocolate bunny she’d already eaten, maybe something else - that made her feel a little giddy, more like a little kid. It was hardly her fault that Kalina had decided to be grumpy.
Well, it sort of was, actually, and that thought sobered her, if only for a moment. At least Kalina had been allowed to do the Easter egg hunt anyway, despite her punishment; she could have at least been happy about that. And it really -wasn’t- Crisanta’s fault that she’d chosen not to be.
There was another call of “Found one!” that brought a smile back to Crisanta’s face, as she bounced into the dining room and continued her hunt.
The girl glanced sleepily at her clock, for a moment trying to figure out why in the world it had woken her up so early on a weekend. It took a moment or two for her brain to remember that it was Sunday, and a couple more to remind her that it was Easter.
She yawned and stretched, rolling over onto her side, facing away from the clock. She really wouldn’t mind going back to sleep, and her eyes even started to drift shut again, but now that she knew what day it was, she couldn’t fall back asleep, so, after a couple minutes, she threw back her covers and slid out of bed.
There was enough sunlight leaking through her curtains that she could see to shuffle across the room to her closet. She shed her pajamas, tossing them back in the direction of her bed, and stood there in just her diaper, staring at her new outfit, hanging there, waiting.
In the mirror on the back of the closet door, she saw the crotch of her diaper begin to sag. For some reason, though that was hardly an unusual sight, it got a giggle out of her. Maybe it was just looking at her new clothes - perhaps not “grown-up”, per se, but not little girl-ish either - while wearing only something so clearly babyish. Or maybe she wasn’t even thinking about that, but rather just about how, no matter how stupid it was, and how much she sometimes thought she should give all of it up, it was just nice.
It always felt wonderful to get out of her big girl panties and let herself sink down into the soft padding of a diaper, to sprinkle a little baby powder, then tape herself securely inside. She couldn’t recall ever feeling that kind of comfort, or anything close to it, from anything else. And that was why, she realized, she didn’t stop, even when she told herself she should, or when she was afraid that, surely, the rest of her family was going to find out.
She toddled back to her bathroom, almost detouring over to her dresser to grab a pair of panties - even though she really didn’t feel like wearing them - but decided instead, with the help of the grumbling in her tummy, to go straight in. At first, she’d thought her stomach might just be hungry, but not for long.
She closed the door behind her, grateful, not for the first time, to have a private bathroom. She couldn’t imagine having only one bathroom in the house, and having to just hope that you were the first one there, or else you’d have to wait, and wait, and hope that whoever had beaten you inside was done in time. Not that it would have been a terrible tragedy if they weren’t, since her current underclothes were designed for that sort of thing.
She started to giggle again, as memories bubbled up, of a time when she hadn’t been quite so fortunate. It had been in the early morning then, too, back when she was little, and they’d first moved into this house. She’d been all excited about having her own room, finally, even though it had seemed a little scary the first couple nights, not having her sister there with her when she woke up in the middle of the night. Having her own bathroom had been an exciting idea then, too, but earlier that night, she’d convinced herself she’d seen something moving in there, so she’d crept up to the door and, quite bravely, reached inside to lock it, then closed whatever was hiding in there inside.
Unfortunately, she’d also locked herself out, something she hadn’t considered during her bout of bravery. There was, of course, a bathroom out in the main hall, but her daddy had teased her that, since she had her own bathroom now, using any of the others in the house would require a toll fee. It was a silly thing to believe, she knew, but she’d been a little kid, and they tended to believe some rather dumb things. In the end, she’d decided she would just have to wait a bit longer to get whatever book she’d been saving her allowance up to buy, and dashed for the main bathroom. By then, however, it was too late.
She could remember desperately turning the doorknob on her bathroom over and over, as if, perhaps, on the tenth, or hundredth time, it would magically become unlocked, all the while hopping from foot to foot uncomfortably. She found herself playing along with the memory, pretending that the doorknob was stubbornly ignoring her childish pleas. She even re-made the mad dash for her bedroom door, freezing about halfway across her room with a cute little, “Uh-oh,” both hands clapping against the back of her diaper.
Of course, nowadays she was much better at holding it in, though you’d never have guessed it from looking at her. She giggled to herself, heading back to her bathroom, stomach protesting a little more loudly. She was back at the bathroom door when she heard a sudden knocking at the other door, making her nearly jump out of her skin.
“Are you awake yet?” her mom called from the other side.
“Yeah,” the girl answered after re-catching her breath, leaning against the bathroom door with her hand on her heaving chest. “I’m just about to take my shower.”
“Okay,” her mom replied. “We’re starting the egg hunt in half an hour.”
“All right,” the girl called back. She supposed she’d better stop playing around and actually get ready. She glanced over at her dresser sadly, wishing again that she didn’t have to go over there eventually. She remembered her mom being a little frustrated, though doing her best to hide it, when she’d had the accident. She distinctly recalled wondering if she was going to be put back into Pull-Ups, like had happened just a few years before when she’d lapsed on her potty training. After a week or so of expecting that, she realized it wasn’t going to happen, and she felt as if she’d really managed to get away with something.
Looking back, though, she couldn’t help but wonder if that didn’t have more to do with their parents not having any Pull-Ups to put her in, since they’d gotten rid of the last half bag or so before the move. What would her mom have done if they -did- have those extra Pull-Ups lying around? Or, even, if they’d had diapers lying around, like the girl had sitting in the very back of her closet?
“Hurry up,” she could imagine her mom saying, bursting into the girl’s room, as she would often do in those days. “We need to leave for church in…” And then she’d see the way the girl was standing, holding her hands in front of her crotch, and the redness in her cheeks, and then slowly, she’d sniff the air. “What did you do?” she’d ask accusingly.
And the girl could see herself squirming, sniffling. “It was just a little accident,” she’d try to explain.
Her mother would sigh. “I thought you were a big girl. Do big girls poop in their pants?” The girl would shake her head sadly. “But you did, didn’t you?” And she would nod. “I just don’t know what we’re going to do with you. Obviously I can’t trust you to keep your pretty new clothes clean, now can I?”
“No, you can…” the girl would protest, only to get cut off.
“I think I’m looking at some pretty convincing evidence to the contrary. It’s a good thing we kept those old diapers, huh?”
The girl would stare at her blankly for a moment, not understanding, before finally daring to ask, “Why?”
“Because I’m afraid you’re going to have to wear one to church,” would come the answer. “If you can manage to keep it dry, maybe you can go back to your big girl panties for school tomorrow.”
Back then, she would have thrown a fit, and probably just made things worse for herself. Now, though, she couldn’t help but think that the idea wasn’t too bad. After all, her new outfit would surely keep her diaper concealed. She’d never tried wearing diapers out of the house - other than to take the garbage out in the middle of the night, of course - and normally she never would, but the more she thought about it, the easier it became to convince herself that this was the perfect opportunity to change that.
She turned away from the dresser, back to the bathroom door as her bowels begged for release and, through the tiniest help from the girl, found it. She flushed a deep red as she felt the back of her diaper expanding and sagging even more. “Uh-oh,” she squeaked, before hearing someone clearing their throat behind her.
She turned around, still blushing, trying to hide the drooping back of her diaper with her hands, but she imagined her mother moving behind her again, and then again as the girl tried again to keep her shame hidden, before finally she pretended to feel a hand clamp around her arm, holding her in place, while another grabbed the waistband of her diaper and pulled it back.
“You were right there,” she imagined her mother telling her. “You couldn’t wait three more seconds?”
The girl shrugged bashfully at the imaginary berating. “It was an accident.”
The fake mother shook her head. “Well, you can just think twice if you think you’re going to be wearing anything but a diaper under those new clothes of yours. That outfit cost money, you know, and I’m not about to let you ruin it the first time you wear it.”
“Yes, mommy,” the girl pouted forlornly for as long as she could manage before turning and bouncing - somewhat slower and more carefully than usual - into her bathroom.
Kalina bounced back away from the curtain that had just shocked her, but reached out with her other hand to grab the egg that was hidden behind it. She dropped it into her basket, where it rolled over to one side quietly, lonely. Crisanta had tried to claim that they were too old for this, and Kalina tried to console herself by pretending that she agreed, and that was why she had found so few eggs.
“Hurry up,” her dad teased, “Your sisters are going to find them all.” She rolled her eyes, hoping he would take that as teenage apathy.
It was time to follow Crisanta to the dining room, she decided, looking around the living room one more time, trying to see if there were any other likely hiding places, other than the low, obvious ones that were there for Camelia. Crisanta had too much of a head start for Kalina to really expect to get more than another one or two eggs, unfortunately, and, indeed, Crisanta was glancing around the dining room, in the same way she had just examined the living room.
“Oh, you found one!” Crisanta smiled. “Great job!” Kalina knocked her hand aside before she could use it to pat Kalina’s head patronizingly. “Aww, what’s wrong? Are you sad because a toddler is doing better than you? I think she’s found four by now.”
As if on cue, Camelia’s cry of, “Found one!” once again echoed through the house.
“Make that five.”
Kalina tugged subconsciously at her skirt, her other hand tightening around the handle of her basket. “Bite me,” she said through clenched teeth.
“Aww, poor little Kali,” Crisanta cooed. “Here, why don’t you take one of my eggs? Or maybe Camelia will let you have one of hers, if you ask nicely.”
What was Crisanta’s deal? A horrible thought occurred to Kalina, and she glanced down quickly, to be sure. “Just leave me alone, -Crissy-.”
Kalina pushed past Crisanta, though she wasn’t sure why, since she it seemed like she’d already stripped the room bare of eggs. She wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not - she couldn’t remember actually deciding to do it - but Crisanta’s opinion was rather clear.
“Ow!” she cried, jerking her foot out from under Kalina’s, shoving her backwards at the same time. Kalina saw her lone egg fly out of the basket as her arms windmilled, right before she plummeted to the ground, skirt flying wildly up. She was dazed for a moment, so her desperate attempt to rearrange her skirt was delayed enough that Crisanta could very easily have seen her diaper. Luckily, Crisanta was halfway to the living room at that point, though she did stop and look back upon hearing Kalina’s landing.
“What in the world are you two doing?” their mom demanded, storming in. Kalina got to her feet quickly, holding up her skirt with one hand. She wasn’t sure if it was actually going anywhere, but it felt like it was slipping down the slick outside of her diaper, threatening to fall down and expose her secret any moment. It was quite frustrating, but she hadn’t noticed it until she was out of her room, and by then, her parents were already barking at her that she was going to make them late if she didn’t hurry up.
“Nothing,” the twins answered in unison, though neither sounded like they meant it.
“Can’t the two of you just get along for one day?” their mom sighed. “For your little sister’s sake, if not for my sanity’s?”
“Sorry, mom,” Kalina mumbled, getting a nasty look from Crisanta, who was probably just mad she hadn’t done it first. “It was nothing, really.”
“Really,” Crisanta echoed.
“If you say so,” their mom said, thoroughly unconvinced. “See that it stays that way.”
Crisanta stuck her tongue out at Kalina once their mom had turned her back on them. Kalina tried to ignore her, plucking her egg off the ground, and hastily re-tying her skirt while she was knelt down there, hoping that might help, but then came up with something to say. “That’s very mature.”
“Oh, is it?” Crisanta asked innocently. “I’m not sure how that happened - I was trying to act like you.”