The Diaper Theorem

Hi. I’m new here. I don’t know how far I’ll take this idea, but if I get a response, I’m likely to continue with it. I’d like to improve as a writer, so suggestions and criticism are more than welcome. Also, I’m not sure how to unbold pasted text, so apologies for that.

Monday, week 1:

I am writing this in crayon, on printer paper. Professor Klimowich has kindly allowed me to use as much as I’d like, but I’m still not used to writing journal entries this way. I feel extremely silly using so much paper to write so little. But, I suppose, since I’m sitting here in a diaper and a onesie at the foot of an oversized crib which is to be my bed, the idea that anything I do WOULDN’T feel extremely silly has practically gone out the window.

I’m trying to write this as much like a typical journal entry as possible. I’m cognizant of the fact that I may lose some of my mental faculties over the course of my time here, so I have resolved to record as much as I can.It may be that if I stay too long, my personal career in mathematics will be over. But if I record everything, if I’m meticulous enough, I just may contribute to mathematics as a whole.

My name is Katherine Fuller, and I am a graduate student in mathematics at Little Brook State University in Little Brook, California. My research is primarily in abstract algebra. It is my ultimate goal to prove the Bass-Quillen Conjecture but, well, I don’t know if I’ll come anywhere near that.

Supposedly, a former professor at Little Brook State, Professor Aleksandra Klimowich, has come closer to proving it than anyone else in the world. But after coming into a large inheritance seven years ago, she retired from teaching at the age of 34. No one besides her has been able to master the techniques she has developed. While she has retired from teaching, she does allow dedicated students to take private lessons with her, under certain conditions.

And, well, those conditions can be something of a barrier to potential students. She requires that students live with her at least five days a week, and allow her to dress and treat them like babies. And I mean that in the most literal possible way. As I have already stated, I am writing this in crayon while wearing a onesie and a diaper.

In future entries, I intend to go into further detail about the lifestyle she imposes on students. Maybe I’ll be better able to adequately describe it after a longer time of living it. For now, though, I would like to make a note of an aspect of this situation that is, to my mind, far more disturbing.

Students who stay with her for long periods of time begin to experience strange psychological effects. Chloe Adebayo, her most recent student excluding myself, left after only six weeks. She told me it had taken her the better part of a year to, through intensive potty training, regain basic daytime bladder and bowel control. She has further told me that she believes she will always have to wear diapers to bed.

The only other student to study under Klimowich, Andrew Nguyen, was not so lucky. He stayed with her for two and a half years, and after that, he went to stay with a “friend” of the Professor’s. When he was interviewed about any mathematics she may have taught him, he simply said “Aleksandra is sooo smart! She knows lots and lots about math, especially those plussy timesy things where you do the switcheroos! She knows lots about those!”

It is my understanding that the comment was in reference to Klimowich’s work on commutative ring theory, but in terms of mathematical substance, this is about all that could be gleaned from Nguyen’s comments. He had been considered one of the brightest young mathematicians in the world prior to his time with the Professor, and he could lecture with complete confidence in both English and (I’m told) Vietnamese. And while his mathematical ability, as demonstrated on multiple-choice tests, had not diminished, his language skills in both of his native languages had diminished to that of a small child, and he showed almost no understanding of social mores, interrupting an interview at one point to declare that he had a “poopie diapie.”

From my own experience, it seems surprising that his mathematical skills had not diminished. Today’s “math lesson” consisted of counting to five and identifying circles, squares, and triangles. I would write more, but I’ve already had to beg the Professor to postpone beddie-byes twice in the course of writing this. So I will conclude for now


Tuesday, week 1:
I’ll be the first to admit my priorities in terms of surviving this endeavor may be slightly skewed. The most important thing ought to be retaining an adult vocabulary and the ability to express mathematical concepts using the standard terms. If, at the end of this, I succeed at that, even if I need diapers for the rest of my life, I will be able to save my career. There’s nothing overtly impossible about an incontinent professor. I could teach classes in adult diapers, and students would just have to deal with the occasional unpleasant smell. On the other hand, someone who talks like a child, someone who can’t express herself, would be unable to so much as write a Master’s thesis, let alone succeed in academia.

Nonetheless, having to strip naked and allow the Professor to put me in a diaper and plastic pants was one of the most striking things to happen to me since coming here, especially since both have such childish designs, being covered in rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. And given what Chloe told me and the fact that I’m not allowed to use the toilet, I’ve been very much concerned with making sure I at least retain control of my bladder.

Even though I can’t use the bathroom, I’ve made a mental note of where it is and what it looks like. Whenever I need to go, I make a concerted effort to visualize standing up and walking to the bathroom. I try to think of how the walk would feel on my feet, how it would sound. I try to imagine, as vividly as possible, closing and locking the door, lifting the toilet lid up, unzipping my pink onesie, taking my diaper off, and sitting down on the toilet.

Peeing in a diaper feels different than peeing on a toilet. Indeed, it was difficult for me at first, even knowing I had no other option. While I imagine feeling the cool air of the bathroom and effortlessly letting go, immediately feeling the stream flow out and hit the toilet water beneath, in reality, I’m still wearing my hot, sweaty diaper. At first, instead of pee flowing easily, there was a long period of anticipation, of trying to let my guard down and relax and believing I had relaxed enough to let it out, only to realize I hadn’t, and would need to relax still more before anything happened. Once I was actually managing to pee, it took a couple moments to register that I was. The slight reverberation when urine silently, almost instantly, hits the inside of the diaper, and the growing warm, wet feeling around my crotch were utterly foreign to me until yesterday.

And yet, after only a day, I’ve gotten used to them. What’s starting to worry is how faint and blurred the memory of sitting on a toilet and peeing is becoming. It’s something I’ve done as long as I can remember, and something I’ve been consciously trying to keep remembering every time I’ve used my diaper, and yet every time I try to remember it, the memory becomes confused with the current sensation. I try to think about the sound of pee hitting the water of the toilet, and yet all that comes to mind is the feeling of pee being absorbed in my diaper. I try to imagine flushing, but what I hear in my mind is only the idea of a flushing toilet, no longer a crystal clear mental sound. It’s only been two days of this.

Yesterday, I was pretty reluctant to use my diaper for number two. That was a mistake I paid for today. In the middle of our “math lesson”, which, aside from the fact that we were now doing numbers up to six, was pretty much identical to the one from yesterday, I decided I could no longer take it. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I just stepped into the middle of the room, squatted down, and started grunting.

While my mental blocks didn’t cause me as much trouble once I finally decided to do the deed, since I guess tensing muscles is easier under pressure than relaxing them, I still ended up with a stool too large to get all the way out while the diaper was still on.When I told Aleksandra I would need to finish pooping in the middle of a diaper change, she just laughed. I’m not entirely sure if it was with me or at me, or if there is any distinction anymore.

Diaper changes are a tremendous relief for me. Aside from my nightly bath, they’re the only time my butt and crotch get to air out at all which, given that the combination of a diaper and plastic pants underneath a onesie is something of a thermal prison, is a breath of fresh air. But there’s something more to it as well. The gentleness with which she cleans and powders me, and the tenderness with which she puts on a new diaper every time, have done a lot to endear Aleksandra to me.

This despite the fact that she only changes me when SHE decides to. But in a way, that’s kind of nice too. I don’t have to worry about judging whether I’m wet enough to need a change, since it’s totally out of my hands. And there’s some inexplicably sweet feeling I get when I feel like she’s caring for me. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m just tired right now.

It’s interesting, but I can’t understand why anyone would actually put up with it (not to mentions why the professor has such a bizarre requirement in the first place). The narrator is aware that she will inevitably lose her potty training and that she is more than likely to end up like the previous student, yet she keeps going? Why? What is her rationale? What does she actually gain from this that could someday help her? The professor, who must in fact be insane, is having her do basic arithmetic lessons? I try to grant an author their premise, but it needs to have some internal consistency. Maybe you’re going to provide explanations for all of this, but I hope you do so quickly.

Hopefully this next entry helps to clarify Katherine’s motivation to some degree. As to the Professor, she’s meant to be enigmatic at this point in the story.

Wednesday, week 1:
I haven’t really had much control over how I spend my time these past few days. Almost every moment has been accounted for, as though nothing escapes the Professor’s watchful eyes. And I don’t think there’s any way I could excuse myself at any point in time. If I need to get some water, Aleksandra gets it for me in a sippy cup. If I need to use the bathroom, that’s what the diaper is for. If I need a breath of fresh air, Aleksandra will take me out onto the balcony, but she won’t take her eyes off of me.

This morning was a rare exception. Last night, I had felt a slight need to use the bathroom, but I knew there wasn’t going to be a diaper change any time soon. Spending my entire journal entry talking about the experience of using a diaper probably didn’t help matters. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to go to bed in a wet diaper. Chloe had mentioned that she felt she “gave in” to using diapers too quickly, so my hope is that by having little rules for myself like “don’t go to bed in a wet diaper” or “try to stay dry for at least an hour after every change”, I’ll be able to stay in control. Perhaps this is a vain hope, but it’s at least worth a try.

As I tossed and turned in bed, what felt like a slightly full bladder became a very full one, and it’s something of a miracle I managed to fall asleep dry. I had a dream that I was in a public restroom, in a stall, but I still couldn’t take my diaper off to use the toilet no matter how hard I tried. Meanwhile, the whole bathroom began to fill with water. I had the vague sense that some pipe somewhere was leaking, though no one had told me this. When I woke up, I was very worried that I had wet the bed. Groping at my crotch, I was relieved to find I was still dry.

Grateful that I had made it, as I was going through my mental bathroom ritual before pretty much soaking my diaper, I noticed the color of the sky through the window on the far side of the nursery, and saw that it was still the gentle gray-blue of twilight. Previous mornings, Aleksandra had woken me up. This morning, however, had woken up of my own accord, and I reckoned I had at least an hour and a half before the Professor woke up. The panic over my potential nighttime accident had jolted me wide awake, and I decided it was best to try and make the best of the extra time I had this morning, rather than trying to go back to sleep, even though I knew it would make me tired the rest of the day. Going back to sleep, after all, might technically have broken my rule about going to bed wet.

The crib creaked a little as I stood up, and I was worried that I might wake the Professor, even though I tried to be as quiet as possible when climbing over the guardrail. I managed to tiptoe to the living room, and I had a rare opportunity to look around unimpeded. I noticed several notebooks on the bookshelf, and I decided to look through them. One seemed to be an account of her day to day life. I skimmed the first few entries. It seemed to date back only a few months. The first few entries seemed pretty mundane, and the last few entries essentially recounted what she had been doing with me the past few days.

After opening a few more journals which seemed to be of a more personal nature, I finally found what I was looking for, a journal full of commutative diagrams and sentences like “let A be a Noetherian local ring with maximal ideal m and let P be in the spectrum of A”. Some of the vocabulary and notation she used was unfamiliar to me was unfamiliar to me, like the idea that every module over certain types of rings had a unique “naughty submodule”.

When Andrew Nguyen had said “If you brush the puppy’s hair really, really good, all the naughty hairs come off and it’s just the nice ones left” was he referring to taking the quotient of a module by its “naughty” submodule? Although his acquired language difficulties were harrowing, I had always suspected that at least some of his seemingly inane and childish statements were references to ideas beyond the current scope of mathematics.

While Aleksandra always takes away the printer paper and crayons at bed time, I get to keep all of the notes I’ve written under my crib. I crept back into the nursery and grabbed a few of the pages I had left one-sided for use as scratch-paper. Finding a writing utensil was going to be more difficult. After going through several of the drawers in the living room, I found a yellow highlighter. I tried to use it to copy as much relevant information from the notebook full of math as I could, in the hopes of decoding it over the weekend.

As I copied, I began to wonder if my story would go down in history as one of the great tragedies of mathematics. Evariste Galois gave us group theory, but was killed in a duel at the age of 20. Georg Cantor laid the foundations of set theory, but was plagued in his final years by a depression which sapped much of his passion for mathematics. And Fuller, they’ll say, suffered bizarre torments in order to share the insights that revolutionized algebra with the world, perhaps having her mind permanently warped into that of a sort of half-adult, half-child in the process.

Amidst my copying and daydreaming, I lost track of time. Aleksandra, still in her pyjamas and en route to the shower, noticed me sitting at the coffee table and writing and asked what I was doing awake so early. Before I could respond, she saw what I was copying, took the highlighter away, and scolded me for being impatient, assuring me we would get to this stuff in due time.

She said that I deserved a spanking for being out of bed so early. I told her that I had agreed to let her take care of me, not to submit to corporal punishment. She replied that if I agreed to a spanking, our mathematics lessons would go faster. So I agreed.

When I was bent over her lap, with my onesie and half-untaped diaper around my ankles, being slapped repeatedly, I cared less about the pain than I did about the relief of having that clammy thing off of me. I thought about how illegal this all must be, and I started to worry that Aleksandra might get in trouble. I thought about how much I didn’t want that to happen. If she went to jail, her ideas would be stuck in there with her, and they would be lost to the wider mathematical community. This way, at least there was a chance that I could bring back… something.

I’ve barely mentioned events that occurred before 8:30 this morning, and it’s already bedtime. Good night, future people reading this.

I have no idea what happened to the formatting here or how to fix it. It seems like the new forum software responds weirdly to line breaks.

EDIT: okay, apparently you just have to add html tags every time you want a line break.

Actually, it’s the tabs at the start of each paragraph that are the issue. :slight_smile:

I’ll fix the post properly for you. :slight_smile:

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Thursday, week 1:

Already, I’m failing myself. Last night, while half asleep, I used my diaper without properly going through my whole mental ritual. It was only a little dribble, but I’m making a note of it for future reference. It was in the middle of the night, and I went back to sleep almost immediately after. I had sort of hoped I would wake up early again, but alas, I slept like a baby. Well, figuratively speaking. Maybe I shouldn’t have used that expression, given that, with the way this place is, it’s quite possible that one night, I’ll wake up crying every few hours for no discernable reason, but I’m not going to change the wording because crayons don’t have erasers. In any case, I didn’t wake up until Aleksandra came in and woke me.This was something of a disappointment.

First, it meant that I didn’t get any opportunity to explore the house on my own in the wee hours of the morning, although I’m not sure I would have done so if the opportunity had arisen. After all, after yesterday, I doubt she would leave her math notes within reach this time, and I would have had to weigh the risks of getting caught again. The spanking seems to be more of a more symbolic punishment, but I get the sense that it’s accompanied by more substantial consequences, even if I don’t always have a clear understanding of what those consequences are. Perhaps a speeding up or slowing down of the math curriculum, perhaps more or less allowance for “big kid privileges”, or perhaps even just a sense that the Professor is disappointed in me. I’m starting to become more and more emotionally invested in her opinion.

Second, being woken up after having even a tiny accident during the night meant that I would get a change first thing in the morning. And given my personal rule about waiting an hour after a change before using the restroom again, this meant that I would have to hold it in for at least an hour after getting up. At least I wasn’t the only one holding it. The past couple of days, I’ve noticed she’s been a lot less cavalier with leaving me unattended, even to use the restroom. She seems to practically only do so when I’m already on the high chair for a meal, locked in place and unable to move.

I’ve sort of gotten to wondering about that lately. Like, okay, adult diapers are one thing; the incontinence aisle is right next to the aisle with tampons and pads in a drugstore, so they aren’t exactly difficult to get. But this woman has an adult-sized crib, an adult-sized high chair, and adult-sized baby clothes. She has to get those from somewhere, and pretty much the only demographic that consumes those kinds of things besides her is adult baby fetishists. Even the diapers look too babyish to be the kind marketed towards regular people who happen to suffer from incompetence. So this all raises the question: what is this to her?

Most of the general public seems pretty certain they know the answer. She was a great mathematician once, she developed a reputation, and now she’s using that reputation to lure graduate students in in order to play out her depraved fantasies, possibly as a result of some deep-seated mental illness or possibly just for the sick pleasure of it all.

Another, much smaller camp saw her some kind of misunderstood visionary. They’d point out that Alexander Grothendieck, arguably the most brilliant mathematician of the second half of the twentieth century, had himself said “discovery is a child’s privilege”, and that therefore, it would make sense that some sort of psychological age regression could be a useful pedagogical tool for esoteric and complex ideas that may be difficult to arrive at from standard mathematical axioms. Before I started this experiment, I was firmly in this camp, in part because many mathematicians in my department felt as though this was the correct analysis of the situation. But after being here for four days, I have to admit my faith is beginning to waver.

But at the same time, I get the sense that there’s more to what I’ve been learning than meets the eye, even in terms of counting and shapes. There’s a certain music, a melody to the way I’m learning to count. Today, I was asked “What comes after four?” and I answered “three” without even thinking. But it wasn’t because I’ve become less intelligent or my number sense has deteriorated. Rather, it’s because of the tone of her voice when she asked the question. And I believe the various melodies I’m learning to count with have a deeper mathematical significance, even though I can’t yet rigorously define what that significance is or how it’s relevant to ring theory.

I was told that if I ask to go to bed before Aleksandra asks me to wrap up my journaling, I would be allowed to hold my own spoon during breakfast tomorrow, rather than having her feed me. So I’m going to wrap up and go to bed now.

Ok this has me hooked, and I’m interested in seeing what happens next.