Hi all! This is a continuation of my holiday series from 2021, the most recent being my New Year’s story.
As much as you appreciate everything your partner does for you, there are times when they go a little too far. It used to be that you could have a rational discussion about those things, but ever since Thanksgiving when they unilaterally put you back in diapers, those sorts of rational conversations seem to have gotten more difficult. Not just for you, but for your partner, too. Almost as if your return to diapers and a growing dependence on them (and on your partner) had altered the balance of your relationship in ways both of you were still working out. Like the little tiff the two of you had before leaving for your parents’ house to celebrate Easter.
It was uncanny what your partner had said because it was the same thing your mother had said years ago, that on Christmas and Easter you wore what she wanted you to wear. Of course, why your partner wanted you to wear such a childish outfit wasn’t so clear to you, but then they didn’t agree that it was childish in the first place.
“Who else wears such short shorts,” you ask them, both of you at the limit of your patience.
“Lots of people,” is the generic response you got back. “Just a couple days a year I ask you to wear something specific. Is that so hard?” Of course, counting your diapers, not a day goes by that you don’t wear something your partner wants you to wear.
“They make my diaper obvious.”
“You’re not taking me seriously.”
“Yes, I am.”
“No, you’re not!”
Raising your voice is a mistake, and an hour later, you don’t mind at all when your partner asks you to help hide the Easter eggs in your parents’ yard. You’re glad for the space. And it is in those shorts and your lavender onesie that your little sister approaches you with, “Hey, kiddo.”
“Hi. Happy Easter.”
“Happy Easter. What’re you doing out here?”
“How’d you get roped into that? That’s the kids’ job.” It has always been the kids’ job. Once they outgrow searching for the eggs, they become responsible for hiding them for the younger kids.
“I was asked. I don’t mind.”
“You seemed awfully quiet inside. I wanted to come check on you. Everything alright?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“What kind of answer is that?” She punches you gently on the arm just like fifteen years ago when you were inseparable best friends, before she got married and had kids. You’re still close, but just like everything else compared to back then, it isn’t the same as it had been.
“Sorry,” you say and force a smile, “just not in a great mood today.”
“Well, come inside with me.”
“I have to finish this.”
“One of the kids can finish. C’mon, let’s go get your pants changed.”
She takes you by the wrist and leads you toward the house, not seeing you roll your eyes. Ever since you went back in diapers, and even you are now willing to admit they are overdue after years of bigger and more frequent accidents, it seems like all your closest family and even a few good friends seem to think nothing of mentioning the state of your diaper and, even more embarrassing, nothing of being in the room while your partner changes you or even doing the job themselves. Does no one appreciate that it isn’t exactly something you care to be so open about? Just the nudity alone, like they don’t even think of you that way now that you’re diapered all day every day.
They don’t mind your nakedness and the state of your diapers any more than they mind talking about your partner’s decision to return you to diapers while you’re in the room , like the last time your parents and your partner’s parents were together and your mom had been so complimentary of your in-laws, saying, “You sure raised a smart one, and brave too. I think we all knew it was overdue, but I just didn’t have the heart to say anything. It was such a constant fight getting them out of diapers the first time, and it wasn’t so long after that we realized that was a big mistake. Then the second time getting them out of diapers, well, some things don’t get easier the more you do them.”
And your father in-law wholeheartedly agreed, saying, “I don’t think there’s going to be a third time. Certainly not at our house. I love them so much, but after that Sunday dinner, our flooring can’t risk it.”
“I was sick,” you retorted. It was as though everyone remembered suddenly you were in the room and could understand perfectly well what they were saying about you. Eyes turned to you and even more self-conscious than you’d been a moment ago, you added, “I think we all got sick.” Something had been going around, and you all caught it at some point.
Your partner stroked your arm and gently replied, “But we all made it to a bathroom, sweetie. But that’s okay. Everyone understands you can’t help these things. That’s why I put you back in diapers.”
And now your little sister is leading you up the stairs to your childhood bedroom, passing your brother in-law walking down the stairs with your nephew on his hip and holding a rolled-up Pampers in his hand. He winks at you, and not in a mean way. It would be easier if everybody was mean, if the gentle condescension was mocking and not because it seemed everyone just silently agreed to treat you with kid gloves, like you being in diapers is no different than it is for the toddler he was carrying, a fact not at all out of the ordinary and perfectly fine to discuss or even engage in. It makes you wonder whether you really do come off as that emotionally fragile and in need of loving protection from everyone who cares about you.
“You don’t have to do this,” you remind your sister as she leads you into your room.
“You said that last time,” she says teasingly. “If I could handle that dirty job, I think I can handle your huggies when you’re just wet.” She gives you a swat on your butt, making you jump. “Your diaper bag is already up here. Perfect.”
To be continued