I LOOKED AROUND the house and wandered around from room to room. Where was Mom? Dad? Lily? I decided to go up to Lily’s room and found it empty. It was weird. I walked over to her changing table and noticed her favorite purple pacifier was there. I picked it up and looked at the pacifier and how it had an open area on either side of the button in the middle of it. I always liked her using it because I could see her cute smile still.
“Would you like that?” I turned around and suddenly found myself facing a beautiful lady in her early twenties.
I blushed, “If I was young enough, I’m sure I would,” I said and sat it down. “Who are you?”
“Names are powerful things young one,” she told me.
Something about this didn’t seem like a dream and I could feel like there was some sort of static electricity running up and down my body. “Maybe a nickname?” I asked before stretching out my hand and saying, “I’m Nicholas.”
“Well, they certainly brought you up to be polite,” the lady said. “You may call me Caireen,” she said simply. “You’re a very unusual young man. Willingly taking care of your sister?”
“She’s a sweetheart,” I responded.
“Still not normal for an eighteen-year-old boy to volunteer to help,” she said. “Of course, we wouldn’t be talking if you were normal,” she smiled.
“What do you mean?”
“You’ll find out. For now, I guess we’re going to be together for a very long time since you found me. Please don’t be upset at your gifts,” she said with a bigger smile before taking the pacifier off the table and putting it into my mouth. “There you go,” she said.
My eyes must have been as big as saucers as I realized this had to be a dream.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, I heard what had to be the most annoying metronome of all time as I woke up. I started to stretch with my eyes closed and suddenly realized something was wrong. “Levi, he’s waking up,” I heard Mom say and I looked up suddenly at their faces.
Something was not right here. Not right at all. The angle of their faces was all wrong from where I was lying, and I was obviously in a hospital… but not in a normal hospital bed.
“Where am I?” I asked, or tried to ask. Something was in the way for me to talk. I reached up to my mouth and pulled out a… “Why do I have a pacifier in my mouth?” I asked starting to panic and sit up. My voice sounded really weird and squeaky.
Mom gently pushed me down, but something was wrong there. Her hand was too big!
“What happened?” I asked more agitated and feeling upset that my voice once again sounded weird.
“It’s okay sweetie, calm down and I’ll try to explain…” She said. Something in her eyes reassured me, but somehow I could tell that she wasn’t being truthful.
I lay back down though, “Explain.”
Dad came in with the doctor right then. “Good, you woke up,” the doctor said.
“What happened?” I said again more forcefully.
“Nicholas,” Mom started, “...I don’t think there’s any easy way to explain, but you manifested last night and went through a major burnout.”
“I’m a mutant?!?!?” I asked surprised.
“Your mother and I both carried the gene recessively, but we figured you were not likely to get it... “ I looked at them in shock. I never knew our family had any history of mutants.
“But don’t people usually manifest younger?” I asked thinking back to when one boy in our school had manifested our sophomore year.
The doctor shrugged, “Usually, but eighteen is not unheard of to manifest.”
I nodded finally, “Okay, so I’m a mutant. Why… umm… why do I think I changed a lot more than average?”
The doctor answered this one, “Nicholas you’re going to have to do some testing to be sure, but I believe you are an exceptionally high-level exemplar. Your BIT, or the Body Image Template that it made you look like, normally shouldn’t change you so quickly, but for some reason yours did…”
I sat up now, and felt my mom’s hand helping me. I had lost a lot of height. A LOT of height. I didn’t seem to have any hair on my arms or my legs. I felt the hair on my head and it felt like it was shorter than it had been. It barely reached my shoulders but had a lot of curl at the ends. I looked down at the gown and noticed it was covered with bears before running my hand down to my groin area. Something padded was in the way and I looked up at Mom.
“How old am I?”
“Eighteen…” she paused and grimaced, “going on three we think.”
“And am I…” I was scared to ask this next one. If only it could be true, ‘please be true,’ I said to myself. “Am I a girl?”
She nodded and tears streamed out of her eyes. Dad came around and held one of my hands on the other side. I smiled.
“Being the same age as Lily is embarrassing…” I hopefully looked at the doctor, “I’ll at least grow back up, right?”
He looked at me and shrugged, “I don’t honestly know. Sometimes when a mutant manifests for the first time they’ll go through a similar experience and get younger. Most of the time they do age then, but usually at a slower rate.”
“The other times?” I asked founding myself craving something in my mouth to soothe myself. I knew the pacifier was sitting next to my hand and had to fight the urge to put it back in my mouth.
“Well, there have been a few cases of them getting younger and not aging at all,” he said, “I don’t know of any easy way to say it… but to be honest I think there’s probably an eighty percent chance your BIT may lock you like this.”
“Great!” I groaned. “So, I’m going to be the baby sister before long!”
Mom smiled and said, “Well, at least maybe Lily will remember you taking such good care of you that maybe she’ll do the same?”
It was at that moment that I passed out again.
I WOKE BACK up as I felt my body being contorted. I opened my eyes and began to cry as I realized mom was changing my diaper. It smelled like one of Lily’s after dinner diapers, which meant I had to have gone poop in my sleep. She finished and then picked me up. I realized then that the wires and IVs had been unhooked while I was sleeping.
“It’s okay sweetie,” she told me and she hugged me tight, cuddling me like my little sister.
Eventually I calmed down and she asked, “Do you want something to drink?”
I nodded. She produced a cup with a straw and some ice water. I tried to put the straw in my mouth but there was something in my way. “Here, I’ll take that,” she said as she pulled the pacifier out of my reddening face. A moment later I found myself guzzling down. I was really thirsty!
When it was empty, I looked at her. “Am I a real baby or something, why did I have a pacifier in my mouth?”
She sat down and held me on her knee facing me. “You were burning up and stumbled down the hallway. When you reached the bathroom you… you… you suddenly started smoking and steaming before there was a burst of fire where you were standing.” Mom was crying as she spoke, “I thought you had to be dead, but suddenly the fire was gone and in its place was a… a little girl... “She cringed.
“Lily was as shocked as I was and she walked over to you and her pacifier fell out of her mouth right next to you. We watched you pick it up, put it in your mouth, and then you passed back out.”
I grimaced. I honestly could feel a craving for it even now. “Sorry, I have a bad feeling it’s going to be hard to break me of my pacifier habit!” I told her.
“You want it back?” She asked.
I couldn’t help it and nodded.
Mom placed it back in my mouth and started talking again, “What were you thinking about when you went to bed?”
“Why?” I asked around the pacifier. Mom still understood with a smile curling on her lips.
“It may have affected your BIT,” she told me.
I grimaced and thought back, “I was thinking how nice it would have been for you to be able to pick me up and hold me like Lily…” I paused, “Then I saw her standing there in the hallway looking cute in her princess nightgown.”
Mom looked like she had understood most of that around the pacifier and she hugged me tight.
“I’m stuck like this, aren’t I?” I asked her.
“The baby stuff?”
“Well, the pacifier seems to be tough for you to be without.”
“And the potty training… maybe we can re-train you.”
I pulled the pacifier out again and groaned. “How am I going to go to school in diapers and sucking on a pacifier?”
“I don’t know sweetie, but we’ll find a way. I don’t think your mind is going to be hurt in any way, if anything you’ll probably be smarter.” I smiled a bit at that, “And, you’re probably a lot stronger too,” she told me. “And you probably even have some really cool abilities now. The doctor said only the highest-level mutants seem to change this much.”
I just nodded to that. “Where’s Dad?”
“He went home to get Lily.” She told me.
“What did you do with her last night?” I asked, suddenly worried.
“We brought her with us and then were able to drop her off at Hannah’s house since there’s no school today.”
“Really? We had a snow day and I have to be sick?” Mom just laughed, plopped the pacifier back in my mouth, and sat there cuddling me until I must have fallen back asleep.
I DIDN’T SLEEP long because I was soon woken up by voices. “Is that really Nick?” I heard and groaned.
I opened my eyes, “Hi Hannah,” I said timidly. Mom was still holding me so I felt some comfort from that.
She held out a cute teddy bear to me that had a ribbon tied around its neck. I couldn’t help but notice it seemed more than half my size! “I thought maybe…” She seemed to lose her words and not be able to speak.
“Thanks Hannah,” I said as I held an arm out to hold it. Mom held onto my waist and kept me from falling off of her lap.
“You’re beary welcome,” she told me with a smile. She hesitated before saying, “Wow, you’re really cute Nick.”
“I haven’t even seen myself,” I said aloud. Through the pacifier I thought it sounded like gibberish, but Mom must have understood it.
“Do you want to?” She asked me as she stood up and leaned me back to look at her.
I grimaced but nodded, “Uh-huh,” I said. She walked me to the bathroom and I saw a really pretty little girl, maybe just a little bit older than Lily, staring at me. My hair was fiery red now, like the color of Merida’s from Brave, and I had green eyes. Not just any green though, it was a dark emerald color that seemed to glow almost - certainly not normal. The pacifier in my mouth must have been swapped at some point because it was a new one that I had never seen my sister with. It was purple with a button of pink flowers on it. It was so girlish I would have to keep it safe from my sister stealing it. I giggled at that.
“What’s so funny?” Mom asked as I kept giggling.
“What’s not funny?” I asked gasping as the pacifier fell from my mouth. “I’m supposed to be eighteen years old and all of the sudden I’m a three-year old baby girl with a pacifier in my mouth that my sister will probably want to steal from me.” I kept laughing.
“Well, you did steal hers first,” she told me with a smile. She sat me down on the ground and I walked towards the bed again.
Surprisingly I felt like I was able to walk normally. The only thing that made me waddle a little was the diaper that was obviously a little bit wet. Hannah had picked up my dropped pacifier and washed it in the sink. I walked over to her and put my arms up in the traditional ‘pick me up’ pose. She obliged and said, “Well, I guess you won’t be worrying about that English essay for tomorrow?”
I smiled, “Somehow I don’t think I’ll get that lucky…”
Mom nodded at me, “We’ll keep you home for now, but you’re going to do all of the assignments and homework from home.”
Just then Dad came in holding my sister. Lily looked at me and frowned, “Nicko?” She still couldn’t say Nicholas yet and that was the closest she could get.
I sighed and said, “Yes Lily.”
“You little like me?”
“You play with me?” She asked with a timid smile.
“Sure,” I said.
Dad had brought some of her favorite dolls with her and I sat down in the bed… crib… with her and just like that we played for an unknown amount of time before I felt my stomach growl. Mom, Hannah, and Dad sat in the corner talking and watching us and paused, having heard it from there. “Are you hungry?”
As if on cue an orderly walked in pushing a cart of food. “Mac and cheese?” she asked Mom.
I groaned; I was going to have to get used to people talking about me as if I wasn’t there…
“Yes, just leave it there.” She told her. “Lily, you’re going to go back home with Daddy and Hannah to take your nap. Hannah’s going to stay with you until later when hopefully we’ll be able to bring Nicholas home.”
“I’m going home tonight?” I asked, surprised.
“The doctor said he’d probably send you home since you woke up. There’s nothing else they can do for you since you’ve stabilized. We have some paperwork to fill out though and they want us to get you tested Monday.”
“I wonder why I haven’t been able to sense any abilities yet?” I asked.
As if it was waiting for that question all of the sudden the world looked very different. I could see all of these weird lines running over the floor every direction I looked. I saw some leading towards my new teddy bear and had a silly thought, ‘She could really use a dress...’ Everyone gasped as there was a small flash and suddenly my new teddy bear had a pretty purple dress on that was perfectly sized.
“Did you do that?” Mom asked suddenly.
“Do it again!” Lily said.
I looked at her bear that she had brought and imagined a pink dress to match. Suddenly there was another flash and she shouted, “You did it Nicko! Thank you!”
Mom looked at me and said, “How did you do that?”
“All of the sudden after I asked what my abilities were, I saw all of these lines…”
Dad sighed, “Well, that’s going to mean we’re going to have to get you taught sooner than later…”
“What?” I asked.
“It means you have a wizard trait,” he explained. “You can do magic.”
“Awesome!” I said before my stomach growled again. The lines were still everywhere so I thought, ‘vision normal?’ I smiled as the lines went away.
“We’ll see you in a bit,” Hannah said and hugged me. I hugged her back and soon Mom had me back on her lap with the tray of macaroni and cheese.
“It might be easier for me just to feed you,” Mom said as she tried to figure out the arrangement for me to have the bowl in front of me. The bed wouldn’t work.
I sighed, “Let’s get it over with,” I said. We managed to get most of it inside my mouth. A couple times she started to bring the spoon up and I turned my head slightly on accident and she missed my mouth. A baby wipe quickly took care of it though and she placed the bowl back on the tray.
“Let’s change your diaper sweetie,” she said.
“I’m not…” then I realized I was wet and finished, “feeling myself going at all.”
“It’s okay sweetheart. I have a feeling between what you were thinking and your body size that this may be a part of life now.” She had just laid me down.
I felt tears going down my eyes. “Forever?”
She didn’t say anything as she pulled the tapes, removed the wet diaper, wiped me, and taped on the new one. “Even if it’s forever, I’ll always love you sweetie.”
“But I’ll never have a normal life.” I said sadly.
“Who’s to say that sweetheart? You may find part of your abilities lets you grow up too!”
Once she had the new diaper on me she carried me back over to the chair and held me. I felt comfortable as she gently patted my back. I fell asleep at some point, because the next thing I knew was Dad was back, and so was the doctor. Mom had woken me up to talk.
“Okay sweetie, we have to have a frank discussion about some things here.”
I nodded and noticed the pacifier in my mouth. I pulled it out and held it so I could talk. “Okay.”
The new doctor looked at me, “I’m Doctor Earnhardt.” He held a hand to me and I took it with his enveloping mine.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Nick… well sort of.” I smiled.
He did too. “Okay, I think you’re out of the woods from the burnout possibilities. Your mom and dad will probably be best off taking you home now. We can’t do that though before we take care of some things.”
“Well, first things first, we need to go to the nurses’ station so I can measure and weigh you.”
I nodded. Mom picked me up and carried me down the hallway where I was placed on a scale, thankfully a normal doctor’s office one, and weighed. “Okay, 20 pounds,” he said.
“That’s it?!?” I asked surprised around the pacifier that had found its way back in my mouth.
“Yeah, I thought you felt lighter than your sister.” Mom said.
“Okay, come over here and lets measure your length.” He measured me against a wall and said, “Okay, thirty-four inches.”
‘I’m an inch taller and five pounds lighter than my baby sister’ I thought to myself. “I’m never going to be able to get a car and drive now…” I moaned aloud.
Mom gave me a hug and we returned back to my room with her carrying me. Back in my room the doctor took out a measuring tape and proceeded to measure the circumference of my head, waist, arms, and just about everywhere else while making notes. He did some reflex tests on my knees and feet. He had Mom remove my diaper and checked my lower end gently for a long awkward moment before telling her to put my diaper back on.
“Okay, honestly you seem to be physically a little bit below weight, but otherwise normal twenty-six-month old girl,” he told me when she was done. “Your reflexes are better though, and I suspect you probably have the physical abilities of an adult or more. Have you tried lifting anything yet?”
I shook my head.
“Put her down on the ground,” he said. He pointed to the chair against the wall. “See if you can move that or pick it up.”
I looked at him skeptically as I was sure it weighed more than twenty pounds! I walked over though and was surprised I could easily lift it up above my head. For fun I threw it up in the air and panicked as it hit the ceiling and bounced back towards me. Somehow, he caught it and said, “Okay, that answers that. Be very careful with your strength. You’ll probably find yourself getting stronger over the weekend. If you’re not careful…”
I nodded, fighting the tears from my eyes. I could hurt my sister. That would be bad.
“You made an appointment at the lab for Monday, right?” He asked Mom.
She nodded, “First thing in the morning.”
“Good, last thing before I write the release papers… We need a different name for you I think.”
Dad had been sitting in the corner just being quiet. “Nicholas, do you want to pick, or do you want us to pick?”
I froze at that and thought, “Can I let you pick but veto it if I hate it?”
He and Mom smiled about that. “Okay,” he said. “We were thinking Sofia,” he said, “spelled with an F.”
“So like the cartoon character?” I asked, unsure if that was a good name or not.
Mom nodded sheepishly, “It was the other name we thought of when Lily was born…”
“And a middle name?”
“Elizabeth like your mom and your sister,” Dad said.
“Okay,” I said.
“Really? You’re not going to fight us on this and throw a fit?” Dad asked, confused.
“No, I’m not, let’s talk about it at home though,” I told him. “Assuming I can go home?” I asked the doctor.
“Yes, you may. I’m going to send a nurse here with the discharge papers. Why don’t you go ahead and get her dressed to leave?”
I started again at the her. ‘I can’t believe it really happened,’ I thought to myself. Mom felt my diaper and said, “It can last until we get home. Which would you like to wear?” She asked me.
She held up three outfits. One was a pretty dress with tights. I actually really liked it, but it was snowy outside if they didn’t have school today. The next was a yellow sweater and a pink set of overalls that had snaps along the legs, and the final set was a pair of jeans and a plain blue sweatshirt. I pointed to the overalls, “That one please.”
She handed me the sweatshirt and I gratefully put it on myself. I stood up and managed to pull the overalls up without too much trouble and buckled the straps unassisted. The nurse came then and before I knew it Mom was sitting in a wheelchair with me holding onto my new teddy bear, now named Amber, getting pushed out to the parking lot where Dad was waiting.
He opened the door I normally got in through and I saw a brand-new purple car seat. “I guess I’m stuck in one of these, huh?” I asked.
“Yes,” Mom said. She pulled the harness straps around me, adjusting them, before buckling me in and closing the door. As we pulled away, I couldn’t help but wonder just what in the world happened to my brain cells that I had to get locked with a body image of a baby girl!
I sat looking ahead at the road from the seat and noted that it was weird to be unable to move as much. I did feel safer though from a collision this way. I couldn’t believe how small I was now… I sat sucking on the pacifier more without noticing for a few minutes and decided to experiment by pulling it out of my mouth. I kept ahold of it in my hand to reassure myself though it wasn’t going anywhere.
“Tired of sucking on that?” I hear Mom ask from the front.
“Experimenting…” I told her.
“Huh?” Dad asked.
I sighed, “How long I can resist it. I assume this is what a smoker feels like while trying to quit.”
“It’s that bad?” Mom asked with concern.
“Not if it’s in my mouth,” I said with a grimace. Trying to change the subject, “So I’m the same size of clothes as Lily now?”
“Well, not diaper wise…” She said.
“You’re lighter and skinnier… you’re actually a size smaller there.”
I groaned, “I am taller than her at least.”
“For now…” Dad said quietly.
I glared at the rear-view mirror in case he looked back. I managed to last with the pacifier out of my mouth until we were pulling into our driveway nearly thirty minutes later. Something about arriving home sent anxiety to my brain. The outside was covered in seven inches of snow or so. I tried in vain to pop the latches myself on the harness, but I couldn’t quite make my fingers hit it from the right angle. I had just decided to try using magic when Mom opened my door and swatted my hands from the straps. “I’ll get that honey.”
I sighed. “I’m not really a baby…”
She raised an eyebrow and said, “I know you’re not… but how about we pretend the rules for your sister apply to you until we get testing done Monday.”
“What day is it anyway?” I asked. “Was I just out the one day?”
“It’s Thursday, you were only unconscious about seven hours.”
“So three days?”
“What, you can’t last that long?” Mom teased, but looked concerned.
I shrugged, “I don’t know actually.”
“Well let’s go inside and let Hannah off the hook from your sister. Your dad is going to drive her home.” She had picked me up and I was easily able to hold onto her and my teddy bear at the same time as she held her hand below my bottom. I could feel that my diaper was squishier than it had been a moment ago, but hadn’t felt anything.
“Can you please change me too?” I asked.
“Did you go again?” she asked me.
I nodded as Dad opened the door for us. “I don’t know when either,” I said with a frown.
She tickled my chin, “No frowning, if you can’t help it, you can’t help it. We’ll deal with it,” she said with a smile and then kissed the top of my head and carried me upstairs. Hannah and Lily had just come from the basement and followed us up there. Lily was climbing up the stairs as best she could.
‘Great, that’ll be embarrassing,’ I told myself as I considered how I would be climbing the stairs the same way now too. ‘The baby gates are taller than me now too,’ I sulked as mom carried me up the stairs.
The most embarrassing experience was a few moments later when I found myself being laid down on Lily’s changing table. Mom didn’t hesitate or give me any warning as she put the strap over my chest and began pulling at the snaps at the crotch. I saw Hannah watching and then she turned away guiltily.
As painfully embarrassing as being naked with a wet diaper was, I decided I had to say something to help with the awkwardness. “So... Hannah… are they planning on there being school tomorrow?”
She looked back over at me and I realized it had to have been hard to understand around the pacifier. My hand pulled away the pacifier and I repeated it.
“Probably, unless we were to get more snow.” She said.
“Can you turn in my essay if I can get it done?” I asked.
“Umm… sure.” She said.
“I have calculus done too,” I said as I felt mom rip the tapes open on the old diaper.
As if she finally caught on that it was okay to look and to talk to me she came back towards me. “Did you figure out that last calculus problem?”
“Sort of,” I said as I tried to distract myself from Mom grabbing my feet in one hand and lifting my bottom while pulling the wet diaper out from underneath. “My dad and I think there’s a mistake. He helped me solve it as far as it could be, and then I also solved it with the corrected problem.”
“Think you can help me with that before he takes me home?” She asked me.
“Sure,” I said as Mom finished taping the new diaper on me. I had done my best to ignore the powder she had used and the whole experience. Especially the embarrassment I was fighting! Mom snapped the crotch of my overalls back closed and set me on the ground. “Now?” I asked.
“I guess,” she responded and we went to my room.
Mom called, “Lily, where are you? Let’s change your diapee while I’m at it.”
My backpack was laying on the floor and I unzipped it without any problems. She looked at the book I was about to grab and was going to offer to grab it.
“I’ve got it,” I told her with a smile.
“That book weighs like a quarter of your weight though,” she started to argue.
I picked it up like I was still her size though. “I may be the size of a baby Hannah, I may even never be potty trained again and need a pacifier…”
All of the sudden I felt tears coming to my eyes, “Where is my paci…?” I started, but she reached down and put it in my mouth. The tears went away, “Fanks,” I said around it with a sigh.
“This sucks!” I said. “Anyway, I’m strong!” I told her with a smile that made its way around the shield.
She shook her head and had a seat on the ground with me. Hannah had grabbed her backpack too and we sat down to talk about it. As we were finishing Lily came in after Mom had finished changing her and pulled at me. “Play with me Nicko?”
I looked at Hannah and winked, “I guess now that I’m a baby I get to play more?”
“All da time!” Lily said and kept pulling at me.
“See you later Hannah,” I told her, knowing she would be leaving now.
She gave me a hug before I let Lily lead me down to her room and we began to play for what seemed like a few minutes when Mom picked us both up. “Come on, dinner time you two,” Mom said.
“Aww…” I heard Lily say and realized my voice joined her.
She took us first to the bathroom where she picked us up to wash our hands, before carrying us down to the kitchen. Lily’s high chair had been joined by another. “You get chair like me!” she said excitedly.
I sighed. “I’m too short for a regular chair now Lily,” I told her. “Couldn’t I use a booster seat though?” I suggested to Mom.
She looked embarrassed, “I don’t think we even thought about that… Would you mind for now?”
I grimaced but said, “Okay.”
Mom put Lily down in her chair first and handed me to Dad. I groaned a bit as Dad buckled the seatbelt and put the tray in place. Mom put one of Lily’s bibs around her neck and seemed to look at me for whether or not she needed to put one on me.
“Nicko bib?” Lily asked.
I shook my head, “I’m a big… girl, I shouldn’t need it.” I said to Mom as much as her.
Mom nodded, “I know you’re still eighteen really… we’ll try it.”
I sighed in relief. Dinner was a piece of pizza it seemed and I asked, “Mom, may I have a fork and a knife?”
She looked at me skeptically, but brought me a regular size fork and knife. I hated eating with my hands, especially pizza, something my mom had no idea where I had gotten that from. I noticed my parents trying not to watch me as I gripped the too large silverware in my hands. I had the coordination still to make the cuts, but they were really too big. I thought for a moment and decided to try something.
I pictured the lines I had seen earlier back in my mind and I could see them on everything again. I visualized the silverware being back to a normal proportion for me and with a quick flash they were!
“What did you do?” Mom asked nervously.
“Same thing I did to make the bears dresses,” I told her with a smile and used the right size utensils to cut a piece of the pizza off. The single piece looked like half of a pizza to me from my new perspective. “May I have a drink please?” I asked her.
She looked at me and shook her head. I watched her go to the cabinets where she grabbed a pink Disney Princess sippy cup for me and filled it with some juice from the fridge. I looked at her like, ‘really?’, but she smirked at me. “You’re going to have to get used to using sippy cups in this house sweetie. I learned a long time ago that until you were about six it was a good idea!”
I sighed, “Whatever,” and took a drink. It really was okay, I didn’t mind the girly cup, but I hated having another reminder of my new situation. ‘How bad is a sippy cup compared to a pacifier addiction?’ I asked myself. With a sigh I went back to eating my meal and had the piece of pizza devoured before my sister had even managed about half of her much smaller slice. I finished the juice too. “May I please have more?” I asked. They had managed not to stare at me and were both surprised I finished the food.
“You need more?” Mom asked.
I shrugged, “I’m hungry I guess.”
Even I was a bit surprised as I finished the third slice a while later and finally began to feel full. “You’re going to be sick later…” Mom said to me as she unbuckled me from the highchair.
“Maybe, maybe not… I’m not really three…”
“No, you’re really more like two, sweetie,” she said to rub salt in the wound, but had a smile on her face.
I turned around and looked at my sister who was standing next to the couch. I watched as she bent her legs for a moment and knew what she was doing. Sure enough, when she stood up she smiled and looked happy for some reason. I was just getting ready to wonder if I was going to be in a similar state when I felt something warm coming out of my rear end. I realized I too was now standing with my knees bent and stood back up shocked. My sister had meanwhile sat down and I swear it looked like she was smushing it all around.
Mom came up from behind me, “Smells like I have a poopie pants around here,” she said.
I just started bawling.
I felt her pick me up and try to soothe me for several moments. It made it worse though because she accidentally smushed some of it against my butt when she picked me up. She carried me upstairs and said, “Lily, come on, I need to change you and your sister and put you in the bath.”
I only sort of registered that or anything else until she laid me back down on the changing table and pulled my coveralls off. I felt her undo the tapes and was surprised that this time I didn’t smell the terrible scent I normally did when Lily pooped her diapers. She gently opened the diaper and began wiping me clean. I was surprised when she sat me back down without putting another diaper on me.
“Ni… Sofia, would you please go wait for us in the bathroom?” Mom said.
I couldn’t do anything but nod at that point. I walked into the hallway bathroom and realized that everything seemed so big to me now. The toilet that I missed already was like a giant chair in front of me. Even if I was potty trained I knew it would be tough to get up and down it all of the time. The tub had begun to seem shallow a long time ago, now it looked like it could swallow me easily. I stood there for just a moment until Mom came in with my sister on her hip.
Lily looked at me, “You have vageena too?”
I sighed. “Yes, I do,” I said.
“But Nicko was boy?” Well, my sister certainly was as intelligent as all of the rest of us.
“I’m not anymore.” I told her.
“You girl just like me?”
“Yes Lily, just like you now,” I told her, “but I’m still the same Nicko you’ve always known.” Mom was listening in as I watched her filling the bath tub and adding bubble bath to it.
She looked at me and I could tell she was really trying hard to think. “You sister now instead of brother?”
I shrugged, hating the fact that I was naked right then. “I guess so Lily,” I told her.
For whatever reason that excited her. “Yay, I have sister!!!!” She suddenly jumped and hugged me. I returned the hug and couldn’t help but notice she was nearly the same height. An inch difference in height wasn’t that much, and it was clear she was bigger. I was careful when I hugged her though knowing my new strength was a bit dangerous.
“Okay my little princesses, arms up in the sky like a ballerina!” I groaned but lifted arms up and let her pull my shirt off after she had taken Lily’s off. I watched her pick Lily up, plunked her gently in the tub, and then she did the same with me. As much as I didn’t want to take a bath with my sister, I couldn’t help but enjoy the playtime with her. Mom pulled out some of her toys and we ended up squirting each other and drawing on the walls with bath markers alternately while Mom washed us and our hair.
She was very gentle as she washed my hair. “Close your eyes Sofia,” she told me gently. I felt her dump several cups of water over my head before she started massaging shampoo into my hair. It felt pretty good really and before I knew it she said, “You can open them now,” just in time for my sister to squirt water in them!
Before I could retaliate, she pulled the plug from the tub and said, “Okay, let’s get you both nice and dry and ready for bed!”
“Do I have to go to bed?” I asked her.
She shook her head, “Not yet, your father and I need to talk with you first.”
I thought for a moment that going to bed might be the better plan! Lily looked like she might whine, but Mom told her, “Sofia will go to bed soon, she’s older though still, so just like before she has a later bedtime.”
Lily looked at her and said, “Okay.”
Mom wrapped both of us with towels and then sat Lily on top of the counter. I watched her take a blow drier and dry her hair while brushing it out. I noticed her wince a couple times as Mom found a ‘snarl’ as she’d learned to call the tangles in her hair. When she was done, she carried her to her room and said, “Sofia, come with me, we’ll come back and do your hair.”
She picked Lily up and sat her down on the changing table. I watched her give her the pacifier she loved and suddenly felt that craving for mine again. I groaned and found my thumb in my mouth before I could even think about the fact my hand was moving to my mouth. Lily was dressed in a pink blanket sleeper and then sat down on her bed. “Next princess,” Mom said with a smirk.
I put my arms up and the towel fell down. Mom placed my naked body on the table and quickly diapered me before pulling my thumb out and replacing it with another pacifier. I found myself relaxing all of the sudden from the change. I shook my head, ‘This is going to get old...’
I had to at least give myself credit for making it from dinner through my bath without it though. Mom asked, “Should I dress you?”
I shrugged, “Do you want to?”
The smile on her face and the gleam in her eye was enough answer. She dressed me in one of Lily’s other sleepers that was purple with white stars on it. Mom sat me down, “Your dad is downstairs if you want to go watch TV with him until I get Lily to bed.”
I realized dad must have brought her bottle up already as it was sitting next to the rocking chair. I felt my jealousy monster roar again then, but I nodded and said, “Okay,” and began walking down the hallway. Being carried so much today this walking business was almost a novelty! I got to the stairs and had to hold back a feeling of panic of looking down the tall staircase! I grabbed the rail tightly and took it one step at a time before making it down. I looked back up and wondered how I was going to deal with those on a regular basis!
I could hear the TV on in the downstairs living room and walked over there. My dad was sitting in his recliner and taking a drink right then. I thought about just walking over to the couch and having a seat, but he opened his arms up and said, “You want to come sit in my lap?”
I had been so jealous of my sister I couldn’t turn that down! I started running and realized a problem as soon as I jumped into his lap. I was moving faster than I should have been. He said, “Oomph,” and I looked to make sure he was okay.
“I’m so sorry Dad! Are you okay?!?” I asked suddenly afraid I had hurt him.
“Thankfully you missed the jewels sweetheart, I’m fine,” he said and hugged me to reassure me. “You need to be really careful though. You look like you’re a baby, but you’re definitely not a normal one!”
I returned the hug and then leaned into his arm to watch the TV show. It was a new episode of one of the CSI spin-offs that I didn’t normally watch. I just didn’t tend to spend much time watching TV between practicing and homework. It suddenly occurred to me, “If I’m stuck like this I’ll never be able to play flute again…”
Dad hugged me, “I’m sure we’ll figure something out. What about piccolo?”
I smiled, “I bet I could do that!”
“Well, maybe we’ll see about getting one for you for Christmas.”
We sat there for about ten more minutes until Mom came down. “Already a daddy’s girl?” She asked teasingly.
I tried to stick my tongue out at her before realizing there was something in the way. I pulled my pacifier out, stuck my tongue out, and then put it back in my mouth. She laughed and came over to pick me up from Dad’s lap. She proceeded to start tickling me without any warning!
“Stop…” I giggled out.
“Okay…” she said. Dad turned off the TV and came and joined us on the couch.
I sighed; this was going to be one of those conversations. “Okay, so what do you want to talk about?”
“A lot of things,” Mom said gently.
“Well... start talking,” I said.
“First off I think we’re going to have to have some ground rules here sweetie,” Dad said.
“Like?” I said and pulled the pacifier from my mouth. I had to force myself to hold it in my lap.
“Well, for one until you get some training, I think no magic in the house would be a good one to start with.”
I looked at him skeptically, “Why?”
He sighed, “Look, some of my work - which you know I can’t talk about - involves some of the after effects of magic. We’ve been trying for the last decade to isolate some of the physics principles that have to be at work behind it. So, that means we have a few magic users in our group that help us out. I’ve heard too many horror stories about them learning to use magic and making hobgoblins and destroying things…”
“Hobgoblins?” I asked.
“They’re kind of like creatures… but come in all sorts of shapes. Normally they start wandering around destroying things and wreaking havoc anytime they appear.”
“Oh,” I said. “Will I be able to learn from someone here?”
Dad shrugged, “We’ll know more on Monday. There’s a school that a lot of other... “
He hesitated, so I added “Mutants,” for him.
He grimaced and nodded before continuing, “go to back east. If you weren’t two years old, I’d have you on the plane next week probably. I’m not sure if they would be willing to have a student who basically needs a daycare though…”
I hit him lightly on the leg. Or I thought it was lightly, he winced. “Sorry Daddy, are you okay?”
“Yes, but that will probably leave a bruise. You’re going to have to be really careful sweetie!” He told me.
I felt some tears in my eyes at that.
He stroked my hair gently, “We’ll get through this, I promise you.”
“So, what else?” I asked Mom.
“Well, I think when we’re out you need to pretend to be a normal two-year-old.”
“So, tantrums, pooping in my diaper at random points, sucking on a pacifier....” I sighed, “I have the second and the third down at least…”
“It wasn’t random at least, it was after dinner just like Lily,” she told me with a smile. “If we had put you on the potty in time you might have gone there.”
I smiled, but shook my head, “I might have by random chance, but I can’t feel when I’m going or need to go at all! Lily will probably be out of diapers before I am again.”
She squeezed my leg gently, “It’s okay though, that’s not the end of the world.” Mom hesitated, but said, “No I mean also things like using a bib, just like your sister, definitely sitting in a car seat, high chairs, etc.”
“Well, partially to protect you,” Dad answered.
“Look, and especially until Monday when you get tested, the MCO is a dangerous group that could come and take you away if something funny happens. Then there’s humanity first, while they don’t have much of a presence in Los Alamos, there are a bunch of those nutjobs in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.”
I nodded at that, “Okay, I get that. Do I have to be a complete baby here though? Can I please have time on my computer, and maybe keep up with my school stuff or something? I had fun playing with Lily tonight, but I’m still eighteen in my mind.”
Dad nodded, “I don’t see any reason why not. I think we may have to move your computer to another room though and give you another bed and redecorate.” He hesitated, “It doesn’t have to be too girly though.”
I took a moment and decided to say, “No, it can be girly, that’s fine. Can we maybe decorate it with Sofia the First stuff? Since you named me after her and all. I mean they made a TV show about me, shouldn’t I have some stuff?” I winked at Dad.
“Why do I get the feeling the girl part of this isn’t upsetting you at all?” Mom asked gently.
‘Here goes nothing’ I thought to myself, “Because it’s a dream come true.”
“You wanted to be a girl?” Dad asked in surprise. His tone was still gentle though.
I nodded, “Since as long as I could remember I thought I had to be one but I had the wrong parts. Now I have the right body… well, sort of.” I grimaced and told them about how I’d been scared to ever say anything to them. I knew I was transgendered and becoming a girl was a dream come true! “Being a baby again really wasn’t in the plans though,” I finished in tears.
“I think that you were focused so much on the simple pleasures of Lily’s life though that you kind of got stuck on it then,” Dad told me softly. He leaned over to me and hugged me. “I love you, never forget that.”
Mom joined in the hug and said, “So do I sweetie, whether you’re eighteen, two, or one-hundred I will always love you.”
“I love you too,” I said to them and was glad that I had parents like these.
We stayed there for a few minutes before I asked, “May I go to my room and get on my computer?”
Mom looked at me for a moment before nodding, “You may, let me check your diaper first though.” I grimaced as Mom felt the crotch of my diaper and said, “A little wet, but I think it’ll hold until bed.” She smiled with that.
“You could ask me to check it myself you know,” I told her. My privacy already felt invaded during the changes.
Mom looked embarrassed herself, “I’m sorry sweetie, I… I guess I’m just used to checking your sister.”
I nodded, I guess I checked her all the time too since she didn’t usually tell us when she was wet. “I’m sorry, I guess that’s natural for you.” I told her and hugged her.
I then hopped off of the couch lightly and headed to my room before the conversation could get any more awkward. I took the stairs a little faster this time. They still seemed gigantic, but I didn’t feel the fear of them. I had to climb up my computer chair awkwardly to get into it before discovering I couldn’t just sit and reach the keyboard. I hopped down and let the chair go as high as it could before climbing back in it. I could sit on my knees and just reach everything pretty much. I noticed my cell phone there and saw Jacob had sent me a whole slew of messages starting with, ‘Hey, do you want to hang out?’ at first to really worried ‘Where the hell are you?’ messages.
I opened my phones unlock screen and sent a text to him. ‘Sorry bro, got… sick. I’m going to be quarantined at home for a while.’
I sent a message to Hannah at the same time, ‘Thanks for watching my sister earlier… and… thanks for being my friend.’
Hannah responded first, ‘You’re soooo cute now! You do realize that?’
I turned red, ‘I know...’
‘So what are you going to do now?’
‘I don’t know. I’m supposed to pretend to be two anytime we’re out and about. If you run into us somewhere go ahead and let loose your maternal instincts I guess.’
‘lol, I’m sorry Nick.’
I paused before sending, ‘It’s okay, but it’s Sofia now… might as well get used to it. I need to go, I’ll ttyl’
I was just about to start browsing the internet when Jacob responded. ‘Dude, are you okay?’
I sighed, ‘Sort of… look, I’ll talk to my parents and maybe you can come over with Hannah Tuesday for us to explain.’
‘You’re acting like you manifested or something...’
‘Tuesday,’ I told him.
‘Okay, I’ll take the hint. I need to go; Mom is yelling at me.’
With that I opened up the internet and typed, ‘Mutant’ into Wikipedia. Of course, everyone knew ‘about’ mutants, but I never thought I would turn out to be one. I searched one website after another looking for information and groaned as I read about BITs, or Body Image Templates that controlled a high-level exemplars body appearance. It seemed like the higher level you were, the more it could change you. I read a few accounts of gender change before, but it seemed like it wasn’t all that common. I didn’t find many listings of anyone getting younger, and none to my age.
I looked at the clock and saw it was almost ten, figuring my mom would be coming in soon. I looked around my room and saw my new black belt laying on top of my dresser still. I wondered if I could even still do those forms. Curious I jumped off my chair and moved to the center of my room where there wasn’t a lot of clutter and began moving through the basic warmup forms all the way to the ones I’d performed last night. Surprisingly I felt like I was even more nimble and sure of myself. The only thing that seemed to be holding me back was the stupid diaper. Until I managed to lick potty training again though I would have to get used to it I was afraid.
I had just run through the final form when Mom came in. She looked surprised to see me in one of my forms - well, I’m sure it looked a little out of place really. “Practicing?” She asked.
“I wanted to see if I could still do everything,” I told her with a smile on my face.
“That’s great sweetie.” She came over and kneeled down to give me a hug. “Look, I know you’re probably not a fan of this, but your father and I are tired and I think it’s time for bed.”
I just nodded, “I understand. Can you change my diaper?”
Mom said, “That was just what I was coming to do!” Mom had my sister’s diaper bag and a changing mat that she laid down on the floor next to me. In next to no time at all she had my sleeper feet off, wet diaper peeled off, wiped bottom, powdered, taped the new one on, and had me redressed.
“You would think you’ve been doing that for the last two-and-a-half years or something?” I told her.
“Well, I had my three years with you before!” She picked me up and started to set me on my bed.
I felt kind of embarrassed, but I pulled the pacifier out of my mouth and asked, “Umm… Mom… my?”
She looked at me strangely, “Yes?”
“I know this may sound kind of weird… but could you put me to bed like you do Lily?” I felt my face flush a bit.
“With a bottle and a story?” She asked, kind of surprised.
I just nodded and put the pacifier back in my mouth, my face now fiery red.
“Sure sweetie,” she smiled, “I’ll be back in a couple minutes.”
Mom disappeared downstairs and came up with one of Lily’s bottles filled with warm milk in one hand, and a book about Rapunzel that was one of Lily’s favorite stories. “You don’t have a rocking chair in here,” she started to say, but all of the sudden there was a pop and one appeared where a bean bag I had on the ground was. “I thought we told you no magic?”
I looked up at her in fear, “I didn’t mean to Mommy, I didn’t do what I did earlier at all!”
‘You didn’t, I did,’ I heard in my head. It was the voice of the lady from last night.