Eight Days of Diapers - Part III: Trapped in White

Part III: Trapped in White

Andy often had to pee when he woke up and Saturday was no exception. He half-turned to rise from his bed and head for the bathroom, but the crinkling that came with this movement reminded him there was no need to do so. He was wearing a diaper now and he might as well put it to use.

Unfortunately, that proved easier said than done. His bladder was well-trained and would not yield. Andy experimented with several positions before he found one – flat on his back, butt raised, knees tucked to chest – that worked. He relaxed and began to fill his diaper. It felt warm, wet and wonderful.

Later, after he’d changed and eaten and had started on some reading for school, his mother approached him with a worried look. A dagger of fear struck Andy at the base of his neck. This was too good to be true, he thought. They were going to take his diapers away.

“I just got off the phone with your Aunt Deb,” she said. “It looks like you won’t be the only one in diapers today.”

Andy glared at her, bewildered. Who else could it be?"

“You know your Uncle Marty’s been in and out of the hospital a lot lately,” his mother continued. “It’s been very rough on all of your cousins, especially Libby. She’s been having accidents.”

“Oh,” Andy said. He didn’t know how he was supposed to react to that. Was he supposed to feel guilty? Sad? Relieved?

“I told your Aunt Deb a little fib,” his mother confessed. “I said you’d been having accidents too and that’s why you’re wearing diapers. Would you be willing to play along, Andy? It would make your cousin feel a lot better.”

“Sure,” Andy said, without really thinking about it. He had four cousins on his mother’s side. Matt was nearly a decade older, an adult away at college who he rarely saw. Hannah was 17 and almost home free. She had little use for him or Jake, he suspected. Noah or “Tony,” as he liked to be called, was 9 and seemed pretty cool for his age, but Jake liked to hog his attention. That left Libby by default. She was a few months younger than Andy and he never had any problems with her, but she was a girl and he was never sure what things girls liked, so they never had much to talk about. He doubted diapers would bring them closer together.

The family would be celebrating Hanukah that evening with Andy’s grandparents on his mother’s side. They lived about an hour away, a straight shot down two highways. Snow was forecast for that night, but Andy’s father said they should be back home before it got too bad. Andy hoped so – he looked forward to playing more Wii later on.

They set out in the late afternoon. Thick clouds grayed the sky, but the ground was still dry. Before they left, Andy handed his mother one of his diapers and asked her to hold it in her purse. She gave him an odd look, but did not refuse the request. Andy hadn’t planned on wetting his diaper in front of his cousins and grandparents, but he had no idea how far he’d have to go in pretending to need them.

It had been months since Andy saw his mother’s family – they’d gone to his father’s grandparents’ for Thanksgiving – and Andy was surprised by how different everyone looked. Aunt Deb’s hair was shorter and Tony’s was longer, while Hannah had put on a few pounds. No one, however, looked more different than his Uncle Marty. When Andy last saw his mother’s older brother, he had sandy brown hair that was lightly flecked with gray. It was completely silver now, verging on white. Uncle Marty had also lost a great deal of weight. Fighting cancer had left him gaunt and nearly skeletal. He also looked very, very tired, as if the easy chair he was sitting on could swallow him up whole.

Andy was able to stifle a gasp when he saw him, but there was no stifling his flinch when he felt Uncle Marty’s bony fingers on his arm.

“How’reya doing, champ?” he said.

“Fine,” Andy replied, a little too quickly. “I…uh…hope you feel better.”

Uncle Marty pressed his thin lips into a smile, but Andy could not bring himself to match the gesture. He knew at one point, when he was in the hospital, that Uncle Marty looked even worse than this. It was no wonder Libby was having problems. If he saw his own father so close to death, he’d have problems too.

Libby, for her part, looked almost exactly the same. She was a little sullen, perhaps, but she did not seem taller, older, thinner or fatter. She also did not seem to be diapered. She was wearing a denim skirt with burgundy leggings and Andy couldn’t make out a bulge.

After his initial hellos, Andy stayed clear of her. He tried to talk to Tony instead, but stupid Jake kept monopolizing the conversation (“What’d you get, Tony?” and “Tony, guess what I got?” and “What do you think you’ll get tonight?”). Andy could have told him to be quiet, but they would have argued and the last thing he wanted to do then and there was stir up trouble. With Hannah ignoring him and his grandparents vaguely terrifying (his grandfather was very tall and scowled often, his grandmother was slowly going deaf), he finally found himself sitting next to Libby regardless.

She’d taken refuge on the floor, where she sat with her head on her knees. “I’m sorry about your dad,” Andy told her.

“He’s not dead!” she snapped. He was taken aback by her insistence and scooted an inch or two away. While he moved, his diaper crinkled, and he found Libby staring wide-eyed at his pants. “You too?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Andy said, embarrassed.

“I hate it,” she told him.

“I…it’s not so bad,” he said. He wouldn’t own up to liking diapers, at least not to her, but he could only pretend so much for her sake.

It wasn’t long before dinner smells beckoned everyone to the long dining room table. Grandpa Gellman took the head, Uncle Marty sat at the foot so he could get out easily. Andy sat roughly halfway down with Jake on his left and Libby on his right. Soon, the table began to fill: iced tea in a glass pitcher, brisket on a platter, bowls of vegetables and a plate piled high with latkes.

It took several minutes for everyone to plate up and the wait made Andy’s mouth water. For as different as his religion made him feel, he never felt self-conscious about liking Jewish food. Latkes were a treat his goyim friends would never know.

He was heartened too by the game of dreidel which started not long after dinner ended. He and Jake and Tony and Libby sat in a circle on the living room floor. Their grandmother passed them a wooden dreidel and some gelt to play with and they took turns spinning the four-sided top. Two of the four faces – gimmel and hey – meant he got at least some of the gelt in the pot. Only one, shin, meant he’d have to give something up. With those odds, Andy did more than OK for himself.

While he was playing, two things happened. The first was that Andy began to think about what it really meant to be Jewish, about how the stuff he liked, like latkes and dreidel, connected to the stuff he didn’t like (sitting in Synagogue during the High Holidays…bleh) or didn’t really understand. He tried to put it all together and what he came away with, what he hoped was right, was that he should still try to do the stuff he didn’t like, because even if he didn’t understand it, God did, and sticking with God meant he’d ultimately end up with more of the stuff he did like. That, as near as he could figure, was the only way it all made sense.

The other thing that happened was that Andy wet his diaper. He’d meant to hold it until the end of the dreidel game, but suddenly the dreidel was in his hands and his cousins were looking at him, waiting for him to spin. With a turn of the wrist, he gave the top a spin and when he let go, he was peeing himself. He could only hope nobody noticed.

The table was cleared by the time the dreidel game ended and a menorah had been set up. The menfolk donned their kippot and Grandpa Gellman did the honors, lighting the candles and delivering the prayers in loud, clear, familiar Hebrew. Andy chipped in an “Amen” with the rest of the family at the end of each blessing, relieved to have the spotlight off him for a change.

Coffee and dessert were served while the candles burned. Andy made quick work of a pair of jelly donuts and went to take his plate to the sink. When he entered the kitchen, he saw his grandparents standing near their breakfast nook, arguing. They didn’t hear him come in, which was just as well – they were arguing about him.

“His Bar-Mitzvah is next year,” Grandpa Gellman said. “He is going to be a man, but still in diapers? Pah!”

“Oh, so you’re perfect now?” Grandma Gellman retorted. “These kids, Victor, they aren’t like us. They have it easy. For them, Marty getting sick, whatever, it’s very hard on them.”

Andy was shaken by what he heard. It was almost enough to make him want to tear his diaper off and stomp on it. Maybe his grandfather was right. How could he ever grow up if he was still wearing diapers?

Instead, he returned to the dining room and ran into another argument.

“Hannah,” said Aunt Deb. “Why don’t you go help your sister?”

“I’m fine,” Libby protested. “I don’t NEED any help.”

“Yeah, right,” said Hannah. “That’s why you leaked the last time. Because you don’t need any help.”

“Mom…” Libby appealed.

“Libby, go along now.”

“Come on, tinklepants,” Hannah admonished.

They left for a guest bedroom and Andy waited a minute before following. He was only half aware of what he was doing. In a more reflective state, he might have realized how strange it was to watch his cousin get her diaper changed. But he was acting on impulse now and a desire to be in her place.

Either embarrassment, guilt or fear kept Andy from actually watching what was happening. He stood just outside the doorway and listened. There was more bickering between the two sisters, then he heard the rustling of plastic as Libby’s leggings were pulled down. The popping of tapes followed, then more rustling, then, a moment later, some unexpectedly quick footsteps.

Andy didn’t have time to get out of the way before he was face-to-face with Hannah. She was holding a rolled-up wet diaper in one hand and a look of disgust on her face.

“What?” she asked. “Do you need a change too?”

Andy was too awe-struck to answer, so she just told him to go in there and lay on the bed. He did so quickly, brainlessly, before his good sense had a chance to recover.

He came in just as Libby was finishing rolling up her leggings and caught the quickest, barest flash of her diaper. It embarrassed him now to be in here with her, to have something he liked twisted into something she needed and dreaded. Sighing, he lay down on the bed.

“You’re getting changed too, huh?” Libby asked him.

“Yeah,” Andy said, sounding none too happy about it.

“Why didn’t you put up more of a fight?”

“I dunno.”

“I think you like wearing diapers,” she said.

Andy blushed furiously and looked away. Was it that easy for her to tell? And if it was, it would be easy for others to figure it out, too. His friends would find out. He’d be forever known as Andy the Diaper Boy, among other things. Oh God, why couldn’t he have kept his big mouth shut?

“I don’t care if you do,” Libby told him. “I just wish I didn’t have to.”

“I’m sorry,” Andy said. “I wished you didn’t have to, either.” Then, a moment later, “Hannah shouldn’t be so mean to you.”

Libby sighed. “What happened to Daddy happened to all of us. I think she thinks I’m doing this on purpose to hog the attention.”

“But you’re not though,” he said. “And it’s still not right.”

Their conversation ceased when Hannah reappeared. She had a fresh diaper in her hand and that same look of disgust on her face. She went to work quickly and efficiently, with lots of haste and little affection.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she said, yanking his pants down. “At least when I babysit, I get paid. I can’t wait….lift your butt up….til graduation. There’s no way in hell I’m doing this next year.”

She finished in what seemed like record time. Andy had gotten what he wanted – someone else had changed him. But the good feelings associated with his diapers were gone.

Andy and Libby’s diaper change wrapped up just in time. Jake, and, to a lesser extent, Tony, were getting antsy. “Presents!” Jake exclaimed, leading a retreat back to the living room.

“Hold your horses,” his father said. Andy was glad he wasn’t the only one who found Jake’s enthusiasm to be grating.

In due time, the present swap began. Bags and boxes and neatly-wrapped packages were passed around, first to the kids and later to the adults. Andy’s haul was satisfactory. He ended up with a new polo shirt, a Barnes and Noble gift certificate and, from his grandparents, a chai on a golden chain. He said his “thank-yous” and meant every one.

When the last of the gifts had been given and the last of the wrapping paper disposed of, everyone began saying their goodbyes and gathering their coats. Gifts in hand, Andy began advancing to the door, but Hannah’s voice brought him to a sudden halt.

“Oh, shit!” she exclaimed.

“Language,” Aunt Deb chastised.

“Sorry, Mom, but you’ve got to see this. It’s a mess out there.”

During their Hanukah celebration, the family had neglected to check the weather forecast on the TV or pay much attention to what was happening right outside the window, for that matter. The snow that was predicted to arrive later that night came early and at a greater volume than the meteorologists had counted on. When Andy looked out his grandparents’ front door, he found cars covered with white from wheel to roof, streets and sidewalks submerged under snow while more of it continued to fall. It was obvious that no one was going anywhere.

Re: Eight Days of Diapers - Part III: Trapped in White

This was a great chapter. I really hope you develop the relationship between Andy and his cousin Libby further.