Before he could ponder his strange behaviour anymore Brian felt Mama’s arms scooping under his own and lifting him off the floor. How Mama was strong enough to lift him onto her hip and carry him was beyond his understanding. He could only assume it was the work of the book, altering certain aspects of the laws of physics.
Mama carried him into the kitchen, where three high chairs were lined up along the counter. They were huge chairs of course, built to accommodate college-aged men and women. Each was white with a foot rest and a detachable tray. As Mama set him down in one of them and strapped him in, he got a look at Meggy for the first time since their latest transformation. Their former friend was dressed just as Rachel was, in nothing but a diaper. She was sat on the linoleum floor of the kitchen with her back against the baby-proofed cabinets with a pot upside down between her legs, another one on her left foot and a couple smaller ones scattered across the floor nearby her. She was drumming away at the pot between her legs, making a cacophony of sound, while chewing on the black plastic handle extending from the pot.
Amanda was busily preparing food for the babies while her daughter banged away, legs jerking this way and that, a line of drool running down her chin and dripping to her bare boobs.
Sara locked Brian’s tray into place, rubbing his cheek lightly. “Okay Bri, we’ll have you all fed in a jiffy. Let me just get your little friend Rachel to join you for dinner.”
A minute later she returned with Rachel on her hip and set her down in the chair on Brian’s left. Amanda scooped Meggy up from the floor and carried her to the remaining high-chair.
“Mama…baba… gaaboo!” Meggy babbled as her mama strapped her in.
“Yes sweetie, you’ll be having a nice milky ba-ba very soon,” Amanda assured the eager girl.
Brian was disappointed to see that Meggy’s mind had been reduced along with her motor skills and speech. She continued to babble cheerfully and blow raspberries or spit bubbles throughout their meal. She seemed completely unconcerned with staying clean while eating, not caring at all that much of her meal ended up on her body instead of in her mouth.
Not that he and Rachel were doing much better though. The Gerber’s baby-food being spooned to them from orangey glass tubs with blue labels, tasted disgusting. Not only that, it looked repulsive too. Brian forced himself to swallow the gook but Rachel gagged and spit it back up several times. It wasn’t long before she had it all over her chin. Unable to stomach any more she began to twist her head back and forth in an effort to avoid Sara’s attempts to feed her. The result was some very messy cheeks as well.
“Uck, no more!” Rachel whined, but to no effect.
“C’mon sweetie, eat it all up like a good girl,” Sara encouraged her. When this failed she tried pretending to try the gook herself, proclaiming, “Mmmm, that’s yummy-yummy!” and rubbing her tummy in mime for the girl.
Rachel didn’t believe it for a second of course. She sulked and closed her lips tight, refusing to allow another spoonful of the sludge into her mouth. She was already despairing at how filthy she was from the meal, especially compared to Brian. By accepting the feeding he’d kept himself relatively clean. The Looney Tunes bib tied around his neck to protect his t-shirt was barely even necessary. Rachel and Meggy didn’t have bibs because they had no shirts to need protection. Instead their bare chests had both gotten good and messy. Though Meggy wasn’t as concerned as Rachel, she was busy painting her chest with the spilled food like it was her new favourite game.
“Well at least you did a good job Bri,” Sara told him, though mostly for Rachel’s benefit. “Now you get to have a treat,” she said, beaming as she put a piece of chocolate cake on his tray.
Brian loved chocolate cake and was eager to get some in his mouth. His fingers manipulated it poorly though, crushing the cake and getting his hands coated in frosting. He brought a handful to his mouth, smearing his cheek and dropping crumbs down his bib and onto his diapered lap. He sucked the frosting and crumbs off his fingers and palms, no more concerned with neatness than Meggy. By the time the treat was finished, Brian was a very messy college boy. Mama had to clean off his face and hands with a wet-nap, the same as she did for Rachel.
“I do it!” Rachel had tried to insist.
But Sara had ignored the squalling girl’s pleas and cleaned her up.
“Next time honey, you need to let a grown-up get you clean right now.”
“No!” Rachel repeated.
Sara and Amanda shared an exasperated look, continuing to clean up their charges.
Once the kids were relatively clean again Amanda placed a rattle on each of their trays while she went to prepare their bottles. Meggy took to banging hers on the tray, then discovered it was just as fun to chew on it. Brian gave his an experimental shake and was soon engrossed in playing with it. He used it as a drum stick, a conductor’s baton and a maraca. Rachel refused to get suckered in to playing with a baby toy again. She was determined to keep her mind intact. So she simply shoved hers off the edge of the tray, letting it drop to the floor where it was well out of reach.
“Careful hon’ you shouldn’t throw your toys away,” Sara told the girl, picking it up and placing it on the tray for her again.
Rachel said nothing but stared the woman in the eye as she shoved it back off the tray.
The toy slammed into the floor with a terrific clatter. Sara shook her head reproachfully and picked up the rattle again. This time she held it out before Rachel and enticed her. “C’mon baby girl, don’t you like your toy? Listen to the lovely sounds it makes.”
Rachel shook her head no, willing the woman to leave her alone. But then the mama was shaking the toy, and it was so bright and colourful. It moved back and forth and made these funny, indescribable sounds. Rachel wanted to look away, but it was entrancing, the shifting colours, the rattling noise. She found herself reaching out and the smiling friendly lady slipped it into her hand. Shaking it herself was doubly gratifying. Why had she ever been upset to about being given this silly toy? It was so much fun!
“Okay honey, time for your milky ba-ba!” the mama announced, breaking her concentration on the rattle.
Rachel looked up out of her daze to see Sara holding out a ba-ba filled with milk for her. It was one of those crooked baby bottles that were supposed to be healthier or something. Rachel shook her head, putting out her hand, palm flattened, to refuse the bottle. Okay, so she’d played with a rattle, that didn’t really make her a baby. She wore a diaper, okay, but she hadn’t actually used it yet. No, she was not really a baby. She wouldn’t accept a ba-ba!
However, that nipple did look enticing. Memories of having her thumb in her mouth came flooding back. It had started as nail biting, a bad habit sure, but not infantile. But having something in her mouth like that had felt deeply satisfying on a level she couldn’t have imagined before. The more of her thumb she’d taken into her mouth the safer, more relaxed and peaceful she’d felt. Now that big rubber nipple on the ba-ba seemed to be calling to her. If her thumb had felt that nice, what would a nipple ba-ba be like? How could she refuse to find out?
No! She couldn’t just give in like that! Rachel shook her head, closing her eyes tight and trying to force herself not to think about the thumb, or the nipple before her. She was an adult, a college student for God’s sake. She had to get a grip on herself.
The rubber nipple brushed across her lips, lighting up the nerves there. Instinct took over and in a split second her mind betrayed her and Rachel sucked the nipple into her mouth. She bit down and suckled on it, immediately being rewarded with slightly warm, creamy milk. She suckled and swallowed, letting it squirt across her tongue and cheeks and roll luxuriously down her throat. It made her warm all over, inside and out. She drifted away from her worries, lost in pleasurable sensations. With her eyes only open a crack she could just make out Brian and Meggy enjoying their own ba-bas filled with yummy milk. They too looked just as happy and peaceful as could be suckling away.
When the ba-ba was all done Rachel found she didn’t really want to stop suckling. It was like an urge she had now, to suckle, to keep something in her mouth. She only stopped when Sara eased the bottle away from her. Rachel wasn’t happy to give it up at all. She reached out for it desperately and squalled.
“Mine! Dat mine!” she screeched at the woman.
“Shush now dear,” Sara told her. “I think someone’s getting a bit sleepy and cranky after her ba-ba. Time for this little one to have her nappy-poo.”
The tray was removed and Sara undid the belt keeping Rachel in her seat. The woman didn’t lift her out immediately though. Instead she leant closer and cuddled Rachel into her arms, rubbing her bare back. It wasn’t the same as having her Mama do it, but being held and cuddled was still very nice. Though she was confused when the gentle rubs turned to patting on her back. The next thing she knew something was rushing up her windpipe and she opened her mouth to burp loudly. A second loud burp followed shortly thereafter.
“Ooh, that was quite a burp! You must have really enjoyed your ba-ba to get so much air with your milk,” Sara told her.
With that she set Rachel down on the kitchen floor, letting the girl rest on her hands and knees while she lifted Brian out of his chair and began patting his back the same way. Rachel watched her diapered, bibbed friend get burped by his mother, letting out a series of lengthy burps while he rested his head on her shoulder.
“There we go, that’s a good boy, get it all out,” she crooned to him.
Once Brian seemed to be all burped out Sara lifted him out of his seat and set him on the floor with Rachel. Amanda lifted Meggy out of her seat and carried the grinning big baby out of the room cooing baby-talk to her. Sara set about cleaning up the sizable mess they’d made, leaving them to creep on the floor. After a couple minutes of that boredom set in and the duo got restless. Brian grabbed one of the pots Meggy had left on the floor, tapping it lightly.
Rachel reached out and touched his wrist. “Don’ do it. Wooks dumb,” she told him.
Brian shrugged. “Lookit what I wearin’,” he said, gesturing to his diaper. “Alweady wook dumb.”
Rachel conceded the point, letting his wrist go and watching him bang at the pot, hitting it over and over. She could see that something about making noise satisfied him, he looked entranced. In fact she could feel a growing need to make noise herself. Maybe she could just give the little pot a bang. She started to reach out for it…
“Well how’s mamas little Ringo doing? Are you gonna be a rock star someday honey? Mama’s drummer boy?” Sara asked Brian as she appeared leaning over them, drying off a tray with a paper towel.
Rachel yanked her hand back as though the pot was burning hot. She’d almost given in, almost acted like a stupid little baby again. It was getting harder to fight it. The younger they were treated, the less bodily control they had, the stronger the urges became. It seemed like an instinct she had to fight. Her body wanted to do infantile things.
Brian for his part enjoyed Mama’s silly tone and playful questions. He even smiled up at her, banging loudly on the pot, until he saw Rachel staring worriedly at him. The smile disappeared in an instant, and he blushed with shame at acting so foolish, like he was enjoying being treated like a baby. Mama’s praise made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but Rachel’s cold appraising gaze reminded him that this wasn’t natural at all.
“Sowwy, dunno what I was finkin’” he told her once Mama was gone again.
“Don’ wanna end up wike Meggy,” she reminded him.
Brian nodded gravely. No, he certainly didn’t want that.
The sounds of rolling wheels could be heard then, coming closer and closer. The rolling sound was interspersed with high pitched giggles and squeals. Brian and Rachel looked towards the living room, wondering what was going on. As they looked, Meggy appeared back around the corner. She was in some kind of odd contraption. She was standing up, but she was also sitting down. She was in a saucer shaped vehicle with several wheels like would be on an office chair. Her bottom was suspended in a stretchy seat that wrapped around her crotch, allowing her bowed legs to dangle so her toes brushed across the floor, allowing her to propel herself about without actually walking.
The whole contraption was a giant sized baby walker. It was yellow plastic with a red seat. There was a tray before her with Sesame Street characters built into it, lighting up when she bopped them with her hands. So as she jolted the walker left and right with her uncoordinated leg thrusts she was also eagerly slapping at the figures on the tray, crowing her delight as they lit up.
“Oh my, that is so lovely!” Sara gushed as the bare-chested college girl hopped up and down in the stretchy seat and banged at the tray.
“I know isn’t it? She just loves making her ‘walkies’ in the thing. Y’know what, I have just the thing for Bri too!” Amanda exclaimed, hurrying back into the living room.
She returned pushing a second adult-sized baby walker. It was a bit more basic than Meggy’s, coloured simple grey and lacking toys on the tray. “Meggy loves her new one with toys, but I think Bri would fit in her old one perfectly.”
Sara nodded in agreement and soon Brian was being pulled away from his pots and lifted into the walker. He felt the stretchy material slip around his thighs as he was lowered. It caught him and suspended him in the air. It was an odd feeling, being able to just feel the floor brushing back and forth across his toes.
“It’s a perfect fit,” Sara declared.
“Excellent, these things are really good for keeping them out of trouble y’know. They can’t quite reach anything to get hurt and there’s no falling down. But I’m afraid they do bang into a lot of stuff, so put away anything breakable.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
Rachel felt a bit left out watching Brian and Meggy bump into each other in their saucers. She was still stuck down on the floor, her useless legs folded up beneath her. Silly as they looked, they at least allowed her friends the dignity of being at the same height as the grown-ups. As she sulked on the floor though, Rachel soon discovered much more pressing concerns. Her stomach was cramping, forcing her to bend over. The cramping moved downwards, into her lower abdomen. She moaned as she felt it continuing to move through her, fearing what was about to happen.
Sure enough her recent meal had triggered her digestive system to clear some room. She needed to make a poopie, and she needed to make it soon. She wanted to hold it in but her sphincter muscle seemed to have lost all its tone. She couldn’t seem to clamp down at all. She really did need this diaper after all, she had lost all control. That was a painful fact to admit.
A knocking at the door distracted Rachel from her dread for a second. The Mamas looked up and Sara glanced at the clock. “Do you think it’s her?” she queried.
“Hello, hello, hello!” Joy’s voice called from the front foyer, answering Sara’s question.
“Hi Joy, we’re in the kitchen!” Amanda called out.
Joy came in carrying Danny on her hip. Though he was nearly the same size as her, and looked ridiculous with his long gangly legs wrapped around hers, Joy seemed to have no difficulty carrying him. The teen baby was wearing a yellow terrycloth onesie that left his legs and feet bare. A matching yellow and white Pluto pacifier bobbed back and forth in his mouth. He seemed oblivious to the world, staring with empty eyes up at the ceiling.
“How was the dentist?” Sara asked as Joy walked in.
“Oh just fine, little guy is having some real discomfort with the teething now. But hey, he’ll be able to really try some solids pretty soon, so that’s nice.”
“He’s really getting big,” Amanda agreed, tickling Danny’s cheek.
“I just hope he doesn’t bite mama too much while he’s feeding. I don’t wanna be nursing a shark. That’s why I had to switch Rachel to formula when she was eighteen,” Joy commented. “Speaking of which, how is my little princess?”
“She’s been perfect, ate all her food and had quite a good couple burps for me too,” Sara told her.
Joy looked down at Rachel and smiled wickedly. “Uh-oh, I know that face. Looks like we’re about to have a little stink bomb here,” she joked.
Rachel shuddered and pawed at her tummy. Was she really that obvious? How could her mama be making fun of this? She was feeling absolutely humiliated and now all the adults were giggling and staring at her.
“Potty pwease!” she squealed, willing even to use a stupid potty seat to poop in now, an idea that mortified her only hours ago.
“Potty? I wonder where she learned that word,” Joy mused.
“P’ease, wanna potty,” Rachel repeated.
“She must’ve heard it at daycare,” Sara suggested.
They were ignoring her! How could they just stand there and allow her to poo-poo her diaper?! It infuriated Rachel. Then she felt the final cramp. Despite all her willpower the body betrayed her, pushing in response. She felt the mess ooze out from her bottom, squishing into the seat of her diaper. It was an unstoppable flow. She could feel it sliding across her bottom, coating her soft skin. Rachel could smell it too, almost immediately. It was a powerful stench, inescapable, unmistakable. Then came the noise, little popping farts as she pushed the last of it out. The sound, the smell, her red face and tight lips all announced to the room exactly what she’d just done.
She recalled Meggy vomiting when Danny had poopied his diaper at the restaurant. She’d been sick then herself. Now it was her diaper, her bottom covered in her own dirty mess. Brian was staring down at her from his walker, a look of utter horror in his eyes. He wrinkled his nose and pushed his walker backwards, away from her stench. Rachel didn’t cry this time, she was beyond tears now. She fought the urge to vomit again, forcing herself to think of other things.
“Pee-you! Wow girl, you sure are a stinky-bum aren’t you?” Joy chided her daughter.
“I… I poopy,” Rachel managed to choke out.
“Yes, sweetie that’s right,” Joy now agreed, seemingly proud the girl recognised the fact. “If she knows when she’s messy, maybe she will actually be ready for the potty soon,” the woman said to the other mothers.
“Maybe, but twenty-one is a bit early don’t you think?” Sara asked.
“Could be she’s a really early bloomer. Anyway, we’ll see if she continues to show interest. Maybe in a couple months we’ll give it a try. In the meantime though, we better get this girl clean before her bum gets all red and itchy.”
Rachel watched Mama set Danny down on the floor and come over to her. She was being lifted by her arm-pits, the heavily loaded diaper hanging threateningly low on her hips as Mama carried her out of the kitchen.
“You can use Sue and Meggy’s changing table, in their room,” Amanda told her.
Mama swung her arm under Rachel’s bum and settled her on the hip as Danny had been before. The move caused the messy diaper to squish against her bottom, spreading the cooling mess even more. With every step Mama took the diaper squished across her bum again and she winced and gagged.
Upstairs they went, then along a darkened hall and into a room. When Joy found the switch on the wall the room lit up, revealing a big nursery. Two massive cribs stood against opposite walls, each quite big enough to hold an adult. One had a mobile filled with shining green and silver orbs, the other had a mobile using glittering bits of pink and red plastic rocket ship, stars and planets revolving around and around. Other than the cribs the room was Spartan. After all, the babies’ toys were all inside their cribs or down in the living room in the playpen.
In fact Mama carried Rachel to the only other piece of furniture in the room, a changing table. Like everything else it was wide and long enough to fit a twenty-one year old. Mama set her down on her back, making her squirm as the cool plastic brushed across her exposed skin. Then Mama pulled a sizable strap across her tummy and buckled it in so she wouldn’t fall off the table.
“Don’ need dat!” Rachel insisted.
But Mama shushed her and in a quick motion slipped a pink binkie between her lips. Rachel tried to spit it out right away, but Mama held it there a moment. It felt good to have the rubber teat in her mouth actually. Something about suckling was so comforting, it was indescribable. She began to suckle the rubber nub, her cheeks working as the sounds of her suckling reached Mama’s ear and she let go of the binkie.
Rachel didn’t try to speak again, the binkie felt too nice to remove. She didn’t want to speak, she only wanted to suckle, and suckle and suckle. But she still didn’t like being touched and laid bare on this table so she squirmed more. Then Mama produced a set of plastic keys, one red, others yellow, blue, pink, orange and so on. Mama jiggled the keys, making them noisy. Rachel found their motion entrancing, the noises they made music to her ears. She wanted them so badly. She reached out for them but Mama held them just out of reach. She heard the rip of the tabs of her diaper letting go and then felt cool air on her exposed privates. She didn’t care, she wanted those keys.
Mama let Rachel close her hands on the keys at last and she felt triumphant. She felt them all over, brushed them against her cheek to feel their texture. Seized by a sudden urge she released the binkie from her mouth and bit down on the solid plastic, feeling it with her gums and gnawing at it with her few teethies. She felt her legs being lifted and then a very cool wet thing rubbing in her bottom finally distracted her from the keys.
Mama was between her legs again, lifting them in the air, cleaning her poopy bum-bum with baby-wipes. The filthy diaper was already gone and she was naked again. Rachel blinked and focused her thoughts. She was lying on a changing table naked with toy keys in her mouth. Yet, she could feel that she was actually smiling! She yanked the keys clear and wiped the smile from her face instantly, staring determinedly at the ceiling while the wiping continued and got harsher.
“My you got messy this time Rachel!” Joy told her happily. Seeing her girl’s sour expression she reached a free hand up and tickled Rachel’s tummy, making her squeal and giggle despite herself.
When the cool wipes were finally put away and Mama had cleaned off all the revolting poopy, Rachel breathed a sigh of relief. Mama got out some lotion next, cleaning her most private parts with a motherly care. She counted the dots on the ceiling above her while Mama dusted her with baby powder, then slipped a new diaper under her bum and taped it up.
Mama brushed her nose right up to Rachel’s and gave her an Eskimo kiss, then replaced the binkie back in the girl’s mouth. “All clean and snug!” she chirped. “You don’t need a shirt tonight, do you? No, of course not, we want baby to be nice and comfy.”
Mama lifted her off the table at last, but instead of returning downstairs she carried Rachel across to one of the cribs, dropping the side and setting her on the bed. Rachel scooted back into it as Mama raised the side back up, leaving her looking at her mother through wooden bars. She felt like she was in a jail cell or a cage at a zoo.
“Okay Rachel, time for nighty-nights,” Mama explained to the perplexed young woman.
Rachel shook her head no.
“Sorry hon’ but it’s really late. You need some shut-eye. We have a big day tomorrow. We’re going to Gymboree! Doesn’t that sound fun? Of course it does! I know mama’s princess is just going to love it. But you need to be rested sweetie. You need to go night-nights.”
Rachel plucked out her pacifier. “No, not ni-nights. It earwy. No beddy!”
“Shh, honey, Brian and Meggy will be up for beddy-byes in just a moment. You all need to rest.”
Rachel still pouted, cursing her inability to get adult thoughts to reach her mouth and come out sounding properly. She would have continued to rage, but she could feel her unstable emotions getting out of control again. She didn’t want to have a silly baby tantrum or cry in front of Mama. So she crossed her arms and sulked in silence. Mama dropped the rail half-way again so she could peck a kiss on Rachel’s forehead, then she put it back up and headed out the door, blowing kisses as she went.
The crib had a number of plushy animals and along the wall side of it was a play station with levers and buttons to push, sounds to make and such. Rachel ignored it, sucking on her binkie again and counting the toy keys still in her hands. She didn’t have to play alone long though. Soon enough the Mamas were all pouring into the room with ‘babies’ in their arms. Unfortunately they decided to separate them by sex, setting empty-headed little Meggy in her crib and putting Brian across the room with drooling, finger-munching Danny boy. Rachel wasn’t sure where Sue was sleeping, but apparently not with them. Maybe she was in a damned bassinet at this point, Rachel thought.
Meggy hopped up and down in the crib, standing up with the support of the railing. “Okay jumping bean, time to get to sleepy-byes,” Amanda told the excited girl.
“Ni-nigh!” Meggy agreed, dropping to her bum and gathering the fuzzy blankie up to her cheek for a cuddle.
Her mama messed up her hair and then headed out after the others, leaving the room illuminated by a night light that cast an eerie bluish glow. A baby monitor sat on the changing table between the cribs. Rachel watched it carefully, waiting for Meggy to drift off to sleep, sucking on the end of the blankie. She just needed to wait until the real babies were asleep, then she could talk to Brian about their predicament. They could figure out where that book was, maybe find it once the grown-ups were asleep.
Suckling the binkie and cuddling the soft stuffed toy bunny in her arms Rachel was suddenly very sleepy. Meggy seemed to be out of it, surely Danny was too. Now she just needed to get up and drop the side of the crib. If only her eyes weren’t so heavy. She just needed to rest them for a second… just for a moment…
Morning sunlight streamed into the nursery, playing across Rachel’s face, slowly waking her from deep slumber. Even with her eyes still closed she could see the light through her eyelids. She could feel the warmth on her face too. It wasn’t the sun that brought her quickly back to awareness though, it was the smell. Something absolutely reeked. It was five times worse than when she was poopy last night. Her hand instinctively went to the front of her diaper. Sure enough it squelched at the touch and she felt the cool liquid of pee-pee swishing around her loins. But there was no muck on her bum, she hadn’t made poo-poo in her sleep.
Rachel opened her eyes, blinking as they adjusted to the light. Something was looming above her and to the right. Rolling over to see it more clearly Rachel gagged and pulled back to the side of the crib. A large brown-stained bare bottom was presented to her. Meggy was standing at the side of the crib holding onto the railing, her poop-smeared butt uncovered and presented to Rachel. The woman’s messy, reeking diaper was discarded on the mattress of the crib, where she’d apparently yanked it off after waking up messy. Now Meggy was standing there buck naked, smiling and clapping her slightly poopy hands at the window, where she could see birdies flying by.
Rachel’s sudden movement got the big baby’s attention though, and she twisted around, letting go of the railing and so plopping on her back. She sat up, unbothered by her tumble onto the soft mattress, and extended her dirty, disgusting hands towards Rachel, as though expecting a hug. Having no intention of cuddling the messy girl, Rachel dropped the side of the crib and slipped out of it. Her legs folded beneath her as soon as they reached the floor, forcing her to crawl across the room to the other crib.
Rising to her knees Rachel managed to get hold of the other crib’s railing. She pulled herself up to a standing position, her legs quaky but holding, and dropped the side. Danny was awake already too. Her eighteen-year old brother was still dressed in a yellow terry onesie, playing with his feet. He’d apparently become much more limber as a result of the changes to his body caused by the cursed book. He was able to easily pull his legs back so that his feet were on either side of his head. He yanked them back and forth playfully, babbling to himself.
“Oh Danny, I so sowwy,” Rachel apologised to her sadly reduced brother. He had been so bright before, so innovative and thoughtful. Now he had discovered how to get his toes into his own mouth and was beaming with cross-eyed glee as he munched away at his toesies.
Brian too was awake, and he didn’t look anywhere near as happy as the toe-muncher beside him. Brian looked as gravely serious as one dressed in a t-shirt and diaper could.
“We scwewed,” he muttered after a long silence.
Rachel shook her head and gave him a reproachful look. He wasn’t going to abandon her now, she couldn’t carry on alone.
“Don’ say dat! We can fix it!” she insisted.
“I wet,” Brian replied simply.
“Me too,” Rachel admitted. “Don’ mattah. We gonna find da book today.”
Brian shrugged. “'N den what?”
She didn’t have an answer for that of course. So she replied with another question. “So what den? We gib up 'n be wike him?” she asked, gesturing to the young man still absolutely engrossed with his footsies.
“Or her?” she continued, pointing to the poopy naked woman shaking the set of toy keys about.
“No,” Brian agreed, clearly disgusted by the very thought.
“Wight den. We gonna fix it!” Rachel told him, determined.
The door to the room opened without warning and Rachel twisted around to find Mama and Sara looking over at her, perplexed.
“How did you get loose, silly goose?” Mama asked.
Shrugging, Rachel just replied, “Wanted ta pway.”
Mama put her hands on her hips and shook her head, but the smile told Rachel she wasn’t really in trouble. Amanda was already putting her dirty girl on the change table to clean her up.
“My goodness she’s a mess. I think I’ll have to give her a bath before Gymboree,” Amanda said.
“That sounds like a good idea, let’s give them all a bath,” Joy agreed.
Amanda nodded and a few minutes later Brian and Rachel were standing in the bathroom holding the wall for support while their mamas stripped off their wet diapers and wiped their privates clean. It surprised Rachel how comfortable she was becoming with being naked. She didn’t like it, in fact it still embarrassed her, but nothing like the shame she felt earlier. She’d been stripped so many times now it was becoming routine. She imagined that if this went on much longer she might actually start to lose her adult modesty. Even seeing Brian’s penis dangling there beside her and watching his Mama wipe it clean didn’t shock her anymore.
“There we go, all dry,” Sara announced as she finished wiping the tip of Brian’s pee-pee clean. “Now get those cute little tushies in the tubby,” she directed, leading Brian by the hand.
Rachel crept across the cool tile floor and climbed into the tub after Brian, joining Meggy and Danny already inside. Amanda was washing Sue separately. The teen girl was sat in her baby bath again and like Danny was enjoying a nice morning toe-munching session while her mama washed her tummy and boobies.
The big tub was larger than a normal one, but it was still quite a squeeze with four teens and young adults in it. Danny and Meggy were engrossed in a splashing competition, suds piled on their heads as they slapped their flattened palms on the surface of the bathwater and crowed their delight. Brian, even more than Rachel, was still feeling shame at being naked in a tub with the others. So he sat quietly, covering up his pee-pee as best he could. He had been cringing as his Mama cleaned it right in front of Rachel and now he just wanted a diaper on so he could hide his shame.
After allowing the babies some time for play, and once the floor of the bathroom was sufficiently soaked, the mothers stepped in to bathe the kids. Brian and Rachel tried to be cooperative so that it would be over faster. When Sara told them to lie on their fronts so she could clean their bums, they did as they were told. Only when they saw the flash did they realise she was actually snapping photos of the four young people lined up in the tub with their bare bums pressed hip to hip against each other and presented to the camera.
“Hey!” Brian yelled, wounded.
Sara didn’t seem to notice his disapproval. “What cute little bums!” she said to Joy.
“I know, couldn’t you just eat them up!”
Sara nodded back, giggling.
The bath seemed to go on for an eternity. Finally the water was drained and the wrinkly kids climbed out and let their mothers towel them dry. When their new outfits came out they were just relieved to see some clothing, regardless of how infantile it was.
First came their new diapers, thick but flexible for the budding toddlers. These were simply taped onto them while they lay on the bathroom floor. Then their new clothing was brought out. Rachel found herself being slipped into a pale pink and white romper with stitched on bunnies. The fleecy garment was quite soft and cuddly and it covered her breasts and even her thighs, coming to just above the knee length. It had snaps around the crotch to allow for easy diaper changes.
Brian found himself being placed in a romper of his own, though his was more of a boy’s design. It was yellow and blue striped with a rugby-shirt styled collar. His failed to cover any of his legs though and the lining of his diaper poked out around the leg holes, leaving no doubt he wasn’t potty-trained anymore. Just as with Rachel’s, his romper had snaps around the crotch for quicker changes.
Beside them Meggy was being slipped into a simple baby dress. It was purple and sleeveless at the top with lots of ruffles in the skirt. Danny wore black jean short-alls over a white t-shirt, though they were clearly meant for a baby as the jeans had snaps around the crotch the same as the rompers. Finally Sue was carried back into the room dressed in a pale blue onesie with the word iPood across the front. The mamas all shared a chuckle at the silly outfit while Brian and Rachel tried to figure out what was so funny.
It wasn’t a long car ride to the mall but getting all the babies strapped in took longer than the actual drive. There were no more simple booster seats, they were now all in full baby seats, Sue’s facing backwards. Meggy, Rachel and Brian were all placed in the minivan while the younger babies went in the other car. Sitting strapped in their confining baby seats while Sara turned on inane nursery rhymes to play the whole drive the former college students felt a renewed sense of hopelessness. Of course Meggy was perfectly content to chew on her toy bunny and bang her hands on the window, but the other two simply sulked and tried to tune out the insipid music.
Halfway to the mall Meggy threw her bunny at the seat in front of her, watching it fall to the floor. She leant over as best she could in her restraints and tried to pick it up. Of course anyone with half a brain could see that would be impossible. Meggy soon realised this as well, but she couldn’t undo her restraints to get at it either. Pushing the big red buttons and releasing the belts was simply much too complicated for Meggy’s mushy brain. So, out of frustration, Meggy began to wail. And unlike a little baby her wails were at adult volume, ear-piercingly loud.
While Sara tried in vain to appease the screeching, balling young woman Rachel and Brian covered their ears. Meggy was in full tantrum mode, kicking her bare feet against the back of the passenger seat, pounding her fists on her baby seat. Sara drove with one hand and rifled through the bag she’d packed with the other, glancing away from the road every couple seconds to look for something to calm the girl down. As she did so the bag tipped on its side and spilled out on the floor. Brian’s eyes widened as he looked down at the contents sliding about the floor. Among them was a pink book with bunnies on the cover. Even though he couldn’t actually read the title anymore he knew that was Catcher in the Rye in its new form. If only he could reach it!
“Da book! Da book!” he yelled to Rachel, pointing.
Barely able to hear him over the commotion the girl next to her was making Rachel tried to see what he was pointing at. When she understood what she was looking at Rachel let out a gasp. The book was right there in the back seat with them, only inches away. It was well out of Brian’s reach, but she could get to it, not with her hands of course, but with her feet. For once she was happy Mama was taking her out to a public place in bare feet, because now she was able to use her toes to grasp at the book. Unfortunately it was harder than she thought. Her fingers had become less coordinated and her toes were even worse. She finally succeeded in pulling it away from the rest of the bag’s contents, placing it right beneath her feet.
“Leabe it dere,” Brian told her.
“I awmost got it,” she insisted.
“Don’ push it, we get it after,” he told her.
So she stopped trying and left it on the floor. She could have gotten her belt off and picked it up, but not without Sara noticing. Meanwhile Meggy had finally calmed down, her wailing trailing off to quiet sobbing and hiccups. Rachel decided that as soon as Brian’s Mama freed her from the seat, she’d grab the book.
The minivan eased into a parking space in the covered parking lot outside the Westfield Tri-City Mall. Sara turned the car off, finally ending the incessant repetition of the nursery rhymes. Rachel readied herself to grab the book, but wasn’t sure if she should un-strap herself from the seat. She didn’t want to get in trouble. She decided to wait for Sara to let her out.
Brian’s Mama slid the door open and immediately gave her boy a tickle on his tummy. “Well weren’t you a good little passenger today!” she praised. “You and Rachel were so good, Mama will get you a special treat for lunch.”
Sara leant drew out a collapsed stroller from the floor behind their seats, popping it open to reveal it was a double-seat one. It had two navy seats with little waist belts to strap them in and foot rests just above the small grey wheels. The back had pouches for Mama to fit their diaper bags, baby-wipes and toys into. The stroller was as big as a small couch once it was assembled, easily big enough to fit two adults.
Sara undid Brian’s seat-belts and swept him into her arms without giving him a second to attempt to grab the book from the floor. In one motion she had him sat in the stroller and was doing up the belt around his waist. As she did this Rachel decided she couldn’t wait any longer. She pressed down on the red button at the centre of her tummy, releasing the belts. Shoving them over her head she scooted forward out of the backwards angled seat and dropped onto her knees on the car floor. With a squeal of success she pulled the round-edged toddler book into her arms and held it tight against her body.
“How did you get out of your seat?” Sara asked as she ducked back into the car.
“Took off da belt. Me hewp. I big guwl,” Rachel told her, trying to sound cute and innocent.
“Well thank you honey, but I think it’s safer if you let a grown-up undo your belt from now on.”
“'Kay!” Rachel agreed, happy she wasn’t in any trouble.
Sara nodded and lifted Rachel by her armpits, swinging her through the air. She felt her bottom slipping into the new stroller seat after the dizzying spin. Then as Sara did up her waist-belt the grown-up noticed the book in her hands.
“What you got there sweetie?” she inquired.
“My book,” Rachel insisted, hugging it tighter.
“Oh, are you going to read that to your little brother?”
Rachel nodded sheepishly, unwilling to admit she couldn’t read a word.
“Well I think I’d better hang onto it now so it isn’t lost in the mall,” Sara declared, reaching out for the book.
Rachel shook her head vigorously and held onto it tightly. “No! Mine!” she yelled.
“Rachel, don’t be naughty. Let me have the book. You don’t want it to get hurt do you?” Sara asked, grasping the exposed edge of the book.
Rachel’s heart was pounding. After all she’d gone through she couldn’t just let it go. The book was her only link to the life she’d once had, perhaps her only means of returning to it. She wanted to explain all that to the woman but her mind was racing in panic and she couldn’t put her words together. “Mine! Need it!” was all she could manage to yell.
But Rachel was no match for the woman. Despite being no bigger than the girl she seemed infinitely stronger. She pried open the girl’s arms and slipped the book from her grasp. Rachel was reduced to squalling with anger, tears dripping down her cheeks as she kicked her feet on the footrest and wailed. Brian seemed frightened by her loss of control and he tried to comfort her, rubbing her arm and whispering that she had to calm down.
Sara placed the book back in her bag and swung that over her shoulder. She simply ignored Rachel’s tantrum, hoping it would stop when it didn’t gain her any attention. Instead she lifted Meggy out of her seat and onto her hip, carrying the now calm binkie-sucking girl through the parking lot.
As the stroller neared the entry to the mall Rachel forced herself to get control. She couldn’t be seen having a tantrum, she just couldn’t! It was hard to stop though. Her emotions felt overwhelming. How did the woman not understand how important that book was to her? Sure to a grown-up it was just some silly baby book, but it meant the world to Rachel. She’d had it right there in her arms and now it was gone! How could she not cry after losing it?
The strolled rolled through the automatic doors, a cool air-conditioned breeze blowing across their faces. As the wheels jostled over the entry mat and then onto the smooth faux-granite floor Rachel finally managed to dry her tears and confine her cries to a few sniffles. Brian touched her arm again, giving her a sympathetic look. “You okay?” he asked.
Rachel gave him a little nod, afraid to open her mouth to speak lest a wail come out instead.
“We get it 'gain” he assured her.
Rachel wanted to believe that, but she still felt lost.
The mall was filled with people. The first thing she saw was a group of half a dozen 30-ish people wearing hoodies and baggy calf-length jean shorts, iPods in their ears, texting on cell phones as they went from store to store. They looked like the junior high aged mall rats she usually saw in this place, except now the boys were six feet tall and balding and the girls actually needed make-up to cover the first signs of wrinkles on their foreheads.
A man and woman of about fifty passed the bubble-gum chewing gaggle of thirty year olds, towing two twenty-something men by their hands. These towering young fellows were each about six-foot three or four. One was dressed in a Spiderman t-shirt, baggy jean shorts and light-up black sandals. The other wore a tank-top, gaudy bright swim trunks and yellow SpongeBob flip-flops. Spiderman boy was pointing at a candy shop, begging to get some sugary treats while the clearly younger boy was busy picking his nose with his free hand. Mom and Dad just led them out of the mall, ignoring the little one’s pleas.
The further their stroller pushed into the mall the busier it became and the more self-conscious Rachel and Brian felt about their getup and mode of transport. There only comfort was that there were others who appeared worse off. Like the woman who appeared a year or two older than them and was being led through the food-court by an older man by a harness strapped around her shoulders. The man pulled the leash to keep her toddling along whenever she spotted something shiny or pretty and tried to wander off to touch it. Or the young man about the same age as her who was being led skipping barefoot though the mall in just his t-shirt and Bob the Builder underoos, probably having wet his pants earlier.
Rather than head directly for Gymboree Sara pushed their stroller into the food-court, heading for McDonald’s. As they waited in line Brian began to squirm. At first he wasn’t sure why he felt so antsy. He thought maybe it was because he was being confined to a stroller instead of being able to walk. But it was more than that. He felt pressure building up, he needed to pee-pee. Brian adjusted his position, trying to hold it in. He’d wet himself in his sleep but not yet while awake. He recalled the disgust on Rachel’s face when she used her diaper the night before. It was clearly an awful experience.
Sara reached the front of the line and ordered a burger for herself and juice for the babies. Looking down at her little boy she saw him squirming in his seat.
“What’s the matter baby?” she asked, giving him a light tickle on his tummy again.
That was the last thing Brian needed. The tickle was the final straw. He giggled involuntarily and his immature bladder let go. He felt the rush of warmth down his penis and then the eruption of liquid in his diaper. Nerve endings danced with pleasure as he let go. Even though the urge had only hit him moments ago, it felt as though he’d being holding it in for an eternity. It was a massive relief to get it out and Brian couldn’t help but sigh. The warmth of the pee swirling around his diaper and cupping his crotch was nothing short of pleasurable. He even smiled it felt so nice.
Mama knew exactly what the squirming, the sigh and the smile meant too. “Uh-oh!” she declared jokingly. “I think someone just made wee-wee. Is that true Bri?”
Brian’s smile was gone, his cheeks pink. He nodded furtively, not really wanting to admit what he’d done but unable to deny it. At least it wasn’t poopy, he thought. That was a small comfort, but it was something. He felt Mama’s hand caressing his cheek, mussing up his hair. “That’s okay honey, Mama will get you changed in just a second,” she crooned.
With her meal in hand Mama turned the stroller around and headed out of the food-court and into the main mall. She checked her watch and declared, “We don’t have much time honey, so mama will have to get you changed fast.”
She rolled not towards the restrooms but to the centre of the mall, stopping next to a maroon padded bench backing onto a row of fake-looking plants. She undid Brian’s belt and lifted him out, juggling him and Meggy for a second before slipping the girl into the empty stroller seat and setting him on the bench and pushing him onto his back. Up to that point he’d been confused by what she was doing, but then it hit him exactly what was happening. Brian shook his head and tried to sit back up.
“Brian, be still for mama,” she ordered.
He continued to struggle, squirming and trying to sit up again, banging his heels on the padded bench. “No, not change here, go bat’ woom!” he demanded.
“Honey there isn’t time. Now don’t be silly, you can’t stay in a wet diaper. Mama needs to get you all clean and dry.”
Brian twisted away from her but she was so much stronger than him now. He couldn’t tell if it was he who’d become weak or she who had become super-strong, but the result was the same. She pinned him down and began to undo the snaps on his romper’s crotch. “Pop, pop, pop,” they went, slowly revealing his diaper.
Rachel and Meggy had front-row seats to his diaper change. Rachel was at least nice enough to deliberately look away, but Meggy seemed quite entertained and kept up a running commentary. “Him pee-pee baby! Pee-pee diapee! Mama pee-pee bye-bye,” she babbled loudly.
The snaps undone Mama pushed the romper up to reveal the whole diaper, then undid the tabs and opened it up. Sure enough it was quite soaked, urine still glistening on his penis. Mama slipped the diaper out from under him, balling it up and disposing of it. Looking around she rolled her eyes and declared, “Whoops, forgot to get a fresh one. Now stay still baby, Mama doesn’t want to have to chase any more mall jaybirds.”
Brian had no intention of going anywhere stripped like this. He was left lying on the bench with his whole crotch exposed, his pee-pee dangling there for every passerby to see. The cool breeze across it seemed to sting him. He didn’t cry because he couldn’t afford to draw any more attention to his situation. As it turned out, it didn’t matter.
A young woman appeared at the end of the bench, smiling down at Brian and his exposed privates. She had big innocent blue eyes, short blonde hair in messy pig-tails and a goofy gap-toothed grin that told him she didn’t have much going on between her ears anymore.
“Mommy lookit da baby gettin’ changed!” she announced loudly enough to turn the heads of every passing shopper.
Brian cringed and a shiver of shame ran from his head to his bared toes. The girl’s mother appeared at her side and Brian hoped she would lead the girl away and tell her off for embarrassing him so. But the woman just beamed at her daughter and nodded. She had no intention of reprimanding the girl, after all why would anything she’d said actually embarrass Brian, he was just a dumb little baby who didn’t know any better, right?
“Yes sweetie, the baby is getting a new diapie,” she agreed.
“Him gotta a pee-pee diapee. I don’ needa diapie no more cuz I’m a big gi’l!” the woman told everyone in earshot.
There was nowhere to hide. He could see the shoppers turning their heads, looking down at his wet penis, seeing that he was nothing more than a diaper-wetting infant. He just prayed Mama would hurry up with her rifling through the diaper bag, pull one out and cover him up again.
“He needs a diapie cuz he just a siwwy widdle baby!” the woman continued, clearly proud of herself.
Her mother just patted her head and agreed that she was a big girl and that she was very proud of her toileting abilities. Then Sara joined them, new diaper in her hand at last. Only she wasn’t immediately pinning it on him. Instead she’d stopped to chat with the damned rubberneckers.
“I see Brian has a little audience,” she chuckled.
“Yes, my Cindy is just fascinated with babies who still need diapers I’m afraid. I hope you don’t mind?” the other mother said.
Brian rolled his eyes at the woman asking Mama if she minded when it was he who was being put on display!
“No problem at all. It must be nice to have your baby out of diapers,” Sara told the woman.
“Nota baby!” Cindy piped up. “Baby gotta wear diapees. Me go pee-pee in da potty an’ got big guwl pannies see!” she declared, yanking down her shorts to reveal her Tinkerbelle print pull-ups.
“Cindy, big girls don’t show people their undies!” her mother reminded her, pulling the girl’s shorts back up.
“Sowwy mommy,” she pouted.
“Oh it’s okay, I can see she’s just very proud to be a big girl,” Sara assured.
“Thanks, but she needs to learn not to go around flashing people.”
“Oh well, kids will be kids. She’s much too little to have a sense of modesty yet.”
The mothers shared a knowing nod and Cindy was finally led away, waving bye-bye to the baby.
Mama then turned her attention back to her boy, slipping the new diaper under him and praising his good behaviour. “Thank you for staying put dear, you’ve been a very good baby.”
Once his penis was wiped clean and he was well powdered the diaper was finally closed up and the romper snapped shut again. Then it was he who was lifted onto Mama’s hip while Meggy rode in the stroller.