Chapter Description: Clark's adoption is officialized and finalized.
It was approximately three o’clock when I wet my pants in public for the first time. I’m not counting being trapped in a crib in the middle of the night. The relative privacy of the carseat didn’t count either. If I had been smarter and less prideful I might have been able to maintain that relative privacy….
No, I’m not counting the accident I’d had that Thursday; and I never will…it’s complicated.
But it was at around three in the afternoon when my bladder gave out and I helplessly pissed myself in front of complete strangers for the first time since I was two years old. Thirty years. Not bad for a Little all things considered…
The doctor’s office had been followed up with a stop through a drive through pharmacy. Janet got a bag of pills and powder that she’d undoubtedly spike my food with...stuff that would inevitably weaken my bladder and bowels. That might be why I chose to hold it as much as I did; a man about to fall to his death will desperately cling to the last branch, even though he knows it's about to snap.
I recalled Dr. Milton saying something about oxytocin, too. So I was likely going to get doped up on cuddle hormones, too. That might be why I was so determined to stay angry and ornery. Correction: I was angry because I was being infantilized, literally, and having all of my basic freedoms and dignities stripped away- literally. The idea that my own discontent might be chemically whisked away was just the bitter icing on the bastard cake.
Lunch was barely worth mentioning, save for the fact that I convinced Janet to share her burger with me instead of getting me my own Little’s Meal. THAT had been a mistake.
An Am-Mac: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” What they don’t say is that sauce is sweet chili based, that the pickles are actually pickled peppers, and the cheese is ghost pepper-jack. They don’t tell you that because Amazons love spicy food and the world automatically caters to them.
My mouth was ablaze. I managed three mouthfuls before giving into the pain and deciding I wasn’t hungry. Janet was happy to give me all of the electrolyte boosted sports drink in a baby bottle that I wanted after that. I was stupid enough to take it.
After lunch, it was a long quiet car ride. Too long. I didn’t ask where we were going, but I could tell it was out of town I might’ve dozed off save for the fact that my bladder was starting to kill me, and I had the paranoid but very real fear that Janet might be driving me to Misty Brook.
Janet had mentioned we were going someplace “special”. Why not the biggest group of free Littles within driving distance? If Beouf knew about Cassie, Janet might very well know where my in-laws lived. Mayhap she wanted to adopt another Little, or more likely wanted to show me off to my fellows to let them know I wasn’t “grown-up” anymore. That would have been a “special” kind of maliciousness that I hadn’t thought Janet capable of; but I never thought I would have been caught and “adopted” either. At this point “reasonable” was out the passenger side window.
I let out a sigh of relief, as Janet kept driving past the first turn off to get to Misty Brook. That relief only served to remind me of other reliefs that my body was demanding; reliefs that my mind wanted to postpone for as long as possible. I tried catching her eye in the mirror. She was watching me, of course, but she was unreadable. She was either too focused on the road to give me any more obsessive baby-crazy stares, or she was as deep in her own head about something as I was. All the same I tried not to squirm too much. I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction.
Countryside gave way again to more developed areas again, and the tangled forests by the roadside were replaced by orderly rows of planted trees. We were slowing down and turning off the main road. Angled as I was, I couldn’t get a decent look at any road signs or addresses to figure out where we were.
“We’re heeeeeere!” Janet sang, as she parked the car. I got one last look at the time before she cut the engine: Two thirty-four. School would have been out by now. Give or take, I would have held it all day including lunch; and that was without a mad giant stuffing drinks down my gullet. So yay? New personal best?
Half a minute later, I was on Janet’s hip again, with the diaper bag slung over her other shoulder. I couldn’t be sure, but from the bounce in her step she was even more excited for this part than for the stylist and doctor’s appointment. Directly in front of us was a large brick building. Bricks painted white; large glass doors out in front; very official looking.
Beside the walkway to said building was a statue of a blind Amazon holding scales in one hand, and cradling a baby in the other. Beneath the statue were the words “Nutricor. Castigo. Protego.” Roughly translated, “To Nurture. To Punish. To Protect.” The so-called basis of Amazonian law and culture. That’s when everything clicked into place: I was at the County Courthouse. I was at where Adulthood came to die.
Oakshire was still too small to need it’s own courthouse; small towns rarely did. Anything more complicated than a trip to the D.M.V. had to be taken to the next city over, and that included adoptions. Of course that’s what Janet had been focusing on. Of course she would think this place was “special”. Here, she would be officially recognized as a mother instead of a kidnapper.
Janet wasn’t the only one, either. The line into the courthouse extended out the door, three out of every four Amazons had a captured Little with them. Friday must have been a busy day for Little adoptions. It made sense, in a sick way. Snatch a Little and adopt them on a Friday; have the whole weekend to break them and get used to their screams before plopping them in a daycare.
That was a bad thought. Such thoughts, things that had come so easily to me took on a completely different tone when I was the one in a onesie.
As Janet took a spot in the back of the line, I felt the corner of my lips tug downward toward the pavement. So many Littles. So many people like me. And none of us were dressed like an adult. Not one. No Tweeners, either. If someone from another world had peered in on the scene from above, it would have been easy to presume that it was a congregation of adults tending to their children.
There was no screaming. No pleas for help, like in the restaurant. There would be no sympathy in this place; and sympathy wouldn’t help us; wouldn’t keep sympathetic eyes from looking the other way, or sympathetic mouths from scowling and gossiping. Sympathetic hands wouldn’t reach out to snatch us from our so-called Mommies and Daddies. Those of us who wanted to scream most were likely the ones with inflatable pacifier gags shoved in their mouths.
Near the steps to the courthouse, further along in the line, there had been a double stroller. Two Little girls sat trapped in baby blue dresses and matching bonnets. They could have been twins, sisters, strangers, or even mother and daughter for all I could tell. It was so hard to tell when we were all so dolled up.
Their stroller shaked as they screamed; their pacifiers turning their shrieks into pleasant sounding moans. I might not have noticed if their Amazon hadn’t loudly told them to “get it all out”. She might have been talking about their screams, but I doubted it.
Or maybe I was just miserable enough to relate everyone to my own plight. Sooner or later; probably sooner; I was going to have to wet my pants. Janet wasn’t going to let me have any other option.
The line was moving at a snail’s pace. Whatever kangaroo court this was, it was a slow one.
I tried to make it a game. No, not a game, a contest. A contest of will. My willpower versus my body. I was going to wet my pants; I didn’t have any other choice. But I would wait until after we got back into the car and were well on the way back to Janet’s house. That way I would still have some measure of privacy. Wetting my pants in the back of a car while she babbled incessantly and drove, was close to being alone.
In front of me, a Little girl stood by her Mommy. Her smock of a dress barely covered the top of her wet diaper. She was connected to the Amazon by only a toddler leash. Her face was wet with tears, but she’d long since given up trying to yank her hem down to cover her shame. She was looking at me, I felt, only because I was behind her, and what was behind her was better than what lay ahead.
I would wet my pants, but I would wait until we had exited the courthouse; even if I didn’t make it all the way into the parking lot, or let loose just beyond the stairs. That way I will have gotten through the entire thing with some measure of my adulthood and dignity intact.
An Amazon man got in line behind us. His own Little was bundled up like a newborn. The Little boy was asleep, somehow, likely drugged into unconsciousness.
“NO! PLEASE NO! I’M NOT A BABY! I’M NOT A BABY!” The next Little girl being dragged into line was naked save for her diaper; still pristine. She must have just gotten snatched up. Her hair wasn’t even done up in any cutesy curls or pigtails.
I would wet my pants, but I would wait until the adoption paperwork was finished. That way I could at least say that I was grown-up as possible, despite all the claims to the contrary. If this was to be the official end of my adulthood, I’d at least keep my pants dry until the very end.
The swaddled Little’s eyes popped right open. There was the distinct look of confusion, and even a hint of panic. He worked the pacifier in his mouth. No gag as far as I could tell, but that didn’t mean the motion was entirely voluntary.
The nearly naked girl wasn’t done. “PLEASE DON’T DO THIS TO ME! PLEASE DON’T ADOPT ME!”
The “newborn” moved. He seemed confused as his kicking and stretching were reduced to tiny wiggles in his mummy’s blanket. He probably hadn’t gone to sleep swaddled.
I would wet my pants, but I would wait until I was right in front of whatever clerk or judge or Amazon bureaucrat was officiating this farce. That way I could imagine I was pissing on them and this entire fucking system. Wetting my pants would be an act of rebellion.
“PLEEEEEEEASE!” Some struggles were more evident than others, still.
The man behind Janet looked down at his swaddled prisoner. “Hey baby,” he cooed. “Did you have a nice nap? I bet you did! You slept through your entire dentist appointment all the way here.” Dentist?! I shuddered in a way that had nothing to do with my bladder. I was suddenly more living proof that Littles didn’t wet out of fear. “Don’t worry, though. You’ll never have to go to the dentist again. Daddy made sure of it.”
“I’M NOT A-” Finally, the screaming Little was silenced when her captor jammed a pacifier into her mouth. I saw giant fingers twist the knob, inflating the bulb. No way to spit it out.
The first Amazon regarded the silenced Little, then looked down at his own prize. “Sounds like somebody needs some cartoons,” he chuckled, shaking his head. “Speaking of which…”
I watched in horror as he punched something into his phone, and placed earbuds in the Little’s ears. “Janet,” I whispered into her ear. “Janet...he’s hypnotizing that Little behind us!”
“Don’t be silly, Clark.” Janet bounced me a bit. “That’s illegal. No one would be doing something like that this close to a courthouse.” Typical Amazon. Blind to the truth even when it was right in front of her; so long as she could get her own personal baby-fix.
We had to have been in line at least half an hour before the man with his mind fucked pseudo-newborn and the woman with her fresh catch, got in line. And even more were still wandering in.
I would wet my pants, but I’d do it once the line had moved inside. That way I could pretend that I was going to the bathroom instead. I’d just close my eyes and imagine that the hum of the air conditioning was representative of the bathroom.
The Little “newborn” stopped struggling. He just became very still. Very doll-like. His Daddy whispered something to him and gave him a kiss on the forehead. Poor bastard was all the way gone. Whoever he’d been had now just been well and properly erased.
Inside, I prayed. At least let me wet my pants in doors. Let me pretend that I was going in doors the same way I always would. Let me close my eyes and pretend to be alone. It was ludicrous, I realized, but I was desperate to feel like I had some control over what was happening to my body. Only babies just wet their pants whenever they needed to go with no concern at all for their surroundings; that’s why they wore diapers to begin with…
More bad thoughts.
I chided myself for even thinking such things. In trying to keep myself sane I was literally whispering Amazon propaganda to myself. I was an adult, and it had nothing to do with what was taped around my waist or where and when my body relieved itse-
Truths- logical, rational truths- didn’t seem quite so true as my bladder finally gave up and I felt the rush of hot pee soak into the front of my diaper, splashing off the front and back onto me at first before dripping down into the core; the wetness spreading from my public area down to my taint. My breathing became irregular as I fought for control.
Fight for control? Why fight for control? If I clamped down mid-stream, it’d just come out later. Wet was wet. Being slightly less wet wouldn’t improve my situation or make me feel any better about myself. Why be in pain right now?
Face it, Clark, I told myself, you’ve lost this round. You’ve lost. Even pretending that I was peeing on Janet didn’t make me feel any better. Babies peed on their grown-ups all the time...
Janet didn’t check my diaper. She already knew that I’d wet myself. She’d had to. My ass was literally in her hand and if my crotch were any closer to body, I’d be dry humping her. Dry humping...another poor choice of words. I saw the little gimmer and hint of a smile. I was sure I was giving off unconscious signals of relief and defeat. If Janet couldn’t feel the heat between my legs, I was sure she felt the heat from my face. She didn’t check my diaper because she didn’t need to.
A few minutes later, long enough to make it seem like she wasn’t immediately reacting to me, Janet started to rub my back. Petting me. Trying to comfort me. “It’s okay,” she said quietly. “You don’t need to be embarrassed. Nobody’s looking. Nobody knows. And if they do, nobody cares.”
Looking back on it, these were exactly the right words for her to say and the worst possible words I could hear. She didn’t say anything about babies or how it was natural. She didn’t even rub it in by mentioning how wet I was or that I needed a change or coo at me or call herself Mommy…
There wasn’t much I could do to argue with her, even internally. Technically, everything she said was correct. It was very likely that no one else knew or cared about the state of my diaper. The Amazons likely assumed I needed the soggy padding I was sitting in, and my fellow Littles had their own problems to worry about.
None of us were Cassie on the bus, wondering what that mother-turned-baby in the restaurant did to merit getting taken from her real family. We were all in the restaurant, being dragged away from any semblance of our old lives.
The way Janet comforted me in that moment was unsettling too. I heard, or at least imagined flashes of the old Janet; the one who had been my friend, not the baby crazy giant that held me in her arms. As she rubbed my back, and told me that everything was okay, I didn’t hear the manic, desperate edge of a mad Amazon who wanted to be a mother so badly it hurt her. She sounded more like my friend who had comforted me when she’d found me stripped and diapered on a bathroom changing table by one of my students’ parents.
She sounded like my friend; and that made me feel a different kind of hurt. Maybe, I thought, the Janet Grange who had become my friend, and the one who wanted to be my Mommy weren’t so far apart.
All I could do was lay my head on her shoulder, and try to hide from the world as I stewed in my misery. Janet just rubbed my back as step by step we moved closer to the steps that led us inside. It didn’t give me much comfort.
Every minute I stayed in that diaper was another moment of failure. I went back to my old game; my old contest. I’d already lost and wet my pants, but I would not appear in front of whatever official that was going to strip me of my rights in a wet diaper.
I’d already had my pride drowned today, multiple times in fact. Time to swallow it.“Janet…?” I said in her ear. “Could you…” I gulped. “Could you change me?”
“Sorry, Clark,” Janet had the decency to whisper back. “We’ve got to wait to change you.” I pulled back. The look on my face must’ve said enough. “If I change you, I’ll lose our place in line.” I jumped and. “And you’re a soggy bum, but I don’t think you’re going to leak just yet.” I couldn’t help but flush a little more. Then she added, “Now if you’d needed changing at the salon, or the doctor’s, or anyplace before…” she let the little jab trail off.
There it was. Bye old friend, hello new tormentor.
Shit! I must’ve said that last one out loud! “Nothing…”
I saw her look over to the diaper bag. “I could probably change you on the grass and they’d let us keep our spot. Would you like me to do that?”
My heart stopped for a second. “No…” I said. The image of my lower half flying free (so to speak) in front of every other Little and their jailer made me tense up. “I’m fine.”
“Then a wet diaper can’t be that bad.” I got a light pinch on my cheek for my trouble. She looked back over to the bag. “Do you want your lion?”
“No…” I repeated. I buried my head back into her shoulder, and let her rub my back some more; soothing me like some sort a fussy toddler. It was the closest thing I was getting to hiding; less a gopher burrowing into its hole and more an ostrich burying its head in the sand. Ineffective, but at least the ostrich got to pretend for a time.
Finally, (finally), I stopped ostriching, when I heard the hum of the air conditioner and felt the artificial breeze on my skin. The insides of my diaper had cooled down to room temp by then. I hadn’t even been close to achieving my goal. The deck had stacked against me from the beginning. “Almost there,” Janet said.
If my tongue weren’t more resilient, I may have well bitten it off that day.
There was no “good news” for me in a situation like this. Being inside the courthouse was about as good as an inmate doing that last walk to the electric chair. The “good news” was that at least I was cooler and at least my waiting for the inevitable was almost over.
It turned out that the part of the courthouse dedicated to Little adoptions was the very first door inside the building. The only reason that the line extended outside was because if it hadn’t, the Amazons trying to argue traffic citations or show up for small claims or whatever wouldn’t have been able to navigate.
“Come along, Diandra.” The Little in front of me got a tug on her leash, and she waddled along through the entryway, the door closing behind her.
I was next. “Won’t be long now,” Janet said. She was right. We just had completely different feelings on this. It was at least another five minutes of waiting before the door opened again. Out toddled the girl, holding a stuffed butterfly. She gave it a shake and the thing jingled. She gave out a little gasp of surprise.
“Do you like you new toy, Diandra?” I heard the Amazon ask. The diapered woman looked up at me and down to the butterfly and blushed. Something told me that that was no ordinary stuffie…
Two and a half Amazon sized strides, and Janet and I were by the newly minted Mommy/baby pairing and in the lion’s den ourselves. It was everything that I’d seen on T.V., but ironically in miniature. A bailiff- a word here which means old man in a security uniform- closed the door behind us. A Tweener woman in a grey pantsuit-a stenographer or secretary or both; clacked on a desktop off to the side. A dark skinned man in a robe sat behind a large podium.
There were no seats. No witness stands. No jury box. Just a judge’s bench, a clerk’s desk, and a guard by the door. That made sense to me, in a bitter cynical way. I’d already been convicted and sentenced, yesterday. This was just an execution chamber made to look like a courtroom.
“Come on up,” the judge motioned over. Like Dr. Milton, his voice was deep and friendly; his age nearly inscrutable, but the opposite of most Littles. He was perpetually “older” but never “old”. L’enfant Magnifique and it’s kin would ensure that I had a permanent case of babyface.
“Yes, Your Honor,” Janet replied.
That got a chuckle out of the judge. “No need to be so formal here, Miss. This is a happy time! You’re expanding your family and giving your love and home to someone who needs it.”
“Thank you!” Janet sounded completely relieved as she stepped forward. She’d just entered a church and was told she had a guaranteed ticket into Heaven. “Who do I give these files to?” She held out the brand new folder that had been assembled during my I.E.P. meeting.
The judge reached out and took the folder, and set them down before looking at me. “Hello there, Little boy! What’s your name?” I didn’t answer. I didn’t bother glaring or sneering. I was in an Amazon’s arms, dressed how I was, and had already been put through this particularly torture twice today. I wasn’t defiant...just emotionally exhausted by this point.
Was this how they wore us down?
“Can he talk, still?” the judge asked Janet.
Janet nodded.“Mm-hmm. He’s just tired. Maybe feeling shy. He’s had a big day, today.”
“Oh I’m sure,” the judge agreed. “Very big day!” He opened the file. “Hmm...Clark...Gibson. Yes?”
“That’s right, sir.” Janet wasn’t even waiting for me to talk, now.
“Name change to...Grange…?” The judge looked at Janet and back down to the file. “Miss, if I’m reading this correctly, you’re divorced. Are you sure you want his name to match your ex-husband’s?”
“I’m sure,” Janet said. “I married young. I think of it as my last name now.” She paused a beat. “I don’t want to go through all the paperwork to change it back.”
“Fair enough. If only we could change our names as easily as they change theirs.” He indicated me. They both had a good laugh at that. Ha-ha-ha...it only takes a form and a kangaroo court to get my last name changed. Har-dee-fuckin’-har. The judge ran a finger down the paperwork. “Reason for adoption is Maturosis, correct?”
“That’s correct, sir.” Janet said. “He’s already enrolled in the Developmental Plateau and Maturosis class over at Oakshire Elementary.”
The judge gave a light chuckle. “Maturosis, huh?” He shook his head, knowingly. “Back in my day, we just called it ‘being too Little and immature’.” Some dark and angry part of me liked this man, now. Guy was an asshole, but at least he was somewhat honest about it.
“Terms change as our understanding changes,” Janet replied. A flash of the teacher I admired was buried in that sentence. A flash of Beouf’s and Little Voice’s influence, too, no doubt.
“Fair enough,” the judge chuckled. “Fair enough. My daughter is forty, going on three! Is that still a term?” Both of them laughed. I didn’t. The old bailiff was smiling good naturedly but otherwise shaking his head. The secretary/clerk/whatever was barely paying attention. No doubt the judge used that line a lot.
The judge flipped through the papers. “Everything seems to be in order. It says here that you’re applying for Twenty-two thirty-five status…?“ A lifetime of scrounging through Amazon propaganda and secrets and I’d never heard of that one. It was either new, secret, or something no Little had been able to escape from long enough to tell the rest of us about it.
I sat up a little more in Janet’s arms and threw a questioning look at her. The heck was a twenty-two thirty-five?
“It means that you’ll be issued a new social security number,” Janet explained with a smile. “Your old one will be retired. You’ll keep your same birthdate, but all your records will start fresh. Doctor’s, dental, education, employment history. Legally, you’ll be a new person. A fresh start!” She sounded like she was doing me a favor. There was love in her voice. Love and madness.
I did some calculations in my head. That also meant that if I ever escaped I could never get a job that required a social security number. I could never leave the country with my own passport. I could never use the name “Clark Gibson”. In some far off imaginary future, everything I’d do would have to be strictly under the table, deep net, and black market.
If I ran away, I’d never be on grid; never stop looking over my shoulder. This was almost as bad as if they’d injected a tracking chip in me. Worse in some ways. I could imagine digging a tracking chip out of my skin. This? This would really follow me. Janet was taking away more than my adulthood; she was taking away my literal identity.
“Legally, I’ll be dead.” My voice came out as barely a squeak. This place was an execution chamber. I, Clark Gibson, had come here to die.
“It also means,” the judge said to Janet, “that you won’t be entitled to any benefits he might receive with your power of attorney. That bit of unemployment they get when they lose their big boy jobs can still buy a lot of diapers.”
That was something that had never occurred to me before. If adopted Littles still had some rights or property as adults; there might be an entire market towards kidnapping them and getting compensated through unemployment or inheritance or insurance.
If only I could make it back to my bedroom, my real one, and tell Cassie about it as we searched MistuhGwiffin.web. That wasn’t an option anymore, though.
“I know,” Janet said. Her gaze hadn’t left me. “But my Clark deserves a fresh start and I want to give it to him.”
“Fair enough.” The judge grabbed his gavel. “Then by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you mother and child! You are now his legal guardian and control nothing of the estate of Clark Gibson.” He pointed the gavel to me. “And you are now Clark Grange.” The gavel slammed down, sealing my fate.
I was brought over to the clerk’s desk, and Janet handed the files over. My hand was pressed on a scanner right next to the clerk’s computer. My feet too. Within moments, a certificate was printed, my hand, finger, and footprints now fully in the system; with a new certificate verifying who I was, and a sample Social Security Number that was completely different from the one I’d long ago memorized. The “real” one, it was mentioned, would be mailed to Janet in a few days.
My name is Clark Grange. I’ve got the same birthday as Clark Gibson. Same fingerprints, too. Same DNA and blood type. Same everything. But legally, I’ve never had a parent other than Janet. I’ve never been married. I’ve never had work experience or a job or taxable income. I’ve never even had a formal education beyond what Littles experience in a daycare setting. Technically according to my I.E.P. I’ve never even been potty trained.
I told you at the beginning that this was complicated.
On the other side of the clerk’s computer was a pile of stuffies. The judge came from behind the desk and picked one up. “Would your new son like one?” He picked up a stuffed bumble bee and gave it a shake in my face. I heard the cling clanging of a bell and almost swallowed my tongue. I felt a rush not dissimilar from a shot of vodka.
That was no ordinary stuffie!
“NO THANK YOU!” I blurted out. “I have a lion! I like lions!” I didn’t wait for the other Amazon to offer again. “Mommy, can I have my lion?”
Mommy. Magic words. The lion was out of the diaper bag and squished against my chest in an instant. “Awwww!” the secretary remarked. “What an adorable lion! He looks just like you!” I looked at the stuffie; come to think of it, it’s hair was a similar shade of red to my own. More brownish than ginger, but close enough. “What’s his name?”
I scrambled for a name. Shit! What did lions name themselves? Ferdinand? Richard? Aslan? Lambert? The fuck was I thinking?! Lions didn’t name themselves! Lions didn’t have names; not really. “Lion,” I finally said. “His name is Lion.”
Janet started laughing as though she thought that it was both the funniest and the cutest thing in the entire world. All the other giants joined in. “An entire vocabulary full of names,” she said, “and you name your lion Lion. Typical Clark.”
I looked at Janet like I’d been slapped. I felt my forehead start to boil with rage. Typical was MY word for people like her! Not the other way around! “HEY!” I yelled out.
I was ignored. “That’s a Little for you,” the judge cut me off. “My daughter’s the same way. Typical Little.” All the giants, the old bailiff at the other end of the room chuckled in agreement. “Can I take a selfie with you two? It’s kind of a tradition of mine. I like to get a picture with every new family I have a hand in officiating.” He showed his phone and flipped through a few pictures. The last one was the people who had come before us.
“Sure!” Janet agreed for me.
The judge held out his phone and leaned in next to Janet. “Say Family!”
I hid my face behind Lion. The picture would hide my scowl, with only my eyes peeking out. Better I appear “shy” than pouty and have to take the photo again. “Thank you so much,” the judge said to Janet. “I hope you have a wonderful life together, and if you ever adopt another, maybe we’ll see each other.”
“Thank you so much!” Janet said. Then she looked at me. “Come on Clark. Let’s go get you changed.” I tensed at what was going on in my pants being talked about so openly again. That...that was something I was going to have to get used to, sadly. I buried my face in Lion to hide my shame. Better him than Janet. Better him than some messed up bumble bee that had more going on than a simple jangly bell.
The bailiff opened the door and Janet passed the man with the completely mind fucked Little “newborn” before he went in. Just before we got to the restrooms, Janet was stopped.
“Excuse me,” the Amazon said. “I have to use the restroom, but I don’t want to leave my daughter unattended.” It was the same woman who had her Little girl on a leash.
“Oh my gosh,” Janet said. “Same! I’ve been holding it all day! I’ll watch yours if you watch mine?”
“Deal,” the Amazon said, handing her Little’s leash over to Janet, before trotting into the restroom.
Janet set me down, finally letting me stand on my own two feet for the first time all day. The tile felt cool on my bare feel. I also really felt the weight of my diaper. Even with the onesie on, I could feel the diaper sag more now that I wasn’t effectively sitting down. It was an odd sensation at first, the feeling that something was sagging down and being full of something, not to mention knowing what it was full of and why. The fact that it felt full, but no longer, wet was a little disconcerting too. These Monkeez really did their job.
“Hi,” Janet chirped to the Little girl, “What’s your name?” She was still crouching after setting me down.
“Diandra…” the Little girl said. Her pacifier had been removed, but was still dangling from her collar. “Now, anyways. My...my Mommy changed it for me…” We were in the same boat, this Diandra and me. She was nervous and scared: Scared of saying the wrong thing or the wrong term or nervous to say it in the wrong way. Afraid of what Janet might tell her Mommy.
“Do you love your Mommy?”
The girl hugged the toy butterfly as tightly as I clutched onto Lion. “Yes ma’am.” Right answer. Not likely a truthful one, but it was the right one. It was what the Amazon wanted to hear.
“Good,” Janet approved. “Your Mommy loves you, too. No matter what.” Janet wasn’t just talking to the girl. It wasn’t nearly as comforting as she thought.
“Yes ma’am.” She shifted and another jangle from the stuffie’s bell came out. I saw the girl’s eyes and nostril’s flare with a kind of excitement. She gave it another shake. This time it was loud enough that I felt a strange buzz in the back of my brain. A guy could get to like that buzzing… that was a bad thing.
I managed a half step back. “I wouldn’t,” I said to the diapered woman.
“Clark,” Janet said in a warning tone. “It’s her toy and she can play with it how she wants, just like how you can play with Lion.” She repeated, “Lion” with a grin, still swooning that I’d opted to give my toy the simplest (and therefore in her mind the “Littlest” and most “babyish”) name possible.
Diandra’s (I knew her by no other name) Mommy came out of the bathroom and traded spots with Janet, taking hold of her Little’s leash, and grabbing me by the hand for good measure. I was not trusted to not to run, even though I had nowhere to run to.
This lady didn’t ask questions. Instead she explained the obvious. “Grown-ups like Mommy can’t just go potty in their diapers whenever they want. They have to hold on until they can get to a restroom.”
I started nuzzling Lion as a way to avoid her seeing my eyes roll. “Why don’t you just wear a diaper, then?” I dared to ask.
I got a look of panic from my fellow prisoner. The Amazon seemed unfazed. “Because,” she cooed. “I’m not a baby. Only babies get to have grown-ups take care of them and change them and feed them and buy them pretty clothes and toys.” My punishment was her privilege. Damn that worked on so many different levels.
“Being a grown-up is so hard and sometimes it’s no fun at all!” she lectured. “Babies get to play and don’t have to worry about anything! Aren’t you two lucky to get to be babies and not have to worry about all that yucky grown-up stuff?”
I exchanged looks with the other Little. That last sentence wasn’t really a question.
“Yes, ma’am.” I said.
“Yes, Mommy,” her voice overlapped with mine.
Janet came back out and picked me up. Diandra’s captor followed suit. “I saw there were three changing stations in there.”
“I saw that too.”
A few more giant strides and I was on my back, a strap over my chest, and my onesie being unsnapped from the bottom. Janet and her fellow Amazon got all the privacy they wanted, even going so far as taking turns. Me and the Little girl got our clothes hiked up and our diapers changed in tandem. The sounds of tapes being ripped off of plastic blasting in stereo.
I pretended to be deeply fascinated in Lion, pressing his synthetic fur and cotton filled corpse onto my face as baby wipes were dragged over my half naked form. I was both trying to rebury my head in the proverbial sand as well as give the other Little some measure of modesty. It wasn’t much, but it was what I could do. Little things.
Janet and the other woman made small talk while we were being changed. They talked about how friendly the judge was and how excited they were to be officially and legally mothers, all while balling up two wet diapers and wipes and tossing them in the garbage can.
“There’s so much I can’t wait to do!” the other Amazon said as I felt the new diaper slipped under me. “Play dates! Mommy daughter days!”
Janet was busy dusting my backside. “Mmmhmm! I’m personally hoping that his nursery and furniture is replaced and repainted by the time we get back to Oakshire.” I looked up at her just as the front ends of the diaper were being tucked in so that the back sides could be tugged up and taped on. “Surprise!” she winked at me.
“You live all the way in Oakshire?” the other Amazon said. “That’s a shame, I was hoping you might know some good local daycares.”
“Sorry,” Janet said while she finished the last tape and started rebuttonning me.
The Little girl was back on the ground, her change finished slightly before mine, her pink toddler leash still firmly in her captor’s grasp. “I don’t know about daycares in Oakshire,” Janet’s new bathroom buddy said, “but if you give me your email I can forward you to some links that contain Little based attractions here in the city. Might be good for a weekend trip or something.”
“Oh that’d be great. There’s not a lot to do back home. We had to come all the way out here just to finalize Clark’s adoption.”
“Yes, but I can see the appeal for a quiet, less busy life to raise a Little child in.”
The two talked all the way out of the courthouse and into the parking lot, gabbing like old friends, or new parents who were just ready to jump into the room. The other Little- who had had even her first name stolen from her- exchanged quiet looks of commiseration. She’d stopped shaking her butterfly, too. I think my warning clued her in.
We were our Mommies’ dark mirrors in so many ways. They were powerful. We were helpless. They got to lead. We had to follow. They were getting everything they’d ever wanted. We had a life of, at best, compromise to look forward to. They were defined now in so many ways because they had chosen us. We were going to be defined by being forced with them. And most importantly, in the eyes of the law and society at large, they’d be looked at and be seen by so many as so many things.
Janet was a woman, a divorcee, a mother, a teacher, a neighbor and member of a community; possibly a potential lover. Me? All I got to be was her baby and maybe a cautionary tale to Littles who saw me.
As I was being buckled back into the carseat for the long ride home, I saw that the line of new “parents” and their Littles still stretched out. It had grown if anything. Plenty of Amazons had decided to adopt after work, I guessed.
These thoughts stuck with me the rest of the day, my first full day as a babied Little. I had only my simple but harmless stuffed animal to give me comfort, and occasionally Janet when I could make myself forget that it was her fault I was stuck like this.
Janet hadn’t lied. This place was “special”. But “special” wasn’t the same thing as “good”.