Trip to the Fair - Part 1
By Teekabell – 2003
Julie was having a hard time dealing with the events of the day. Here she was eight, almost nine years old, but her six year old little brother got a new twin size bed while she still had to sleep in her toddler bed. It wasn’t fair. She was older. That bed she had to sleep in use to be her crib before it was turned into a bed, it was for babies and she was almost 9 years old. It even had railings that went halfway down the bed to prevent kids from falling out of bed. She was going into 3rd grade. Why did she still have to sleep in a baby bed.
Julie’s mom, Susan, saw her moping around the house ever since they got home from the store. She knew what the problem was, but didn’t know what to do about it. Harvey was too big for his toddler bed and Julie wasn’t. Harvey was taller, heavier, and overall bigger than Julie. They couldn’t afford to buy two beds at the same time, and Harvey definitely had outgrown his bed, when he laid down in bed his feet touched the end board. It was tough for Julie when Harvey was finally taller than her, but over the next year things are going to get even harder. Until now, there were always things that separated Julie as the older child, but that is changing. Harvey will learn to read this year. He will learn about money and how to add and subtract. He is ready to have the training wheels taken off is bike, and he doesn’t need a stroller anymore when we go places with a lot of walking. Soon Harvey will not need booster seats to sit at a table, but Julie still will need one. Even harder for her to handle will be when Harvey doesn’t wear diapers to bed and she does. She still wets every night. Harvey, he hasn’t wet his nighttime diaper for almost a month now. We could really use the money on other things than diapers for a child who doesn’t need them. Poor Julie, eight years old, still fits in “T” size clothing, sleeping in a toddler bed and weighing less than 35 pounds still needs to sit in a car seat with a 5 point harness. She hasn’t been the smallest kid in school for a while, but even some of the incoming kindergarteners will be taller than her.
Susan checked in on her husband and son who were putting together the new bed, and then got Julie and cuddled up together on the couch to watch “The Little Mermaid”, one of Julie’s favorite movies. It was also a movie that Harvey hated so she couldn’t watch it that often. Just as the movie was starting Julie ran to her room and returned with her blankie and snuggled up to her mommy wrapped up tight inside. Susan sat there looking more at her daughter than the movie. She looked down at her small eight year old daughter snug and tight in her baby blanket. The quilt was made by Susan’s grandmother when Julie was born. It is a crib size quilt, but Julie is still small enough to wrap herself in it. It is the quilt for her bed since she is still sleeping on her crib mattress. Susan smiled at her little girl. She tried hard to be a big girl, but she was still very much a baby. Still wore diapers at night and occasionally had accidents during the day. She was still in a baby car seat, Julie thought it was a booster seat like Harvey’s but his is designed for kids up to 80 pounds, while hers is only for little ones under 40 pounds. Susan still has her drink from sippy cups when not sitting at a table. Julie still sucked on a pacifier when getting her diaper on at night and off in the morning. She still wants to ride in the seat of grocery carts and likes riding in the stroller. She is always asking to be carried. She tries so hard to be a big girl, but she is still very much a baby.
When the movie ended, Julie saw a commercial on the television for the county fair as the tape was rewinding.
“Mommy! ! ! Can we go to the fair? Can we go to the fair?” Julie gleefully asked as she jumped up and down and pointed to the TV. “They have sheep and horses mommy. Pweeease can we go to the fair.”
“We’ll see Julie,” Susan said cautiously. “Daddy will look at the web page tonight after you go to bed and see how much it is.” Susan knew they didn’t have the money to go, but after the terrible day Julie had she wasn’t ready to tell her no.
After dinner and family fun time, Harvey was off to bed at his usual bed time of 7:30pm. Julie’s bed time was 8:00. As soon as Harvey was up in his room getting ready for bed with dad, Susan offered Julie a special treat, something not usually allowed after dinner-time.
“Julie, you can watch your Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen video ‘Our first Video’, if you hurry up and get all ready for bed right now.”
Julie went running up to her room to get changed, while Susan went up to Harvey’s room to kiss him goodnight and wish him luck on his first night not wearing diapers. Susan didn’t want Julie to know about Harvey not wearing diapers tonight, she was having a hard enough time with him getting a big boy bed. Just as Susan came out of Harvey’s room, Julie was running down the hallway. Susan scooped her up as she tried to go charging by on her way to the family room.
“Young Lady, there is a speed limit in this house and I think you were way above it.” Susan said as Julie started to giggle. “Let’s get you all ready for bed before the video.”
Susan started to carry her back to her room, but stopped at the bathroom door. Susan put Julie down and said, “Go potty and brush your teeth before I put your night diaper on.” Julie gave her mom a look, but went in to the bathroom anyways and started to brush her teeth. A few minutes later, Julie was back up in her room. Susan picked her up and laid her down on the changing table. This is another thing that Julie still had and Harvey hadn’t had for awhile. He was really just too heavy for Susan to lift up on to a changing table, so they stopped using one with him about a year ago. Susan quickly got Julie into her night time diaper, noting the brown streaks in the panties and wiping her clean before fastening up the diaper. As Susan carried Julie down to the family room, she made a note to remind Julie tomorrow to wipe good after pooping in the toilet. Susan and Julie cuddled up on the couch with Julie wrapped up in her blankie, that was still there from earlier. Within about fifteen minutes she was sound asleep.
“Larry,” Susan asked her husband while she was still cuddled up on the couch with Julie. “Can you log onto the web and look up how much it would cost to bring the family to the Fair. Julie saw it on TV today and would really like to go. I don’t think we can afford it, but I promised Julie you would at least look it up.”
A few minutes later, Larry found the fair’s web site. Susan was right; it was very expensive and after buying a new bed, mattress and sheets for Harvey’s new bed, there was no way they could afford to go. Larry told Susan this as she continued to cuddle on the couch with sleeping little Julie.
“You know Susan; it is too bad we don’t have any little ones still in diapers.”
“What do you mean honey?” Susan asked looking down at Julie who was snuggly taped up in her diaper.
“Well they have these different discount days; Sport Team Day, Sponser’s Day, Family Day, and a variety of other days. They even have one called Diaper Day. It is the only one offering a deal good enough to allow us to go, unfortunately our kids are too old. Apparently, babies and toddlers along with one adult get in free and each get a free pass to ride all the rides. Oh well, neither of the kids could be considered a baby or toddler anymore, and none of the other deals offer a discount enough to allow us to go. We are just going to have to tell Julie we can’t afford it this year.”
Susan sat there for about thirty more minutes before getting up with Julie in her arms and carrying her up to her room. As she put Julie down on her bed, Susan checked her diaper. It was wet. Susan decided to change her before putting her down for the night. She moved Julie over to the changing table for the process. As Susan changed Julie’s diaper, she couldn’t get Larry’s comments out of her mind. ‘Neither of the kids could be considered a baby or toddler anymore.’ As Susan snapped up the crotch and leg snaps of Julie’s 3T blanket sleeper, Susan thought some more about how Harvey got a lot today and Julie got nothing. Julie wanted to go to the fair to see the animals, and if they hadn’t just spent so much money on Harvey’s new bed they would have been able to afford the trip. Larry’s statement went through her mind again as she tucked Julie into her Toddler bed, which used to be her crib.
As Susan went back to the family room to kick Larry off the computer so she could cuddle up with him, her thoughts were turning around a simple question. ‘Could Julie pass as a toddler?’
Trip to the Fair - Part 2
By Teekabell – 2003
“Susan,” Larry asked. “You have been very quiet since the kids went to bed. What are you thinking about?”
“Well, . . . .” Susan hesitated. “Larry . . . . . . do you think Julie could pass as a toddler?”
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Larry started to laugh at the thought of such a thing. “What are you talking about honey? You’re asking if our eight year old could pass as a toddler. Of course she couldn’t, she’s eight years old. What made you even think such a strange thing?”
“I guess your right Larry; it really is an absurd concept thinking Julie could pass as a three year old.”
“Does this have to do with the Fair?”
“Yeah, she really wanted to go and if we hadn’t just spent so much money on everything for Harvey’s new bed, we would have gone.”
“So let me get this straight. To make your eight year old daughter feel better about her six year old little brother getting a big kid bed and her still sleeping in a toddler bed, you want to dress her up and treat her like a toddler?”
Susan giggled at this. “Well, yes!”
“You know Susan, sometimes I can’t figure out who is stranger, you or the kids.”
For the rest of the evening, they were both quiet. Before going to bed, Larry stopped at the door to each of the kids rooms and stood there looking at them sleep for a while before getting changed for bed.
“You know Susan, she does look like a toddler sleeping in her bed, hugging her teddy bear, and sucking her thumb. Strangely enough you might be able to pass her off as a preschooler, but I am not sure about a baby or toddler. What are you going to do, put her in diapers for the trip to the fair?”
“We have her wear diapers during the day for long car trips and when she is sick. She would wear her night time diaper and continue to use it until she has to poop, if we let her. I’ve been tempted to put her in a diaper during the day when she is having a lot of daytime accidents. I haven’t done it for years because I keep thinking you don’t put a child her age in diapers, but . . . . . . . . every day we put her in a diaper. Would it really be inappropriate to have her wear one during the day too?”
The two of them fell asleep thinking about their oldest child, their baby girl.
Trip to the Fair - Part 3
By Teekabell – 2003
The rule in the house was simple. No one wakes anyone else up unless it is an emergency. Susan and Larry set it up one morning about 3 years ago when Julie woke up at 5 o’clock and woke up everyone in the house. The kids were instructed that if they woke up before mommy and daddy they were to go into the family room and play with quiet toys or watch TV. When Susan and Larry woke up that morning, it was obvious Harvey was too excited to remember the rule.
“Mommy, Daddy ! ! ! Mommy, Daddy ! ! ! I did it ! ! ! I did it Mommy ! ! ! I did it Daddy ! ! ! I did it ! ! !”
Susan knew this was going to be a tough day. She was hoping that Harvey would have been a bit quieter about this. She knew Julie would find out about him not wearing diapers at night, but part of her wished it was kept a secret for at least a few days. When she reached the door to the hall, the first think she saw, was Julie standing at the other end in her pink blanket sleeper, teddy bear in hand, with a quizzical look on her face. Each kid needed her at this moment for two very different reasons. How is she going to make a big deal of the event to Harvey and convince Julie it is no big thing?
Susan looked back into the bedroom at Larry who was just now heading for the door. “Which kid do you want, Julie or Harvey?”
“That’s a no brainer. I’ll take Harvey. He is going to be a whole lot easier than Julie to deal with at the moment.”
They split up with Susan taking Julie as far away from Harvey’s room as possible. Larry was right; Harvey was the easy one at the moment to deal with. She had no idea what to say to Julie. How was she going to do this?
“What did Harvey do Mommy?”
“He . . . . . He,” Susan took a deep breath and decided to just say it straight out. “He woke up to a dry bed his first night sleeping without a diaper.”
Julie was silent. Susan sat there with Julie in her lap. Staring straight at Julie, Susan was trying to figure out what to say next. Julie looked so little and helpless sitting there. Susan could see it in her eyes; Julie was torn by the news. She was happy for her little brother, yet she had other feelings she didn’t quite know how to express. Susan hugged her. She thought about when she was little and that her mom always said the right thing at times like this. She wished she could do that right now.
Julie was the first to break the silence. “Was he all out of diapers?”
Susan smiled, “No sweety. For over three week he has woken up in dry diapers. Daddy and I decided he was ready to try sleeping without diapers.”
There was more silence. Susan could see the wheels turning in Julie’s head; she just wished she knew what she was thinking. Again, it was Julie who broke the silence.
“Is that why he got a new bed, because he didn’t wet his diaper?”
That was the last think Susan expected, “No sweety, No. He got a new bed because he was too big for his old one, his feet were about to hang off the end.”
“He would look very funny sleeping with his feet sticking out the end of his bed,” comment Julie. Susan and Julie laughed.
“It’s not fair Mommy,” Julie said snuggling up real close.
“I know sweety. All kids grow at different speeds. You have learned to do a lot of things before Harvey, but there are things Harvey is going to do before you learn to do them. You will always be his big sister, even if he is taller than you and does something before you.”
“But I am still wearing diapers and he isn’t. It is not fair Mommy. I am almost nine years old. Do I HAVE TO wear diapers Mommy?”
“You only have to wear diapers when you don’t get your pee-pee in the potty sweety. When you can get all your pee-pee and poopy in the potty, then there will be no more diapers.”
“I try mommy. I try, but when I wake up they are wet.”
“I know sweety, which is why you need to wear diapers, because you wet the diaper without knowing it. There is nothing you can do to stop it if you are asleep. We just have to wait for your body to learn how to hold in your pee-pee all night.”
Susan looked down at her little girl. One of the snaps on the crotch of the blanket sleeper was undone, and Susan could see Julie had on a very wet diaper.
“Do I have to keep my diaper dry for three weeks? Harvey only had to keep his diaper dry for three day when he was potty training, before he got out of diapers.”
“You have to keep your NIGHT TIME diaper dry for three week before you can wear panties to bed. Harvey had to keep his night time diaper dry for over three week before he got to try sleeping without a diaper. It is three days of keeping a daytime diaper dry before going to training pants, then one week keeping the training pants dry before getting panties. You use the potty in the daytime, so to stop using your night time diaper; you must keep it dry for three weeks.”
“I don’t want to wear diapers if Harvey is wearing underwear.”
“Julie, your body hasn’t learned to keep all your pee-pee in at night. Until it does, you have to wear a diaper to bed.”
“But Mommy! I’m a big girl, not a baby.”
“I know you’re not a baby sweety,” Susan said hugging and rocking Julie. "You’re a big eight year old. Diapers however, are not just for babies. They are for anyone who can’t get their pee-pee or poopy in the potty. When you are asleep, there is no way you can get to the potty, so until your body is ready, you need diapers. Everyone’s body gets ready at different times. Harvey’s body just got ready before yours.
Julie was quiet and snuggled up close to mommy. Susan thought about the conversation they had just had and about last night’s discussion. Julie may be eight years old, but she still very much needs her mommy in a lot of ways. She is still very much a little girl, even though she wants to be viewed as a big girl. Susan knew she couldn’t ask Julie to pretend to be a baby so they could go to the fair, but part of her still wondered how much pretending Julie would really have to do in order to pass as a toddler.
When Susan started to hear Harvey and her husband, Larry, in the kitchen getting breakfast, she decided to take Julie back to her bedroom. She didn’t think Julie was ready for Harvey’s enthusiasm. So, she carried Julie back to her room telling her she was going to get her dressed for the lovely day ahead.
Laying Julie down on her changing table, Susan shook her head in amazement at how little Julie was. After getting the blanket sleeper off and cleaning her up from the wet diaper, Susan grabbed some Winnie the Pooh panties and put them on Julie before sitting her up. Susan didn’t usually completely dress Julie, but she still did do it several times a month. The hardest thing for Susan was figuring out what to dress her in. Almost all of her clothing was either size 3 or 4 with most of the outfits “3T” or “4T”. With clothing designed for diapers, Susan usually tried to dress her in things that didn’t puff out at the waist. Over the years she found many of the outfits looked like she was wearing diapers even when she wasn’t. Julie however, rarely made the connection between what she was wearing and the comments on how little she looked. She wouldn’t allow any outfits with Big Bird, Barney, or Teletubbies, but other characters were okay as long as they weren’t “baby” characters.
Today, without thinking about it, Susan picked out a yellow and white romper with a waist that caused the bottom to puff out more. It was a very babish outfit and Susan was about to put it back, when Julie stopped her saying she wanted to wear the outfit. Without realizing what she was doing, Susan took the babyish outfit as a starting point and went about dressing Julie to see how babyish she could make her look. The end result took Susan by surprise. With the pig tails, hair ribbons, yellow romper with the puffy bottom, lace trimmings on the romper and socks, and some Mary Jane shoes, Julie really did look about three years old.
Julie was standing in front of the mirror in her room when Susan considered changing the outfit to make her look older. Julie however, thought everything looked just perfect and wouldn’t let anything be changed. Julie didn’t view the outfit as babish, she viewed it as girlish. She loved dressing up in frilly, girly girl outfits.
Before heading down to breakfast, Susan tried to get Julie to understand how happy Harvey was about staying dry. She didn’t expect praise and encouragement from Julie, but she did want her prepared for Harvey’s excitement. Susan did not prepare Julie however, for what Harvey actually said.
“Julie! I did it. I kept my underwear dry all night.”
“Good job Harvey,” Julie said in a rather monotone voice. “It is hard to do.”
“That’s Okay Julie,” Harvey said sounding much older than he actually was. “Soon you will be a big kid like me and learn how to use the potty. It is okay that you still have to wear baby diapers, you’ll be a big girl wearing underwear real soon.”
Larry and Susan were floored by Harvey’s comments. He sounded like an older brother talking to a Toddler younger sibling who’s struggling with toilet training. Julie however, was pissed. She started yelling at Harvey, telling him she was a big girl and he was just her BABY brother. At the end of her tantrum, she stormed off to her room crying. Her words would have had more impact if she hadn’t wet her pants in the middle of the tantrum. She already looked like a toddler having a temper tantrum, but storming off in a wet romper made her look even more babish, giving Harvey’s comment more power than hers. Julie still wet during the day on occasion, and strong emotional states often triggered accidents. In this particular situation however, it really deflated the power of her comments to Harvey.
Trip to the Fair - Part 4
By Teekabell – 2003
As Susan went running after Julie, she turned to Larry and said, “When I asked which kid you wanted, this was not the end result I was expecting.”
When Susan reached Julie’s room, she found her face down on the bed crying into her pillow. This exposed her wet romper, making her look even more babyish. Over the next hour, Susan calmed Julie down and got her changed into another outfit. This one was a yellow and white toddlers sundress with puffy bloomers (diaper covers with elastic at waist and leg openings) and white tights. Julie had insisted on wearing another pretty yellow outfit to go with her yellow hair ribbons. Unfortunately, this outfit didn’t make her look any older. At least in this outfit, the dress covered the bloomers, so it didn’t look like she was wearing diapers. Well, at least most of the time the puffy bloomers were covered, toddler dresses tended to be short coming down to just below where the toddler’s diaper would be. Julie was outgrowing this outfit, causing the dress to be even shorter and her bottom to shows more easily. She still looked about 3 or 4 years old. It was hard for Susan to see the eight year old daughter who was actually standing in front of her.
Larry’s comment from last night stirred around in her head. ‘So let me get this straight. To make your eight year old daughter feel better about her six year old little brother getting a big kid bed and her still sleeping in a toddler bed, you want to dress her up and treat her like a toddler?’
This didn’t seem as silly as it did last night. Her eight year old daughter was happily dressed like a toddler, and mommy just changed her little girl’s outfit because Julie didn’t get her pee-pee in the potty. Mommy had also just calmed her down after having a very childish temper tantrum.
Susan had to get these thoughts out of her mind. She had to get Julie through this day. She decided that Harvey would make that harder at the moment, so Susan decided to go out for a Mommy and Daughter day. It was going to start immediately. Susan took Julie’s hand and they went straight from Julie’s bedroom out to the car, only stopping for a moment to tell Larry that they were going out for the day.
Susan could not get last night’s conversation with Larry out of her mind. As she strapped Julie into the 5 point harness of her baby car seat, another one of Larry’s comments came to mind, ‘neither of the kids could be considered a baby or toddler anymore.’ At this moment, Susan was really questioning if Julie had every really left the preschool / toddler stage of life. Yes, she was eight, almost nine, years old entering third grade, but had she really left the preschool / toddler stage?
The first stop was breakfast. Susan wanted to give Julie a big girl day and keep her mind off the fact that her little brother was bigger and more grown up than she was. Breakfast however, did not accomplish this. As the waitress went to seat us, she was commenting on how Julie was a very cute little girl, but then she made a statement revealing how little she thought Julie really was, “This will be your table, and I will be right back with a highchair for the little princess.”
“A booster seat would be more appropriate for my big eight year old daughter, Thank You.” Susan quickly replied.
The waitress was very apologetic and quickly went off to get a booster seat. She quickly returned with a booster seat, some crayons, and a children’s menu with coloring activities on the back. Susan ordered an omelet and Julie wanted some pancakes. While Julie was coloring, Susan was trying to come up with what the two of them could do that didn’t cost much money. She needed to do some shopping, a trip to the drug store and grocery store were a necessity. They could stop at the book store and let Julie pick out a book. The large Playground down by the river would be a great afternoon activity, and cheap. Those trips wouldn’t fill up the whole day, but it was a start.
The conversation during breakfast stayed away from Harvey, beds, bladder control, and all other sensitive topics. Julie’s pancakes came with a strawberry sauce on top. Most of it, got in her mouth, and the rest, well her face, hands, and her dress shared the load. When the waitress came back, her comment summed up the situation, “Well, it looks like our big girl princess enjoyed her meal.”
Julie just smiled at this, while the waitress went off to get a damp cloth to help clean her up. Susan was sure the waitress was thinking the same thing as her, that Julie looked like a kid who should have sat in a highchair with a bib. Julie seemed oblivious to the situation. When the waitress came back, she had a warm damp wash cloth. She also had a cup of water and another wash cloth to attack the dress with. Fortunately most of the strawberry came out of the dress, or at least blended enough to not make it obvious. Julie fussed a little at the amount Mommy was attacking her with a washcloth, but once she was told a princess needs to be all clean and proper, she stopped. Julie always loved playing the princess.
On the drive to the drug store, Julie asked the question Susan wasn’t ready to answer yet. “Mommy, can we go the fair today?”
“No, Princess,” Susan responded after taking a deep breath. “We can’t go to the fair today. Daddy and I are still looking into whether or not we can go as a family.”
The drug store was the first stop, and Julie as usual, insisted on sitting in the seat of the grocery cart. Shortly after heading down the first isle, a young store employee stopped them. “Excuse me mam,” he said very politely. “Could you please use the seat belt on the seat with your daughter? It is store policy that all babies and toddlers wear the seatbelt while in the cart seat.”
“Well thank you young man, I will fasten the seat belt immediately,” Susan said turning back to Julie.
“But Mommy,” Julie started to complain. “I am not a ba. . . .”
Susan interrupted, “All children sitting in the seat need to wear the seat belt, so let’s get it fastened.”
Julie knew the tone in her Mommy’s voice, so she didn’t say anything else.
They quickly picked up the items Susan needed and went up to check out. The cashier was efficiently checking them out when she said, “I have a little three year old girl too. They look so sweet and charming in their little dresses, don’t they?”
Julie missed the implication that the cashier was saying she was 3 years old. Susan however, didn’t. Her response didn’t correct the cashier, she just agreed that 3 year old certainly do look cute in little dresses.
It was only a short trip to the grocery store, but Susan always felt that nothing was a short trip when you had to get a kid in and out of a car seat.
Susan had been trying all morning to avoid the issues that initiated this trip, but it was very difficult. People kept mistaking Julie for a toddler or preschooler. Some of the comments were stated in such a way that Julie got offended for being considered a baby, while others were stated in a way Julie didn’t catch on. Susan however, was finding this more and more fascinating as the day went on. People were really thinking her eight year old daughter was a toddler or preschooler. Even with all of this, Julie was having a great time having a Mommy and Daughter day.
As Susan was lifting Julie into the grocery cart to start the food shopping, the day took an unexpected turn. Julie had wet her pants, and hadn’t told mom. She was immediately put back down and the two of them went into the store without a cart. Julie was confused and wondering why they weren’t using a cart. Her mom however was holding her hand and walking quickly, so Julie was struggling to keep up.
“Mommy, Mommy,” Julie whined. “Slow down Mommy.”
Susan headed straight for the diaper isle. She swiftly picked up a package of Pampers Diapers and wipes. On their way out of the isle she grabbed some baby powder. Julie knew they were for her, and she was struggling with the idea that her Mommy was about to put a diaper on her in the middle of the day.
“But Mommmmm-mmmmy,” Julie complained, but mom wasn’t responding, she was just heading straight for the cash registers. “I’m sorry Mommy, can’t I wear panties instead.”
“No!” Susan stated. “All your panties are at home, and you are here in wet pants. This store doesn’t sell panties, but they do sell diapers for little ones who don’t use the potty.”
“It was an accident Mommy!”
“Well, one wetting is an accident, but two before lunch tells me you need to be in diapers NOT panties.”
“Pull-Ups?” Julie pleaded.
“Definitely NOT.” Susan responded. “Those are for big kids who use the potty but have occasional accidents, not more than one a day. You need diapers and that is the end of the conversation.”
As she paid for the items, Susan asked where the restrooms were.
“There in the back by the dairy section,” said the cashier. “Toilet training is never easy with little ones, is it?”
“That is definite,” said Susan as she headed off to the bathrooms. Once they were out of earshot she softly said, “Especially when they are eight years old.”
Trip to the Fair - Part 5
By Teekabell – 2003
They quickly found the bathrooms and to Susan’s surprise there were three of them; a Men’s room, a Women’s room, and a “Family” room. Over the last 8 years she had seen more and more of these “Family” restrooms or “Baby Changing Station” rooms. They were great, especially when you have a boy and a girl with you who are both still too young to go into a public restroom alone. They also had great changing facilities, instead of those fold down ones that really are only big enough to change an infant on.
Susan was trying to calm herself down. She was frustrated over all the accidents Julie has been having, but she knew Julie wasn’t doing it on purpose. An eight year old having daytime accidents was ridiculous as far as she was concerned. An occasional one while playing or on trips was one thing, but Julie was having more than just the occasional accident. They also tended to come in clusters, where she would have two or three weeks or many accidents and then none for a few weeks. She knew how frustrating it was for her, and she could just imagine how hard it was for Julie. The part Susan couldn’t understand was how Julie could wet her pants and appear to not know, or at least not care. Something had to change, and Susan was thinking more than just Julie’s pants.
Susan had wanted this day to be a big girl day for Julie, but it was becoming more of a typical outing with a preschooler. She didn’t really want to put Julie in diapers, but the options were limited. They usually kept a change of clothes in the car for both kids, but over the last week Julie had managed to use both sets without them being replenished. All day people had been mistaking Julie for a toddler, well now it will be even harder for people to tell that she is NOT a toddler. Susan suspected, Julie would stop using the toilet, except for pooping, once the diaper went on. She definitely didn’t want this, but maybe a week or two in diapers before pushing toilet training again on Julie would be the best thing. Oh boy, an eight year old back in diapers, what’s Larry going to say about this?
Julie knew her Mommy was going to put a diaper on her, but this wasn’t anything new. Mommy laid Julie down on a changing table and put a diaper on her every night for bed and then again in the morning. Occasionally she even wore diapers during the day, when they were going on trips out of town. On these trips, her Mommy would change her in public bathrooms at rest stops or parks. Having Mommy put a diaper on her was not upsetting Julie; she was worried about how long Mommy would make her wear the diaper. On trips she could get out of the diaper as soon as the car ride was over, but Julie knew this time things were going to be different.
The diaper change went quickly. Fortunately, the sundress was not wet. The tights, bloomers, and panties all had to come off. Mom put them in the grocery bag. In a quick clean up with a diaper wipe, Susan found she had to clean up a little bit of poopy. If Susan hadn’t known better, she would have thought Julie didn’t wipe well after pooping in the toilet, but Susan knew Julie hadn’t used the toilet since she cleaned Julie up this morning after the first accident. Susan had always thought the streaks in the panties were due to not wiping properly, but this was telling her otherwise. Julie had been pooping her pants for years. Susan considered putting Julie down on the toilet and asking her to try and use it, but decided not to, why bother if she was putting her in diapers. Someone wears a diaper because they can’t get their pee-pee and poopy in the toilet, so there really is no reason to push Julie to use the toilet if she was putting a diaper on her.
“Well Julie,” Susan said as she taped up the diaper. “Wet and Poopy pants! I should have put you back in diapers a long time ago.”
“Poopy,” Julie said defensively. “I didn’t poop my pants.”
“Well Julie, there was poopy I had to clean up. If you didn’t poop, then why did I have to clean up some poop?”
The truth was that Julie didn’t know that she had pooped. There were times she would notice her pants were wet, without remembering peeing, and times when she would discover poop in her panties without remembering pooping. The poopy part was a major secret; no one was supposed to find out. Only babies pooped in their pants and she wasn’t a baby. Well, she didn’t think she was a baby, but there were times when she wondered.
Julie got another surprise when she was put back down on the floor. There was nothing covering the diaper. On car trips, Julie had always worn shorts or tights over the diapers to hide them and make the noise quieter. Now it was just her dress and diaper. Everyone would know she was wearing a diaper. Eight year olds were not supposed to wear just a dress and a diaper. Eight year olds were not supposed to wear diapers, were they? Was she really just a baby? Julie snuggled up to mommy’s leg.
Susan looked down at this 33 pound little buddle of joy that had just attached herself to Susan’s leg. Anger and frustration seemed to float away, as Susan looked down at her little baby girl. Susan picked Julie up and held her on her hip as she cleaned up from the diaper change. The wet clothing went in the plastic bag that was holding the supplies they had just bought. She asked Julie to hold the tub of wipes, while she put the powder in her purse and carried the diapers and the bag of wet clothing out to the car.
Susan considered getting in the car and driving home, but resisted the urge. Although she wanted to hide the fact that her eight year old daughter was in diapers, she knew she couldn’t. She had always stressed to the kids that life goes on, whether they have a potty accident or not. Putting Julie together with her brother at the moment would probably not be the best choice. Julie needed some time to accept her diapers before Harvey had a chance to comment.
They headed back into the grocery store to get what they originally came here for; lunch and snacks. A Mommy and Daughter day out needs a picnic at the park, so Susan needed supplies to make it a great day for Julie. Susan quickly found herself back where she started, putting Julie into the grocery cart seat. As they wheeled around the store, Julie started to calm down and relax. Susan even got her to giggle a few times before they headed for the checkout stand. They ended up at a different register this time with a different cashier. She was quick and efficient checking them out with every little communication until the end.
“You have a very cute baby girl,” the cashier said, “What’s her name?”
“I am not a baby,” protested Julie.
“Oh isn’t it so typical,” said the cashier as she scanned the last few items. “My baby girl does the same thing. She will insist she is not a baby even as I am changing her wet and poopy diapers.”
At this statement, Julie put her head down and became very quiet. She had just been changed because she was wet and poopy. Julie’s thoughts were interrupted by her mom’s reply.
“Her name is Julie,” Susan said smiling at Julie. “Say hello to the nice lady.”
Before Julie could bring herself to look at the lady and say hello, the cashier continued talking, “Aren’t they so cute at this age with their cute little dresses and their diapers peeking out.”
Julie looked down at her diaper. The dress was up against the bar of the grocery cart between her legs. Some of the diaper was showing and Julie couldn’t cover it up. Maybe the strange lady was right; maybe she really was just a baby. Julie didn’t know any other eight year olds who wore diapers. Only babies wore diapers. She was wearing a diaper right now; did that make her a baby?
This is the thought that kept going through Julie’s mind as she was being strapped into her car seat and it was still her central line of thought as her mommy carried her on the hip over to the playground at the park.
“Princess,” Susan asked Julie. “You have been real quiet, tell mommy what’s wrong.”
“Am I a big girl?”
Susan looked at her little girl. She knew this was a loaded question. After almost nine years of being a mommy, she knew she had to tread carefully. Susan did not know why Julie asked the question. Did she want to be a big girl, but didn’t feel like one wearing diapers? Did she want to be a baby, but was scared of what Mommy and Daddy would say about an eight year old being a baby? This was like getting an art project from one of the kids, when you couldn’t figure out what it was. How she answered this question would determine what the next few days would be like.