(And I got it posted just in time, too. Didn’t even have time to proofread. Enjoy)
Millions of kids go trick-or-treating every year. There’s so much candy given out to everyone; it’s crazy. It’s fun times all around. Kids get to dress up as their favorite characters, they get free candy, there are parties with games and prizes; it’s just all fun. But amongst all the fun and silliness, there’s a lot of waste; a ton of missed opportunities. That’s why this year I’m taking things more seriously. This year I’m not just gonna get some cheesy store-bought costume, or slap something together at the last moment. This year we’re not gonna just wander around the neighborhood aimlessly. No, we’re gonna do this right.
But to do it right, we need a plan.
For every great achievement, there’s always been a great plan behind it; and to come up with a great plan, one must have plenty of time with no interruptions. In order to ensure my best chance of success, I’ve taken every measure I can. Unfortunately, time is not on my side; tonight is my last chance you get this done. Monday night didn’t work out because Mom kept bothering me and eventually made me go to sleep, and last night I ended up falling asleep too early because I was tired from staying up the night before. But tonight, oh yes, tonight will be different. If I have to stay up all night to finish my plan, well, I’ve made arrangements for that.
First of all, I’ve already closed myself in my room. I told Mom earlier that I wasn’t feeling good and that I was gonna go to bed early. She seemed a little suspicious at first, but I think she bought it. What she doesn’t know is that I snuck a whole box of sodas into my room earlier. Mom won’t let me drink coffee yet, so I’ll just drink a bunch of sodas to help me stay awake.
Now that I’m alone, I just need to keep quiet and Mom won’t find out I’m still awake. I’ll be working with my little lamp on the other side of my bed, away from the door; that way mom won’t see any light under the door. As long as nothing crazy happens, I’ll be alone and undisturbed all night. I start off the night with my first can of soda; I’m not tired yet, but I want the caffeine to get a little head start on my sleepiness. After drinking most of the can, I turn my attention to the checklist.
I picked my costume last week. It is kinda embarrassing, but I decided it’s the best one for my purposes. I’m going to dress up as a baby, my reasoning is this: everyone loves babies; and if everyone thinks I’m “just the cutest wittle baby,” then they’re probably gonna give me more candy. It also helps that I am, by far, the smallest of my friends. Even without the costume, I could easily pass for a year or two younger than I am. However, if I really want people to to fork over that candy on account of my cuteness, I can’t just be small. Nope, I’ve got a cute little pair of bunny slippers, which are about the most babyish thing I can wear on my feet. I’ve also got a cute shirt with long sleeves and ruffled cuffs, a bonnet, and a pacifier. I can’t remember why I have a bonnet, but I think one of my little cousins left the pacifier when they were visiting.
Of course, a baby costume isn’t complete without a diaper, and being as detail-oriented as I am, a makeshift diaper is not an option. No, I got the real thing, a whole package of them, to be exact. I do have a partial package of pull-ups left from when I used to wet the bed, but I didn’t think they were authentic enough. I got the biggest size of actual baby diapers that I could find. They have tapes and everything, even pretty designs all over them.
And now I’ve run into a slight problem. While I’ve been collecting my thoughts and making notes—which really only amount a couple items as of now—that first soda I drank has made it’s way right through me. I say ‘first’ because I’ve just started on the second one, but already I feel the need to pee. I try to concentrate on my work, but I just can’t. The problem is that if I leave my room now, Mom might find out something is up, she might question me, she might come in to check on me. If she thinks I’m just sleeping, she’ll probably let me be.
That leaves only one option: I’m gonna have to use a diaper. I’m wasting time now, time that should be spent working on my plan. No, no more time wasted. As quietly as I can, I go over to my closet where my ‘costume’ is stored. It’s hard to see, but I quickly find the crinkly package of diapers. It’s already open since I pulled one of them out and tried it on on Saturday. Once I get out another one, I quickly get rid of my underwear and put the diaper on. I’m just wearing my big nightshirt so it’s easy to do, but I’m worried that Mom will hear the velcro tapes.
I stand perfectly still for I don’t know how long, listening to hear if Mom is walking around outside my room. Eventually, it’s clear that nothing is happening, but the tension of the wait isn’t helping me hold my pee. It’s surprisingly hard to relax and let go, but it’s not long before I just can’t hold it even if I tried. Peeing in a diaper is a weird feeling, but it’s not too bad. At first it’s all warm and swishy, and I keep thinking it’s gonna leak; but it doesn’t, and soon it doesn’t feel very wet at all, just heavy.
Pressing between my legs, I can feel that the diaper is really swollen, so I’m worried that it could leak if I sit down. I’m not taking any chances, so I get my little tub of wipes—which I keep for general messes like painting or drawing—and clean myself before changing into another diaper. I’m not stupid, and this second soda is getting close to empty, so this is almost certainly gonna happen again; except this time, I’ll be prepared. The next time I have to pee, I’ll just go; no distraction, no getting up from what I’m doing, nothing.
Now where was I on that list?
Last year I noticed that even though me and Tina and Sammy were out the longest, Mary, who joined us half an hour later, ended up with the same amount of candy as the rest of us. My suspicion is that people tend to give more candy to someone of they notice that person has less than other people. They take pity and try to balance the distribution of candy. For this purpose, I’ll be collecting candy in a basket which is open and easy to see. Tomorrow I’ll try and get Mary to see if we can borrow their stroller. Theirs is big enough for me, and even has a space under the seat where we can dump our candy so it always looks like we don’t have much.
Now I’m trying to sketch up a few drawings of what I might look like. I’m trying to work out how best to ride in the stroller. If I pull my legs up or spread them out, then people will be sure to see my diaper. That should get me more of that cuteness-candy. I wonder if I use my diaper, whether that’ll get me more candy or less. It’s not like we’re going to be out there all that long, so I may just need to pour water in it so it looks like I peed in it. But still, I’m not sure if people will think that’s gross or cute.
Anyway, after trying to draw this like eight times, I realize I’m not good at drawing strollers. The wheels are weird and the handle is weird and this stinks. But now it’s been a while and I’m starting to feel like I need to pee again. If I stop drawing now, that’ll be like giving up because I had to pee, and the entire point of wearing a diaper was so this wouldn’t happen. So to prove to myself that I’m not letting myself get distracted, I’m gonna keep drawing until I get this right.
So the second can of soda was finished a while ago, and I’ve made several more attempts at drawing this scene, but now I really have to pee. So again, I try to relax. To make it easier, I lean forward off my chair just a bit. That seems to do it; I can feel my diaper getting warm and wet all over again. But I’m not getting up, not until this drawing is finished. I gently feel my diaper after sitting back down: it’s pretty wet, but maybe it won’t leak if I use it again.
After a while—and more soda, I need that caffeine—I finally manage to complete my drawing of me in the stroller. It’s really nice to be able to visualize something before doing it; it really helps me get a better perspective of what I’m trying to accomplish. Yup, I’ll try to make my diaper as visible as possible. Maybe I’ll wear two diapers so it’ll be thicker. Thicker diapers are more cute for some reason. I don’t care why, I just need to look the cutest. Maybe I’ll pour water in the second one so the designs will fade and it’ll be obvious that it’s wet.
But what about color? Pee is usually yellow, water is clear. Will people be able to see the color through the diaper? Aw man, I really wish I had some yellow food coloring in here so I could try it out. Will people think it’s cuter if it’s more realistic? I’m willing to bet that they will. I glance over my shoulder toward the door. No, it’s not worth the risk. I still have tomorrow afternoon to try it out before going trick-or-treating. I hastily write down a note to myself about finding some yellow food coloring in the kitchen. But what if I used apple juice? That’s kinda yellow. Nah, it’ll probably smell like apple juice.
Smell! That’s it! I quickly make another note.
Baby powder: Not checked.
I’ll have to find some tomorrow. I swear I remember there being some left over in the cabinet under the bathroom sink. If I put baby powder on me, I’ll smell just like a baby too, that’ll be perfect. For a minute, I just sit and try to imagine the baby powder smell; I can’t do it. I get out another diaper from the closet. It doesn’t smell; well, it doesn’t smell of baby powder anyway. I remember from several years ago when my little brother was in diapers, Mom accidentally bought scented diapers. She thought they were the worst, but I thought they smelled great. If only I had one of those.
The walk to and from the closet reminds me of how heavy my diaper is, which is weird because I didn’t notice that I wasn’t noticing it. The weight seems to pull at the waistband, making the tapes feel a little bit tighter around me. The part between my legs is all swollen up, which doesn’t feel bad or anything; I’m not sure what I think about it.
I’m not sure how long it’s been, but I’ve been stuck on this one topic for what seems like hours. I really really wanna sneak out to the bathroom and see if there’s baby powder there. What if there isn’t? How will I get baby powder? What if I spray some air freshener on me, that stuff is scented like lavender or something, right? No, it’s not the same thing as baby powder. I look up, noticing that I’m standing right next to my bedroom door; again, I’m not sure how long I’ve been here. My mind is racing, jumping back and forth between the idea of risking it and going to see if there’s any baby powder, and the risk-free, but agonizing choice to go back to my desk. It doesn’t help that I have to pee again.
No, back to work; I’ll pee in my diaper. Why else would I wear it? Oh, that’s right! I’d wear a diaper to get candy. That’s the end goal here: candy. This is good, I’ve remembered my true goal here. I smile to myself as I sit down again. That’s right, this is the last chance I’ve got to work on this plan. Now what’s next on that list?
Route: Not checked, it’s also the last item on my list.
I still need to pee, but I push the thought from my mind. I’ll pee soon enough, and I’ll change when I need to, but first I need to make some progress on this. I need to decide on the optimal route through my neighborhood. I need to decide what streets we’ll take base on how many houses there are per mile—or some measurement of distance—and how much candy those houses are likely to give out. Of course, I don’t have a lot of data on either aspect. All I have are memories of previous Halloweens, and a rough idea of how my neighborhood is laid out. I just can’t visualize it though.
I’ll have to draw a map. Quietly, but as quickly as I can, I move my previous drawing off of my desk, pausing only for a moment to gaze happily at the scene of me riding in a stroller, dressed up as a baby. Hopefully, that’ll be exactly what I look like tomorrow evening… or is it this evening? I’m not sure what time it is. After clearing a space, I get out a larger sheet of paper and lay it out on the desk. I grab a few colored pencils—just a few, I don’t want to get carried away—and arrange them along the right side of the desk. Lastly, another can of soda. How many has it been, three or four? The last one’s been empty for a little while, which is probably why I’m feeling a little drowsy. With everything in place, I take my seat and crack my knuckles.
Or not, because I’m suddenly aware that the diaper I’m wearing feels a lot thicker and heavier than it did before. I know I used it again while I was standing up to move my stuff around, but I only noticed how wet it was when I went to sit down. Lucky I caught it before putting my full weight on it, this diaper is soaked. I don’t want a leak, or another interruption, so I decide to change before starting my new task. But first, before I change, I drink a bunch more soda. I gotta stay awake, this is my last chance to get this done on time.
I undo the tapes on my wet diaper and it falls to the floor with a deafening thud; I didn’t think about it, Mom could’ve easily heard that. Frozen in place, I wait, trying to focus my hearing toward their room. Seconds pass by like hours, or maybe it’s the other way around, who can tell? I can’t hear anything other than my own breathing. I guess she didn’t hear anything either. Slowly, I start moving again, picking up where I left off. Wiping myself comes next, and the wipes are wrapped up in the wet diaper. Then I put on a fresh diaper, which actually feels pretty nice when compared to the last one. Once I’m dressed—well, diapered, I’m still only in a nightshirt and whatever’s underneath, which, yes, is a diaper, but we’ve established that—I pick up the used diaper and put it in the trash on top of the other one. I make a mental note to get rid of those by throwing them into the big trashcan outside before Mom notices anything.
Okay, I can finally sit down and get something done. I take another several gulps of soda to get my mind going before picking up my pencil. Now here’s the hard part: I don’t really know the layout of my neighborhood all that well. I live on a street that kinda curves a bit, but I don’t know how much. Should I try to draw my street going top to bottom, or side to side? No, none of that is right. I remember that me and my friends are all meeting in front of the Filmore’s house. That should definitely be my starting point. I draw a line that best matches how I think the path is from my house to the Filmore’s should look. Yeah, that’s a good start. Next, I know there should be a side road that goes off to the right somewhere; I think it’s about halfway up, so I’ll put it…there!
I’m wracking my brain now, trying to think of the what the rest of the area looks like. I know there’s Old Pine Lane over here so I’ll just… But that doesn’t look right, Old Pine crosses Monarch Road, which comes from down here. Oh, none of this looks the way I see it in my head. I close my eyes for a moment, trying to envision the whole thing from above. It just isn’t coming to me. Angrily, I swish down the last of my can. I don’t know why this stuff isn’t helping me stay awake. I’ve been drawing spirals in the corner of my map while I think about what to draw next. There are a lot of spirals over there. I get up to get another soda and pee in my diaper while I’m at it. At least I won’t have to think about that again for a while.
More soda and a quick pace across the room a few times helps me clear my head. I feel a little refreshed now. Good thing too, because I’ve now got a great idea. I’ll start detailing the streets I do know, while I wait for the ones I don’t to be remembered. My street is easy, there’s like seven houses on the one side, and eight on the other. I start drawing them out as best I can. Then I remember a few of the houses on the next street, and the most of the ones on Old Pine too. This keeps me busy for a while, and I’m able to add several more streets to the layout as well. I don’t think the spacing is quite right, but it’s close enough.
Eventually, I’ve got quite a large map of the surrounding area. I’m starting to get really tired now, it’s like these sodas aren’t doing anything at all. Well, they make me pee a lot, which I just did again. Most of the houses are fairly well detailed, so I start to add sidewalks. Not all streets around here have sidewalks, but I’m not sure if that’ll make much difference. Most kids just walk in the street anyway. Maybe we’ll be able to get around some of the crowds by using the sidewalk, that way we’ll be able to visit more houses in less time.
Now comes the hard part. Wait, was I already at the hard part? Doesn’t matter; this is the hard part for sure. I need to pick a good route through the neighborhood. Not just a good one, the best one. Should we stick to one side of the road and then make a second pass, or criss-cross to visit every house on the street in just one trip? Which houses are the most popular? I bet we should hit those ones first, they might be out of candy if we get there too late. Whoops, almost forgot to change my diaper again. It really needs changing this time.
The clock I used to have got knocked off the wall during a pillow fight a while ago, so I have no clue what time it is. I’ve been working for a long time, I know that much. Finishing my soda, I start sipping on the next one before I grab another diaper. This time, I pull the whole package out and leave it in the middle of the room, that way I won’t accidentally knock anything over in the closet next time I need to change. Once I’m in a clean diaper again, I toss the old on in with the others and return to my desk. Once I sit down, my plan doesn’t look as good as it did before. The neighborhood is far from complete, the roads aren’t detailed, some of the ones I have drawn don’t have any houses. I have to force myself to imagine what it was like last time, that’ll surely help me improve our route.
I remember walking along in the dark as we returned home. We had lots of candy. No, that’s not helpful, I need to imagine how it’s going to be. What’s the best scenario? I’ll be pushed around in a stroller by my friends who will take turns. They might complain about how heavy I am, but they’ll have to remember just how much candy I’m going to share. I can almost see the surprised faces as they open the door to meet the largest baby they ever saw. They’ll be burying me under so much candy, but I’ll be hiding it in the pouch under the stroller, so I’ll just keep getting more and more. This’ll be the greatest Halloween ever, and all because of my plan.
Wait, how long have I been staring at this thing? I must’ve drifted off for a moment. My eyes are heavy, I can barely keep my head up; I need soda. Tipping the can to my lips, I find out it’s empty. Did I forget about drinking the whole thing? I’m about to throw it out and get another one when something on the label catches my eye. “Caffeine free.” Well that just stinks. No wonder it’s not keeping me awake. At best, it’s only given me a sugar rush. I put the can in the trash and stumble back across the room. I sit down at my desk. Nothing.
No, there’s no way I can finish this tonight. I’ve made good progress, but I’ll have to finish it tomorrow after school. I stumble away from my chair and flop across my bed, not even bothering to get under the covers.
“Come on, wake up!” I feel something jostling me roughly by the shoulder. It’s my Mom.
“I’m awake.” I mumble into my pillow.
“Get out of bed, it’s late.” I can almost feel her tone change before she starts again. “And what on earth are you wearing?”
That gets my mind to start working. I jump up and try to cover myself, even though it’s obviously too late.
“And while we’re at, what are all these?” She’s looking into my trashcan now. So much for getting rid of those before she finds them. She turns to face me, a rather serious tone on her face. “First of all, you know you’re not supposed to have drinks in your bedroom, but we’ll get back to that. Honey, have you been wetting the bed?”
I shake my head slowly.
“And you’re going to lie right to my face about it too?” It seems she can see right through my clothes, down to the diaper I’m currently wearing. I can tell it’s definitely wet, though I can’t remember if I used it before going to bed and forgot to change. “Tell me the truth.”
I can only stare blankly.
“So you’ve been wetting the bed for at least the last four nights, on top of that, you didn’t tell me. In fact, you’re still trying to hide it.” She puts a hand on her hip. “You remember the rule about wetting the bed?”
I do, the rule is that for every wet night, I have to wear pull ups to bed for a week afterward. I contemplate trying to explain my plan, but I don’t know if she’ll be more mad or less mad.
“Well, you’ve been wearing some type of diaper at least, so that’s good, I guess. But the sodas, these are probably the reason right here. As of now, you’re grounded from sodas until I say. In fact, I’ve got a lot more waiting for you when you get back from school. But right now, you need to get ready to go.”
I can’t help it, tears start filling my eyes.
Mom’s look softens. She walks over to me and sits down beside me on the bed. “Aw honey, don’t cry. I’m not mad that you wet the bed, I’m upset that you lied and didn’t tell me.” She strokes my shoulder, I don’t even know what to do now. “I guess that’s why you’ve been acting so strangely these last few days. Is that why? Is it because you’ve been wetting the bed? Is that why you stayed home from trick-or-treating last night?”
…wait, WHAT? THAT WAS LAST NIGHT!?