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Secret Needs - Part 1

Chapter 1

From the day he was born, it was obvious that Bryin was smart and that he was going to be easy to care for. His proud parents, June and Henry Bistwick, marveled at his inquisitive spirit and his quick intelligence. Bryin was their first child so it might be thought that their pride was unjustified; but, Bryin was quite above average in intelligence. By the age of two he had learned the alphabet and had mastered the logic of games written for six and eight year olds. He was so adventurous that his parents constantly worried about what he might do next. When his older cousins dared him to do things he never hesitated to take up the challenge. All in all, he gave his parents and the people who knew him a lot of pleasure.

This is why it came as such a shock when his potty training started falling behind schedule. They had made early attempts at 20 months, 26 months but were not too surprised when these failed. They knew they shouldn’t push too early so they waited and subtly began to encourage him along the road to being dry. A short while later, June became pregnant again (The family didn’t know it yet, but these would be the twins Cyndi and Raymund.). She and Henry were tremendously excited as they bought and moved into a larger house and took care of the hundreds of things that expectant parents need to. As a result, Bryin’s training got more or less overlooked. June and Henry felt that now that Bryin had new playmates in the neighborhood he would eventually get enough peer pressure to want to become dry like them.

“Bryin, come into the kitchen for a minute,” June called to him one afternoon while he was watching cartoons in the den with his friend Kahrl. “Do you need to go potty?”

“No.”

“How about pee?”

“Uh, uh.”

“Let me check… Oh, Bryin, you’re soaked. Why didn’t you tell Mommy you needed changing?”

“I forgot.”

“Bryin, these are things you don’t forget,” she scolded. “You have to tell Mommy or Daddy when you’re about to wet.”

“Ok, I will” he merrily agreed, as he started back to the den to watch cartoons.

“Wait a minute, young man, you need to be changed.”

“But, Bugs Bunny is about to….” he protested.

“Well, Bugs will have to do it without you. Come, let’s go get you changed.”

Walking past the den, June wondered how much of their conversation Kahrl had heard. She was secretly hoping that he knew why she was taking Bryin to his room. Peer pressure from Kahrl might motivate him to become dry.

As she picked him up to place him on the changing table (Boy, he was getting heavy.) she wondered again about his lack of interest in potty training. She couldn’t understand how he could sit in a wet diaper and not feel it. “No,” she thought, “he’s intelligent and knows his surroundings very well. He is aware of his wet diapers, so why doesn’t he protest more? It is true that he practically never suffered from diaper rash even though she insisted on using cloth diapers. She was an attentive mother but was she too attentive? Should she “neglect” his changes a little bit and let him get an uncomfortable diaper rash? Would this prompt him to ask for changes and then lead him into training pants?” While she sorely wanted him to move along and to become dry she couldn’t bring herself to deliberately inflict pain on a small child. No, she would have to think of something else. But what?

“Mommy, what are you thinking about,” Bryin wondered. She had removed his shorts, plastic pants, and diaper and was just standing there looking down at him.

“I’m thinking about how big you’re getting. Why, you’re even taller than your cousin Ty who is thirteen months older than you. Pretty soon, I won’t need to change you anymore. You’ll be a really big boy and will go potty all by yourself, all the time.”

“Oh,” was Bryin’s only answer. June thought she also sensed disappointment in his voice. “I must be imagining it,” she thought to herself.

Bryin felt his mother’s practiced hands gently cleaning him and pinning him into fresh diapers. In just a few seconds (or so it seemed to Bryin), his mother was handing him his plastic pants to put on. Bryin had noticed that his mother was having him do more and more of his own dressing when she changed him. He dutifully pulled the plastic pants up while his mother checked that the diaper was tucked in properly. Her fingertips tucking in the edges of the diaper always made Bryin giggle.

“Here are your shorts,” said June as she handed them to him.

“Don’t need them, Mommy” was Bryin’s reply and out he flew from the room to settle down on his stomach next to Kahrl on the den floor.

June was shocked. Bryin had never been particularly shy, but he had never done anything like this before. How would Kahrl react? What kind of teasing would Kahrl give Bryin? Would Kahrl say anything to the other boys Bryin played with?

June discreetly watched the boys in the den while she pretended to read a magazine. Only at the next commercial break when Kahrl turned toward Bryin did Kahrl notice that Bryin wasn’t wearing any pants.

“You look funny in just diapers and plastic pants. What happened to your shorts? Did you wet them?” giggled Kahrl.

“No. I don’t want to them; they’re too hot and itchy. And your face is funny.”

“Bryin, don’t talk to Kahrl that way; it’s not polite,” his mother reminded him.

“But he started it; he said I looked funny.”

“That’s enough, Bryin. Go get dressed. It’s almost dinner time and we have to take Kahrl home.”

“Aw, do I have to? Can’t I ride in the car like this? It’s too hot for pants,” whined Bryin.

For the second time that afternoon, June was shocked. “OK, but the car is parked in the driveway. Are you sure you want to go outside without your pants? Don’t you at least want to put on a longer shirt that will cover more of your diaper and plastic pants?”

“Noooo, I want to go like this,” insisted Bryin.

“All right, let’s get in the car.”

June noticed that Bryin hesitated for just a second before walking through the door. Was he having second thoughts? Was he forcing himself to do this? But, why? June’s thoughts were interrupted as she heard Bryin call out a greeting to his friend Lucas across the street. Was Bryin really trying to have all his friends see him in diapers? What did this all mean? From that moment forward, she knew that potty training was going to be a big issue.

***

Bryin knew that he had made an important decision today. A long time ago he had decided that he didn’t want to give up his diapers and with all the logic of a 4 1/2 year old, he was sure that his parents would understand. Of course he couldn’t express these feeling in words, but he knew that today he’d done something important. Little did he know how this would affect events years in the future.

***

June discussed these events with Henry later that evening, but he thought she was exaggerating their importance. This was how the situation stood a few weeks later when the twins, Cyndi and Raymund, were born.

Chapter 2

“June, you’ve always been a good organizer so don’t worry about how you feel right now. For gosh sake, you just gave birth to twins last week; give yourself time to adjust. Everything will work out in the end,” admonished Melinda, June’s older sister, She was married to Luke Hardymon and had been coming over every day to help her get acclimated to the routine of two newborn babies and a nearly five-year old son. “After all, it’s a lot of work caring for three children. I know. Having Tyler and Josie just 18 months apart was tough on me and Luke. You and Henry will do just fine.”

Melinda was worried that June might be falling into a depression. This wasn’t uncommon after giving birth but she wanted to build up her sister’s confidence. Right then and there she decided that she would come by every day as long as her sister needed her.

Several days later, June seemed to be doing much better. The babies were as sweet and cooperative as Bryin had been and June was as relaxed looking as ever.

“Melinda, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure, Sis. What?”

“How easy was it to potty train Ty and Josie?”

Melinda was glad that June had brought the subject up. She herself had been trying to figure out a way to raise this subject in relation to Bryin. She knew that Bryin wasn’t dry during the day even though he was almost five. She loved her sister and she didn’t want to offend her, but her sister had to get Bryin under control soon.

“Well, many people say that girls are easier to train than boys. I don’t know if this is really true or not, but Josie mastered day and night dryness much younger than Ty did. Ty was dry during the day just before his fourth birthday but didn’t really master night dryness until just recently.”

This was a little bit of a fib. In fact, Tyler (who was a few weeks away from turning six) still wet at night about once a week. But, this was far less frequently than just two months ago and Melinda was sure that in very little time Tyler really would be completely dry.

“I see.” June said. “I asked because I’m worried about Bryin. He seems to be regressing. Even before the twins were born, he started to go around the house in just his diapers, even when his friends were here. As you know, Henry and I have been trying to encourage Bryin to want to become dry on his own, but, every time we try, he seems to turn the tables on us. It’s like he’s manipulating us. He’s obviously a bright kid and he knows what’s going on. Why doesn’t he want to give up his diapers?”

Now that June had raised the issue she already felt better. She was sure that her sister would have some ideas that would help.

“Are you sure he doesn’t want to give up his diapers?”

“Henry disagrees with me, but, yes, I am more and more sure every day. Why else would he refuse to tell us when he needs to go potty. I mean, listen to me, he’s five years old, he still doesn’t want to use the bathroom, and Henry and I are still using words like “potty” and “pee pee.” He’s getting so big, his diapers barely fit any more and I have to change his sheets almost every morning because his plastic pants have leaked. The babies are going to take up most of my time now and I can’t be taking care of him as if he were helpless”

“I hope you won’t take this wrong, June, but, I think you’ve waited too long to act forcefully. You need to become much more insistent with him. Sit him down today and tell him he has to get his bathroom habits under control. Make him sit in the bathroom at prearranged times during the day until he has used the toilet like he should. Also, do what we did with Tyler. At night, we put him into much thicker flannel diapers. Not only did these absorb better, but they were more obvious when he had them on. I think the constant reminder of his thick diapers subtly suggested to him that he looked like a big toddler with his pajamas bulging out the way they did. When some of his friends wanted to have a sleepover at Halloween last year, he said he didn’t want to go. I think it was because he knew he wouldn’t be able to hide his diapers from his friends. Within a month of this sleepover, his night wetting dropped dramatically and he began going to the bathroom by himself in the middle of the night. It was well worth the lost sleep. In Bryin’s case, I would also put him into these thicker diapers during the day. Let’s face it, right now his diapers are not much thicker than regular underwear. He might not feel embarrassed to be seen by his friends now, but if his friends see him in thick diapers, I’m sure that will generate some pressure for him to come around.”

“Gee, Melinda, I don’t know,” worried June. “I don’t want him to feel like a freak.”

“Of course not. I’m just suggesting that you make the choice clearer for Bryin. Right now his staying in diapers doesn’t make him feel that out-of-step with his peers. Thick diapers will make the difference obvious and they will help him get on with his toilet training more quickly. I think it would be good for Bryin to feel how far behind his friends he is. They might even start telling him that they won’t be his friends if he doesn’t get rid of his diapers. Kids don’t want to feel different and they certainly don’t want to hang around with other kids who are identified as “weird”. You’ve got to do something before Bryin starts getting rejected by his peers”

“I guess you’re right. I’ll talk to Henry tonight.”

Henry reluctantly agreed and June informed Bryin that he would be put onto a strict bathroom-time and diaper regime. June and Melinda went out together to buy the diapers that Bryin would need.

“Here, June,” said Melinda as they sorted through the cloth diapers in the medical supply store, “these ought to fit Bryin just fine. And right behind you are the plastic pants”

“Gee, these seem awfully thick. Will he be able to get his pants on over these? I don’t want to encourage him to continue going around without his pants.”

“Let’s stop at the thrift store on the way home and see what they have in the children’s department. It would be a waste to buy new clothes for what will, hopefully, be a short-lived training.”

Melinda and June decided to buy Bryin two dozen diapers and eight pairs of daytime plastic pants and another six pairs for nighttime. They decided the best thing would be to put him into double diapers at night just as Ty had worn. During the day, the flannel diapers would still be very thick and, most importantly, the bulge under his pants would be impossible to hide.

As soon as her sister dropped her off at home, June laundered the new diapers and then called Bryin into his room.

“Remember what we talked about this morning. Until you learn to act like a big boy you will be put back into thick diapers day and night. To help you become a big boy, you will have “toilet time” in the morning when I wake you, after breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then just before going to bed. Daddy and I expect you to use the toilet and to tell us when you need the toilet at other times of the day. As soon as you are dry during the day for one week we’ll give you big boy underwear. If you do the same thing at night for two weeks, we’ll take off the night diapers and just leave your plastic sheet on your bed for a little while longer until we are sure that you won’t have any accidents. Also, when that happens, we will let you have a sleepover with Kahrl and Lucas. Now won’t that be fun?”

“Uh, OK, Mommy,” was Bryin’s only answer.

“OK, jump up on the bed and I’m going to change you into your daytime diaper and plastic pants.”

June noticed right away that Bryin was wet, but she decided not to say anything. After taking off the wet diapers, she carefully wiped him clean and then pinned on the new flannel diaper. She couldn’t get over how thick they were and she was sure that Bryin wouldn’t like the thickness between his legs.

“Now stand up and put on your plastic pants and your play shorts.”

***

Bryin was feeling confused. Why did his parents buy him new diapers (which he wanted) at the same time that they were telling him that he had to stop wearing them soon? He had never really gone against the wishes of his parents (although an objective observer would be able to recall his “terrible two’s” and the tantrums he used to throw) so he would follow the instructions they gave him. But, he was firm in his mind that he would not give up his diapers.

***

All through this procedure June was anxiously waiting for Bryin to start complaining about his new treatment. But, she was disappointed when she realized that he wasn’t going to complain and, in fact, after putting on his plastic pants his first comment was to ask his mother if he could go show Lucas his new diapers and plastic pants!

“Absolutely not,” shouted his mother, “boys don’t go around showing off their diapers and plastic pants! Especially if they’re as old as you are.”

June was instantly sorry that she had shouted at Bryin but she was getting frantic over the possible failure of his toilet training. Not only did he not mind going back into thick diapers, he wanted to show them off to his friends! This was definitely not a good beginning.

Sure enough, Bryin’s behavior did not change at all in the next few months. To be fair to Bryin, though, he cooperated with the program and rarely whined or complained. It’s just that nothing changed. He continued wetting and messing without making any attempt to use the toilet. June was very discouraged and Henry, while he supported June’s efforts, did not seem that upset or concerned.

“Look, June, I understand boys and how they think. Let’s not push too hard or Bryin will begin to rebel. So far, what’s really happened? Bryin doesn’t want to toilet train. He isn’t responding to the social pressures to remain clean. In fact, his friends, for whatever reason, don’t tease him about it at all. He’ll be starting second grade soon and I’m sure that he’ll get enough pressure to want to change. Kids are like that- he’ll meet someone whom he’ll want as a friend; that person will ask Bryin about his diapers or make some comment about the smell and in a matter of days he’ll be out of diapers. Trust me, I know how boys are.”

June wondered about her husband’s lack of concern, but she was tired of discussing the subject so she let it pass. The next day, a new family decision was made. There would be no more “toilet time” for Bryin, but he would lose privileges like TV and play time if he didn’t ask for changes in a timely fashion. Furthermore, he was given more responsibility for the laundry. His mother showed him how to rinse out his dirty diapers and how to soak them in the diaper pail before laundering. He also now had the responsibility to fold the clean diapers and put them away. If any of this was intended to drive away Bryin’s diaper fascination, it didn’t work.

And so it went. Bryin seemed to be growing up normally. He began participating in sports programs in which he showed serious promise. He was especially good at roller hockey and soccer. He excelled on defense; he was quick, intuitive, and especially good at anticipating opponents’ moves. Henry and June were proud of Bryin but they nonetheless were embarrassed when other parents would make comments such as, “Imagine how well he could run without those diapers,” or “I know a good child psychologist who could…” They eventually developed a more-or-less standard answer: “Bryin has been checked out thoroughly and is in good mental and physical health. We are proud of him and we encourage him to do his best in all situations.” Some people accepted the answer without comment, others gave them a “better-you-than-me” look, and still others responded with a skeptical “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-but-I-won’t-argue-with-you” look.

But, their statements were true. Bryin was a very good child. He was loyal to his friends, a hard working student in school, cooperative at home, a good older brother, and most importantly, very affectionate. He wasn’t at all shy about giving hugs when appropriate. In the evening, after his bath (and since he had turned twelve, his shower) he liked to watch TV with his dad, snuggling up close and sometimes even asking to sit on his lap. Henry knew that these moments would not last forever, so he readily welcomed Bryin’s requests.

Chapter 3

Summer was approaching and Henry and June were discussing possible vacation spots. So far, they were still just throwing out ideas for consideration.

“Henry, what about Disney World? The twins are old enough to enjoy it and Bryin will also find lots of things he’ll want to do.”

“Yes, that’s a great idea. Let me go online to find out what this would cost.”

About a half-hour later Henry came back to talk to his wife.

“I think this will work. We have two choices for travel. If we fly, we will be able to afford two days in Florida. If we drive, we will lose a full day each way for travel but we will be able to stay four days. There are lots of other things to do in the area so the kids shouldn’t get bored. What do you think?”

“Let’s drive. It seems such a waste to plan on spending only two days there. Go ahead and make all the reservations but let’s not get the kids all excited just yet. Let’s tell them only a few days before we leave.”

When the time came to leave, June had made all the arrangements for the house to be looked after. Tyler, her nephew who had just turned thirteen and lived only two streets away, would come by twice each day to check things out. She had left him a schedule for watering the houseplants and the yard. He also was to collect the mail and the newspaper so that the house would not look abandoned. Tyler was excited to be paid five dollars a day for doing this job.

The first morning that Bryin and his parents were away Ty went over to put the newspaper in the house and to check that nothing was wrong. That afternoon, as he was leaving to go to the park to play some ball with his friend Eddie, he reminded his mother that he would be home in time for dinner and that he would stop off to do the watering for his uncle and aunt. Ty’s mother, Melinda, was impressed at the responsibility he was taking. “I hope it lasts all six days,” she thought.

The routine continued for three days, but on the fourth day, just after Ty left for Eddie’s house, Melinda noticed that Ty still hadn’t finished mowing the backyard as he was supposed to. She decided to call Bunny Pfelgaur, Eddie’s mother, and ask her to send Ty back home before they left for the park.

“Hi Bunny, this is Melinda. Could you send Ty back home? He didn’t finish mowing the lawn and I don’t want him to get away with it.”

“Ty isn’t here. In fact, he hasn’t come by at all for the last few days.”

“What?” exclaimed a surprised Melinda, “he told me that he has been going over to your house after lunch to pick up Eddie to play ball in the park with the other kids.”

“Well, Eddie has been telling me that he and Ty were playing in the park all afternoon but I haven’t seen Ty here at all. Hang on, Eddie is grounded today because he lied to me about cleaning up his room. Let me ask him about this.”

Eddie, who had been reading in his room since his mother didn’t allow him to watch TV or listen to CDs on days when he was grounded, heard his mother’s half of the conversation and was getting nervous. What did Ty’s mom say and what should he say about where he and Ty had been going the last few days? A funny feeling began to overtake him.

“Eddie,” his mom called, “come out here a minute.”

Bunny didn’t need a road map to see that something was wrong with Eddie. Fortunately for her, Eddie was an extremely bad liar. He hadn’t yet realized (and Bunny hoped that he never would) that he unconsciously blinked twice before and after each lie he told.

“Where have you and Ty been going every afternoon?”

Blink, blink, “To the park,” Eddie answered. Blink, blink.

“No, you haven’t. Answer me truthfully. Where have you been?”

Blink, blink. “At the park.” Blink, blink.

“This is your last chance, young man, where have you two been going?”

Eddie knew that his mother had this uncanny ability to know when he was lying. He also knew that when she used the “young man” line he had better confess or he would really be sorry.

“To Bryin’s house,” he finally whispered.

“To Bryin’s house?” she repeated. “Why?”

“To play.”

“All afternoon?”

“Yes.”

“Why at Bryin’s house and not at the park?”

Blink, blink. “I dunno.” Blink, blink.

“Yes, you do know. Now, out with it,” shouted his mom.

Blink, blink. “We didn’t do anything wrong!” Blink, blink.

Bunny put the phone back up to her ear.

“Did your hear that?”

“Yes, Bunny, I did. Something is going on over at June and Henry’s. Can I come over to talk to Eddie directly?”

When she arrived, she found an agitated Eddie sitting in the living room with his mother across from him, a hard look on her face.

“Eddie, is Ty over at Bryin’s house now?” asked Melinda.

Blink, blink. “I dunno.” Blink, blink.

“Yes, he is,” insisted Bunny.

“Is Ty expecting you to join him this afternoon?”

Blink, Blink. “No.” Blink, blink.

“Yes, he is,” Bunny insisted again.

“OK,” said Melinda, “let’s go find out what’s going on. I think Eddie should come with us.”

“NO!!… I mean, there’s nothing going on over there. You don’t have to go,” Eddie pleaded.

“Oh, I think you’ve confirmed that we do have to go. Now, get up and let’s take a walk over there.

Eddie has seen lots of TV shows and movies about condemned killers being led to execution and now he was sure he knew how they felt. He could hardly walk and he felt like all his insides were shaking.

“Have you and Ty been meeting somewhere else before coming over here?” Bunny asked.

Blink, blink, blink, blink. “Ah, he must have thought about lying and decided against it,” Bunny thought.

“I’m waiting for an answer, young man.”

They had arrived at the Bistwicks.

“No. I knock with the secret knock and if he’s already there he lets me in. If he’s not there yet, I wait on the front step.”

“Well, I think we can safely assume that he is already here; use your ‘secret knock’,” his mother sarcastically said.

Eddie raised his shaking fist to the door and looked back pleadingly at his mother.

“Knock,” she insisted.

Knock, knock. Pause. Knock, knock, knock. Pause. Knock.

In a few seconds, the door began opening.

“Hey, Eddie, I’m glad you showed up. Your diaper and plastic pants are laid out on Bry…”

Eddie was the only one who didn’t have a shocked look on his face. He also frantically hoped that no one else understood the significance of what Ty had just said.

For about a second everyone stood frozen in place before Ty’s mother entered the house closely followed by the others.

Ty thought about running but he realized that there was no point to it. His mother looked at him again and still couldn’t believe what she saw: her thirteen year old son wearing one of his cousin’s thick daytime diapers and plastic pants! She also noticed that he was wearing the white socks with the little diamonds up the side that he had refused to wear when she gave them to him because they were “babyish”. She was furious. Bunny, on the other hand, thought he looked rather cute. She couldn’t help but think that there had to be something “funny” in this family if both sisters had boys who wanted to wear diapers.

“Explain,” Ty’s mother said, between gritted teeth.

“I, uh…, uh…, they were there, and I, uh…, uh…,saw them, and I wore them.”

“That’s obvious- but, it’s not an explanation. Do you like wearing diapers??”

“Kinda.”

“That’s not an answer, either.”

“Well, I told Bryin he was lucky to wear diapers and then he let me try some of his, and then I liked them.”

“Bryin knows about this? How long have you been doing this?”

“I don’t know. A long time. Since second grade”

“Second grade! You’ll be going into the eighth grade this fall. You mean to say that Bryin has been secretly giving you diapers to wear for over five years?”

“I guess so- but not very often. Before they left on vacation Bryin said that I could wear as many as I wanted. The only thing was that I had to make sure that they were all clean when they came back.”

“Does aunt June know about this?”

“No.”

During the questioning Ty was becoming more and more nervous about the consequences of his actions. Would he be grounded? Would the money he was earning by taking care of his uncle and aunt’s house be taken away? (He had planned on buying disposable diapers with part of the money.) How would his dad react? Come to think of it, why was he admitting all of this so readily to his mom? He was increasingly unable to control the tears that had pooled in his eyes. They now started streaming down his face and sobs began wracking his whole body. He once again wanted to hide somewhere and never come out (as long as he could keep the diapers!).

Meanwhile, Eddie was relieved that no one was paying attention to him. Suddenly, though, his mother flashed backed to the words that Ty had said when he opened the door.

“Alright, Eddie,” asked his mother, “what about you?”

“What?” Eddie responded, with (he hoped) an innocent face.

“You know what I mean. It obvious from what Tyler said that “your” diaper and plastic pants are ready. You’ve been wearing Bryin’s diapers too, haven’t you?”

Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

“Yes.”

Bunny and Melinda looked at each other in amazement. They had talked about Bryin and how he seemed to have an uncanny ability to make people accept him in spite of his diapers. And now their sons wanted to imitate him. Since Melinda wasn’t saying anything, Bunny took charge.

“OK, Eddie, prove it.”

“Huh?”

“Prove it,” she repeated, “come here.”

Warily Eddie approached his mother.

“Oh, come on, I’m not going to hit you. Come here so I can undress you so you can go put your diaper on.”

“Oh,” he whispered.

He allowed the removal of his shirt, shoes, and pants before he objected to her pulling down his underpants.

“Mom, not in front of Mrs. Hardymon!”

“If you guys are serious, I’m sure both of us will be seeing your diaper areas on a regular basis.” Holding his elbow, she removed his last bit of clothing.”

The battle already lost, Eddie nevertheless attempted to preserve his modesty by covering himself with his hands.

“Can you put your own diaper on?,” she asked.

“Ty usually helps me.”

“Can Ty go help him?” Bunny asked Melinda.

“Yeah, sure.” she answered bewilderedly.

“OK, you boys can go,” Bunny announced.

Eddie took off like he was being chased by a snake. He was at the top of the stairs and running into Bryin’s room in just under three seconds. Tyler was close behind.

“Where does June keep her old shopping bags?” Bunny asked Melinda.

“In the laundry behind the kitchen… Bunny, what are you doing?” she added in an exasperated tone. “Why are you letting Eddie put diapers on?”

“Let’s talk in the laundry where the boys won’t hear us.” she answered. “It’s simple, really. They claim they want to wear diapers- like Bryin does. Bryin wears his without pants inside the house and in his yard. Everyone knows that. Well, when the boys come back to the living room we’ll fold their pants, shirts, and underwear into this bag,” she said, picking one up, “and announce that it’s time to walk home. I’m sure they’ll freak out at the thought of going outside in diapers, especially out on the street where their friends could possibly see them. So, when they refuse, we order them to take the diapers off, and threaten to tan their hides if they ever pull a stunt like this again.”

The two mothers walked back to the living room.

“Melinda, call up to Tyler and ask him to bring all his clothes down when Eddie is ready.”

In the meantime, Eddie and Ty were nervously discussing the situation in Bryin’s room.

“I don’t get it,” Ty was saying, “why is your mother making you wear a diaper too? Obviously, my mother isn’t happy about me wearing one. I’m really scared about what my dad is going to do and say when my mom tells him.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. Ever since my dad died my mom has always done enough yelling for two parents. I don’t know about your mom, but I think my mom is going to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over me being in a diaper and try to embarrass me into not wearing one again.”

“You’re probably right.” Ty agreed. The diapering continued in silence until Ty’s mom called up to him to bring his clothes down. Eddie was just finishing, adjusting the plastic pants over his diaper.

“We’ll be right down,” he answered, “Well, Eddie, here goes nothing. I guess we’re going to get it now.”

“OK, guys,” Melinda began, “it’s time to tell the truth.”

“That’s right,” added Bunny, “total honesty is what we need right now. Sit down.”

Eddie and Ty were shocked at their mothers’ calm. Was this a trick? What would happen if they did tell the truth?

It was now Bunny’s turn to receive a shock, albeit a rather pleasant one. When Eddie sat down, he sat right next to his mother and gave her a hug and thanked her for letting him wear the diaper.

Eddie monopolized the conversation, explaining how much he loved the feeling of diapers, how they made him feel safe and secure, and how having Bryin and Ty to talk to about diapers made him feel better about his own desires. Ty didn’t add too much to the conversation except an occasional “Uh huh” to agree with Eddie.

Bunny and Melinda allowed the boys to express themselves fully, but they weren’t happy about it one bit. They couldn’t help but feel as if they themselves had done something wrong to make their boys turn out this way. They remained determined to get the boys to renounce diaper wearing once and for all.

“Alright, boys. You certainly answered honestly. Now, it’s time to go back home. We all need more time to think about this. Eddie, give me your foot, I’ll put your shoes on for you.”

“Gee, mom. I’m not a baby,” he objected.

His mom’s gentle tug on his plastic pants made Eddie turn red with embarrassment, mostly for having fallen into such an obvious trap.

“Ty hand me your clothes so I can put them in this bag,” Melinda casually said as Ty was tying his shoes.

Unthinkingly, he handed them to his mom. A few seconds later Eddie realized what was happening. (Eddie knew that they had walked the two blocks from home but he didn’t know if Ty knew that. Maybe Ty was under the impression that they had driven over.)

“You mean, we have to walk home in just our diapers?” Eddie asked with a quavering voice.

“What?!” screeched Ty in response.

“Of course,” Bunny insisted, “Bryin thinks nothing of going around diapered in front of his neighborhood friends. I don’t think anyone around here will think it’s very strange at all. And, it won’t be long before all our neighbors find out about your diapers. There really is no reason to postpone the inevitable.” Melinda and Bunny exchanged a smug look as the observed the dismay on their sons’ faces.

“Can we have a few minutes to talk about it privately?” Ty asked.

“Of, course,” Melinda agreed. “Come on, Bunny. Let’s go up to Bryin’s room and see how much damage the boys have done to his diaper supply. I imagine that we’ll need to come back to do at least one load of laundry. Don’t take too long, guys.”

Once their mothers had left, Eddie turned to Ty. “Are you sure you want to do this? You didn’t say very much before and I was wondering if you were backing down.”

“Well…, sure…, I guess… I don’t know. I nearly peed my diaper when you said we’d have to walk home!”

“I’m scared about that, too. But, I still want to do it. If we say we won’t walk home like this, we probably won’t ever have another chance to wear diapers again. They’ll be watching us like hawks.”

“You know what else I just thought of?” Ty added, “Bryin is also going to get into trouble now that our moms know he has been supplying us with diapers. Heck, my dad is probably going to ground me for a hundred years. I may as well enjoy them in diapers. OK, I’ll do it.”

“Kewl,” Eddie affirmed as he high-fived Ty. “Hey, I’ve got an idea that may get us our shirts and pants back. Shhh. Here come our moms, look serious and follow my lead,” he whispered to Ty.

At the foot of the stairs, Bunny asked if they have reached a decision.

“Yes,” Eddie answered, “We’re ready to go home.”

Melinda and Bunny looked crestfallen. They couldn’t believe what they had just heard. Before they could respond, Eddie continued, “That is, unless it might get you into trouble. We wouldn’t want anyone to see us with you and have them call the police to report cruelty to children...”

Melinda was visibly shaken by this but Bunny what wasn’t fooled. “Oh, no you don’t. You’re not turning this into our problem. This is your problem. There are two choices for getting home- you go dressed as you are in diapers and plastic pants or we give you back your clothes and regular underwear and you never touch another diaper again.” Turning to Bunny, she explained, “Everyone in this neighborhood has either seen or heard stories about Bryin in his diapers. Two more boys in diapers isn’t going to raise an eyebrow. I hope our boys won’t make a habit out of going around in just diapers but if they want diapers, this is the price they have to pay.” Melinda agreed.

Eddie and Ty adjusted themselves to the inevitable. Going home in just diapers was imminent (and somehow exciting).

“Let’s get going,” Melinda said, picking up the bag with the boys’ clothes in it and heading out the door. The others followed.

“Hold up guys,” Melinda announced “I’ve got to find the key so I can lock the deadbolt.” She winked at Bunny to indicate that she was deliberately stalling so that the boys would get “maximum exposure” time. Bunny winked back to say that she understood.

Meanwhile, the boys were nervously scanning the street and sidewalk for anyone who might see them. Luckily, the closest people seemed to be a group of girls sitting and talking on someone’s lawn down the street and too far away to be a threat. Or so they hoped.

Finally, Melinda “found” her key and they started walking, with the boys staying close behind. The first block and a half went well- they met no one. But, just as they were approaching the final turn onto their street, Ty’s mother said, “Isn’t that Mark Haddlin’s mom walking her two year old? What’s his name? Sean??” Of course she knew the answers to all these questions. She was just getting Ty and Eddie ready for their first encounter with someone they knew. And, worst of all, this was the mother of one of their classmates. “Well,” thought Ty, “everyone’s going to know now.”

“Hello, Martha,” Melinda and Bunny chimed simultaneously. “How’s everything?”

“Oh, just fi..fine,” Mrs. Haddlin answered, doing a double-take as she noticed the boys behind their mothers. “How are you?”

“Just great. Fantastic.” answered Bunny and Melinda. “Sean sure is growing fast!” Melinda gushed.

“Y..Yes, he’s just fine,” countered Mrs. Haddlin, wondering to herself what was going on here.

“You know,” Bunny added, “no matter how much they grow up, they’ll always be our babies.” Melinda almost burst out laughing, barely containing herself.

The boys, of course, wanted to melt into the sidewalk. They didn’t dare look at Mrs. Haddlin and concentrated at looking down at the ground. Noticing that the boys weren’t watching, Melinda hand signaled to Martha that she would call her later and explain what was going on. Martha relaxed visibly, and, as she continued on her way she couldn’t resist saying to the boys, “Well, I see you guys found a unique way to stay cool and comfy on a hot day like this. Mark was wondering if you were around these days. I’ll let him know that you haven’t gone anywhere.”

“Boys, look at Mrs. Haddlin when she’s talking to you. And thank her for letting Mark know that you’ll be around the neighborhood all summer.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Haddlin.”

“You’re very welcome, boys. I’m sure Mark will be over to see you soon.”

***

Melinda called Luke to tell him of the events of the day. For the first ten minutes his head was reeling from the overload of information Melinda was giving him; during the next ten he was angry; and finally, by the end of the conversation he asked to speak to Ty. Nervously, Ty took the phone from his mother.

“So, Ty, your mother has just told me quite a story. First off, I want you to know that I don’t know yet exactly how I feel about this. Probably less shocked than someone else would be because of your cousin Bryin, but still very shocked. Your mother says that you want to start wearing diapers fulltime right away. Shouldn’t you think about that a little bit first? Think about your friends’ reactions. And are you really serious about wearing them to school, to soccer? I’m really worried that you’re rushing this.”

“Dad,” Ty answered, “I know it’s all new for you but not for me. Bryin, Eddie, and I have talked a lot about this. I know I don’t need more time.” Ty sounded a lot more confident than he felt but he sensed that this would probably be his only chance to get what he wanted so he might as well go all the way.

After a short pause Ty’s Dad answered with a simple “I see. Put your mother back on the phone.”

“Well,” Ty’s dad started, “I just don’t know what to say. I don’t want to be angry, but I am.”

“Tell me about it;” answered his mother, “what are we going to do?”

“You’ve talked to him longer than I have; what do you think?”

“I think that until he tries it, there will be no peace around here. Bunny thinks the same thing about Eddie, too. If anything, he’s even more adamant than Ty. I would rather know what they’re doing than having them sneak around behind our backs. I think we should buy a short-term supply for now and see what happens. Although my gut tells me that neither Ty nor Eddie is going to change very soon.”

“Yes, I understand,” answered Luke, “of course, there is another issue here: what’s the sexual tie-in? They’re just coming into puberty so where will this lead? I’m not too comfortable about that.”

“I’ve thought of that, too, but the time doesn’t seem quite right. No matter what, it is our obligation to guide him, but we won’t be able to control that behavior.”

“Yeah, that’s the truth, for sure. Well, go ahead and do what you think you have to. If Bunny agrees, take the boys to the medical supply store and make sure they ask the salesperson for diapers for themselves. Maybe when they understand this, they won’t be so keen on the idea.”

“OK, I’ll give it a try,” Melinda agreed, “but, even though they got scared during our walk home, I’m pretty sure they won’t change their minds. See you later, drive safely. I love you.”

“Well?” Ty queried.

“He said to go to the medical store, BUT you will have to ask for the diapers and plastic pants yourselves and you will have to make sure the clerk knows who they’re for. Is that clear?”

The boys looked at each other questioningly, but they answered “Yes!” simultaneously and enthusiastically.

Their mothers now searched for something suitable for them to wear over their diapers and plastic pants. The best they could find were a couple of Ty’s gym shorts. When they sat down opposite each other in the den waiting for their mothers, they giggled when they saw that the side slit in the gym shorts exposed about two inches of their plastic pants.

At the store, the boys piled out of the car with Eddie leading the way. Suddenly, he stopped causing Ty to slam into him.

“Jeez, what’s the matter? You want me to break a leg or someth..?”

Ty stopped in mid-sentence as he too saw what had caused Eddie’s sudden halt. Behind the counter was Mr. Goodwin, the vice principal of their middle school. Having heard the door open, he greeted the boys and their mothers.

“Well, hello. I bet you’re surprised to see me here,” he began. “My father-in-law owns this place and every summer I spend a few weeks here so that he can have vacation time. Come on in. How can I help you?”

Melinda and Bunny were thrilled at this unexpected good luck. Surely, the boys would be too embarrassed to ask Mr. Goodwin for help in buying diapers and plastic pants. In fact, standing behind the boys, Melissa thought she could see them shaking, especially at the knees. Bunny noticed the same thing and hoped that this would be the end of this “diaper thing”.

Both boys stood tongue-tied for several seconds; their mothers were hoping that they would back down. Mr. Goodwin, experienced in these things, had already sized up the situation. In the fifteen years he had helped out his father-in-law, he had already seen similar scenes played out. His major concern was whether or not the boys were being forced into diapers. If true, that would be cruel and he couldn’t allow any parent to do that. He didn’t believe that Melinda and Bunny were that kind of parent but he would report them if they were. Mr. Goodwin told himself that he would have to tread carefully so that he could protect the boys, if need be.

Meanwhile, the boys had regained their composure. However, Ty was acutely aware that out of nervousness he had just wet his diaper.

“I’m here because I need some diapers and plastic pants,” Eddie stated, his voice sounding louder than he had intended.

Ty noticed that Eddie had not included him in the request. He couldn’t let his friend down, so he added, “Me, too.”

Eddie suddenly thought about a story they had read in history class last year. Something about Julius Caesar and how he had thrown a die across a river… or something. It was supposed to mean that he had made a decision and acted upon it in a way that could not be reversed. He knew that he and Ty had just done that. “Oh, boy,” he thought, as he too wet his diaper.

“OK,” Mr. Goodwin answered, “Excuse me for saying this but you boys are wearing rather short gym pants and I can see that you are already fairly thickly diapered. Do you want the same kind of diaper or do you want something else? Also, if those diapers were purchased here maybe you know their stock number. That would simplify things.”

Melinda spoke up before the boys could answer. “Actually, Mr. Goodwin, the diapers they are wearing belong to Tyler’s cousin Bryin. Since he is about a year younger than these guys, I think we need to start from the beginning and measure them for new diapers.”

“I see. And by the way, please call me Paul. I know who Bryin is. Let me look up his records in the computer to see what sizes he wears.”

After a few keystrokes and clicks of the mouse Bryin’s record was displayed. Eddie and Ty approached to get a look at the screen.

“Normally, I wouldn’t let you look at someone else’s record, but since you’re family I guess it’s OK. Hmmm, according to this he wears a DTR12 diaper and a P12L plastic pant. May I take the boys’ waist measurements?” Mr. Goodwin asked.

“Certainly,” answered Bunny.

“Sure, go ahead,” Melinda seconded.

“Ok, boys. Raise your shirts, please, so that I can take accurate measurements.”

The boys glowed red as they raised their shirts and exposed about two inches of their diapers and plastic pants while Mr. Goodwin took their measurements.

“Ok, you can lower your shirts now. I think they should move up to the next size, DTR16 diapers and P16L plastic pants.” Mr. Goodwin announced to the mothers. “They will be somewhat thicker, but they have almost outgrown the DTR12’s and it wouldn’t seem to make sense to buy more of that size. By the way, I am presuming that you want to stay with the flannel diapers. They are somewhat more expensive but they do absorb the best and they do last the longest.”

“Don’t ask us,” Bunny said. “That’s the boys’ decision to make.”

“Uh, yeah, that’s what we want,” Ty stammered. “Isn’t that right, Eddie?”

“Yeah, that’s right.” Eddie echoed.

“Good. How many of each?” Mr. Goodwin said, glancing toward the mothers whom he presumed would make the decision.

“I think Tyler will start with 30 diapers and 18 plastic pants. Twelve plastic pants that fit over one diaper for daytime wear and 6 that fit over two diapers for nighttime,” Melissa instructed Mr. Goodwin.

“The same for Eddie,” Bunny concluded after pausing for a few seconds.

“Fine. Is it OK if the boys come with me to the storeroom to pick up these supplies? It would save me a few trips,” Mr. Goodwin inquired of the mothers.

“Sure, that’s fine,” they agreed.

Mr. Goodwin really did need their help, but what he was most interested in seeing was the boys’ reaction to the diapers and plastic pants. Boys who were being forced into diapers didn’t want to stay in the storeroom any longer than necessary and they carried the diapers and plastic pants as if they were infected with the plague.

So, as soon as he saw the awe and wonder in their eyes and the poking and giggling they were doing he knew that they were going into diapers enthusiastically. He piled as many diapers and plastic pants as they could carry onto their outstretched arms. The rest he brought out front himself. The combined order made quite a stack on the counter.

“How about diaper pins, wipes, powder, and rash cream?” Mr. Goodwin enquired.

“What do you suggest?” Melinda answered.

“Well, if you’ll step over here I can show you what most of our clients prefer...”

Meanwhile, Eddie and Ty were becoming increasingly uncomfortable in their wet diapers. In their enthusiasm and nervousness earlier in the day neither had done a good job of diapering himself. In fact, Eddie hadn’t even remembered to use powder so he was really beginning to itch. Ty was beginning to get annoyed at his mother. What was taking so long? How hard could it be to pick out powder and cream? He glanced back at the animated conversation that was going on. “Jeez,” he thought, “how interesting can that stuff be? Why don’t they make up their minds?” Eddie saw Ty’s growing discomfort and asked him what was wrong.

“I really have to pee and I know I’m going to flood my diaper real bad.”

“Oh,” Eddie answered. “I’ve already wet my diaper twice and now I’m getting real itchy. We forgot to put powder on me.”

“Oh yeah, sorry about that.”

Finally, their mothers were heading back to the counter with Mr. Goodwin. Eddie was so itchy that he couldn’t help squirming and rubbing the back of his plastic pants. For his part Ty had flooded his diaper just as he had predicted.

Mr. Goodwin noticed the strong pee smell as well as Eddie’s squirming so he asked Melinda and Bunny if they wanted to change the boys’ diapers. Both mothers answered that Ty and Eddie were on their own in that department, at least for the time being. Mr. Goodwin then asked the boys directly. Although profoundly embarrassed, Ty and Eddie were so desperate to get out of their soaked and itchy diapers that they agreed.

“Alright,” Mr. Goodwin answered encouragingly. “Let me show you to the changing rooms. It will be OK to wear these new diapers because we pre-wash them for you. Here, you’d better take this box of wipes and some powder.”

Mr. Goodwin pointed them toward the rooms and then returned to the front of the store to finish processing the order.

As soon as Mr. Goodwin was out of sight, Eddie knocked on Ty’s dressing room door. “Can I come in,” he whispered.

“Sure, it’s not locked. I was hoping you would come and help me,” Ty answered.

Ty had already taken off his shorts. He saw that the store provided large plastic bags into which they could put their wet diapers and plastic pants. Now that Eddie was here he felt more at ease. He began by carefully unpinning his diaper and placing both the diaper and plastic pants inside the bag.

“If it’s not too gross, would you help me finish getting cleaned up?” Ty asked sheepishly. He was desperately trying not to have an erection but he was losing the battle real fast.

“No problem,” Eddie said willingly. “I’ll wipe your back side, but you’ll have to wipe your front.”

This was as close as Eddie came to acknowledging that he had noticed Ty’s erection. After a thorough cleaning, Ty folded the diaper on the changing table and lied down on it. Eddie helped him pull it up firmly between his legs and fasten two pins on each side. Each boy expressed amazement at the extreme thickness of the new diapers. Lastly, Ty pulled up his new plastic pants and Eddie double checked that all the diaper material was properly encased inside.

“Kewl, I think you’re going to really like the thickness of these new diapers,” Ty predicted.

“Now, me,” Eddie said. “My diaper is so full, it’s practically ready to float away.”

Despite his nervousness at changing in a public place, Eddie’s pleasure was nonetheless evident. Finally, the boys retrieved their shorts and began putting them on.

“Uh, oh,” Ty said first. “I think we’ve got trouble.”

“Yeah, I know. I can’t get my shorts over the diaper. They’re way too tight.”

“Wait, I think I’m getting it…” Ty began.

A sudden ripping sound was following by a loud “Shit!” from Eddie. The side seam of the gym shorts couldn’t handle the bulk and had come apart.

“I’m sorry,” he said to his friend, “I just ripped the shorts you loaned me.”

“They were old, anyway. But how are we going to leave the store now? I can’t get my shorts to fit either. If I pull any harder these will rip, too.”

A knock at the door interrupted the conversation.

“What’s taking you boys so long?” Melinda asked.

Tyler opened the door and explained the problem to his mom.

“Well, there’s nothing we can do now,” she said. “We’ll get you boys some bigger shorts and pants later but, right now, we need to get home. Josie will be back from day camp soon and I need to fix dinner. We’ll solve this problem tomorrow. Until then, it looks like you guys will only have diapers to wear.”

“But, mom, what about Mr. Goodwin, and getting to the car…” whined Tyler.

“Hey, you guys wanted this. You’ve already been seen in just diapers- one more time won’t matter. Besides, Mr. Goodwin won’t go around telling anyone and it won’t be long before all your friends will know anyway. Come on, the car is parked right out front. I’ll go out first to open it up.”

Seeing the condition the boys were in and guessing at what the problem was, Mr. Goodwin volunteered to take the four enormous bags of diapers and plastic pants out to the car. Melinda opened the trunk and the driver’s door and sat behind the wheel. Bunny and Mr. Goodwin came out next. Because the boys were anxious to get into car, they raced out from the store when it looked like no one was out on the street. Unfortunately, Melinda hadn’t yet unlocked the other doors and the boys were left outside tugging on the door handle.

“Mom, open the door,” Ty screeched in a near panic.

“Let go of the handle,” Melinda responded

It took three attempts before the boys released the door handle to synchronize with Melinda’s pushing of the “unlock” button. In the meantime, Eddie and Ty’s hollering caused passersby to notice them. Finally seated inside, Ty was pretty sure that nobody on the street knew who they were.

“Well, I guess no damage was done,” Ty said.

While driving home, Melinda asked Bunny if she and Eddie would like to stay to dinner. She justified the invitation by saying that she, Bunny, and Luke had some talking to do. Bunny agreed.

As they got closer to home, Eddie and Ty began to understand the permanence of their situation. Eddie whispered to Ty, “Man, we gotta talk, too. What will the guys think of us now?”

“OK, boys,” Melinda said pulling into the driveway and popping open the trunk, “get the packages into the house while we get dinner started.”

Chapter 4

The boys were still in the back seat, checking out the neighborhood as best they could.

“I guess the coast is clear,” Eddie speculated. “At least, I don’t see anyone.”

They both got out on the same side, toward the bushes that lined the driveway, thinking that this offered them better protection. They quickly gathered the bags from the trunk and headed for the house. They were almost there when Mark Haddlin silently approached on his bike. He stopped across the street and stared at the retreating boys. “What are they doing outside in diapers?” he thought. Just a few hours ago his mother had told him about seeing them walking in the neighborhood in nothing but diapers and plastic pants. Now they were in front of Ty’s house, their diapers and plastic pants almost as exposed as earlier. He hadn’t really believed his mother when she said that she had seen them in diapers. Now, it was obvious that it was true. He desperately needed to find out more.

Melinda told the boys to put the bags in the den and to sort out half for each of them. Ty’s would go up to his room and Eddie’s would go back into the bags for him to take home.

“Mom, what do we do with our wet diapers and plastic pants?” Ty asked.

“Keep them in the plastic bags. We’ll take them back to uncle Henry and aunt June’s to wash with the others you wore.”

They had finished sorting the two piles when Ty heard Josie’s bus drop her off.

“Oh God,” he said nervously, wondering how his sister was going to react to his diapers.

“Mom, mom,” Josie called, “we got to ride horses today.”

She was so anxious to relate the experience to her mother that she didn’t even glance into the den as she went by.

“Let’s get out of here,” Ty whispered to Eddie. “My stuff needs to go up to my room anyway.”

They headed up to Ty’s room and closed the door.

“I don’t know where to put all this stuff,” Ty announced uncertainly. “Let’s just dump them here by my dresser.”

“You know, you can’t avoid your sister forever,” Eddie sensibly pointed out.

“I know, it’s just that she already thinks Bryin is weird. Now she’s going to say the same things about me. I hope my mom and dad don’t let her get away with a lot of teasing.”

Downstairs Josie had finished telling her mom and Mrs. Pfelgaur about her day. She headed off toward the den to watch TV.

“Mom, what are all these diapers and plastic pants doing in our den?” she shouted to her mother who was still in the kitchen.

Upstairs, the boys heard Josie calling to her mother.

“Oh, great, now it’s starting,” Ty worried.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Eddie agreed. “but, you know what? Your sister isn’t looking at Bryin’s diapers and she’s not looking at yours- she’s looking at mine. I guess I know what you mean about your sister finding out. I’m not very comfortable at the thought that she’s seeing my diapers and plastic pants up close.”

“Ty, come down here and finish sorting out these things,” his mother shouted to him.

“Can’t we finish later?” he asked, stalling for time.

“Come on,” Eddie encouraged, “two minutes more or less isn’t going to matter.”

Eddie had already opened the door and was heading down the hallway. Ty had no choice but to follow. Since she heard the boys coming downstairs, Mrs. Hardymon held off calling Ty a second time. She did, however, decide to keep a sharp ear out while Josie found out the truth.

“Please put those down,” Eddie said with all the dignity he could muster. (Josie had picked a pair of his plastic pants and was examining them closely.)

Turning around she let out a sharp squeal of surprise. “Eddie! Why are you wearing Bryin’s diapers?”

“These aren’t Bryin’s, they’re mine.”

“Yours?”

“Yes, mine.”

It was at this moment that Eddie became aware that Ty had not followed him into the den.

“Does Ty know?” she asked.

Ty finally got up enough courage to enter the den.

“Yeah, I know,” he answered.

Josie’s second squeal was louder and longer than the first.

“Josie,” her mother admonished her from the kitchen, “keep your voice down. The neighbors will think we’re torturing you.”

“But, mom,” she answered, “this is too funny. How come Ty and Eddie are in diapers?

“You’ll have to ask them.”

“Please put my pants down,” Eddie repeated.

“Oooh, does the little boy not want anyone touching his baby panties?” she mocked.

“That’s enough, Josie,” Ty warned.

“I don’t know if wearing diapers and baby panties is good for you guys. It seems to make you really crabby,” she continued.

“Give me my pants,” Eddie insisted.

“Just do it,” Ty said.

“Oooh, the babies are getting frustrated,” she teased, waving the pants above her head.

Eddie got mad. He grabbed the pants she held over her head and yanked them. This threw her off balance causing her to fall and bang her head against the glass-topped end table.

“Oww,” she shrieked as she rubbed her head just above her ear.

Eddie was the first to notice the blood on Josie’s fingers.

“Quick,” he ordered Ty, “get a towel and some ice. And get your mom in here.”

The second order was unnecessary as both mothers had coming rushing from the kitchen when they heard the crash.

“What’s going on?” Mrs. Hardymon demanded.

“Josie fell and hit her head against the end table. I think she cut herself,” Eddie explained.

Josie was now sobbing and looking toward her mother for comfort. Her mother gingerly examined the wound. “I think it’s just a cut. There doesn’t seem to be a gash.”

Ty came back with a small baggie filled with ice and a towel.

“Give me those,” Mrs. Hardymon said. “Honey, cuts on the head bleed a lot but that’s OK. The blood flow will help protect you from infection. But, we’re going to have to go to the emergency room so a doctor can look at it. I’m going to help you up. Your head will probably hurt as you begin to stand but the pain should go away quickly. Now, let’s get you up.”

“Oww, it hurts,” Josie protested.

“I know, honey, I know,” she said sympathetically. “Let’s get this towel on the cut and then you can hold the ice in place and the pain will start to go away.”

Mrs. Hardymon and Josie left for the emergency room. Mrs. Pfelgaur stayed to watch the boys.

“Alright, Eddie, what went on to cause Josie to bang her head against the end table?” his mother asked.

“She had a pair of my plastic pants and she kept calling them panties. She wouldn’t give them back so I grabbed them and she (Blink, blink.) just fell (Blink, blink.),” Eddie explained.

“She ‘just fell’?” Mrs. Pfelgaur asked incredulously.

Blink, blink. “Yes.” Blink, blink.

“Eddie…” his mother warned.

“I didn’t mean to push her,” Eddie confessed. “I just wanted to get my plastic pants back- they’re not panties. She was making fun of me,” he ended lamely.

“Eddie, you could have hurt her seriously. We’ll be very lucky if Josie only has a cut. You do realize that I’ll have to pay for the emergency room and whatever other treatment Josie may require, don’t you?”

“What about insurance?”

“It’s still going to cost something. We’ll finish this discussion later, after Josie and Mrs. Hardymon get back. Where’s Tyler?”

“He went up to his room.”

“One last thing before you go. You’re going to have to learn to control your temper. Josie won’t be the only person to make fun of your diapers.”

“Yeah, I know,” he agreed sullenly.

Eddie went upstairs to Ty’s room while Mrs. Pfelgaur went to check on dinner. Ty was laying on his bed listening to a CD. Eddie stared at his friend for a few moments. He always enjoyed looking at the way diapers and plastic pants puffed out, especially when someone was laying on their stomach.

“Whatcha doing?” he asked. No response. “Ty,” he said a little louder. No response again. Eddie reached over and touched Ty on his back, just above the waistband of his plastic pants. “Hey, Ty…”

Ty simultaneously jumped in surprise and rolled over onto his back, hitting his head against the headboard.

“Oww,” he moaned, “my head.” He ripped off his headphones and held his head in both hands.

“Oh, no,” Eddie cried, panicking, “not again. Is it bleeding? Where does your head hurt?”

“Right here,” Ty said, jumping toward his friend and grabbing his hands to wrestle him onto the bed. They playfully fought each other until they fell off the bed into a tangled heap of arms and legs.

“Gotcha,” Ty said triumphantly.

“You scared the crap out of me,” Eddie complained.

“Oh, really? How come I don’t smell anything coming from your diapers?” he laughed.

“You know what I mean,” Eddie answered seriously. “I hope there’s nothing wrong with your sister.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Ty assured his friend. “My mom used to be a nurse. She’s pretty good at diagnosing stuff- she’s almost always right.”

This new piece of knowledge reassured Eddie. If only Ty hadn’t said ‘almost always’ he would have been completely at ease.

*****

Mr. Hardymon arrived home before Josie and his wife. He was surprised to find Bunny Pfelgaur finishing up the dinner preparations. She quickly informed him of Josie’s accident and of his wife’s diagnosis of her injuries. None of this helped to improve his mood. All the way home he had gotten madder and madder as he thought about Ty’s behavior.

“Is Tyler here?” he asked.

“Yes, he and Eddie are upstairs.”

“Tyler, get down here now,” his dad yelled up the stairs.

“Uh, oh,” Ty said to Eddie, “my dad’s home. And that’s his ‘mad’ voice.”

“Do you want me to go down with you?” Eddie wondered.

“Nah, your mom will probably yell at you later. But thanks for offering.”

Ty headed downstairs. He couldn’t miss his father’s look of disgust as he watched him come down the stairs.

“Into the den,” Mr. Hardymon ordered.

Ty hesitated for a second. What would his father say when he saw Eddie’s diapers and plastic pants laying on the couch? Unknown to him Mrs. Pfelgaur had already straightened out the room. Eddie’s things were sitting by the door in two plastic bags. Also, she had cleaned up the small smudge of blood on the end table where Josie hit her head. Mr. Hardymon noticed the bags of diapers and plastic pants.

“Are those your new baby pants and diapers?” he asked sarcastically.

“Uh, no,” Ty said hesitatingly.

“No?” his father questioned, a confused look on his face.

“Mine are already in my room. Those are Eddie’s diap… things.”

“You mean that mom bought you this much stuff, too?”

Ty could see that his father was getting more irritated with each question. As afraid as he was to answer, he was even more afraid not to answer.

“Yes, sir.”

“How many did she get you?”

“Thirty diapers and eighteen plastic pants. Plus pins, diaper rash cream, and baby powder.”

Mr. Hardymon was stunned. He didn’t know what to say. When his wife had said that they should get a small supply of diapers and plastic pants he thought she was talking about half a dozen or so.

“Well,” Mr. Hardymon said, stating the obvious, “I guess your mother had decided to let you be in diapers for quite a long time. Is that what you want?”

“Yes,” Ty stated simply.

Mr. Hardymon let out a long sigh as he ran his fingers through his hair.

“In that case, I guess you’ve made your bed, so to speak. There’s a lot of money invested in those diapers and you’re going to wear them until they’re completely worn out. I think you’re making a big mistake by following your cousin’s example. Why do you want to do this?”

“I don’t know, exactly,” Ty admitted. “I just think that they’re fun.”

“Fun?” Mr. Hardymon exclaimed loudly. Then, lowering his voice and getting himself under control he continued, “How much fun are you going to have when your friends find out? Do you really think that they’re going to accept you like this? Bryin seems to have gotten away with it, but he’s never been out of diapers. His friends don’t know him any other way. You can’t just show up in diapers all of a sudden and not expect your peers to react unfavorably.”

These were things that Ty had considered. Even though he was still fearful of the reaction he would get, the urge to wear diapers was overwhelming. This afternoon when his mother caught him he had found himself unable to resist the opportunity to wear diapers permanently. He took comfort in the fact that at least Bryin and Eddie would understand his motivations. He hoped that some of his other friends would, too.

Mrs. Hardymon and Josie returned from the hospital. Josie had to get five stitches to close up the cut. Since it was just above the ear it would be hard for her to cover up the area that had been shaved so that the stitches could be put in and kept clean. She looked tired and miserable.

“Honey, why don’t you go lie down. I’ll call you when we’re ready to eat.”

“Don’t bother,” she answered testily, “I’m not hungry.”

Eddie heard her climbing the stairs and decided that he should apologize for what he had done. But Josie would have none of it.

“Just leave me alone,” she said curtly, “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Eddie went downstairs to join the others. From the look that Mr. Hardymon gave him, it was obvious that he blamed Eddie for what had happened to Josie.

“Mrs. Hardymon,” Eddie began, “is Josie going to be alright? I’m really sorry for what happened. It was an accident, really. I didn’t mean to push her or for her to fall.”

“I know that you didn’t mean for it to happen. Except for a headache that might last a couple of days, she’s going to be OK. All the x-rays came back negative.”

“That’s a relief,” Mrs. Pfelgaur said as she joined them.

But, Mr. Hardymon was losing his patience again. “You’d better hope that she’s going to be OK,” he snapped at Eddie, “because if your assault on my daughter causes any…”

“Luke!” Mrs. Hardymon cut him off, “Josie isn’t one-hundred percent innocent in this, you know. She was taunting Eddie and she wouldn’t put his things down. She had no right to behave that way, either.”

“Are you defending this diaper-wearing weirdo?” he yelled at his wife. “I don’t believe what the world is coming to. Teenage boys wanting to be put into diapers…”

With that he stormed out of the house intending to take a drive while he cooled down. Seeing that his wife’s car was blocking him in the driveway, he decided to talk a brisk walk.

“I apologize for Mr. Hardymon’s behavior, Eddie” Mrs. Hardymon said, “I’m sure he didn’t mean it. He’s just upset by everything that has happened today.”

“That’s OK, Mrs. Hardymon, I understand. I think Mr. Hardymon has every right to be mad.”

“That very kind of you, Eddie. But, Mr. Hardymon was wrong to take his frustrations out on you.”

“Yeah, that’s right. He has me to take his frustrations out on,” Ty said in an attempt to relieve some of the tension in the air.

The joke wasn’t that funny but his mother and Mrs. Pfelgaur reacted as if it was hilarious. Obviously, they needed an outlet for their tensions, too.

Dinner was a quick affair. Josie chose not to come down. There wasn’t much to say and everyone was done in about fifteen minutes.

About a half hour later the boys approached their mothers who were drinking a last cup of coffee in the kitchen.

“Ummm, uumm…” Eddie started hesitantly. “We need to go to the bathroom.”

“So?” his mother responded.

“Are we supposed to get your permission or can we do it on our own?”

“Oh, I see.” Turning to Mrs. Hardymon she enquired, “What does Bryin do?”

“Normally, he informs his mother when he has to do number two or and she unpins his diaper and then repins it when he’s done. Unless, of course, he needs a change.”

“OK, come here and let me unpin you?” his mother questioned.

“”We also need a diaper change. Can we change ourselves or is someone else going to change us?”

“What do you think, Melinda?,” Eddie’s mother asked.

“Bryin is usually changed by his mother or father. Is that what you guys want- for us to change you?”

“Would you?” Ty answered his mother hopefully.

“Yeah, would you, mom?” Eddie said to his mother.

Melinda and Bunny were once again taken aback. Melinda wished that Luke were here to discuss this.

“OK, come here and let me unpin your diaper. Call me when you’re finished,” Melinda told Ty.

“The same goes for you,” Bunny instructed Eddie. “Stay in Ty’s room after you’re done.”

The boys went to Ty’s room to use his bathroom.

“This is getting more and more complicated,” Melinda admitted to Bunny. “I feel like I’m in way over my head. The few times I talked to my sister June about Bryin’s behavior she always made of point of mentioning how manipulated she felt by Bryin. Now I know what she meant.”

“Yeah, did Iever make a mistake this afternoon when I thought I could shame Eddie out of wanting to wear diapers! So, now what?”

“Well, I guess we go change a couple of diapers in a few minutes. I think we ought to lay down some ground rules while we’re at. Bryin has to pretty much take care of his own diaper supply. We’ll need to get some diaper pails and show the boys how to rinse their diapers and put them in the pail. We’ll also need to show them how to hand wash their plastic pants.”

“That sounds good to me,” Bunny agreed. “But what about Luke? What if he doesn’t go along with this?”

“Then he shouldn’t have walked out like he did,” Melinda said peevishly.

The boys called for their mothers. Melinda stopped at the linen closet to pick up some towels since they didn’t have a changing pad yet. Figuring that they should imitate Bryin’s behavior, the boys had removed their diapers and were waiting for their mothers. They were instructed to lie down on the towels as their mothers grabbed some wipes with which to clean their diaper areas. The feelings of satisfaction and pleasure that the powdering and diapering gave them were indescribable- even better than they had imagined it would be. Melinda noticed how Ty seemed to be transported to another world, a look of contentment lighting up his face, as she pulled his plastic pants over his diaper. She knew that she had a terrible problem on her hands. How could she possibly reconcile Luke’s anger over his son wanting to wear diapers with Tyler’s obviously irresistible urge to be in them? For the moment, though, there were practical things for Ty to take of.

“Before it gets too late you’d better get over to aunt June and uncle Henry’s to water the lawn and pick up the mail,” Ty’s mother directed.

“Can you drive me there?” Ty pleaded. “My bike is still in their yard. I’ll ride it home but please don’t me walk there by myself.”

“Sorry, you’ve always gone back and forth alone and that’s how it’s going to be tonight, too. There are not going to be any exceptions to the normal routine just because you’ve chosen to wear diapers. Here’s the key- go.”

“I’ll go with you,” Eddie volunteered. “I can, can’t I, mom?

“I suppose so, but you come straight back. We’ve still got some talking to do,” Mrs. Pfelgaur noted.

Chapter 5

Eddie and Ty left the house in a state of nervousness and excitement. They decided to take the slightly longer route because it was quieter and less heavily traveled. While it was true that Bryin sometimes went outside wearing only diapers and a t-shirt, Ty had never known him to go further than one or two houses away from his own. To walk the three blocks in diapers and plastic pants from his house to his cousin’s was definitely not the norm (even though he and Eddie had done it accompanied by their mothers this afternoon).

Approaching the house they saw that the sprinklers had already been turned on and that the front door was open.

“Maybe your uncle and aunt came home early,” Eddie suggested.

“I don’t know,” Ty responded. “They would have called my mom if they were going to do that.”

The boys had stopped walking and were standing at the foot of the driveway.

“I guess we have to go in and check,” Ty finally decided. “My aunt and uncle are going to find out about my diapers sooner or later. I hope that I don’t get Bryin into a lot of trouble.”

They approached the screen door and walked in.

“Well, finally, there’s my baby boy,” Ty’s father greeted them sarcastically. “I thought it was asking too much for a little baby in diapers to take care of a house so I came over here to do it for you.”

Two empty beer cans lay at his feet and he held a third in his hands. Ty knew that his dad occasionally had a drink or a beer but he never knew him to have three in a row. The tone of his dad’s voice also made him uncomfortable.

“Don’t stand at the door, come in and sit down. I want to talk to you,” he commanded, a slight alcoholic slur in his speech. “Eddie, you can stay or wait outside- whatever you want.”

“May I please stay?” Eddie asked, fearful for Ty’s safety.

“Sure, sure, the more the merrier. Oh, wait. Don’t sit down yet. Are either of you wet?”

“No,” Ty answered, “we just got changed.”

“Really? Well, let me check. I don’t think you’re old enough to know any better.”

Ty hesitated to approach his dad.

“Over her, now!” he bellowed.

Ty cautiously drew near. His dad grabbed him roughly by the arm and pulled him closer.

“Now, stand still,” he said releasing Ty’s hand. He pulled down the plastic pants and ran the palm of his hand down the front of the diaper.

“Well, what a good baby. You’re still dry. Pull up your baby pants and sit down.”

Ty’s eyes had filled with tears from his dad’s abusive treatment. They now overflowed and a tear streamed down each cheek.

“Goddammit!” Mr. Hardymon exclaimed. “What’s happening to you? Are you becoming a pants-pissing sissy?” he shouted as he shook his son by the shoulders.

“Oww, you’re hurting me,” Ty screeched through the tears. “Let go of me.”

What happened next felt like it happened in slow motion. Eddie tried to pry Ty out of Mr. Hardymon’s tight grasp. This wasn’t very effective, so he hauled off and punched Mr. Hardymon in the face. Momentarily stunned Mr. Hardymon relaxed his grip allowing Ty to escape. Ty and Eddie fled the house and didn’t stop running until they had turned the first corner.

The boys were very upset. Ty, embarrassed to be seen crying, dried his tears with the hem of his t-shirt. Eddie worried what would happen to him for having punched Ty’s dad.

“I guess we’d better go back to my house,” Ty sniffled.

Just as they started to walk, Mark Haddlin approached on his bicycle. Amazingly, he acted as if nothing was unusual. In truth, Ty was more embarrassed by his red-rimmed eyes than by his diaper and plastic pants. He hoped that the growing darkness hid the evidence that he had been just been crying. In any case, they would find out what Mark thought of them now that they were back in diapers.

“Yo, guys.”

“Hi, Mark,” they answered.

“Watcha doing?” he asked.

“I’m taking care of Bryin’s house while they’re gone to Disney World,” Ty said not untruthfully.

“Oh.” After a slight pause, he added, “ My mom told me that she met you this afternoon. Are you going to be wearing diapers all the time like Bryin does?”

Mark’s direct question released the tension that had been in the air.

“Yeah,” Eddie affirmed. “Will it bother you? I mean, will you still want to be our friend and hang around with us? All the other guys are going to find out, too, you know.”

“Yeah, I guess everybody will know pretty fast. But why are you walking around the streets without your pants?” Mark smiled.

“Our moms haven’t gotten us big enough pants yet,” Eddie answered.

“And my mom is making me do all my regular stuff, even if it means leaving the house in just diapers and plastic pants,” Ty added.

“Wow. I sure wouldn’t want to be seen walking around the neighborhood in them even though I think it would be really kewl to wear diapers, too,” Mark marveled.

Ty was beginning to worry that someone else would see him in his diaper and plastic pants.

“I’ve got to get home. Later, OK?”

“Yeah, later,” Mark answered as he remounted his bike and headed for home.

Ty and Eddie were silent the rest of the way back to the house. Mostly, Ty was wondering if he should tell his mother about what happened between him and his dad. In the end, he decided that he had to. It only took a few minutes to recount the story to his mother and Mrs. Pfelgaur. Melinda was so shocked that she could hardly believe what Tyler was telling her. She didn’t doubt her son; she simply couldn’t fathom why Luke was reacting so violently to Ty’s diapers. She had expected him to blame her sister June and their brother-in-law Henry for allowing Bryin to have this influence on Tyler. She never imagined that Luke would ever become verbally or physically abusive toward Tyler. This was an altogether different man from the one she thought she had married.

Ty had started sniffling again as he told his mother the story. She gave him a hug and sent him and Eddie upstairs. She needed Bunny’s help in what she was going to do next.

“I’ve got to talk to Luke right away,” Melinda said to Bunny. “I’m going over to June’s to try talking sense to him. I just don’t understand what’s going on in his head. He’s overreacting big time.”

“Yes, I agree,” Bunny encouraged her friend. “I’ll stay here. Take all the time you need. I can sleep on the couch in the den. Will Josie be OK for the rest of the night?”

“I almost forgot about her,” Melinda said with a guilt-tinged voice. “She should be OK. But if she does wake up in pain, her pills are in our bedroom on the dresser. She can have up to two pills every 4 hours. Thanks for your help.”

“Don’t be silly. You’d do the same for me. Now, go. I hope everything turns out OK.”

Upstairs the boys had finished talking about Ty’s dad. Eddie changed the subject.

“Did you pick up on what Mark said?” Eddie asked Ty.

“What? That he wouldn’t want to get caught wearing diapers around the neighborhood. Duh… who would?”

“No, not that part. The part where he said even though I think it would be really kewl to wear diapers, too.”

“Yeah, now that you mention it, I remember that.”

“I wonder if he really meant it the way it sounded?”

“I don’t know,” Ty giggled. “How hard should we try to find out?”

*****

Melinda drove over to her sister’s house only to find it locked up and dark. She didn’t have a key but she was fairly certain that Luke was no longer there. She drove back home and immediately noticed that Luke’s car was gone.

“That was quick,” Bunny said in a worried tone as Melinda walked into the door.

“Luke’s not there. Did he come by to pick up his car. It’s gone now, too.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Bunny apologized. “I was in the den listening to the nine o’clock news when I heard a car start up. I thought it was a neighbor; it never occurred to me that it might be Luke.”

“There’s nothing to apologize for. Even if you had seen that it was Luke you couldn’t have done anything about it. Thanks for offering to stay, though. Will you be going home with Eddie now?”

“What would you like? For us to go or for us to stay.”

“I’d like it if you would stay. Ty could use the company, too. Eddie was there when Luke… went crazy. The sooner he talks about it with someone, the faster it will heal, I think.”

“Good. How about this? Let’s wait a while and we’ll play it by ear.”

They didn’t have to wait too long, though. Luke called at 9:45. Melinda could tell that he was distraught and ashamed at his behavior. She could also tell that he had been drinking.

“Where are you?” she asked.

“At Henry and June’s.”

“I was just there and you weren’t,” she said accusingly.

“That’s right. After Ty and Eddie left I sat here for a little while, feeling ashamed. I finally got the nerve to go home to talk to them. When I got there, your car was gone and I thought you had gone somewhere with them. I took my car and drove back here. How is Tyler?”

“Upset,” she said as neutrally as she could. She was really very angry with Luke but she knew that only calm discussion could get them over this considerable bump in their marriage. “Why did you go back to Henry and June’s?”

“I’m so ashamed of myself,” he admitted. “I’ve lost my nerve again. I can’t talk to Ty tonight. Please forgive me. I’ll stay here tonight and be home in the morning.”

He hung up. Melinda called right back but he wouldn’t pick up the phone. Despite spending the next hour discussing Luke’s odd behavior, neither Melinda nor Bunny could figure out a satisfactory explanation for it. Bunny made a suggestion.

“Why don’t you get an overnight bag ready for Luke. He might feel better tomorrow morning after he’s cleaned up and has fresh clothes. He might at least get the message that you still care about him and are concerned for him Since he isn’t comfortable talking to you, maybe I can deliver it.”

“Would you do that? I’d be so relieved if you could at least talk to him for a minute tonight.”

“OK, let’s get a bag ready,” Bunny encouraged.

Bunny reported back to Melinda after she had dropped off Luke’s things.

“I’m afraid he’s more than a little bit drunk. He wouldn’t let me in at first but I insisted and he finally opened the door. He accepted the overnight bag and promised to be home tomorrow morning. I think he’ll be alright. I would say that he feels tremendously guilty about the way he acted.”

This didn’t completely relieve Melinda’s anxiety but she was grateful for Bunny’s efforts. The biggest mystery was Luke’s drinking. Since she had known him he had never taken more than one alcoholic drink at any given occasion. Why was alcohol suddenly in the picture?

“I’d better take Eddie home now,” Bunny announced.

When they went up to Ty’s room they found them both asleep on top of Ty’s bed.

“I guess we can leave them like that,” Melinda said. “They can take care of themselves without us.”

“Alright, but send Eddie home first thing tomorrow. You certainly have enough on your mind without having to feed and extra teenager… or change his diapers for that matter.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Melinda responded. “It won’t be long before neither of us will be able to remember exactly how many times we changed either boy’s diapers.”

“I think you’ve got that right,” Bunny chuckled.

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