Pullups for the Plane
You’re pulling a sock over your foot as your mum comes into your room. You’re hardly paying attention, so without saying a thing, she goes to your wardrobe and pulls out the packet of pullups.
“You might want to wear one for the flight,” she tells you, removing one of the pastel-pink pullups from the packet.
Blushing slightly, you shift uncomfortably. You were too big to wear a pullup… but sometimes you had night-time accidents. It was getting better — better enough that you didn’t wear them any more to bed — but it still happened a few times per month. Still, you weren’t sure why you needed them for the plane trip.
“Why do I need one?” you carefully ask.
Mum shrugs, smiling as she gives you a “you know what I mean” look. But after several seconds of staring back with slight embarrassment, mum gives up and explains.
“I know you don’t have accidents that often, but if you fall asleep on the plane and have an accident, it will be really embarrassing. So, maybe you should wear a pullup, just in case,” she explains kindly. “It’s much better to have an accident in your pullup than somewhere else.
You frown. Mum’s logic is too good. So good that you can’t exactly disagree with her. But still, you shouldn’t need to wear a pullup at night, let alone during the day on a plane trip. You’re supposed to be a big girl. But still, with visible reluctance, you nod. Mum gives you a kind smile before she sets the pullup on your bed next to you and leaves you alone in your room.
Sighing, you stand up, pulling your dress up enough to slip your thumbs into the waistband of your leggings and pushing your leggings and underwear down. Sitting down again, you pull each leg over your feet, which pulls your sole sock off as well. Tentatively, you pick up the pullup. It’s not bad and for underwear of a sort, it’s quite soft. But it’s the fact you need what is basically a nappy that bothers you.
Giving it a small shake to get the creases out and open the top a bit, you slip your feet through the leg holes and pull it up your legs, standing as you do. Once over your bum, you give it a little tug to make sure it’s on properly before sitting down again and getting your leggings back outside the right way. It’s a bit strange to slip your leggings over your pullup; it has been a long time since you wore one during the day. For good measure, you look in the mirror and double check that your dress isn’t stuck in the waistband of your leggings.
“Are you ready?” mum calls.
“Just a sec!” you call back as your get your socks and shoes on.
Standing up, your grab your backpack (your suitcase is already in the car) and head downstairs.
You hadn’t meant to, but you did fall asleep on the flight. When you woke you were mercifully dry and feeling some pride in proving that you didn’t need pullups for a plane trip. But you could feel that you probably did need to go to the loo and should probably do so soon.
“Sir, please stow your tray table in the upright position,” you hear a stewardess tell someone a few rows ahead.
You turn to mum who is reading a book.
“Mum,” you say, catching her attention before you drop into a whisper. “I need to go to the loo.”
Mum quickly looks up and down the plane.
“You should still be able to go. We’re not descending for a few minutes.” Mum suddenly turns to the stewardess who is advancing up the rows with a rubbish bag. “Are we still able to use the toilets? My daughter needs to go.”
Maybe it’s silly, but wearing a pullup, every discussion about the toilet brings embarrassing thoughts to mind.
“It will have to be quick,” she replies.
Mum gets out of her seat so that you can get out of your window seat. Slipping around the stewardess you make your way down the aisle to the back of the plane. Unfortunately, there is a queue at the door to the toilet.
Squirming in your pullup, you wait as a woman gets out and an older man goes in. But there are still two people in front of you. As you stand there you realise how much you need to go.
“Please return to your seats!” a steward calls from the other end of the plane.
You begin to wonder if you will get to the toilet before the plane has to descend and you have to go back to your seat when you remember there is another toilet at the other end of the plane. Maybe that toilet will be free? With two people still waiting in front of you, you decide to try your luck and head down the aisle.
A firm hand lands on your shoulder, making your sharply turn. It’s the stewardess from earlier.
“Your seat is here,” she tells you firmly but kindly. “Please don’t run about, especially when we’re about to descend.”
Maybe you had been moving fast, but it was an emergency! You needed to get to the loo before you had an accident. But before you could stutter out an excuse, the woman guides you back two rows to where your mum looks up.
“All better?” mum asks she gets up and the stewardess guides you past her.
You’re not sure how to explain that you still hadn’t gone to the loo and you stilly really needed to go without embarrassing yourself, so you find yourself mutely nodding. With slight hesitation, you sit down and gingerly buckle yourself up.
“Can you please make sure her belt is tightened correctly?” the stewardess asks.
Before you can protest, mum pulls the belt’s tail, securing you tightly. Too tightly in fact, as you can feel yourself close to bursting.
“Oops, sorry,” mum says, noticing your expression. She seems to have mistaken your discomfort.
“It’s… okay,” you say quietly.
You stare out the window, putting all your focus into not having an accident. You just had to last ten or so minutes, then you would be on the ground and could find a loo. Except, it had been a while since you had flown on a plane, and five minutes in, the ground didn’t seem all that closer. You were beginning to doubt that you could last another five minutes that you originally estimated, but it felt like it was going to be a lot longer than that.
Embarrassed and with tears welling in your eyes, you have to give up. You look out the window so that no one could see the tears in your eyes before letting your legs open just a bit. With the change in position, you could feel your body give out. First just a little sputter and then the full deluge.
It was embarrassed but blessed relief to go in your pullup, the warm wetness spreading forwards and backwards. It seemed to go on for ages and you began to worry about flooding your pullup when it finally stopped. Your body thanked you for no longer having to hold it in.
Strangely, it occurred to you that it would have been far less uncomfortable if you had just realised there was no hope earlier. It seemed silly in hindsight to think you could have held that long. It was another five minutes before the plane reached the ground, then another five as the plane taxied to the terminal. Then, it took ages for the aisle to clear as everyone else tried to rush for the doors.
As the people cleared, you followed mum in your wet pullup out of the plane, realising that it didn’t matter and that you should have just gone in your pullup to start with.
You had both looked around for your Aunt Julie. She was supposed to pick you up from the airport as you would be staying at her place. It was most of the reason for the trip: mum wanted to catch up with her sister. So, when neither of you spotted her, mum pulled out her phone.
“She’s probably late,” mum said idly, looking through her contact list. “I’ll find out how long she’ll be.”
There was another problem growing as you stood there: the need to poop. You should probably tell mum, but then she would ask why you didn’t go on the plane and then you’d have to explain your wet pullup, which you hoped to avoid discussing for as long as possible, and you certainly did not want to talk about it in the airport!
This one you were certain you could hold, as Aunt Julie’s house was only twenty minutes from here. Well, unless she was really late. Looking up, you can see mum sigh in frustration before locking her phone and dropping it in her handbag.
“She’s probably driving and can’t pick it up,” mum says by way of explanation.
It makes sense, you think. Given you weren’t supposed to talk on the phone and drive at the same time. You again consider telling mum you are going to the loo, but Aunt Julie will surely be here soon, right?
It’s a few minutes later when you hear the distinct tone of mum’s phone before she picks up.
“Julie, how long will you be? … Pardon? … I said Tuesday, not Thursday…” Mum sighs in frustration. “Well, we’re at the airport now.”
You frown, trying to figure out what the problem is when it clicks: Tuesday and Thursday. Auntie Julie mixed them up and she’s not even on the way yet! Deciding you really needed to use the loo now, you give in and decide to tell mum as soon as she finishes her call.
“… Don’t worry, we’ll just grab a taxi.”
You start looking around for the little stick figure man and woman sign of a toilet. Spotting it, you turn back to find mum is already walking off. You quickly follow, trying not to waddle with the wet pullup between your legs, but before you reach her, she is already making a beeline towards a free taxi. Without saying a word, she meets eyes with a man leaning against the front of his taxi who gets up and walks over.
Or maybe not. A taxi will be just as quick as if Auntie Julie was right here, right now. But still… maybe you should, just in case?
“Thanks,” mum says as he grabs both yours and hers bags and loads them into the taxi.
It’s too late to go to the loo now, you realise. You just hope this isn’t a mistake.
It feels like a mistake, as the taxi pulls off the main road and into a suburb. But you know Aunt Julie’s house is only a few minutes away. You could last that long. But it feels like a mistake.
When the car pulls up, you weigh up getting out or sitting there. Quickly, you decide to sit as you’re sure the need to go will increase if you stand up. It takes a few moments for mum to pay and as the receipt printer works, it feels like an agonisingly long time as the receipt prints line by line. When mum finally gets out, you follow, clenching uncomfortably as you stand up.
The taxi driver helps get the suitcases out and after a thanks, drives off. Looking at the house, it looks like no one is home.
“I really need to go to the toilet,” you admit as soon as he is out of sight.
“Didn’t you go on the plane?” mum asks.
You squirm uncomfortably.
“I didn’t have time,” you partially explain.
“Well, Aunt Julie will be ten or fifteen minutes. She’s dropping the key off on her lunch break.”
Mum notices you look of horror and worry.
“I won’t be able to hold,” you admit in a whisper.
“Maybe there’s a spare key?”
You hope so, you think, as you and mum leave your bags by the door. You’re about to follow mum uncomfortably around the house when you decide that you can’t. You know that walking will make it worse.
“I-I —” you stutter out, not sure how to explain it.
“It’s okay,” mum tells you with a small smile before leaving you to your misery.
But with mum gone, it’s worse… in a different way. It occurs to you that without here there it will be less embarrassing if you do go in your pullup, and you mind turns back to the plane, where you told yourself you had been silly about trying to hold, how much more comfortable it was to not feel like you were about to burst. You don’t think you can hold while you wait for mum to find the key, and even then, you’d probably mess your pullup just from walking to the loo.
It’s a strange sort of clarity in your mind as you squat and begin pushing the mess into your pullup. Embarrassed tears well in your eyes as you poop yourself, but also blessed relief. You can feel the back of your pullup bulging out slightly as you gasp, your body relaxing as you do. Then, you push the rest of the mess out of yourself.
Still squatting, you catch your breath as you try to decide if that’s all of it. You had been right; it certainly was more comfortable out than in… but it’s still humiliating. So, crying softly, you have very mixed feelings about the matter.
Gingerly, you stand up. You can feel the mess in the seat of your pullup. It doesn’t feel bad, but it is humiliating. Like its evidence that you’re not as big as you liked to think you are. Maybe if you didn’t care what mum and everyone —
You pull in a sharp breath in surprise as a pair of arms envelopes you. If takes a moment for you to realise it’s mum. The realisation that she has found you like this causes a sob to escape you. You turn into her, pressing your wet face against her top.
“Shhh,” mum says softly as she gently rubs your back. “It’s okay, sweetie.”
You can’t speak, instead just giving a shaky nod into her top. Fidgeting slightly, you can feel how full your pullup is and there’s the sudden awareness of its smell. Another sob escapes you.
“Ah — a messy accident,” mum suddenly says as she notices the smell too.
For a moment you expect scolding; it’s one thing to wet your pullup, but messing it is another thing. You tense, pre-empting it. But nothing happens. Mum just hugs you and keeps rubbing your back slowly.
“It’s okay. Better in your nappy than in your undies.”
A small part of you wants to try insisting that it’s a pullup and not a nappy, but it’s hard to form that argument when you had just made a mess in it. Mum’s right you realise.
Strangely, it’s wonderful to have mum soothing you like this, even in a messy nappy, and then you realise the messy nappy doesn’t feel bad, or hurt, or anything — quite the opposite; it was nice to have the uncomfortable mess out of you. If it weren’t for how embarrassing it was, you’re not sure it would even be bad.
Eventually, your sobs give way. Separating from mum’s embrace, she leans down to kiss you on the forehead as you look up at her with a wet smile.
“Feeling better?” she asks you.
“Yeah,” you reply quietly, fidgeting slightly in your messy pullup.
Mum smiles widely before holding up a key.
“Now, lets get you cleaned up.”
This is complete. I left it sort of open ended so the reader can imagine whatever they want happens next.