Gone Awry

“Did you get 'em?” Daughtry asked with anticipation, leaning over Walt’s shoulder to try and see down into his backpack. “C’mon, man, out with it!”

Walt shrugged a shoulder to try and push his friend off, clasping the top of the backpack together. “Yeah, I got 'em, alright?” he said with a nervous look around the halls.

And he had got them. After ‘saving’ his allowance nearly all summer, minus the occasional candy or small toy, Walter had bought them one morning while his mom thought he had been out playing in the back yard. For over a week now, he had been hiding them in the back of his closet, going over in his head exactly how Daughtry’s and his plan would actually work. The plan itself had been the whole summer in the making, as well, thought up and discussed behind the closed doors of untidy rooms, in tree houses hastily built at the edge of yards, and always out of the hearing of annoying adults. Much like the current meeting was taking place, at the end of the hall at the edge of a row of lockers.

Carefully, Walt turned so that he was facing the corner, his backpack wedged between himself and the wall, and ever so slowly eased one of “them” out of the large pocket of his backpack. Daughtry, who was supposed to be keeping watch, was holding his breath in anticipation and peering back down the hall. After some rustling, he felt something being pressed into his side hard. Daughtry abandoned his scrutiny of the passage, and looked down, grabbing for the object that had been so roughly jabbed at him, and immediately froze, his hands twitching in mid-grasp, but staying empty.

“Is… that it?” Daughtry asked, blinking his wide eyes in disbelief.

“Yeah. Take it, hurry up!” Walt was saying, pushing it at his friend again.

Daughtry couldn’t speak for a long moment, and then with a look of disappointment and anger on his face, pushed Walt’s hands back at him roughly.

“You screwed up, dude! I’m not wearing that!”

“What do you mean you’re not wearing it?!” Walt shot back, now left holding it in his hands while they bickered.

“It’s for girls!” came the response. “You got the wrong ones, stupid! Now we’re screwed.”

Walt flushed, and looked at the object in his hands. He couldn’t argue that it was for girls, with its pink trimmed waist and leg openings and flower pattern down the front, but he certainly didn’t think it meant their plans were completely ruined. Shoving the object halfway back into his bag, he glowered at Daughtry and hissed through clenched teeth.

“It was all they had, dude! What, did you want me to ask for help and get found out?”

“It’d be better than wearing THAT!” Daughtry pointed, “Tell me you’re jokin’ dude. Tell me you’re just messin’.” He pleaded hopefully.

“I’m serious! It’s really all they had!” Walt said, face still red and trying once again to hand over the pink edged garment.

Daughtry pushed it away again, and kicked at the locker, causing some nearby students to look their way. Walt shrunk back again, and shoved it back in his bag, pushing it deeply towards the bottom where it was pressed against it’s matching counterpart.

“I’m so screwed! I didn’t bring anything to change into, and then you pull this crap.” Daughtry exclaimed, giving Walt a little shove, more out of anger in general than trying to start a fight. “Keep that mess, man… I’m gonna be grounded.” He muttered as he moved off towards his classroom.

Walt watched him go, fuming, and decided right there that with or without Daughtry, the plan would go forward. With this on his mind, he stalked off towards the bathroom. Who needed Daughtry, anyway? Walt had been the one who had come up with the plan, spent all his allowance, kept them safe, and did pretty much all the work. If Daughtry wanted to back out because of a tiny little problem like this, then that was fine with Walt. He’d do this on his own, and be the only one to gain any of the benefits. Besides, it was the perfect plan.

And to a couple of seven year old boys at the beginning of the summer, it really had been the perfect plan. In kindergarten and first grade, recess had been a free-form playground affair to run the students out of energy after their lunch so as to not be too disruptive during the afternoon. However, as Daughtry and Walt had found out from some Daughtry’s older brother, second grade wasn’t going to be as fun. Instead of recess, they were now going to have the dreaded “Gym Class”. Imagine the nerve of them taking away recess and making it into just another boring class! But it got worse, or so Daughtry and Walt thought, when they were informed that they would have to change clothes before and after class, to avoid being sweaty for the rest of the day.

Once they had found this out, the two boys had retreated to the safety of the tree-line out back of Walt’s house.

“Man… what’re we gonna do?” Daughtry had asked dejectedly, plucking at some grass growing up through the roots of the tree on which he’d been sitting.

“I dunno, Tre.” Walt responded. This summer had just started off on a bad note.

Daughtry, however, was clearly in denial. “I can’t believe they’d turn playing into a class! It’s … It’s… something!” he said, again pulling at the strands of grass. “They can’t make us. They can’t…”

“But,” Walt said, suddenly having a vague idea, “What if they really couldn’t?”

“What you talkin’ about, Walt?” Daughtry asked, not looking up from his mangling of the various flora within his reach.

“Well, I mean, there’s got to be some way of getting out of it, right?”

“Hardly. The only way would be if we couldn’t do it, like if we had a broke leg or….” And Daughtry looked up quickly. “We are NOT gonna break out legs to get outta it. That hurts!”

Walt shook his head, but didn’t really seem like he had any better idea. “Nah, and they’d make us do it anyway after the casts came off.”

The two boys sat in silence for a while longer, seemingly resigning themselves to their fates. They would have to go to this mockery of a class, and they would have to change clothes around a bunch of their classmates, which was more of a concern of Walt’s than of Daughtry’s if things were truly to be made honest. He’d always been self conscious, having been taught that after a certain age, children were not supposed to be visibly naked by anyone other than their parents, and even then only at bath time.

“Hmph. I bet TOMMY doesn’t have ta go to gym class.” Daughtry remarked offhand. The Tommy in question had been a classmate of Walt and Daughtry’s in preschool. Tommy had been known for having a bedwetting problem, and because of this had gotten to skip nap time on several occasions, for which the highly active Daughtry had never forgiven him.

Walt snickered, “Only if they let him sleep through that class.” Then suddenly his face lifted, and he stared down at Daughtry, almost falling off the tree limbs he was sprawled across. “That’s it!”

“What’s it? Sleep through class?” Daughtry asked, peering up through the leaves.

“No. If we wet our pants! They couldn’t make us go to that class then, just like Tommy and nap time.”

Daughtry’s jaw went slack. “Are you crazy?” he asked, once he could find his voice again, “I’m not gonna pee myself at school just to get out of gym class.”

Walt slid down the tree trunk, shaking his head and leaping off, stumbling on an exposed root before coming to a stop in front of his friend. He brushed his hands on his pants before waving them, fingers outstretched in front of himself defensively.

“No no! Not like that,” He started, grinning, “But what if we told them we did? They’d have to let us out of doing it.”

“And what about when we don’t do it? They’ll know.” Daughtry stated, being a pretty practical kid, despite his age. “Then we’ll have to do stuff in class anyway.”

Walt thought about this for a bit, then shrugged. “We’ll wear something, like pull-ups or whatever, and then they’d not be able to tell if we did or not.”

Daughtry opened his mouth to respond, shut it, opened it again, and then sat quietly rubbing his chin. From that point on, the plan had started to be formulated. They would save up their allowance; well, Walt would, since Daughtry didn’t get one; then they would buy a pack of those Goodnights; again Walt’s task, since he lived closer to the store; and on the first day of gym class, they’d wear them and tell this gym teacher to get out of class free. It was the perfect plan. They’d sneak these goodnights into school every day, put them on in the bathroom before school, take them off after, and no one would ever be the wiser.

But now that day had come, the first day of second grade and the first day of gym class, and Walt now found himself stomping off towards the bathroom with a backpack full of girls Goodnights. It hadn’t been his fault, he reasoned, because all he’d seen at the corner store was the pink one, and he was in too much of a rush to ask for help finding the blue ones. But that didn’t matter. He was committed now, and in his slight embarrassment and frustrated rage at being the only one committed, he didn’t even notice that one of the stalls was already occupied as he stalked through the bathroom.

Locking the stall shut, and tossing his backpack onto the back of the toilet, Walt began undressing. He slipped his shoes off, and yanked down his pants and batman underwear, wadding them up on top of the toilet. He quickly unzipped his backpack, and fished around inside until his hand clasped over the softly rustling cloth-like outer cover of the night-time incontinence garment. Quickly, almost putting it on backwards, he slipped the Goodnight up over his legs and into place, wiggling his legs to make sure it fit comfortably, and then tossed his pants and shoes back on. Stashing the underwear he’d worn in at the bottom of his backpack, he stalked out of the stall, slamming the door and heading towards his classroom.

“Hmph. We’ll see who’s stupid when I’m sitting pretty and not having to go to gym class…” Walt muttered under his breath as he maneuvered his way down the crowded corridor. What was the big deal, anyway? They were just pink. And pink was a perfectly good color for what they needed them for. And so what if they had flowers and butterflies on them? It’s not like anyone was going to have to see them. Besides, the boys ones had 4-wheelers that looked like little brown blobs, and that wasn’t any better.

Walt slid into his seat once he reached the classroom, a gloomy look on his face. He stared at the blackboard, chin resting on his folded arms, and he fidgeted in his chair as he tried to get used to the slightly different feeling between his legs. Suddenly, he felt a sharp pain wrenching through his shoulder, and he almost fell off his chair as he spun to confront his assailant.

“What took you so long, Walt?” Daughtry said. Walt hadn’t noticed him.

“What do you think, chicken?” Walt retorted, trying to keep his bravado up, despite the small fallout earlier.

“You… didn’t.” Daughtry said in disbelief, then leaned over and whispered harshly, “Did you?”

Walt nodded, and looked around, then quickly lifted the edge of his shirt, showing off the pink top of the underpants. “I’m not a chicken, Tre.”

Daughtry sneered slightly. “I wasn’t bein’ a chicken. I’m just not a girl.”

“Me either,” Walt countered, “And this is just for today. Once gym class is over, then I’m takin’ these off and going back to my undies.”

Daughtry was about to say something to that, but the teacher chose just that moment to barge into the classroom like she owned the place, and started the school year. All through it, Daughtry kept stealing glances over at Walt, who seemed to shift back and forth more and more as class wore on. He had planned to ask what was up, but he never got the chance until lunch. He managed to slip his way behind Walt in the lunch line, and leaned over his shoulder to speak.

“Hey, Walt,” he said, “You okay?”

Walt jumped slightly, almost dropping his tray. “Wah?!” he exclaimed, then realized who it was that was talking. “Oh… Tre… Yeah I’m fine.”

Daughtry stayed quiet as they went through the rest of the line, but spoke up again once they were seated.

“You sure you wanna go through with this, man? You can always back out…” He said, worriedly.

Walt shook his head. “Nah uh. They are NOT gonna take away recess and replace it with some stupid class.”

Walt glowered hard at nothing, trying to keep up his air of bravery. In reality, he was scared out of his mind. Every doubt that he probably should have been having over the summer was floating through his head now, shadowing his plans in uncertainty. But even as he sat and pondered whether or not he’d be able to pull it off, he resolved to go through with it. Daughtry had backed out, and Walt wasn’t about to go down that same road. He would do this, and that was the end of that. So caught up in his internal reverie as he was, Walt merely poked absently at his lunch, and started as the bell rang, signaling the last bathroom break before gym class. This was his last chance, and he let it go.

Walt forced himself to breathe, consciously willing the air to enter into his lungs as he walked in line with the rest of the class towards the gymnasium; towards the fruition of his plan. Much to his surprise, however, the gym teacher first asked all the students to take a seat on the bleachers while she explained how the class worked.

“… And then once you’ve signed into class, you’ll each go to the locker rooms and change into your gym clothes for class.” The teacher was saying. At this Walt drew in a quick breath, and cast a look around, as if his classmates could see his ruse written all over his body. No one was paying attention to him. “You’ll have five minutes to change, and then you come out here and line up, boys on the right girls on the left, and get ready for stretching and warm-ups. Now, I want you to go get changed and come back out here.”

Walt sat bolt still as the rest of the kids got up and filed off, breaking off into two groups and heading for their respective locker rooms. Each child carried a bag containing his or her gym clothes, with the exception of Daughtry, who shot a single worried glance back over his shoulder. Once all the others had moved out of sight and earshot, Walt moved down off the bleachers, swallowed hard, and tugged on the teacher’s sleeve.

“Uh… Miss Crutcher?” Walt asked, hesitantly.

“What is it… uh…Walter?” she asked, trying to place this child’s name, “Why aren’t you getting changed?”

Walt rubbed the back of his head, and came very close to backing out. “I,” He hesitated, “I can’t change clothes. I can’t take this class.” He nodded, his confidence in his plan growing with each word.

Crutcher cleared her throat. “Any particular reason for that?” she asked, expecting any number of lame and tired excuses, but was actually quite surprised when Walt offered none of them.

“It’s kinda private,” he said, looking around.

Miss Crutcher nodded, and pointed at a small office situated at the end of the gymnasium, between both locker rooms. Placing a hand on Walt’s back, she ushered him into the small office, lined with trophies and photos of past sports teams, and took a seat at the cluttered desk. Sighing, she leaned back and rubbed her eyes. The first day was always the longest.

“Now, Walter, what is it that you think is going to keep you from taking this class with the rest of the students?”

Walt swallowed hard, and opened his mouth, the words coming out in a rush. “I wet my pants like Tommy in preschool did and so I can’t do gym class!”

Silence descended on the room, as Miss Crutcher stared in disbelief at the young boy standing before her. “Come again?”

Walt nodded hard. “I pee my pants! Gotta wear pull-ups and everything.” He said, convinced that if he sounded confident, he could make her believe him.

Miss Crutcher counted to ten in her mind, and took a deep breath. This was a new one to her, but then again, they were new every year. This was certainly the most creative excuse she’d heard in a long time, but it had already been a long morning, with three other classes already having had to go through the gym class orientation speech and accompanying complaints and excuses. She squinted at Walt, and he took this as a good sign. She hadn’t freaked out, or immediately told him to go get dressed no matter. He smiled, having decided this was going in his favor.

“Look, Walter,” She started, “If you have a serious medical condition, you’re going to have to have your mother send in a signed note with—” but she never got any further.

“I can prove it!” Walt shouted, panicking now as his plan began to crumble under Crutcher’s cold hard logic. Before she could react, Walt undid his pants, yanked them down to expose his girlish protective undergarment, and closed his eyes. A bit of a flush came to his cheeks, and he sucked in a breath.

“Look, Walt, I—” and again Crutcher was cut off, but not by what Walt said, but what he did. Before her astounded eyes, Walt began to undress. She caught sight of what he was wearing as underwear, and was about to try and stifle a laugh, when she realized what he was doing. Her jaw went slack, and in the cold unforgiving silence of the room, she could clearly hear as Walter wet his pants. The boy opened his eyes as he finished, arms out stretched, a strange look of triumph on his face.

“See?” he said.

“Walter.” Miss Crutcher tried to keep her voice steady as she spoke, a mixture of frustration, anger, and shock creeping into her voice. “I think you should, uh, pull your pants up and go see the principal. About this. I’ll call ahead, okay?”

Walt was ecstatic. This was exactly what he had been hoping for. He quickly pulled his pants up, and with a big grin, nodded and turned to leave. On his way out the door, he passed a very puzzled looking Daughtry. He nodded once, and headed over to the bleachers to retrieve his bag, grabbing it up and tossing it over his shoulder. Daughtry followed after, since the five minutes wasn’t up yet, and he hadn’t brought anything to change into.

“Uh… Walt! How’d it go?” He inquired, looking back over his shoulder at the office.

“Perfect! I’m on my way to the principal’s office, probably to get a pass or somethin’ that says I don’t have to come to gym class anymore.”

Daughtry was impressed, but still looked a bit concerned. “You sure?” he asked.

Walt shrugged his shoulders and patted his friend on the shoulder as he walked past. “I told you that it would work. Have fun in gym class, Tre.” Walt said, with an edge of sarcasm on his lips as he strode out. Daughtry’s face flushed, and he turned and kicked the lowest seat of the bleachers, not liking that Walt had been right, despite wearing the girls Goodnights.

“Daughtry!” Came a wearied and exasperated voice from behind him. “Get in line with everyone else. And why haven’t you changed into your gym clothes?”

Walt winced slightly as he heard Crutcher ask Daughtry about his lack of clothes as he moved down the corridor. He hoped that Daughtry would come up with something good as an excuse, and not rat him out by saying that he had expected to join in Walt’s plan. However, his current success at getting out of gym class apparently scot free had left him with a warm and fuzzy feeling in his chest, and not just in his pants. As he walked, he barely noticed the slight urine odor or the squishy feeling as his legs pumped him towards his destination. That would be over soon, since he’d head off to the bathroom to change back into his undies as soon as this business with the principal was taken care of.

There was a general air of excitement and activity in the school’s main office as Walt entered. Secretaries and teachers aides and other parents all bustled about, trying to get a handle on the chaotic first day of class. At first, no one seemed to realize he was there, so he shrugged, and tossed his bag on one of the empty chairs and hopped up in to the one next to it. Walt squished slightly as he did so, but again, he wasn’t bothered. It was the squish of victory, as far as he was concerned.

After a moment, and after showing a parent a map of the school and where to find their child’s classroom, one of the secretaries suddenly seemed to notice Walt.

“Hello, can we help you?” she asked, moving back behind her desk.

“Uh huh,” Walt nodded, hopping up and plodding over after her, “Miss Crutcher said I should come see the principal.”

The woman looked at him for a moment, and there was a tinge of red starting to creep up her neck and into her face. “You must be Walter. Have a seat please, and the principal will be with you shortly.”

Walt did as he was asked, and occupied himself with glancing around the room, reading the posters and motivational messages strung about. One of the other office workers came up to the first and started to ask about the young boy in their office, when the first lady suddenly leaned in and began whispering to the second. The bit of red seemed to spread to the second lady, starting at her ears and working it’s way around to the front of her face. She covered her mouth quickly to stifle a laugh. This might just turn out to be an interesting school year after all.

After what seemed to be an eternity of waiting, one of the phones rang, and after a brief conversation, the receptionist approached Walt and held out her hand.

“Come on, Walter. The principal will see you now.” She said, “Bring your backpack.”

Walt shouldered the bag, and still smiling, took the lady’s hand and followed her down a short hall to a large office at the end. The office interior was modest and sparsely decorated, with a simple but full book shelf along one wall, a row of chairs on the other, and at the end, a desk with two more, larger chairs positioned facing it. It was to one of these chairs that Walt was led, to sit facing the back of Principal Delavan’s chair as the secretary retreated back out the door. The silence was broken by the somewhat muffled phone conversation that the principal was just finishing up. Spinning his chair around and placing the phone on the cradle, he faced Walt.

For a long moment, neither of them spoke, or moved, or took their eyes off the other. Finally, Principal Delavan clasped his hands together in front of him, resting his elbows on the desk, and spoke.

“I got a call from Ms. Crutcher concerning your claims of, uh, a physical disability that would prevent you from participating in gym class?” he asked, innocently enough.

“Uh huh.” Walt nodded. “I can’t go to gym class.”

Mr. Delavan blinked at this. He hadn’t expected for the kid to come in here with this level of confidence. Usually children in his office are ready to confess after that carefully rehearsed stare. “She also said that you,” he cleared his throat slightly, “Demonstrated your disability to her?” He wasn’t quite sure he believed the reports, but Marci had never lied to him about disruptive children before, and had no reason to now.

Blood rushed into Walt’s face as he remembered the incident. He nodded. “Uh huh.”

The principal, still not sure he believed the somewhat strange report, motioned for the boy to stand up. “Show me. Well, not the same way you showed Ms. Crutcher, but I do have to verify the claims…” He said.

Walt nodded and hopped up, pulling is shirt up slightly, and unfastened his belt, letting his pants slide down slightly. Mister Delavan shook his head as soon as he saw the undergarment with it’s tell-tale dark tinge and faded flower petals, and waved for Walter to sit back down.

“Okay, okay. Please pull your pants back up and have a seat, Walt.” he said, trying to regain his composure. He didn’t know what he had expected, and even though he had been told, he hadn’t been sure he had expected that. Especially not for the undergarment to be so obviously feminine.

“Walter,” the principal began, after taking a deep breath, “The school records don’t indicate that you suffer from any sort of physical impairment, and we haven’t been notified by your parents that anything has changed over the summer. Why don’t you tell me more about this condition of yours.”

“I wet my pants.” Walt stated, as if the situation was as plain as day, and the principal was just blind to the truth in front of him.

“Mmhmm,” countered Delavan, “And when did you start wetting your pants? Was it an accident, or are you sick? Please, enlighten me.”

Silence. It was palpable, thick, and hung heavy between the boy and his principal. Walt, looking not unlike a wild animal caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck, shifted in his chair. His brain raced, trying to come up with something, anything, that would satisfy this new challenge.

“That’s… what I thought.” Delavan said, finally breaking the tension. “Why don’t I give your mother a call, and see if she can shed some light on your condition.”

A cold chill ran through Walt, starting at his stomach and rolling up through the rest of his body, matching the rapidly cooling feeling pressed against his groin. He watched in stunned silence as the principal reached for the phone, dialed a number and leaned back in his chair as the phone on the other end of the line began to ring. He didn’t really remember much about the phone conversation, except that every once in a while Mister Delavan would look pointedly at him and say his name. All he remembered after the fact was being led back to the waiting area and asked to wait there until he was called for again.

However, he wasn’t called for again for a very long time. Walt had been absently fiddling with the pink waist band sticking up above his pants and regretting not picking a warmer place to sit, when he was suddenly startled by seeing his mother walk into the office and straight past him to the front desk. After a brief exchange, the receptionist pointed past Walt’s mother, who then turned her somewhat puzzled gaze to her son. Walt said nothing, and kept his head down, remembering to pull his shirt back down over his waist.

“Walter H. Pinmoney.” his mother started, approaching her son. “What have you done to have me called all the way out here from work?”

Principal Delavan, having been informed of her arrival by the receptionist, was coming up behind Walt’s mother. “Miss Pinmoney, if you’ll both step into my office, I can explain what this is all about.”

“Please, call me Cheryll,” she responded, extending her hand, which was shaken heartily. “I hope this won’t take too long.”

“It shouldn’t,” Delavan said, but he didn’t look very positive, “Please come to my office so we can talk.”

The small troop marched their way back to the office, Delavan in front, Walt in back, and they each took their seats accordingly. Mister Delavan resumed his position of hands clasped on the desk before him, leaning on his elbows slightly and looking very grave.

“Miss Pinm-- Cheryll,” he said, trying to be less formal than he had trained himself to be, “Today, Walter here tried to get out of gym class by claiming to have bladder control issues.”

Cheryll’s face went white, then a deep red. “Oh did he?” she asked Delavan, but she was looking down at Walter, who was trying his best to not be there.

Principal Delavan nodded slowly. “After he said this, he then proceeded to… demonstrate his new found disability in front of his gym teacher.”

Silence again while Walt’s mother looked him over. “He… demonstrated?”

Delavan nodded, and motioned to Walt. “Walter, please stand up and show your mother, please.”

Face flushed, heart beating fast, Walter slowly stood up and for the third time today, dropped his pants in front of a set of adults. A sharp intake of breath from Walt’s mother as she took a moment to comprehend the scene confronting her. After a moment, she reached out a hand and touched the cool and heavily wet front of her son’s underwear. Walt’s face was an even deeper shade of red than some of the girlish designs on the front of his sagging underpants, and he kept his eyes averted.

“Why I never…” Walt’s mother began, then caught herself, and turned back towards the Principal, leaving Walt literally with his pants down. “I’m so sorry about this, Mister Delavan. Walter is perfectly healthy, and I don’t know what has come over him to want to pull a stunt like this.”

Principal Delavan raised a hand to cut her off. “Miss Pinmoney, please. A lot of students don’t like the idea of gym class, and try a lot of excuses to get out of it. However,” and he shot a glance at the still depantsed Walt, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone going this far.”

“So what’s the damage?” Walt’s mother asked, trying to sound calm, but her voice was tinged with an edge of anger.

“Well, as you can imagine, this type of behavior is no simple matter. Since your child was trying to disrupt class, even if it was just for himself, and topped on that he was lying about a serious medical condition, I’m afraid we don’t have any choice except to suspend him for a week. Fortunately it’s the first week of school, so he won’t miss much.”

Walt stared in disbelief, and pulled nervously on his backpack straps. He cast a glance up at his mother who seemed to move in slow motion as she nodded, and signed the paperwork that would send the boy home for a week of punishment. Punishment he didn’t even want to guess the extent of. Once all the formalities were taken care of, Cheryll stood and again shook the Principal’s hand firmly, then turned and scooped Walter up on her hip, leaving his pants down around his ankles.

“Well, I guess I better go home and make some arrangements for the rest of the week. Come on, Walter. We need to have a serious talk about how we’re going to handle this mess.”

And without another word, Walt found himself carried out the door of the front office, down the halls, and out the front door of the school to his mother’s waiting car. He knew they were looking, but at the moment that was the least of his concerns. As soon as his mother set him down, he yanked his pants back up, and slunk into the passenger seat. The ride home was punctuated with a myriad of "What’s wrong with you"s and "how could you"s and even a few "What am I going to do with you"s. Even more hurtful was the single “What if your father was around to see this” that was tagged onto the end of one of the longer diatribes.

For his part, Walter responded with several "I know"s and "I don’t know"s and "I’m really sorry"s where appropriate. It was quite possibly the longest car ride in the history of all car rides, even though they were only a few blocks away from the school. Once they arrived home, Walt meekly followed his mother into the living room, where she calmly sat on the couch and placed her hands in her lap, looking him over.

“Do you have any more?”

Walt nodded slowly in response, keeping his eyes low and trying not to sniffle yet. It wouldn’t do to waste tears until it was prudent.

“Go get them and bring them here, Walter. Then you can go get cleaned up while I think of what I’m going to do with you for a week.”

Walt took off like a bolt, shooting up the stairs and racing to his room. He dug through to the back of the closet and pulled out the half empty package of girls Goodnights, and then turned to go back downstairs. The one he was wearing was starting to get clammy and uncomfortable, not to mention he needed to use the bathroom again. He had peed himself once to prove a point, but the idea of doing it now was none too appealing to his young sensibilities. Returning to the living room, he hurriedly tossed the package up on the couch next to his mother and started towards the bathroom.

“Wait.” she said, eying the package. “Are you sure this is all of them?”

Walt stopped and turned, nodding. “Yeah, that’s all I got left.”

Cheryll picked up the sagging plastic bag, and looked it over. “The label says there’s supposed to be twelve in here. With the one you’ve got on, I only count seven.”

Walt blanched some. “I… uh… used the others…” he admitted, going a little pale.

His mother blinked, then looked concerned. “Walter, are you having night time problems?”

Walt suddenly went the other way, flushing heavily. “NO! God, mom, no! I had to practice for… uh… today. Y’know.” he finished up looking away again, kicking at the carpet.

“I… see. Here.” she said, taking one of the garments out of the package and tossing it to her son. “Go get cleaned up and put that on. Then go to your room, sit on your bed, and think about what you’ve done. I’ve got to make arrangements for getting you a babysitter for the rest of the week.”

Walt was puzzled, and he picked up the disposable garment, which had fallen to the floor when he had completely fumbled the catch. He gave his mom a side-long look, and he hurried up the stairs to his room again, quickly pulling his shoes and socks off, followed by his pants and used pull-up. He threaded his legs through the fresh underwear, and then flopped face first on his bed. He stayed there for a long few moments, then rolled over on his back, staring at the ceiling. His mother hadn’t been too terribly upset, so maybe things would be okay. He couldn’t understand why she had wanted him to put another of these on, though, and sat up in bed, passing the time by tracing the flower and butterfly patterns with his fingers.

Meanwhile, back downstairs, Miss Pinmoney was making a phone call. She had gotten over her mild disbelief at her son’s actions, and was starting to formulate a plan. However, she had to check on a few things before hand. She knew a few people who could help, but only if they weren’t busy for a week. She finished dialing, and waited for the answer.

“Hello, Moslen residence,” came the greeting.

“Hi, Cynthia? This is Miss Pinmoney, Walter’s mother? You’ve babysat for me before, I believe.”

“Oh, yes! How’s he doing?”

“Well,” Cheryll started, and launched into an explanation of the day’s events. When she was done, there was a long silence on the other end of the line.

“Oh my,” Cynthia said, her voice sounding small and quiet, “And… What does this have to do with me?” she asked.

“Ah. I have an idea to put these ideas out of his head, but I can’t take a whole week off of work on such short notice, and need someone to watch him during the day.” Cheryll explained, grabbing a kitchen chair and sliding into it. “Are you still out on college break?”

“Oh, yeah! We don’t go back for a couple of weeks, so if you need someone to watch him until he can go back to school, I can do it. Standard rates and all that.”

“Mmhmm,” Cheryll went on, “But this wouldn’t be a normal babysitting job. Let me explain…” and she did. At great length, and after some discussion about it, Cynthia seemed thrilled with the idea.

“I’ll tell you what, Miss Pinmoney, my friend’s mother was going to have a yard sale next weekend to get rid of some things, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind lending us some things as long as we return them.” Cynthia offered after it was all done.

“Excellent!” exclaimed Cheryll, “If you could do that, I’d be really thankful.”

“No problem! I’ll run over there after I get off the phone and ask,” Cynthia offered.

“Great. Now I’ve got a few things to take care of around here, but if you can be here first thing in the morning, that would be excellent.”

“Sure thing, Miss P.! Talk to you later!”

Walt’s mother hung up the phone, and looked around. After a few moments of thinking, she nodded, and headed out to the garage to see if she could find some tools. Everything she needed was already where it needed to be, but a little elbow grease and some crafty remembering of instructions long since lost would be required to make the transition. As she searched, the wondered if what she was planning to do was the right thing, but she convinced herself it was for Walter’s own good. If he didn’t appreciate what he had, she would show him what it was like without any of it.

As Cheryll made her way up the stairs, she thought she heard some noise coming from Walt’s room, and as she opened the door she managed to spy him jumping back up on his bed and trying to act like he had been there the whole time. She rolled her eyes and let it go, figuring that that whatever he had been doing couldn’t have been any worse than what she’d been dealing with already today.

“Walter,” Cheryll said, taking a seat on the edge of the bed and setting down, “What you did today was wrong, you know that.”

Walt could only nod his head in agreement. Now the sniffles came easily, naturally. He was really going to have to pour it on to get out of this one, and he knew it. “I… I’m really sorry m… mommy.” He said, wiping his nose on a sleeve.

“Going to school is a privilege, Walter,” his mother continued, putting her arm around her son who was staring dejectedly at the flowers on his still exposed garments, “But since you seem to not want to take the responsibility, and change clothes with the big boys in gym class, for the next week we’re going to learn just how good it is to be a big boy.”

Walt looked up, puzzled. This wasn’t exactly what he was expecting out of a punishment, for certain, and in his confusion his tears had all but dried up. “Huh?”

Cheryll smiled. “That’s right. For the next week, instead of being the big boy I thought you were, I think you need some time on the other side, to learn to appreciate what you have.”

Walter still looked puzzled, and wiggled uncomfortably. “What’re you talking about?”

“You, honey,” Cheryll tried to say this as gently as possible, “Are going to spend the next week as my little girl. Then when the week is up, maybe you’ll appreciate what it’s like to be a big boy.”

Walter was stunned into complete silence. For a long moment he stared up at his mother, not believing what she had said, or at least not wanting to believe it. He watched in shocked silence as his mother stood up and moved towards his closet, a very serious look on her face reflected back to her son in the mirror that hung facing his bed from the back of the door to his closet. It was only when his mom started pulling clothes out of his closet that he was able to find his voice, hopping up and running over to pull on the back of her shirt.

“Y…You… I mean, what do you mean? A little girl?” He whined, staring up at her with something a kin to real fear in his eyes.

“Yes. A little girl,” She responded, taking more clothes out, “For a whole week, until it’s time to go back to school.”

Again, Walt found his voice had left him. He could only tag along behind his mother as she carried his clothes from his room to hers, even through several trips. He tried once to stop her, grabbing a pile of shirts that she was trying to extract from his dresser, and was told sharply to move out of the way unless he wanted his punishment to be even longer. Not getting his way by begging, he resigned himself to standing off against a wall of his room, arms crossed and pouting heavily.

His mother just rolled her eyes at the ridiculous sight. Finally removing all this clothes from his room, she retrieved her tools and came back up, starting to work on the bed.

“What?” Walt finally managed, his mouth dropping open, “You’re taking my BED too?”

“Not exactly,” Cheryll returned, pulling the bed away from the wall so that she could reach under it and pull out some wooden panels, “I knew this three way convertible bed was a good investment, but I honestly never thought I’d be putting it back the other way.” She mused. Walter could only watch as the sides went back up, and his child’s bed returned to the way it had been merely five years previous. His mom stood up, wiped a little sweat from her brow, and tested by lowering the side of the crib experimentally.

“There,” Cheryll said, pleased with herself, “That’ll do for now. Get some pants on, hun, we need to do a little shopping, then we can start your punishment.”

Walt looked dejectedly at the last pair of pants in his room, the ones he had worn to school that morning, and slowly picked them up. Sullenly, he raised his eyes to meet his mother’s gaze, his lower lip shaking slightly.

“Can I please use the bathroom first?” He asked, giving the best impression of a sad puppy dog that he could muster.

Cheryll thought for a moment, then nodded. “Yes, but hurry up and don’t forget to wash your hands. Then come down stairs. I want to make it back in time to have dinner.”

Walt rushed off down the hall, his pants dragging the floor behind him. From inside the bathroom, he could hear the phone ringing, but couldn’t make out any of the actual conversation that was taking place. He obediently washed his hands, and looked in the mirror. He eyed the pink garment between his legs hurtfully, a mixture of betrayal and dejection seeping into his gaze. He tugged up on the pink waistband, muttering something under his breath, and stalked out just as his mother was finishing up with the phone.

“Excellent! So we’ll look forward to you bringing those over in the morning?” a pause. “Great! Thank you very much. This is going to save me a bit of trouble, and simplify my shopping for tonight.”

Another pause. “Uh huh, right, yes, exactly like that. Oh, I’m not exactly sure, probably one or two, maybe somewhere in between. Yep. Thanks again, Cynthia. Buh-bye now.”

“Cynthia?” Walter asked, zipping up his pants and sitting down to tug his shoes on. “What’s she want?” Walt remembered Cynthia as one of his long time babysitters, and the one he actually got along with.

“Mmhmm,” Cheryll nodded, placing her hand on her son’s back and steering him towards the garage door. “She’s going to be babysitting you during the week since I can’t get off work. And if you think you’re going to get out of your punishment, let me assure you that Cynthia says she’s looking forward to babysitting a cute , sweet little girl.”

Walt flushed, and turned his head away, shoving his hands deep into his pockets and trying to slip his head down between his shoulders. Without a word, he hopped up in the seat of the car, suffered himself to be buckled in and kissed on the forehead, and kicked at the glove box moodily until his mom opened the driver’s side door and started up the car. Again, they rode in silence, neither one feeling the need to say anything on the ride to the store.

Upon arriving at the store, Walt and his mother grabbed a shopping cart, to which Walt was instructed to hold on to, and they began shopping. At first it was just the usual grocery shopping and household needs, to which Walt paid little attention, until his mother rounded a corner and headed into the baby department. He stopped, then, causing the cart to suddenly swerve to one side and bang noisily into a display rack.

“Walter! Don’t just stop like that!” his mother exclaimed, making sure the display wasn’t in any danger of toppling over.

“But… what are we doing in here?” he asked, looking around uneasily. His friends would all still be in school right now, but he couldn’t take any chances.

Cheryll knelt down on one knee to look her son in the face. “What did you think I meant when I said ‘little’, Walt?”

Walt scuffed a shoe nervously on the floor. “But… baby stuff?” he asked in trepidation.

With a curt nod, Walt’s mother stood up again. “I’m trying to show you to appreciate being a big boy, and that means no big boy privileges at all.”

Walt paled as he started to put it all together in his mind. He hadn’t thought much of his mother putting the sides back on his bed, now crib he supposed, and had generally just been pouty in the hopes that she would change her mind. This, however, put a new spin on the whole punishment. If she was serious, it was going to be a long week for him. He stared up at the shelves of baby items, food, juices, and toys as they continued on through the aisles, almost falling over the cart when it came to a sudden stop at the end of one aisle before a large wall. A wall of diapers.

“Mom, I–” Walt started, but was cut off.

“Now, what size were those goodnights you got…” she mused, looking over the various packages, finally settling on one. “AH! Here we go! These are labeled for the same weight, and look, Walt! They have the Disney Princesses on them!” she exclaimed, showing the package to her son.

Indeed, the toddler on the front was smiling in glee as she romped through a superimposed background proudly displaying Jasmine on the front of her diaper. “More Protection For Extended Use” the package proclaimed in large bright letters.

“Wonderful….” Walt muttered under his breath, turning a tinge pinker. He watched in embarrassed horror as his mother tossed three of the packages into the shopping cart.

“Oh, cheer up. I remember just a few years ago how you would sit and watch some of these movies over and over and over again until you had all the songs memorized.” Cheryll smiled at the memory, “Just a few more things and we can go grab something for you to wear today and tonight.”

Walt tried his best not to stare at the packages, which meant he wasn’t looking at the shopping cart, and incidentally not to where he was going, either. Bumping into shelves and being jerked around corners as his mother continued to pile baby food, bottles, a few toys, bath supplies, and even a pack of pacifiers into the basket, Walt tried to stay perfectly oblivious. He was only startled out of his denial by a sharp warning from his mother that if he didn’t pay attention, she would just put him in the cart’s front seat, so she wouldn’t have to stumble over him. With another muttered complaint under his breath, he straightened up and looked around, finally noticing that they had moved from the baby’s section and into the clothing department.

“Hmph. 'Least I ain’t gotta be dressed in baby clothes.” He mused, half noticing he was saying it out loud.

“Oh, no,” his mother returned, patting him on the back towards the interior of the lady’s department, “There’s no way you’d fit into any of that stuff. Besides, we just have to get you something for tonight.”

Walter was going to ponder that statement for a while, but was suddenly shocked to find his mother picking up shirts off of racks and holding up in front of him for size. “Hold still! I have to make sure we get the right size.” She said, reprimanding him sharply. Walt did as he was told, and eventually his mother was satisfied with the sizing., and left him to his own devices while she browsed through the racks. Taking care not to get too far out of sight, it wouldn’t do to extend his punishment needlessly, Walt took in the myriad of clothes around him, reaching out to pull some off the racks and amuse himself by reading the fronts of the t-shirts.

“Perfect!” He heard his mother exclaim, and he poked his head around the rack he was currently browsing to see what was up. In her hands was a pair of bright pink short-alls with golden clasps, and a purple t-shirt with a sparkle covered butterfly on the front. “What do you think, Walt?”

He winced, but nodded, just wanting this whole thing to be over. She smiled back at him, and tossed the garments into the shopping cart, then went off to look for something else. She returned shortly with a long silk nighty, it’s collar rimmed with tiny yellow flowers. Walt tried his best to look unimpressed, but even he had to admit that it was sufficiently girlish, and dare he say, cute. In defiance, however, he poked his bottom lip out hard, and pretended to hate it.

“Oh don’t put on such an act.” his mother was chiding. “It’s only for a week, if you behave, and then you get to spend more time catching up on school work than you’d spend pouting about this. Besides, you got yourself into this.”

Walt just tossed his gaze off to the side, still scowling, and took hold of the side of the cart again, his hand being brushed by the garments inside as they trundled to the checkout lines. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wondered why his mom had only picked up one outfit if this was supposed to be a week-long punishment. As the items were scanned across the register, he tried his best to look disinterested in what was going on, shifting slightly to try and maneuver the Goodnight he was wearing to a position that wasn’t causing the back of his thigh to itch terribly. They weren’t quite as much like underwear as they had advertised, he was finding.

Once all the bags were loaded into the car, there was another silent car ride home, though this time without nearly as much tension in the air. It was more of an anticipatory silence, with Walt rolling over in his head what all this meant, and how far his mom was going to take this whole punishment thing. Judging by the one outfit and nightshirt she’d purchased, he guessed not very far, and was somewhat comforted in this. He could survive a few days of this, and no one would be the wiser.

After the groceries had been put away, with Walt’s help, his mother turned and picked up the last two remaining bags. “Alright, up to your room and let’s get you started for the week.”

With his heart beating up into his throat, seeming to burst from his mouth, Walt hung his head and started up the stairs towards his room, his mother close behind. Once in his room, she sat the bags on top of his dresser, grabbed him swiftly from behind, and lifted Walt bodily into the crib. He sat there, stunned at the movement, and waited as his mother stepped back over to the dresser, opening the drawer that had once held his underwear. Deliberately she began removing one diaper after another from their packages and placing them into the drawer, talking to him as she did so.

“Now, Walt, from now until you go back to school next Monday, you are going to be my little girl, and you are expected to act as such.” she started, making sure the rows of folded diapers fit neatly into the drawer. “If you are caught acting in a way that is unbecoming a young lady, then you will be punished as would any toddler, and if you continue to misbehave, I may extend your punishment past the time you would be going back to class.”

Walt decided right then and there that he would behave himself. As bad as this punishment was going to be, it was nothing compared to having to attend school wearing the clothes his mother had picked out for him. He’d never live that down. Not ever. And that wasn’t going to happen.

“Now, as a baby girl, the TV, computer, toilet, video games, and any of your toys are off limits without my express permission. Is that understood?” Cheryll asked, finishing up the last of the putting away, and approaching the crib where Walt sat, watching.

“Yes ma’am.” He said meekly, hoping that being good would get him off the hook early.

“Good. Now, I think it’s time we got on with it. I have to cook dinner, and I can’t leave my little one improperly dressed.” she said, motioning at his dinosaur covered shirt and blue jeans.

Walt sighed, and started pulling his socks and pants off, and was helped with his shirt unexpectedly by his mother pulling it up over his head as soon as his hands were free. He quickly folded his arms across his chest, sitting in the crib with nothing on other than a girl’s Goodnight and a scowl. His face went red, though, when his mother reached down and pressed a pair of fingers against the front of his underwear, then ran her hand up and pushed gently on his chest to get him to lay back.

“Good girl! You’ve managed to keep this one dry. Now let’s get you into something a bit more your age.” Cheryll cooed down, slipping her fingers along the top waist band of the underpants.

“Just for this week!” Walt exclaimed, wanting it to be clear to all involved.

His mother rolled her eyes. “Yes, just for this week. Now shush up so I can get this done. Dinner isn’t going to cook itself, sweetie.” Then, with the practiced ease of a seasoned veteran, she slipped the unused undergarment off, wiped, powdered, and diapered her charge.

“There.” she said, pulling him up by his arms into a sitting position. “That wasn’t so bad. Now stand up so we can get some clothes on you.”

Walt stood, shaking, to his feet. His knees felt weak, and he was having a hard time taking his eyes off the face of Belle staring up at him from his protruding middle. The diaper obviously was different in feel than the pull-up, but he wasn’t prepared for how much different it was. Where the goodnight had softly rustled, the diaper made a harsh crinkling noise, and was much thicker. No matter how he moved, he was constantly reminded of it’s presence pressing against his inner thighs and keeping him from standing normally.

“Arms up!” His mother cajoled, tapping his shoulders. Walt did as he was asked, and the newly purchased purple shirt slid down his out stretched appendages and over his head, leaving him in darkness for a moment before his face poked out through the neck hole. Next came the shortalls. His mother held them out for him, while he gripped the railing of the crib and stepped in, letting out a little “WAIT!” as she started to pull them up his legs.

“What now?” came the exasperated question.

“I got my legs in one hole.” Walt whined, not feeling these brushing up his inner legs like his normal clothes would have.

“There is only one leg hole, dear.” was the patient reply, followed by a quick tug, two snaps, and the short-alls that were really some sort of skirt-thing were in place. Walter bent his knees, and reached between his legs to feel… nothing. Except his hand brushing against his exposed diaper beneath the hem of the denim jumper. He looked back up at his mom with a slightly lost look, and she picked him up and sat him down on the floor.

“You’ll get used to it, sweety. Now come on, I’ll put some cartoons on for you while I cook.” Cheryll led her son, now part time daughter, by the hand to the living room, and motioned that he should sit on the floor. Taking up the remote, she flipped the channels for a while, and settled upon some early development programming. She then walked into the kitchen to prepare dinner, taking the controller with her.

Walt squirmed around for nearly twenty minutes on the floor, trying to get comfortable. The strange drafty feeling between his thighs and the extra bulk of the actual diaper caused him a great deal of consternation. He eventually ended up on his stomach, chin propped on his hands , held up towards the television. All his wriggling about had caused the jumper to ride up slightly which provided anyone looking in his direction a clear vision of the Disney Princess brand across his well padded bottom.

The next show came and went, and Walt finally pushed himself up off the floor. He pulled on the back of his clothes as he made his way into the kitchen, and addressed his mother with a concerned look on his face. Something had been bothering him for a while now, and he decided to say something about it.

“Mooooom?” he started.

“Hmm?” She looked up from her cooking. “What’s wrong honey?”

“I, uh,” Walt began, pulling on the front of his clothes now, still very uncomfortable without proper pants, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Cheryll nodded slightly, and turned back to her cooking. “That’s fine, honey, I’ll be sure to change you after dinner.”

“Ch… change? You mean I gotta…” and he left off, his hands suddenly pressing his diaper tight against himself through the jumper.

“Well, you certainly didn’t have a problem doing that today at school.” She shot back, not missing a beat. Walt blanched, and frowned. Didn’t she know that this was different? Moodily, he stalked back out into the living room. He glared back over his shoulder, and crossed his arms over his chest.

When it became clear that pouting out of sight of his mother wasn’t going to improve his situation, Walter turned back to the television spread his legs to about shoulder width, and closed his eyes. A minute later he opened them and slowly sank back to the carpet, a warm squish greeting his arrival on the floor. He suffered through yet another half hour of children’s programming, sneering at the concepts of shapes and colors. He was barely two hours into his punishment, and he was already soggy and bored.

The boredom didn’t last much longer than that, however, as he was suddenly shadowed from behind. As he tried to turn his head to see what was going on, he was scooped up in his mother’s arms, and carried on her hip towards the kitchen.

“Time for din dins!” Cheryll chirped happily, slipping a hand under her son’s bottom to support him, “And then it’s time for this little princess’s bath and a fresh pair of panties, mmhmm!”

The blush that flowed into Walt’s face would have made a tomato jealous. He started to protest, but a light tap on his upper leg silenced him before he ever began. Plopped down into his chair at the table, he looked a bit lost at the lack of utensils. Or plate. Or cup. He looked up and was about to ask, and decided that the sight of his mother approaching him with her plate in one hand, and two jars of baby food in the other.

“Now honey,” Walt’s mother preempted his complaint, “I’m not going to make you eat baby food for every meal.”

Walt sighed with relief.

“However, every other day, dinner will be coming from a jar, just as reminder of what you’re missing out on by not acting like a big boy.” She continued, and Walt’s sigh caught in his throat, and died.

Miss Pinmoney placed her son(daughter)'s meal on the table next to her own, and fixed herself a glass of tea. She also brought a bottle of apple juice out of the refrigerator, sitting it in front of Walt.

“Now, honey, try and be still for mommy. We don’t have any bibs here yet, and I don’t want you making a big messy-wessy all over the place, okay?”

“Mooooom!” Walt protested, his face flushing again, and he pressed his hands firmly into his lap, trying to recreate the feeling of the pants he had so long worn.

“Tut tut…” Cheryll chided cutely, and spooned a mouthful of some unidentified mush towards Walt’s mouth. “Now open up for the choo choo train! Toot Toooooot!”

To his credit, Walt suffered the feeding with as much dignity as he could muster with strained peas smeared across his face from one cheek to the other. Unfortunately, trying to hide behind his bottle of juice while his mother finished up her own meal only caused a bemused giggle and hair ruffling instead of the sense of guilt he was trying to exude. By the time his mother was done, and the dishes put in the dishwasher, Walt was very pleased to be on his way to the bathroom, again perched on his mother’s hip. The mush on his face had begun to dry, and the wetness in his diaper had grown cold and noticeably odorous, which added together to make him almost want to beg for a bath.

“Who wants bubbles?” Cheryll asked, wagging a bottle of Mr. Bubble towards her son once she had gotten him undressed and in the tub.

“OH! ME!” Walt cheered, reaching towards the bottle. If he had one joy in life, it was bubble baths. Not even this punishment was going to stop him from enjoying that. He bounced excitedly in the tub, sloshing water.

Walter’s mother couldn’t suppress a genuine giggle at her son(daughter). “Alright, alright, honey. Calm down….” She chirped, and measured out a portion of the bubble substance. The rest of the bath went relatively smoothly, with Cheryll getting her son(daughter) as clean as any seven year old would allow his mother to get him clean in a bubble bath.

Re: Gone Awry

“Now, let’s get you ready for bed, okay princess?” Walt’s mother wrapped a towel around his shoulder’s, bringing him slamming back into the reality of the day with those words.

“Nnnn…” He started to whine, emboldened by the pleasantness of the bath.

“I think someone’s getting a little tuckered out and cranky, hmm?” was his only reply, and he resigned himself to being carried off back to his room and plopped back down in the crib for another diapering. Again he was requested to stand and raise his arms, and the silk nighty was slid down over his lithe body.

“There, now. Time for all little girls to get their beauty sleep.” Cheryll raised the side of the crib, leaning over to kiss her son(daughter) on the forehead. “I’ll be back to check on you before I go to bed, okay honey?”

The bars of the crib, even when fully raised, only came up to Walt’s belly button. He looked down at the floor, and nodded, thinking about how easy it would be to slip out any time he wanted. He sighed heavily, and looked back up, reaching over to return the hug offered to him. With another pat on the bottom, Walt settled down into the crib and pulled the covers up over himself, grabbing for his stuffed panther to try and get comfortable.

Walt’s mother stopped on her way out the door, and turned. “Now don’t try to climb out, okay princess? I’ll get you up in the morning when Cynthia gets here, and I don’t want to see you out of that bed before then, okay?”

“Yes ma’am,” he huffed, rolling over away from his mother to show his disapproval for this early bedtime.

“Good girl,” she smiled at his back, and flicked the lights out, leaving the room faintly illuminated by a night light. A night light that had been in the room since Walt had been a baby boy.

Walt lay awake for a long time, tossing and turning in the crib, bumping up against the railing in his efforts to get comfortable. True to her word, his mother slipped almost silently into the room. She padded softly over to the crib, and smiled down at Walt who was stalwartly trying to pretend to be asleep. His eyes opened wide as he felt her hand slide down and slip beneath his nighty, checking his diaper gently, and pressing something onto the pillow beside his head before whispering another “good night” and slipping out of the room.

Walt scowled as much as he could, and reached behind his head to feel his fingers close around the cool smooth bottle his mother had left for him. Roughly he pushed the nipple between his lips, and suckled to quench his post-bath thirst. As he nursed from the milk filled bottle, Walt calmed down and rolled over. He felt the satiny lace of the nightly sliding across his thighs, and lay on his back legs slightly splayed from the bulk of his diaper. One arm was hooked around his stuffed animal, and holding the bottle to his mouth, his other hand softly caressing the fabric of the night gown. And then he slept.

And for a few hours, Walt did sleep soundly. He was awakened the next morning by a sensation of someone staring at him, however, and as he lazily blinked his eyes open, he found he was staring up into the face of his mother.

“Good morning, sunshine,” she Cheryll piped, reaching down into the crib to retrieve the almost empty bottle of milk. “How did my precious sleep last night?”

“Nngf.” was all that Walt could manage in response, rubbing his eyes and trying to sit up, roll over, and curl up all at the same time. He felt a hand reaching under his shirt and into the leg band of his diaper, followed by a gentle pat to his now exposed bum. This woke him right up, his eyes wide and indignant as he pushed himself up onto his knees. “Hey!”

“You’re still dry,” She said giving his hair a slight ruffle, “Do you want to get ou–” but she was cut off by the sound of the doorbell ringing. “Whoops! That would be Cynthia. Hold tight, sweetheart, and we’ll get you out in a bit. Don’t need any little ones getting under foot.”

Walt reached for his mother as she turned and walked out of the room, a quick “WAIT!” on his lips.

“Hmm?” Cheryll inquired, turning her torso to see what was the matter.

“I uh… I gotta go potty.” Walt stammered. It had been a long night of productive sleep, but not much else in the way of bodily evacuations.

His mother’s face grew stern. “And what did I tell you about that last night?” was her leading question, delivered evenly.

Walt sighed, and looked away, not bothering to answer, as one was obviously not expected. His mother smiled again and stepped out of the room, letting the door half close behind her. Resigning himself to waiting, Walt let out a low sigh, and settled back down in the railed bed, a bit wetter for his trouble. He could feel the warmth spread down between his legs to where the diaper had bunched over night, and then back up the other way. Swiftly he put his hands under his bottom, feeling for leaks and felt relieved when he discovered none.

Minutes felt like hours to Walt, trapped as he was behind bars of cedar and varnish, amusing himself with his stuffed animals while outside his door he could hear muffled voices and the front door opening and closing a few times. Thuds came wafting up the stairs, more heard than felt, and just as Walt’s curiosity was starting to get the better of him, he heard voices coming up the stairs. Quickly he dropped his leg back down inside the crib, where he landed on top of his blankets, scrambling to be under them and pretend like he was sleeping. From his position under the covers, Walt heard the door open and a soft “shush” presumably from his mother.

“I thought he was a wake?” came a quiet voice, that of Cynthia.

“Guess he went back to sleep for a bit,” Cheryll replied, “Quietly now…” and Walt heard them set something down.

Had Walter Pinmoney been a more curious child, he might have blown his cover many times over . For what seemed like forever, the two women worked in the room, sounding like they were pulling things out of a box, whispering over them, and then pulling more things out. At one point he could have sworn that he heard the tinkle of a tiny bell , another time a clacking sound as if two blocks of wood were being gently bunched up to each other.

“There… should be the last of it,” one whisper said, and Walt could then hear the sound of his closet door being closed. “Please tell your sister thank you for me next time you see her?”

“Sure thing, Miss P.” came the just as quiet response.

The footsteps grew nearer Walt’s crib, and then he heard and felt the bars being slid down behind his back, and his mother leaning over to give him a kiss on his half exposed temple.

“He’s been behaving himself, or is that herself, so far. And he’ll probably need a change soon, as well.” A pause. “You sure you’re okay with this?”

“Absolutely!” Cynthia said cheerfully. “I’m sure he’ll look just adorable.”

“Thanks again, Cynthia. You have my work number, and I’ll be home at around 5 or so from work…” and the conversation faded as the two women kept their voices lowered as they stepped outside of Walt’s room.

Walter fumed. He didn’t consider himself ‘adorable’ any more than he considered himself a fish, and the implications that he would soon be adorable were not appealing to him in the least. He began to think of ways to not be adorable, but his thoughts were cut short by someone swiftly pulling his covers off. Desparately he grabbed for them, taking a moment to notice that it was Cynthia who was taking his blankets away.

“Heeeeey!” he protested, his grip on the blankets causing him to end up back in a sitting position.

“Awww… I’m sorry honey,” Cynthia said patronizingly, reaching over to pick him up, patting his bottom as she did so. “But I need to get you cleaned up and dressed. Then there’s breakfast, and lord only knows what else.” She spoke to him, but not really to him, as if she were speaking to someone who couldn’t understand her.

Walt grabbed tightly to Cynthia’s neck, watching the crib fall away below him, and suddenly felt very exposed. The nighty swayed around his legs, not quite touching them like he was used to, and his diaper was sagging heavily, threatening to fall off. Cynthia slowly bounced him in her arms as she walked a few times around the room, finally ending in front of the dresser and using her free hand to pull out a fresh diaper. Then she carried Walt back to his crib, and gently laid him down on his back, leaving the rail down as she returned to the dresser for the rest of the supplies.

“Now, let’s get you ready for the day, sweety.” Cynthia cooed over Walt, pushing his nighty up above his waist and with expert hands, changed him swiftly into a fresh diaper.

Walt stayed quiet, even when he was pulled back into a sitting position, his night gown removed, and he was left sitting poutily in the crib. At his babysitter’s command, he stood up, unsteady on the mattress, and leaned against the back railing of the bed.

“Now, what to wear today….” Cynthia mused, looking around the room, her eyes falling on the closet.

“Nothing,” Walt stated, arms crossed, “Mommy took all my clothes out of here yesterday.”

The older girl turned back to Walt with a wink. “And did you think she’d not put any more in here in their place? Let’s just see what we’ve got…” she said, and opened up the closet door. From where he stood, Walt caught a flash of pinks, yellows, greens, and frills in the reflection of the mirror on the back of the closet door. He paled.

“Th… Where did those come from?” He asked, now shaking slightly.

“Oh?” the babysitter said, not looking around from fumbling through the clothes, “My cousin’s daughter outgrew these, and she was going to put them on a yard sale. But me and your mother thought we could get some use out of them instead, so I borrowed them! AH! This will do for today.” she finished, kicking the closet door closed with one foot as she spun around holding something in her hands.

“So it’s just a bunch of gross girl clothes?” Walt asked, frowning again, furrowing his brow to show his displeasure.

“Aw c’mon,” Cynthia said playfully, indicating for him to raise his arms, “I wouldn’t say they’re gross. They haven’t been worn for a while, but I’m sure they’re perfectly clean.” She spoke while sliding the garment down over her charge’s head and upstretched arms.

“That’s not what I meant,” Walt started, then looked up incredulously, “And they better be clean. I don’t want any cooties.”

Cynthia chuckled slightly as smooth out the pastel green sundress, then pinched Walt’s cheek. “The only cutie here is you, yes you are! Oh yes you are!” she stated, twisting his word slightly.

Walt rubbed his cheek. “Cut that out!” he demanded, swiftly pulling up on the strap of his other arm, as it had began to slide down.

“Hmmm…” his babysitter mused, noticing this as well. “Maybe she was a bit bigger than you,” she pulled on the straps slightly, “But that just means you’ve got room to grow into them.” she finished cheerfully.

“Do not!” Walt retorted.

Cynthia rolled her eyes, and ruffled his hair. “I know, kiddo. But this is a punishment, not a vacation, and any baby girl I know would be thrilled to have these outfits. Besides, I could always have you run around in just your diapers.” She accentuated her point with a slight tap to his backside as she lifted him up to her hip.

Walt shook his head violently. “No!” he pleaded, again having to pull on the strap of his dress.

“I thought so. Now let’s get you downstairs, sweetheart.”

Walt was carried downstairs, catching sight of his reflection in the bathroom mirror as the walked past the door. He stared at it for as long as he could, looking at the pale green of his dress with it’s white flower buttons for the shoulder straps and textured chest area adorned with a tiny white bow. He leaned back slightly to try and see more as Cynthia strode by, but she suddenly shifted her hold, moving him out of sight of the passing visage. He looked up sharply, only to be greeted by her gently smiling face.

“Careful you don’t fall there, honey.”

Walt tried to look stern, but Cynthia had seen something in the way he was looking at his reflection, and said nothing. Swiftly, she traversed the stairs, and unceremoniously dropped the pouting boy onto the couch. Then she turned and started struggling with something large that had been folded up into one corner of the room.

“What’s that?” Walt’s curiosity got the better of his judgement.

“Your playpen.” came the reply, through clenched teeth as she struggled to unfold it.

“…. No way!” Walt protested, starting to jump up and go somewhere, he didn’t know where.

“Yes way, little missy. I’ve got some paperwork to do and I can’t keep an eye on you the whole time,” She had half of the playpen assembled, it’s mesh sides taking form, “This will be easier, and it’ll keep you out of trouble.” she emphasized the last word.

“But you never made me go in one before!” He played to her memories of babysitting him over the previous summer.

“I never babysat you when you were a baby girl before, either. Now please sit down and get used to … IT!” and with a final exclamation, the rest of the playpen snapped into place, the padded bottom unfolding and settling onto the floor.

"Walt didn’t sit back down, but he stopped moving away as well. Again crossing his arms in defiance, he ignored Cynthia’s wave to come closer with a shake of his head.

“Nah uh,” he refused.

“Do you want me to tell your mother that her perfect little princess is being a perfect little brat?” Cynthia warned, her voice not entirely serious, but with enough of a tinge that Walt flushed, and slowly walked over, his skirts swishing against the plastic cover of his diaper. Carefully, he allowed himself to be lifted up and over the side, standing with his arms still crossed on the padded, vinyl surface. The side only came up to just above his stomach, but a stern look from Cynthia was all he needed to know that climbing out wouldn’t be tolerated.

“Now, I’ll go grab you some toys so you don’t get too bored, and let me know if you need anything, alright kiddo?” she asked, her normal friendly tone coming back.

“Sure sure, fine.” Muttered Walt, and he plopped down on his bottom in a huff. He waited for her return, looking around the room from this new vantage point, and quietly resigned himself to his fate, at least for now. She’d let up eventually. He’d known Cynthia for a long time, since she’d been his mother’s babysitter of choice, and knew that she could be a real pushover if things got serious.

Cynthia returned a little while later carrying a pillow, his stuffed cat, what looked like a handful of dolls, and another baby bottle of milk.

“Thought you might want some breakfast,” she smiled, handing over the items, and finishing up with the bottle. “If you want more, let me know, and if you’re a good girl, we might have a snack before lunch.”

Walt looked around the inside of the playpen, then back up at Cynthia. “Can I at least have my cars?” he asked, a hint of a whine on his voice.

“Awww…” His babysitter replied, tweaking his cheek slightly. “You really are a cutie.” And she seemed sincere. Walt blushed, and turned his face away, shoving the bottle in his mouth to try and cool his burning cheeks.

Cynthia smiled, and stood back up, returning to the couch across the room where she had stowed her backpack, and pulled out some papers, and began to fill out some sort of papers. Walter busied himself with poking his stuffed animal at the dolls with his free hand while the other held the bottle to his lips. The babysitter couldn’t help but smile, and even had to repress a few giggles at the absolutely adorable sight. Eventually Walt got bored and flopped onto his back, head on the pillow, which gave Cynthia a clear view up his jumper in a most unlady-like fashion.

“What’re you goin’ to school for?” Walt inquired, tilting one knee out of the way to stare at Cynthia through the mesh side of the playpen.

“Hmm?” She looked up, “Oh I’m going for teaching. Just a couple of more classes before I get my certification.”

Walt shifted so that he was staring around his other leg then. “What you gonna teach?”

“Anything. I hope to get a job with kids your age. Well, your age in a week,” she winked at him.

Walt ignored the jab, “You gonna teach at my school?”

“I hope not.” She teased.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked, suddenly as if he were hurt.

“Oh, nothing,” She smiled at him again, “Are you done with your bottle, princess, or do you want to sit on my lap to finish up?”

Walt jabbed the nipple back in his mouth, and rolled away in a huff. He wasn’t upset, but he had to act that way. Cynthia giggled again and went back to her paperwork. This lasted for nearly three hours, during which Walt discovered that kicking the side of the playpen didn’t distract her, nor did trying to have his dolls kung-fu fight. He did, however, discover that dragging the glass bottle against the plastic lining of the playpen rail did annoy her, and she decided to do something about it.

“Who wants a snacky?” Cynthia suddenly reaching into the playpen and taking the bottle out of Walt’s hands.

“Oh! Me!” He said, his attention suddenly drawn upwards, eyes wide with the anticipation of food.

Another giggle, and a pat on the head. “Well, keep your panties on, little one. I’ll be right back.” And Cynthia moved off into the kitchen. Walt stuck his tongue out at her behind her back, but made sure to look completely innocent as Cynthia returned, leaning over the side of the playpen and handing him a chocolate chip cookie.

“Don’t eat it too fast, sweetie.” She said, giving his hair another tussle, and went back to her forms. “And for the record, don’t ever apply for college loans.”

Walt chuckled at that, nibbling on the cookie and not caring where the crumbs fell. “Yeah, I don’t really plan on it. I’m gonna be a race car driver, or an astronaut.” He said proudly.

“Is that so?” Cynthia returned, and from there the two discussed the pros and cons of various professions. Before either knew it, time had flown by, and it was nearly lunch time. Cynthia excused herself and went to the kitchen, leaving Walt to occupy himself with his stuffed animal.

“It’s num num times for one special little girl!” came the cheerful call from the kitchen. Walt hopped up, and held his arms up as Cynthia returned and lifted him out of the playpen, holding his hand as she led him into the kitchen.

“Hop on up,” she smiled, patting his usual chair, “Today’s menu consists of peanut butter sandwiches, regular potato chips, and apple juice all served a la cart.”

With a sarcastic roll of his eyes, Walt hopped up into the chair, patting his hands on the table. “C’mon then.” He urged.

Holding the plate well above the table, Cynthia shook her head. “No. That is not how a proper little girl sits in a chair.” She said, waving with her other hand. “Get up and try again.”

Walt slid out of his chair, and rolled his eyes. “I’ve never had to sit like a girl, yeesh.”

“Well, for starters, you never just plop down. You have to make sure that your dress isn’t going to get wrinkled or mussed. Pull it up under your bottom,” Cynthia demonstrated, “And then sit.”

Walt frowned, and did as he was told, and sat ‘properly’ at the table. “Now can I eat?” he asked impatiently.

“What’s the magic word, sweety?”

“Pleeeease?” He whined slightly, becoming agitated but trying not to show it.

“Yes you may, ma’am,” Cynthia teased, and placed the paper plate holding up the sandwich in front of Walter, taking a seat across from him to eat her own lunch. Cynthia kept up with giving Walt ‘tips’ on how to become a more proper lady, most of which were met with much eye rolling and sarcasm, but neither of them took the matter too seriously. At length, Walt settled on suckling the juice from his bottle while Cynthia cleaned up after the meal.

“Come on, squirt, let’s go play for a little while before it’s nap time.” Cynthia extended her hand to Walt, who took it with a frown.

“Aww, do I really have to take a—HEY!” he blushed heavily as his complaints about a nap were cut short by his babysitter lifting the back of his jumper and patting first the rear, then the front of his diaper.

“Whoops!” she exclaimed, finding him wet, “And when did our baby girl become a wet baby girl?”

“D…during lunch…” Walt admitted, his face flushed his hands playing with the shoulder straps of the jumper nervously, pushing them further up on his shoulders.

“That’s okay, sweety,” Cynthia crooned, patting him gently on his soggy rear. “We’ll get you cleaned up before nap time. Until then, let’s see what fun we can find, hmm?”

Pulling down on the back of the jumper once his babysitter had let go, Walter hurried off into the living room at a quick shuffle, followed closely by Cynthia, smiling at the cuteness of it all. Once there, she scooped some of the dolls out of the playpen, and handed one to Walt.

“Let’s play!” she coaxed, plopping down on the floor in front of the still blushing boy.

“W… with dolls? No way! They’re lame.” Walt spat, trying to maintain his tenuous hold on his dignity as a boy, which he perceived as quickly slipping away.

“Oh no they aren’t. You just have to find the right way to play.” Cynthia started, holding her doll up in front of Walt. “I have a message for you from Colonel Mitumbay! He says ‘this is from Congo Jack.’!” she said, and picked up a pencil from the end table and flicked it at him.

Walt stood stunned. “Huh?”

Cynthia rolled her eyes heavily. “Sit down and defend your honor! Isn’t it obvious?” she asked, and, seeing that it was not, sighed and explained. “Congo Jack has just questioned the honor of, uh, your doll. She has to defend herself.”

Walt squatted down and picked up the doll, and held it up. “Uh…” he started, and looked at Cynthia for support, who rolled her eyes and nodded. “Well, you tell Congo Jack that, um, he’ll never be a man who can compare to Mitumbay?”

And from that, the two played with the dolls for over an hour, constructing a plot to put any modern soap opera to shame, and both of them enjoying it immensely. Many of the dolls were conscripted as different characters, and many ‘props’ were made from items in the room. Eventually, however, Walt could no longer deny an urge he had been holding back for quite some time, since right after lunch. Dropping one of his dolls suddenly, he jumped up, and started down the hall at a quick pace.

Or, at least he would have, had he not been stopped by a firm hand gripping his arm. “Where do you think you’re off to, little missy?” Cynthia asked.

“I… I gotta… y’know…go.” Walt responded, squirming slightly to try and drive home his point.

“Nah ah, you know you’re mother’s…” but she didn’t finish, suddenly ‘getting it’. “Oh. OH! Er… Can you hold it for a bit? I’m going to have to call your mom about this one.”

Walt grimaced, but nodded and continued to squirm slightly, chewing on his bottom lip as he pressed his hands to his groin in hopes of holding back the pressure. He instantly regretted this, because even though his diaper was only damp, it had grown cold while playing. Cynthia pulled herself off the floor and stepped quickly into the kitchen, grabbing the phone and starting to dial.

On the other side of town, Miss Pinmoney sat at her desk, and was startled when her phone began to ring. Picking it up, she heard a somewhat worried sounding voice on the other end of the line.

“Cynthia, what is it? … I see, well, he’s already been told that- … Oh. I hadn’t exactly thought about that. I’d like to stay consistent with the punishment, but that’s a little much to ask of you. … Yes, I know you have experience with that. … Are you sure? … Alright, well, if you’re sure. …. Right. … Alright then. Thank you so much, and take care. I’ll be home in a few hours, and I’d like to not come home to a cranky baby. … Mmhmm. Bye bye now.”

Cynthia hung up, and walked back to where she had left Walt in a virtual ‘toilet limbo’, squirming in the middle of the living room in near panicked desperation. She knelt down in front of him, and took his hands in hers.

“What’d she say?” Walt asked quickly, dancing from one foot to the other.

The babysitter took a deep breath, and smiled. “If you need to go potty, honey, I’ll make sure to get you into fresh panties before your nap.”

“Does that mean…?” And Walt was answered with a simple nod and sympathetic smile. He then felt himself being pulled into a light hug.

“It’s no picnic for me either, sweetie.” Cynthia said softly in his ear. A few tense moments later, she sniffed, leaned back, and smiled at a near crying Walt. “Come on, kiddo. I think its nap time.”

A few hours later, Walt couldn’t believe how much he was actually enjoying waking up in a clean diaper. When this was all over, he’d never try a stunt like this again, that was for sure. He sat up slowly in the crib, rubbing the residual tiredness out of his eyes, and pushing the shoulder strap back up into place. He stretched, and realized that his skirts were up around his waist, and he quickly pulled them down to cover Ariel’s smiling face beaming up at him from between his legs. His head jerked up as he heard a small chuckle from the direction of his door, and saw his mother standing, watching.

“Hiya, sweety?” she said, padding over to his bedside and peering in over the rail of the crib. “How’s my little princess doing?”

“Hnnn… Fine…” Walt replied, trying to rub his eyes, still feeling a bit of the tiredness.

His mother reached down and pulled his sundress up again, sticking a finger into the leg band of his diaper. “And how’s my princess’s princess doing?” she asked, smiling sweetly.

Walt blushed, and tried to push his dress down. “Mom!” he whined, “I could just tell you!”

Shaking her head, Walt’s mother lifted him out of the crib and onto her hip. “Shush. I don’t expect you to know those kinds of things, baby girl.” She smiled at him, bouncing him on her hip as best she could. Walt muttered something under his breath and clung to his mother’s neck so as to not fall.

In short order, Walt found himself once again deposited in the playpen in the living room, however this time the television was on, giving him something to do other than play with the provided dolls and stuffed animals. After a few minutes, though, the evening news became boring, and Walt once again found himself enjoying the toys laying about the floor of his container. His mother passed back and forth through the living room while doing assorted chores and dinner preparations, and smiled warmly as she noticed him playing. Once the news was over, she changed the channel to children’s programming without a fuss, causing Walt to look up after a few minutes and begin watching something that was slightly more entertaining than talking heads droning about the events of the day.

Later, at dinner, Walt was in the middle of stuffing chicken fries into his mouth, when his mother asked him, “So, did you have fun today?”

Walt nodded, with a muffled “Mmhmm” between bites.

Cheryll smiled and nodded, taking a few more bites of her meal. She had once again fixed the two separate meals, leaving Walt with just finger foods and a bottle of juice, while she enjoyed a full meal. Not that Walt seemed to mind, but it just helped to drive home her point, or so she thought.

“And did you behave yourself for Cynthia?”

“Yeth.” Walt responded, a bit of food falling out of his mouth.

“That’s good. She told me you had been a perfect little angel,” Cheryll said, and inwardly reflected over a few other things Cynthia had told her, but wasn’t sure if she wanted to bring it up just yet, or if it was even important. “If you keep this up, we may see about letting you back to being a big boy early.”

Walt blinked, and his mouth sagged a little. Cheryll thought she saw something in that look, but then he started up. “Really?! Can I please? I really REALLY learned my lesson and will never ever ever do anything bad again!”

He was met with a cool stare and a shake of the head. “Not yet, sweetheart. I want you to really appreciate it when I let you off your punishment.”

Walt kicked his feet and flopped in his chair, pushing his now empty plate away. “But moooom! I wanna be a BIG BOY again!” he whined.

“Not with that attitude you don’t, missy. Now drink your ba-bas while I clean up.” Cheryll chided, standing and picking up his plate, casting a glance at her now pouting son. “And it’s a good thing I put that bib on you. Otherwise your cute little dress would be ruined.”

Walt flushed, and shoved the nipple into his mouth, looking as much down and away as he could while still allowing liquid to flow through. Swinging his feet, he listened to the slight rustle of the dress’s material over his legs and diaper and kept his gaze averted while his mother cleaned. Finally he was pulled out of his reverie by his mother untying and removing the bib carefully from around his neck, and taking it to brush it off in the trash.

“You can go play for a little bit, honey. Stay in the living room and don’t go where I can’t see you, or I’ll have to put you back in the playpen for your own good.”

Walt jumped up and toddled back into the living room, flomping down in front of the couch, keeping an eye over his shoulder to make sure he wasn’t out of sight. Even having to watch his mother’s boring evening shows was better than being confined to the playpen. Once the kitchen table was cleared, Walt sat at his mother’s feet through a show and a half of some crime dramas, when suddenly she scooped him up, and stood him in the playpen.

“Stay there, honey, mommy needs to use the potty.” She said, and kissed Walt on the forehead before heading down the hall. Walt took this opportunity to take care of his own growing need, and then stood and waited for his mother to return. When she did, she again picked him up, kissed his nose, and started back the way she came.

“Bath time, princess, and I think it’s just in time.” She said, feeling the new warmth between his thighs against her leg. Walt flushed again, and sucked on his lower lip and looked away.

The bath went smoothly again, with Walt playing with some of the various bath toys his mother provided as she lathered and rinsed his body, the two often coming into some conflict. His mother cooed and fussed over him as though he were only a baby, but Walt did his best to ignore this, finding himself actually enjoying not having to worry about getting himself clean. He never seemed to be able to wash to his mother’s satisfaction, leaving out one or the other body parts in favor of a quicker time in the boring bath. This arrangement, it seemed to him, was definitely more desirable.

Cheryll stared down at the floor. “Ugh. You made an ever bigger mess getting clean than you did at the dinner table, sweety.” She said, starting to dry her son off with a towel. “Let’s get you to bed before you cause any more trouble.”

“But it’s early!” Walt protested, trying to squirm away from the towel.

“Not in the least,” replied the mother, wrapping the towel tightly around him, partly to get him dry, partly to pin his arms down, “All little girls need their beauty rest, especially the littlest ones.”

Whining just long enough to get himself a serious look, Walt gave in and allowed himself to be diapered, dressed in his night gown, and tucked into the crib. With the same promise of being checked up on before her own bedtime, Walt’s mother dimmed the lights, closed the door partly, and left her son to contemplate his early bed time. For a time he tossed and turned, still not fully able to get comfortable with the sides up, and eventually fell asleep. He was awakened once more, when his mother stopped in to check his diaper and leave off another bottle of juice as she had the night before, and then Walt fell into a deep sleep, one hand clutched around the bottle, his other softly rubbing the silky material of the gown.

Cynthia crept slowly into the bedroom, and peered down at Walt. Slipping a finger stealthily under the covers, she nodded, and moved over to the dresser, preparing a few things for the coming day. First she pulled a fresh diaper, wipes, and powder out of the dresser, then moved to the closet, and sifted through the various clothes, until her eyes lit up. Quickly she picked a few matching pieces, and bounced over to the window, throwing the curtains open, and greeting the day with a sing-song voice.

“Goooood morning, sleepy head!”

Walt whined, winced, and turned his head away as the light came pouring over him, yanking the blankets up over his head and kicking his legs in frustration. “Whaaaat?” he whined, his sleep suddenly yanked away from him.

“Nah ah,” said the babysitter, pulling the blankets completely off, “It’s way past time for this baby girl to get up and into some clean panties.”

“But I don’t wanna,” Walt complained, rolling away despite his obvious need for a change. His mother had woken him briefly before starting to get herself ready for work, and Walt had fallen back asleep soon after, when it was still warm.

“Nah ah ah!” Cynthia responded with a wag of her finger in front of his sun soaked face. “Up and at 'em.”

Walt left his arms draped over his face, blotting out his change and the bright rays flowing through the window. Afterwards, with an exasperated sigh, Cynthia took hold of his arms, and lifted him into a standing position, pulling the nighty up over his head and off. This left the pouting young boy with his arms crossed over his chest, legs slightly spread.

“Why do I gotta get up?” he asked, not really expecting an answer, and wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t get one.

“Arms up!” was his only response, and Walt lifted them obediently. He wasn’t paying much attention as Cynthia got him dressed, not even questioning when he was asked to lift his feet and something akin to underwear was pulled up his legs. Eventually the process was complete, and Walt was lifted bodily out of the crib and stood in front of the mirror. He took a moment to cast a rude glare up at his babysitter, but then his reflection caught his eye.

He was wearing a pale yellow girl’s party dress, the skirts fluffed out by a white petticoat worn beneath. The dress had a white smock up the front, and the sleeves and hem were laced in a delicate pink ribbon. The dress was again slightly big for Walt, and the sleeves hung almost to his elbows. He turned slightly, and noticed that he was wearing a matching pair of what looked like underwear over his diaper, the back of which as adorned with a small silken bow that trailed down halfway the back. Little flower shaped buttons held the smock in place, if a bit loosely, over his chest and the front of the dress.

Walt stared for long moments at his reflection, until Cynthia gently took him by the hand and started to steer him towards the door. He allowed himself to be led, but he kept his eyes on the reflection for as long as he could.

“Come on, sweetie.” She eased him out of the room, smiling down. “You gonna stare at yourself all day or are you going to get a little breakfast?”

Shaking his head to strike the image from his mind, Walt followed Cynthia to the living room, and was once again deposited in the playpen with a bottle of milk to tide him over until lunch. His babysitter announced that she needed to do a little research for her senior paper, and took up a watchful perch on the couch across the room with her laptop, curling up in the morning silence to research. Her watchful gaze, however, was always half fixed on the young boy, who seemed somewhat entranced by his new attire, stopping his playing every so often to shift positions and feel the silky dress brush against his skin, or to get a better look at this part or the other. Cynthia smiled, and typed for a while, and then suddenly put her laptop down, having finished what she was doing, and smiled.

“Let’s go have a snack and maybe play outside some, okay?” she said, surprising Walt, who just nodded in agreement and cast a glance at the laptop, wondering what it was that was so important to college students.

Across town, Miss Pinmoney opened her e-mail client, only to find, sitting in her inbox, a message with the subject line of ‘Your Son’. She read it over, and frowned in thought. She had not wanted to admit it, but she had noticed it as well, and there were those unanswered questions at the heart of this whole business. She re-read the e-mail, and a slow smile crept over her face. If that was how it is, she had a bit of thinking to do, and she was already formulating a plan.

Cynthia cast a glance over at Walt sitting in his playpen, seemingly content with the dolls and stuffed animals in with him, and contemplated. She had taken him outside to play before lunch in the backyard, and had laughed when he didn’t move off the back porch, for fear of getting his clothes messed up. He had said it had been because he didn’t want anyone to see, but no one was around, and when Cynthia had brought some yard toys (covered in dirt from the sand box) up to the porch, he had shied away from those as well. He had even asked for a bib at lunch when they had eaten spaghetti-o’s.

Nodding, she stood up, surprised Walt by picking him up out of the playpen, and sat back down on the couch, letting Walt sit across her knee.

“Walter, honey?” Cynthia asked quietly.

“Yeah?” Walt asked, pretty surprised by the move.

She gave him a little bounce on her knee before continuing. “If I asked you a question, would you promise to tell me the truth?”

Walt eyed his babysitter suspiciously, one hand absently clutching the hem of his dress, “Uh… I guess? What’re you wanting to know?”

“Well, why don’t you start by telling me why you bought the girl’s Goodnights, hmm?”

Stunned silence filled the air. Walt flushed, and quickly started talking once he had his wits back. “It was all they had! They were totally out of the boys one, so I just kinda…”

He was cut off by a stern look, and a stop to the knee bouncing.

“Well, I mean, I guess that was all they had. I didn’t really look, 'cause I was in a hurry,” He tried, stammering a bit, “I was just in and out, y’know…?”

“Walter.” Cynthia said quietly, but with a sense of determination in her voice. Determination to dig down through these excuses.

Walt sighed, and stared at his feet, covered as they were in the lace-topped socks. “They… They were cuter.” He admitted.

Cynthia acted surprised, though she had suspected as much. “Were they? And why would you want the cute ones if it was just a one-time thing?” she coaxed him.

“Well, I, y’know, wanted to be cute, I guess.” He said, quietly. “I didn’ think I’d get caught or nothin’.”

The babysitter nodded slowly, and put a hand under Walt’s chin, lifting his gaze to meet her own. “And you thought that you’d be cuter if you wore the girl ones?”

“I… well… they made me, yeah… what you said.” He admitted, swinging his legs slightly as he did so.

"Uh huh. Well I think you’re just plain adorable, " she grinned at him, and saw a bit of a smile behind his suddenly shy eyes.

“R… really?”

She nodded again, suddenly tickling him beneath his arms. “You darn tootin’! Me and your mom are totally going to miss when you get to go back to being a big boy.”

Walt giggled and squirmed, and after a bit more tickling, the two settled into more afternoon playing. The conversation from earlier seemed forgotten as Walter set up a stuffed animal safari through which he led Cynthia with much enthusiasm. As they came to the end of the ‘tour’, Walter paused, squirmed, and bent his knees when he saw her back was turned.

“That’s a very nice tour there, safari master Walter,” then she sniffed the air once, “Let me guess, the next attraction is a little stinker in her natural environment?”

Walt blushed, and pulled on the back of his diaper cover. “I… it…”

“It’s nothing, kiddo. Besides, it’s nap time, and there’s no way I’m leaving you like that until your mom gets here. She’d kill me.” And with that, Cynthia led Walter by the hand to his room, cleaned him up, and started to remove his dress.

“Hey!” Walt protested as she lifted the garment over his head.

“Hey what? I’m not leaving you to sleep in this. It’ll get wrinkled.” Cynthia chided, putting the clothes back on the hanger.

“Well what’m I supposed to wear?” He asked, now left in just his diaper and his socks.

“You look fine. Besides, it’s warm outside.” And that was that. She hefted the boy into his crib, raised the side, and leaned over to kiss him on the forehead. “Get some rest, kiddo.” And he did.

Cynthia met Cheryll at the door as the older woman arrived home. After initial pleasantries, they moved into the kitchen, where the babysitter launched into a discussion about the day’s events. The mother smiled and nodded, but latched on to the information Cynthia had gleaned from the conversation with her son. Cheryll then explained what she had thought out on the way home from work, and Cynthia agreed with the plan. After making sure they were both on the same page, they both went off to prepare, fishing through the boxes of Walt’s boy clothes to find what they were looking for, and then approached the sleeping boy’s room.

However, when they arrived, they found that Walter wasn’t as asleep as they had thought. He had, in fact, been awake for nearly half an hour, awakened by his need to use the potty, and now he lay beneath the blankets in the crib, bored and quickly cooling. He hastily scrambled to his feet as the door to his bedroom opened, and was astonished as both Cynthia and his mother walked in.

“Oh, Hi honey!” Cheryll chimed, going over and wrapping her arms around her son and placing a kiss on his forehead. “How did my baby sleep?”

Walt returned the hug, and nodded. “Fine, I guess. Why’s she still here?” he asked, pointing at Cynthia.

“Ah, well, me and Cynthia had a talk, honey, about the conversation you had with her today…”

“It’s okay, kiddo, no one’s upset at you,” Cynthia quickly chimed in, seeing a stabbing and hurt glare coming from Walter, “Go ahead and sit down, 'kay?”

Walt, not knowing what exactly was going on, but giving a suspicious look back at the two ladies’ sincere ones, lowered his sagging bottom back onto the mattress.

“Now, honey,” His mother began, nodding at Cynthia who left the room with a small smile and wave, “I want you to know that no matter what, I will always love you.” She smiled, and Cynthia slid back into the room, hands behind her back.

“Yep! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be cute, Walt.” Cynthia said, still smiling sincerely at him.

Walter didn’t know what to make of all this, and looked back and forth between the two with a puzzled expression. His mother saw this, and decided to cut right to the chase.

“Walter, in light of what I’ve seen, and what you’ve said to Cynthia today, I can’t keep up this punishment.” Inwardly, Walt cheered. It was ending! That’s what all this was about!

“However,” His mother continued, “You’re not off the hook. You’re still going to be grounded for a week, but I’ve decided that I wanted how the rest of this week, and beyond, went to be your choice.”

“Huh?” Walt asked. He had heard that he was still grounded, and had started to deflate somewhat.

Walt’s mother nodded at Cynthia, who drew three items out from behind her back. “I want you to choose, Walter,” she said, motioning at the items, “And whatever one you choose, will determine how your life will be for the next year.”

Cynthia held the items up before Walt, showing him a pair of his Batman Underoos, one of the girls Goodnights underpants, and one of the diapers he had been growing accustomed to over the last few days. He wasn’t understanding any of this, and looked to his mother, confused down to his core.

“The deal is this, honey,” She came and put a hand on his shoulder, “Which ever one you pick, you’ll spend a year treated like someone who would wear what you pick. Then at the end of a year, you can pick again for the next year.”

“So what’s it gonna be, kiddo?” asked Cynthia when his mother had finished, the smile on her face reassuring, “Underwear, training pants, or diapers?”

Walt was stunned. Here he was, being asked to choose between being a regular big boy, a potty training toddler girl, or to stay with the way things were, with him living the life as a baby girl. His mind screamed at him to answer with Underwear. Every fiber of his being yearned to be back the way he was, to wear the underpants, to put his jeans and t-shirts back on, and leave the crib and playpen behind. He’d still be grounded, but at least he’d be grounded with his own toys.

As Walt stared at the three progressively cuter selection of undergarments held before him, he opened his mouth, the word falling out unbidden by his brain, but spoken from some part of him that would take a long time for him to identify. A single word spring off his tongue, and in its wake left him shaking and trembling before the implications of it.

Walter said, “Diapers.”

Re: Gone Awry

Yes, that -is- the end. No more.

Enjoy!

Re: Gone Awry

Loved it. Fantastic story.

Any chance of a sequel? Would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read more!!!