Chapter Description: Johnny`s last day of training starts with a visit to the doctor. To recover from this his mother takes him on a trip to the zoo. After some shopping and surprises it is for him to decide: Was it worth it?
I play in the warm sand. Naked but for my diaper, I build a sand-castle, putting bucket on bucket and forming it with my shovel. Suddenly Skully is flying over me in the direction of the large structure which includes swings, slides, ladders and more. I stand up and look around insecure, but it is okay. Mommy watches over me, smiling at me from a bench. I follow Skully as quick as I can, seeing him rest on the top of the structure.
"Cupcake!" he says. "Cupcake!
Before I can climb it, there are suddenly other toddlers around me. They are running around wildly, like me just wearing diapers. I don’t feel surprised, but happy, even more so when I discover Toby among them, wearing a diaper, too.
Laughing I give chase to him and we run round and round over the whole playground. When I catch him and we wrestle. Toby pushes me to the ground and presses against my bladder. For a moment I resist the pressure, then I remember we are all wearing diapers and let go. The wetness comes instantly and I enjoy it and the warmth it brings. Just a moment later Toby lets go of me and looks down on me.
"You, too!" I reply.
We both laugh and Toby runs away again. I stand up and give chase, but can’t find him anymore. Suddenly I see a tube and guess he has run there, so I crawl in there. It is so dark and a little bit scary....
Suddenly I lie on my back. It is still dark, but I recognize I am in my room. I must have reached it through the tube. Where is Toby? I can’t see him, but find Skully lying by my side. Smiling I grab my friend and hold him over me, thinking he might fly as he did before. I rise my legs and feel the wetness on my groin. It isn’t as warm as before anymore, but still not uncomfortable.
"Have you seen Toby?"
Skully doesn’t answer, but looks at me with happy eyes and suddenly I remember. I remember who I am and with this comes the realization that Skully will never speak or fly and that Toby wasn’t there. Toby is sleeping in his own bed somewhere and I most likely will never see him again. Even if I do he will be bigger than me and probably won’t want to play with me. The weight of adult logic crushes me and I hug Skully tightly, feeling close to cry. I narrowly avoid doing so, by remembering how I played with Calli yesterday. There will always be someone to play with, even if the other child is older.
Looking around I discover my pacy lying close to my face and stuck him in my mouth. Sucking it I feel better, as the worries become smaller and the questions of what today appear. Suddenly I remember, that today will be the last day of my diaper-training. Then I will really be a baby and not just a toddler. I feel the swollen night-time-training-pants between my leg and smile, realizing I have already come very far with it. At peace again I help Skully fly over my head.
This way mommy finds me.
"Making Skully fly?"
I grin around my pacy.
"Wake up time!"
With this she picks me up and holds me on her hip while I still clutch Skully.
"Someone had wet dreams," she notices, feeling the wetness of my night-time-training-pants.
I nod, not quite getting the joke as I’m still half asleep.
"I played with Toby." I say, taking my pacy out. "There was a tube and Skully flew!"
Mommy looks amused at my winged friend.
"Such he did?"
I nod, taking in my pacy again.
Mommy undresses me in the kitchen and removes my night-time-training-pants. It is a bit cold, but she quickly makes it better, by cleaning my groin with wet wipes, still I think I prefer being cleaned lying like yesterday. Then she puts out the potty and makes me sit on it. Doing so with Skully by my side I look around. I discover my drawing of my big-boy-underwear, Big Bird and even my foot-print on the paper fixed on the refrigerator. Happy and filled with pride I let everything go, feeling even prouder by this. I briefly wonder what mommy has planned for today and am about to ask her, but then decide against it. Not knowing makes it even more fun!
When I’m done and cleaned again, mommy gives me a pen.
"As star and a circle for yesterday," she tells me.
I nod happily and run naked for the bathroom-door to fill out the part in the chart. Drawing is fun, although I don’t remember doing so at any time as an adult. I must ask mommy where the crayons are, so I can draw her another picture. Mommy meanwhile empties my potty in the grown-up-toilet. Once finished we brush our teeth and afterwards mommy again puts some cream on my butt and groin before making me slip in a training-pants.
A bit later we eat breakfast. For me it is scrambled egg with cheese, English muffin with jam and grape tomato halves I eat sometimes with my not quite sharp plastic fork. I’m not quite handy with this though, as a bit of tomato rests on my bib, but I hardly notice.
"Did you notice something at the chart Johnny?" Mommy asks me.
I just drink of my sippy cup and don’t quite know what she means, so I shake my head.
"Today is the finale day of your diaper-training-week."
I nod. Of course.
"I know you had lots of fun being a toddler and you know what? I had fun being a toddler’s mommy!" We both smile a moment. "But you still have the choice. You can return to act like an adult, or you can start wearing diapers as you wished. You can also stay just in training-pants, using them whenever you wish to or not."
I think about it a moment. Memories come to me of the time before the virus. Living my daily life and liking it, having fun with friends and all life has to offer. Then the time after the virus. The near depression coming with the reduced opportunities, the feeling of not being useful anymore or ever again, the helplessness. Most of all the feeling of being so near something you always craved for, but not being able to live it. And now? In the past week I found Skully. Built a sand castle. Played with other children. Had fun at the pool. Mommy bought me my fire-truck and reads to me at bed-time. I even had a potty-training-party! Even at this moment I sit here, just in my training-pants, wearing a bib and letting my legs swing a bit.
The decision comes easy.
"Wanna wear diapers."
"Well then, but remember you need to use your training-pants one more time for the little business."
I nod, not quite feeling the need to pee right now, but the day has just started.
"Toon time then!" mommy declares. "I read a certain pirate crew is out for plunder again!"
I instantly race to the living room, only pausing a moment to grab Skully. Mommy laughs and follows. The TV is black, but mommy grabs the remote control from a point such high on a cupboard, that I don’t even see it. In this moment I realize, that I will never again will alone decide what I watch. Of course no toddler does, but it still bothers me. This feeling lasts until mommy switches the TV on and the theme song of "Jack and the Neverland Pirates" starts and I know mommy will always know best when it is TV-time and what to watch.
We sit down besides each other on the couch, mommy gives me my sippy cup and I eagerly drink from it, tasting mild tea, all the while leaning on her. The first episode is about a sick genie, having constantly to sneeze and doing some wild magic when he does. Best of all is when Hook is turned into a crab! Of course the crew helps him. The next episode is even better. While chasing a nasty monkey, Jake, Izzy, Cubby, Captain Hook and Tick Tock Croc fall in the fountain of youth and become even younger than me.
This makes me laugh especially hard and mommy pets my head, smiling on me. The others help them on their way to a flower with the power to transform them back. The journey is fun and it is nice to see them helped, but I wonder why they can’t let them stay this young. They would have even more fun! Then again, they are even younger than me, barely able to walk. Would I have fun this way? In the end I decide it is good they are back to normal and enjoy the song in the middle.
Finally all is good again in Neverland as it is supposed to be and mommy switches the TV off.
"Time for a little trip!"
I look surprised at her, but ask no questions. It is more fun to find it out, making it an adventure. Maybe Jack and his crew should make a song about this. Mommy makes me sit on the potty a bit and I make a little tinkle. After this she dresses me and I hold extra still to be helpful, while she puts the shirt with the red and white stripes, white socks, the jeans and finally the red shoes with white velo-stripes on me.
Once done we go down the stairs. Mommy holds my left hand with her right to be sure I don’t rush and a bag in the other. When we reach the car she strips me tight in my now rear-facing safety seat and is about to close the door when she stops.
"Silly mommy," she declares and puts the shoes of my feet. "No need for your shoes touching the seat."
I smile, touching the back of the backseat playfully with my now only socked feet. This is fun, especially since when my safety seat was front-faced I barely could reach the seat in front of me.
It is when mommy comes in from the other door of the backseat, that I realize she has planned more. She pulls a little book out of the bag and hands it to me. It is the one with the pelts to feel and I smile at the sight of this fun travel reading. Mommy isn’t done though, for she pulls something else out of the bag. A moment later I realize it is a small mirror. Using some rubber bands she fixes It on the head support in the middle of the back-seat.
"It is a temporary solution, but this way we don’t loose sight of each other," mommy notices. "What do you say?
"Love it mommy!"
She gives me a big smile and sits down on the driver seat. When I look up I can really see her by the way of the new mirror mirroring the rearview mirror. Feeling calmed down by this I turn to the book. It is about the baby animals and I love to feel their soft pelts and am such enchanted by it, that I don’t even look up where we are heading. Once I reach the last page I feel a strong urge to taste it, too and begin to suck at it. The taste isn’t special, so I let it fall on the backseat besides me. Quickly becoming bored again I watch my feet hitting the back of the backseat, when I feel another urge. I remove my socks, lead my left feet close to my face and begin sucking it. It feels great, like fun. Looking up I discover mommy smiling in the mirror, too.
I grin around my toes, even more when a young woman who walks past us as we stop at a red traffic light smiles, too, seeing me in the car. This makes me watch my surrounding with more interest. I try hard to figure out where we are, but seeing it all moving backward gives the outside world a new touch. Everything looks even bigger than a week ago. Bigger and strange. We could be anywhere. On myself I would never find home. I feel a slight shudder and am happy to look up and discover mommy in the mirror, even when she isn’t looking at me.
Finally we stop on a parking area and mommy puts my socks and shoes back on me before unbuckling me and picking me up.
"Such a nice drive!"
I nod, though I’m more excited that I realize where we are. Of course it is near the city center. I have been here on my own a million times, but it feels like ages ago, but now, seeing it in mommy’s arms, it has a new wonder in it. The billboards seem brighter for instance. Still not sure where we are heading, but guessing it is another round of shopping I follow mommy while holding her hand. We pass lots of people, grown-up-people who still seem like giants for me, but some children, too, as some parents go shopping with them. Some are also sitting in buggies and when I see a girl, clearly older than me, sitting in one while passing me I begin to feel jealous.
Why do I have to walk?
Before I can ask mommy we enter a building. Since I have not paid attention to where we were going I look around surprised and it isn’t until we stand in front of the elevator, that I realize where we are.
"I’m not sick," I tell mommy. "Are you sick mommy?"
"No Johnny, neither of us is sick. But we need to visit Dr. Abraham so he can check you and declare you a toddler in mind!"
I feel suddenly very cold as fear sweeps over me.
"Mom I can’t..."
Mommy picks me up as the elevator doors open and carries me inside.
"Hush Johnny. Everything will be alright," she promises me as she pushes a button, making the doors close. "You don’t need to pretend, you don’t need to lie, just be yourself. Are you my brave little pirate?"
I nod reluctantly and mommy gives me a reassuring smile. Before I can say more, the elevator doors open and mommy carries me out into the waiting room. It seems long since I have been here. Dr. Abraham made the check-ups during my regression since I wasn’t a hard case needing to stay in a hospital. I didn’t even need to visit a dentist as my adult teeth transformed into milk teeth instead of falling out to give way to them as they did sometimes in other victims who often need to have them removed, by a dentist.
Yet, since my last visit the doctor’s office had grown. It must have, because I didn’t become any smaller since then, did I? The green line in the middle of the wall seems big as me and I feel the urge to touch it. The floor leading to the examination rooms seems to go on forever from my perspective and the sight out of the window, over the street filled with people is just breathtaking. I feel adventures awaiting me here as I turn back and forth in mommy’s arms.
Finally we wait in a line on the front desk. It aren’t many in front of us. Just an african-american man at the desk and an older woman directly in front of us. The woman looks really old, her hair all white and I realize how rare older people have become since they have the option of getting younger. Maybe she likes being old, but I can’t figure out why. As if was able to read my thoughts she turns around and gives me a big smile.
"Oh hello there," she coos. "Do you have an ouchie?"
I shake my head.
"He has a little checkup," mommy explains.
"No ouch!" I declare.
The woman laughs.
Now it is her turn to speak with the doctor’s assistant, while mommy puts me down and goes through her bag. The old woman is quickly told to go to a room, meanwhile mommy pulls two plastic cards out of her bag. Mommy doesn’t show me the cards, before she smiling hands them to the woman behind the reception. It are my health card and my ar-victim-id. The woman looks over them and then to me by leaning over the reception. I don’t know her from any previous visit. Almost subconsciously I make a step behind mommy’s leg, leaning on her.
"It is a check-up," mommy explains.
The doctor’s assistant nods, her face neutral, before looking at her computer monitor and tipping. At last I guess she does, because the table in front of me is so high I can’t see behind it, but only hear the sound of the keyboard. Does she see me on the monitor? The old, big me?
"Just take place in the waiting room, please," she tells my mother without looking down on me. "The doctor will call you soon!"
Mommy leads me to the waiting room. In it the other patients are looking up from what they are reading and straight to me -at last it feels this way-. I feel nervous and grab mommy’s hand tighter, even when they turn back to their smart phones and magazines. It is only when I discover the the toys in the corner, that I relax. Without hesitating I let loose mommy’s hand and run to them. There is a large Box with a meadow maze at the top and things to turn, touch and move at all four sides. Then there is the carpet with the map of a city, beach and countryside on it, with the streets connecting everything. Behind it in the corner are the actual toys. One large t-rex is sticking out of a box, just begging to be played with, but I start with the large box.
First I move the pieces of the meadow maze around. It is different from mine at home, but still nearly hypnotic in it complex easiness. Just one direction by line, but so many lines intertwined. Moving them makes my worries loose weight, until I can forget they are there at all. Then I turn to the things I can move at the sides. There are so many forms, colors and directions and I touch them all, crouching to reach the lowest and then crawling around the box since it is easier to reach all sides this way.
I’m hardly aware of the grown-ups in the room during this. They talk, but when I’m not concentrating it is so very far away. Briefly I notice another boy sitting on the chairs besides a woman who must be his mommy. Maybe playing with him would be fun, but he is too old, maybe eight. Also, he is already playing with his smart-phone, only gazing on the monitor. I can’t see how this could beat anything I play with.
Finally I’m near the carpet and the landscapes on it. I think it is perfect for driving on it and crawl for the toy box. For a moment I look around, then I discover some cars near the bottom. Grinning at my treasure, I begin to move it around on the carpet, following the streets from the beach to the city to the forest, back to the city and to the farms again.
I’m such deep in it, that I only notice I’m not alone on the carpet anymore, when I hear the toy box fall over. It is a big boy, at last four, who did so to better get at the different cars. Why didn’t I think about this? He joins me and we make the best of races, all around the map with sharp turns and a lot of engine sounds. Suddenly he stops for a moment, looks at the box and grabs the t-rex from it, placing it in the center of the city.
"Monster destroys the city!" he declares.
I agree, the dinosaurs gives the race a feeling of danger. It lasts until mommy touches my shoulder and I notice her kneeling besides me as a doctor’s assistant is standing in the doorway.
"Time for the doctor, Johnny!"
I grin sheepishly and stand up, grabbing mommy’s hand and following her as she in turn is lead by the doctor’s assistant into a diagnostic room. Once there I find old fears returning. Not just of being found out as I notice surprised, but of fever, bitter medicine and -horror- syringes. The latter makes me cringe a little and I even believe to loose a drop or two in my training-pants. Everything looks so cold here. Mommy seems to sense my anxiety, picks me up and places me on her lap, while we wait for the doctor. It is better. When Dr. Abraham finally comes, my thumb rests in my mouth.
"Oh hello Miss Turner. John."
Dr. Abraham was always large when I was big, now he looks gigantic. A giant with red-brown hair and nearly full beard. Maybe I’m imagining it, but there were gray stripes on the latter, but now they are gone. He extends his hand first to mommy, who shakes it, then to me. I don’t take it, but continue looking at him. On the one hand because my right thumb is still in my mouth, on the other because I’m too intimidated by his size and his big face near me. Memories come to the surface. The last time here I had my vaccinations renewed. I was brave when facing the shots then, but don’t feel to be able to be so now. Not that I need to, I won’t need new shots for ten years or so.
"Well what is the problem?"
"It is John’s mind," mommy begins in a serious tone "It started with little things like dropping parts of the meal and becoming more impulsive. Recently he started bed wetting and even during the day he sometimes doesn’t reach the toilet in time or doesn’t even care. I had to tell him to use training-pants and..."
"No diapers!" I interrupt.
"Right no diapers," mommy replies, "Just a little extra protection for big boys."
I know she is pretending just as I’m, also I know I’m not supposed to identify the look she exchanges with Dr. Abraham, just like a real toddler wouldn’t. The doctor grabs a form and a pen.
I look up at him.
"How many fingers am I holding up?"
It are two and he holds them like the sign for bunnies. I like the feel of the bunny in my touch-and-feel-book, so I smile. A toddler shouldn’t be able to answer this question, but it is just too easy.
"Two!" I shout, grinning.
"Very good!" Dr. Abraham praises me, making me feel good while he writes. "And how old are you?"
This is a very hard question. 19, no 20 in years now, though my body is not quite 2 Â½. So how old really? I think about it hard, my finger creeping in my mouth. Confused I look at the doctor.
"Twenty is it?" he asks.
"Big!" I mumble.
He writes something down.
"So what was the biggest thing you did lately?"
I think about it hard. The potty-party comes to my mind, but I know I can’t mention this. There was shopping, or building a sand-castle. Suddenly I know and my face lights up.
"You did? Where?"
"In a... a hall. It was weally big. There were rings and slides and balls."
"Sounds like fun!" Dr. Abraham comments and I nod. "I want you to think very hard now. Can you remember being here before?"
I pretend to think hard about it, looking first at the doctor, then at the window and then at the doctor again.
"What do you remember?"
"There was ouch and I cried," I lie. "And there was a fireman and pirate."
Dr. Abraham looks at me a long time and I meet the look. Finally he sighs, looks down and writes something down.
"Good John," he says. "Very good!"
I smile though he is still tipping.
"Mental regression, sure. I let Christine print out the document," he tells my mother. "Shall we have a regular checkup, too?"
"Why not," mommy replies, shrugging her shoulders.
"He needs to be undressed," the doctor says.
Mommy puts me on the ground and puts my clothes off. I hold still until I’m wearing only my training-pants with Jack on it. When I notice the doctor looking at me I grin.
"Good that I hid my gold," he replies and I giggle.
He comes closer, wearing a stethoscope and with mommy putting me again in her lap he presses it on my chest. It feels cold and I squirm a bit.
"Hold still Johnny,", she tells me, holding me firm.
"Mommy cold!" I complain.
"All done. He has a strong heart," the doctor Abraham already says, taking a wooden stick out of a jarr. "Say aahhh!"
He uses the stick on my tongue and seems satisfied even when I shut my mouth shortly after due to the taste of wood. Satisfied he makes me stand by a tapeline, noticing and I stand straight, grinning widely.
"88,9 centimeters," he notices "No shrinking."
"Big!" I tell him.
"Sure," Dr. Abraham says. "You are a giant!"
This is when one of his assistants comes in and hands him some paper. While he reads I see a pretty blue bird at the window and at once run to it, before mommy can stop me. The bird flies away when I’m just under the window and behind me the doctor says something to mommy I can’t quite hear.
"Johnny!" mommy calls loudly and I turn around just to see the assistant leaving again. "Come here."
I grin, racing to her and embrace her leg when arriving.
"He needs to be naked for the scale!" the doctor Abraham says.
Mommy pulls my training-pants down and puts me on the scale.
"29 pounds," he notices and makes some notes. "Please put him on the examination-table."
The table is soft padded plastic with a cover of paper over it. Mommy makes me sit, but I decide to stand up while she props me, ready to catch me should I fall. Still being naked I find the feeling of my wee-wee being free is great. Even better there is so much to see in the room. A picture of a woman’s womb with a baby in it, just a bit more than two years younger than me, as I realize! Then there are cupboards and drawers just begging to be explored.
The doctor’s assistant comes back, handing him a small box. He tells her something I can’t hear and she walks over to us, giving us a big wide smile.
"O hello there," she says. "I’m Christine and who are you?"
"Johnny!" I answer, bobbing on my feet, barely aware that my nakedness would have been a problem some time ago.
"Hello Johnny. Is this your mommy?"
I look to mommy who smiles and nod.
"She must be very proud to have such a big boy!"
Before I can respond, I feel someone holding my right leg. Looking down I notice it is doctor Abrahams, who has no problem completely surrounding it with one hand.
In the other is a syringe.
The pain in my right buttock is sharp and deep and seems to expand once he presses the syringe. I try to pull back, but his grab is too strong, as is that of his assistant and mommy who hold my upper body so I don’t wriggle.
"It is all good," the doctor says "Just one shot we forgot last time."
His words have little meaning to me, neither have mommy’s right now who tries to calm me down. A moment I feel betrayed, deceived, then all I feel is pain, spreading like fire in my behind. At once tears dwell in my eyes, shrouding my vision. I wail loudly, totally loosing control, not just of my emotions, but of my bladder, too. A stream of urine falls on the examination-table and the floor, making Christine step a way back, though I notice something landing on her shoes -serves her right!-.
Mommy is quick, though, grabbing some of the paper-towel covering the table and holding it in front of my wee-wee, until the stream stops.
"Oh Johnny," she whispers, slightly embarrassed, but I don’t care, still crying and wailing, though not as loud now and more out of self-pity.
Dr. Abraham hands her my training-pants he has picked up and she quickly lifts me and pulls it on me. Its padded feeling is nearly as comforting as her touch. The assistant comes in again, having left without me noticing and holds something to my face, all smile. It is a green lollipop. Still crying, but regaining a bit control I grab for it and put it in my mouth. Its sweetness eases the pain and I watch still with tears in my eyes how she begins cleaning the ground with a paper-towel.
"I’m sorry," Mommy tells them.
"No need," Doctor Abraham replies. "I should have known better. He is a good boy. Pity to loose him to a pediatrician, but I can name you some good one if you want."
The pain has all but gone, when Mommy straps me in my seat. The embarrassment of having peed on the doctor’s floor, too. Though no, this isn’t quite right, because I didn’t feel embarrassed, as the pain of hurt and betrayal simply pushed those feelings out of my mind. Yet, even now I don’t feel embarrassment. It simply happened. Also I didn’t mind that two adults besides mommy did see me naked. It felt natural. Even more, in this moment I feel like I could walk through the streets naked without feeling any shame. No one else would mind, so why should I? There is just one thing which doesn’t feel quite right.
"Did I good?"
"Very good sweety," Mommy assures me, removing my shoes. "You were very brave. A lot of toddlers are afraid of the doctors."
Because toddlers needed a lot of vaccination shots, I guess, but let it go, when mommy hands me Skully. Mommy is proud of me and this feels great. Even if I visit a pediatrician instead of Dr. Abraham the next time, this will be good, too. I bet in a pediatrician’s waiting room are even better games!
The car starts. I take a look into the mirror and see mommy’s concentrated face. Feeling instantly safe I hug Skully tighter, looking at mommy’s face until I doze off.
Mommy’s face is also the first thing I see when waking up. Still sitting in my safety-seat but without the straps I give her a big smile before I yawn.
"We need to work on your sleeping schedule," she says jokingly.
Before I can respond she puts my shoes back on me and lifts me out of the car. This is when I notice that we aren’t back home. Instead we stand in a large parking area.
"Where are we?" I ask confused.
"Surprises dear," mommy replies mystically.
With this she sets me down and I feel even more lost. Having locked the car, mommy firmly takes my hand, leading me through the labyrinth of cars I have no hope of overlooking from my perspective. Finally we move around a high bush and arrive at our destination. I gape at it with my mouth wide open.
In front of me I see larger than life bronze statue of a roaring lion, guarding the entrance of the zoo.
"Surprise," mommy tells me.
The zoo! How long has it been since I have been here? Ages!
Mommy smiles and picks me up, cuddling me, as she walks nearer. When we pass the lion I squirm.
"Mommy stop," I say and she does so, looking at me surprised. "Wanna ride the lion!"
She looks up at the statue and smiles.
"Oh how brave you are!"
I smile, even more when she places me just behind his mane.
I do so, all the while happily hopping on his back, while mommy takes a picture with her smartphone. In this moment I can see me, crossing the savanna on his back. Wild and free. I even believe to hear him roar.
"An adventurer," mommy says when picking me up.
At the ticket office mommy mommy places me on the counter while she pays for herself, but not for me, since I’m under three. Bobbing my feet, I grin at the ticket seller, who gives me a smile, too.
"We rent strollers, too," the ticket seller says, pointing at some strollers "8,- $ fee and 10,- $ deposit."
Mommy looks at them thinking, never looking at me. I would like nothing more than to yell at her to get one, but fear of sounding too adult... to hell with it!
Mommy looks at me and smiles.
"He was a bit tired in the car and I don’t want him to doze off again," she tells the other woman.
"Just let him walk most of the time," the ticket seller says. "Most children are wide awake once they see the giraffe."
Both woman laugh and with this mommy pays the fee and puts me in the next free stroller. It is green and has a sun-protection with many happy animals printed on it. There is no cushion, but I don’t care, since my training-pants is enough protection. It fits perfectly and I feel completely comfy sitting there. Mommy straps me in, tightening the straps so I’m really save and on we go.
Being pushed in a stroller is even better than I imagined. The world lies in front of me and I must do nothing but to look. Suddenly the speed increases as mommy begins to run. I laugh and begin to squeal, when she rises the front up, until the wheels touch air and I look up in the sky.
We reach the giraffes in no time and mommy releases me from the stroller, so I can stand near the fence. I look up and up, but part of me still can’t believe how high the giraffes are, with their heads so high above.
"Come into the house," mommy tells me, meaning the gigantic house where the giraffes are fed and sleep.
I don’t need to told this twice and begin running to its entrance.
I stop at the sound of mommy’s voice and look around, seeing her rush to me.
"You mustn’t run from mommy at places with so many people... or anywhere for this matter," she tells me. "We don’t want you to get lost, do we?"
I shake my head. I don’t want to get lost, not even here. I might end up being eaten by a lion or something.
"So while we walk you must hold to the stroller," she tells me, leading my right hand to a spot below the handle. "See?"
I nod and she smiles, ruffling my hair.
As we go on I find my left thumb wandering into my mouth. The thought of getting lost is scarier than it would have been even days ago! Yet, when I stare in wonder at the highest giraffe yet, eating hay far above I forget all fear.
Suddenly I have this feeling again, the feeling of being two sizes, my adult and my actual, just that it isn’t in showing in my body, but in my mind. I remember how I saw the giraffe’s the last time. Big, yes, but I could relate the size to mine -how big I was!-, now I just can’t, not even close. Without being able to put it in words, the feeling is like something in me tries to put an amount of water/understanding in my bottle/mind now too small for it. I feel a slight headache and wonder if my head will explode. Then I decide: Â´No!`, this is my real size and whatever water/knowledge doesn’t fit in my mind shall spill, like I often spill liquid when using adult cups. I look at the giraffes again and it is as if I see them the first time... no this isn’t completely right, but I see them with fresh eyes, maybe even better than before and therefor in wonder.
Next we pass an isle of lemurs, on the ground and high in the air. Then we arrive at the elephants who are spraying some water over themselves with their trunks. They are large, too, even when not so high. I wonder if they remember me from the last time I was here. Elephants have good memories I know and since the rejuvenation treatment was available to animals first they probably have been around here for long. Then I discover a little elephant -a baby really- happily running between the legs of the adults. Is it really young or just been made so for the visitors? I know some zoos do so. Now it begins happily rolling around in the water. It seemingly doesn’t care if it was, being happy enough. Since we have this in common, I wave him goodbye when I and mommy walk on.
We pass some flamingos. They look so funny standing on one leg, that I try it, too, only to find I can’t. Next we enter the aquarium. There are so many fishes great and small and turtles and frogs and snakes of all shapes, sizes and colors. It is a bit moist in there, but when we enter an area protected by plastic curtains it really feels like a rain forest. There is an area behind a barrier I can’t look over, so when mommy lifts me up in her arms I’m totally surprised to see that there are crocodiles some meter below. Mommy holds me tight, though I suddenly feel afraid of falling down. They looks so scaly and sly and... hungry. Would other toddlers be afraid, too? I guess not, since they don’t really know danger. I do and so I cuddle closer to mommy, until the fear goes away.
Still I’m happy when we are outside again. Next wee see lynx and wild cats and clouded leopards. Best of all are the lions. There is a glass wall and mommy lets me stand on the are in front of it, staring right through, when a big, male lion comes ever closer, shaking his mane and yawing straight in front of me. I feel some drips of urine getting in my training-pants, though I don’t back away, knowing I’m save. Still I look around to mommy, who smiles on me and takes some pictures. Looking back to the lion he has sat down direct on the other side of the glass, licking his giant paws.
Boy, I know better than to try riding him!
Next we pass camels and anteaters, emus and vultures. Then we see wombats and kangaroos. When I see them jumping, I let loose of the stroller and jump myself. It are hops I know, but when I look at mommy I see her smiling and so they must be okay. Next are koala bears are fluffy but seem to do nothing but sleep. Then we pass bush pigs, resting in mud which looks quite relaxing and rhinos and zebras.
Then we go through an area with funny penguins and beautiful snow foxes, reindeer and snow owl. There are even snow wolves, but they seem to lie low because of the heat. Best are the seals, who are doings tricks for fish by the zookeepers.
Then we are at a resting area with a playground. The center is a wooden ship with slide and robes to climb in the middle of a sea of sand. I want to rush off instantly, but mommy’s hand on my shoulder stops me.
"Do you need to potty?" she asks.
I nod and mommy brings us to the toilets. We enter the one for the ladies which is even visited, but no one objects, when seeing me being led to one of the toilet-stalls. After finishing mommy cleans me and leads me to the sink where she makes me wash my hands. Once outside she tells me I can go play and shows me where she sits. I nod and rush off.
In no time I’m at the top of the ship, naming it the Jolly Rogers in my mind. I’m its captain and believe to even hear the waves. Down I’m on the slide, running after other children, only to break the hunt off, when they are too fast. I walk to the swings instead and when this isn’t fun enough, I run to the see-saws, just the right size for me, joining another boy of my size and we jump up and down, up and down, for an uncounted time. Then he leaves his seat, running for the ship and I follow him. Somewhere in its interior I loose him again and go for the slide instead. This way it goes several time and I loose myself in the sound of other children’s laughter the noises of games and play, not even noticing that they are my sounds, too.
Finally, when running around the ship again, strong arms grab me from behind and I wriggle, ready to scream.
"Thirty minutes Johnny," mommy’s voice says, "The other animals want to see you, too!"
I relax and let her carry me off, though with some reluctance. She straps me in the stroller, hands me my sippy-cup and while I drink something which tastes like a mix of kiwi and yoghurt, rolls me down. Past guenons and parrots, branded mongooses and watusis.
We enter another big, moist house, full of exotic trees and flowers. I look around in wonder, when a butterfly lands on my noose.
"Hold still Johnny," mommy tells me.
She wouldn’t need to, as I’m too surprised to react, starring in wonder at all the colors in front of me, as the butterfly moves his wings slowly back and forth. Finally it ends and the butterfly flies back in the trees. Mommy laughs, giving me a kiss on my nose, once she has put away her cell-phone as do others.
Out we go to see more. Boars and donkeys, ponies, goats and owls.
They are all great, but easily forgotten once I see the two brown grizzly bears, swimming in the their pool far below us. Mommy lifts me up, so I can see everything. They look so big!
"Fluffy teddy bears, Johnny," mommy comments.
"Pooh bears!" I tell her.
Besides us a man smiles at me, but I hardly notice, too enthralled by the example of animal strength down below.
On it goes to llamas, storks and hippos. We stop at the area with the apes and look over a large area where a group of gorillas are sitting together in the grass, a big silverback in the middle. The is a female near to us nursing her young.
"Look," I say. "Gorilla has baby!"
Mommy smiles down on me.
Further we go. Passing the storks again and going to nandus and much more. Past a chinese area and one with two large tigers who look even more ferocious than the lion in their cage! Finally we reach another playground. There is a slide in the shape of a dolphin, swings and sand-pits. Yet, besides this there is a diner and behind this there is a train! A real little train, moving in circles, and sometimes letting its whistle being heard.
"Choo-Choo-Train!" I say excited.
Mommy doesn’t need more, but moves the stroller with me in it in this direction. I’m excited by the prospect of riding it, but coming nearer, don’t have much hope. It seems to be for big kids, like kindergartners or even the ones going into primary school. Still mommy asks the train driver he nods.
"Sure. Every child up 1 year. But under four they must sit in the special wagon," he shows at the wagon right behind the engine. At first it looks like a normal one, but then I notice it has safety-bars instead of straps.
"Don’t worry he is completely safe there. Round starts in thirty minutes."
Mommy thanks him, buys a ticket and pushes me back. First I think we are going to the playground, but she directs me to the diner.
"Are you hungry Johnny?"
I want to say no, but then I feel the slight grumble in my stomach and nod. Mommy is clever to think on it before I even notice it.
There is a long line, so I’m happy to be able to sit in my stroller, feeling even clever. This passes when mommy asks for fries with ketchup and currywurst. I love these, but then she orders only a water, though I would love cola right now. Finding not the right words she pushes me already further before I can protest. It is only when we are alone at one of the tables, that I can protest.
Mommy smiles while spreading a paper-napkin and fixing it under my neck as bib.
"No limos for little boys," she explains. "I’m already pushing the limits with giving you fries twice in a week. Here, have a smoothie."
She hands me my sippy-cup and I drink, partly in fear she might deny me the fries, too. It taste good, though I believe Cola tasted better. I guess in time I will get used to this, maybe even forget how Cola even tasted.
I obey and mommy puts a fry in my mouth. I chow and when she hands me a small plastic fork, I begin to eat hungrily. We are just ready and I only dropped one fry, when mommy cleans my face with another napkin and stands up.
Other children are already there with their parents. Big children of primary school, all looking as excited as I do. Mommy puts me in the first wagon and lowers the safety-bar with the train driver so I’m unable to move but my limps and head. Next is a girl my age in a pretty yellow dress printed with flowers, being placed in front of me. She smiles at me and I do so, too. The third is a boy, but much younger than me, maybe one year old. He is placed to my right. Looking at us with interest and slight worry while sucking his pacifier. Last is a boy older than me, looking like four, but probably being younger due to having to sit besides us. He doesn’t like it though.
"Wanna sit with Claire!" he complains to the man, his father, helping him in.
"You are still too small James," his father replies. "Next year you can sit with your sister."
"If you throw a tantrum you aren’t allowed on the train at all."
This threat works. James holds still, when his father lowers the safety-bar and a moment later the train driver closes the door. As he goes to close the other doors I look around. I feel excited, like few times before and it seems the other passengers feel the same on their own way. The baby to my right is not exactly knowing what is happening, looking from left to right with a worried expression. The older boy in front of him is still pouting, looking angrily out of the window. Only the girl is smiling under curly brown hair.
I reply the smile and she stretches her legs, touching my own with her sandals. It isn’t hard, but a game and so I return it. We do this back and forth, giggling happily at it and when I lift her rock, I see she is only wearing a diaper under it. This makes me smile even more. Suddenly I smell a certain aroma and guess she has made poo. It is only when I turn right, that I notice the smell being stronger there and know the younger baby is the culprit.
"Babies," the older child comments angrily.
"You, too!" I reply, seeing the train driver move by.
The way he denies it, I wonder if he is still wearing night-time-training-pants. This makes me laugh and James freaks out, lashing out with his arms and I’m happy he can’t reach me. Suddenly the sound of the train’s whistle is heard and we begin to move. James stops, obviously distracted by it, but the boy to my right is so shocked, he drops his pacifier, so it lands between us. Instantly his face becomes red and I know he will start to cry ever moment and not stop during the whole tour. I grab the pacifier and despite feeling the urge for one, too, I move it into the direction of his face. He moves his face in this direction, putting it in his mouth and begins instantly to suck, calmed for now and looking a bit thankfully.
The train gains speed and I look around. The world outside is passing by quickly. There are figures standing by the tracks, storks and giant frogs. In the first moment I believe them to be real, but then I discover they are only cardboard cut-out. Still they look bright and happy enough and I smile as we pass them. There are more. Pictures of castles and knights, princesses and eagles. Pictures of -friendly- lions and silly looking apes. In between the train’s whistle is heard, but I hardly notice it, being too enthralled by what moves by and looking around I see that the other feel the same. Even James has forgotten his anger.
When the train is back at the station again we are let out and our parents lead us to the playground. I and the girl, her name is Sally, play quite a bit and even James has fun, though he is mostly following his bigger sister, who is clearly going to primary school already. Ethan, the young one with the pacy, first his his diaper changed in a changing room nearby, before toddling after us as good as he can. After a lot of sliding, climbing and swinging, mommy picks me up.
"Wave goodbye Johnny!"
I do and love to see at last Sally do so, too, while mommy straps me in the stroller. We go back to the entrance, but on a different path, so there are more animals to see. There are coyotes and red pandas, giant otters and giant turtles, even ostriches. When we arrive at the entrance again and mommy gives the stroller back, I feel like we have seen every animal in the world.
Back in the car I’m sure we drive home now, but it turns out I’m wrong again. Instead we stop at a local Walmart.
"Grocery," mommy explains and I nod.
She puts me in the seat of shopping-cart and on we go. Mommy puts some food, bread, fruit and milk in it and I think we are done, when she leads the cart into a special aisle. Surprised I look at all the diaper-packages.
"I think it is best we buy one package now since we are here," she notices.
"Let’s see. The doctor said 29 pound. Size five it is. Which brand do you want sweety?"
I’m totally overwhelmed by this question and look around confused. Pampers and Luvs, Parent’s choice and even cloth diapers. So many brands and types. Finally one package draws my attention. A toddler like me, playing with some blocks.
"This one mommy!" I proclaim, showing in the direction.
"This one?" mommy asks, picking up one. "Huggies Snug and Dry?"
I nod. I love the picture and their training-pants have been great so far. Why risk something?
Mommy smiles and puts it in the cart behind me, just outside reach. We reach the checkout and I’m not feeling even a hint of the nervousness I felt when we bought the training-pants, only excitement to wear them soon. The cashier doesn’t mind one bit, only seeing a mother and her toddler doing the usual shopping. Once we are outside, mommy packs the grocery in her backpack and hands me the package of diapers. I help her carry it in the car and she places the package on the backseat besides me.
When the car begins moving I can’t help but stare on it. Do I really have to wait until tomorrow? This is worth than seeing the presents the night before Christmas and having to wait a whole night for it. In my mind this is the best present ever and I’m supposed to just wait. This is torture!
When we arrive home I carry the package upstairs, Skully on it. The diapers feel thick even under the plastic. I think back at the girl from the train and wonder if she wears the same sort of diapers, too.
"Why don’t you bring it in your room Johnny?" mommy asks.
I nod reluctantly, having thought the package would wander in the kitchen-closet besides my potty. If I put it under my bed, maybe I won’t be so tempted to tear it up.
Entering my room I freeze at the door. My bed is gone! Instead of my adult bed now there is a white crib, complete with a mobile with various animals like ducks, lions and horses. Best of all, the double sheets are showing Jack from the Neverland Pirates and his crew! In wonder I stare at the bars, much higher than my head. A chest is placed at its end and I instantly identify it as a pirate chest, for my toys must be in there!
But this isn’t the only thing having been replaced. The pictures of the grown-up-me have made place for some of the actual me. Me playing on the floor with my fire-truck, me sitting on a playground rocking horse, me sitting eating in my high-chair. There is even an older picture of me celebrating my second birthday by eating a large cake with my mouth covered in it. It fits perfectly with the other like there was never another me between them. Last but not least my desk has given place to a changing table and on my tiptoe I can just see the white changing mat.
"The computer didn’t seem fitting for you anymore, but you can use my laptop if you need it," mommy tells me. "Do you like it?"
I let the diaper-package fall on the face and embrace her leg.
"It is Calli’s old furniture. Elsa said it was better than throwing it away," she explains. "I think it is time to test it."
With this she grabs me under my shoulders and makes me sit of the changing table. At first I think it is already time for my first change, but it isn’t.
"It has been such a long day already," mommy says, removing my shoes. "Time for a nap isn’t it?"
I nod, though disappointed, suddenly feeling really a little bit tired. Quickly she removes my trousers and socks and lays me in the crib... my crib, as I tell myself happily. Its end shows a smiling moon and I smile, too. No longer I will sleep in something too big for me. I stretch my leg and still can’t quite reach the end of the crib.
Mommy places Skully by my side and places my pacy in my mouth I instantly begin so suck. Then she puts the sheet over me and looks down on me, her arms resting on the bars, a great smile on her face. I smile, too.
"Louve yo mama," I mumble between my pacy.
"Love you, too dear," she says.
With this she closes the curtains so it is a dimmed light in the room and then places the package of Snug and Dry in the open top shelf of the changing table. Playfully she gives the mobile a slight touch making it dance and I look at it in pure delight. All the animals moving, just like in the zoo. When Mommy leaves the room, leaving the door only slightly open, I look at the boy on the package. Does he has a nap now, too? I guess so.
Looking around I really get a feel of the crib. The world is outside and I’m inside. I touch the wooden bars. Once I could have broken them, now they hold me as strong as iron bars. Like in prison, but I don’t feel imprisoned, but protected. Instinctively I grab Skully and suck my pacy as my eyes grow heavier.
A voice like in a dream. Just it isn’t in my dream. In it I run with the girl from the zoo over a meadow. The training-pants is thick in between my legs, making me really toddle. Around us in the distance I can see the choo-choo-train coming to take us for a ride. Its engine has a bright, happy face like Thomas the train.
A slight touch rustling of my hair and I open my eyes. Mommy is looking at me from above and I smile at her around my pacy. Her arms lean on the bars and I realize I lie in my crib. I smile even brighter, until the pacy falls out of my mouth and sit up, yawning.
"Time for dinner," mummy says, taking me out of the crib. "Did you have nice dreams?"
I nod. "Choo-Choo-Train!"
"Such exciting!" she gives me a slight slap on my padded butt. "To the kitchen Johnny."
I giggle and begin to run, reaching the kitchen first. There I wait at my high-chair and wait until mommy picks me up and places me in it, securely strapping me, too. Then she removes my shirt and puts the bib with the giraffe on me and fills my plate. Today it is diced steamed broccoli and shredded backed chicken with tomato sauce. When I’m done I hardly can see the giraffe on my bib anymore!
Afterwards mommy places me on the floor and cleans my face with a paper-towel.
"Remember you need once more star on your training-chart Johnny."
I nod reluctantly, stopping to drink water from my sippy-cup.
"Do I need wear training-pants again mommy?"
Mommy gives me a look.
"You know," she begins. "I think we just ran out of training-pants. So when you used this training-pants I must put you into a nice thick diaper!"
I stare at mommy wide eyed, then I grin. Instantly I relax, feeling my groin getting wet and warm. I bob on my legs, feeling the weight around my hips and the floor under my bare feet.
"Did you made a tinkle?" mommy asks me after a moment. "Did my little pirate make the coins disappear?"
This idea makes me giggle, which becomes squealing, when mommy kneels down to tickle me from head to toe.
"Mommy, mommy," I shout laughing, rolling on the floor, until mommy has mercy.
Grinning I look up at her, feeling the wetness on my butt as I sit there.
"Well Johnny seems it is time for the final star."
I nod and shoot up, racing to the door of the bathroom, which will never has the same meaning for me again. While I’m busy drawing the best star ever, mommy walks past me into my room.
She doesn’t need to say this twice. I follow her at once, seeing how she places wipes, diaper cream, and baby powder on the changing table before picking me up and placing me on soft mat. Quickly the opens the side of my training-pants, placing the front between my legs. Then she grabs my legs with one hand and lifts my butt in the air, beginning to clean the area around my waist with baby wipes. Once this is done she removes the training-pants and placing it into a trash can nearby.
Next Mommy grabs below the changing mat and pulls out a diaper. It has Mickey and Minni on it and looks so very thick. She extends the diaper and lifts me a bit higher until I feel air under my back below my shoulders, then she puts the back of the diaper under. me. I already can feel it when she lowers me a bit again. Mommy starts humming softly and I need a moment to recognize it as "Hush, Little Baby", laughing softly at at. She gives me a wide smile and starts applying diaper cream on my groin and butt. I coo softly, never having known I could. Next she applies a little baby powder and when I smell its aroma I believe to even remember it from the last time I wore a diaper.
Last mommy puts the front of the diaper over my groin -my wee-wee showing down- and fixes the tapes. Not too tight, but firm.
"Done!" mommy say, putting my legs down. "Snug as a bug."
I laugh, putting my legs in the air, spreading them and pulling them together. It is so much thicker than my training-pants! Mommy grabs my feet and pretends eating them.
"Let’s find you something to wear over it," she declares "But safety first."
With this she straps me in a safety belt fixed to the changing table before searching in my closet. Meanwhile I pull my feet to my mouth and suck at my toes. After a few seconds mommy holds a bodysuit over me, the one with the little blue fox on it.
"Do you like it?"
Mommy smiles, opens the belt and makes me stand on the changing table. While I raise my arms, I notice surprised how high it really is. Good that mommy is propping me, while she puts the bodysuit over my head. A moment later she pushes the three snaps at my groin, securely closing the bodysuit. All done she picks me up and holds me in her arms while walking to the living room. Leaning against her breasts I feel protected in mommy’s arms and protected by my diaper.
"Look there Johnny," mommy says "Isn’t that a cute baby?"
I look at where she is pointing and see the mirror. Indeed a very cute baby is looking at me from there, seemingly all snug in his bodysuit with a little blue fox. His diaper is showing clearly under it, he looks at me with innocent wonder and I need a moment to realize it is me.
Laughing I embrace mommy.
A bit later I play with my fire-truck and some blocks on the floor of the living room. Thomas the Tank Engine is running on the TV and I listen with one ear, always looking up when someone is laughing.
Looking up I discover mommy standing at the door, carrying my potty.
"Since you have no more need for this I will put it away," she explains. "Say bye-bye potty!"
I laugh and wave, hopping up and down on my protected butt.
"Bye bye potty!"
Mommy walks away and I wrinkle my brow. Is this pressure in my bowels? It doesn’t feel quite pressing yet, so I ignore it and continue playing on my knees.
In my mind the play and the tv-show mix. I’m a fireman saving the girl of the train from a fire, together with Toby from the potty-party. In the background Thomas is driving on its tracks and we help her coming in time to the train station. To thank me she is giving me a kiss. Then I save a cat from the tree, being informed by Skully. Then I make a train-ride together with all the Calli, Toby, the girl and everyone I played with last week. We laugh and have so much fun!
Then the show ends and the screen grows dark. I look up, seeing mommy sitting on the couch.
"Come here Johnny."
I don’t need further encouragement and jump up, racing to her. Mommy laughs, picks me up, places me in her lap and cradles me in her arms, so she can look at me.
"I wonder Johnny. What did you like best during the week."
I don’t need to think about it.
"The games and fun and others to play with."
"Thought so," mommy notices. "We will see what we can do about this. For now..."
With this she reaches under a near blanket and pulls forth a baby-bottle full with milk.
"Time for baby’s sleep-time-bottle."
I open my mouth in surprise and mommy quickly puts the nipple in it. Instinctively I suck, like with my pacy, being rewarded with warm, tasty milk running down my throat. I relax, absentmindedly grabbing my feet while sucking. Suddenly my bowels relax, too, without me really noticing and my butt grows all warm.
Mommy must know, but she keeps on smiling on me while I suck at my bottle. This is when I know everything is all right. When it is sleeping time soon, mommy will change me and tuck me in my crib with Skully and my night-light and maybe even with a story.
Everything is comfy and warm as it should be.