This is a bit short, but I’m trying to get back into this story. I’m sorry it took so long to get this out, but I hope you like it.
Lisa led Sharon and Rick through the lobby of the hotel. “We’ll be taking a bus today. The Monorail doesn’t go to Animal Kingdom.”
Sharon walked alongside Rick, watching the kids as they rode toward the lobby. She couldn’t help smiling when Billy giggled as Chip and Dale walked across the lobby. The exuberant giggle wasn’t the laugh of an older child, but of a toddler thoroughly excited by what he saw.
“Yook Mommy!” he exclaimed.
“I see Baby,” she answered with a chuckle, thankful that he was happy. With all of the physical challenges, and the hardships he had endured, she was just glad that he had come to terms with being a little boy again. She knew there would come a time when his emotional maturity would catch up with the rest of him, but until then, she would help him enjoy being the baby boy she saw before her.
She noticed Becky was reserved this morning, and appeared distracted. Sharon hoped that she would somehow come to terms with what happened, and become the happy eleven year old she had known. She was bothered by the fact that Becky had just started making big strides in maturity just before the fiasco with Social Services, and now all of that had been undone. Becky now hid beneath a shield of diapers and binkies, escaping to toddlerhood to avoid the fear.
When they pushed through the front doors and turned right toward the bus stop, Becky looked to Sharon and said, “Ba-ba Mommy.”
“Hold on Sweety, I’ll get you a ba-ba when we get to the bus stop,” Sharon replied. She watched the satisfied expression on Becky’s face as her pacifier ring moved in and out rhythmically with her nursing.
They were led to a queue for the bus. Stainless steel railings divided the area into one long isle that turned back and forth upon itself. The line was only ten feet long when Rick stopped the stroller. He turned it around so he and Sharon could see the kids.
Sharon pulled two bottles from the diaper bag and handed one to Becky. “Here Baby, drink it all gone.” It was going to be a hot day today and she wanted the kids to be well hydrated. Squatting down, Sharon gently pulled Billy’s binky from his mouth and held his bottle for him. She laughed when he smiled around the nipple. “You like that ba-ba, Baby?” she asked.
“Uh huh.” Becky answered, not realizing that her mommy was talking to her brother.
“Good,” Sharon answered. She watched Billy nod his head as he nursed hard on the nipple. She had dressed him in just a onesie because of the heat. She smiled again as she saw the thick diaper bulging between his legs, straining the snaps of the onesie. My God he looks so sweet! she thought.
A minute later, the bus pulled up to the curb, and Sharon reached over to release the straps that held Billy in the stroller. Rick freed Becky at the same time. Sharon cuddled Billy close when she picked him up. The sweet smell of baby lotion mixed with baby powder gave her warm feelings as she kissed the top of his little head. She nuzzled his soft hair, enjoying the closeness. With several gentle pats to his padded bottom, she rocked him back and forth, as he nursed the juice from his bottle.
Becky looked at her mommy and her brother, put her arms up to Rick, and said, “Uppy Daddy.”
Rick pulled her into a hug, his hand firmly supporting her bottom. When she laid her head on his shoulder and nursed her bottle, he began patting in a slow rhythm. “Daddy’s got you Baby Girl.”
Lisa folded the stroller up, and slung the diaper bag over her shoulder. “I thought you had a diaper bag for each of them,” she said perplexed.
“Normally we would,” Rick answered. “but we’ll be back by one today, and figured we didn’t need both.”
When the doors of the bus opened, people started to board. Sharon carried Billy up the three steps and sat down in a seat that lined the bus wall. She watched as Rick sat across from her with Becky in his lap. Becky’s skirt shifted higher as her legs fell to either side of Rick’s, leaving her diaper clearly on display. She continued to nurse her half empty bottle.
Billy shifted in Sharon’s lap, his spastic muscles making it look like he was having a seizure. Sharon was thankful it was just a neurological problem. She didn’t think she could ever deal with watching him go through a real seizure again. “What’s wrong Baby?” she asked, trying to help him get comfortable.
“Owwie,” Billy told her.
“What’s an owwie?”
“Hewe,” he answered as he moved his uncoordinated hand down between his legs, resting on one side of his thick diaper.
When Sharon pulled his leg outward, she saw the onesie was pulled up into the crease of his leg. She pulled it free and noticed his skin was irritated. Her hands quickly had the snaps undone, and she felt there was a defect in the ribbing that formed the leg band. It was rough to the touch, and had rubbed his skin raw. She inspected the rest of the ribbing and saw that there were similar defects in the neck line, and the right sleeve. Without hesitation, she pulled the onesie off of him. “Is that better?” she asked him.
“Yeth,” Billy answered with a smile.
After looking in the diaper bag, she discovered that they didn’t have another one. “Is there a shop where I can get a t-shirt for him?” she asked Lisa. “It seems I left the spare onesies in the other diaper bag.”
“Sure, there’s a shop just inside the main gate.”
She laid Billy back down then, holding his bottle for him. He looked even more cute to her now, dressed in just a diaper. She hadn’t even put socks on him because it was warm and supposed to be in the nineties today.
Sharon watched as his eyes slowly closed, suspecting the medicine still in his system, the motion of the bus, and the comfort of the nipple made him sleepy. When he began sucking air from the nipple, she pulled it from his mouth. His hand moved in an uncoordinated search for his binky then, his eyes never opening. She pulled the binky from her pocket, and offered it to him. A satisfied smile crossed her face as Billy took the nipple and began nursing. He snuggled a bit closer to her, and nuzzled his face against her t-shirt covered breast.
Sharon thought about how much things had changed. She was torn when it came to his situation. On one hand, he had lost a great deal. On the other, he had gotten what was clearly so important to him; he was a toddler again. While she was not happy that he couldn’t function normally, and that would cause him difficulty, she was glad that he had found what he was looking for. Besides, her little boy needed her again, and that made her feel wonderful inside. The more she thought about that, the more clear it became that it wasn’t just that he needed her, but that he wanted to be close to her again, snuggled up, almost an extension of her body.
It was almost twenty minutes later that the bus pulled up to the curb. Billy hardly stirred as Mommy picked him up off her lap and held him close, his head resting on her shoulder. He finally opened his eyes when they got off the bus, and the bright Florida sun warmed him.
He could feel Mommy patting his dipey as she walked with the crowd of people. It felt so good, he smiled.
“There’s my happy baby boy,” Mommy told him with a big smile.
Billy couldn’t help but giggle then. Mommy made him feel so good. Without thinking, he spit his binky out and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“Uh oh.” Sharon said, bending to pick up the binky from the ground, the wet nipple speckled with dirt.
“Bink Mommy.” Billy told her.
“Baby, it’s all dirty now. Mommy needs to wash it off first,” she explained. When he started to fuss, she asked Lisa, “Can you hand me another one of his binkies?”
Billy felt Mommy’s soft hand begin rubbing his back. He couldn’t help it when the tears came, he really wanted his binky. He still didn’t understand why it was so hard to keep from crying, and laid his head down, with his forehead against Mommy’s neck. He closed his eyes and cried.
“I know, Baby…I know,” Mommy said as she hugged him tighter. He felt her warm lips kiss him and managed to settle down a bit. The familiar smell of Mommy’s soft hair caught his attention then. He loved the way Mommy smelled.
A second later, he heard “Here you go Sweety,” and felt a nipple at his mouth. He immediately latched onto it and began nursing. Everything seemed so much better when he had his binky.
Sharon felt better when her little boy stopped crying. She was surprised how hard it was to endure him being upset. She thought she had become immune to that long ago, but realized that things were different now. Billy’s mannerisms, and his language weren’t that of a nine year old any more. While it had been hard to see him upset before all of this happened, she hadn’t felt the need to pick him up and hold him close when he cried. Now, with his toddler behavior, she couldn’t help herself; something inside her wanted to ‘make it all better’.
They were standing in line for the security people to inspect their bags when what looked like a two year old looked at Billy nursing his binky, and dressed in just a diaper. She turned to her mommy and asked, “Is he a baby?”
The little girl’s mother looked at Billy, frowned, and scoffed, “No.”
Sharon didn’t know how to address that. The woman summarily dismissing the possibility irritated Sharon to no end. “Yes, he is,” she stated.
“No, a four year old is not a baby,” the woman barked. “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to potty train and teach my daughter that she’s too old to have a pacifier, when you go parading your son around in nothing but a diaper, and nursing on a pacifier?” she huffed.
Before Sharon could answer, the woman moved away, headed toward another line. This infuriated Sharon. The woman had given no consideration to the possibility that there might have been a reason that Billy was dressed or behaving the way he was. When she felt a gentle hand on her shoulder, she turned. The sight of Rick holding Becky, her diaper in plain view as she too nursed a binky made Sharon chuckle. If the woman had a problem with Billy’s dress and behavior, then Becky’s would probably give her a stroke.
“Ignore her,” he said with a gentle squeeze. “There are ignorant people everywhere, and it would take two lifetimes to try to get them to see reason, with no guarantee that they ever would.”
“You’re right Hon,” she answered with a smile. “I can just imagine what she’d say to you.”
She saw a familiar mischievous gleam form in his eyes, and had to laugh. “Fine. I’ll meet you inside the gate,” Sharon told him. She knew there was no point in trying to change his mind, and watched as he moved away toward the same line that the woman now occupied. When Lisa followed him, pushing the stroller, Sharon had to laugh.
Rick saw that he couldn’t get in line behind the rude woman, but noticed that the line right next to that one was shorter. He took his place almost right next to her and her daughter. He was almost immediately rewarded with a scowl. Without batting an eye, he held Becky with one arm, reached behind her, and lifted the back of her skirt all the way up, exposing her entire diapered bottom. With an exaggerated motion, he pulled the back of her diaper out, pushing two fingers down inside to check to see if she was wet.
Becky squirmed then as she nursed her binky.
“I know you’re pee pee wet, Baby Girl, we’ll get your dipey changed in just a little bit,” he announced loudly, releasing the back of her diaper.
Rick tried not to laugh when he saw Lisa look to the woman, then reach down and pull a bottle from the diaper bag. “Here Baby, it’s awfully hot out, drink your ba-ba all gone.”
Becky, not realizing what was going on, spit her binky out and began contentedly nursing the offered bottle.
When the little girl asked her mother if Becky was a baby, Becky smiled, and answered, “Uh huh,” before her mother could respond.
Rick smiled at his little girl and affirmed, “That’s right Sweetheart, and you’re the best baby girl in the whole world,” with a kiss to her forehead. He smiled wider when the little girl’s mother looked like she was going to have a fit.
“I wub you tho much Daddy!” Becky exclaimed as she hugged him tight.
“I love you too Baby.” he answered with several pats to her diapered bottom.
They were next in line, and Rick and the woman both set their bags on the counter at the same time. The security guard saw Lisa was with Rick and proceeded to open Becky’s diaper bag first. Rick noticed the little girl was watching as the security guard moved the extra diapers aside, and pulled Becky’s stuffed Minnie out of the way.
“Minnie,” Becky said while reaching out for it.
The security guard picked up the stuffed mouse and handed it to Becky. “There you are, Baby,” he said with a smile.
“Tank you,” she replied around the nipple of her bottle as she hugged Minnie tightly.
“You’re quite welcome.”
Rick accepted the diaper bag as the guard zipped it and handed it to him with a smile. As he moved away toward the turnstiles, he could hear the two year old start crying, “I want my binky.”
He felt a little guilty that the little girl might get reprimanded, but the woman definitely deserved the stress from his point of view.
They made it through the turnstiles and he located Sharon. When he rejoined her, he said, “Mission accomplished.”
“Yes, I would definitely say so,” Sharon told him as she discreetly nodded behind him.
Rick turned and chuckled as he saw the two year old contentedly nursing a pacifier, her mother looking frazzled as she headed further into the park.