Kate And Bobbi
It was an unusual marriage, some said.
Kate was a statuesque 30 year old personal trainer with a daughter who looked likely to become a clone of her tall mother, and Bob was a short, slim, shy man with soft, clear skin, a boyish face and lustrous blonde hair which his mother always told him was wasted on a boy. He was still regularly carded, at 23, when he dared to venture into a club or bar. Bob had never really settled down, and had drifted from one job to another. These days he was not without means from his inheritance, but money didn’t seem to be his attraction for Kate. They appeared to be devoted to one another.
Things went well for a couple of years, although Bob and Kate’s daughter Sue never quite saw eye to eye. Literally, in fact. Bob was barely 5 feet 2, and Sue at 12 when her mother married Bob was already nearly 5 feet 10 inches tall and precociously well-developed. Sue regarded her adored mother’s marriage as a mistake.
Bob had been working in a large supermarket for a couple of years – a record for him – when the trouble started.
Whether it was Kate’s height, her air of competence and authority or some need or lack of inner strength in Bob, he had over the two years of marriage, begun to defer to Kate. She made the major decisions, sometimes discussing them with Sue, but Bob was often left out of the loop. He didn’t say much about it and just got on with his life.
Bob’s few friends, and certainly Kate’s friends who were mostly women, noticed the change.
“Does he mind being bossed around? Even Sue does it,” observed Sally, one the instructors at the gym where Kate worked.
“He’s happy for us to make decisions,” said Kate. “That’s the way our marriage works.”
Bob’s subservient position in his small household began to show itself in his job. Increasingly, he was allocated less responsible tasks, and even then someone usually checked his work. Recently, he had been more or less demoted to the role of errand boy. He trotted around the store, doing everyone’s bidding. He had his breaks with the checkout girls and had become used to sitting in the lunchroom with them as they chatted. For their part, the girls considered Bob one of themselves. They even joked about how well he fitted in, and in fact, sitting around the big table in the lunchroom, it was hard to tell at a glance that Bob, with his long hair, as Kate liked it, and in the ponytail she pulled it into every morning, wasn’t indeed a rather pretty young woman. He was the only male in the store who wore over his clothing one of the red tops all the women wore. He was often listed as Bobbi in store communications. Bob had objected in his mild way once or twice, so he gave up protesting and even answered uncomplainingly to Bobbi, the girls’ nickname for him.
Bob wasn’t unaware of his position in the store’s hierarchy, and began to worry about why he wasn’t able to make headway against all the stronger personalities around him. He longed for simpler times – in a general way, without knowing what those simpler times might entail. He realized that he didn’t really enjoy life, rather, he just lived it.
There were some high spots for him. He enjoyed sorting things – physically putting things in different piles and whatever order was required. But those tasks never lasted, and it was back to running errands. He actually preferred working for the women in his workplace. He had to look up at them when they spoke to him, but they seemed gentler on him and less intimidating than some of the big jocks who shoved him around. Bob was now 25, and his life didn’t seem to be going anywhere in particular.
His favourite at work was Mary Jenkins, who often smiled at him and always had a kind word.
“That wife of yours needs a baby to look after,” Mrs Jenkins had said after she had watched Bob as a took a call at work from Kate.
'Yes Kate… no… yes… okay… yes… I love you too… bye," comprised Bob’s side of the conversation.
“She can’t spend her time looking after you, no matter how sweet you are,” Mrs Jenkins told Bob. “Why don’t you try for one?”
Bob couldn’t tell Mary that Kate’s opinion of Bob’s capacity for procreation was very low, and that their sex life consisted basically of Bob giving his wife oral sex, and sucking on her glorious breasts. Kate often told Bob that one daughter was enough, and that she was glad Bob didn’t want a child of his own, not that Bob had ever said anything about that.
That night, Bob had dreamed of having a baby in the house. It was a confusing dream, with Bob not quite sure of his viewpoint during it. He had forgotten the details of the dream when he woke up, or more correctly was woken up by his angry wife. He had wet the bed.
Sue, already up and back from her morning run, heard the commotion and watched as Bob shame-facedly carried the bundle of wet bedclothes into the laundry. She gave her stepfather a withering look as only 15 year old girls can.
It happened again two nights later, with no dreams about babies, and Bob was terrified that his old problem had returned. Bob had been held back for a year from starting school because he was still in diapers. Even when he did eventually start at infant school, he had regular accidents there, earning himself the unloved nickname Baby Bobby. He was still wetting at night until he was Sue’s age, with his mother pinning him into a bulky terry diaper, for economy, with plastic plants over them. Sleepovers with friends were definitely out for Bob.
There was no recurrence of wetting the marital bed until a few months after Sue had turned 16 and Kate had supplemented her daughter’s savings and helped her buy a car. Bob’s job was on a bus route, and Kate had decided that they didn’t need his car, and in truth, they found Kate’s SUV quite adequate. Kate was out and Bob had once again had to ask Sue for a ride to the hardware shop for some woodwork he was attempting in his shed. Sue was about to go to her regular gym workout, and stood unsmiling in her spandex bodysuit as Bob made his appeal. She turned him down with a few short words as she often did, and on this occasion Bob felt particularly hard done by. He complained to Kate, who supported her daughter, saying that Sue was a busy person and didn’t have time to drive around at Bob’s pleasure. Bob had had a difficult day at work, managing to mix up the messages he was running for some of the checkout girls, and they had been quite angry with him.
Now both Kate and Sue were dismissing his legitimate needs. He went to bed upset that he couldn’t have his own car, and that he was so dependent on everyone. He felt small and insignificant.
That night, Bob soaked the bed again, in the morning as he headed to the laundry, he ran into Sue who took one look at the bundle of wet bedding and remarked that she hadn’t wet the bed since she was four. Bob had no answer, but bit his lip as he packed the sodden sheets and his pyjamas into the washer. His stepdaughter had a solid part time job and was doing well in her studies. She had lots of friends and drove her own car. No-one pushed her around. Bob was struggling at his simple job, and relied on his Kate, and now Sue, for transport. He even had to be on his best behavior and ask them nicely for even that small favour.
“Sue is a woman now,” Kate had said. “She has her life to lead and can’t be running around for you all the time.”
She’d never told him he was a man. Bob closed the washer door and reached down, feeling his genitals through the track pants Kate had given him to put on. Even to his small hand, there wasn’t much to feel. Bob blinked and realized that he was crying.
It was a Saturday and after Kate and Sue had left the house on their various business, Bob unloaded the washer and hung out the contents as asked. Both women had had washing in the machine when the sheets went in, and Bob felt a familiar wave of despair wash over him as he hung out their garments with his own. Kate and Sue’s jeans were inches longer than his small pair, and even their underwear was several sizes bigger. Bob looked at his little briefs hanging between the larger ‘smalls’ of his lofty wife and her tall daughter, and felt more than ever the baby of the family. Anyone looking at the washing on the line would think by the comparative sizes of the clothing that there were two adults and a child living in the house. Furtively, he looked at the tag in Sue’s bra as he pinned it to the line. 38C. It was almost as big as Kate’s, which he knew was 38D. Bob’s feelings of misery were accompanied by a small spurt of pee into his underpants. That had been happening recently when he was distressed or under pressure. Bob felt his crotch, and discovered that this time, the wetness had soaked through to his track pants. He pulled them down to make them a bit looser, and hoped they would dry before the women came home. He didn’t dare change his clothes – he was sure to be asked why. He thought of the way Sue’s gym suit hugged the feminine bulge of her crotch. Clearly, she had no worries about wet patches.
With a thick feeling in his throat, Bob retreated inside and picked up the newspaper. It seemed to be full of the doings of people who did more important things than running errands for checkout girls. Boring, he decided, and turned to the cartoons. At least they were interesting, and they cheered him up a bit. He was sorry when he had read the last one that there were no more, then remembered a book in the bookcase nearby. It didn’t take long to find it – an old large format Disney book that he’d been given for a youthful birthday.
For the next half hour, Bob sat happily reading. It was much easier to read than the newspaper, with big print, simple words and of course, pictures to illustrate the talk bubbles. Bob found that he remembered some of the stories, and they were still just as funny. He was soon engrossed in the adventures of Donald Duck and his nephews, and forgot for the moment his concerns about being the child of the family.
While reading, he had felt a twinge in his groin, and had got up to go the the bathroom. As he stood up0-, he realised that his need to pee was more urgent than he had thought, and he had to run to the bathroom. He made it just in time, tearing down his track pants and his underpants in one move and having to squeeze his penis as he pointed it towards the toilet bowl. Relieved not only physically but that he had not wet himself, Bob waggled his little penis dry and returned to his reading, to hear after a minute or two the sound of a car arriving outside, and people’s voices. He heard his wife, and the voices of some children. Who had she brought with her, he wondered.
The front door opened and Kate walked in with her friend Stella and Stella’s two children, Mark and Sally. Bob closed his book and stood up, confident that his pants had dried enough for the dampness not to be noticeable.
‘H darling, you know Stella, and Mark and Sally,’ Kate said. ‘And can you help me with some things from the car?’
‘Hi guys,’ Bob said as he headed outside.
Kate opened the rear door of the SUV, exposing a couple of cardboard boxes. Bob leaned into the car and pulled towards him a large box. It was quite heavy.
‘Not that one, honey, it’s too heavy,’ said Kate. ‘Here’s one for you.’
Kate gave Bob a much smaller box, while she effortlessly lifted the larger box and followed Bob back into the house.
He put the carton down where Kate indicated.
‘Coffee, Stell?’ asked Kate.
‘Thanks Kate, I could kill for one,’ replied Stella.
‘And I’ve got some lemonade for you kids,’ said Kate.
‘Yummy,’ said Sally, a bright seven year old. Her brother, eight, grinned his thanks and they waited expectantly.
Stella joined Kate I the kitchen.
‘Thanks for helping out,’ Stella said. ‘I’m at a bit of an impasse with this marketing thing, and I could really use another opinion.’
‘Bugs Bunny!’ Sally called excitedly, discovering Bob’s book on the sofa.
‘Oh, that old book of Bob’s,’ Kate responded with a smile. ‘What’s that doing out?’
‘I was reading it,’ said Bob. ‘It’s really quite funny. Bugs sends them to Uncle Scrooge, but he doesn’t know he has…’ began Bob enthusiastically.
‘OK, honey,’ interrupted Kate, ‘But Stell and I have to talk about some business. Why don’t you show the kids your old Legos? The box is in the study. I was cleaning out the cupboard yesterday and was going to put it in the garage. You can spread them out on the floor there, but remember to tidy up.’
‘Can’t I stay here with you?’ asked Bob.
‘Honey it’s just two… two people talking about boring business. Go and show Mark and Sally some of the things you used to make,’ Kate said.
Bob new an order when he heard one. He turned to go, then paused.
‘Can I have a coffee?’ he asked.
‘Honey I’ve already got a drink for you,’ Kate said, handing Bob one of three big glasses of lemonade she had just poured.
Mark and Sally happily lined up for their drinks.
‘There you are,’ said Kate giving the pair the glasses. ‘Off you go.’
Bob led the two to the study. ‘Remember kids, tidy up,’ Kate called after them as they went. ‘No mess!’
‘We’ll be tidy Mrs Johnson!’ Mark replied before the trio went through the door out of the room.
Bob winced at the minor irritation of Mark using Kate’s maiden name. Where had he heard that, Bob wondered. Bob was Bob Wood, and Kate was Mrs Wood, although she practised the business she had started before marriage under her maiden name. Bob was also annoyed that he wasn’t allowed coffee and had to have lemonade like Mark and Sally, but on the other hand he had to admit that he was looking forward to getting out his Legos. He hadn’t played with them for years. Not that he’d be playing. He’d just show these kids what to do. He was actually glad that he didn’t have to sit and listen to Kate and Stella, who hear could hear talking earnestly in the background. Kate was right – as she usually was: it was just two people talking about boring business.
It turned out Mark had some good ideas for building with Lego, including some which Bob could not remember using himself. Even Sally was useful, finding just the piece the boys needed as he and Mark showed off their skills to each other. Mark was building a lighthouse, while Bob was engrossed in constructing his ‘Bugs Bunny’ house. He even made a carrot patch out the front, and was trying to make a giant orange carrot, a task which defeated him, until Mark showed him how to make a realistic cylinder out of different sized Lego bricks. Bob was impressed, and once he’d finished his house, he set to work making another big carrot. It was fun, and Bob ignored the slight twinge from between his legs. He flexed his thigh muscles and changed position as he sat on the big rug. He would go to the bathroom when he had finished his carrot.
‘Why have you got a ponytail?’ Sally asked suddenly.
‘Er, it’s how Kate does it,’ Bab answered.
‘I do my own hair,’ Sally told him proudly. ‘Do you like ponytails?’
‘I dunno,’ said Bob. ‘They’re OK.’
‘I think it’s girly,’ said Mark.
Bob just grunted, and reached for another orange brick. As he did so, he felt a warmth spreading around his crotch, and stopped in mid reach. He tried to stop the flow, but by the time he had, the damage was done. Sally saw what had happened.
‘You wet your pants,’ she said quite loudly.
Bob looked down. It was far worse than he expected. The whole front of his track pants was dark blue with pee, and he was sitting in a puddle. Mark looked on, somewhat surprised.
Bob didn’t know what to do. His first thought was that he could run to the bedroom and get changed, but that wouldn’t alter what had happened. What would Kate say, he thought.
‘I’m telling your mummy!’ announced Sally as she stood up. Bob caught his breath, held it for a moment, then began to sob, much as he tried not to.
Sally sprinted from the room.
‘You’re really wet,’ said Mark. ‘Why didn’t you go and pee?’
Kate and Stella looked up as Sally burst into the room.
‘Bobby’s wet his pants!’ she said. ‘I think he’s crying.’
Stella raised her eyebrows and looked at Kate. Kate got up immediately and went to the study.
She found Bob sitting on the floor, surrounded by the Legos. He was certainly crying. Mark was sitting next to him.
‘He just peed everywhere,’ said Mark.
‘It’s OK, Mark, he’s just had an accident. Come on Bob,’ she said, helping Bob to his feet. ‘Let’s get you sorted out.’
Kate didn’t say much as she stood Bob in the bathroom and took down his wet pants and undies. She turned on the shower and guided him in, then helped him dry.
Now dry, Bob stood shivering while Kate opened the cupboard in the bathroom and rummaged around for a moment. She emerged with a thick white object in her hand, which she opened out. Bob wasn’t sure what it was, but soon realized what it was for. It was a kind of padded panty with a wide elasticated top. He sure as hell didn’t want to wear it, and struggled to get away from Kate.
Kate gripped his arm.
‘Now Bob, I don’t want you to fuss about this. We’ll talk about it later. Leg in here please,’ she said, holding a leg opening up.
Bob knew better than to argue. At least he had stopped crying, and Kate wasn’t actually cross, he didn’t think. Tentatively, he poked his foot into the opening, and Kate kissed him on the forehead and pulled the panty up his leg to the knee.
‘Good boy,’ she said. ‘Now the other leg.’
Bob put his other leg into the strange feeling panty and let Kate tug the garment up snug around his waist. She reached into the front of the panty and pushed his little penis downwards, then gave the panty another tug and turned him around to inspect her work.
‘All done,’ she said. ‘I know it will feel funny, but you’ll be safe now. No more accidents.’
Bob looked up at her in some distress.
‘I didn’t mean to,’ he said.
‘I know, honey. It was just an accident. You can go back and play with the others now,’ she said kindly.
Kate kissed him again on the forehead, and patted him gently on the rump.
Bob wasn’t sure what to do. It didn’t matter, as Kate guided him back into the study, where Mark and Sally had resumed their Lego building.
Bob sat silently on the rug. He wasn’t sure if he felt like going on with his carrot.
Sally studied Bob’s dry track pants closely.
‘Did she put your diaper on?’ asked Sally. ‘I can hear it.’
Bob just nodded, and stared at the half built Lego carrot.
‘So what, Sal,’ Mark said. ‘You wear a diaper every night.’
‘Shut up, Mark!’ objected Sally. ‘I’ve been dry for, for three nights. I bet you used to wet your pants!’
‘Not when I was seven,’ said Mark. ‘And you’re nearly eight.’
‘Shut up and I don’t care!’ said Sally with vigour. ‘Bobby, here’s another piece for your carrot.’
Sally handed Bob the half block he needed. Bob took it silently and pressed it in place. He decided to concentrate on finishing it and ignored the other two.
In the other room, the women heard the raised voices and Stella began to get up to investigate. Kate shook her head and put her hand on Stella’s forearm. Stella sat and looked at Kate, who said quietly, ‘They’ll work it out.’
Stella shrugged and resumed her seat. The raised voices quietened down, and Stella and Kate resumed their discussion.
The trio in the study, with the exception of Bob, soon moved on too. After all, someone wetting their pants and having to be changed wasn’t unheard among Mark and Sally’s acquaintances. And Bobby was only a bit bigger than Mark, Sally thought. So maybe he did still need diapers. After all, his mummy had some ready to put him into. Sally felt quite pleased. He probably still wet the bed, just like her. So Mark could just shut up.
The incident did change the children’s opinion of Bob’s status in their pecking order. He wasn’t just a big boy playing with Legos, he really was like them. Even littler, probably, despite his size, if he was still in diapers. And that was a pretty cool carrot he was making.
Subconsciously, the two children became even more accepting and inclusive of their new friend. So what if he wet his pants? Plenty of kids still did that.
So play resumed, with a lot of chatter and giggling.
A while later, Kate and Stella had resolved Stella’s marketing troubles, and the women went to the study to wind up operations there. They were pleased to see the three playing so happily together, and Kate squatted down to pull up the back of Bob’s track pants from which a couple of inches of the top of his pullup was showing, not that it bothered his playmates. Kate was especially pleased to see Bob so happy, considering his incongruous surroundings.
Sally looked up with a grin.
‘Bobby made carrots!’ she said excitedly.
‘I showed him how to do it,’ grumbled Mark.
Stella smiled down at the three.
‘Don’t be grumpy, Mark. They’re lovely carrots, Bobby,’ she said with a smirk at Kate. ‘And what’s this little house?’
‘That’s Bugs Bunny’s house,’ said Bob proudly. ‘It’s got a chimney, too,’ he added, indicating the little stack of red blocks on the roof.
‘For winter, when Bugs and Mrs Bunny sit by the fire,’ said Sally.
‘I could make a fireplace in there!’ said Bob, and began to look around for likely components.
‘Whoa!’ said Kate. ‘It’s time to pack up now, Mark and Sally have to go home.’
There was a joint groan from the floor. Kate wasn’t really surprised to see Bob joining in.
‘Come on kids, tidy up for Kate please,’ said Stella. ‘Five minutes. Come on, chop chop!’
Reluctantly, the builders began to put the Lego away.
A few minutes later, Mark and Sally emerged from the study, followed by Bob. Soon everyone was standing at the door saying their goodbyes.
‘Bye, Bobby!’ said Sally. ‘I like your ponytail. It’s cool, even if it does make you look like a girl.’
Bob giggled. Secretly, he liked it too. He liked the way Kate brushed his hair in the morning , and the feel of her pulling his hair together to put it in the rubber band.
Once Kate and the children had left, Kate and Bob sat in the living room.
‘That was fun, wasn’t it?’ asked Kate.
‘Except I had an accident,’ said Bob, looking back on the afternoon.
‘Oh, honey,’ said Kate. ‘That’s not really a big deal. How’s your pullup anyway, sweetie?’
‘My what?’ replied Bob.
‘Your pullup. That’s what you’re wearing. It’s just underpants with a bit of padding,’ she explained.
‘Oh,’ said Bob. ‘It’s OK.’
‘What do you mean, OK?’ said Kate. ‘Let’s have a look.’
‘Kate!’ objected Bob as Kate stood him up and poked her hand down the front of Bob’s track pants.
‘You’re a bit wet again, honey,’ said Kate. ‘Did that happen while you were playing?’
‘I dunno,’ said Bob, not looking at her. ‘I wasn’t playing anyway, I was showing them what to do.’
Bob felt confused. He had an odd feeling that he had just travelled backwards in time, and now he was back in the present. Yet he was wearing these padded pants. He was 25 and he worked at a supermarket, but he had just wet his pants while he was on the floor, not actually playing, but with a couple of kids and Legos. His head began to swim a little.
‘Bob, there’s something I want to talk to you about. Let’s go into the bedroom,’ Kate said, leading Bob out of the living room.
‘What do you want to talk about?’ he asked.
‘Some important things, Bob. You’ll see,’ said Kate. ‘Just sit on the bed for a minute.’
Bob sat, wondering what important things Kate wanted to talk about, and why in the bedroom.
Kate went to the chest of drawers, and took something from a drawer. Then she bent down and took from a basket on the floor a handful of what looked like underpants.
‘Bob.’ She began, ‘I know you’re under pressure at work.’
Bob was taken aback.
‘How, how do you know that?’ he asked.
‘Bob, I know Mary Jenkins quite well,’ she said. ‘I have coffee with her every few weeks. She’s the reason you’re still at the supermarket.’
Bob stared at his wife. This was news to him.
‘When you were dropped from the management trainee program, it was Mary who suggested that you become the new office ju… office helper to keep things running smoothly,’ she said. ‘You replaced Jenny, do you remember her?’
‘The work experience girl?’ said Bob, surprised. ‘But my job is more than that. I go into the manager’s office and everything. I take, I take all the, all the till rolls…’
Kate could see that Bob’s eyes were starting to water, and he was starting to catch his breath as he spoke. She knew what was coming next and she put her arm around her poor husband and her heart went out to him as he tried to defend the value of his job. He wasn’t just struggling with the job of office junior, which was the actual description of his job, he was struggling with being an adult. Kate thought how genuinely happy he had been playing with Stella’s children, and how he seemed to bloom in the unthreatening, undemanding company of the two kids. He really needed her help, Kate knew.
Some months before, when Bob’s bedwetting had started, Kate had managed to get Bob to see a friend of hers, a paediatric psychologist who, on a dinner visit to Kate and Bob’s, had afterwards expressed her concerns to Kate. She felt that Bob’s responses were ‘compromised in certain ways’ and went on to explain that she thought he may be having a kind of slow breakdown, quite rare, but clearly evidenced by some of Bob’s words and actions. Even allowing for the unusual inequality of the power relationship within the marriage, which itself wasn’t unusual at all, Kate’s friend Julie had said, Bob seemed to be, to put it bluntly, Julie had said, regressing. The bedwetting episodes were part of that, Julie said, and the troubles and lack of progress at work. People tended to treat people as they acted, and while Bob was doing his best to fight against it, he was not succeeding, and often projected a persona that was quite obviously at odds with his chronological age. At these times, his subconscious would overpower his conscious will, and it would appear that he had ‘given in’ to some bizarre impulse, whereas in fact, his adult personality had been pushed by various factors into the background, and the younger Bob within had emerged.
‘How horrible,’ Kate had said at the time, although even then she had felt a strange tremor of delight that Bob might eventually become little Bobby, fully dependent on her; the baby in diapers she had not been able to conceive with him. However, the thought was so weird and alien, that she had tried to banish it whenever it recurred, but it kept coming back. Sometimes it felt as if she and Bob were in a vortex, both approaching, willingly or unwillingly, the same fate from different angles, and neither able to stop what was happening.