Chapter Description: Janet has gone from one of Clark's work friends to his new "Mommy" and couldn't be more thrilled.
The car ride to Janet’s house was easily the longest car ride in my life. It wasn’t because Janet lived particularly far away from school. Distance had little to do with it, though sitting in a pink backwards facing car seat didn’t help my sense of spatial orientation.
It wasn’t because I suddenly had to pee despite throwing up a ton of water. My bladder had little to do with it, though when a toilet is strapped around your ass, you suddenly become hyper aware of every rumble and twinge. Had I been in underwear, I probably wouldn’t have registered the slight need to urinate.
It wasn’t because I was panicking and bemoaning my very new existence as a captured Little. That would come later. In any catastrophe, the shock and numbness comes first as mind and body flails desperately to protect themselves. The real pain always comes later, assuming you’re lucky enough to survive.
What made that particular car ride seem so incredibly long to the point of it being its own tiny eternity, was that Janet wouldn’t get off her damn phone almost the entire ride.
“Hello? Jessica? I’m a Mommy!” I winced as she squealed and her friend on the other line screamed. How could people so big manage to get their voices so high? “I’m so happy, you have no idea! His name is Clark! Yes! That Clark!” I looked in the mirror mounted in front of me. It was angled so that I could see the reflection of Janet in the rearview mirror. Our backs were to each other, but eye contact was still feasible; almost unavoidable. Hers were sparkling with delight. Mine were all but obfuscated by the fuzzy main of a stuffed lion. “Yeah! Yeah! He’s soooo cute you have no idea! Okay! I’ve got to make more calls!”
She hung up. Giddily, she waved in the mirror at me. I just buried my face in the stupid stuffie, while she “Awwwwed” and squealed like a girl with her first kitten. It made sense. Littles were pets. Dolls. And I was one of them, now.
“Hello, Shiela? Guess who’s a Mommy?!” Again. More screaming. You’d think she won the lottery. “No. No. I didn’t need an agency. Not a girl.” My blood ran cold. When Amazons wanted baby girls, they got them….one way or another. “Poor Little thing just fell into my lap! I’m SOOOO happy! Thank you! Okay, talk to you later! Love you! Bye!”
I’d never seen Janet this happy. I don’t think I’d seen any Amazon this happy before. She was a wino getting her first sip. What was going to happen to me? “Janet?” I called out. Through our reflections, she made eye contact with me, but didn’t respond. “Janet?” I called again.
There was this strange anticipation in her eyes. A bizarre kind of hope. It was the first time I’d opened my mouth since she’d taken me in her arms. I was too shocked to say anything when she signed the custody papers promising to take responsibility for me. I was terribly mute as she strapped me in the car seat. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Of course you can, sweetie!” Her voice was still a stack of giddy pancakes, now with extra sweet syrup. “What can Mommy do for you?” There was that word. She was trying it out, seeing how she liked it on her tongue. But more importantly, she was hoping to try it out and see how it felt coming out of my mouth.
“Why are you making so many phone calls?”
My ex-friend turned captor giggled like I’d said something particularly precocious. “Because Mommy wants to tell all of her friends how excited she is and how happy she is to have you!”
Right then I prayed to whatever might listen: Please don’t ask if I’m happy. Please don’t ask if I’m happy. Please don’t ask if I’m happy. Please don’t ask if I’m happy. Please don’t ask if I’m happy. Please don’t ask if I’m happy.
I was terrified that I might answer truthfully.
Thankfully, she didn’t just then. All praise whatever angel doles out small miracles.
“Why don’t you just send out a group text?” I asked. If nothing else I wouldn’t be forced to have to listen to the same giddy screeching about my lack of personhood over and over again.
“Because silly,” Janet said, “I’m so happy that I want to experience it again and again and again!” She was trying to draw the moment out. Making the buzz last for as long as she possibly could. Teasing out her own masturbatory fantasy. “And if Mommy sent out a group text, her friends would still be calling her to congratulate us.”
Us. Congratulate us. As if I had any say in this. Any at all. I wanted to scream. I also wanted to avoid being gagged, so instead I just buried my face into the lion stuffie.
“Awwwwww!” Her eyes went back to the road and her auto dialer.
“Hello, Chelsea? Guess who’s a Mommy?! EEEEEEEEEEE! Ohmygod! Ohmygod! Yes! You should see him! He’s in the car seat right now and cuddling with his stuffed lion!”
My face flushed with I can’t even tell you what emotion. Janet continued on, oblivious. Typical. “Clark! Uh-huh! He just pooped his pants today! I mean, he’s a Little and I think he might’ve had one or two accidents at school before; but somebody noticed and checked him today! No! He wasn’t a student! He’s all done growing.” Whatever the Amazon on the other line must have said something particularly funny, because Janet was practically cackling. “Oh you know what I mean! You’re bad! You’re so bad! Okay. Love you too. Bye.”
It was at least another four phone calls before we came to stop. Each time, the details got more and more explicit: How cute I was. How I’d pooped my pants in front of everyone. How I used to be a teacher...and that was only for the ones who didn’t know. I counted at least two times where I was “that Clark”. Meanwhile I kept praying into my lion: Please let us crash. Please let her be so overwhelmed with pseudo-maternal.
The car came to a stop, but I had next to zero chance to be able to see out the window positioned as I was. The engine didn’t turn off. Ride wasn’t over yet. Heck if I knew where we were.
“Thank you for choosing MacDonell’s, can I take your order?” Great. Drive through. I’d never used a drive thru-I was always afraid I’d get run over on my scooter. This was probably the worst introduction to it.
Janet cleared her throat, “Yes, I’d like a number 1, medium, with extra pepper on the fries, a diet cola to drink and...” I saw her bite the bottom of her lip and fail to suppress a grin. “A Little’s Meal!”
The voice on the drive through speaker came back. “Am-Mac meal and a Little’s Meal. Would you like the girl’s toy or the boy’s toy?”
“Boy’s toy!” Janet gushed. “I’m a new Mommy!” The woman actually clapped; she was so excited. I could have called out for help, I suppose. But what would have been the point?
Janet’s car lurched forward and pulled up to the first window. “So that’s a Am-Mac Meal and a Little’s Meal.” I couldn’t turn my head around enough to see the person at the window, but sounded like a guy; maybe even a teenager. “Where’s your new baby?”
“He’s in the back,” Janet gushed. More squeals wiggled their way out her throat. I tried (and failed) to squirm deeper into the cushions of the car seat.
“Heh. He’s a cutie alright.” In the reflection I caught the reflection of a young man with more acne than chin hair. He waved at me and smiled. I was on parade. I was on one long humiliation parade.
Janet paid for the food and took the receipt. “Excuse me? I don’t think you charged me enough.”
“Little Meal is on the house,” the cashier explained. “First one’s free. Store policy.”
“Congratulations.” I saw the hand reach out and wave to me. “Later, Little dude.”
The car lurched forward again, and I closed my eyes. Please let this be over. Please.
A woman in the second window handed Janet a paper bag and a brightly colored pink and blue cardboard box: An Am-Mac and a Little’s Meal. “Do you want barbecue sauce or honey mustard for your Little Meal?”
“Honey mustard.” Janet answered before I even had a chance to give any input. No input was expected of me though. Part of me was glad, I didn’t say anything. I liked barbecue sauce. But a big part of me didn’t want to be even remotely comfortable just then. If I was going to be doomed and miserable, I should be completely doomed and completely miserable. If I had expressed a preference, the Amazons would have probably done the opposite anyways as a show of who was in control.
It would’ve been typical.
“Thank you!” Janet said.
“You’re very welcome. And congratulations!” Was business that slow that yet another Little being enslaved was a cause of celebration or were Amazons just that crazy?! Both maybe?!
The ride was just one more humiliating phone call. “Mom? Dad? Or should I say Grammy and Pop-Pop! That’s riiiiight!” The rest of that call was drowned out by my own anxiety and the growling in my stomach. I hadn’t eaten anything solid all day, and as much as I hate to admit it, the food in the front seat smelled good. Lots of things smell good when you’re hungry enough. Even something specifically marketed as a Little Meal.
The car came to a stop, and Janet cut the engine. We were “home”. The belly of the beast. I heard Janet pad around the car and open the passenger door, likely to get the food out. Then I watched as she opened the back seat and leaned in.
“Welcome home, Clark!” I looked in my old co-worker’s face for any sign of recognition, any sign that she might be seeing me as a person instead of a plaything. No such luck. Only manic glee.
As she unbuckled me from the pink carseat, I tried one last futile attempt at reasoning with her. In a weird way I felt I owed her that much. “Janet,” I said. “It’s not what you think.”
Two fingers slipped into the leg cuffs of my diaper. “Still dry,” she said, as if I couldn’t tell the difference.
“I’m not a baby,” I tried to tell her. “Somebody poisoned me or something!”
She picked me up out of the carseat and draped me over her shoulder. “Uh-huh.” She pulled back the waistband. “Still clean.” She gave my backside a little pat. Was that praise? Encouragement? If anything she sounded kind of disappointed.
“Janet,” I begged while she toted me and the greasy fast food inside. “I’m serious.”
The door opened behind me, and I didn’t get to see the color until she kicked it closed behind me. Red. My new prison had a red garage door. “I know you are, hon,” Janet said. “And I believe you.”
Janet’s gait got much steadier as she walked, and I saw her broken heels a few steps in the house.
“You do?” I asked. In terms of grief I had arrived at bargaining. If Janet was willing to listen to me, maybe I could convince her to let me go. I don’t know how I’d get to somewhere safe, but I was in one-step-at-a-time mode.
“I do believe you,” she said. “I believe you’re telling yourself stories, really convincing and creative stories, to convince yourself that you're still a grown-up.” I saw the beige floor of the kitchen after we’d crossed the threshold. Backwards. My entire life was being carried backwards, both literally and figuratively. “It’s a behavior common in Maturosis Littles who haven’t found their Developmental Plateau.”
I was put down in a highchair. Also pink. I barely managed to lean forward about an inch before Janet single-handedly pushed me back and strapped me in. The tray clicked in, separating my top half from my bottom half; sealing the deal. “Janet! That’s ridiculous. Listen to yourself!”
She sat down at the table and started unboxing the food right next to me. She reached over and took my lion from me, sitting him on the table. “So he doesn’t get messy,” she said. “What’s his name?”
The dead eyed thing sat out of reach staring at me. “I don’t know and I don’t ca-”
“We’ll name him later, then.”
“Fine.” It wasn’t fine. Not at all. Some stupid, petulant part of me just wanted to get the last word in on something.
Giant chunks of chicken nuggets were put on the table beside me. There were only four of them, but they were almost the size of my hands. “Do you want me to feed you, or do think you can be a big boy and use your hands?
“I can do it myself!” She giggled at that. Damn, but I must’ve sounded like a toddler. I should have refused to eat, but I was so caught off balance. “And I was poisoned. You know! Like Raine is always trying to do?”
“Ms. Forrest wasn’t even at school today, Clark. She was out sick. So don’t go blaming it on her.” As she talked, Janet was ripping up the Amazon sized nuggets into smaller pieces. It reminded me of how my sister-in-law got in the habit of cutting up food for her toddler. My stomach growled a little more, and my bladder stung and extra pinch.
I did my best to ignore her hands as she dipped the little chunks into a tub of honey mustard before placing it on the tray in front of me. “I’m not saying she did it,” I said. (Actually Raine was at the top of my list…) “I’m saying that someone LIKE her did it.”
“Or,” Janet said, “There’s the much more reasonable and rational explanation that you’re turning into a baby again.” Honey mustard dripping from her fingers she pointed to the pieces on my tray. “Eat your nuggies.”
I didn’t give up. “Think about it Janet! Amazons do this stuff all the time! You saved me just a couple months ago from one, remember? Do you think I’d go from full adult to baby, just like that?” I tried to snap my fingers, and the sound just wouldn’t come out. Damn. That really hurt the effect I’d been going for.
My captor popped a fry dripping with chili spice in her mouth. “Eat your nuggies,” she repeated. “Eat your nuggies, or Mommy’s not gonna talk to you.”
I wasn’t going to get anywhere unless I gave something, it seemed.
I picked up one of the meat chunks and popped into my mouth. Damn. It actually tasted pretty good. Even the honey mustard was alright. My cheeks were puffed out from the size of the slab. Too big of a bite. Far too big. But I wasn’t about to spit it out.
“Ooops!” Janet said, seeing my face. “I forgot!” She got up from her seat at the actual table and started rummaging through kitchen drawers. “Whereisit whereisit whereisit?”
She pulled out of the drawer a disgustingly pink bib and held it aloft like King Authur at Ocelot pulling the sword from the stone.
Barefoot, she rushed back to me and tied the thing around my neck. “Gotta get in good habits,” she said. Mouth full of chicken I read the cutesy print to myself. “Mommy’s Princess” it said. Had a little tiara and everything.
Now more than my bladder was aching. I was starting to get phantom pains before anything had been amputated.
I chewed and chewed and chewed just so I could keep talking. After a few swallows, I’d finally managed to form coherent words. “Do you really think that I just turned into a baby today?” I repeated myself.
Janet was already halfway done with her Am-Mac. An Amazonian monstrosity with entirely too much beef, pepper jack cheese, and jalapenos instead of pickles. It’s quite sweet by Amazon standards as I understand it.
Before she answered me, she brushed some crumbs off the bib and used it to wipe a glob of honey mustard off the corner of my mouth. “No, I don’t think you turned today.” I felt a slim glimmer of hope. At least she wasn’t referring to herself as “Mommy”. “Personally, I think your Maturosis might’ve been manifesting back then. That woman at graduation just noticed it before we did.”
I picked at another one and took a bite. A smaller bite. A daintier bite. A princess sized bite. One small enough so where I could chew and talk without stuff tumbling out of my mouth. “I’m eatin! I’m eating!”
“I’m glad that I got you, though.” I bet she did. “I don’t think she would’ve been a very good Mommy for you.”
“Was it you?” I asked. “Did you do it?”
Janet giggled again, but this was less cute. “If it helps you adjust, then yes.” I almost bit through my own tongue. “You can pretend that you were poisoned, and that Mean Old Mommy did it to you.”
Great. Sarcasm. Condescension. There was a lot to unpack there. I chose to latch on to the most absurd statement. “I’m older than you!”
“But I’m still bigger, baby boy.” She booped me on my nose. If her finger had been slower I might’ve tried to bite it just then. “And I’m not talking about size. You going full baby explains sooo much.”
So fucking Typical. I wanted answers. I know it’s crazy to expect sane answers from a crazy person (Read: Any Amazon that sees a Little in diapers) but I needed to make sense of the world just then, even if my world was through a kaleidoscope.
I took another dainty bite. “Explain wha-?”
“I just did!”
“Three more bites.”
“Three more big bites.”
“I’m tryin’ to-!”
“Three more big boy bites.”
I stared pure hate at her from the highchair as I ate three more huge pieces of chicken. She ate her food with gusto. I was getting full fast, and feeling better, but my needle was in the yellow. If I had much more, I’d feel sick, I was sure of it. My stomach just wasn’t expanding fast enough from being empty to suddenly stuffed.
I was still chewing and trying my darndest to swallow when Janet finished her burger. “It makes sense now, why you ripped up my pamphlet that day.”
Mouth full of honey mustard and chicken, I could only make faces to communicate my confusion. What was she talking about?
“You were jealous.”
I erupted chicken. “Chairuff!” Bits of pre-chewed meat tumbled down the bib and into the.
“Littles going through Maturosis develop a psychological need for a caregiver,” she said. She popped a fry in her mouth. “You saw the pamphlet and you started getting jealous that I was going to adopt somebody besides you.” Another fry. “It worked out, though, didn’t it?”
Bullshit. Such fucking bullshit. “I was NOT jealous!”
She laughed through her nose, smiling as if I had just said something adorable. “Are you suuure?” she teased.
“Yes I’m sure!”
Another finger tickled me under my chin. “Are you suuuuure?”
“Goddamnit, Janet!” I smacked away her hand as hard as I could. “I WAS NOT FUCKING JEALOUS! I DIDN’T WANT THIS! AND I’M NOT A -....”
She was staring at me. Her gaze and countenance had mutated completely. Gone was cute and cuddly and doting baby crazy Janet. And in her place was a wrathful titan gazing down at a sinner. “Clark. We do NOT use that kind of language. EVER!” Her voice literally BOOMED.
I was used to living in a world not meant to fit me. I’d already crapped my pants, been shoved in a tube, been diapered and changed and carted around. I’d been forced to cuddle with a stuffed animal and eat in a high chair. But then, just then, with Janet staring at me, her eyes full of fire and her voice full of thunder...that was the first time that day that I’d actually felt small instead of just Little.
“Yes, ma’am,” I whispered.
Her expression softened a little bit. Her heart was still beating and her adrenaline going, but she was calming down. In a weird way that was comforting. If she’d been able to turn her emotions on and off like a switch…
I shuddered to think what that might mean.
“Good,” she said. She took the juice box out of the cardboard box and poked a straw in it. “Do you want your juice?”
No. No. No. No. It was probably a diuretic. Or a laxative. Or both. But I was thirsty. And dehydrated. Beouf had been right about that.
“Can I…?” I stuttered a bit, still shaken. “Do you have anything else? Water? Milk?”
Janet’s eyes lit up. “Milk!” Bad idea, Clark! Really bad idea! Asking an Amazon for milk was a one way trip to full time breastfeeding!
Not this time though. She got up and opened up a cabinet next to the fridge. A (of course) pink-bottle came out of the bottom shelf, and Janet began rapidly unscrewing it. “I just sterilized this! Perfect timing, huh?” Great. She was bragging, now. Typical.
At the very least, the milk was coming out of a jug. Anything powdered would’ve definitely been poisoned. Janet must have seen me eyeballing her. I caught a hint of a smile, from her. “It’s not poisoned, Clark. Mommy puts this in her morning coffee every day.” Just talking about coffee made me cringe. She made a show of opening her mouth and squirting some milk in. “See? Mmmm...milk. Yummy.”
She offered me the bottle. It was inches from my face, but she wasn’t . Her eyes looked hopeful. “Can you take it?” she asked. “Can you take it like a big boy?”
Oh fuck me.
Stuck with a damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I reached out, grabbed the bottle and started sucking down the milk. Whole milk. Fat and sweet whole milk. I sucked on the bottle. Turns out it’s hard to glare while nursing on a rubber teat. Fun fact.
The bottle drained, Janet removed the dirty tray and unbuckled me. “I think we’re gonna have an early bedtime,” she declared. We? Yeah right. She’d be up till dawn texting someone or making posts on Facelog about her new “baby boy”. I didn’t have time for my outrage to re-manifest as she yet again checked my diaper.
“I can tell you if I need to be changed,” I said. Oh fuck. Why did I say that like it was an option? “Or go to the bathroom.” It was impossible to meet in the middle when someone kept moving farther away.
“I know,” she said. I didn’t think she really meant it. I didn't think she was trying to seem like it though. She just wanted to stop my yapping.
My yapping stopped promptly when she carried me into the nursery.
Pink! So much pink! The pink crib and matching changing table was decorated in lace and frills. Dolls and pink stuffies were in a decorative pile in one corner. A pink unicorn rocking horse in another. A Little sized dressmaker’s dummy had a medieval princess gown. From the ceiling a banner hung. The words “Welcome Home Baby Girl” broadcast for any Little that still knew how to read.
The only thing that wasn’t a shade of pink were the diapers in a supply net above the changing table.
“Janet…” I stuttered as she took me over to the changing table. “Janet?”
I was down on the mat, her hand pinning my chest while she reached for a new diaper. “You told all those people on the phone…” I paused when I saw just how thick the new one was. Forget walking! No way would I be able to stand in that thing. “That you got a boy...right?”
“Hold on,” her voice seemed teasing. She ripped open the tapes to my diaper and looked down. “Yeah. I think so.” She slipped the old diaper out. “Why? Are you a girl?” Her question seemed genuine.
“NO!” I yelped. “No, no, no, no. It’s just that…” I looked around the decidedly VERY feminine nursery.
Janet finished taping the nighttime diaper onto me. On the waistband, cartoon monkeys all snoozed with little nightcaps and pajama tops. “What do you,” she stopped and I practically saw the lightbulb go off. “OOOOOOOH!”
I almost got whiplash from the hug. “What?”
I was plopped down in the crib, seat first. My hands fell back to break my fall. If I fell down on my back, I’d be a turtle with the bulk of what I was wearing. And that was when it was dry. I shuddered to think about how bad it would be when I wet it…
IF I wet it! IF I WET IT! NOT WHEN! IF!
Janet booped me on my nose again. “Wanna know a secret, Clark?”
Afraid of her answer, I nonetheless played along. “What?”
“I did want a Little girl. But fate gave me you, instead.” Fate? The hell was she talking about? “If I had gotten pregnant, I wouldn’t have gotten to choose if my baby was a boy or a girl.” Her eyes took on a kind of dreamy quality. “With everything that’s happened today, I feel more like a Mommy than ever. And I have you to thank for it.”
I just stared up at her in complete disbelief. What did she want me to say? You’re welcome? Not likely.
“I promise that we’ll turn your room into a proper nursery for a Little boy. You’ll just have to be mature and patient about it.” She pushed me down onto my back and draped a pink blanket over me. I was physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and had a full stomach for the first time all day. I wasn’t getting out of this crib. Not yet.
Before she raised the rail up, trapping me, Janet leaned over, kissed me on the forehead and whispered, “I love you so much.” And the worst part; the scariest part; was I knew she thought she meant it.
The rail raised up. Thick, pink blackout curtains by the window were closed. “Night night.”
I didn’t answer.
The door was closed. And for the first time all day, I was left alone with my thoughts. Not a good place to be.
As my lids started to get heavier and heavier, my mind started to race.
Beouf had turned on me.
Tracy had abandoned me.
Janet had adopted me.
And Cassie. What about Cassie? Was she safe? Worried? Panicking and afraid for her own life?
I wasn’t going to sleep. Not with Cassie out there.
But I was so tired. Every muscle in my body was aching from a day of humiliation and thrashing about; struggling against the inevitable as my body was abused and altered in front of people who used to be. I might’ve cried so much that I was literally out of tears.
And there was another problem. Now I really did have to pee.
“Janet?” I called. “Janet?! I have to pee!” No answer. “JANET??!” I called louder. “I have to pee!” Nothing. “I have to go potty!” I tried. Maybe using vocabulary she’d accept would get me somewhere. Typical Amazons thought that SOME Littles could be potty trained. Nothing.
I counted to a hundred. “Nooooooo!” I bluffed. “I wet my pants! Please change me, Janet! I need to sleep!” At the very least I could try peeing in open air mid change.
No luck though.
A minute went by. A minute turned into fifteen. Fifteen became a half hour. Then an hour. The only thing that kept me from thinking about my filling bladder was terrible thoughts about what might’ve happened to my wife. And the only thing that distracted from those were the growing urgency in my bladder.
And shamefully, I just wanted to sleep. I wanted to block the world out and close my eyes and cease to exist in this world for a few hours. As the pressure increased, the instinctual, lizard part of my brain came to one inevitable conclusion: I was going to either wet my diaper and then pass out from exhaustion. Or I was going to pass out from exhaustion and then wet my diaper. The only choice I had in the matter was the order of operations. I wasn’t going to be allowed to make it through the night dry.
Sitting up on my elbows, I stared at the padded lump beneath the blanket. Despite what the giant loonies thought, I was still potty trained, and on some level that meant that I couldn’t do this lying down. I had to “see” it. I had to will it to happen. I had to focus.
My tongue retreating to the top of my mouth I stared at my padded crotch. “Do it,” I whispered to myself. “Just do it. Get it over with. You’re going to lose this battle anyway, so lose it on your own terms. Do it so you can go to sleep and start fresh tomorrow. This isn’t the end. This isn’t the war. It’s one battle out of many to come. You can do this. You can do this.”
It didn’t feel like victory when my bladder finally gave out and I felt the hot splash of urine on my privates a half second later. It didn’t feel wet either. A flash of warmth, and a slight dripping sensation as the thirsty padding soaked up my not-quite accident almost as fast as I was making it.
It felt kind of nice actually…
I sighed and laid back as my body took over. It felt like a lot of things. Kind of nice. Like a sponge bath. It definitely felt like relief; my body let out an involuntary sigh in time with my stream. It felt so weird feeling myself pee, and not seeing it come out of me, though.
“I’m sorry Cassie,” I cried. Ah. There were the tears. “I’m so sorry.” I wasn’t done whimpering yet. “I’m so so sorry.” I called out to the air. “I didn’t mean to!” Even I wouldn’t have recognized my own voice through all the croaking and whining I was doing. I definitely didn’t sound like a teacher anymore.
I didn’t sound like any adult I’d ever met either.
I sounded closer to a…
“I’m S-S-S-S-S-S-ORRRRRRRRY!” Wet face and wet diaper, my sobs lost all words as I called out to my wife like she was a distant and forsaken goddess.
My wife didn’t hear me of course. But I swear as I lulled my head to the side-the closest I could manage to rolling over-that the light changed underneath the nursery door. Almost as if there were a very big person who’d been listening in the whole time, and had just now moved away; satisfied that her Little Baby had been properly broken in.