NOTE: This story is 42 pages in Word. Enjoy.
2002 - 2009
Table of Content
Part 1 - Beware of What You Say
George has two kids, Jenny who turns 3 years old today and Tom, a 6 year old in first grade. The school decided Tom needs to be in Special Education, but George thinks special education is only for severely retarded children still in diapers and needing to be fed like a baby.
Part 2 - Only One Kid In Diapers
It’s Jenny’s birthday party. Several times that day George ends up cleaning Tom up and getting him changed after noticing Tom in wet and messy pants. As the week goes on, Jenny starts using the potty and gets to wear panties. Tom keeps having wetting and messing accidents and ends up in Pull-Ups.
Part 3 - Tom and Jenny
George and Mary are seeing changes in the two kids. It is like they are changing places. Jenny has to get out of her crib before her new bed arrives, or she will continue having accidents. Mary’s solution is a surprise for George and Tommy.
Part 4 - Retarded?
Tommy regresses more as Jenny grows up. He gets more supports matching his new skill levels. The only question in George’s mind now is, “Did he cause Tommy to act like a baby.”
Part 5 - Back to School
Tommy’s not using the toilet anymore. He is in Pull-Ups full time. His special education teacher however, feels he is much more immature than just last week.
Part 6 - Tommy, Growing Up or Getting Younger?
Mrs. Arrons and Mary talk about Tommy’s toileting and George’s influence. Mary makes changes at home.
Part 7 - Spaghetti
As Tommy changes, things at school change to meet his new needs. The school has to face the reality of the new Tommy. On Wednesday, when Mrs. Arrons is absent, he meets others just like him.
Part 8 - The Legacy
George faces reality, telling the school all. The legacy he passed on to his son is here to stay. He accepts the changes, to Mary’s surprise.
Part 1 - Beware of What You Say
2002 - 2009
George Freemor did not know how to explain his fear. He had had it since he was a child watching THE TWILIGHT ZONE. It was a fear that he actually lived in The Twilight Zone. Of course over the years his parents, teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and now his wife have all tried to convince him there was nothing to fear. He was just an ordinary man living on Earth, not in the Twilight Zone. Nothing strange had ever happened to George that would indicate life in the Zone, but George knew he was right. He knew it was only a matter of time before something strange happened. At some point, in some way, life would be turned upside down just because of a phrase or item. Nothing anyone would say could change this view.
George was 27 years old living with his wife Mary, 6 year old son Tom, and 3 year old daughter Jenny. It was Jenny’s 3rd birthday today, but before all the celebrations, Mary and George had a meeting at Tom’s school.
“Well, the results of the testing are clear that Tom is missing many of the foundation skills needed to learn what he needs in first grade,” Mrs. Franks the school psychologist was saying. “He is still struggling in learning the letters, shapes, numbers, and colors.”
“What can we do,” Mary asked? “We have always known he had a hard time picking up new skills, so we enrolled him in a good preschool at three years old. We work with him at home getting recommendations from his classroom teachers over the years, but he still struggles.”
“We know you have given Tom a lot of help, but sometimes children are just not ready to learn things at the same pace as other children,” Mrs. Franks said. “Tom has continuously shown delays in learning new skills. He learned to walk and talk late. He wasn’t toilet trained till he was 4 years old, and he still has occasional accidents.”
“My son is no retard,” George said. “What do you expect us to do, put a diaper on him and put him in a class with retards that have to wear bibs and fed like a baby. No way! I am not having both my children in diapers. Tom is a big boy and can behave like one if he just tried.”
“George!” Mary said putting her hand on his lap.
“Mr. Freemor no one here is saying your child is retarded or a baby,” Mrs. Franks stated. “As I explained earlier, he received an IQ score of 110. That clearly shows he is not retarded. His IQ is average. He just has a hard time learning. There is something in the way he processes information, making it hard for him to retain what he is taught. Yes the district does have classes with extremely low students who need assistance with everything from toileting to eating, but no one is recommending that for Tom. We only want to give him some extra help in the areas he needs it. Teach him reading, writing, and math in a setting with a smaller student teacher ratio. He will still be in his first grade classroom for the majority of the day.”
With Mary keeping her hand on his leg for the rest of the meeting, George kept his mouth shut. He did not like the fact that the school wanted to put his son in Special Education, but Mary was insisting Tom needed help. Mary was eager to sign the paperwork to get Tom help. The program they mapped out for Tom had him going to the Resource Room for Reading, Writing, and Math each day, during the time his first grade classroom was teaching those subjects. The school said he would not miss any instruction; just get it in a different room. Mary had argued with George for years that something was wrong with Tom, and now someone was agreeing with her. She was finally going to get help from someone who had experience with children struggling like Tom. George, with prompting from Mary, signed the paperwork too.
On the trip home, George got yelled at by Mary for calling Tom a retard. “How dare you view our son as a retard, after they had just explained all the testing clearly showing he wasn’t. Tom is struggling enough with not being able to do what all his friends can do, without you thinking his skills are even lower than they are.”
George kept his mouth shut. He knew the tone in her voice. No matter what he said it would be wrong, so it was better to say nothing.
“You better not say anything negative about the Special Education classroom to Tom. If you are positive about it, he will think it is a good thing. AND IT IS A GOOD THING,” Mary demanded. She then changed the topic, “We have a 3 year old’s party to think about, and I need all the help I can get to manage the house full of 2 and 3 year olds. And tonight, don’t you dare say anything about her crib being for babies. She views herself as a big girl now that she is three, and the pink canopy bed I picked out for her today is on back order and will not be in for two months. It is perfectly normal for a three year old to still be sleeping in a crib, wearing diapers, and eating in a high chair with a bib. I don’t want to stop using any of those things until she is ready to stop. If you tell her they are for babies, she will not be willing to use them. You did that with Tom, and I am not going to have you do it with Jenny. Most children Tom’s age who still wet the bed every night wear diapers to bed, but no, I have had to deal with washing sheets every day because of you. If you cause any problems like that again, you will be dealing with the consequences, so unless you want to be washing clothes and sheets every day, you better keep your mouth closed. I am going to give our children what they need based upon their skills, and I don’t need your antique views of what is appropriate for them just because they are a certain age. I can’t believe you said you will not have two children in diapers. When is the last time you changed one of Jenny’s diapers or cleaned up Tom when he has an accident? We are going to support our children and give them the love and tools they need based on their skills.”
George knew Mary was mad. Admittedly, he hadn’t helped out much with the kids in the touchy areas like diapers, feeding, and cleaning up messes. He would play with them and help out around the house, but if one of them needed changing, he handed them back to Mary. Now she was mad. With the stress of Jenny’s birthday party, he new he was in for a rough day and he better help out more with the kids today.
After they picked up the kids from the babysitters, Mary started to set up the dining room for the birthday party. It was going to be a Winnie the Pooh party, Jenny’s favorite. George kept the kids busy upstairs. When Jenny needed changing, he was about to go down and get Mary, but decided that would be a mistake, so he changed her. It wasn’t long before he noticed Tom had wet his pants. Tom wasn’t fazed by it one bit. It was like he didn’t even know he had wet his pants, he just kept playing with Jenny and her toys. George was about to yell at Tom, when he took a deep breath and started to go get Mary. He then stopped. He stood there thinking about what was going to be worse; helping Tom get cleaned up, or asking Mary to do it. He decided the least painful of the two would be helping Tom, so he turned around and helped Tom get cleaned up. He decided the best way to do this was lay him down, take his pants and underwear off and wipe him with some of Jenny’s baby wipes. Tom kept telling him Mommy didn’t do it this way, but he just told him Mommy was busy so Daddy was going to do it his way.
************************************************** ******************** Part 2 - Only One Kid In Diapers
2002 - 2009
Jenny’s birthday party was full of a lot of excitement and joyous children. Jenny loved her party and her gifts. She got some really special gifts she was especially happy about; a Potty Chair, Pull-Ups, Cloth Training Pants, and a baby doll that goes potty in her own potty chair. She also got other toys, like a Fisher Price Doll House, a fancy dress, some Winnie the Pooh movies, some pink frilly sheets and bed spreads (for her new bed coming in two months). Jenny loved it all.
Mary, Tom and Jenny’s mommy, noticed something else during the party. Tom acted and played with the 2 and 3 year olds just like he was their age, instead of a 6 year old like he was. Mary thought is might have been because of the party, but she had seen things like this for many years. She thought of pointing it out to George, but then she got distracted by a 2 year old running by with chocolate cake covering their hands and face.
Once during the party, George needed to help Tom get changed again. This was a common problem when exciting or scary things were happening. George wasn’t use to dealing with it, but he knew about it. After the fight in the car on the way back from Tom’s school today, he decided he needed to deal with it today, and let his wife Mary deal with Jenny’s birthday party. So, for the second time in just over two hours, George laid Tom down like a baby and cleaned him up after he had wet his pants. It was hard for George not to get mad a Tom. This was extremely frustrating for him. First he has the school tell him Tom needs to be in Special Education like a Retard. Now for the second time today, he is dealing with his 6 year old wetting his pants, and he was cleaning him up the same way he cleans up Jenny who is still in diapers.
Once the party was over and everyone had left, George was gathering the gifts up to put them away. He had the Pull-Ups and Jenny’s new Potty Seat in his hands when he saw Tom walk by. He had wet his pants again. He told Tom to come upstairs with him, as he brought the stuff up to Jenny’s room. With Tom in front of him going up the stairs, George could smell a different type of odor than just wet pants. When they got to Jenny’s room, George put down the potty seat and the Pull-Ups. He looked at Jenny’s changing table containing all the supplies he needed to clean Tom up and then down at his 6 year old son. Tom was smiling and talking a mile a minute about all the fun of the party. He seemed completely unaware of the fact that he had wet and messy pants on. How could a 6 year old not know he had wet and pooped his pants.
“Okay Tom,” George said after taking a deep breath and trying to keep the smile on his face. “Let’s get you cleaned up and out of those wet and poopy pants.”
Tom looked down at his pants, and yes they were wet. He hadn’t noticed. “I’m sorry Daddy.”
George picked Tom up and put him on the changing table. Tom was confused. This was a changing table for baby Jenny. “No Daddy. This is for baby Jenny. I am a big boy.”
George didn’t listen. He just laid Tom down and started to take his soiled clothes off. This was all confusing to Tom. Before today, Daddy never cleaned him up before. Now Daddy was cleaning him up like he was a baby. He was not a baby, he was a big boy. Wasn’t he?
Once George had Tom all cleaned up, he looked at the Pull-Ups he had just brought upstairs. He now understood why Mary was so mad at him for telling Tom that only babies wear things like that. He was starting to see how on days like this Pull-Ups might be a good thing, even if Tom was 6 years old. No he couldn’t think that, Tom was too old to be in diapers. He wasn’t a stupid Retard who needs diapers. He was Tom, his 6 year old son. So, George picked Tom up and carried him to his room and got him dressed in underwear and new pants.
Just before his bed time story, Mary sat down on Tom’s bed and told him about his nice new class he was going to be going to tomorrow. George stood at the door looking in as she did this. She told him how his new teacher would help him learn his ABC’s and 123’s. She told Tom about his nice new teacher named Mrs. Arrons. He would meet Mrs. Arrons tomorrow at school. Mary told Tom to be a good boy for Mrs. Arrons and to try his best. She then sent him off to go potty before reading him a bedtime story.
That night George had a strange dream. He was standing on top of a hill, with a mist surrounding him. The mist started to clear and he could see shapes of children forming on opposite sides of the hill. There were two classrooms. In one, the children about 6 and 7 years old were learning to read, working on reading simple sentences like “The cat can eat.” and “The dog can run.” The children struggled with each word, but seemed happy when they finished reading the sentence. They were proud that they had done it. In the other classroom there were children also about 6 and 7 years old, but these children were different. They were playing with baby toys and talking like two year olds. The room had the smell of baby powder and diapers. In one corner of the room one of the children was being fed lunch. She had a bib on and was sitting in a high chair. The food was cut up into little baby size pieces and after she ate some on her own with her spoon, the teacher would feed her some. It looked more like the girl was 18months old instead of 6 years old. Just then, he lost his balance and fell toward the classroom with the little girl being fed lunch. When he landed at the bottom of the hill, he was right next to one of the children playing with a baby toy.
He heard his own voice echo throughout the room, “My son is no retard. What do you expect us to do, put a diaper on him and put him in a class with retards that have to wear bibs and fed like a baby. No way! I am not having both my children in diapers. Tom is a big boy and can behave like one if he just tried.”
Then he heard the child next to him, “Sowwy Daddy. I twied, but it was too hawd. Sowwy Daddy.” George looked up to see the child’s face, it was Tom.
George woke up breathing deeply, and his heart racing. In the glow of the moonlight, he looked over at his wife Mary who was sound asleep. He got up out of bed and went into Tom’s room. He just stood in the doorway looking down at his little boy. He looked so innocent. He looked so little. Were they doing the right thing sending him off to the special education classroom. He stood there just watching Tom sleep. He didn’t know how long he was standing there before Mary showed up and brought him back to bed.
In the morning, Mary went in to get Tom up and ready for school. He had wet his bed again. This was nothing new, he did it every night. She cleaned him up with the baby wipes they kept next to his bed for this reason. She brought him to the bathroom and asked him to try and go potty. He tried but nothing came out. Then she helped him get dressed and told him to go down and eat the cereal she had out on the table for him. Once he left she put his sheet in the hamper with his PJ’s and carried the hamper into the hall. She stopped in Jenny’s room to get her up. For the first time Jenny had woken up with a dry diaper. Mary was all excited and got Jenny to sit on her new Potty Seat. To Mary’s amazement she went pee in the potty. Mary and Jenny were all excited. Mary dressed Jenny in her new Pull-Ups. Jenny was so proud, she came running down stairs lifting up her dress to show Daddy and Tom she is a big girl wearing big kid pants like Tom does. George congratulated Jenny and Tom just smiled. He knew the Pull-Ups were not big kid pants like his underwear, but even he was proud of Jenny for such an achievement.
Tom went off to school like usual that day. In his backpack he had his lunch and two changes of clothes in case he had an accident. After calendar, it was time for reading, Mrs. Arrons came to his room to get him. His teacher said everything was okay and he should go with her. On the way down to Mrs. Arrons room, Tom wet his pants. Mrs. Arrons noticed and they turned around and went back to get Tom’s backpack that had the changes of clothes in it. They got his backpack and she brought Tom to her room where there was a bathroom. Mrs. Arrons helped Tom get cleaned up and changed into clean clothes. Then they went back into the classroom and she showed Tom the desk he would use in her room. The other children in the room were working on things like reading, letters, numbers, and puzzles.
Tom had fun and before he knew it, it was time for recess. Mrs. Arrons said he would come back to her after recess. He played on the swings at recess and with another 1st grader named Frank. After recess, Tom learned that Frank also went to Mrs. Arrons’ room. They got to sit next to each other and do a puzzle together. Tom’s favorite activity in Mrs. Arrons’ room however, was playing on the computers. He never had a chance to do it in his other classroom, because he could never finish his work on time. After Lunch and Lunch Recess he was with his regular 1st grade room for Music and then he went back to Mrs. Arrons’ room. He wet his pants again during Music but no one noticed till he entered Mrs. Arrons’ room. She helped him get changed and then they worked on numbers and colors. When he left for Afternoon Recess, Mrs. Arrons told him he would not return to her room until tomorrow. Tom went back to his first grade classroom after recess. He didn’t know why, but he felt safer in Mrs. Arrons room.
When he went home after school, Tom heard about how Jenny used the potty seat 2 more times today. Tom told his mom how he really liked Mrs. Arrons room and got to use the computer in her room. Mary noticed Tom was wearing different pants than what she put on him that morning, so she knew he had wet at least once. She decided not to ask him about it, she just took his backpack to see how many sets of wet clothes were in there.
Before bed, Tom wet his pants once more and Jenny used the potty once more. Mary thought it was a funny coincidence how Jenny used the potty the same number of times Tom wet his pants. She didn’t say anything to George, for she thought he might think it had something to do with his Twilight Zone fears.
The rest of the week went much the same way. Jenny kept waking up in dry diapers and using the potty seat during the day with her Pull-Ups. Tom kept wetting his pants, usually about two times at school. On Friday, Tom had wet his pants once in the morning and pooped his pants another time before Lunch, and then after Lunch he wet his pants again while he was still in Mrs. Arrons’ room. When she went to get him cleaned up and changed, she realized he didn’t have any more clothes to change into in his bag. She looked in the cabinets in the bathroom and found a pair of pants that would fit him. She couldn’t find any boys underwear his size, so she turned to Tom and started to talk to him.
“Tom,” she said. “there are not any more clothes for you in your backpack. I have some pants for you here and some special throw away underwear. This special underwear I keep for little kids who have accidents, so they have some underwear to wear for the rest of the day and then they can just throw it way when they get changed at home. Let’s get you dressed and then you can get on the computer before Afternoon Recess.”
Tom was a little confused. What were throw away underwear? It wasn’t long before he found out, and he didn’t like the answer. Mrs. Arrons was putting Pull-Ups on him. Pull-Ups like Jenny’s, except these were blue.
“These are BABY diapers. I am a big boy.”
“Tommy, Tommy. These are special underwear for little kids like you who have trouble getting all their pee-pee and poopy in the toilet. This way if you have an accident, we just have to change the special underwear instead of the pants, and no one will ever know you had the accident. Doesn’t that sound nice, getting changed without the other kids knowing you had an accident?”
“Yes,” Tom said with a little voice and his head down.
“Now Tommy,” Mrs. Arrons said. “No one will know you are wearing these special underwear. If you have an accident, just come to me and I will help you get changed into a clean pair.”
Mrs. Arrons helped Tom get dressed again and then she sent him off to the computers. She then went to her desk and called his mom.
“Mrs. Freemor? This is Mrs. Arrons, Tommy’s Special Education Teacher.”
“Is everything okay Mrs. Arrons,” Mary asked?
“Oh yes, nothing to worry about. I was just calling because Tommy wet his pants for the third time today.”
“Three times at school? He hasn’t done that for a long time. Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him about all his toileting difficulties.”
“Well Mrs. Freemor, because he didn’t have any more clothes to change into, I put Tommy into a Pull-Up. I hope that is okay with you.”
“Really, I have wanted to do that ever since I took him out of diapers, but my husband told Tom Pull-Ups were only for babies. Ever since then I could never get him to wear one. Did you really get him to put one on, and keep it on?”
“Yes. He is wearing a pair right now. I am looking at him sitting down playing on the computer. If it is a problem with your husband, I will change him back into some underwear before he gets on the bus to go home.”
“No, please don’t Mrs. Arrons. This is just what I need to convince my husband, Tom should be in Pull-Ups. Thank You.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. It is okay for him to be in Pull-Ups. I assume since you are the one who put him in a Pull-Up that it is okay for me to send him to school in Pull-Ups next week?”
“It is okay, just let me know on Monday morning. Children I have in Pull-Ups, get put on a program where their Pull-Ups are checked every two hours or so, to make sure they don’t need to be changed. We can also create a toileting program if you think it would help.”
“Well, I don’t like the idea of sending him to the bathroom every two hours. We tried that and all it did was train us, not him. As soon as we stopped, the wetting returned worse then before. If you have any other ideas I am interested.”
“Well, I have a few, we can get together next week and talk about it if you want.”
“That sounds great Mrs. Arrons. Let me think about it this weekend and I will get back to you on Monday. All I have to figure out is how to tell my husband that I put our 3 year old in cloth training pants today because she has been so successful with using her potty, even going poopy in the potty this morning. And now our 6 year old was put into Pull-Up because of accidents.”
“Oh, that reminds me, Tommy pooped his pants this morning too.”
“It figures. Well thank you and I am sorry for all the problems Tom is giving you.”
“He isn’t a problem. We will work through these difficulties. I will talk with you on Monday. Have a nice weekend Mrs. Freemor.”
“Thank You Mrs. Arrons.”
Tom was scared everyone would know he was wearing diapers, but no one seemed to notice. Shortly before school was over, Mrs. Arrons came into Tom’s class and asked his teacher if Tommy could come with her for a minute. Tom didn’t understand what was going on. He never went to Mrs. Arrons room this time of day, but he went with her. They went down to her room and into her bathroom. She said she needed to check to see if he kept the special underwear clean and dry. She pulled down his pants to look at the pattern on the front of the Pull-Ups. The pattern was gone, so she knew he needed changing. Tom didn’t even know he had wet, but most of the time he didn’t know. Unlike other times, Mrs. Arrons lifted Tom up and put him down on the counter, which is when Tom realized it was a changing table. Mrs. Arrons pulled his pants down and ripped the sides of the Pull-Ups. This is when she realized Tommy had poopy pants too. She then cleaned him up just like his mommy cleans up Jenny when she gets her diapers changed. Tom didn’t like it at all. Mrs. Arrons did everything, from wiping his bottom clean to getting him dressed again before getting him down from the changing table. She then sent him back to class. Tommy was confused. He knew he wasn’t a baby, but Mrs. Arrons was treating him like one.
************************************************** ******************** Part 3 - Tom and Jenny
2002 - 2009
When Tom got home, he was hoping he could get up to his room and change into his underwear before mommy found out he was in Pull-Ups. He didn’t know Mrs. Arrons had called and talked to her. He just knew he didn’t want to be wearing these baby diaper Pull-Ups. They were okay for Jenny because she was a baby, but he was a big 6 year old.
As soon as he walked into the house Jenny came running up to Tom and pulled up her dress. “Wook Tom. Me in big giwl panties.” She was wearing cloth training pants. He was wearing diapers and she was wearing underwear. This was not fair. He started to cry.
Mary heard all of this going on in the next room. She headed toward the front door.
“Mommy,” Jenny said. “Tom cwy-ing.”
“Yes Jenny. He had a rough day. Go play, and mommy will take care of Tommy.”
Jenny went running off only to return almost immediately. “Hewe Mommy. Make Tom betta.” Jenny said as she handed Tom her Winnie the Pooh. Mommy took it as Jenny went running off again to play.
Mary picked up Tom handing him the Winnie the Pooh. He took it as he put his head down on her shoulder. She carried him up to his bedroom.
“Mommy, I don’t want to be a baby.”
“You are not a baby Tommy. You just have a hard time getting all your pee-pee and poopy in the toilet. Pull-Ups will help you until you get them all in the potty like other kids.”
“But mommy . . .”
“No Tommy. You need the Pull-Ups and you are going to wear them. When you can go two days keeping them dry and clean, getting all your poopy and pee-pee in the potty, then you can have your underwear back. You can still go potty on the toilet like you do now, you just will be wearing the Pull-Ups just in case you have an accident.”
“Do I have to wear them Mommy?”
“Tommy, little boys and girls who can not get all their pee-pee and poopy in the toilet wear Diapers or Training Pants. Big boys and girls who use the toilet all the time wear underwear and panties. You need to wear training pants till you can keep them dry and clean. If you can keep them dry all weekend, I will let you wear your underwear to school on Monday, otherwise you will wear Pull-Ups to school.”
Tom was in tears. He didn’t want to wear Pull-Ups. He wasn’t a baby. “Cloth training pants like Jenny?”
“No Tommy. Cloth Training Pants are for big boys and girls who use the toilet all the time, but still might have an accident, maybe once a week or so. Jenny has stayed dry for two days, so she gets cloth training pants. If she can keep them dry for a week, she will get regular big girl panties.”
Mommy just hugged Tom for awhile. Once he stopped crying, she checked his Pull-Ups to see if he was dry and clean. He was wet so she carried him into Jenny’s room and laid him down on her changing table, still hugging Winnie the Pooh. Mary took Tom’s pants and shoes off, and ripped the sides of the Pull-Ups to take them off like a diaper. She wiped him clean and then grabbed one of Jenny’s Pull-Ups and put it on Tom.
“But these are for girls. They are pink.”
“Tommy, I didn’t have a chance to go to the store to get you some of your own Pull-Ups. We have a lot of these that we got for Jenny, and it does not look like she is going to be using them. You can use them till we run out, then we will buy some boy Pull-Ups for you.”
Tom did not like this. First he was being made to wear baby diaper Pull-Ups, and now he had to wear his baby sister’s pink Pull-Up.
When Mary was done making sure the pull-ups were on correctly, she picked Tom up and put him down on the floor. “Go play with Jenny dear. I will be down in a minute.”
“What about my pants Mommy?”
“These are the pants Mrs. Arrons gave you, not your pants. You already wet three pairs of pants today, and if it wasn’t for the Pull-Ups, you would have wet more. Just go play in the Pull-Ups. It is okay for little kids in Pull-Ups and diapers to go around with no pants on. Now go play with your sister.”
Tom put his head down and slowly walked out of Jenny’s room. He tried to pull his shirt down over the Pull-Ups, but they would not cover them. He continued to slowly walk down stairs. Jenny was playing with her new Fisher Price Doll House. When she saw Tom she looked at him funny for a second and then ran up to him and grabbed his hand.
“Tom the baby,” Jenny said handing him the Fisher Price baby character to play with her in the house. She then turned to Tom and pointed to the Pull-Ups, “Good boy Tom, you have bows. Mommy happy with bows. Bows go bye-bye, Mommy sad.”
Tom looked down at the Pull-Ups. There were little bows on it. He knew what Jenny was talking about. If he wet the pants the bows disappear. He felt strange being congratulated by his 3 year old sister for still having bows on his Pull-Ups.
Jenny and Tom played together till their dad got home. When George walked into the house, Jenny went running up to show him her cloth training pants. As she did this, Tom ran upstairs to hide in his room. He stayed up there and played alone while Mary continued to cook dinner and explain the events of the day to George. George did not like the fact that his 6 year old was wearing Pull-Ups, but by the look on Mary’s face, he knew he better not say anything.
“Potty Mommy! ! !” Jenny said as she ran into the Kitchen. Mary looked at George and asked him to watch dinner as she took care of Jenny. She stayed dry and got her pee-pee in the potty. She was all excited and George congratulated her. He then, under directions from Mary, went up to see how Tom was doing.
George found Tom sitting on his floor playing with his toy trucks. He was a little surprised to see him in just a shirt and Pull-Ups, but did not say anything about it. He just came in and got down on the floor with Tom and started to play with the trucks too. Shortly after they started, he noticed the little bows on the front of the pull-ups were faded. How could he argue with his wife about putting Tom in Pull-Ups. His 6 year old son was playing in wet Pull-Ups and his 3 year old daughter was using the potty. After a few more minutes of playing, he took Tom into Jenny’s room to change his Pull-Ups on her changing table. To Tom’s disappointment, he put a new girl Pull-Up on him.
At dinner, Jenny was sitting in her high chair with the tray on and a bib around her neck. Mary kept her in the high chair because she tended to make a big mess with food all over her face, hands, and the tray. She said it was easier to clean up the tray than to clean up the table. She also liked Jenny being strapped in so she couldn’t get out of the seat with food covered hands and face. The bib was a necessity or else Jenny’s clothes would also be covered with food. She usually drank from a sippy cup, for she frequently would knock over her glass during the meal. Today, there was no sippy cup, they were all in the dishwasher or sink. With all that happened today, she hadn’t gotten around to cleaning dishes. Half way through the meal, Jenny said she had to go potty. Mary jumped up grabbing her napkin to wipe her hands and face. To her surprise, they didn’t need to be cleaned. She took off the tray and undid the straps to get her out. She considered taking off the bib, but it was clean too. Mary told her how proud mommy was of her for not getting messy. They were rushing to get Jenny to the potty, but just as she was about to pull down Jenny’s pants, she wet them. Jenny went to tears, she had been working so hard to stay dry that an accident was devastating. Mary tried to tell her it was okay, it was just because she couldn’t get out of the high chair in time. They went upstairs to get her changed. When they came back down Jenny was dressed for bed and wearing a Pull-Up.
“Me weah big kid pants like Tom,” Jenny said pulling down her pants to show George and Tom.
Mary strapped her back into her high chair, so she could finish dinner. The rest of meal went without incident, except for Tom spilling his milk. When dinner was over, Mary got a damp wash cloth to clean up Jenny like she usually does. Jenny, however, didn’t need to be cleaned up, even the bib and tray were clean. Mary wiped her hands and face just out of habit and then got her out of the high chair and told her to go play. As she was about to carry Jenny’s plate and glass over to the sink, she noticed Tom. Unlike Jenny, he needed the damp wash cloth. Looking at his hands and face, she couldn’t tell if he used his silverware at all. Just as he was about to put his hands on the table to push his chair back to get out of his booster seat, Mary stopped him. She wiped his hands and face, shaking her head back and forth looking down at his shirt. It also had food on it. She took his shirt off, leaving him with just Pull-Ups and socks on. She noticed the Pull-Ups were dry, amazing she thought to herself. As she got him down, he went running off to the bathroom. Mary and George smiled at each other when they heard the toilet flush.
That night after the kids were put to bed, George and Mary talked. They were both puzzled by the increase in Tom’s wet and messy pants. When George started to question if Pull-Ups were appropriate, Mary pointed out that the school was the one who had put him in the Pull-Ups after he had wet and messed his pants for the third time in one day. She then said she was going to give her children what they needed based upon their skills. If Tom needed Pull-Ups, then he would get Pull-Ups. If he needs help with reading, then he gets it. Mary was very adamant about this point. The kids would get the support they needed, when they needed it. George was about to complain about putting a 6 year old in Pull-Ups, but after looking at Mary’s facial expressions, he decided not to say anything.
They also talked about Jenny’s amazing progress. Mary pointed out that Jenny made it through Thursday with only pooping her pants once, and today, Friday, she made it through the whole day with only the accident because she couldn’t get out of the high chair fast enough. Mary felt it was time to move her out of the highchair and into a booster seat. Since Tom was still too small to sit at the table without a booster seat, they would need to buy a new booster seat just for Jenny. Mary was concerned about taking her out of the highchair, and gave George strict instructions to watch her closely to make sure she does not leave the table with messy hands and face. She did not want hand prints all over the house.
“It was interesting at dinner today George,” Mary stated. “Jenny ate without making a mess, but Tom was a big mess. Did he eat any of the meal with his silverwear?”
“I don’t know,” George said. “I wasn’t really paying attention.”
“Well, I was watching Jenny really close because she didn’t have a sippy cup,” Mary said. “She did great. I think I will try a few meals this weekend without the sippy cup to see how she does.”
After talking some more, they went to bed themselves. They were awoken the next morning by Jenny screaming for Mommy. Mary jumped out of bed and went racing for her room.
“What’s wrong Jenny,” she asked as she quickly got over to the crib.
Mary grabbed her and quickly headed toward the bathroom. As she was racing down the hall, she could feel the warmth on Jenny’s bottom. They had lost the race. Jenny wet her Pull-Up. Jenny started to cry.
“I twy mommy.”
“I know dear. You couldn’t get out of your crib to get to the potty. It is okay dear. It is okay. It is just an accident. It is okay dear.”
George stood at the doorway to the hallway and wondered why Jenny was so upset about having an accident, but Tom didn’t even seem to know when he had an accident.
Jenny tried to go on the potty and was upset when nothing came out. Her mommy cleaned her up and got her dressed for the day. She decided to go with the Pull-Ups today instead of cloth training pants. Jenny didn’t seem to care. She was just happy to be wearing big girl pants instead of diapers.
Mary looked in on Tom before going and getting dressed herself. She didn’t know how, but somehow he had slept through all of the screaming. It always amazed her how kids could sleep through certain things. Later when she did go in to get Tom up, she discovered the Pull-Ups had leaked, and she had to wash his sheets again. The frustration of the day, however, came later that morning. Before Lunch, Jenny wet her pants once and used the potty twice. During this time, Tom wet his pants twice and only used the potty once. During Breakfast and Lunch, Jenny sat in the high chair as usual, but she ate using her silverware and barely needed her face wiped at the end. Her bib was clean and there was no food on her tray or hands. Tom however was covered with food, hands, face, shirt, and around his plate on the table.
Once Jenny was put down for a nap and Tom was off playing, Mary sat George down to talk.
“George, we have a problem,” Mary said. “Jenny is moving much faster than expected. We need to get her out of her crib before her bed will be here in two months. We have to get her out of the highchair too. She can not hold on long enough to wait for getting out of these things when she needs to go potty. She is upset by accidents at the moment, but if she starts having a lot of them because of being in her crib or highchair, she will stop caring and stop trying to get to the potty seat. That’s Jenny, and with Tom, I am going to put a diaper on him tonight instead of the Pull-Up. The Pull-Ups leaked with his heavy night time wetting.”
“Look at us, how did we get ourselves into such a position,” George commented. “Our 6 year old son is back in diapers, and our 3 year old is outgrowing her baby stuff faster than we can replace it.”
“Hmmmmmm,” Mary pondered. “That might work George.”
“We need to get Jenny out of the crib because she is wearing training pants and can keep them dry at night if she can have access to the potty. Tom will be wearing diapers at night because he doesn’t use the potty at night and doesn’t need to when he wakes up since he wet at night.”
“Yeah, so?” George questioned. “I don’t like having Tom in a diaper, but admittedly he doesn’t use the toilet at night.”
“Well, what if . . . .” Mary hesitantly started.
George was puzzled. Mary had something on her mind. What was it? “Mary?”
“What if . . . . if we . . . . we had the kids switch rooms?”
“What would that accomplish, both of their rooms are about the same size, but we would still need to buy a bed for Jenny this weekend.”
“No George,” Mary interrupted. “I mean, just switch the children leaving everything else the same. As soon as Jenny’s bed comes, we can switch back.”
George was confused. He was trying to figure out what she was talking about. “Are you saying we should put Tom in . . . . in Jenny’s crib?”
“Well, yes.” Mary hesitantly said. “It would actually have some advantages. Jenny would have a bed to sleep in that she could get out of and to the potty if needed. She has the little girl sheets and bed spread she got for her birthday. In a crib, Tom wouldn’t get out of bed and get pee all over the house from a leaky diaper. As long as he is in a diaper, there is no reason for him to get out of the crib. When I have to wash sheets due to a diaper leaking, crib sheets are smaller and easier to clean.”
“You want to put Tom in a crib?”
“He is 6 years old, almost 7,” George said stating the obvious. “You can’t put a 6 year old in a crib at night. He is not a baby.”
“George,” Mary said grabbing his hands. “You are the one complaining when he gets out of bed in the morning and starts watching cartoons, waking everyone up in the house. In a crib he couldn’t do that. It is less work for me if he is in the crib, much less laundry. Jenny really needs a regular bed and I want her to have the canopy bed I ordered her. If we buy her a bed this weekend, I will have to cancel that order. Tom is spending more time in Jenny’s room with getting his Pull-Ups changed on her changing table, than Jenny is. And maybe, if we explain to Tom that Jenny needs a bed she can get out of to use the potty and he doesn’t, he might try harder to use the potty.”
“But putting him in a crib?”
“Have you looked at the kids recently George, they are changing places even without us doing anything about it. Jenny is acting more grown up every day, and Tom is acting more like Jenny use to. If we start treating him how he is acting, he might decide to grow up like Jenny is.”
Just then, they herd the buzzer on the Dryer go off. “Well, there is the first load of laundry because Tom wet his bed last night. I still have to wash the blanket, it got wet too.” Mary got up and headed toward the washer and dryer.
George didn’t know what to think. Tom was not a baby, and he didn’t like the idea of treating him like one. He got up and went to see what Tom was doing. What George found surprised him a little. Tom was quietly playing, but he wasn’t playing with his toys. He was playing with Jenny’s. He was playing with Jenny’s baby toys, some of which even Jenny had stopped playing with recently because they were for babies and she was a big girl. What was happening to him. He is not a baby, but why does he keep acting like one.
George watched the two kids that afternoon. Something Mary said kept sticking in his head. - - - Have you looked at the kids recently George, they are changing places even without us doing anything about it. Jenny is acting more grown up every day, and Tom is acting more like Jenny use to. - - - George didn’t understand what she was talking about, but after watching the kids all afternoon, he was even more confused.
In watching the two of them play, Jenny acted more like the older sister showing little Tom how to play with things and what to do with different toys. This was odd, but stranger yet, was toileting issues. Jenny had taken on a motherly role and Tom was letting her. The one time Tom did use the toilet that afternoon, Jenny congratulated him and told him how much of a good boy he was for using the potty and keeping the bows on his Pull-Ups. Tom smiled when she did this. When Jenny used the potty, she would come back and show Tom the bows on her Pull-Ups by lifting up her dress. She would then ask to see the bow on Tom’s Pull-Ups. If he didn’t respond, she would go up and say she would check. Tom would just stand there and let his 3 year old sister pull down his pants to see if he still had bows on his Pull-Ups. Every time she did this he was wet and she just took his hand and brought him to Mary. The one time Jenny had an accident, Tom just kept playing. He did not support her at all, like he didn’t understand why she was upset and crying.
When Tom used the potty and immediately afterwards Jenny wet her pants, Mary jokingly commented on how she couldn’t win, one of the kids used the toilet and the other wet their pants. Well, George thought about this and it was more true than she would have imagined. When Jenny went poopy in the toilet, Tom pooped in his Pull-Ups. When Tom went pee-pee in the toilet, Jenny wet her pants. When Jenny went pee-pee in the toilet, Tom’s Pull-Ups were wet. Thinking back over the day, Jenny had two accidents and Tom only used the toilet twice. This was weird Twilight Zone stuff. He pointed this out to Mary, but she said it was just coincidence.
Dinner also looked strange. Jenny was in the highchair with the bib, but Tom was the one covered with food. Tom was the one that spilled his milk. At the end of the meal, it was Tom who needed help getting cleaned up, not Jenny. If Tom wasn’t bigger than Jenny, you would think he was the baby instead of Jenny. Could he really be retarded? Maybe the school was right putting him in Special Education.
After dinner Mary took Tom up to change his Pull-Ups in Jenny’s room. Afterwards, Tom looked in his room and yelled for Mommy.
“Why are Jenny’s pink sheets and blankie on my bed?”
Mary knew she needed to have this discussion with Tom, she had tried to avoid it all afternoon, but now she couldn’t get around it anymore. “Tommy,” She started. “Jenny has been using the potty a lot and she gets upset when she doesn’t make it to the potty in time. She can’t get out of her crib to get to the potty, so she needs a bed she can get out of. You don’t use the potty at night like Jenny, so you don’t need a bed you can get out of.”
“Why are Jenny’s pink sheet and blankie on MY bed?”
“Tommy,” Mary tried to calm him and explain. “Jenny has a new bed coming in two months, but till then daddy and I decided Jenny needed to be in a different bed.”
“Jenny sleeping with me?”
“No honey. We decided to have you and Jenny switch beds, so Jenny will sleep in here till her new bed comes. You will sleep in her room.”
“Jenny have no bed. Where do I sleep.”
“You are going to sleep in Jenny’s bed in her room.” Mary could see the puzzled look on his face. She knew this was not going to be easy. She wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do, and was amazed George was even going to let her do it. The hardest sales pitch however, was Tommy. She had to convince him this was okay. How do you tell a 6 year old they need to give up their big boy bed to their 3 year old little sister, and they needed to sleep in a baby crib. Tell a 6 year old that the 3 year old needs the big bed and they don’t. Tom hadn’t really figured out what she was asking of him yet. She decided to take a different approach to help explain.
“Tommy,” she said. “Get teddy and we will go see where the two of you will sleep tonight.”
Tom went and got his teddy bear that he slept with every night. Mary picked him up and carried him to Jenny’s room. When they got there, she entered and pulled the door closed. If Tom started to throw a temper tantrum she didn’t want Jenny coming up and complicating the issue. She walked over the crib and started to put Tom down into the crib.
“No Mommy. Me no baby.” Tommy said as he started to resist being put into the crib.
“I know you are not a baby. You are Mommy’s little boy. You only have to sleep here until Jenny’s new bed comes.” This time Mary was able to put Tommy down into the crib. He was holding onto teddy really tight. His Blankie was already in the crib. It was his crib blanket when he was little. He kept it on his bed when he got a big bed, even though it was too small to use as his regular bed blanket. Now that he will be back in the crib, the blanket will now be his only blanket.
“Did you know Tommy, this use to be your crib before Jenny moved into it.”
“But Mommy. I was a baby then. Me big boy now.”
“Yes honey, but for a little while, this will be your bed.”
Tom sat in the crib thinking about all of this. He looked around the room. There were a lot of pink frilly things like the curtains and pictures on the walls. Next to the crib was the changing table. He was use to that, over the last week he has gotten changed a lot on the changing table. Now the crib was going to be his too.
Mary could tell Tom was going to accept the crib. She had one last obstacle to deal with tonight. She had to put a diaper on him before bed. Pull-Ups were one thing, but a diaper was different. George had been talking about odd behavior between the two children. Like the progress Jenny was making was linked to the regression in Tom. That is silly, isn’t it? George had always had a strange feeling something was not real, but it was all in his imagination, wasn’t it? Mary looked down at Tom sitting in the crib. He was just sitting there talking with his teddy bear, explaining to the Teddy, it was going to be sleeping in the crib now.
“No silly,” Tom said to his bear. “I am not giving you to Jenny. This is going to be our new bed. Jenny is going to sleep in our old bed.” He moved his bear around a little, showing it all the areas of the crib. “Yes, mommy said that too. It use to be our bed back a long time ago. Jenny needed it, so we gave it to Jenny, now we get it back. Now Jenny needs our old bed, so she gets it and we can have this bed back. Yes, it is a crib, not a bed. It is okay Teddy. I know you are not a baby. Big kids can sleep in cribs too. I will be here to help you get through the long night.”
Mary smiled at this conversation. She waited for it to end before she picked him up and brought him downstairs to play until bed time.