MOM WOKE ME the next morning and life began again. I managed to find some time in between playing with Lily to work on my homework and caught up with the stuff I missed Friday too. Sunday Hannah came over and oohed and awed about my tiara and nursery. Sometime during all of this Lily started to notice that I had a few more baby things like a crib and started asking if she was going to be the big sister from now on. I just groaned.
‘I guess I’m going to have to accept that...’ I admitted to myself.
Before I knew it, Monday had come!
Lily and I were in our car seats with Dad driving and Mom up front. Due to the secret nature of a lot of the work at Los Alamos National Labs, the lab setup a testing facility in town for if any of their personnel had kids manifest. Mom changed our diapers before we walked in with Dad carrying Lily and Mom carrying me.
It seemed simply like walking into a doctor’s office to me as we approached a receptionist. “Do you have an appointment?” She asked.
“Nicholas Hammerstein” she said.
“Where is Nicholas?” She asked.
Mom patted my back, “Right here.”
She stared for a moment before saying, “Whoa… that’s different…” She shook her head and then added, “Okay, please fill out this questionnaire, and we’ll be calling… her back shortly.”
We sat and filled out the forms together, essentially telling them the various things that had changed about me, symptoms of powers, etc. Under ‘Any New Disabilities,’ we wrote down incontinence. Embarrassing! About fifteen minutes after our appointment time they called, “Nicholas Hammerstein?”
Mom walked with me and quietly asked, “May I go back with her?”
He hesitated for a moment as he looked at me, but shook his head, “Sorry, he’s originally eighteen, correct?”
“Yes sir,” she replied.
“In that case you’ll have to wait outside. I promise we’ll take good care of her.”
“Okay then,” Mom said, hugged me, “good luck.”
“Thanks,” I said.
I followed the gentleman dressed in military fatigues into an examination room that looked like a standard doctor’s office. “I’m Lieutenant Commander Fields, let’s get you weighed and measured,” he said.
“Okay,” I responded.
We went through what would be a typical doctor’s exam, including blood work, before he asked, “So basically when you mutated your BIT turned you into a two-year-old baby girl?” He asked.
“Well this is a first for me, maybe anywhere for that matter... I’m sure this has got to be really hard on you. Your survey states you have no ability to control your bladder or bowel movements?”
I shook my head, “And I have some really weird needs and addictions to things like pacifiers,” I told him about a few other things too.
“Well let’s get going on the tests then. I have some different staff members that will test you on different things for your levels for your MID card.”
The first room they led me to had a table of electronic components, gears, and other things sitting in various piles. The tester sat me down on the table so I could reach them. I played with them for about ten minutes, probably looking like a typical two-year-old playing while I was at it, but couldn’t make anything useful from it at all.
“Okay then,” the tester said as he opened a door and led me back down a hallway. “Did you bring a more practical set of clothing?” He asked.
I looked down and thought about the fact a dress probably wasn’t the most practical clothing. “Oh… umm…”
‘I’ll take care of it,’ Caireen said.
In a flash my dress changed to an emerald colored leotard with a tutu attached. ‘Really? A tutu?’ I groaned at her. I could feel the edges of my diaper sticking through the bottom of the leotard and knew I had to look as adorable as my sister going to her beginning ballet class each week.
I sensed laughter from her.
“That’ll work I guess,” the tester allowed with a smirk.
I was led into a room and he simply said, “Do your best to not get hit and avoid the balls.”
That was his only instruction. I sat there for several moments before I heard a pop from behind me and ducked just in time to see a rubber ball go flying past me. After that it seemed like they came non-stop. Somehow though I could just sense them before they arrived and I kept dodging for a long while before I finally got hit.
“Very good,” the tester said when he returned for me. “Let’s get the rest of the physical tests done…”
I thought for a moment about a feeling in my stomach and groaned. Without having any control of it I squatted and messed my diaper. “Can I get a diaper change first?” I said with a whine and a groan.
He looked at me in shock and said… “Umm… just a minute. Let me… uh… Let me go ask what we should do.”
I stood in that spot with a poopy diaper, made worse by the leotard smushing it, for about ten minutes before Mom came in with the diaper bag. She picked me up, “Where should I change her?”
The man led her to a medical room where she lay me down on the table. She giggled as she did so, “You realize your poopy diapee just about broke that poor man.”
“Huh?” I asked sniffling, trying not to cry over the sticky state of my bottom as she popped some snaps that were in the crotch of my leotard
“I don’t think they’ve ever had a two-year-old mutant before… And I’m certain if they did, they were potty-trained,” her eyes were twinkling.
I groaned and did my best not to cry or beg for my pacifier. I wanted to seem a little bit more grown up, so I had left it intentionally with her in our diaper bag... One poopy diaper certainly ruined any hope of that image!
“By the way, you look adorable in this leotard and tutu!”
After a few minutes of mom magic she had me cleaned up and ready to move on with the rest of the testing. “All done?” a different tester asked as Mom returned me where I was.
“Yes,” I said.
“Ma’am if you’ll please go back out to the lobby… we’ll come get you if she needs another change, otherwise please wait there.” Mom sighed but turned and left while I followed the tester to a massive room with an obstacle course of ropes, beams, bars, and other things there.
It was like the world’s biggest playground in my mind as the lady described the path. It was really intimidating and scary with the massive size of it! I began thinking of it like a playground though and just started running. I’m sure there were probably some stunned looks as I completed it in a respectable time, even with my size! I discovered while I was going through it that I could now leap some pretty large distances. Combined with the strength I already had discovered, it meant I really was only held back by my short legs. I certainly wasn’t a speedster, but at least I could probably make it faster through the course than a normal human.
This lady verified my lack of speedster ability by setting me on a treadmill next. A ten-minute mile wasn’t too bad for a two-year-old I thought! I was able to keep running for four miles before she told me I could stop.
“Okay, final physical test,” she told me skeptically as she took me to a weird weight setup. “We’re looking for single max reps,” she started the machine at my weight of twenty pounds.
“I can do this all day,” I told her as I pushed up. “You sure there’s my weight on there?
“Yes… let’s bump it up.”
We sat there for a long while, probably longer than necessary due to her caution, before I finally said we’d hit my limit after doing 550 pounds. “This should be impossible…” she told me.
“I know, right?” I shook my head. “Believe me, when you’re an eighteen-year-old thrown into the body of a two-year-old baby girl who’s not potty trained… it’s starting to seem less impossible!”
She laughed. “Speaking of which, do you need a change?”
I felt my diaper and sheepishly nodded. Whether it was pee or sweat, I did. “Can you get my Mom?”
“Or I could just change you?” She suggested. “I have one of my daughter’s diapers in my bag over there.”
I groaned but decided it would speed things up. “I guess…”
She returned from her bag by a desk with a diaper that was a different brand but the right size. “What’s your name?” I asked.
“Lara,” she said.
“Thank you for changing me,” I said as she finished.
“You’re welcome sweetheart. I understand you changed your clothes yourself earlier?”
I nodded, “Sort of… that was Caireen.”
“Who is she?”
I was cautious, “She’s a spirit that I bonded with.”
“Diapers beyond her?”
“I don’t know, she and I need to have that conversation though.” I noticed she was staying silent.
‘I can do it… but I’d rather you be dependent on your mom or another adult like a normal baby for now.’
“Apparently she’s choosing not to,” I told Lara.
“If you want to get back dressed to regular clothes, we’re done with the sweaty portions.”
‘Please?’ I asked Caireen.
A moment later I wasn’t dressed in the outfit from this morning, but instead the first emerald dress from a few days ago. I could feel that the tiara had made its way back on my head too. ‘Any reason?’
‘I think they’re going to take a picture later; this would be a good costume for you honestly.’
“You’re so adorable!” Lara let out a squeal before looking a bit sheepish. It was funny to see her act like that with her lab coat on.
“I know…” I sighed. “So, where to next?”
She led me to another tester that tested magic ability with a bunch of crystals and other devices. Things kept happening with every test so I’m pretty sure the tester was impressed. I was asked some questions and described seeing the lines and being able to interact with them. “Whoa…” He said, and I guessed that was a big deal.
“Now about this spirit you bonded with?”
‘Should I be honest?’ I asked.
‘Yes, in this case,’ Caireen responded.
“She’s not really a spirit... “I started, “She’s actually a goddess.”
I watched the blood drain from the guys face as he kept making notes in his computer. “Her name?”
I watched as he searched for several minutes and then he asked a dozen more other questions. Finally, he sat down his tablet, “Okay… let me take you to the last stop.”
The final part of the testing was my regeneration. They started by pricking my finger and eventually making cuts on my arm that healed quickly. This sucked as it hurt! I really wanted my pacifier by the time he was done cutting me. Each time it didn’t take too long for the wound to heal. When they reached the point of wanting to cut off one of my fingers I said, “No more!”
They made some final notes before I was led to an office with Lieutenant Commander Fields again. “Okay, you want your new name to be Sofia Elizabeth Hammerstein, correct?”
“Okay, just to explain a few things to you. Due to your father’s work for the lab you’re being given a Military Mutant ID card instead of a standard MID. Quite frankly it can save you a lot of hassle from the MCO.” He shook his head in disdain at that organization. “On your card I’m listing your actual birthdate and age of 18, as well as your apparent age of two years old.”
I grimaced, “So which am I legally?”
“Both,” he said with a smile. “I guess your parents can take advantage of free admission and kids meal pricing at a lot of places with you! But, in theory you could get your driver’s license if you get a car adapted to your size.”
“Cool!” I said. “Somehow I don’t think my parents are going to go for that anytime soon…”
“I can understand that,” he paused, “You’d probably get pulled over by the police every other block!” He laughed and I giggled a little bit at that picture. “I’d like you to go over the information we’re placing in your file, but there’s one more thing we’ll need and that’s a code name.”
I thought for a moment and responded, “Emerald Baby.”
“You don’t think that might be a problem name?”
I shook my head, “I’m a baby, probably for the rest of my life. If I embrace the nickname maybe I’ll get less grief for it.”
“Fair enough.” He smiled a bit, “Okay, this is all going to be listed on our file, but this won’t be listed on your card. We choose not to share everything with the MCO if we can avoid it.”
“Okay,” I said as I looked at the screen of the tablet, he showed me.
Military MID 99-382385-3928-5
Name: Sofia Elizabeth Hammerstein
Code Name: Emerald Baby
Birth Date: 11-3-1997
Apparent Age: 2 Years
Height: 35” Weight: 20lbs
Avatar: Level 5, Esper: Level 3, Regen: Level 3, Wizard: Level 4+, Exemplar: Level 4
Legally recognized as both original birth age and apparent age per her requests.
Additional information was stored about Caireen in the database, but not listed the card itself. A picture that had been taken with me in my ‘costume’ was on the card. “Okay, now for some of the ground rules. You must always have this card with you to show the MCO - if you don’t, they will arrest you. Keep in mind that with your size I really don’t think you want to be dealing with them any more than you have to.
“Do they have any way of recognizing me as a mutant on sight?” I asked, curious.
“Facial scanners will pick you up now that you’re in the system, but also sweetie I hate to tell you - those beautiful emerald eyes of yours just aren’t quite natural.”
I nodded. “Am I done now?”
“Yes, you are,” he handed me a packet of information on some other laws and resources. “Follow that hallway and it’ll lead you to your family.”
I skipped out of there, so happy to be done!
I leaped up to Mom when I saw her and showed her my card. “Good, glad we have that done!” Mom said. “Do you need changed? It’s been a long time?”
I thought about it, “Probably, but I was changed again by a nice lady that was testing me.” I told her. “May I please have my pacifier?” I asked in my next breath with the voice of an addict.
Mom smiled, put one in my mouth, before we found a bathroom that she could change me in. I felt really embarrassed as another teenage mutant with fur on her arms came in and went to the bathroom while mom had me on the changing table. She just smiled at me though, probably thinking I was a normal baby girl. After she had me changed Mom helped me put my coat on before I was reunited with my dad and sister in the car. They had to leave the waiting area because Lily was getting bored and started to cause a scene.
“All done?” Dad asked me as Mom bucked me into my seat.
We waited until we drove home and were inside on the couch before they started asking me about the testing. “I can’t believe I pooped my diaper there…” I wrinkled my nose.
“Sweetie, your body is a two-year-old’s body. Trust me, you’ll be going poopy at the most embarrassing times!”
“I wish Caireen would just change me or teach me a spell to do so though!”
Mom laughed, “She said she will eventually last night when we talked to her.”
“You were asleep by then.” Mom told me.
“So how did the rest of the testing go besides your poopy diapee?” Mom asked with a smirk.
I was half tempted to throw my pacifier at her that I had a death grip on, but I thought better of that. “Do you really want to know it all?” I asked hesitantly.
Mom and Dad nodded.
“Okay…. Well they started off by showing me a whole bunch of electronics that apparently were supposed to do something. Don’t ask me what!” I said a little embarrassed, “After a while they decided I was clueless there they asked me if I had another change of clothes and Caireen changed me into that leotard and tutu.”
Mom grinned, “You looked soooooo cute!”
I stuck my tongue out at her, “I always look cute apparently!”
Lily laughed at that. She was sitting in Dad’s lap right then while I was sitting on the opposite side of the couch from Mom so I could look at everyone.
“You do,” Mom agreed. “As does Princess Lily,” she smiled at my sister to keep her from feeling left out.
“Anyway,” I said with some exaggeration, “they took me into a room and didn’t really tell me what was going on other than, ‘dodge the balls.’” I paused for a drink out of the sippy cup of juice I was holding in my other hand. “It took them awhile, I have a feeling they were re-calibrating it for my height or something, but I sensed a ball coming and dodged it. A whole lot more followed before I finally got hit when there were a whole lot in the air at once.”
“What was that supposed to test?” Mom asked.
“Danger sense and being able to tell the future or something,” I told her.
“After that he was going to take me to the next test when I embarrassed myself… After you got done changing me, I was taken into this room that was a huge ropes and obstacle course. I didn’t think I would honestly be able to do anything with it due to my size, but it was no problem at all. In fact, other than the parts where running happened and my legs don’t give me a long stride, I apparently did pretty well above average.”
“You got to play?” Lili asked jealously.
“Sort of Lily,” I told her, “It wasn’t a lot of fun though,” I lied to her. “They had me run on a treadmill then. I’ve slowed down there as I’m only running a ten-minute mile… but I guess for my height that’s considered pretty good.”
Dad nodded, “I think you’re probably much faster than any other two-year-old!”
“Well, and I was able to run the distance too. I think they had me run like four miles without stopping.”
“What else did they do?” Dad asked.
“Well, they ran me through a bench press test.”
“How much?” He asked, he had sensed my smile.
“550 pounds,” I said with a smile.
Dad whistled and Mom looked a little uneasy. “How is that even physically possible I wonder…?” Dad said thoughtfully. “Within all reason a twenty-pound body should never be able to do that…”
“They were just as confused Dad,” I smiled. “The lady there was nice enough to change me then and Caireen switched my clothes back out to this dress. Apparently, she wanted me to look good for the picture on my card,” I felt her mentally smirk and nod to me. “They then did some magic tests. I guess I’m a weirdo there too because I got the impression that they couldn’t really test higher than that.” I debated about the healing test, but said, “Then they tested my regeneration.” Dad flinched at that; he apparently knew what they did. Mom looked a little lost. “They tested how well I could heal from cuts.”
“They cut you?!?!?” Mom asked concerned.
“You can’t even tell,” I said as I showed her the underside of my wrist where they tried. She spent several nervous moments examining it before agreeing. “Apparently I have some regen ability too.”
“So what did they list your powers as?” Dad asked quickly to change the subject.
“Well I’m an Avatar Level 5 since I am hosting Caireen. I think that might be higher, but that’s what he put down. Apparently from the ball attack test they decided I’m an Esper Level 3, I have Level 3 Regen abilities, I’m a Level 4 Exemplar, and they put down 4 plus for my Wizarding skills.”
Dad whistled again, “They ran out of tests with you then on the magic skills. You’re a higher ability level probably than any of the people I have working with me.” I could see some wheels turning in his head, “Rachel, we really need to send her to Whateley.”
Mom nodded, “They were talking about sending someone out to see us when I called them earlier.”
“Sending someone out?” I asked surprised, “Isn’t that really expensive for a school?”
“Depends on who you’re talking about sweetie, in their case they may have a warper that can just bring the person on out here without even getting on a plane or wasting too much time.” Dad said.
Right then Mom’s cell phone began to ring. “Hello? This is she.” I heard her say some uh-huhs and such for several moments before she said, “Okay, tonight at eight would be fine for us.” She ended the call and looked at me, “Apparently they saw something on your testing that bumped up their interview. They’ll be here at eight.”
I looked at the clock and saw it was almost four. I had missed lunch and was suddenly starving. “I’m hungry…”
Mom laughed, “Tell you what, why don’t we go out to eat?”
“Okay,” I said. She proceeded to pick me up and told Dad, “You’re on diaper duty with Lily honey.”
He stood up with Lily without a word and we were both taken to our rooms for us to be changed. “You know, in most houses you two would be sharing a room so we only had to keep track of one changing table,” she said as she looked down underneath, “We’re going to have to go buy you some more diapers.”
I just sucked on the pacifier that had reattached itself to my face and nodded. Mom had me changed quickly and asked, “Do you want a less conspicuous outfit on now?”
I thought about it for a second and nodded. ‘I hope you don’t mind Caireen,’ I said.
I felt her laugh, ‘Go for blending in.’
Mom picked out a purple one-piece romper that had hearts and flowers on the front of it and quickly undressed me and redressed me. “We need to figure out how you’re going to keep your MID on you sweetheart.”
I nodded… I didn’t know where though. ‘Caireen you have any way for me to keep it on me? I’m a little worried of losing it since most of my clothing isn’t about storing stuff...’
‘Here,’ she said and a cute purple purse decorated with Princess Sofia appeared.
‘Put your MID in there,’ she insisted.
“Mom, can you hand my MID to me?” I asked. She was of course staring at me again.
“Here,” she said.
I placed it inside there and asked, ‘Now what?’
‘Think ‘put away,’’ she told me.
I did and it vanished. ‘How do I get it back?’
‘Just imagine it back in your hand.’
I did so and then put it away a few times before realizing Mom was glaring at me. “Sorry, Caireen was giving me a lesson and helping me put it somewhere safe.”
“Okay Princess, let’s go then,” she said a little bit on the cranky side herself. I hoped she would get to be in a better mood. Mom held the diaper bag on her shoulder while she carried me and Dad had Lily still. When both of us were strapped in our car seats we headed off to our favorite restaurant in town. We walked into the restaurant and were greeted by the hostess.
“Two adults and two high chairs please,” Mom said.
I refrained from glaring at her since we’d talked about this. I’d have a bib on too I was sure. My only real question was how I was going to get enough to eat! Mom and dad set us in the wooden high chairs that sat on opposite sides of the table and then Mom sat next to me and Dad next to Lily. “Here you go sweetie,” the lady said to us as she put a coloring mat in front of us that I could just reach at the table. I felt Mom push me in a little bit farther to be able to reach.
“Twins?” The lady asked confused.
“No, she’s older,” Mom said pointing to me. “Just hasn’t started really growing yet,” Mom added.
“They’re adorable, your waitress will be right with you.”
Mom and I quietly talked before she agreed to order a combination plate (chile relleno, taco, shredded beef enchilada, and cheese enchilada) for me to split with my sister. She would only want the taco and a little bit of the beans and rice Mom knew. I admitted my wimpy new status when I agreed green chile on the side was a better plan than smothering the plate. Once she had taken our orders mom asked her to fill our sippy cups up with some milk and then put bibs on both of us.
I was sitting like that when I saw Jacob come in with his family.
“Oh no,” I said quietly to Mom, “Jacob is here!”
“Relax,” Mom told me.
I sucked on my pacifier fervently as he saw us and looked obviously for the missing person, me.
“Hi Mrs. Hammerstein, Doctor Hammerstein,” he said. “Where’s Nick?”
“He’s still at home sick,” Mom said smoothly with a smile, “he’s going to be out for a while I’m afraid.”
“That’s too bad… any chance I could stop by and see him?”
“Why don’t you and Hannah come by tomorrow after school?” Mom suggested. Jacob had a car and had long been designated as our trio’s taxi driver.
“Okay, sounds good,” he said and then stared at both Lily and I. As he looked at me he asked, “Who’s the other cute baby girl?”
“Oh, that’s Sofia, she’s a friend of Lily’s that we had over today while her Mom does some shopping in Albuquerque.”
“Okay,” He said. “Anyway, I’d better go join my parents, tell Nick we’ll see him tomorrow and bring his homework.”
“Thanks Jacob!” Mom said.
“See, it’s all fine.” She said to me after he left.
“No, it’s not,” I said trying not to cry.
“What do you mean?”
“I pooped my diaper again.”
Mom laughed, picked me up, the diaper bag up, and told Dad, “We’ll be right back. Someone is a poopie pants.”
I was so embarrassed to have my diaper changed in a bathroom that seemed to have a long line of ladies and girls waiting for the stalls, but a clean diaper was worth it, I guess.
Mom carried me back and placed me in the high chair just in time for the food to arrive. After she split off my sisters’ portion, she left the main plate in front of me. There were a few stares from the waitress as she came by and saw my devouring the plate. Mom had been thoughtful enough to provide me with the miniaturized silverware I made the other day. “I can’t believe she ate all of that,” the lady said as she dropped off the check.
“How is she so tiny?”
“High metabolism,” Mom said and kind of glared at me. We were probably going to have this problem on a normal basis though, she was going to have to deal with it. As it was, I was still hungry. On our way out, Mom stopped in the bathroom to change Lily and decided she could skip me until we got home for me.
I thought we were heading home, but instead we stopped at Safeway. “Honey do you want to stay in the car with the girls while I make a quick stop inside?” She asked Dad. “I need to go buy Sofia some more diapers and probably some more wipes and stuff for both the girls.”
He nodded and I found myself watching Tangled on the cars DVD player with Lily to kill the time. Mom came back out to the car not too much later with a large box of diapers and a couple of sacks of stuff that she put in the back.
I was glad to have been spared the embarrassment of going inside to purchase diapers for me!
“Come play!” Lily demanded when we got home at seven.
“Okay, until our visitor gets here,” I told her.
“Actually, I’ll be giving her a bath at 7:30, so you have thirty minutes,” Mom told us.
“Sorry Lily, I promise I’ll play with you all morning tomorrow!” I said as I knew today had to have sucked for her.
“Pwomise?” she asked.
“Pwomise,” I smiled and said right back the same way.
In the end we sat and fed a couple of baby dolls and changed their clothes and diapers before Mom came for her to get her in the bath. Mom had just finished putting Lily to bed when there was a quiet knock on the outside of our front door precisely at 8pm.
“Is this the Hammerstein residence?” a woman’s voice asked.
“Yes, I’m Doctor Hammerstein,” Dad said, “I assume you’re from Whateley?”
“Yes, we are, my name is Elizabeth Carson, I’m the Headmistress, and this is Elyzia Grimes, one of our mystic arts faculty members and the head of our junior high program.”
“Please come in,” he said. I was sitting on the couch waiting for them nervously when they came up, I jumped down.
“And who is this pretty little girl?” the lady who hadn’t really spoke much asked.
“Sofia Hammerstein,” I said with a curtsey I hadn’t planned on but seemed innate, “How do you do?”
“Wait a second,” she said and her eyes opened. “This is the young lady we’re here to see?” She asked Mrs. Carson.
“You can see why I asked you?” she replied.
“I can’t handle another one!!!” she told her in a soft but scared voice.
“I promise I don’t think she’ll be like the others you had,” she said with a smile. “She doesn’t need to go stealing essence everywhere.”
“Where are our manners, please sit down, may I get you anything?” Dad said nervously. “My wife will be right down; she’s just putting our youngest to bed.”
“I’ll take a glass of water,” Mrs. Carson said and Mrs. Grimes agreed with her. I had a feeling they did that just to give him a way out.
When they came in, I forced the pacifier from my mouth, but it was still clutched in my hand. I tried to put it on the couch behind me, but couldn’t seem to release it.
“So, Sofia, what can you tell us about yourself?” Mrs. Carson asked.
“Well, until last week I was a skinny eighteen-year-old boy… I liked playing in band and did well in my classes like most of the kids at LAHS. I just tested for my second-degree black belt last week in Tae Kwon Do...” She nodded. “I also really loved helping take care of my baby sister Lily - kind of hard to do now.” I paused and politely asked, “May I ask why you came so soon to see me?” After a second, “And how’d you get here?”
Mom came in right then and Dad returned with the glasses in hand too, “Hi, I’m Rachel Hammerstein,” Mom introduced herself. “Elizabeth Carson,” Mrs. Carson stood and extended her hand, “and this is Elyzia Grimes,” she added as Mom also shook her hand before coming to the couch where I was sitting, picking me up, and plopping me on her lap.
I sighed, “So?”
Mrs. Carson smiled, “You’re a driven individual, aren’t you? Well, you’ll definitely need that. I came so soon because the head of the testing lab called me and explained your situation. He seems worried that you are extraordinarily powerful and also may stand out a bit.”
I blushed, “How can a baby stand out?”
She laughed, “Your size is certainly among the more unique mutations I’ve seen, but in my experience, I doubt that will hold you back in the future. Just how much…” she seemed to be fighting for words.
“I think what Mrs. Carson is trying to ask is this, how much do you act like a baby?” Mrs. Grimes prompted.
I really blushed then. Mom answered before I could, “The diapers are something I don’t think she’s going to be able to help. As far as I can tell she lacks any of the potty-training readiness that they tell you to look for in babies. She’s actually I think behind the age they figure she is for that. Other than that, she behaves pretty much like she did as a teenager. Her only real babyish thing that she can’t seem to escape is a need for her pacifier,” Mom said while holding my hand up that was keeping it in a death grip.
“Intelligence hasn’t changed, and maturity hasn’t changed?” Mrs. Carson asked.
“Not that I’ve seen. She’s played with her sister a bit more and might be enjoying it more, but that may just be because she knows it looks normal now.” Mom said.
“Can she take care of her own needs?” Mrs. Grimes asked.
I cringed as the conversation continued around me like I wasn’t even there… I had to jump in myself, “Well, I can change my clothes magically and normally still,” I answered, “Diaper changes seem to be the one thing I have to be dependent on others for so far. Caireen seemed to indicate she’ll eventually teach me to do it with magic, but she wants me to get into the role first or something.”
I felt her nod before she said, ‘I will teach you the magic to change yourself in a few months.’
I sighed, “She said in a few months she’ll teach me that.”
“Okay, so when would you want to send her out to us?” Mrs. Carson asked my parents.
“She’s accepted?” Dad asked in surprise.
“Oh, most definitely. We’ll have to deal with the logistics of having a toddler as a student, but I honestly think she’ll do very well at Whateley. Other than the oddity of her transformation she is pretty much what we look for in a student that will excel at Whateley.”
“What grade would I be in?” I asked timidly. “Assuming you run the school by grades?”
Mrs. Carson sighed, “I don’t honestly know yet. I brought Mrs. Grimes with me because she has had a number of young ladies as Junior High students the last ten years. Currently she has five that she takes care of. There’s not an elementary or preschool at our institution for us to even think of those as options. I looked at the transcripts your Mom faxed us over the weekend and I think you would normally be listed as a sophomore on entry to our school.”
“I have to go back two grades?” I groaned.
“Would it be better to go ahead and have her be in the junior high?” Mom asked. I glared at her as she was not helping!
Mrs. Carson said, “Maybe, but I think the high school level is where all of her classes will be, so we might do well to consider her to be a high schooler. Or maybe we’ll consider her an eighth grader to finish out the year.... She’s not going to grow I don’t think, so it’s not like waiting for her to get older will do any good. I’ll probably try and find a high school junior to pair her up with or something…”
“And changes?” Mom asked.
“I’m going to look into what our best options are for her.”
‘You’ll need space for a crib,’ Caireen told me.
‘Yes baby, that won’t change.’
I sighed. “Caireen says I need space for a crib in my room instead of a normal bed.”
“She’s the goddess that you’ve bonded with, correct?” Mrs. Carson asked.
“Yes ma’am,” I replied.
“May I speak with her?” She asked.
I said, ‘All yours,’ to Caireen and felt her take over.
“Good evening, I am Caireen,” I heard her say through me.
“Good evening Your Majesty,” Mrs. Carson said. “I assume you know all of what we spoke about?”
“Yes, ma’am I do.”
“Do you foresee any issues with Sofia coming to our school?”
“No, she should be more than fine. I will ask that you either provide a crib and changing table for her, or I can create them when we get there. She will need an older student or adult to help her several times through the day.”
“You won’t help her with that?”
“No, I believe it’s in her best interest to learn to blend in by being just as needy as any two-year-old is.”
Mrs. Carson looked thoughtful, “Okay, would you let Sofia rejoin us?”
I came back from the closet it seemed like, “Yes ma’am?”
“Would you be okay if I basically assign an older student as a big sister/caregiver?”
I sighed, “I hope I don’t regret it, but I should be fine.”
“Okay, I have a student in mind in Poe Cottage that should do well. She’s a junior, so she’ll be able to be around next year too.”
“So, when do I come?” I asked nervously.
“Well, after Christmas Break seems wise right now. You have a month and a half then to get used to things before coming out.”
“Will she be safe around here that long?” Dad asked her.
“I’m not sure honestly. If it seems like it would be better for her to come out sooner please let me know. We can get her in sooner, but there are a lot of pieces we probably should have in place first. Not least of which are Caireen’s requests.” She paused, “Best bet is pretend she really is two anytime you’re away. Any magic should be done only under Caireen’s supervision, and keep a low profile.”
‘Should be easy enough...’ I thought sadly.
‘Don’t be so sure...’ Caireen said, and I thought I could detect some worry.
“Well, I guess we should be going. If we need to take her sooner please call this number immediately.” Mrs. Carson said handing her a card, “It’ll get to me no matter what and we can make emergency arrangements.”
“Thank you for coming to see us.” Mom said to her.
“Our pleasure,” Mrs. Grimes said and to me, “I look forward to seeing you at school Sofia. You’re going to turn a lot of heads!”
Once they were out the door Mom said, “Okay, bath time,” and without any hesitation picked me up and carried me upstairs. She started the bathwater, stripped me, and washed me quickly. “What time is it?” I wondered suddenly.
“Ten,” she answered, “Time for baby girls to be in bed,” she said as she dried my hair.
Mom took the time to heat up a bottle and fed me just like the previous nights. It had been a long day and I went to sleep during another story before it had even really begun.