To get the full background to this latest update you will need to read “From Hubby To Bubby a Wife’s Diary” which is posted here as well as the previous update.

Like thousands of others, Joey’s job has been impacted by the recession. After weeks of uncertainty and rumor, Joe was called into Jocelyn’s office last month and told that in an effort to save the company he along with a number of other employees were being put on a three day week.

It was Joey’s emotional response to this event that really stood out to me. In the old days, when he saw himself as the man about the house, and not the baby he now is, and he got bad news, which directly or indirectly criticized him, he would go into a defensive macho mood. He would become tense, over reacting to the smallest thing that annoyed him. When he did talk he would come up with all these reasons why it was everyone else’s fault, theories that preserved his inflated male pride. I would tip toe around him, scared that I might upset him even more. It took me a few years to see that behind the loud bluster was in reality an insecure little boy who was not coping and afraid of being found out and laughed at.

The night he arrived home with the news I could tell with one glance that something was wrong. His whole body seemed to wear a sense of failure, and his face was so tense with anxiety that I thought he was not far from tears.
He knows the routine, there is no real conversation with me until I have changed him out of his work clothes and into his nappy, plastic panties, and nursery print tee shirt.
The fact that he was upset was even more obvious when I came to take of his white under pants. He had dribbled in them to such an extent that the yellow stains covered their entire front. I sighed, "Looks like Mummies baby has had more trouble than usual pretending to be a big boy. Lets get you out of these damp panties into a nice thick soft nappy shall we? Lift up for Mummy, that’s a good boy! By the time he was securely dressed in his nappy and plastic panties, and I had spoken gently and reassuring to him as one does to little one he seemed less tensebut his face still showed a look of anxiety.

I lay down on his bed beside him and put my arms around him as he snuggled into my breast. He gave a big sigh of relief, and I know he felt he was home and safe once more. He lay still in my arms for a minute as if savoring the moment and then looked up at me.
“Mummy they have cut my job down to three days a week. Jocelyn said I’m not allowed to come to work on a Monday and Tuesday.” He burst into tears as he buried his head into my breast, instinctively and toddler like, seeking the comfort and security he knew he would experience there. I smiled at his infantile response, a response that seems to flow so naturally from him these days. I gently rocked him, patting him on his back and enjoying the familiar feeling of protectiveness arising within me.

After a few moments he looked up at me and said in tearful voice, “Your not cross at me are you Mummy?”
I looked down into his sweet tear stained face with the sudden insight that his distress was more about his concern that I would be disappointed in him than his loss of two days of work a week. It was just another example of how central I now was to his sense of emotional wellbeing. I knew that a hasty and casual reassurance would not honour his need for affirmation that was grounded in the reality of his role as my little boy.
I held his eyes. “Mummy got some big questions for her little boy, and I want you to be very honest”
Joey looked up to me with trembling lip and said, “Yeth Mummy.”
I have noticed that under stress Joeys language will rapidly regress.
“You know how Mummy has told you again and again that now your just a little child how important it is that when a women asks you to do something that you always obey?”
“Yeth Mummy.”
“Well when Jocelyn called you into her office to tell you that you could only come to work three days a week now, was it because you weren’t doing what she asked you to do properly?”
“No Mummy”
“Good Boy, because you I would be very disappointed in you Joey if I found out that you have to stay at home because you haven’t been obedient to Jocelyn”
“I’ve been obedient, I promith Mummy”
"And have you shown good manners to the other women in the office, remembering to say please and thank you like Mummy taught you?
“Yeth Mummy I’m good at that now.”
I gave him a big smile and a kiss on the cheek. "Good boy, then that’s all Mummy is concerned about, Mummy is not cross at all.
“But what about the money?” Joey said still looking anxious.
I laughed, "Mummy and Aunty Sue earn enough money to look after our little boy and pay all the bills. Little boys don’t have to worry about such things they are for grown-ups to look after and in this home your not a grown up any more are you sweetheart?
“No Mummy,” said Joey with some relief

From that moment on it was as though the situation didn’t touch him at all. He had heard all that he needed to hear. His Mummy was not cross with him. Even the humiliation of knowing that we didn’t even need the money he earned seemed not to disturb him as it once would have. Within a few minutes he was happily watching cartoons on the television and playing with his lego on the floor like any contented two year old. The contrast to the bad old days when a situation like this would have sent him into a mood for days seemed to be gone forever. He is so much happier now. He seems to have recaptured the natural trust of childhood. The new Joey is so much more endearing than the Joe of old. Quite simply little Joey is a joy to be around.

Over the weekend Sue and I talked about what we should do. We both agreed that for Joey to simply stay at home on the Mondays and Tuesday was not a good option and that we either needed to get a baby sitter to look after him or he needed to come with either one of us on those days. The baby sitter idea was not a genuine starter at this point because although Sue had a feminist friend of hers who had a little toddler of her own and Sue was certain would have appreciated the unique experience of looking after an adult baby, the risk of others finding out and exposing him to ridicule and possible job loss was just too great. Joey is happier than I have ever seen him and I am not prepared to risk that happiness

In the end it was decided that on Monday he would accompany me to my preschool and on Tuesday Sue’s. It is not uncommon to have parent help at Kindy and although it is not usual to see males as parent help it was a not quite as unusual as ten years ago. There is always plenty of jobs to do from preparing art supplies and cleaning up afterwards, to overseeing children’s activities. I also have a large storeroom attached to my classroom which is in a complete muddle and requires a major tidy, something Joey is quite capable of doing under my supervision.

Finding little jobs for Joey to do was not going to be a problem but we did have to give a bit of thought about where we would change Joey when his nappy was wet. We knew he would need to be changed at least three times a day. For me it was not too much of a problem, the store room attached to my classroom would make an ideal place to change him. The door could be locked and I could store Joey’s spare nappies, baby oil, baby wipes and changing mat there as well. I could make sure that each day his routine consisted of working in the store room just before change times when the bell went for play time [10.30] and again at lunch time and again just before the end of Kindy at 3pm.

For Sue it was a bit more tricky, her store room was shared by another classroom and had two entrance and exit points. There was however a medical room that was not used much. We decided on a cover story that Joe was a diabetic and enquired a blood test and possible injection several times a day and that Joe needed someone to do the injection for him. Sue would take him to the medical center on the pretence of attending to his medical needs and then change his nappy.

That Sunday evening Sue and I sat Joey down and told him that he was going back to Kindergarten. That on Monday he would be Mummies little helper at my Kindy and that on Tuesday he would be Aunty Sues helper at her preschool.
He asked what he would be doing and we explained all the little jobs he would be doing and what a great help he would be to us both and how very proud of him we would be.
He seemed happy with the idea although he did ask if he could stay with Mummy both days but Aunty Sue explained how she needed his help too. I told him that he would have to remember to call Aunty Sue just Sue and me Wendy not Mummy.
I explained that he would of course be wearing nappies all day and that his first change would be at 10.30 at playtime then again at lunch time and then he would be checked at 3 .o’clock when the other children went home and be changed again if he needed to be. Aunty Sue also explained the arrangements she had made for his nappy changes so that in both places everyone would still think he was a big boy, not a little two year old.

Five weeks into this arrangement I can report it is going very well indeed. At times Joey joins the children sitting on the mat listening to me read a story. Yesterday afternoon when some of the other children were fidgeting and not paying attention I said to the class, “My word Joey is sitting up nicely, who can sit up as nicely as Joey?” The children immediately sat up straight trying to out do Joey. Joey just glowed with pleasure. He feels so successful, and is so eager to please, its like he feels he has been given a second chance at life which in a very real sense he has, and he is doing his best. It’s lovely to see his happiness.

At Sue’s preschool they have this huge outdoor all weather sandpit which is covered by a Perspex roof. The boys in particular like playing in it and the school has an outstanding array of big toy tip trucks, bulldozers, graders, rollers and the like. Roger a little four year old boy who has aspergers syndrome, just stands at edge of the sand pit watching. Clearly he would love to play but he keeps himself separate from the other children. Only when the other children leave the sand pit will he step in and start to play with the toys, leaving again when other children try to join him. It was Sue’s guess that Roger might take a step towards greater social play if Joey joined him in the sand pit, that he might feel comfortable with Joey who he would see as an adult but who at the same time would be captured by the childish delight in playing with the toys like no real adult would. It worked like a charm. Each Tuesday while the other children are inside having story time Joey and Roger spend an hour by themselves happily playing in the sand pit. To begin with they played separately but in the last two weeks Roger and Joey have been playing together more and more building roads and lakes and bridges together. Joey is so good with Roger he seems to naturally understand him although they hardly speak a word to each other. Sue came home excited the other day because for the first time Roger was heard to laugh. Joey had pulled a funny face when a cliff of sand that they had built collapsed on to the road they had bulldozed. Within a minute they were both making funny faces together and laughing and laughing. For Joey playing with the toys in the sandpit with Roger is easily the highlight of his Tuesday. Both little boys have a rich inner world and find deep enjoyment in giving expression to it. Last weekend Joey asked me if he could go to Aunty Sue Preschool on Monday as well as Tuesday so he could play with Roger… For Joey this is his first close friend outside of the home. For the first time since becoming my little boy he has developed a friendship with another little boy, and it is so good to see.

What lies ahead I don’t know. This journey has taken me in directions that I could never have imagined. Joey’s regression seems to be finding its own level of comfort, both for him and me. At present he seems stabilized at about a two year old level in many respects of his infantilism, in fact in many respects of his life, for example my guess is that he much prefers his two days at kindy than his three days at his marketing job. Eventually if offered full time work again he will have to make a choice, and it will be interesting to see what happens. I’m also very aware that his job might disappear all
together, if so will he become a full time preschooler again? I’m not sure if that would be best for him or not. Certainly at this point his relationship with Roger is doing them both a power of good. Rogers Mum is thrilled with the progress Roger has made since Joey has been spending time with him and Joey seems content and happy at preschool and a real asset at work for both Sue and I
I will up date you again in a few months time.


Wendy where are you? You promised to add to this diary but have not done so since July 2009. Do post some more I am keen to see what developments have taken place between you and Joey.


This is such a wonderful story! i do hope that you will provide us with another update. What a lucky boy joey is!


Where are you Wendy? We have heard nothing from you for well over a year. What has happened to dear Joey? Please update us. It is such a beautiful story of love and devotion that I read it regularly.