George's Legacy

NOTE: This story is 42 pages in Word. Enjoy.
George’s Legacy
By Teekabell
2002 - 2009

Table of Content

Part 1 - Beware of What You Say

George has two kids, Jenny who turns 3 years old today and Tom, a 6 year old in first grade. The school decided Tom needs to be in Special Education, but George thinks special education is only for severely retarded children still in diapers and needing to be fed like a baby.

Part 2 - Only One Kid In Diapers

It’s Jenny’s birthday party. Several times that day George ends up cleaning Tom up and getting him changed after noticing Tom in wet and messy pants. As the week goes on, Jenny starts using the potty and gets to wear panties. Tom keeps having wetting and messing accidents and ends up in Pull-Ups.

Part 3 - Tom and Jenny

George and Mary are seeing changes in the two kids. It is like they are changing places. Jenny has to get out of her crib before her new bed arrives, or she will continue having accidents. Mary’s solution is a surprise for George and Tommy.

Part 4 - Retarded?

Tommy regresses more as Jenny grows up. He gets more supports matching his new skill levels. The only question in George’s mind now is, “Did he cause Tommy to act like a baby.”

Part 5 - Back to School

Tommy’s not using the toilet anymore. He is in Pull-Ups full time. His special education teacher however, feels he is much more immature than just last week.

Part 6 - Tommy, Growing Up or Getting Younger?

Mrs. Arrons and Mary talk about Tommy’s toileting and George’s influence. Mary makes changes at home.

Part 7 - Spaghetti

As Tommy changes, things at school change to meet his new needs. The school has to face the reality of the new Tommy. On Wednesday, when Mrs. Arrons is absent, he meets others just like him.

Part 8 - The Legacy

George faces reality, telling the school all. The legacy he passed on to his son is here to stay. He accepts the changes, to Mary’s surprise.

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Part 1 - Beware of What You Say
2002 - 2009

George Freemor did not know how to explain his fear. He had had it since he was a child watching THE TWILIGHT ZONE. It was a fear that he actually lived in The Twilight Zone. Of course over the years his parents, teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and now his wife have all tried to convince him there was nothing to fear. He was just an ordinary man living on Earth, not in the Twilight Zone. Nothing strange had ever happened to George that would indicate life in the Zone, but George knew he was right. He knew it was only a matter of time before something strange happened. At some point, in some way, life would be turned upside down just because of a phrase or item. Nothing anyone would say could change this view.

George was 27 years old living with his wife Mary, 6 year old son Tom, and 3 year old daughter Jenny. It was Jenny’s 3rd birthday today, but before all the celebrations, Mary and George had a meeting at Tom’s school.


“Well, the results of the testing are clear that Tom is missing many of the foundation skills needed to learn what he needs in first grade,” Mrs. Franks the school psychologist was saying. “He is still struggling in learning the letters, shapes, numbers, and colors.”

“What can we do,” Mary asked? “We have always known he had a hard time picking up new skills, so we enrolled him in a good preschool at three years old. We work with him at home getting recommendations from his classroom teachers over the years, but he still struggles.”

“We know you have given Tom a lot of help, but sometimes children are just not ready to learn things at the same pace as other children,” Mrs. Franks said. “Tom has continuously shown delays in learning new skills. He learned to walk and talk late. He wasn’t toilet trained till he was 4 years old, and he still has occasional accidents.”

“My son is no retard,” George said. “What do you expect us to do, put a diaper on him and put him in a class with retards that have to wear bibs and fed like a baby. No way! I am not having both my children in diapers. Tom is a big boy and can behave like one if he just tried.”

“George!” Mary said putting her hand on his lap.

“Mr. Freemor no one here is saying your child is retarded or a baby,” Mrs. Franks stated. “As I explained earlier, he received an IQ score of 110. That clearly shows he is not retarded. His IQ is average. He just has a hard time learning. There is something in the way he processes information, making it hard for him to retain what he is taught. Yes the district does have classes with extremely low students who need assistance with everything from toileting to eating, but no one is recommending that for Tom. We only want to give him some extra help in the areas he needs it. Teach him reading, writing, and math in a setting with a smaller student teacher ratio. He will still be in his first grade classroom for the majority of the day.”

With Mary keeping her hand on his leg for the rest of the meeting, George kept his mouth shut. He did not like the fact that the school wanted to put his son in Special Education, but Mary was insisting Tom needed help. Mary was eager to sign the paperwork to get Tom help. The program they mapped out for Tom had him going to the Resource Room for Reading, Writing, and Math each day, during the time his first grade classroom was teaching those subjects. The school said he would not miss any instruction; just get it in a different room. Mary had argued with George for years that something was wrong with Tom, and now someone was agreeing with her. She was finally going to get help from someone who had experience with children struggling like Tom. George, with prompting from Mary, signed the paperwork too.

On the trip home, George got yelled at by Mary for calling Tom a retard. “How dare you view our son as a retard, after they had just explained all the testing clearly showing he wasn’t. Tom is struggling enough with not being able to do what all his friends can do, without you thinking his skills are even lower than they are.”

George kept his mouth shut. He knew the tone in her voice. No matter what he said it would be wrong, so it was better to say nothing.

“You better not say anything negative about the Special Education classroom to Tom. If you are positive about it, he will think it is a good thing. AND IT IS A GOOD THING,” Mary demanded. She then changed the topic, “We have a 3 year old’s party to think about, and I need all the help I can get to manage the house full of 2 and 3 year olds. And tonight, don’t you dare say anything about her crib being for babies. She views herself as a big girl now that she is three, and the pink canopy bed I picked out for her today is on back order and will not be in for two months. It is perfectly normal for a three year old to still be sleeping in a crib, wearing diapers, and eating in a high chair with a bib. I don’t want to stop using any of those things until she is ready to stop. If you tell her they are for babies, she will not be willing to use them. You did that with Tom, and I am not going to have you do it with Jenny. Most children Tom’s age who still wet the bed every night wear diapers to bed, but no, I have had to deal with washing sheets every day because of you. If you cause any problems like that again, you will be dealing with the consequences, so unless you want to be washing clothes and sheets every day, you better keep your mouth closed. I am going to give our children what they need based upon their skills, and I don’t need your antique views of what is appropriate for them just because they are a certain age. I can’t believe you said you will not have two children in diapers. When is the last time you changed one of Jenny’s diapers or cleaned up Tom when he has an accident? We are going to support our children and give them the love and tools they need based on their skills.”

George knew Mary was mad. Admittedly, he hadn’t helped out much with the kids in the touchy areas like diapers, feeding, and cleaning up messes. He would play with them and help out around the house, but if one of them needed changing, he handed them back to Mary. Now she was mad. With the stress of Jenny’s birthday party, he new he was in for a rough day and he better help out more with the kids today.

After they picked up the kids from the babysitters, Mary started to set up the dining room for the birthday party. It was going to be a Winnie the Pooh party, Jenny’s favorite. George kept the kids busy upstairs. When Jenny needed changing, he was about to go down and get Mary, but decided that would be a mistake, so he changed her. It wasn’t long before he noticed Tom had wet his pants. Tom wasn’t fazed by it one bit. It was like he didn’t even know he had wet his pants, he just kept playing with Jenny and her toys. George was about to yell at Tom, when he took a deep breath and started to go get Mary. He then stopped. He stood there thinking about what was going to be worse; helping Tom get cleaned up, or asking Mary to do it. He decided the least painful of the two would be helping Tom, so he turned around and helped Tom get cleaned up. He decided the best way to do this was lay him down, take his pants and underwear off and wipe him with some of Jenny’s baby wipes. Tom kept telling him Mommy didn’t do it this way, but he just told him Mommy was busy so Daddy was going to do it his way.

************************************************** ******************** Part 2 - Only One Kid In Diapers
2002 - 2009

Jenny’s birthday party was full of a lot of excitement and joyous children. Jenny loved her party and her gifts. She got some really special gifts she was especially happy about; a Potty Chair, Pull-Ups, Cloth Training Pants, and a baby doll that goes potty in her own potty chair. She also got other toys, like a Fisher Price Doll House, a fancy dress, some Winnie the Pooh movies, some pink frilly sheets and bed spreads (for her new bed coming in two months). Jenny loved it all.

Mary, Tom and Jenny’s mommy, noticed something else during the party. Tom acted and played with the 2 and 3 year olds just like he was their age, instead of a 6 year old like he was. Mary thought is might have been because of the party, but she had seen things like this for many years. She thought of pointing it out to George, but then she got distracted by a 2 year old running by with chocolate cake covering their hands and face.

Once during the party, George needed to help Tom get changed again. This was a common problem when exciting or scary things were happening. George wasn’t use to dealing with it, but he knew about it. After the fight in the car on the way back from Tom’s school today, he decided he needed to deal with it today, and let his wife Mary deal with Jenny’s birthday party. So, for the second time in just over two hours, George laid Tom down like a baby and cleaned him up after he had wet his pants. It was hard for George not to get mad a Tom. This was extremely frustrating for him. First he has the school tell him Tom needs to be in Special Education like a Retard. Now for the second time today, he is dealing with his 6 year old wetting his pants, and he was cleaning him up the same way he cleans up Jenny who is still in diapers.

Once the party was over and everyone had left, George was gathering the gifts up to put them away. He had the Pull-Ups and Jenny’s new Potty Seat in his hands when he saw Tom walk by. He had wet his pants again. He told Tom to come upstairs with him, as he brought the stuff up to Jenny’s room. With Tom in front of him going up the stairs, George could smell a different type of odor than just wet pants. When they got to Jenny’s room, George put down the potty seat and the Pull-Ups. He looked at Jenny’s changing table containing all the supplies he needed to clean Tom up and then down at his 6 year old son. Tom was smiling and talking a mile a minute about all the fun of the party. He seemed completely unaware of the fact that he had wet and messy pants on. How could a 6 year old not know he had wet and pooped his pants.

“Okay Tom,” George said after taking a deep breath and trying to keep the smile on his face. “Let’s get you cleaned up and out of those wet and poopy pants.”

Tom looked down at his pants, and yes they were wet. He hadn’t noticed. “I’m sorry Daddy.”

George picked Tom up and put him on the changing table. Tom was confused. This was a changing table for baby Jenny. “No Daddy. This is for baby Jenny. I am a big boy.”

George didn’t listen. He just laid Tom down and started to take his soiled clothes off. This was all confusing to Tom. Before today, Daddy never cleaned him up before. Now Daddy was cleaning him up like he was a baby. He was not a baby, he was a big boy. Wasn’t he?

Once George had Tom all cleaned up, he looked at the Pull-Ups he had just brought upstairs. He now understood why Mary was so mad at him for telling Tom that only babies wear things like that. He was starting to see how on days like this Pull-Ups might be a good thing, even if Tom was 6 years old. No he couldn’t think that, Tom was too old to be in diapers. He wasn’t a stupid Retard who needs diapers. He was Tom, his 6 year old son. So, George picked Tom up and carried him to his room and got him dressed in underwear and new pants.

Just before his bed time story, Mary sat down on Tom’s bed and told him about his nice new class he was going to be going to tomorrow. George stood at the door looking in as she did this. She told him how his new teacher would help him learn his ABC’s and 123’s. She told Tom about his nice new teacher named Mrs. Arrons. He would meet Mrs. Arrons tomorrow at school. Mary told Tom to be a good boy for Mrs. Arrons and to try his best. She then sent him off to go potty before reading him a bedtime story.

That night George had a strange dream. He was standing on top of a hill, with a mist surrounding him. The mist started to clear and he could see shapes of children forming on opposite sides of the hill. There were two classrooms. In one, the children about 6 and 7 years old were learning to read, working on reading simple sentences like “The cat can eat.” and “The dog can run.” The children struggled with each word, but seemed happy when they finished reading the sentence. They were proud that they had done it. In the other classroom there were children also about 6 and 7 years old, but these children were different. They were playing with baby toys and talking like two year olds. The room had the smell of baby powder and diapers. In one corner of the room one of the children was being fed lunch. She had a bib on and was sitting in a high chair. The food was cut up into little baby size pieces and after she ate some on her own with her spoon, the teacher would feed her some. It looked more like the girl was 18months old instead of 6 years old. Just then, he lost his balance and fell toward the classroom with the little girl being fed lunch. When he landed at the bottom of the hill, he was right next to one of the children playing with a baby toy.

He heard his own voice echo throughout the room, “My son is no retard. What do you expect us to do, put a diaper on him and put him in a class with retards that have to wear bibs and fed like a baby. No way! I am not having both my children in diapers. Tom is a big boy and can behave like one if he just tried.”

Then he heard the child next to him, “Sowwy Daddy. I twied, but it was too hawd. Sowwy Daddy.” George looked up to see the child’s face, it was Tom.

George woke up breathing deeply, and his heart racing. In the glow of the moonlight, he looked over at his wife Mary who was sound asleep. He got up out of bed and went into Tom’s room. He just stood in the doorway looking down at his little boy. He looked so innocent. He looked so little. Were they doing the right thing sending him off to the special education classroom. He stood there just watching Tom sleep. He didn’t know how long he was standing there before Mary showed up and brought him back to bed.

In the morning, Mary went in to get Tom up and ready for school. He had wet his bed again. This was nothing new, he did it every night. She cleaned him up with the baby wipes they kept next to his bed for this reason. She brought him to the bathroom and asked him to try and go potty. He tried but nothing came out. Then she helped him get dressed and told him to go down and eat the cereal she had out on the table for him. Once he left she put his sheet in the hamper with his PJ’s and carried the hamper into the hall. She stopped in Jenny’s room to get her up. For the first time Jenny had woken up with a dry diaper. Mary was all excited and got Jenny to sit on her new Potty Seat. To Mary’s amazement she went pee in the potty. Mary and Jenny were all excited. Mary dressed Jenny in her new Pull-Ups. Jenny was so proud, she came running down stairs lifting up her dress to show Daddy and Tom she is a big girl wearing big kid pants like Tom does. George congratulated Jenny and Tom just smiled. He knew the Pull-Ups were not big kid pants like his underwear, but even he was proud of Jenny for such an achievement.

Tom went off to school like usual that day. In his backpack he had his lunch and two changes of clothes in case he had an accident. After calendar, it was time for reading, Mrs. Arrons came to his room to get him. His teacher said everything was okay and he should go with her. On the way down to Mrs. Arrons room, Tom wet his pants. Mrs. Arrons noticed and they turned around and went back to get Tom’s backpack that had the changes of clothes in it. They got his backpack and she brought Tom to her room where there was a bathroom. Mrs. Arrons helped Tom get cleaned up and changed into clean clothes. Then they went back into the classroom and she showed Tom the desk he would use in her room. The other children in the room were working on things like reading, letters, numbers, and puzzles.

Tom had fun and before he knew it, it was time for recess. Mrs. Arrons said he would come back to her after recess. He played on the swings at recess and with another 1st grader named Frank. After recess, Tom learned that Frank also went to Mrs. Arrons’ room. They got to sit next to each other and do a puzzle together. Tom’s favorite activity in Mrs. Arrons’ room however, was playing on the computers. He never had a chance to do it in his other classroom, because he could never finish his work on time. After Lunch and Lunch Recess he was with his regular 1st grade room for Music and then he went back to Mrs. Arrons’ room. He wet his pants again during Music but no one noticed till he entered Mrs. Arrons’ room. She helped him get changed and then they worked on numbers and colors. When he left for Afternoon Recess, Mrs. Arrons told him he would not return to her room until tomorrow. Tom went back to his first grade classroom after recess. He didn’t know why, but he felt safer in Mrs. Arrons room.

When he went home after school, Tom heard about how Jenny used the potty seat 2 more times today. Tom told his mom how he really liked Mrs. Arrons room and got to use the computer in her room. Mary noticed Tom was wearing different pants than what she put on him that morning, so she knew he had wet at least once. She decided not to ask him about it, she just took his backpack to see how many sets of wet clothes were in there.

Before bed, Tom wet his pants once more and Jenny used the potty once more. Mary thought it was a funny coincidence how Jenny used the potty the same number of times Tom wet his pants. She didn’t say anything to George, for she thought he might think it had something to do with his Twilight Zone fears.

The rest of the week went much the same way. Jenny kept waking up in dry diapers and using the potty seat during the day with her Pull-Ups. Tom kept wetting his pants, usually about two times at school. On Friday, Tom had wet his pants once in the morning and pooped his pants another time before Lunch, and then after Lunch he wet his pants again while he was still in Mrs. Arrons’ room. When she went to get him cleaned up and changed, she realized he didn’t have any more clothes to change into in his bag. She looked in the cabinets in the bathroom and found a pair of pants that would fit him. She couldn’t find any boys underwear his size, so she turned to Tom and started to talk to him.

“Tom,” she said. “there are not any more clothes for you in your backpack. I have some pants for you here and some special throw away underwear. This special underwear I keep for little kids who have accidents, so they have some underwear to wear for the rest of the day and then they can just throw it way when they get changed at home. Let’s get you dressed and then you can get on the computer before Afternoon Recess.”

Tom was a little confused. What were throw away underwear? It wasn’t long before he found out, and he didn’t like the answer. Mrs. Arrons was putting Pull-Ups on him. Pull-Ups like Jenny’s, except these were blue.

“These are BABY diapers. I am a big boy.”

“Tommy, Tommy. These are special underwear for little kids like you who have trouble getting all their pee-pee and poopy in the toilet. This way if you have an accident, we just have to change the special underwear instead of the pants, and no one will ever know you had the accident. Doesn’t that sound nice, getting changed without the other kids knowing you had an accident?”

“Yes,” Tom said with a little voice and his head down.

“Now Tommy,” Mrs. Arrons said. “No one will know you are wearing these special underwear. If you have an accident, just come to me and I will help you get changed into a clean pair.”

Mrs. Arrons helped Tom get dressed again and then she sent him off to the computers. She then went to her desk and called his mom.

“Mrs. Freemor? This is Mrs. Arrons, Tommy’s Special Education Teacher.”

“Is everything okay Mrs. Arrons,” Mary asked?

“Oh yes, nothing to worry about. I was just calling because Tommy wet his pants for the third time today.”

“Three times at school? He hasn’t done that for a long time. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him about all his toileting difficulties.”

“Well Mrs. Freemor, because he didn’t have any more clothes to change into, I put Tommy into a Pull-Up. I hope that is okay with you.”

“Really, I have wanted to do that ever since I took him out of diapers, but my husband told Tom Pull-Ups were only for babies. Ever since then I could never get him to wear one. Did you really get him to put one on, and keep it on?”

“Yes. He is wearing a pair right now. I am looking at him sitting down playing on the computer. If it is a problem with your husband, I will change him back into some underwear before he gets on the bus to go home.”

“No, please don’t Mrs. Arrons. This is just what I need to convince my husband, Tom should be in Pull-Ups. Thank You.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. It is okay for him to be in Pull-Ups. I assume since you are the one who put him in a Pull-Up that it is okay for me to send him to school in Pull-Ups next week?”

“It is okay, just let me know on Monday morning. Children I have in Pull-Ups, get put on a program where their Pull-Ups are checked every two hours or so, to make sure they don’t need to be changed. We can also create a toileting program if you think it would help.”

“Well, I don’t like the idea of sending him to the bathroom every two hours. We tried that and all it did was train us, not him. As soon as we stopped, the wetting returned worse then before. If you have any other ideas I am interested.”

“Well, I have a few, we can get together next week and talk about it if you want.”

“That sounds great Mrs. Arrons. Let me think about it this weekend and I will get back to you on Monday. All I have to figure out is how to tell my husband that I put our 3 year old in cloth training pants today because she has been so successful with using her potty, even going poopy in the potty this morning. And now our 6 year old was put into Pull-Up because of accidents.”

“Oh, that reminds me, Tommy pooped his pants this morning too.”

“It figures. Well thank you and I am sorry for all the problems Tom is giving you.”

“He isn’t a problem. We will work through these difficulties. I will talk with you on Monday. Have a nice weekend Mrs. Freemor.”

“Thank You Mrs. Arrons.”

Tom was scared everyone would know he was wearing diapers, but no one seemed to notice. Shortly before school was over, Mrs. Arrons came into Tom’s class and asked his teacher if Tommy could come with her for a minute. Tom didn’t understand what was going on. He never went to Mrs. Arrons room this time of day, but he went with her. They went down to her room and into her bathroom. She said she needed to check to see if he kept the special underwear clean and dry. She pulled down his pants to look at the pattern on the front of the Pull-Ups. The pattern was gone, so she knew he needed changing. Tom didn’t even know he had wet, but most of the time he didn’t know. Unlike other times, Mrs. Arrons lifted Tom up and put him down on the counter, which is when Tom realized it was a changing table. Mrs. Arrons pulled his pants down and ripped the sides of the Pull-Ups. This is when she realized Tommy had poopy pants too. She then cleaned him up just like his mommy cleans up Jenny when she gets her diapers changed. Tom didn’t like it at all. Mrs. Arrons did everything, from wiping his bottom clean to getting him dressed again before getting him down from the changing table. She then sent him back to class. Tommy was confused. He knew he wasn’t a baby, but Mrs. Arrons was treating him like one.

************************************************** ******************** Part 3 - Tom and Jenny
2002 - 2009

When Tom got home, he was hoping he could get up to his room and change into his underwear before mommy found out he was in Pull-Ups. He didn’t know Mrs. Arrons had called and talked to her. He just knew he didn’t want to be wearing these baby diaper Pull-Ups. They were okay for Jenny because she was a baby, but he was a big 6 year old.

As soon as he walked into the house Jenny came running up to Tom and pulled up her dress. “Wook Tom. Me in big giwl panties.” She was wearing cloth training pants. He was wearing diapers and she was wearing underwear. This was not fair. He started to cry.

Mary heard all of this going on in the next room. She headed toward the front door.

“Mommy,” Jenny said. “Tom cwy-ing.”

“Yes Jenny. He had a rough day. Go play, and mommy will take care of Tommy.”

Jenny went running off only to return almost immediately. “Hewe Mommy. Make Tom betta.” Jenny said as she handed Tom her Winnie the Pooh. Mommy took it as Jenny went running off again to play.

Mary picked up Tom handing him the Winnie the Pooh. He took it as he put his head down on her shoulder. She carried him up to his bedroom.

“Mommy, I don’t want to be a baby.”

“You are not a baby Tommy. You just have a hard time getting all your pee-pee and poopy in the toilet. Pull-Ups will help you until you get them all in the potty like other kids.”

“But mommy . . .”

“No Tommy. You need the Pull-Ups and you are going to wear them. When you can go two days keeping them dry and clean, getting all your poopy and pee-pee in the potty, then you can have your underwear back. You can still go potty on the toilet like you do now, you just will be wearing the Pull-Ups just in case you have an accident.”

“Do I have to wear them Mommy?”

“Tommy, little boys and girls who can not get all their pee-pee and poopy in the toilet wear Diapers or Training Pants. Big boys and girls who use the toilet all the time wear underwear and panties. You need to wear training pants till you can keep them dry and clean. If you can keep them dry all weekend, I will let you wear your underwear to school on Monday, otherwise you will wear Pull-Ups to school.”

Tom was in tears. He didn’t want to wear Pull-Ups. He wasn’t a baby. “Cloth training pants like Jenny?”

“No Tommy. Cloth Training Pants are for big boys and girls who use the toilet all the time, but still might have an accident, maybe once a week or so. Jenny has stayed dry for two days, so she gets cloth training pants. If she can keep them dry for a week, she will get regular big girl panties.”

Mommy just hugged Tom for awhile. Once he stopped crying, she checked his Pull-Ups to see if he was dry and clean. He was wet so she carried him into Jenny’s room and laid him down on her changing table, still hugging Winnie the Pooh. Mary took Tom’s pants and shoes off, and ripped the sides of the Pull-Ups to take them off like a diaper. She wiped him clean and then grabbed one of Jenny’s Pull-Ups and put it on Tom.

“But these are for girls. They are pink.”

“Tommy, I didn’t have a chance to go to the store to get you some of your own Pull-Ups. We have a lot of these that we got for Jenny, and it does not look like she is going to be using them. You can use them till we run out, then we will buy some boy Pull-Ups for you.”

Tom did not like this. First he was being made to wear baby diaper Pull-Ups, and now he had to wear his baby sister’s pink Pull-Up.

When Mary was done making sure the pull-ups were on correctly, she picked Tom up and put him down on the floor. “Go play with Jenny dear. I will be down in a minute.”

“What about my pants Mommy?”

“These are the pants Mrs. Arrons gave you, not your pants. You already wet three pairs of pants today, and if it wasn’t for the Pull-Ups, you would have wet more. Just go play in the Pull-Ups. It is okay for little kids in Pull-Ups and diapers to go around with no pants on. Now go play with your sister.”

Tom put his head down and slowly walked out of Jenny’s room. He tried to pull his shirt down over the Pull-Ups, but they would not cover them. He continued to slowly walk down stairs. Jenny was playing with her new Fisher Price Doll House. When she saw Tom she looked at him funny for a second and then ran up to him and grabbed his hand.

“Tom the baby,” Jenny said handing him the Fisher Price baby character to play with her in the house. She then turned to Tom and pointed to the Pull-Ups, “Good boy Tom, you have bows. Mommy happy with bows. Bows go bye-bye, Mommy sad.”

Tom looked down at the Pull-Ups. There were little bows on it. He knew what Jenny was talking about. If he wet the pants the bows disappear. He felt strange being congratulated by his 3 year old sister for still having bows on his Pull-Ups.

Jenny and Tom played together till their dad got home. When George walked into the house, Jenny went running up to show him her cloth training pants. As she did this, Tom ran upstairs to hide in his room. He stayed up there and played alone while Mary continued to cook dinner and explain the events of the day to George. George did not like the fact that his 6 year old was wearing Pull-Ups, but by the look on Mary’s face, he knew he better not say anything.

“Potty Mommy! ! !” Jenny said as she ran into the Kitchen. Mary looked at George and asked him to watch dinner as she took care of Jenny. She stayed dry and got her pee-pee in the potty. She was all excited and George congratulated her. He then, under directions from Mary, went up to see how Tom was doing.

George found Tom sitting on his floor playing with his toy trucks. He was a little surprised to see him in just a shirt and Pull-Ups, but did not say anything about it. He just came in and got down on the floor with Tom and started to play with the trucks too. Shortly after they started, he noticed the little bows on the front of the pull-ups were faded. How could he argue with his wife about putting Tom in Pull-Ups. His 6 year old son was playing in wet Pull-Ups and his 3 year old daughter was using the potty. After a few more minutes of playing, he took Tom into Jenny’s room to change his Pull-Ups on her changing table. To Tom’s disappointment, he put a new girl Pull-Up on him.

At dinner, Jenny was sitting in her high chair with the tray on and a bib around her neck. Mary kept her in the high chair because she tended to make a big mess with food all over her face, hands, and the tray. She said it was easier to clean up the tray than to clean up the table. She also liked Jenny being strapped in so she couldn’t get out of the seat with food covered hands and face. The bib was a necessity or else Jenny’s clothes would also be covered with food. She usually drank from a sippy cup, for she frequently would knock over her glass during the meal. Today, there was no sippy cup, they were all in the dishwasher or sink. With all that happened today, she hadn’t gotten around to cleaning dishes. Half way through the meal, Jenny said she had to go potty. Mary jumped up grabbing her napkin to wipe her hands and face. To her surprise, they didn’t need to be cleaned. She took off the tray and undid the straps to get her out. She considered taking off the bib, but it was clean too. Mary told her how proud mommy was of her for not getting messy. They were rushing to get Jenny to the potty, but just as she was about to pull down Jenny’s pants, she wet them. Jenny went to tears, she had been working so hard to stay dry that an accident was devastating. Mary tried to tell her it was okay, it was just because she couldn’t get out of the high chair in time. They went upstairs to get her changed. When they came back down Jenny was dressed for bed and wearing a Pull-Up.

“Me weah big kid pants like Tom,” Jenny said pulling down her pants to show George and Tom.

Mary strapped her back into her high chair, so she could finish dinner. The rest of meal went without incident, except for Tom spilling his milk. When dinner was over, Mary got a damp wash cloth to clean up Jenny like she usually does. Jenny, however, didn’t need to be cleaned up, even the bib and tray were clean. Mary wiped her hands and face just out of habit and then got her out of the high chair and told her to go play. As she was about to carry Jenny’s plate and glass over to the sink, she noticed Tom. Unlike Jenny, he needed the damp wash cloth. Looking at his hands and face, she couldn’t tell if he used his silverware at all. Just as he was about to put his hands on the table to push his chair back to get out of his booster seat, Mary stopped him. She wiped his hands and face, shaking her head back and forth looking down at his shirt. It also had food on it. She took his shirt off, leaving him with just Pull-Ups and socks on. She noticed the Pull-Ups were dry, amazing she thought to herself. As she got him down, he went running off to the bathroom. Mary and George smiled at each other when they heard the toilet flush.

That night after the kids were put to bed, George and Mary talked. They were both puzzled by the increase in Tom’s wet and messy pants. When George started to question if Pull-Ups were appropriate, Mary pointed out that the school was the one who had put him in the Pull-Ups after he had wet and messed his pants for the third time in one day. She then said she was going to give her children what they needed based upon their skills. If Tom needed Pull-Ups, then he would get Pull-Ups. If he needs help with reading, then he gets it. Mary was very adamant about this point. The kids would get the support they needed, when they needed it. George was about to complain about putting a 6 year old in Pull-Ups, but after looking at Mary’s facial expressions, he decided not to say anything.

They also talked about Jenny’s amazing progress. Mary pointed out that Jenny made it through Thursday with only pooping her pants once, and today, Friday, she made it through the whole day with only the accident because she couldn’t get out of the high chair fast enough. Mary felt it was time to move her out of the highchair and into a booster seat. Since Tom was still too small to sit at the table without a booster seat, they would need to buy a new booster seat just for Jenny. Mary was concerned about taking her out of the highchair, and gave George strict instructions to watch her closely to make sure she does not leave the table with messy hands and face. She did not want hand prints all over the house.

“It was interesting at dinner today George,” Mary stated. “Jenny ate without making a mess, but Tom was a big mess. Did he eat any of the meal with his silverwear?”

“I don’t know,” George said. “I wasn’t really paying attention.”

“Well, I was watching Jenny really close because she didn’t have a sippy cup,” Mary said. “She did great. I think I will try a few meals this weekend without the sippy cup to see how she does.”

After talking some more, they went to bed themselves. They were awoken the next morning by Jenny screaming for Mommy. Mary jumped out of bed and went racing for her room.

“What’s wrong Jenny,” she asked as she quickly got over to the crib.

“Potty Mommy!!!”

Mary grabbed her and quickly headed toward the bathroom. As she was racing down the hall, she could feel the warmth on Jenny’s bottom. They had lost the race. Jenny wet her Pull-Up. Jenny started to cry.

“I twy mommy.”

“I know dear. You couldn’t get out of your crib to get to the potty. It is okay dear. It is okay. It is just an accident. It is okay dear.”

George stood at the doorway to the hallway and wondered why Jenny was so upset about having an accident, but Tom didn’t even seem to know when he had an accident.

Jenny tried to go on the potty and was upset when nothing came out. Her mommy cleaned her up and got her dressed for the day. She decided to go with the Pull-Ups today instead of cloth training pants. Jenny didn’t seem to care. She was just happy to be wearing big girl pants instead of diapers.

Mary looked in on Tom before going and getting dressed herself. She didn’t know how, but somehow he had slept through all of the screaming. It always amazed her how kids could sleep through certain things. Later when she did go in to get Tom up, she discovered the Pull-Ups had leaked, and she had to wash his sheets again. The frustration of the day, however, came later that morning. Before Lunch, Jenny wet her pants once and used the potty twice. During this time, Tom wet his pants twice and only used the potty once. During Breakfast and Lunch, Jenny sat in the high chair as usual, but she ate using her silverware and barely needed her face wiped at the end. Her bib was clean and there was no food on her tray or hands. Tom however was covered with food, hands, face, shirt, and around his plate on the table.

Once Jenny was put down for a nap and Tom was off playing, Mary sat George down to talk.

“George, we have a problem,” Mary said. “Jenny is moving much faster than expected. We need to get her out of her crib before her bed will be here in two months. We have to get her out of the highchair too. She can not hold on long enough to wait for getting out of these things when she needs to go potty. She is upset by accidents at the moment, but if she starts having a lot of them because of being in her crib or highchair, she will stop caring and stop trying to get to the potty seat. That’s Jenny, and with Tom, I am going to put a diaper on him tonight instead of the Pull-Up. The Pull-Ups leaked with his heavy night time wetting.”

“Look at us, how did we get ourselves into such a position,” George commented. “Our 6 year old son is back in diapers, and our 3 year old is outgrowing her baby stuff faster than we can replace it.”

“Hmmmmmm,” Mary pondered. “That might work George.”

“What?”

“We need to get Jenny out of the crib because she is wearing training pants and can keep them dry at night if she can have access to the potty. Tom will be wearing diapers at night because he doesn’t use the potty at night and doesn’t need to when he wakes up since he wet at night.”

“Yeah, so?” George questioned. “I don’t like having Tom in a diaper, but admittedly he doesn’t use the toilet at night.”

“Well, what if . . . .” Mary hesitantly started.

George was puzzled. Mary had something on her mind. What was it? “Mary?”

“What if . . . . if we . . . . we had the kids switch rooms?”

“What would that accomplish, both of their rooms are about the same size, but we would still need to buy a bed for Jenny this weekend.”

“No George,” Mary interrupted. “I mean, just switch the children leaving everything else the same. As soon as Jenny’s bed comes, we can switch back.”

George was confused. He was trying to figure out what she was talking about. “Are you saying we should put Tom in . . . . in Jenny’s crib?”

“Well, yes.” Mary hesitantly said. “It would actually have some advantages. Jenny would have a bed to sleep in that she could get out of and to the potty if needed. She has the little girl sheets and bed spread she got for her birthday. In a crib, Tom wouldn’t get out of bed and get pee all over the house from a leaky diaper. As long as he is in a diaper, there is no reason for him to get out of the crib. When I have to wash sheets due to a diaper leaking, crib sheets are smaller and easier to clean.”

“You want to put Tom in a crib?”

“Well, yes.”

“He is 6 years old, almost 7,” George said stating the obvious. “You can’t put a 6 year old in a crib at night. He is not a baby.”

“George,” Mary said grabbing his hands. “You are the one complaining when he gets out of bed in the morning and starts watching cartoons, waking everyone up in the house. In a crib he couldn’t do that. It is less work for me if he is in the crib, much less laundry. Jenny really needs a regular bed and I want her to have the canopy bed I ordered her. If we buy her a bed this weekend, I will have to cancel that order. Tom is spending more time in Jenny’s room with getting his Pull-Ups changed on her changing table, than Jenny is. And maybe, if we explain to Tom that Jenny needs a bed she can get out of to use the potty and he doesn’t, he might try harder to use the potty.”

“But putting him in a crib?”

“Have you looked at the kids recently George, they are changing places even without us doing anything about it. Jenny is acting more grown up every day, and Tom is acting more like Jenny use to. If we start treating him how he is acting, he might decide to grow up like Jenny is.”

Just then, they herd the buzzer on the Dryer go off. “Well, there is the first load of laundry because Tom wet his bed last night. I still have to wash the blanket, it got wet too.” Mary got up and headed toward the washer and dryer.

George didn’t know what to think. Tom was not a baby, and he didn’t like the idea of treating him like one. He got up and went to see what Tom was doing. What George found surprised him a little. Tom was quietly playing, but he wasn’t playing with his toys. He was playing with Jenny’s. He was playing with Jenny’s baby toys, some of which even Jenny had stopped playing with recently because they were for babies and she was a big girl. What was happening to him. He is not a baby, but why does he keep acting like one.

George watched the two kids that afternoon. Something Mary said kept sticking in his head. - - - Have you looked at the kids recently George, they are changing places even without us doing anything about it. Jenny is acting more grown up every day, and Tom is acting more like Jenny use to. - - - George didn’t understand what she was talking about, but after watching the kids all afternoon, he was even more confused.

In watching the two of them play, Jenny acted more like the older sister showing little Tom how to play with things and what to do with different toys. This was odd, but stranger yet, was toileting issues. Jenny had taken on a motherly role and Tom was letting her. The one time Tom did use the toilet that afternoon, Jenny congratulated him and told him how much of a good boy he was for using the potty and keeping the bows on his Pull-Ups. Tom smiled when she did this. When Jenny used the potty, she would come back and show Tom the bows on her Pull-Ups by lifting up her dress. She would then ask to see the bow on Tom’s Pull-Ups. If he didn’t respond, she would go up and say she would check. Tom would just stand there and let his 3 year old sister pull down his pants to see if he still had bows on his Pull-Ups. Every time she did this he was wet and she just took his hand and brought him to Mary. The one time Jenny had an accident, Tom just kept playing. He did not support her at all, like he didn’t understand why she was upset and crying.

When Tom used the potty and immediately afterwards Jenny wet her pants, Mary jokingly commented on how she couldn’t win, one of the kids used the toilet and the other wet their pants. Well, George thought about this and it was more true than she would have imagined. When Jenny went poopy in the toilet, Tom pooped in his Pull-Ups. When Tom went pee-pee in the toilet, Jenny wet her pants. When Jenny went pee-pee in the toilet, Tom’s Pull-Ups were wet. Thinking back over the day, Jenny had two accidents and Tom only used the toilet twice. This was weird Twilight Zone stuff. He pointed this out to Mary, but she said it was just coincidence.

Dinner also looked strange. Jenny was in the highchair with the bib, but Tom was the one covered with food. Tom was the one that spilled his milk. At the end of the meal, it was Tom who needed help getting cleaned up, not Jenny. If Tom wasn’t bigger than Jenny, you would think he was the baby instead of Jenny. Could he really be retarded? Maybe the school was right putting him in Special Education.

After dinner Mary took Tom up to change his Pull-Ups in Jenny’s room. Afterwards, Tom looked in his room and yelled for Mommy.

“Why are Jenny’s pink sheets and blankie on my bed?”

Mary knew she needed to have this discussion with Tom, she had tried to avoid it all afternoon, but now she couldn’t get around it anymore. “Tommy,” She started. “Jenny has been using the potty a lot and she gets upset when she doesn’t make it to the potty in time. She can’t get out of her crib to get to the potty, so she needs a bed she can get out of. You don’t use the potty at night like Jenny, so you don’t need a bed you can get out of.”

“Why are Jenny’s pink sheet and blankie on MY bed?”

“Tommy,” Mary tried to calm him and explain. “Jenny has a new bed coming in two months, but till then daddy and I decided Jenny needed to be in a different bed.”

“Jenny sleeping with me?”

“No honey. We decided to have you and Jenny switch beds, so Jenny will sleep in here till her new bed comes. You will sleep in her room.”

“Jenny have no bed. Where do I sleep.”

“You are going to sleep in Jenny’s bed in her room.” Mary could see the puzzled look on his face. She knew this was not going to be easy. She wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do, and was amazed George was even going to let her do it. The hardest sales pitch however, was Tommy. She had to convince him this was okay. How do you tell a 6 year old they need to give up their big boy bed to their 3 year old little sister, and they needed to sleep in a baby crib. Tell a 6 year old that the 3 year old needs the big bed and they don’t. Tom hadn’t really figured out what she was asking of him yet. She decided to take a different approach to help explain.

“Tommy,” she said. “Get teddy and we will go see where the two of you will sleep tonight.”

Tom went and got his teddy bear that he slept with every night. Mary picked him up and carried him to Jenny’s room. When they got there, she entered and pulled the door closed. If Tom started to throw a temper tantrum she didn’t want Jenny coming up and complicating the issue. She walked over the crib and started to put Tom down into the crib.

“No Mommy. Me no baby.” Tommy said as he started to resist being put into the crib.

“I know you are not a baby. You are Mommy’s little boy. You only have to sleep here until Jenny’s new bed comes.” This time Mary was able to put Tommy down into the crib. He was holding onto teddy really tight. His Blankie was already in the crib. It was his crib blanket when he was little. He kept it on his bed when he got a big bed, even though it was too small to use as his regular bed blanket. Now that he will be back in the crib, the blanket will now be his only blanket.

“Did you know Tommy, this use to be your crib before Jenny moved into it.”

“But Mommy. I was a baby then. Me big boy now.”

“Yes honey, but for a little while, this will be your bed.”

Tom sat in the crib thinking about all of this. He looked around the room. There were a lot of pink frilly things like the curtains and pictures on the walls. Next to the crib was the changing table. He was use to that, over the last week he has gotten changed a lot on the changing table. Now the crib was going to be his too.

Mary could tell Tom was going to accept the crib. She had one last obstacle to deal with tonight. She had to put a diaper on him before bed. Pull-Ups were one thing, but a diaper was different. George had been talking about odd behavior between the two children. Like the progress Jenny was making was linked to the regression in Tom. That is silly, isn’t it? George had always had a strange feeling something was not real, but it was all in his imagination, wasn’t it? Mary looked down at Tom sitting in the crib. He was just sitting there talking with his teddy bear, explaining to the Teddy, it was going to be sleeping in the crib now.

“No silly,” Tom said to his bear. “I am not giving you to Jenny. This is going to be our new bed. Jenny is going to sleep in our old bed.” He moved his bear around a little, showing it all the areas of the crib. “Yes, mommy said that too. It use to be our bed back a long time ago. Jenny needed it, so we gave it to Jenny, now we get it back. Now Jenny needs our old bed, so she gets it and we can have this bed back. Yes, it is a crib, not a bed. It is okay Teddy. I know you are not a baby. Big kids can sleep in cribs too. I will be here to help you get through the long night.”

Mary smiled at this conversation. She waited for it to end before she picked him up and brought him downstairs to play until bed time.


Re: George’s Legacy
Part 4 - Retarded?
2002 - 2009

It was Jenny’s bed time first. Mary brought her up and changed her into her favorite set of pajamas. Jenny thought it was neat-o that she got to sleep in a big girl bed. She went potty and then climbed into bed. Mary read her a bed time story and before turning out the lights, Mary picked up Tommy’s favorite blanket sleeper and kissed Jenny and her dolly good night. Then it was Tommy’s turn.

Mary carried Tommy up and laid him down on the changing table. She undressed him and cleaned him up since he had on a wet Pull-Up. Tom wasn’t paying much attention when his mom grabbed his ankles for a second time and lifted them. He figured she just had more to clean, but he was lowered immediately. Before he could figure out what was happening, his mom was fastening the tapes on the diaper.

“Mommy,” Tom asked? He was confused.

“Yes dear?”

“Am I a baby now mommy?”

Mary was surprised by this question. She expected yelling, kicking, and screaming. Tommy was calm. Mary thought about the question as she finished fastening up the diaper and started to put on his blanket sleeper. In her mind, he has always been her baby boy, but in this situation, she wasn’t going to tell him that.

“You have always been mommy’s little boy, but you are not a baby Tommy. Why do you think you are a baby?”

“Only babies wear diapers and sleep in cribs.”

“Oh honey, even kids older than you wear diapers. Diapers are for little boys and girls who do not or can not use the toilet. Since you will be in a crib at night and you can not get out to use the toilet, I thought a diaper would be best. The Pull-Ups leaked last night. I hope the diaper will not leak.” Mary purposely avoided talking about putting him in a crib. He was correct there, only babies slept in cribs.

“Silly mommy, seven year olds do not wear diapers.”

“Tommy, there are a lot of six, seven, eight and even nine year olds that wear diapers.” She figured there was no way Tommy would believe that even adults wear diapers, but he might believe kids just older than him still wear diapers.

Tom did not believe his mommy, for he knew only babies wore diapers. He had never seen anyone his age in a diaper. Older kids never wore diapers or Pull-Ups. Even little Kindergarteners always used the potty and never wet their pants. He had to be a baby. That had to be why mommy, daddy and teacher put him in Pull-Ups and now a diaper. Tom was about to say this to mommy, but he was distracted when mommy sat down in the rocking chair in the room with him on her lap. She reached over to the shelf next to her and picked up a bed time story. Before she had gotten far into the story, Tom fell asleep in her arms. She just sat there for a while before she got up and put him down to sleep in the crib.

Before leaving, she stood looking at Tommy. He looked so cute and little sleeping there in his blanket sleeper hugging his teddy. He did not look like a six year old in a baby crib, he looked like he belonged in the crib. It was just the right size. She knew he was small for his age, still wearing size 5 and some 4T clothing, but she didn’t think he would fit so nicely in the crib. She wondered if she was making a mistake putting him in a diaper and in the crib. She knew he needed the diaper, but was it right to put a six year old in a diaper. His teacher had sent him home in a Pull-Up, but to put him in a diaper? Jenny needed a regular bed, but was it right to put Tommy into her crib? Was she going too far? He was acting more like a baby every day. She was only giving him these things after he had shown her the need for them (everything except the crib), but what was really going on. Was he acting like a baby because he was being treated like one? A six year old should have thrown a fit over being put in a diaper. Tommy didn’t. He just accepted it. He didn’t ask about the diaper, he basically just asked if he was still a big boy.

George walked in and hugged his wife. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, I was just thinking.”

“How hard did he fight the crib and diaper?”

“He didn’t.”

George looked at Tom with a quizzical look. “Are we doing the right thing?”

Mary didn’t know how to answer that question, so she just hugged George and led him out of the room. They looked in on Jenny before going down stairs to watch some TV.

That night George had another strange dream. It started with a deep heavy voice: “Meet Mr. George Freemor. He does not live solely in the real world, he lives simultaneously in both the real world and the Twilight Zone. George needs to beware of what he says and thinks, the world around him is impacted by his perceptions.”

George then heard his own voice echo in his head, “My son is no retard. What do you expect us to do, put a diaper on him and put him in a class with retards that have to wear bibs and fed like a baby. No way! I am not having both my children in diapers.”

The deep voice could be heard again, “For a long time George has perceived his son as retarded, even though he wasn’t. He believed children should be toilet trained by their 3rd birthday, and only retarded children wet or messed their pants after that age. When the school said his son needed a little extra support at school in order to learn, George’s perceptions took the forefront. As a kid, he had always called the kids in special education Retards. Poor George is unable to get that perception out of his head. George’s son could have been anything George could have imagined. As George’s perceptions come more to the surface, his children grow to meet those perceptions. They will learn what it really means to be in The Twilight Zone.”

Jenny appeared from behind a mist. “Daddy it is okay, only one of us will be in diapers. I don’t wear diapers anymore, I am a big girl.” Jenny then picked up her dress and proudly showed her daddy the little girl panties with Winnie the Pooh on it. Jenny then disappeared into the mist.

The mist started to clear again, showing the same classroom as the last dream with the retarded 6 and 7 year olds who behaved like babies. George saw Tom playing on the floor with a stacking rings toy. He kept putting them on in the wrong order so only one or two would fit. A teacher came up to him and brought him back to a bathroom to change his diaper. She lifted him on to the changing table and quickly changed his wet and messy diaper, while Tom giggled and played with a little plastic toy horse. When the teacher was done changing the diaper, she stood him up on the floor with his pants still down around his ankles. “Be a big boy Tommy and pull up your pants,” the teacher said.

Tom looked down at his pants and up to the teacher, then he looked straight at George and said as he pulled up his pants, “Look Daddy, me big boy!” When they were up he started clapping and jumping up and down yelling, “Me Big Boy! Me Big Boy!” The image faded behind some mist as George heard the teacher say, “Good job Tommy, you are such a big boy.”

George woke up in a sweat. Mary was still asleep. He got up and went in to see Tom. Without thinking, he walked into Tom’s room and saw Jenny sleeping in the bed. George smiled at his daughter. He was so proud of his little girl growing up so fast. He kissed her on the forehead and went to look at Tom. He was also sound asleep, sleeping like a baby. Tom was hugging his teddy bear. George went up to him and lowered the rails of the crib. He kissed him on the forehead just as he had done with Jenny. George thought about the dream as he pulled the blanket up to keep Tom warm. He was confused. He didn’t really perceive his son as retarded, did he? George lifted the railing to the crib and stopped to look back as he reached the door to the room. George tried to view his son as a doctor, lawyer, or even a policeman, but he couldn’t. Looking at Tom wearing a diaper and sleeping in a crib was too much. No matter how hard he tried, he could only view Tom as a stupid retard. As George left the room one thought stayed in his head, - - - If he was anything other than a stupid retard, he would have fought to stay out of a diaper and the crib.

The next morning Mary walked into the nursery to wake Tommy up. She lowered the side rails of the crib and lifted him and his teddy bear out. Tommy was not really awake, but this did not stop Mary. She put him down on the changing table and started to change his diaper. It was wet, but unlike the Pull-Ups, it had not leaked. Mary cleaned him up and without thinking, she put another diaper on him. With him still half asleep, she decided to leave Tommy in his blanket sleeper. She carried him down stairs to breakfast. As they entered the kitchen, she saw Jenny sitting in Tommy’s booster seat, eating breakfast exactly where she had left her.

“Is it yummy Jenny,” Mary asked? Jenny shook her head has she continued to eat her oatmeal with her spoon. Mary looked at Jenny sitting in Tommy’s booster seat. She had a bib on that was spotless, and her face and hands were clean. The cup on the table with orange juice in it had about half as much as when she left, and Jenny had not spilled any. Jenny wasn’t near done with breakfast so Mary had to find a place to put Tommy till she was done eating. She looked around and spotted the highchair. She wasn’t sure if she should, he was six years old. She decided to put him in the high chair, but she left the tray off. She readjusted the chair so it would fit under the table. She buckled the straps before pushing the chair in so Tommy could eat off the table.

Jenny ignored this whole process, like it was normal for Tommy to be eating in the highchair. Tommy, still half asleep, didn’t say anything. Once he was settled, Mary went to get Tommy some breakfast. She put some oatmeal in a bowl and sprinkled in some fresh blueberries. She filled a glass half full of orange juice, and put some toast in the toaster for him. She couldn’t stop thinking about how nice it was to have two dry beds this morning. She didn’t have to clean any wet sheets or pajamas today. As she started to bring the oatmeal over to Tommy she stopped half way there. She looked at the oatmeal and then at Jenny and Tommy.

“You know Jenny,” Mary said, not really expecting Jenny to say anything back. “If I give him this, I will have a very messy pair of blanket sleepers to clean. I don’t really want to deal with that this morning. I think it is time for Tommy to wear a bib again. After the last few meals, he definitely needs one.”

Mary went back to get a bib for Tommy. When she put it on him, all he said was, “I love you Mommy.”

When she put the oatmeal down in front of him, the first thing he did was reach in with his hands and eat some of the blueberries. In this process, some of the oatmeal dripped down onto the table and his bib.

“You see Jenny,” Mary said. “I guess it was a good thing I put the bib on Tommy.”

“Tommy messy. Jenny clean.” Jenny said with a big smile on her face.

“Yes dear,” Mary replied chuckling to herself.

A few minutes later George came down to breakfast. What greeted him at the table was not what he expected. “It figures,” he said quietly as he rolled his eyes and sat down.

“Did you sleep well honey,” Mary asked when she saw him?

“No,” George replied. “I had another strange dream last night.”

“Really,” Mary inquired. “What was this one about?”

George knew Mary did not like him talking about his beliefs of being in the Twilight Zone, especially in front of the kids. He decided to be careful about what he said. “It was about the kids and how fast they are changing.”

“Jenny sure is growing up real fast isn’t she? I don’t even think she needs a bib any more for meals, and she does fine without a sippy cup. It is amazing isn’t it? A week ago if you told me my brand new three year old would be toilet trained in a week, I would have laughed at you. But look at her now, she is in cloth training pants, and I would guess that by the end of the week I will have her in regular little girl panties. She doesn’t even wet the bed at night anymore.”

“Yeah,” George agreed, “she is growing up fast.” And to himself, he thought - - at least I have one NORMAL child, and one stupid retard. He looked over at Tommy just as he was putting his juice back down on the table, causing it to spill in the process.

As the day went on, Mary started to get worried about George. He had spent all day Saturday just watching the kids, and now he was spending all day Sunday doing the same. She had expected him to complain about Tommy being in diapers, a highchair, the sippy cup she gave Tommy at lunch time, and the crib. He didn’t. George just sat watching the children. He wasn’t playing with them, helping with them, or doing anything except watching them.

“Are you okay honey,” Mary asked George one time after bringing Tom back from changing his Pull-Ups (she had put him in a Pull-Up when she got him dressed after breakfast).

“Yes,” George said hesitantly. “I was just wondering if it was my fault Tommy is acting so much like a baby.”

Mary was confused by this, it didn’t make any sense to her. “What do you mean?”

“My dream said Tom acts like this because I think he is retarded. My dream told me he would act like a normal six year old, if I could just view him as one.” George explain as he watched Tom playing with one of Jenny’s infant toys, one of those pop-up toys where you push or turn something and a figure pops up.

“What are you talking about honey,” Mary inquired? Mary had never viewed Tom as retarded, and was surprised George did. “Tommy is just delayed in certain things, he isn’t retarded. It is not your fault George that he has delays.”

“I am not sure about that. I said I didn’t want two kids in diapers at the school meeting. Well, I don’t have two kids in diapers. Jenny got out and Tom went in.”

“He needed the diapers George.”

“Maybe, but is that because of me?”

“No George, it is not because of you. Tommy has always had trouble controlling his bladder and bowels.”

“Yeah, but is that because . . . .”

“George, no!” Mary was not sure how he figured it was his fault. She was angry at him for pushing on Tom that certain things were babyish before he was ready to outgrow them, but Mary knew Tom had developmental delays and that was not because of George. It was just a coincidence Jenny got out of diapers at the same time Tommy went back in. It had nothing to do with the comment George made at the school meeting. Mary however, could not get one concept out of her mind. Could Tommy really be retarded? That would explain a lot, but could it really be true. The school psychologist at the meeting said he wasn’t, but was she correct?

Just then, Jenny came up to the two of them with Tommy in tow as she held his hand. “Mommy, Tommy went poopy in his diapers.”

“Tommy is wearing Pull-Ups, not diapers Jenny.” Mary said as she stood up and took Tommy’s hand. “Thank you Jenny, you are a good sister to Tommy.”

As they started up the stairs, Mary heard Jenny talking to George, “I am a big girl Daddy. I go poopy in the potty.”

************************************************** ******************** Part 5 - Back to School
2002 - 2009

On Monday morning Mary got Tommy up a little early to get him ready for school. She decided to wait till after breakfast to get him dressed. At breakfast, just like all the meals on Sunday, Mary put Tommy in the highchair. She still wasn’t using the tray, but she did put a bib on him and gave him a sippy cup. While Tommy was eating breakfast, Mary sat looking at him trying to figure out what she was going to tell Mrs. Arrons, Tommy’s special education teacher. Mary had told Mrs. Arrons she would call on Monday.

Mary changed Tommy out of the diaper and put a new Pull-Up on him. She thought about the Pull-Ups being pink and for girls, but she just shrugged, they still had tons of little girl Pull-Ups left. Jenny was never going to come close to using them all, so Tommy would have to use them up. She grabbed five of them and placed them aside to put in his school backpack. Getting him dressed faced Mary with a new challenge. Issue number one, all his clothes were in his room where Jenny was still sleeping. Issue number two, the first pair of pants she put on Tommy were not going to be appropriate for school, all the other kids would be able to tell he was wearing a Pull-Up. Mary wasn’t trying to hide them, but she didn’t want to make them too obvious.

Once he was dressed she sent him down to play as she got his backpack together. She put the Pull-ups in and a tub of baby wipes. She put the pair of pants Mrs. Arrons sent Tommy home in on Friday, along with two other pairs. She made sure he still had a clean shirt and socks in there just in case. Mary felt more like she was packing a diaper bag than a school backpack. The only thing missing was a bib and a sippy cup, but that would be inappropriate for an elementary school. Mary chuckled at this thought, for Pull-Ups and baby wipes were extremely inappropriate for elementary school but she was still sending her son to school with them. When she started to think about what the other kids in his first grade class would say when they find out he is in Pull-Ups, she almost changed him into underwear. She wasn’t sure about sending a six year old to school in Pull-Ups, but Mrs. Arrons had put him in them on Friday, so it must be okay.

As Mary stood at the bus stop with Tommy, she looked around at the other kids. Here she was, about to put her baby boy who is still in diapers on a school bus for first grade. - - - A kid in diapers on a school bus? - - - This just seemed too strange to Mary, she couldn’t do it. As the bus approached, she took Tommy’s hand and walked back home.

“What’s wrong? Didn’t the bus come?” George asked as they walked back into the house?

“I couldn’t do it George. I couldn’t put a kid in diapers on a school bus. I am going to bring him to school today.” She told Tommy to go play while she got Jenny up and dressed. George hugged and kissed them both and headed off to work.

Mary quickly got Jenny up and changed out of her dry night time Pull-Ups. This process was only slowed down by Jenny having to run off to the bathroom to go potty. Jenny was put in a pair of cloth training pants with little pink flowers all over them. Mary initially grabbed a pink pair of overalls with snaps down the legs (Jenny loved them), but then put them back. Mary didn’t know why, but she wanted Jenny to look really nice and did not want her to look babyish. She put Jenny in a pretty little dress with frills and lace. When Mary put Jenny’s hair in pigtails, it was the crowning effect to make her absolutely adorable. As Mary carried her down stairs to get the two kids in the car, one thought came and went very quickly - - - at least one of my kids won’t look like a baby.

Ten minutes before school was to begin, Mary pulled into the school parking lot. A lot of parents were dropping their kids off, but most of them were not getting out of their cars. At the office, Mary asked for Mrs. Arrons’ room. She was told it was down the first hallway, third door on the left. Then the office secretary turned to Tom and asked him to show his mommy to Mrs. Arrons’ room. Tommy started down the hall in front of Mom and Jenny. Mary had to call him back, when he was going the wrong way. Mary just shook her head as she took his hand and brought him down to Mrs. Arrons’ room. As they walked in the room, they saw Mrs. Arrons sitting at her desk typing on her computer.

“Hi Mrs. Arrons,” Tom said.

“Well, well, well. Good morning Tom. I was expecting to get a call from you this morning Mrs. Freemor, what a nice surprise to see you. And who do we have here?”

“I’m Jenny,” she said with a glee to her voice only a toddler has.

“Hello there Jenny,” Mrs. Arrons said as she kneeled down in front of her. “And how old are you?”

“I’m this many,” she gleefully said holding up three fingers. “I’m a big girl. I wear big girl panties.” Jenny said as she pulled up her dress to show off her training pants.

“Jenny!” Mrs. Freemor said trying to push down her dress.

“It’s okay Mrs. Freemor,” Mrs. Arrons interrupted. “She is just proud of her big girl panties.” Mrs. Arrons turned back to Jenny and said, “Wow, they are very pretty big girl panties. Have you been getting all your pee-pee and poopy in the potty like a big girl?”

“Yup,” She said with a big huge smile. “I got lots of Pull-Ups for my Biwthday, but I gave em to Tom cus’ I big girl and use potty. Tom doesn’t, so he wears Pull-Ups.”

Mrs. Arrons now stood up and turned to Mrs. Freemor who had a very red face after Jenny’s last comment. “How can I help you this morning Mrs. Freemor.”

“I just had a hard time putting a kid in diapers on the school bus. Your not suppose to send kids to school in diapers.”

“Diapers,” Mrs. Arrons questioned looking at Tom and then back at Mrs. Freemor. “So did you decide to go with diapers instead of Pull-Ups?”

“I’m sorry, he is in Pull-Ups. But they are for all practical purposes . . .”

“Yes they are, but it is better for the kids if you distinguish the difference between the two.”

“Tom, take Jenny and go over to the toys and play.” Mrs. Arrons said. She waited for the two of them to go off to the toys before continuing. “So, how did the weekend go?”

“Well, Tommy only used the toilet twice this weekend, and both times were on Saturday. I have been putting him in diapers at night, because the Pull-Ups leak at night. He is not happy about wearing the girl Pull-Ups, but we bought a lot for Jenny and she will not be using them. She has been dry at night for a week now, and over the last five days, she has been dry and clean during three of them.”

“My, oh, my. You have had a busy last few days. How is Mr. Freemor handling all of this?”

“He has found it hard to have his 3 year old using the toilet and his 6 year old back in diapers, I’m sorry Pull-Ups. Not to mention the rest of the issues with Tommy.”

“I know you didn’t expect when Tommy was born to send him to school in diapers, but he is not the first child I have had over the years in Pull-Ups.”

“Do you have other children at the moment in Pull-Ups?”

“Not this year,” Mrs. Arrons said looking at Tommy. “I have a few kids who occasionally have accidents, but Tommy is the only one on my caseload with accidents frequent enough to need Pull-Ups. I usually have one or two each year in Pull-Ups. Mrs. Freemor, I am curious about something you said and I question where we are going with this. If Tommy isn’t using the toilet, we have a very different issue to address here. I stress to the parents and child that Pull-Ups are for children who use the potty, and diapers are for kids who don’t.”

“Well, a week ago he was using the toilet about 75 percent of the time. I think the current set back is due to his little sister being so successful in her toilet training. The more success she has, the harder time Tommy has. It must be hard for him to see his baby sister do something so easily that he has struggled with for years.”

“Yes, children often have set backs when that happens. The other thing that causes set backs is actually putting them back into some type of protective undergarment. The child becomes less stressed over their control issues and tends to have more accidents. If you combine the two issues together with Tommy, we may be fighting an uphill battle. Staying dry and clean may just be too much for him at this time.”

“What should we do Mrs. Arrons? Should we just put him in a diaper and stop pushing him to use the toilet?”

“NO!” Mrs. Arrons said adamantly. “I see Jenny is still in cloth training pants instead of panties even though she has stayed clean and dry three of the last five days. Well, let’s give Tommy a week in Pull-Ups before we go either way. We ask and encourage him to use the toilet, but do not send him to use it. I will track his use at school and you track it at home. We’ll talk regularly throughout the week to track the progress.”

Buzzzzzzzzzzz - the school bell rang throughout the building interrupting their conversation.

“Oh my,” Mrs. Arrons said. “I am sorry Mrs. Freemor, but I have only ten minutes before kids arrive in my room and Tommy needs to check into his first grade room before he comes back here for reading. I assume he has extra Pull-Ups in that backpack you are holding.” Mrs. Arrons then turned to Tommy and said, “Tommy clean up quickly, you have to get to class.”

“Yes, he has five Pull-Ups in here along with changes of clothes. There is also the pair of pants you were kind enough to lend Tommy on Friday. Take everything in the backpack out and store it here. I will check the backpack everyday and send what is needed. As soon as we get some boy Pull-Ups, I will send a bag to school. Until we use up all the girl Pull-Ups, I will just send a few at a time.”

“Tommy hurry up,” Mrs. Arrons said. “You can send a package of the girl Pull-Ups if you want. The other children will never know whether his Pull-Ups are for boys or girls. If you want to talk more, I would be happy to meet with you later in the day or tomorrow, but I really have to get ready for the kids.”

“Oh, I’m sorry Mrs. Arrons. I know I should have called first, but I just couldn’t put a kid in Pull-Ups on the bus. He seemed so babyish compared to the other children at the bus stop.”

“If you want to meet an hour before school ends, I would be happy to meet with you then.”

“That would be great. I will see you then,” Mrs. Freemor said as the two kids came back to the adults.

“Tommy, you need to quickly go down to class. You are late. I will see you during reading.” Mrs. Arrons said.

Mrs. Freemor said goodbye and took the kids down to Tommy’s first grade classroom. She dropped Tommy off without telling his first grade teacher about the Pull-Ups. She felt strange leaving the school without mentioning to anyone about the addition of a bib and sippy cup at home. She knew the crib and highchair were inappropriate for a six year old and she had no intention of ever mentioning those to anyone at school.

At reading time, Tom was sent down to Mrs. Arrons’ room. He got lost on the way. One of the fifth graders found Tommy hiding in a corner crying. He took him by the hand and brought him to the office, and then they directed him to bring Tommy to Mrs. Arrons’ room. The fifth grader, named Mike, got Tommy to stop crying before they reached Mrs. Arrons’ room, but she could see he had been crying.

“Are you Mrs. Arrons,” Mike asked upon entering the room?

“Yes,” Mrs. Arrons responded as she went up to Tommy and kneeled down in front of him. “What happened?”

“I am not sure, but I found him scrunched down in a corner of the Intermediate Wing. He was crying and appeared very scared. I brought him to the office and they directed me here.”

“Thank You. That was very nice of you,” Mrs. Arrons said. “And what is your name?”

“Mike Simmons, mam.”

“Well Mike, you did a very good job rescuing Tommy.”

“I have a lot of experience rescuing little crying kids. I have a four year old little sister who cries whenever she is scared. Tommy here was a little harder to get to stop crying, but the same tricks that work with my little sister worked with him.”

“Thank You Mike. I will take Tommy from here. Let me get you a pass back to class. Who is your teacher?”

“Mrs. Johana”

As Mrs. Arrons handed Mike a note for his teacher, she said, “Mike, if you ever see Tommy in the hall by himself, could you please bring him to my room?”

“Sure, no problem Mrs. Arrons.” Mike then turned to Tommy and said, “Now Tommy, have a good day and try not to get lost again.” He then tickled Tommy under the chin before leaving.

Tommy waved goodbye, but did not say anything. Mrs. Arrons brought him over to her desk and tried to get out of him how he got down into the Intermediate wing. Tommy was not much help. He told her he left his first grade room and he couldn’t find her room. She sat him down at his desk and gave him some work to do. In the back of her head, she started to figure out ways to make sure there was always someone to escort him from place to place. At the same time, she was trying to figure out how his schedule would need to change to allow her to check his Pull-Ups about every two hours.

As the morning went on, Mrs. Arrons was noticing something strange with Tommy. He didn’t seem to know how to do many of the things he could do last week. He wasn’t even consistently spelling his name ‘Tom’ correctly. When she sent the other primary kids off to recess, she took Tommy to the bathroom to check his Pull-Ups. They needed changing as she expected. Tommy had not used the toilet so far that morning. Mrs. Arrons had asked him several times if he needed to go potty, but he always said “No”.

At Lunch, Mrs. Freemor was getting Jenny’s lunch ready when a scary thought entered her head. She went over to the refrigerator and looked at the school lunch schedule. She breathed a sigh of relief. Tom would be having chicken nuggets for lunch, with pees and apple slices. Mary knew Tommy’s decreased eating skills would not be an issue with this lunch. She looked at the rest of the week. It was on Wednesday that his eating skills would be an issue. Mary turned back to Jenny, who was sitting in Tom’s booster seat. She hoped Tom’s eating skills would increase before Wednesday, so she wouldn’t have to discuss the issue with the school. She didn’t want to tell the school about putting a bib on a six year old or giving him a sippy cup.

The rest of the school day revealed a different child to Mrs. Arrons. Due to some of the oddities she was seeing with Tommy, she decided to do some observations of him at Recess and Lunch. Other than the testing she had done on Tom to get him into Special Education, she had only worked with him for a week, but she could tell something was different. She went to the files to check the test results to make sure she remembered them correctly. Work samples, test results, and information from parents and classroom teacher did not appear to match the child she was seeing today. Even the IQ test placed his skills much higher than what she was seeing. This was curious, but there was not enough for her to bring this issue to Mrs. Freemor’s attention yet. Maybe Tom was only having a bad day. Maybe Tom always had trouble on Mondays. The Monday effect was common with some of her kids, but this appeared different. He seemed more - - immature than before. He is more clingy and appears to get frustrated more easily. Maybe tomorrow will be different.

Mrs. Arrons had no luck getting Tom to use the toilet. He was wet every time she checked and her plea to have him tell her when he needed changing was ineffective. He didn’t even appear to mind going around in poopy pants. Just before her meeting with Mrs. Freemor, she sent the other children back to class and changed Tommy again. She now remembered why she would recommend diapers to a parent when a child wasn’t using the toilet. This was the fourth time today she had to take off his shoes and pants, just so she could put on the new Pull-Ups. In diapers she wouldn’t have to take these off each time. It was so much easier and faster to change a child in a diaper. Even during the changing, he appeared different. Last week she got him to help in the changing process, but today, he didn’t appear to understand what she was asking him to do. She had to treat him more like he was functioning at a 24 month level. The testing put his personal / social skills at a 4 year old level, somewhere between 48 to 54 month level. All this puzzled Mrs. Arrons, even a mildly mentally retarded child Tom’s age should be functioning more around the 36 month level, and Tom according to the testing was not mentally retarded.


******************** Part 6 - Tommy, Growing Up or Getting Younger
2002 - 2009

Mary and Mrs. Arrons talked for an hour about the struggle Tommy has had ever since they started the toilet training efforts. They discussed how George had insisted his son was going to be out of diapers by his third birthday, and when Tommy wasn’t, George put a lot of pressure on Mary and Tommy. Mary explained how she gave into George, especially once he had convinced Tommy that only little Babies wear diapers and Tommy didn’t want to be a baby, he wanted to be a big boy. Mrs. Arrons was amazed Mary had put up with wet sheet and daily wet pants for three years. They discussed some of George’s views about Special Education and why he was so angry about his son going into special education. They agreed to encourage Tommy over the next several days to use the toilet and to never force him. Mrs. Arrons explained some of the possible scenarios Tommy would go through. Both of them believed in their heads that Tommy was not going to use the toilet at all during these attempts. Neither of them voiced this belief in the meeting.

About 5 minutes after the last bell rang indicating the end of the school day, Tommy came in the room escorted by his first grade teacher. She was in a hurry, so she just dropped him off. Mrs. Arrons sent him over to play with Jenny and the toys. Mary and Mrs. Arrons continued their discussion for about another half an hour. Mary carefully avoided telling Mrs. Arrons about the decrease in Tommy’s skills involving eating. She also avoided talking about putting Tommy in a crib and highchair. Mrs. Arrons carefully avoided talking about the decrease in Tommy’s skills.

When they were done, they sat watching the two children play for a few minutes, with Mrs. Arrons commenting on how well behaved Jenny was. They both noticed something else, but neither one wanted to point it out. Jenny was acting much more mature than Tommy. She had taken on the leadership role and Tommy was taking direction from her. Mrs. Arrons tried to place the level of skills Tommy was demonstrating. For the second time today, Tommy appeared to be acting a lot like a 24 month old child. This was confusing. It did not fit all the information she had on this child. The testing had just been completed. It couldn’t be that far off. What was going on?

On the ride home, Mary was very quiet trying to think through the discussion. She was half way home before she realized they had not discussed something. She wanted to talk about the concerns around Tommy riding the bus, but she forgot about it. Well, she would just have to drive him to school for awhile. She would be talking with Mrs. Arrons on the telephone throughout the week, so they could discuss it later.

On the way home one of the kids pooped. Since both kids seemed unaffected, and Jenny was happily singing, Mary figured it had to be Tommy. It didn’t take long for Jenny to announce it wasn’t her.

“Mommy,” she yelled. “Tommy pooped in his diaper.”

Mrs. Arrons had stressed not to call them diapers, but how was she going to explain that to a 3 year old just out of diapers and into cloth panties. No! She was right. Tommy had pooped, and he was in reality wearing a diaper, even if we were calling them Pull-Ups. Tommy seemed unaware of the situation and Jenny’s announcement. He just kept looking out the window. That just was not right for a 6 year old to be oblivious to pooping his pants (even if he is in Pull-Ups), and not reacting to his little sister telling mom he pooped in a diaper. Mary was confused. This all seemed very strange.

When they got home, Mary undid the seat belts on Jenny’s car seat and Tommy’s boaster seat. Jenny climbed out of the car, but Tommy just kept sitting there. Mary finally picked him up and carried him into the house and up stairs to get changed. After getting him all cleaned up she wanted to put him in a diaper, they were so much easier to deal with if he wasn’t going to be using the toilet. But, Mrs. Arrons had insisted we keep the diapers only for bedtime for at least the next couple of days. We need to encourage Tommy to use the toilet, especially since he was using one over 50 percent of the time just a week ago. She grabbed another pink Pull-Up and dressed him back up. Once she got him off the changing table, she told him to go play.

Mary looked around the nursery, Tommy’s new room. After sneaking into Jenny’s new room this morning in order to get clothes for Tommy, she decided it was time to make some changes. She started with the clothes. She went to work moving all of Jenny’s clothing out and Tommy’s clothes in. Well, she didn’t quite move all of Jenny’s clothes out. The plastic pants and most of the training pants she decided to leave. She did move a few cloth and disposable training pants just in case Jenny had another accident. The cloth diapers and all the other baby items found in a nursery were quickly bypassed.

Shortly after she started, the kids gravitated up to her. She brought them both back downstairs and set them down in front of their favorite video. Mary put a few of Jenny’s favorite toys on the floor with them and a few baby toys Jenny had outgrown. She was hoping to keep them occupied even if the movie didn’t. She wasn’t exactly sure why she put out the baby toys, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. She spent the next hour moving the kids stuff around. She would occasionally check on the kids. Jenny was totally taken in by the movie and Tommy was kept occupied by the infant toys.

Mary worked hard getting the two room switched so it was easier for her to manage Tommy out of the nursery. Some of Jenny’s clothes got packed up instead of moved. All of her clothes with snaps down the legs, her onsies, and some of the very babyish outfits were just packed up since Jenny would not need them and Mary did not want her looking like a baby anymore. Mary giggled as she pictured Tommy in some of Jenny’s outfits with snaps down the legs. They were all too small for Tommy, but they would be much more convenient. Jenny still wore size 3T clothes, but Tommy was wearing size 5 clothes. She shook her head as she felt it was too bad clothes designed for diapers only went up to size 4T. She giggled again thinking about Tommy in some of the babyish outfits she was packing up. As she went back to work moving the kid’s clothes between the two rooms, she realized she would need to go clothes shopping tomorrow to get new clothes for Jenny. Tommy would also need some new clothes that were big enough to accommodate diapers.

Once the clothes were all moved, Mary decided she should feed the kids before making any more changes to the rooms. Without thinking about the consequences, Mary made the kids their favorite meal; Macaroni and Cheese with slices of hot dogs in it. George was coming home late, so it was just her and the kids. As she had done for the last few meals, Tommy sat in the high chair pushed up to the table and Jenny was in the booster seat. They both wore bibs, but Tommy also got a sippy cup to drink from.

Very quickly Mary realized her mistake. Tommy went straight for one of the pieces of hot dog. Before she could stop him, he stuck his hand in the bowl and had the hot dog in his mouth. His face and hand were now covered with cheese. She shook her head back and forth realizing she was about to have a huge mess. She quickly decided to make one significant change. She pulled the high chair away from the table and away from the food. Tommy leaned over to reach the food but couldn’t because Mary had strapped him into the chair. She then went and got the tray for the highchair. She figured this would control the mess at least a little. When she gave him his food again, she wiped off his hand and put a spoon in it. When he was about to put the spoon down, Mary decided to sit down next to him and do some hand over hand instruction to see if she could get him to eat with the spoon. She had Tommy take several spoonfuls of food with her guiding the spoon the whole time (she was basically feeding him with his hand along for the ride). When she took away her hand, he instantly put down his spoon and went for the food with his hands. Mary just shook her head and accepted the fact that she would have a mess to clean up. Before going and getting Jenny some more milk, she noticed Jenny was using her spoon and only had some cheese just around her mouth from her efforts of spooning it in. Her bib, hands, and the table around her were all clean and cheese free.

As Mary watched the kids eat, she was trying to figure out what was happening to Tommy. Why was he acting like a baby? At this point, he was now acting younger than Jenny. His skills were a lot lower than Jenny’s. Jenny had grown up a lot in the last two weeks, but Tommy had . . . had . . . gotten younger? It didn’t make sense. How could Jenny grow up so much in two weeks and Tommy regress? She could understand him not using the toilet anymore since he was put back in diapers, or Pull-Ups as Mrs. Arrons calls them, but what about the rest. As Mary got Tommy’s sippy cup off the floor for the 3rd time, she considered taking away all the baby things to see if that would make him grow up. Mrs. Arrons had the same views as she did, kids should be given the supports they need based upon the skills they demonstrate. Had they gone too far with Tommy?

She had just moved all of Tommy’s clothes into Jenny’s room. Maybe she should move them all back. That’s it, no more cribs, bibs, highchairs, or sippy cups. For Tommy, everything goes back to how it was two weeks ago, except for maybe the Pull-Ups and night time diapers. Those had to change too however. She had to get him some boy Pull-Ups and Diapers. Well, maybe she should stop the Pull-Ups and diapers too. If we treat him like a big boy again, he will act like one . . . . .

Mary repeated this last phrase in her head, she knew something about it was wrong; “if we treat him like a big boy again, he will act like one.” Suddenly Mary knew where she had heard the phrase. George had said it almost four years ago when they took away all these baby things from Tommy. Tommy was acting just like he use to when all these things were taken away from him at his 3rd birthday. Well, not quite. Even then he was more mature than he is acting now. Not as mature as Jenny is, but he did have more skills.

She looked over at Jenny and then back at Tommy. He was a mess. Cheese was everywhere; hair, face, hands, bib, and the highchair tray. His sippy cup was covered with it, and she didn’t even want to think of all the small crevices on the high chair it was squished into. He looked more like an 18 month old than a 6 year old. Maybe taking away all the baby things wasn’t the best idea.

When the kids were done, Mary looked at the clock and calculated whether she would have time to go to the store with the kids before bedtime. After getting Tommy all cleaned up and sending Jenny to the potty, she stopped and looked at Tommy.

“Does Tommy need to go potty before we go to the store?” she asked.

He did not respond. It was like he didn’t even hear her or didn’t understand the question. Mrs. Arrons had said not to push the issue, so she just started getting his coat on. By the time he was ready to go, Jenny had returned and put her own coat on. She had even zipped it up all by herself. Mary just shook her head, something was wrong with this. She was helping her 6 year old get dressed to go, and brand new 3 year old got ready all by herself.

Mary made a quick trip to Wal-Mart, as fast as she could with two little ones. Jenny didn’t want to ride in the cart, but Tommy did. Mary just told him he was a big boy and could walk like his sister. She had to hold Tommy’s hand to keep him from wondering off, but Jenny did a great job of keeping up with Mommy and Tommy.

She bought a booster seat for Jenny, so Tommy could have his back. She made a quick trip through the diaper isle picking up disposable boy pull-ups and diapers. She got new lids for the sippy cups that had straws instead of spouts, so they appeared to be more of a big-kid cup. She bought some new super hero boys underwear, in hopes of bribing Tommy with. She also bought some cloth training pants that looked like boys underwear. As she headed for the checkout stand, she wondered why she didn’t do this earlier. She knew this would increase his self esteem and his behavior would improve. Well, at least she hoped it would.

When they were in the checkout isle, Jenny announced to everyone very loudly that she was a big girl who used the potty and she didn’t need diapers and pull-ups anymore. She then told everyone the diapers and pull-ups were for her big brother Tommy. Tommy amazingly added to the announcement with pride that the pull-ups and diapers were special boy ones just for him because he didn’t get all his pee-pee and poopy in the potty like Jenny did. Mary was blushing and paid as fast as she could, but the kids seemed unfazed by all of this.

When they got home, she sent the kids to go play with their toys. She had decided she needed to change the sleeping arrangements. She didn’t have time to move the clothes back, so she just picked out tomorrows clothes for Tommy and quickly made his bed in boy sheets. She took the mattress out of the crib and put it on the floor in a corner of the nursery. This would allow Jenny to come back to her room and Tommy to go back to his own room. Eventually she figured the changing table would need to be moved into Tommy’s room, but tonight’s activities would get him out of the crib and highchair. She had to do this, if for no other reason, than she couldn’t tell the school she had put a 6 year old back in a crib and highchair. After tonight’s announcements at the store by Tommy, she also worried he would tell people at school about sleeping in a crib and eating in a highchair. What would people think? Could it be viewed as child abuse?

When Mary put the kids to bed, Jenny was happy about being back in her own bedroom with her pink frilly curtains and pink flowers painted on the walls. Tommy didn’t seem to care, he just made sure he had his teddy bear and blankie.

When George got home, he was surprised to hear about Mary switching the kids back and her trip to the store. He did like the idea of treating Tommy like a 6 year old instead of a baby. Both of them however, questioned taking him out of the crib after he fell out of bed 4 times that night. After the first time they had put pillows on the floor next to the bed, but he still woke up crying each time.


Re: George’s Legacy
Part 7 - Spaghetti
2002 - 2009

The next morning Tommy had his breakfast in his old booster seat. His orange juice was served in a cup with one of the new caps with a straw in it. He ate the waffles with his hands, even though Mary tried to encourage him to use his fork. After Breakfast he was changed into one of the disposable boy pull-ups and dressed for school. Mary drove him to school and delivered him to his regular education classroom.

At school that day, Mrs. Arrons found Tommy to be functioning mostly at a two year old level. He could no longer write his name or even trace it. When given a writing utensil he would just scribble all over the paper, no matter what it was. He needed help to do simple puzzles and could not stay focused on any task or toy for longer than a few minutes.

Shortly before lunch, the teacher assistant went up to Mrs. Arrons and asked, “What has happened to Tommy?”

That was a good question; the only problem was that Mrs. Arrons had no idea what had happened. After lunch, the cafeteria assistant came to Mrs. Arrons and asked the same question. For the last two days, he had spilled his milk two times each day and couldn’t stay seated.

While Tommy was at school, Mary went clothes shopping. She found a variety of new clothes meeting Jenny’s new needs and even found some size 3 and 4 clothing that wasn’t designed for kids in diapers. While trying to find 3T or 4T clothing for Jenny that didn’t puff out making it look like she was still wearing diapers, she discovered that they made size 5T clothing. The store had a few different kinds of pants, overalls, and even blanket sleepers in size 5T with snaps going down the legs. She bought one of each piece of 5T clothing she felt was appropriate for a 6 year old boy. She also found regular size 5 clothing that would more easily accommodate the diapers.

She timed the shopping trip, so she could pick Tommy up on the way home. Again she didn’t stop to talk with Mrs. Arrons or the 1st grade teacher. She didn’t know what to say to them. She also wasn’t ready to face how he was acting at school.

After school, Tommy’s 1st grade teacher went to have a talk with Mrs. Arrons, with her first question being, “What has happened with Tommy?”

That was the third time she had been asked that question, not counting the number of times she had asked it herself. When they asked, they didn’t need to say any more, she knew what they meant. What she didn’t know, was the answer. The two teachers sat down and talked for over an hour about what to do with Tommy. He was no longer functioning in the 1st grade classroom at a level where he got anything out of it. The other children were now treating him like a baby. Some of the children had even figured out he was now wearing diapers. Neither of the teachers felt a need to correct them at this point on the difference between diapers and pull-ups. The 1st grade teacher had taught Tommy for months, and she was confused by his regression over the last two weeks. Before this, he was just an immature 1st grader who wasn’t picking up the skills but would always try to do his best. Now he is acting like a two year old, not understanding even the simplest of school tasks or expectations. They both felt he needed more support than what he was currently getting from Special Education. Mrs. Arrons said she would arrange a meeting for Thursday or Friday to discuss changing Tommy’s program. It was too late today to have a meeting and she was going to be absent tomorrow.

After creating her sub plans, Mrs. Arrons called to arrange the meeting. She explained that a meeting is needed to discuss how best to meet Tommy’s needs. Trying to avoid any real discussion over the phone, Mrs. Arrons just stated that Tommy needed more help than they first thought and there was a need to change his program to better meet his needs. Mary knew what she was talking about, but didn’t say anything. They arranged the meeting for Thursday after school.

That evening, Mary really stressed to Tommy how much of a big boy he was. She kept pointing out things big boys could do and little kids couldn’t. It wasn’t working. Tommy was no different and didn’t even seem to understand what she was talking about. If he did understand, he definitely didn’t care. He never used the toilet. He only used his hands to eat with, and kept knocking over his drink or dropping it on the floor. He never helped with getting redressed after his pull-ups were changed. He only played with the infant toys.

Mary and George however, had a bigger problem on their hands. Last night Tommy kept falling out of his bed. They were trying to stress that he is a big boy. Putting him back in the crib didn’t make sense. They considered buying a fold down bed rail, but decided that wasn’t appropriate for a 6 year old. If they were stressing he was a big boy, a bed rail would not show this to Tommy.

Mary stopped and gave a strange look to George, then said, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

George looked at her with a quizzical look.

“When I was around Tommy’s age, we would visit my Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a week or two each summer.” She remembered with fondness. “Grandma always said that phrase to me each night when she tucked me in. It was the sleep tight part that might work for Tommy. Grandma always made up the bed so I was squished between the sheets. I literally did sleep tight.”

“Do you think you could get things that tight on his bed?”

“I can try,” Mary said. “but what are we going to do if it doesn’t work?”

“Let’s put the two beanbag chairs next to his bed. They are soft if he falls onto them, and they are higher than pillows on the floor. Maybe he won’t wake up if he falls onto them.”

That was the plan. When Mary and George went to bed at 11 o’clock, he was still in his bed. Mary made sure the sheets were tucked in tight, hoping he would stay in bed all night. When she went in to wake him up in the morning, he was sleeping on the beanbag chairs squished between the bed frame and the bean bags. It looked very uncomfortable, but he was asleep and he didn’t wake up when he fell off the bed. She put him back into his bed before waking him up. She was hoping the fib, would give him confidence that he was a big boy who could sleep in a big boy bed without falling out.

Mary drove him to school again today, forgetting she wanted to send lunch with Tommy so he wouldn’t eat the cafeteria lunch, spaghetti. Mary dropped him off in his 1st grade room and headed home, unaware that Mrs. Arrons was absent.

The substitute teacher struggled with many aspects of Mrs. Arrons’ room. When she took the job, the last thing she expected was to be changing diapers on a 6 year old. She was changing Tommy’s second wet Pull-Up that morning, when she started to question why this kid was in pull-ups and not diapers. After he was changed and sent back into the room, she went through the cabinets to see if she could find some diapers. She was tired of taking his shoes and pants off each time and figured she would probably have to change him at least two more times. She was disappointed when all she found was more boy and girl pull-ups. When the sub left for lunch, she found a quiet secluded area to eat, so she could recover from the rough morning.

Lunch for Tommy was quite enjoyable. He loved spaghetti and by the time he was almost done, no one would question that. He had spaghetti in his hair, all over his face, hands, and his shirt. The kids around him didn’t know what to think. Over the last two weeks, Bridgett had started taking him in hand and treating him like a baby brother. She was unsure what to do when Tommy started to make a mess at lunch, so she tried to help by making sure he didn’t spill his milk today. She was about to help him try and get cleaned up when she smelled something. Some of the other kids at the table were starting to complain and giggle about someone farting. Bridgett however, knew Tommy wore diapers and knew the odor was coming from him. She had to do something before the kids realized Tommy pooped his diaper and started teasing him. She went up to the cafeteria assistant.

“Tommy needs your help,” Bridgett said quietly pulling on her dress. “He made a mess eating and pooped his diaper.”

The assistant went up to the table in amazement. She didn’t know Tommy wore diapers and couldn’t believe he had pooped his pants. He was immature, but not that much. As she got close to his table she was shocked by what he looked like. It looked like someone had just smeared spaghetti sauce all over him. She turned to Bridgett and told her to go get a damp washcloth from the kitchen.

When Bridgett returned, the assistant attempted to clean him up as much as she could. It didn’t take her long to realize one washcloth was not going to get very far, so she cleaned up his hands and some of his face. Then taking him by his hand, she escorted him to Mrs. Arrons’ room, stopping by the staff lounge to see if the substitute was in there. She couldn’t find the sub or Mrs. Arrons’ assistant, so she brought Tommy to the other special education teacher in the building.

“Mrs. Jefferson, could you please help me with Tommy here,” she asked as they walked in? “I can’t find Mrs. Arrons sub.”

“My, oh my, it looks like he enjoyed his lunch,” she said getting up from her desk.

“You should have seen him before I started to clean him up, but I brought him to you because I think . . . I think he pooped. A little girl in his class said he was in diapers, so I figured you would be the best to help him.”

“Oh I see,” Mrs. Jefferson said as she got closer and crinkled up her nose. “And I would have to agree with the theory that he pooped his pants. I will take care of it, thanks.”

Mrs. Jefferson got down on her knees and introduced herself to Tommy. She then took his hand and started escorting him back to the changing area at the back of the room. They were half way through the room when Tommy saw a ring stacking toy and went running over to it. He plopped down on his bottom and started playing with the ring stacker.

“Come on Tommy,” Mrs. Jefferson said grabbing his hand and pulling him back up on his feet. “You can play with that after we get you cleaned up.”

She brought Tommy to the bathroom in the back of the room. After lifting him up on the changing table, she gave him a toy horse to play with as she went to work.

“Well Tommy,” she said to herself out loud. “It looks like you are wearing Pull-Ups. I’m sorry dear, but I don’t have any pull-ups for you to change into. None of the students in my room are wearing Pull-Ups this year. All we have to change you into are diapers.”

Tommy did not say a word, he just played with the little Fisher Price horse.

“You sure did make a big mess,” Mrs. Jefferson kept commenting to her self out loud. She spent a while cleaning up his bottom and putting a diaper on him. Then she sat him up and tried to figure out how to clean the rest of him up. “Tommy, you apparently really enjoyed lunch.”

“Etti! Etti! Yummy.”

“So you do talk,” Mrs. Jefferson commented. “I am glad you like Spaghetti, but now I have to get you cleaned up. I can’t do anything to clean up the shirt or pants, so I better find new ones for you. First let’s get you cleaned up.”

Mrs. Jefferson took his shirt off, so he was sitting there in just his diaper and socks. Tommy just kept playing with the horse. In the cupboards under the changing table, she found a pair of pants and t-shirt that would fit Tommy. With a damp washcloth she cleaned up his face and as much of his hair as possible. After getting him re-dressed, she brought him back into the classroom. He immediately went back to the stacking toy.

Looking around the room, Mrs. Jefferson saw her five students working on their various activities. Jillian was being fed her lunch in the highchair, Francis was playing with his switch toy, Tracy was taking a nap, Byron was playing with shapes on a light box, and Chris was in the play area crawling over to Tommy. She then looked at Tommy.

“Now what are we going to do with you?”

************************************************** ******************** Part 8 - The Legacy
2002 - 2009

Mrs. Jefferson sat down at her desk and looked at Tommy and Chris playing together with the ring stacker. They were working together to figure out the stacker and both having the same amount of difficulty figuring it out. She had heard of Tommy from Mrs. Arrons, but she had just said he seamed to be loosing skills. Looking at Tommy, he appeared to be at the same level as Chris, who was functioning below a 24 month level.

After a discussion with Tommy’s teacher and a search on the district database, Mrs. Jefferson made a phone call. Well, she made two. There was no one at home, so she called the secondary number.

“Yes sir. He was totally covered in spaghetti and had wet and messy pull-ups on. Here in my room I didn’t have any Pull-ups to change him into so I put him in a diaper. If you want I can go hunting in Mrs. Arrons’ room to find some Pull-ups to change Tommy into.”

She explained to George that the regular classroom teacher was hesitant to take him back into her room for the rest of the day due to his current skill level. She explained that Mrs. Arrons was absent today and her sub was struggling with Tommy’s low skills. After a bit more discussion, George just decided to come pick him up and take him home. He didn’t know where his wife was, but expected her to be home soon after he would be able to get Tommy home.

It only took George about 20 minutes to get to the school to pick up Tommy. He wasn’t sure what he should do or say, but if the school was struggling with Tommy due to him acting like a baby, he knew Tommy was better off at home than at school.

When George walked into Mrs. Jefferson’s classroom he froze. Before him was a scene out of his dream. Tommy and another boy were playing with baby toys and talking like two year olds. The room had the smell of baby powder and diapers. In one corner of the room one of the children was being fed lunch. She had a bib on and was sitting in a high chair. The food was cut up into little baby size pieces and after she ate some on her own with her spoon, the teacher would feed her some. It looked more like the girl was 18months old instead of 6 years old.

Before Mrs. Jefferson could get away from Frances, George went over to Tommy playing on the floor with another kid who was crawling around and obviously diapered.

“What happened Tommy, I thought you were going to try to be a big boy?”

“Sowwy Daddy. I twied, but it was too hawd. Sowwy Daddy.”

George remembered the phrase he had said and suddenly regretted it, “My son is no retard. What do you expect us to do, put a diaper on him and put him in a class with retards that have to wear bibs and fed like a baby. No way! I am not having both my children in diapers. Tom is a big boy and can behave like one if he just tried.”

George’s legacy was laid out in front of him. He had caused this. He had known since he was a child that he was living in the Twilight Zone. He said the phrase at the initial meeting with the school that put Tommy into Special Education, the phrase that changed everything. Now the world was changed because of him. His baby girl was now a big kid out of diapers and his big boy was a stupid retard back in diapers. He had watched enough Twilight Zone episodes to know that his fate was sealed. Either he accepted it as the new reality, or he would go insane.

“Hello there you must be Tommy’s Dad. Thank you for coming in. Tommy is enjoying playing in here. He seems to fit very will with Chris here. They have had a lot of fun playing together.”

“Yeah, this is where he belongs. This is my legacy to my son.”

Mrs. Jefferson did not understand George’s comment, but figured it was probably better not to ask.

“So, are you going to be his teacher now?” George inquired.

Mrs. Jefferson was taken back by this question. She was not prepared for him to be that blunt. She had considered it while watching Tommy over the last twenty minutes, but that was not for her to decide. That was really a better question for Mrs. Arrons than her.

“Well, that is a team decision, not one that I can decide. But, he does seem to fit well with the kids in my classroom.”

“Get your team together. This is my son now. He wears diapers and uses them instead of the toilet. He needs a bib and sippy cup at meals, and even with that you get a mess. He has been eating meals at home in his little sisters highchair to help decrease the mess. He plays with infant toys and his just 3 year old sister takes care of him like he is younger than her. He lets her. He can’t sleep in a regular bed without falling out. We tried him one night in his little sister’s crib. He had a much sounder sleep and didn’t even complain or fuss about being back in a crib. This is my son. Does he belong in a classroom like this, yes. I don’t like it but I must face reality. It is all my fault and I must take responsibility. So call your team together and do whatever you need to do. I will not fight you this time.” George closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Tommy belongs here.”

Mrs. Jefferson didn’t know what to say. She just turned to Tommy and Chris and helped them clean up the toys and then got Tommy’s stuff that she had delivered down to her room earlier. She said bye to Tommy and went back to her students, trying to process all that George had said.

George brought Tommy home and as they were pulling into the driveway, Mary pulled in too. He needed to get back to work, so he quickly tried to explain that Tommy made a complete mess at lunch today and because Mrs. Arrons was absent he was sent to the retard room to help get him cleaned out and changed out of his messy pull-up. They put him in a diaper and then he played with the other kids in that room. George explained that when he entered the room Tommy appeared to fit perfectly in there, and that he told the school to just put him in the room full time because that is where he belonged.

Mary was puzzled by George’s attitude and view of things. Something had changed. She didn’t really know what to say. George turned and headed for the door. With him half way out the door on his way back to work, he turned and looked at Mary and the kids.

“Mary, I will move the crib and changing table into Tommy’s room tonight and Tommy’s bed into Jenny’s room.” With that he turned and left.

That afternoon, the difference between the kids was unquestionable. Jenny was clearly the older of the two kids. She may have been smaller and chronologically younger, but she was definitely acting and behaving older. Her skills were more mature than his and he let her be the older sister, taking care of him.

Mary kept Tommy in diapers when he needed changing. She wasn’t sure if she should, but if George was really ready to move the Crib and Changing Table into Tommy’s room for him, then the diapers seemed appropriate. It wasn’t like he was using the toilet, and he hadn’t since Saturday. Mary was unsure what the future held for Tommy and George. Something had changed in George when he went to school to pick Tommy up. Was this good or not?

That afternoon, George came home and immediately went to work moving the furniture around between the two kid’s rooms. The Crib and Changing Table were moved into Tommy’s room. The twin bed was moved into Jenny’s room. When he was almost done, he heard Mary call up saying dinner was ready.

On his way down to dinner, he scooped Tommy up and brought him over to the highchair. Mary looked at him oddly as he strapped him into the highchair and put on the tray. He then went and got a bib for him. When Mary brought over a cup for Tommy, George went to get a sippy cup to replace the regular cup.

“George?”

“Does he need the sippy cup?”

“Well, yes,” Mary hesitantly said.

“Does he need the bib?”

“Well, yes.”

“Does he need the highchair, crib, and diapers?”

“Yes.”

“Then I need to face reality and accept that my son will be using these things till he no longer needs them.” George closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He then turned to Tommy. Running his hand down the back of his head and kissing him on the head, quietly he said to Tommy, “Sorry I passed this legacy on to you. I’m sorry. I should have been more careful knowing that we were living in the Twilight Zone.”
The End

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Re: George’s Legacy

Yet another good story from Teekabell :), you never cease to impress me :D!

(please remove my post from the other George’s Legacy thread)

Sounds like Tommy could be autistic.