I can’t remember the last time I peed my pants. I close my eyes and try to pretend to be somewhere else while I flood my diaper with urine. As much as I try, I can’t slow down the stream, it just keeps going and going until my diaper is completely soaked in pee. It’s warm and mushy and I feel way too many new sensations down there.
I fumble around trying to take off my pants and diaper, but moving around makes the pee touch me even more, so I just sit still in the sandbox. I don’t move at all and hopefully they come and get me out of this predicament.
I don’t understand why I can’t just wake up. This dream has gone too far, and I want this to be over. I want to wake up and live my shitty adult life. I try to pinch myself awake and all it does is make my eyes tear up, and I start silently sobbing. So much is building up, the embarrassment and shame of peeing my pants, the helplessness of not being able to stop it or get out of this disgusting diaper, and the fear deep down that I might actually not be dreaming.
I guess my cries are heard by Alysa because it isn’t long before she scoops me up and checks my diaper. “It’s okay,” she rocks me side to side. “It’s okay. I’ll get you all cleaned up just now.”
I don’t know why, but I actually felt pretty soothed by her, and my cries start to die down until they are just soft hiccups. She takes me up to the kiddie room. I decide to keep my eyes closed for the whole ordeal. It’s too embarrassing to have her clean me up like I’m a baby. It’s even worse when she pulls my leg up in the air to get me thoroughly cleaned up. I can feel her slide a fresh diaper under my butt.
My lip quivers for a moment as the truth of that action kicks in. It’s going to happen again. She’s fully prepared for me to pee myself, again and again, or…even worse. Oh, god. No, I can’t think about that right now. This is all already too much.
“My baby had some big feelings, didn’t he,” Alysa lifts me in the air, “Aren’t you happy you’re all clean now,” she bounces me some more and kisses me all over my face.
The bouncing makes me forget my previous train of thought, and I start thinking about how cool it would be to be flying through the clouds, like the ones on the ceiling. I bet I could be an astronaut when I grow up and I can zip through the sky like superman. I stretch my arms and legs out, imagining how the wind would feel through my hair.
“Aww, my baby is playing pretend,” she swings me around a little in the air. “Yes, you are!”
My eyes snap open again, and I’m a little disoriented. Was I really just pretending I was an astronaut? Where is this coming from? I have so many questions, and I have no way of asking them because neither Alysa nor Isaiah seems to understand anything that I’m saying. I really don’t know what I’m supposed to do here.
I just want to figure out whatever is the kill switch for this dream. I’m tired, and I really don’t want to be a little kid anymore. I know it’s ironic since I had a crappy childhood moving through the foster care system, but I can’t imagine going through preschool and kindergarten again as a 20-year-old. I shudder.
Yeah, let’s not.
Alysa takes me downstairs and sits me at a little kid table. It’s small enough that I can actually sit on the chair with my feet mostly touching the floor. I sit and swing my legs. I’ve got to figure out why I won’t wake up. My chest tightens for a moment. What if I’m in a coma? I could be stuck like this for months or years.
I grab a fistful of my shirt. No, I won’t let that happen.
When Alysa comes back over to me, she gives me a plastic plate with some crackers and cheese on it. I keep my mind occupied looking around at the house. It’s grand, and there’s so much open space.
“Did Jason like his nummy nummy crackers?” Alysa asks, and I just stare at her. I refuse to play house more than I have to, and I really hate listening to her talk to me like that. After a moment of shared eye contact, she dives toward me with no warning and attacks me with tickles, and she asks again, “Did mommy’s little boy like his snack?”
“Yesth,” I reply, giggling and giggling until she finally lets me catch my breath. While I’m still recovering, she swoops me up and takes me to a penned portion of the living room. There’re toys strewn about, and I know before she even says it, it’s playtime…again.
I guess she wasn’t kidding about this freeplay thing that she’s into because I’m constantly left with no way to entertain myself other than to use my imagination or practice my coordination, and I do really need to practice the coordination thing. I stand up and do my best to walk steadily from the fence to the wall. My eye catches some alphabet blocks, and I wonder if I can spell out a call for help.
I work silently and fervently until I am able to spell out, “I am an adult, help.” Finished with my project, I’m really excited, and proud of myself for gathering them and making it a very clear sentence. It’s right in front of the gate, so it’s impossible for them to miss it. I sit around waiting for one of them to check in on me. It feels like it takes forever, and finally Alysa comes to get me. I point and point at the blocks to try to get her attention.
When she arrives, she says, “It’s lunch time,” again in her squeaky, sing-song voice, but I ignore her this time.
I point at the blocks some more and scoot closer to them, “Wook,”
“Oh, did you have fun playing with your blocks today?” She pats my head, “I’m so proud of you.” She opens the gate and steps in. I’m all too ready for her to notice the words, and my heart sinks when she reaches past the blocks and grabs a little bin.
“It’s clean up time!” she sings, and I ball my hands into fists. I did everything right. The blocks were there right in front of the fucking gate, and she just missed it. The anger is building up, and I know I’m about to lose it. I pull at her hand, and I say, “No!”
“Jason, it’s lunch time,” she removes my grip on her arm, “You can play blocks later,”
“No!” I scream and stomp my foot. I reach in the bin and take the blocks out. Maybe if I can just show her while she’s watching that I can spell. Maybe, she’ll figure it out. I take a few blocks in my hand and I start frantically putting them on the ground.
“Uh-oh,” Alysa sings, “Jason is feeling upset, and he needs a time out.”
I don’t know why those words were the catalyst, but the dam bursts through an all of my anger gushes out at once. My ears get hot, and I can feel the rage building in my chest with nowhere to go. I lash out, at everything I can get my hands on. I push the bin over, and I kick at the blocks. I don’t even care anymore. All of this is dumb. I’m so sick of her talking to me like that, and everyone assuming I’m some snot-nosed brat who can’t make choices for himself.
It feels like my moment of pure, unadulterated rage goes on for hours. Eventually, I completely tire out, and I fall onto my padded bottom, breathing heavily. I look to Alysa, wondering what she was doing the whole time, and I see her watching me from the couch. It kinda bothers me that she just ignored me the whole time, and I just feel deflated and empty.
I sit watching Alysa and waiting for her to let me out of the pen. I’m hungry and tired. I just want to get something to eat and sleep, and hopefully I’ll wake up in an adult-sized bed in the real world where I belong.
The minutes go by, and finally she stands up and comes over to the gate. I crawl over carefully while she just looks at me, clearly giving me a once over. She turns me over and sticks a finger in my diaper. I can feel my cheeks flush a little at the embarrassment of being exposed like that. She stands me up.
I already know the lecture about my behavior is about to begin, so I fix my eyes on the wall behind her to tune her out. I’ve been through this enough times. You need to fix your temper. You can’t just let anger control you. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Instead, she pulls me in for a hug. I’m enveloped in her arms and so very confused. I don’t hug her back because she’s my therapist’s wife, and that’s weird. This whole thing is weird. I close my eyes and wait until she lets go.
“I’m sorry you had such big emotions, baby boy,” she says, rubbing circles in my back, “Mommy’s here to help you.” She lifts me up and takes me to the kitchen, “You were so upset and angry just now, weren’t you?’
I’m just tired, and I ignore her and lay my head into her shoulder while I’m carried back into the dining area I guess for lunch. I wonder where Isaiah is. I haven’t seen him all day. I guess he went out. Oh well, dealing with Alysa all day long is enough.
Alysa clicks the buckle of the kiddie seat, and I’m strapped in place. I don’t even know why she does that every time. I’m obviously old enough that I’m not going to jump out. That would fucking hurt. Although, I wonder if that would wake me up. Hm.
“Mommy’s going to teach you emotions today with lunch, Jason,” she sings, and I almost roll my eyes. She takes a spoon of shredded chicken and feeds it to me, and makes a frown, “Mommy is sad. Can you say, sad, Jason?”
I just stare back at her because I never signed on for school; I just want some lunch and a nap. She doesn’t mind and continues on, “This is angry,” she stomps her foot and glares at me, “Can you say angry, Jason?’
Lunch goes on and on like that until my bowl is finished. I guess she doesn’t care if I don’t talk back. But I’m not going to complain. Her method of forcing me to talk or be tickled is a kind of torture and it should be banned by the World Health Organization. Who knows, maybe I’ll go work for a children’s rights organization when I wake up in my adult body.
I hate that she makes me wait in the baby chair while she finishes up in the kitchen. I want to go lie down. I start slightly dozing off to the sound of pans clicking and clacking and the faucet turning off. When Alysa finally gets me and takes me upstairs, I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow.