This one’s a bit longer.
I hope you like it,
Sharon thought about her husband as she got out of the shower, she was so thankful to have a husband like Rick. His getting up last night to change Billy and bring him into the bedroom showed her just how much he loved her. Here he was having to get up and go to work today, and he was worried that she would get enough sleep.
Rick normally didn’t work on Saturday, but with the time he’d taken off for Billy’s recovery, he wanted to make sure he wouldn’t eat into the vacation time they would need for the trip to Florida.
The doorbell rang as Sharon left the bathroom. She threw on a robe and went to see who in the world that could be. As she approached the door, looking through the window, she saw several of her friends from the neighborhood standing on the stoop.
“What brings you folks over this morning?” Sharon asked with a smile as she opened the door.
“We heard Billy was home from the hospital, and thought we would come by for coffee to see how he was doing.” Alice answered. Alice was one of Sharon’s closest friends in the neighborhood. They shared a lot of similarities. They both had a boy and a girl in grade school, they both were stay at home mom’s, and Becky and Alice’s daughter Stacey were best friends. Both of them had keys to the other’s house for when one of them were on vacation.
Sharon was about to step aside when she noticed Kathleen standing at the back of the group. She groaned inwardly, but reluctantly moved back and said “Come on in.” with a painted on smile.
Kathleen Pierce was the wife of a city council member, and never let anyone forget it. She was also the mother of one of the monsters of the neighborhood, Gary. Sharon and Kathleen had gotten into it more than once over Gary bullying Billy. Sharon dreaded Kathleen’s reaction to Billy’s current situation, she didn’t take to anything out of the ordinary.
As the group of six women made their way into the livingroom and sat down, Alice said “I’ll help you with the coffee.” as she following behind Sharon to the kitchen.
Once they entered the kitchen, Alice said “I know, I know, you’re not fond of Kathleen but I couldn’t say no, she appeared to be genuinely concerned about Billy’s health. How is he anyway?” she asked with concern.
“He’s doing much better after the surgery.” Sharon answered with a smile. She was thankful for Alice because she really cared.
“What did they have to do?”.
“Why don’t we wait so I don’t have to answer the same questions more than once?” Sharon answered. She really didn’t want to have to repeat herself. She also figured she would get this out of the way all at once.
Sharon didn’t know exactly how this was going to go, and as much as she didn’t want to put Billy in a situation where he could be made fun of, there was no help for it. She knew it would be a long time before Billy would get back to where he was, and she couldn’t hide him away from the neighbors until then. Sharon was really thankful none of them had brought their children with because most of them were Billy’s and Becky’s age.
Five minutes later, Sharon and Alice brought coffee back to the livingroom. Sharon noticed that Liz was holding a bag of Billy’s formula, reading the label. “Please don’t touch that.” Sharon stated. “He’s really susceptible to infection right now because of the medicine he’s on and I don’t want to take any chances.” she added as she took the bag from Liz, setting it away from the others, smiling apologetically.
“Is it that bad?” Kathleen asked with distaste. “He doesn’t have anything we could pass on to our children does he?” with a look of worry.
Sharon thought about telling her that Billy did in fact have a contagious disease, just to watch Kathleen squirm, but answered “No. He had brain surgery, and he needs Steroids to help with inflammation. Unfortunately, they inhibit his immune system. We’ve found a way to help him, but I just don’t want to take any chances.”.
“Brain surgery?” Alice asked with genuine concern. “Is he alright?”.
“He’s much better now, but there were complications.” Sharon explained. She really hoped they would leave it at that for now. With any luck, Billy would sleep the entire time they were here.
“Who’s toys are these?” Kathleen asked as she pointed to several toys that Sharon had left laying next to the couch.
Sharon knew better than to think Kathleen would mind her own business. Before Sharon could answer, she heard Billy making baby sounds over the monitor.
Everyone showed a puzzled expression. “Are you watching a baby?” Alice asked.
“Hold on, I’ll be right back.” Sharon replied. “May as well get this over with.” she thought as she headed to Billy’s room. When she got to the nursery, Billy was nuzzling with Pooh.
“Hi Baby.” she said sweetly. “Is Pooh Bear soft?” she asked him.
Billy smiled as Mommy came over to the crib. When she asked him about Pooh, he said “Yeah, I love Pooh.” with a gentle sigh.
Sharon heard him answer, and looked directly into his eyes. She saw her nine year old looking back at her. “Sweety, I need you to just be a little baby for a while, can you do that for me?” she asked as she checked his diaper. He was very wet, so she took the time to quickly change his diaper. After zipping his sleeper up, she made sure he had his binky, picked him up and held him with his head on the cloth diaper she had placed on her shoulder. She grabbed his blankie and taking a deep breath, walked back out to the livingroom, patting his diapered bottom all the way.
Billy, snuggling against Mommy, didn’t realize that anyone else was in the room. “I love you so much Mommy.” he told her in his baby noises. She hugged him a little tighter and whispered “Just be little for now Baby.”. He couldn’t understand why she was being so insistent that he let go right now. They rounded the corner and he understood. He couldn’t see anyone, but he heard several gasps and an “Oh my God.”. That scared him, and he began to nurse hard and fast on his binky.
Alice looked at Sharon holding Billy as you would an infant, her hand steadying his head on her shoulder. She saw Billy nursing furiously on a pacifier. She noticed he was dressed in a sleeper and seeing his bottom, knew with a certainty that he was wearing a diaper. She couldn’t help herself, she gasped and said “Oh my God.” as tears stung her eyes.
“Sharon, what happened?” she asked in a thick voice, as she stood up from the couch.
Sitting in the glider, repositioning Billy so she could offer him his baby keys, Sharon again took a deep breath, and started explaining the seizure, the surgery and the results afterward. She was careful not to mention that Billy wanted to be her baby boy before the surgery, because it was nobodies business.
Billy reluctantly let Mommy remove his binky and took the key she offered in his mouth. Within seconds, he was alternating between nursing on it and giggling because it felt so good on his tongue.
Sharon looked down at him as he giggled, smiled at him and said “You like that don’t you Baby.”.
Alice found herself smiling. “He’s just precious Sharon.”.
“This is just so sad. You poor, poor dear.” Kathleen interjected quickly, looking directly at Sharon. “He was so smart too, and now he’s just a babbling baby. You poor, poor dear.” she repeated.
Sharon looked directly at her and thought “You pompous, self absorbed, mean spirited windbag.” but put her best forced smile on and said “Oh, he’ll be alright. It will just take a while for him to get back to where he was.”, her eyes not showing the smile.
“But it must be hard having to take care of him. Changing his messy diapers, feeding him, It must be hell.” Kathleen continued.
“Oh, I don’t think so, I enjoy giving him what he needs, whether it be a ride to the science fair or a clean dry diaper.” she answered. Sharon wasn’t usually the catty type, but Kathleen just really rubbed her the wrong way, so the mention of the science fair was purely a dig. Billy had beaten her precious Gary for first prize several years in a row.
Alice saw where this was going, so she quickly asked “Can I hold him?” with a pleading expression.
“Sure.” Sharon answered as she got up and placed Billy in Alice’s arms.
Alice cradled him, gently patting his diapered bottom as she smiled and said “Hi Sweety, you’re just so adorable.”. When Billy smiled and giggled at her, she tickled him and said “Yes you are. You’re a happy baby aren’t you.” as he laughed, his arms and legs moving wildly.
The other women in the group all made “Awww” sounds as he giggled sweetly. Billy had captivated everyone but Kathleen.
Sharon explained he was at a two month old level, but he was improving. She went on to regale them with the tale of him lifting his head as if it were a nobel prize winning moment. She couldn’t help it, she was proud of him.
Alice listened to her and felt a little jealous of her, her two children having long ago left the baby stage. “How long do they think it will take for him to get back to where he was?” she asked.
“They don’t know. They believe it will be more than a year, but can’t give us any more than that.” Sharon answered.
Just because she too got fed up with Kathleen’s pompous attitude at times, Alice told Sharon “If you need a baby sitter, I’ll be glad to help. He’s just precious.” with a smile.
“Thank you. It will be a while before that’s a consideration, but when it becomes an option, I’ll definitely call.” Sharon replied.
Billy started fussing, he wanted nummies.
Alice tried to comfort him, but Sharon explained “Let me see him, you can’t give him what he wants.” with a smile.
Every mouth in the room dropped open as Sharon laid Billy on his side, covered his head and lifted her shirt to undo the flap on her bra. Soon he was nursing comfortably at her nipple. As he nursed, she got the bag of his formula ready, and place it around her neck, waiting for him to finish on that side.
“Sharon!” Kathleen exclaimed sounding thoroughly offended. “What in the world are you doing? He’s nine for crying out loud.”
Sharon steeling herself from her own insecurities, remembering Terry’s advice, answered “I’m nursing him. His doctors and his nurses wanted me to do this because it was the only way to help him fight infection.” keeping a neutral expression on her face. She was not going to give Kathleen the satisfaction of knowing she had insecurities about nursing Billy.
“But…isn’t there medication they can give him? After all, that’s obscene.” Kathleen said haughtily.
“No, there isn’t medication that can even come close to the benefits of breast milk. And no, it’s not obscene. If Billy didn’t have any deficits, then yes, I would agree that nursing him would be inappropriate, but as he is, I don’t see a problem with it.” Sharon lost the battle of trying to keep the edge from her voice.
“Well I couldn’t imagine nursing a nine year old, but when you think about it, Billy always was prone to immature behavior.” Kathleen snipped.
Sharon was half a heartbeat from telling Kathleen exactly what she thought of her, when Alice said “I’ve known Billy all his life, and I never saw immature behavior from him. He was always respectful and sweet.” knowing that would get on Kathleen’s nerves.
Sharon took this opportunity to sit Billy up and burp him. He giggled when he burped and she asked sweetly “Did you burp for Mommy? Did you have piggies in your tummy?” as she tickled him. He squealed and laughed a big, baby laugh.
All the women, save one, found themselves laughing with Billy.
Sharon laid him back down, covered his head and taped the tubing to her breast. Pushing the tube into the bag of formula, she brought him to her nipple and he continued to feed.
Kathleen looked on with a disgusted expression. “Screw you, you wench.” Sharon thought as she smiled at Kathleen.
“How is Becky doing with all of this?” Liz asked, genuinely concerned.
“She’s been great. She helps care for him, even changing him if I need her to.” Sharon answered smiling.
“That’s wonderful. It’s got to be a big change for her, I’m glad she wants to help. It would be so easy for a lot of kids to be jealous and get difficult.” Alice offered.
“Yes, I was worried about that, but Becky’s been such a good kid about all of this.” Sharon said with pride.
Kathleen just had to get her two cents in. “I’m surprised, Becky was always difficult when she was dealing with Billy. She used to call him a baby all the time. I guess it was a good prediction though, considering where he’s at now.” she said with a smirk.
Billy saved the day right then by making a very noisy, large mess in his diaper.
Sharon couldn’t help laughing as she saw the mortified expression on Kathleen’s face. A thought occurred to her, and she asked Alice “Can you do me a favor and go to his room and get a clean diaper, powder and some wipes from the warmer?”.
“Sure.” Alice said as she got up.
Kathleen jumped up. “I…I’ve got a meeting to get to. I’ll have to see you all later.” as she made her way to the door.
“Are you sure you don’t want to hold him before you go?” Sharon asked smiling.
“No.” Kathleen said distastefully. “I’ll see you some other time.” as she made her way quickly through the front door.
Everyone laughed quietly just after the door closed.
“She is such a pompous bitch.” Liz said, and everyone nodded agreement.
“His bedroom is beautiful.” Alice stated with a warm smile.
“Oh, can I see?” Liz asked.
“Why don’t you all go and take a look. I want to finish nursing him.” Sharon told them.
As they moved down the hall toward the nursery, Sharon uncovered Billy’s face and watched as he continued to nurse. He was asleep. “You had the perfect answer to her, Baby.” she told him softly. “I love you, Baby Boy, and no pompous wench is going to make me feel like I shouldn’t.” she added as she leaned down and planted a gentle kiss on his forehead. A second later Sharon heard Alice tell her “Good for you.”.