Chapter Description: John's training has as his mother decides it is time for him to spend more time outside. Yet, can he truly be who he wishes to be in a world as divided over the status of ar-virus-victims as he is himself?
When I wake up by the beeping of the radio-clock my first coherent thought is that it was all a dream. I feel depressed by this and try to cling to the memory of it. Looking around as I turn the alarm off before the music can start, I see my depressingly adult room, I see pictures of me as adult, or near adult, chastising myself that this is who I am and should accept it. As this makes me even more depressed I finally decide to start my computer and check the news to get it off my mind.
It is when I slide of this loathed, big bed, that I notice the difference in my underwear and hear the slight crinkle. Surprised I lift my shirt and lower my pajama and see a cartoon character dressed as a pirate smiling on me from my Training Pant. Shortly I wonder why I haven’t felt it when waking up, but it must have either become flatter or I got used to the feeling. The latter idea makes me smile. Getting used to it just sounds so great!
The three coins are still visible, so I haven’t wet myself. Of course everything else would be unusual since I never have after my regression. Thinking about it makes me realize that I need to pee, tough, and probably a bit of number two, too. Grinning I try to relax myself, to tell at last my bladder that it is okay, but there is no reaction. Maybe I could do it, if I tried very hard, but this isn’t the way I want it, it should be natural. I finally realize I’m too excited and have to much pressure on my bladder right now. No reason to spoil it, considering the day hasn’t even begun yet.
Deciding to use the toilet now and work on using the training pant later, I walk into the floor, past the leaned on door to my mother’s room and am about to open the door to the toilet, when I see the chart sticking in front of me. The potty training chart, which is actually a diaper training chart. It is empty of course, but reminds me, that the toilet is a no-go-zone for me and that my potty is waiting for me in under the sink. My red firetruck-potty. I smile by this thought and walk in the kitchen, feeling the pressure on my bladder. Quickly I take the potty out of the cabinet base and place it on the floor. Then I pull down my pajama and the training pant, still unbelieving how soft the material is and sit down.
Sitting there is as strange as I remember it, as is the look I get on the kitchen. Still I don’t need to readjust my feet so much to feel comfortable and I release my bladder nearly instantly, and conscious this time. This is when mother comes in, still looking sleepy, but smiling on me. I smile in return, glad she hasn’t changed her mind as I had secretly feared. Still I suddenly feel self-conscious. A part of me, the part I see on the pictures in my room and the apartment, tells me it is silly to sit here as an adult, that I should feel ashamed of myself. I am, at last a bit. Still the pressure pressure on my bowels gets stronger and stronger, so I release it, feeling a little splash of warm urine on my butt.
“All done?” mother asks after a moment.
I nod, feeling unable to speak and she gives me a smile while lifting me up. The touch feels good and I think I could actually need a hug, but decide against saying her, having a little voice in me telling me again how stupid it is. She makes me stand on the floor, takes the flushable wipes and cleans my groin area and behind, this time paying especially attention to my butt. When finished she pulls up my training pant and pajama and leads me into the bathroom, one hand holding my hand, the other the full potty. In it she opens the toilet and smiles at me.
“Say bye bye caca Johnny!”
I grin and give my best imitation of a toddler’s voice as she empties the potty in the toilet and presses the flush. “Bye bye caca!”
“Very good!” she praises me.
Then she cleans the potty and we brush our teeth, while I stand in front of the sink on my step stool and she stands above me, cleaning her own. It feels great having her so close and doing it in tandem. Once we are both finished she picks me up, holding me close enough to her that I can smell her, intending to go to the kitchen. Yet, just outside the bathroom she touches my feet, enfolding them actually with just one hand and scowls.
“You have awful cold feet,” she noticed. “Lets get something on them before you get a cold!”
With this she takes me to my room, placing me on my bed.
“Feet up!” mother says, having found my slippers.
I oblige and see how she puts the slippers on them, instantly feeling warmer. While mother... mommy picks up my woolly slippers I once again see the pictures of the grown up me and feel the smile on my face fade.
“What is it?” she asks.
“The slippers look dull,” I say, though only the second thing on my list what bothers me, I feel I can’t talk about the pictures, yet. “I like them having more colors. My clothes, too!”
“Mhh,” mother says. “We might do something about this. But now lets fix us some breakfast. I bet you are hungry.”
I suddenly realize that I am and we go back to the kitchen as mother lets me walk on my own. There she makes breakfast, while I sit on my place. The hard underground of the chair is different from the soft one in my room and it makes me feel my training pant pretty strong as by just sitting there. Not in a bad way, but even more like a pillow than on the other chair. A pillow I wear with me. Sound actually quite clever! I smile a bit and mother cuts the slice in front of me in small pieces. While drinking the warm milk I nearly let the glass slip, but except for this it is uneventful.
“Why don’t you go and watch TV, while I clean up?” mother asks once we are ready.
“I rather want to search more for in the internet,” I reply. “I need to know what real toddlers can do and don’t.”
Mother frowns. “Well I think for once they listen to their mommies,” she says in a tone which may be mock-serious or not, only to add softer: “Go watch Nick Jr.. A lot of other little boys and girls do it right now. You will learn a lot this way!”
I realize this sounds right, nod and slip of my chair, walking to the living room. Settling on the couch I sap through the channels until I find it, discovering Dora the Explorer is running. Of course I heard of her, but never watched the show even in my youth. I guess it is time for some catching up. Since it is a show for toddlers the basics aren’t hard to grasp. There is Dora, the main character, a latino american girl maybe in the age of a child in kindergarten or primary school, switching sometimes from English to Spanish, the latter I’m fluent in enough to have a bilingual bonus. Her friends are Boots, an ape who wears red boots, Backpack, a speaking backpack and Map, a speaking map. It seems the creators didn’t wanted to stress the toddlers’ little minds with actual names, still there it is clearly a show to teach the children a bit.
I don’t think I will like it. After all, I still have a grown-ups mind. Still I have switched in quite early in an episode, watching Dora how she discovers a star falling from the sky and when she begins singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the little star I begin to warm up for the show, remembering how mother once sung it to me, when I was young. The first time around I mean. After all, those shows aren’t designed to catch their young viewers on an intellectual, but an emotional level, the first one being mostly for the parents to give them a good feeling when their little ones are watching TV. The second level is for the viewers like me and I feel the nice voices and bright colors appealing on me on this more basic level.
It is then, that I realize I need to pee. The feeling comes so quickly now it takes me by surprise every time and I guess I can blame my small bladder on it. This time I want to use it to earn myself a star on the diaper-training-chart, but I quickly realize that I can’t let go. I grow frustrated and even a bit afraid that I can’t do it, that I won’t get over the mental blocks put into place during potty training and strengthened by time. Taking a deep breath I keep myself under control, by remembering that I did it once as a grown up. Maybe two years ago when I had the apartment for myself I actually bought an adult diaper and used it to the fullest. I did have the same problems I have now, but no, this isn’t right, back then I had the additional fear of discovery inhibiting me, now it are just my nerves and a sense of modesty I need to overcome. Back then I managed it by standing in a comfortable position instead of sitting and I see no reason why it should not work now.
Sliding of the couch I walk in front of the television, where Dora has managed to calm the star and is on her way to a mountain to return him to the sky. There I stand a bit, but find I’m not yet calm enough to let go, so I squat and feeling the training pant securely on me, continue watching. The training pant doesn’t feel as thick as the diaper I once wore, but the position is strangely comforting. Still, it isn’t enough to completely relax me, but then I remember the little girl I met when buying the training pant yesterday and how she sucked her pacifier. I don’t have one, something I will speak with mother about by the next opportunity, but I have the next best thing always with me. Leading my right thumb to my mouth I hesitate a moment before making it enter and slowly beginning to suck on it. It is unusual at first, my adult voice telling me that it must be dirty, but I keep the thumb in and quickly get used to it. More, I like it as it relaxes me more and more. I even forget why I’m there for the moment, instead completely concentrating on watching Dora and her friends coming to a troll bridge, where they are presented with the task of counting the stars. After the fourth I release my thumb and count with them out loud, mostly because it is what I guess many of the other watchers of the show do, though only the older ones manage. It is actually fun, even more so when I notice, that I missed the eleventh star, the little one by her side, just like she did and I have to count again. Now I’m captured, enthralled by the gay colors, the music and the movements. The counting ends and I put my thumb back in my mouth, when I vaguely feel the pressure on my bladder again. I manage to just let go, grinning around my thumb as I do.
The training pants instantly becomes warmer and I rock a bit up and down on my toes as this feeling spreads. When I feel my bladder has emptied completely I decide to check it. I walk to the mirror, loving the feeling of warmth and actually mass between my legs, as the material expands. In front of the mirror I notice that I still suck my thumb and pull it out looking sheepishly. Then I pull down my pajama bottom and look at the training pant. It looks a bit swollen compared to being dry, but most obvious are the missing coins. I made them disappear and shortly imagine grabbing them and placing them in a pirate chest. This makes me grin and I’m about to tell mother, when I remember that she is supposed to find out by herself.
I walk back to the front of the TV in what is more a waddle. Of course I could sit back on the couch now, but as I’ve discovered I like this place more. The characters look bigger this way and I feel smaller. This should be strange, but I like it, I feel more in place than sitting on the couch. Once squatting again, the training pant feels even bigger than before and when I press my legs together it feels as thick as I always imagined a diaper would feel. Even more so, when I loose my balance and land on by bottom. It instantly feels like a very hard sponge, though not as wet, as the wetness is still concentrated on the front. Deciding that I like the warm feeling, I stay sitting on my bottom. Dora and her friends are trying to find the little stars who has been starnapped by a masked fox called Swiper or something like that. In the end they manage to return the little star to the moon and everyone is happy. I guess I’m quite happy, too, as while I don’t suck my thumb anymore I sit cross-legged, touching my feet through my slippers, forgetting everything but the show. In the second episode a witch has kidnapped a prince and stolen his red ball with a star on it, making me wish I had one, too. It is during the middle, I’m just saying abre like she does to open the gate of a tower, when mother comes in, smiling as she sees me like this.
“Someone seems to really like Dora.” she notices.
I, look up at her, grin and nod.
“I think you watched enough TV for now. Time to dress you up and make you ready for the day!”
“Just this episode.” I try to negotiate. “Please!”
“Mhhh,” mother presses a finger on her lips, then she grins. “Well since you said please.”
With this she sits down behind me, allowing me to lean on her as we watch the show together. On the television Dora is jumping over crocodiles. The training pant has begun to feel really cold and wet, now that I pay attention to it. I won’t let mother see it though, to not give her any reason to think I would have second thoughts about becoming a real toddler. No way!
Finally the prince is rescued, the evil witch has become nice and everything is good again. Mother stands up and switches off the TV.
“Time to get you ready. Arms up.”
I do and she easily picks me up, holding me with one arm close to her and using the other to keep me at her hip. While doing so she notices something when touching by bottom.
“Oh did you have an accident Johnny?”
I nod, though we both know it wasn’t one.
“Then lets make you really nice and clean.”
With this she carries me in the bathroom, where she puts me on the soft mat while running water in the bath, adding some gel. After a while she undresses me, removing my pajama and taking of my training pants by tearing up its sides. I’m so glad about this I even forget feeling insecure by her seeing me naked. It has become quite cold and the wetness bothered me more and more, so it is good she takes care of it. Smiling she puts me into the bath after checking the temperature, making me sit down. The warmth makes me feel better instantly and I touch my feet, the fact that I’m naked forgotten for the moment. The edge of the bath-tube also seems quite high, which I feel even more so, when mother bows over me, takes a handful of bubbles and fixes them around my mouth.
“Seems like someone needs to shave again!”
I grin at her, while she wets a sponge and begins to squeeze water over my hair and upper body. Then she fills a cup we store the toothbrushes in with water from the tube and empties it over my hair while she makes me lean my head back a bit. Mother is very careful while doing it and I realize it is because she hasn’t done it for so long, so I am extra calm. After my hair is wet she begins massaging shampoo in it. It feels strange to be pampered this way, though of course this description is not -yet- completely fitting. I feel slightly bored to not be able to do something, so I try to shape a small mountain of foam in front of me into the shape of a tower. It is hopeless, but kinda fun and gives me something to concentrate on. As I do, a bit of shampoo runs into my left eye, burning instantly and I hurry to rub it out.
Mother notices it. “Sorry darling. I will buy you nice baby-shampoo which won’t hurt your little eyes, next time we go shopping. It might even smell better. Now hold your head back a little.”
I do and she uses the cup to once again pour water over my head until the shampoo is gone. Then she puts a bit of gel in the sponge and begins to rub it in, making sure to reach every part of my body, including behind my ears and my groin. Finally she makes me stand up so she can shower me. Once she is finished she takes me out and places me on the mat. I can’t help but feel sad that it is already over, but I quickly forget it as she puts a gigantic, soft and white towel around me and begins to rub me dry. Feels great! Once finished she picks me up still wrapped in the towel like in a bathrobe and carries me out. Mother doesn’t bring me in kitchen to put on a new training pant, but instead brings me back to the living room. There she sits down on the couch, placing me on her legs, so I face her, my feet close to her stomach.
“All clean, are you?“
„I nearly forgot how to bath a toddler, but I guess you have probably forgotten it, too.“
I nod again. It have only the vaguest memories of being bathed before.
Mother begins to touch my feet. „Turn there is another thing I forgot!“
„These little piggies!“ she says smiling.
She wiggles the big toe of my left foot. „This little piggie took a bath.“
I grin, remembering how true it is.
She wiggles the long toe. „This little piggie went to bed.“
I remember going to bed yesterday and nod.
She wiggles my middle toe. „This little piggie woke up.“
I laugh, thinking of how much fun I had since waking up.
She wiggles my ring toe. „This little piggie ate bread.“
It is true, I did all this already while trying to be a true toddler and there is so much more to do!
Finally she wiggles my pinky toe. „And this little piggie went play play play all the way home!“
With this mother grabs me, holds me close to her and begins to blow raspberries on my tummy, despite my protests coming out under giggles. When she is done she gives me an extra long hug and then takes me in front of the bathroom door. There she gives me a pen, kneels besides me and shows on the chart.
“Draw a star Johnny!”
I grin and draw one, though a bit scrawly for I was never a great artist.
Mother claps her hands though. “A beautiful one!
I smile, noticing how a part of me feels better by this. Not just because of these kind words, but because something in me believes her no matter what. I ponder that this must be an instinctive feeling all toddlers have, as she takes me into the kitchen. There she puts creme on my groin while I hold extra still, standing on the towel, so my feet don’t get cold. Finally she gives me a new training pants and I put it on while once again admiring its design, how soft it feels on my skin, how good.
„Time to put something on.“
I grin and run to my room, enjoying to be naked but for my training pant, enjoying the feeling the rush of wind, the feeling of naked feet on the ground. The ecstatic feeling doesn’t last though for once I enter my room I feel out of place again. It is a grown-up room, with nothing bright in it, telling me I’m nothing but a grown-up foolishly playing pretend something I’m too old to do. Before the happy feeling fades completely though, mother grabs me from behind and places me on the bed.
“Little bug! You can move so quickly already?”
I grin and nod, ignoring the room for a moment. Mother begins to take my clothing out of the cupboard and chooses without asking me. This is alright, I guess, one thing less to worry about and something to be surprised about, though I know how pitiful the range really is. Not that I can complain though. I chose the clothing myself after I stopped regressing, going for the most plain looking one and not the colorful ones or these with cute motives on. I just feared the reaction of other people if I had picked the ones I truly preferred. In the end mother puts blue socks on my feet and a red t-shirt over me.
“Do you want sweatpants?” she asks, holding out a gray one of all choices.
I shake my head.
She places it back in the cupboard with a smile on her face, making me think she knows why I don’t want to wear it.
“Fine then not. Do you want to use your computer now or watch more cartoons?”
I think about it. I’m actually burning to see what more there is in the TV for toddlers to see besides Dora, but the sensible side in me tells me there is work to do.
“I need to check my computer now.”
“Okay then,” mother says, walking out of the room. “Just come to me if you need something.”
I slide of my bed and climb on my chair starting the computer. The new training pants feels actually much more crinkly than the one I wore before, but I guess it is because I wore it over the night. But besides the good feeling, I’m happy how it makes me look. If someone would see me now, if mother had a guest for example, I would go through as toddler on the first look.
It is the second look which worries me, so I start my computer and begin googling for mental symptoms coming with regression to know what I must pretend to have. At first I click on the wrong side, instead of one about the effects of the AR-virus on the mind I click on one people planning their rejuvenation and wanting to hear about the risks for their mental health which are minimal at best. I ponder the irony of it. The AR-virus revolutionized the understanding of aging, making it possible for people to get younger and older by relative easy medical treatment. Everyone can do it now, except us AR-virus-victims, whose genetic plan for aging has been destroyed without any therapy being in sight. This doesn’t mean we are locked in our age though, for we still can get younger and older, but only to the age we got thanks to the virus. I don’t miss the irony and feel once more happy the virus made me end with the right age, instead of that of a school-child.
A quick look over the site reveals nothing interesting, just the advice of successful rejuvenated to relax and trust the doctors. Another thread deals with the looming prospect of the government, probably all governments planning a severe one child policy to address the threat of overpopulation brought by the effectual immortality of their citizens, despite the birth rate already sinking drastically with the world wide introducing of the rejuvenation technique. Interesting, but of little use to me.
I finally find a large chat-room for ar-virus-victims and their relatives. Looking over the dozens if not hundred of threads I can’t believe I missed it before. The threats are separated in four larger groups:
-My regression stopped at 3 how important is healthy food really since I don’t grow anymore?
-Stopping at 6 I’m stuck between having milk- and adult teeth. The gaps drive me nuts!!! Are artificial grown a solution? Will the health-insurance cover it?
-I’m starting to slip sometimes and behave like truly 6. Fears my husband is secretly giving me this drug I heard about? How can I proof/exclude this?
-Any hope to re-potty-train our again 2 year old daughter who mentally regressed, too?
-I’m regressing more and more. My doctor said my appendix is regrowing. Does anyone have experiences with this? I don’t want to have it out a second time.
-Not just Micheal became mentally 5, he doesn’t seem to be able to learn anything new/forgets thinks after a week. Does anyone know a therapy?
-Started regressing last week. Does anyone has experiences with what happens to my tattoos?
-The regressing pains grow harder, when do I need to got to a hospital?
-I’m nearing puberty. Do I need to get my shots renewed?
-Our family physician doesn’t want to declare my mother (stopped regressing at age 8) mentally regressed, despite having no memories most of the time! To whom shall I turn(Seattle).(Moved from Legal Issues by Admin)
-Can you get muscles if you train even if having the body of a ten year old?
-I’m estranged from my father for twenty years. He stopped at 4 with his mind regressed as well. Can the government force me to take him in?
-The virus left me as a 10 year old. Can my ex really force me to pay alimony and child support for my 9 year old daughter?
-Can they take my driver’s license? I stopped age 5, but still have my mind!
-My daughter stopped regressing at 3. She doesn’t remember anything, still I have problems finding a daycare to take her in. Can I sue them?
-My daughter regressed emotionally along biologically(5), but still has her memories. I’m thankful for her not fully regressing. Unfortunately this means she has access to her bank account. She has ordered lollipops for 3.000,- $. The company insists it is legal!
-Is being biological 2 a valid reason for skipping jury duty? Please this at last!!!
-I want to make a trip to India. (biological 7) Is it true their laws make the biological age their legal ones?
-I turned 66 last month. My insurer canceled my pension because I’m biological 9. I know the government gave these companies a loophole to weasel out of their obligations(risk of economical collapse or not, the president be damned!), but there must be a way!
Ar-virus-victims, experiences, tipps
-I stopped as 11 years old. I know it gets hardly any older, I’m still not happy!
-Is someone interested in sharing a flat in the area of Oklahoma? I’m 6 used to be 33, still want to party!
-Someone has tips for finding work when having stopped regressing at 4? Please no Walmart or product tester!
-Okay, who here has never taken advantage of children’s price?
-How do I best stop people from thinking I’m really 9? Don’t want to wear the ID around my neck.
-I’m harassed by boys ’my age’ (8) in my neighborhood and their parents are ignoring it.
-My husband insists I stop drinking(I’m no alcoholic, just one afternoon beer) to not tempt our daughter (16) due to being regressed to 7.
-I always loved playing baseball. Is it too weird to want to play in a sport-team even if my comrades would be my biological age(9)?
-Before regressing I saved my sperm. Now I’m barely 5 and my wife wants to use it? I always wanted children, but am undecided.
-Since becoming 6 I am (much) more easily frightened despite still loving to watch horror-movies with my girlfriend. Experiences someone?
-I regressed to 7. My daughter (6) wants to visit her friend’s birthday-princess-party. Since my husband is sick I am the one watching her there. Any tips for not ending her completely in pink, riding an unicorn with a dozen new friends?(sarcasm out)
-I suffer mental regression along with biological. Luckily it is the skill-variant. Sadly it means I have the skills of a 9 year old. I lost my knowledge how to drive, do financial businesses, even can’t read/speak/understand French or Spanish! Also have problems learning new things. Any coping techniques? (Linked with health. Admin)
Relatives of Ar-virus-victims, experiences, tipps
-How do I tell him I want him to pretend being a child during the vacation? It would be so much easier! :-/
-Can I bring my son(10) to respect his father(now 9)? Would it be better to ask my husband to be his sibling for our son’s sake?
-My husband(bounced 1) refuses to eat.
-I’m searching a good kindergarten somewhere around Washington willing to take in ar-victims. (My son bounced at 5, former 17 with strong mental slips).
-Any chance of getting healthcare besides the regular help?
-How do I tell my daughter(25 bounced at 8) we need to see the pediatrician instead of the regular doctor?
-Can someone tell me where to get these drugs which mentally turn AR-victims their age? My husband is suicidal in his clear moments(age 4). (Closed! User deleted! This sort of drug is illegal to be given to AR-victims without their legal agreement. Please remember: Even for a limited period mentally regressed AR-victims are still considered adults. Admin)
-Help! My son(20 bounced 10) still thinks he can drive.
-How to tell Terry(bounced 1 ½) he needs diapers?
-Should I forbid my daughter (9 former 21) to go out late and visit her former friends?
-I’m worried my son is still visiting High School while he is young enough to be in Kindergarten!
-I’m having an affair with my wife’s best friend. How can I tell her(32 bounced at 6) I want a divorce, but would like to let her live with us as our daughter? We love her both!
-Our daughter(15 bounced 7) is not leaving her room, what to do?
-Has anyone experiences with the government-lead institutions for AR-victims?
-I’m on the edge of moving in with my girlfriend. Her former husband regressed biologically and mentally below 1 and lives with her as her son(she even breastfeeds him!). What must I expect?
-Seek someone with experience in rejuvenation.
Out of interest I enter this thread.
-Seek someone with experience.
(Elizabeth)We are moving a lot(my husband is soldier), could rejuvenating our older daughter (8), to the age of our younger one (turns 5) help them not to feel so lonely anymore? Would it help with school problems if they visit Kindergarten together? (not AR-Virus related, but I couldn’t find any other forum)
-Re:Seek someone with experience.
(Micheal)Good luck finding a doctor and psychiatrist who gives you the allowance. You realize we had no teenagers anymore if it would be such easy? I can see you want the best for both your daughters, but I don’t think it works.
-Re:Seek someone with experience.
(Angela)As Micheal already noticed getting the medical allowance is hard and rightfully so. Even if some countries have a more relaxed attitude, it is a big change in everybody’s life. My son got a rejuvenation of three years(16 to 13) for medical and possibly life-threatening reasons. He even saw the necessity himself and still needed to undergo some psychiatric evaluation first.
From 8 to 5(bordering 4 according to you) doesn’t seem a big step for an adult, but for a child it is sometimes the difference between worlds. Going back to Kindergarten means losing status, compared to adults, other children and maybe most important her sister. Don’t underestimate this!
Last but not least think about her school-career. Kindergarten might not be the demanding to her, but there are a lot of games and toys to make her forget this. Once she enters elementary school again she will be bored as she knows a lot already and maybe refuses to learn altogether since she must fear you take it away from her again, probably worsened if her sister surpasses her.
Tutoring is the better alternative. Maybe you should also consider helping her stay in contact with old friends by way of Skype or Whats App? Stability is important at this age.
So far so usual. Then I finally find a thread which looks promising.
-My husband’s mind is slipping!
(Christine)Alan bounced at 3, something we have prepared for. What we haven’t prepared for is his mind getting constantly more unstable. He chances from being the man I married to a confused toddler sometimes in seconds. But it is more complicated than that. Half the time he remembers nothing, being just a toddler and too cute when running around full of energy. The other half he has the memories of his 3 year old self, which wouldn’t be bad, but he keeps asking for his mother. She died two years ago following a heart attack. How can I tell this a 3 year old? The time he has his old self is constantly shrinking. We don’t speak about it, but I keep record and he knows, being even more careful to keep his independence when he has his memories. Two days ago we were in our favorite restaurant, eating spaghetti and talked about our trip to Paris during our honeymoon. He suddenly had this faraway look on his face I already knew and a second later he was again only a toddler. Seeing the spaghetti he instantly began eating them, using just his hands while shoveling it in his mouth. By the time I was by him he had already made a mess of his face and clothing. The people on the other tables were staring. I cleaned him as good as I could in the washroom, before bringing him home. He was all the while telling me that I wasn’t his mother and we both cried ourselves to sleep. When he woke up he was back and had no memory of what happened the previous evening. At last that is what he said, but I could see him blushing and not asking questions about his clothes. What can I do?
Re: My husband’s mind is slipping!
(Jennifer)Dear Christine, I had the same problem with my Sam, who is now 5. He slowly lost his memories, too, after having bounced. I somehow think this way it is harder for all of us, giving us no clean break like the relatives of those who loose their memory together with their age. When he slipped into his toddler self he was defiant, when remembering his parents he was sad, while being cool, bordering denial when his adult self. I finally had it one day when his memory slipped again and he threw a tantrum. I gave him a hard one on his butt and made him stand in the corner until he had calmed down. This I told him I was his mummy and he had to obey me. I went through with it from then on, being his wife while he had his memories of an adult, being his babysitter when he remembered his mother and being his mother when he remembered nothing. This way I kept him calm during all of his phases, until one day I was only his mother for him. I noticed the phases are not as sharply distinct from each other as you might think. No matter what he remembers he is still the same person and if you love, and from what you wrote I know you do, be for him what he needs to have in his phases. Give him security, for deep down he loves you no matter if he thinks you are his wife, his babysitter or his mother.
Okay, here more practical tips. If your husband doesn’t want to speak to you about it, don’t force him, for it is pretty traumatic as you can imagine. Always be prepared for him to change, avoid him being in situations possibly dangerous for his younger self, for example make sure you are close by when he crosses the street, so you can grab his hand when you notice the change. Don’t panic, for young children can sense this quite easily in adults and as he is already confused this pushes him into panic, too. Calmly but firmly take control, so he sees everything is normal, he will adapt most of the time. Be prepared for his adult self mostly leaving. It is a road downhill, one day he won’t come back, or at last not for quite some time, so prepare yourself to live with a toddler. I mean mostly mentally, seeing him as a toddler who sometimes remembers having been an adult will be easier than seeing him as an adult who has forgotten who he is. This makes things easier, believe me. Physically you might need to change your furniture, too. A nursery will be inevitable and your house must be safe for children his age. I know it is hard and unfair, but if you need someone to chat I’m willing to help.
I read this posts twice. This is helping quite a lot. Could I pretend this to? To slip between two or three personalities to make people less suspicious? I don’t think so, but pretending that but for some flashes I have completely lost my memory sounds easier, but maybe...
A plate and a glass of milk is placed between me and the keyboard and looking up I see mother smiling at me. The plate contains four pieces of celery, four raisins, four sugar snap peas, four pieces of watermelon and four slices of cheddar cheese, looking quite healthy.
“Thank you mom.”
“No need, just clean it all up.”
I nod and she leaves. While taking up a piece of watermelon I resume my search on the forums, going through more posts.
-My daughter bounced at three months. Should I start breastfeeding her?
-How to best help my friend(bounced 10) on job search? Any legal helps? (Linked to Legal Issues by Admin)
-I can’t deal with it anymore!
The title of the thread looks strange, so I click on it, expecting to find stories about strange behavior of ar-virus-victims, instead it is quite different.
-I can’t deal with it anymore!
(Annika)Ever since my son Andrew got the ar-virus and bounced at 3 my life has turned dark. Okay it might sound horrible, but please read my whole story before you judge me. I got him with 18 after a stupid, stupid night. I was restless at this time, not knowing what to do with me after high-school and drinking like mad. Sounds like the typical looser story and maybe I was, but maybe I could have made something of me, yet. Taking responsibility for my son(which his father never did) I rarely had time to do more but watching over him and work at a local shopping center. Not the worst job, despite the cliché, but maybe I was just lucky at last once. Andrew turned out a problem child, not violent, but always defiant, especially when it came to men in my life. There were three really nice guys whom I got close to and who weren’t repelled by my status as a single mother. Andrew managed to be so rude to them to turn each one off, no matter what I tried. He said he couldn’t stand them, but I know he didn’t like to have another one around who tells him what to do. Anyway I fought with him to take responsibility when he grew older, getting him jobs during the holidays. Despite getting kicked off from most of them due to being lazy, drunk, or just not going there, he finally got one at a music store he could go full-time after getting kicked out of high-school(don’t ask how).
He moved out one day when I was at work and took a lot of my stuff with him. I wept then, not because I was disappointed, or mad, but out of relief. I was free!After some talk with a counselor and after stinting myself for it and taking double shifts for god knows how long, I got a rejuvenation treatment over the second chance foundation, turning myself 20 again. 20! I knew what I wanted, even if it cost me so much time. I was going to enroll myself to college (business and computer) and forget the last twenty years of my life, doing it right this time. Then the clinic called that he had the virus and it became clear pretty soon, that he would bounce as toddler, though we had no idea that he would become such young. Now he is sitting in his old room which was going to be my study room, surfing non-stop and I have to take care he isn’t buying anything or gets himself drunk. It is a nightmare!
If it wasn’t that I remember how my grandma suffered in the retirement home I would have long since brought him in one of those institutions. I think I will do it anyhow, no matter how the high they charge me. This way I’ll probably have to bury my dreams of college again, but it would not feel like a repetition of the nightmare.
Re: I can’t deal with it anymore!
(Susan) I understand you completely. Bring him to the institution, as his caretaker it is your right. Don’t fear, the institutions are nothing like retirement homes but more like a mix of orphanage, school, daycare or kindergarten, I hear a even lot of former teachers/daycare/kindergarten-employees work there now. It is also possible he gets adopted, if you agree and honestly this would be even better for both of you. Don’t give up your dreams sister!
There are more posts mostly with the same tone and the mothers response makes me think Andrew is about for a change of scenery. I can’t blame the mother, but reading it makes me feel uncomfortable, quite uncomfortable. When it became clear I would never be able to live on my own, financially and given the daily tasks, mother said it was no problem. Has she done so because she really felt so, or because she felt she had no choice? I’ve never asked her about her feelings, her plan for her life once I had my own flat. In retrospective this seems pretty selfish from me. Sure, going through the changes was traumatic, but I never asked her how much my state bothered her, or how it disturbed her plans in life.
Speaking of, what about a boyfriend? Mother did have some over the years. Nice guys so far, but I can guess how hard it is to find someone willing to get together with a single mum having a teenager... or toddler. Still if she would find someone, what then about me? Would I really want to have a new daddy? Me, me, me, I sound like a selfish toddler. Soon I’ll probably start having temper tantrums.
Mother comes in. “Someone has finished his lunch.”
Surprised I look at the plate. It is empty, though I can’t remember eating much more than a slice of Watermelon. Still I must have eaten it, for my hands are a bit sticky from the juice. Slightly embarrassed I begin to suck my fingers to clean them. Mother watches me smiling until I’ve finished.
“Time for your nap then.”
“Nap?” I take a look at computer, telling me it is 12:00 am. “But I have early bedtime already.”
“7:00 p.m. isn’t early for toddlers!” mother reminds me. “It has been a busy day already and I know you worked so very hard. Are you telling me you don’t feel tired just a little bit?”
Now that she mentions it, I feel a little bit raw, though I can’t say if because of what I read before or if I am really a bit tired. After all, trying to be a toddler is pretty much the hardest work I did since getting the AR-virus.
“A little bit.”
“Then you’ll just take a little nap,” mother replies. “Now shut off the computer.”
I do so while she closes the curtains, letting my room look pretty dark. As I climb down the chair and up the bed again, mother watches me and then sits down next to me once I lie there.
“How long?” I ask.
“Until you wake up again. What use does the clock has for a toddler anyway? It would look suspicious if you kept using it. Trust mommy to tell you when it is sleep time, meal time or bath time. If you sleep too long I will wake you.”
“Okay!” I hesitate. “Mom?”
“Does it bother you that you need to take care of me?”
“Johnny no, why should it?” mother says, sounding worried.
“Because you have your own life and by taking care of me you can’t do things you could do.”
“Oh sweety, you are part of my life and taking care of you makes me so very happy,” she says, giving me a kiss on my forehead. “Now no more such heavy thoughts in your little head. Okay?”
I nod and she begins petting my head.
“Just close your eyes and let the sandman visit you.”
I do. “But I’m not...”
Before I can finish my protest I’m deeply asleep.
When I awake two hours later I feel better. Okay, maybe I was tired and maybe it affected how hard I took reading this post. Looking back on it, this seems not troubling at all, after all mother said so. Still not completely awake I activate my radio. It plays my usual station, rock mostly, this time Evanescence’s I’m going under. I liked this song, so much I even bought a CD with it after getting it for free on a file-sharing-site, but now I can’t find why. The singer is too loud, the harmonies too unsettling. When I disliked the music I heard as adult before, I blamed my mild depression over my state of being trapped between the ages, now I wonder for the first time if there has changed something in my brain which makes me no longer like them. So, if my body has changed so I need more sleep and my brain so I don’t like my usual songs any more, I guess I’m more a toddler than I realized before. Now that are happy thoughts!
I could try to find a station sending kids songs even if just for a test, but why make myself the work, if googling is so much easier? Feeling awake and much better, I stretch myself, slide from the bed and back on my stool. The training pant feels so natural I don’t even notice it until then, not even at the beginning of my nap. On the stool I notice a post-it is fixed on the monitor with something written in my mother’s handwriting.
come to me when you wake up.
I’m surprised and quite curious, so I drop of the chair and search for her, finding her in her bedroom, where is also her working room. Mostly mother does the online customer service for a few companies, which doesn’t make her rich, but allows her to stay home and choose her work-time. It must be now, for when I come in I see her sitting on her bed, looking concentrated on her laptop. Insecure if I should disturb her I stand a moment at the door, already deciding to go into the living room watching TV, when she looks up.
“Hi Johnny. Feeling better?”
“Come up here.” mother says, patting the place besides her on the bed.
I do, sitting at her site and watching how she works on some comments, writes e-mails to her superiors and does some things I find myself unable to follow. I lean on her side and she smiles, makes a few clicks and then closes the laptop.
“All done.” she says. “Do you need potty?”
I shake my head, though a bit insecure and she senses it.
“Well we will see,” she says, sliding on her bed with an ease I can no longer dream to have. She looks so big! “Come!”
I hop of the bed and follow her into the kitchen where she makes me sit on my potty, while doing some work on the kitchen counter behind my back. To my surprise I do let go a bit of pee and when she cleans me I notice the rucksack on the counter.
“Are we going out?” I ask.
“Yes, we are making a little trip,” mother notices.
“This is a surprise!” she says playfully and pulls up my training pant. “Now go and choose your trousers I will come shortly and put it on you.”
I nod and before I leave the room I notice her putting an extra training pant in the rucksack. Minutes later she is done dressing me and leads me down the stairs of the apartment floor. On the first level we meet our neighbors, the Dormins, that is Lisa, around my mother’s age and her daughter Callie, four, Lisa’s husband Carl is still at work. They seem to come from shopping, if I can take the shopping back as a hint and Lisa smiles at seeing mother.
“Hello Jessica. John?”
The smile gets a bit insecure at seeing me and I remember that mother has told her about the cover up of me having mental slips. This is my first test of pretending it to someone who knows me and I feel quite insecure. Deciding to use it to my advantage I let my instinct take over and hide a bit behind my mothers legs.
“John is a bit more lively today, so I decide he needs a bit fresh air.”
Mothers voice has the tone of false calm I know little children aren’t supposed to recognize, so I know what she is truly saying is that I’ve one of my mental slips. I don’t look up, instead focusing on Callie, as the adults talk. The little girl is biological only two years older than me, but way bigger, unsettling given I babysat her for some time. In contrast her clothes look much brighter then mine. She wears a pink overall, pink shoes and a yellow shirt with a character of “My little Pony” on it. Her eyes study me curiously.
“John is little!” she finally proclaims.
“Nh Nh,” I deny, thinking it the natural think to do. “Me big.”
Our mothers laugh on this, so I know I’m quite convincing.
“Yes you are so big John,” mother said, touching my shoulder. “Time to go. Say bye bye.”
“Bye bye,” I say and wave as mother leads me outside to the car.
“See,” mother says when we arrive at her car. “That was great.”
I nod, feeling quite proud of myself. Mother places me into the baby seat and I relax even more. While mother drives I come to the conclusion, that it isn’t terrible interesting where we are going to. As long as I can go through as a toddler, it is okay everywhere. I look out of the window, seeing other cars pass by and daydream a bit about what life will be like from now on. Then she car stops and I find I have lost track to where we were driving to. Looking out of the window I can’t identify the area and it only when mother takes me out, that I recognize it as the parking space of a park I used to drive through with my bicycle. I somehow miss it, now that I think of it, but I guess a tricycle would be more appropriate.
“A bit walking will do you good,” mother says. “You spent an awful lot of time inside since you got the virus.”
“Then come,” mother says extending a hand.
I take it and we walk along, hand in hand. First is it a bit awkward, for her steps are to wide for me and slowing down to my level isn’t too easy for her, but then we find a rhythm and speed fitting for us both and it it becomes easier. More than this, feeling my hand being held by hers, big and strong, makes me feel more secure and when we pass other people, a few joggers, a young couple, a pair with stroller in which a baby hardly one year sits, I hardly feel worried about how they see me at all. Then a woman who is walking her black Labrador comes nearer and when he takes interest in me, mother takes me in her arms.
“Don’t worry,” the woman says with a smile. “Sally is great with children.”
Still holding me in her arms to be sure, mother sets me back on earth. While I’m still bigger than the dog it is still enormous for me and I can’t help but feel a bit afraid. Still I extend my hands to the animal, who smells on them and then begins licking them. This tickles!
“Wet doggy,” I say giggling, feeling true relief.
Mother and the woman laugh at that, then she leads her dog away.
“Hold out your hands,” mother says still kneeling by my side. Then she pulls out some wipes out of her rucksack and cleans my hands. “No need for risks.”
I nod and we continue the walk. A bit further down the way I pull at mother’s hand to lead her to some flowers I like to see. When we continue it isn’t long after we arrive at the playground. It must have been mothers goal all along, but I had just forgotten it to be there and not paid too attention to it over the years.
“I thought you need some tiring out,” mother says with a grin by seeing the look on my face. “Come!”
We walk closer and I notice the children there. Two or three are my age or even younger, but most are Kindergartners, who look pretty big to me as they run wild between the various playground equipment. My worries are back, I don’t think I can be as convincing as they are, especially not to the bunch of mothers either helping their babies play or watching from the bench. Mother in contrast doesn’t has such worries and leads me to three spring stones painted like mushrooms.
“Show mommy how good you can spring!” she says and places herself behind the second.
I grin, step on the lowest of the three and look at the next. The distance between the two is ridiculous for even a school-child, but for me it seems like a dare. Still I jump, trusting on mothers quick reflexes and land quite securely.
“Good!” mother praises me. “Are you a little froggie?”
I grin and nod, aiming for the third. This time my training pant makes itself noticeable, hindering my movement and I slip a bit while during the jump. Still midair, I know it is a bad jump and that I will most likely fall over the mushroom after touching it with my feet. Luckily mother sees it and grabs my left arm, stabilizing me on it.
“This was quite good, but you need to train it a bit Johnny,” she says “Can you jump down?”
I look down on the sand, it is quite high, nearly my own height, but still I dare the jump and land on my feet before falling on my knees. I look up grinning.
“Did it mommy!”
“Great, let’s see how good you can play with the other equipment.”
With this she leads me to a seesaw, where already another mother is playing with her daughter. The child, maybe a year older than me, but not as old as Calli, wears a short yellow dress, sits on on end of the seesaw while her mother presses down the other.
“May we join?” mother asks.
Turns out we can. Mother takes my jacket off me and places me on the free end of the see saw, now high in the air.
“Both hands down,” mother tells me.
I do, holding myself as tight as I can, but still feel a bit scarred by the height. The world is so goddamn big for me! Mother sees I’m tight on the saddle, so she begins to press my end of the see-saw down, until I reach the ground, just to allow it to go up again by the heavier weight of the girl at the other end. I feel my training pant pressing against me.
“Press the ground Johnny!” she tells me once it is down again.
I do, knowing most of the energy of going up is delivered by mother, but still enjoying it. The girl at the other end is seemingly oblivious of it, giggling loudly as her mother whispers her something in the ear and I decide to blend it, by laughing, too. Maybe it is that I’m getting the hang of it, maybe the girl’s laugh is catching, but I find I don’t pretend to laugh anymore. The up and down is fun, carefree fun any toddler enjoys regularly, so I should, too. It ends too soon as we are both taken from our seats and placed on the ground besides each other.
“I’m Angela, this is Jessica,” the other mother introduces them.
“I’m Cathleen, this is Johnny,” mother introduces us. “Say hello Johnny.”
“Hello,” I say with a shyness I don’t need to play. The other mother must notice there is something wrong with me, she must.
Yet she doesn’t seem to, for she turns with a smile to her daughter. “Greet him back Jessi.”
“Hullo,” she mumbles, shyly holding her mothers hand, making both adults laugh.
“You don’t come here often,” Angela notices with a curiosity which makes me nervous.
Mother stays cool. “Not yet. What about we let these two have fun while we sit a bit?”
I don’t quite understand what she means by this, but Angela nods and turns to her daughter.
“Do you want to show your new friend how good you can climb?”
This seems to trigger something in the toddler for she nods and races to the large structure in the middle of the playground. I look insecure at my mother who nods reassuringly.
“Follow the girl Johnny.”
I decide I need no further encouragement and race after her. The girl is a bit ahead of me, climbing a ladder up the structure. I follow, trying to imitate her way of climbing with one leg at a time, but a bit quicker not to loose track of her as she clearly has forgotten me. The feeling of the training pants surrounding my groin is there again and I’m sure everyone can see it under my trousers. Maybe they can, maybe not, but no one calls me out for it once I reach the end of the ladder, so I decide not to care. I look down, finding it pretty high and wonder shortly how parents can allow children to go up there, then I look around and see Jessica vanishing into a tube left to me. I fight the urge to call for her, knowing it would for sure give me away and follow her. I walk past a boy maybe two years older than me who looks down through some rods and have to press myself past a girl of my age or a little younger who squats there in a way which makes me think she is pooping while sucking her thumb, not caring for what happens around her.
Jessica seems to have vanished ahead of me and I follow as quick as I can, finding myself at a fork without any idea where to go. I feel disoriented, wondering how it comes that the construction seem so much larger inside than outside and feeling a bit angry at Jessica for not waiting on me, despite being larger than me and seemingly knowing where to go. Suddenly the four year old I passed before races past me and to the left, so I decide to follow him. He leads me to a slide, painted brightly yellow, which he uses without hesitation and after a second of pondering I follow. The feeling of sliding under my padded butt is exhilarating, as is the feeling of speed. Ones I land I feel a bit disoriented, but quickly find mother sitting with other mothers on a bench, which makes me feel secure again. I shortly think about going to her, but then find Jessica not far from me and decide to join her instead.
She plays with a field of tic-tac-toe signs, hanging around for older children. By playing I mean she randomly turns around the pieces not caring for what muster comes up. I shortly consider showing her how to play the game, but quickly realize how suspicious it would look, considering toddlers my age are considered clever if they can name crosses and circles. Besides this I doubt even Jessica is old enough to learn it already, so I just turn the fields so they face me all with one sign. Jessica quickly reacts, turning the fields at random and we quickly make a game out of it, me trying to bring order in it, while she just tries to turn them around again. After a while she gets bored and races up the structure again, this time by climbing a net of ropes, me following closely behind, not caring anymore if I look too skillful, only to not loose her. We cross a bridge made of ropes and wood, which swings quite a bit and finally go down another slide, she squealing in delight, while I just smile laugh. We do this more times than I care to count, until finally Jessica seems bored or tired out and runs to her mother after sliding down.
I follow, though quickly regret it, when noticing that there are still many other mothers on the bench besides my own. No one of these pays any attention to me or Jessica as we approach, not even the big children, a boy and a girl of seven or eight. Still I feel very conscious of every of my movements as I come nearer. When I reach my mother she is talking with another woman and doesn’t notice me at first. I frankly don’t know what to do. Luckily she notices me then when I lay a hand on her leg, smiles at me and picks me up, placing me in her lap before continuing the talk. It is about politics in the city and since I don’t care too much about it I don’t even have to pretend disinterest. Instead, though feeling quite protected in my mother’s lap, I’m still wary of being revealed, so I try to avoid the looks of the other mothers around me, instead looking over to Jessica. She laid her head on her mother’s lap and is now being petted by her, looking quite oblivious to anything around her.
Seeing her like this I feel jealous. She doesn’t has to pretend to be something she isn’t, probably has no worry in her head and thinks every day is an adventure. I felt happy when playing with her, but know too well it is all pretend, realizing now that I won’t be able to visit this playground a year from now since everyone of the mothers will notice I haven’t grown. This thought makes my mouth feel sour and a part of me feels like crying.
I’m distracted of this line of thought, by mother touching my face. Looking up I notice her smiling on me and vaguely remember her having said my name before without me really noticing.
“Are you hungry Johny?”
I think about it a second, then nod, noticing the empty spot in my stomach. Mother smiles and takes a lunchbox out of her rucksack. I look at Jessica and notice her mother taking a similar from under a stroller parked nearby. This must be hers and I find this is another reason for me to be jealous of the little girl. Before I can find another reason, mother places the open lunchbox in front of me and I find it full of sliced pieces of apple, bananas and carrots. Slowly I realize my days of free chocolate and candies might be over. Deciding not wanting to make a fuss about it and more importantly not knowing the words I’m allowed to use when doing so, I take a slice of apple and begin eating it. When I’ve finished it, mother offers me a bottle of water and I grab it, but mother still holds it tight, when I lead it to my mouth. It is clear she doesn’t want me to spill something, or pretends to worry about it. I find this new symbol of my immaturity strange and somehow relaxing as looking around I notice that no one cares about it. Finally I’m done even spilling a bit of it over my chin, mostly due to mother pulling it away too quick. I know I can’t complain though and realize in the last second that as a toddler I’m not supposed to care enough to remove the moist of my face, so I let mother get a fresh handkerchief out of her pocket and clean my face. As she does I notice Jessica drinking out of a sippy cup and can’t help but notice how much more mature she looks while doing so.
Once we are done we are led back to the playground by our mothers, this time to the swings. I genuinely smile when sitting on one of them, Jessica sitting on the one to my left. Our mothers warn us to hold tight and then begin to push us higher and higher. They don’t go as high as they could do, I know this very well, but it still feels much better than I had anticipated it. The world seems to swing up and down and I feel smart sitting there, the previous thoughts about the future instantly forgotten. Yet, too soon it ends. I and Jessica are carried back to the bench, where she is placed in her stroller, looking as if she would sleep any second now, while mother places me on the bench while she says goodbye to the other mothers.
When we leave she carries me again and I look back over her shoulder. Maybe it is just me being tired, but looking at all those mothers isn’t as scary anymore as it was before. I just stare at them and their children, not caring if they look back, finally turning my eyes to the playground, feeling regret by the knowledge of having to leave it completely behind one day. Somehow I must have dozed over this thoughts, softly rocked by my mother’s movements, for when I think clearer again I am back in my baby seat, barely managing to stay awake. Then I realize, that there is no reason to try and stay awake, as mother is taking care of everything. With a happy smile I let the sleep get me, closing my eyes while I look at mother in the back-mirror.
I awake in my bed, with my mother going softly through my hair.
“Time to get up!” she tells me.
I erect myself, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. Slowly I remember where we were, though already I find it hard to believe I really played with a toddler, seeing it more as a dream. Before I can sort it out I feel a strong pressure on my bladder.
“Mom I need to pee.”
“Potty time then. Come!”
We walk in the kitchen where she puts me on the potty and cleans me once I’m done. Maybe it is my tiredness, but this slowly gets relaxing routine. Then we eat dinner consisting of sausages, mashed potatoes and baked beans. It is tasty, but also makes me drowsy again, so a glass of water slips my hands and falls on the table. Luckily it lands on its bottom, but the water spills out of it, making a little puddle on the table. I’m instantly fully awake, ready to slip of the chair to catch a kitchen roll, but mother stops me.
“Don’t worry, I’ll clean it,” she says, fetching the kitchen roll and cleaning up much faster than I could now even dream of. “See, no problem,”
I nod, sip a bit at my glass and eat the rest of the meal. Once I’m finished I walk to the living room, watching tv. No shows for kids this time, just the usual evening shows for adults to shut of parts of the brain to relax after work. I feel like I worked today. Still I must be really tired, for mother finds me only half awake some minutes later and herds me into the bathroom where she cleans my teeth. Then she carries me into my room, undresses me and puts me into my pajama.
“Such a busy day.” she says sitting besides my bed. “You really like the playground, do you?”
I nod, then remember my previous thoughts and suddenly don’t feel so tired anymore.
“But how long can I visit it?” I ask.
“As long as you wish sweety.”
“But won’t the other mothers notice I don’t get older? I mean I don’t know what you told them...”
“I didn’t need to tell them anything because they didn’t ask,” mother replies firmly. “Should they ask once you can trust mommy to say the right thing. No one could expel you there, it is public property after all.”
I nod, thinking mother takes it too easy, but feel too exhausted to argue. Mother isn’t finished yet.
“You know, I think you miss something very important, if you only look after what toddlers your age can do or say.”
“How they think! Do toddlers worry what other people think of them? What might happen in a year? If they are supposed to be able to do something?” mother asks. “I think not!”
“What if anyone finds out?”
“Let this be my problem,” mother tells me. “You should worry about stopping to worry or you’ll worry the rest of your
life. Yesterday you said you didn’t want to pretend anymore. Remember?”
“Then don’t. You are a toddler. I see this every time you forget to think about what to do and just do what your body is telling you. Stop pretending Johnny and just be.”
“I’ll try,” I promise.
“Good, now sleep and dream of less grownup things.”
With this mother switches the light off and walks away. I don’t fall asleep at once though. Instead I ponder what she said and how I could stop thinking too adult. As if it is so easy! I think of the victims suffering mental slips or complete amnesia and how I could play one. Pretend to be one. But pretend isn’t enough, mother is right in this and so I need to try a different approach. A different way of thinking really.
What if I were not an adult in the body of a toddler, but a toddler with the memories of an adult? It is unrealistic, but I follow it a bit. Is there really such a big difference between me now and back when I was a toddler the first time? Sure I have my memories and skills. The first I don’t have to share, the latter I don’t have to use. Going further I believe I can even train myself to shy away from them. Maybe not going as far as to completely forget them, I don’t have this strength of will, but not to let them be the first thing which come in my mind. I try this way of thinking as I would try a new piece of clothing, or rather a new pair of shoes, for it is supposed to carry me around.
Today was fun. I went to the playground and met another little girl, though she was already quite big. I bet she doesn’t need training pants any more, at last during the day. Maybe she already goes to Kindergarten and soon to preschool. This is fun, I guess, all these songs, letters and numbers, but I don’t need them, not really, mom... mommy is taking care of me, so I can watch cartoons all day long, or play at the playground, while she has to sit still in school and needs to learn and learn for years and years.
I don’t have to, because I was big already, really big! Now I’m little again, but this is fun, too. Even better, soon I don’t even have to worry about things like going to the potty anymore. This is great, for the toilet is so high, scary and only for big boys, really. My potty is better, my red fire-truck potty!
I grin, liking this way of thinking and imagining being a firefighter, wearing a bright red head, a yellow coat and putting out flames I fall asleep.
To be continued...