Someone else's child came out to me

Hey guys, it’s been a while. The site looks… weird. Hope you’re all doing fine. I am having quite a time right now and wanted to check in with you all to get some advice on how to handle a situation that I’ve found myself in.

As you can tell from the title, someone else’s kid told me they like diapers and I think they like diapers in the way that we all like diapers.

Some backstory: These are some family friends that we have known since the child in question was a toddler. She is 10 now and has 2 brothers, one of whom is 7 and the other is 5. We lost touch during the pandemic but about a year ago we started catching up again with them. This has involved taking the kids on fun day trips to help their parents with summer childcare and to foster a mutual hobby that I share with the child in question… not diapers that’s brand new.

Before the pandemic the middle brother was about 2 and the mother was pregnant with the third. The first time we went over to their hose for dinner “post” pandemic the kids were 9, 6, and 4 and it took almost no time to confirm that the younger two were bedwetters. Like I hadn’t even thought about it ahead of time, there was just evidence all over. The family doesn’t seem to treat it as anything beyond a normal thing some kids do (which is good.) There were offbrand Goodnites in every bathroom trashcan and packages on display in both bedrooms (the older two share a room.)

We also quickly learned at these kids are obsessed with toilet humor, probably more than a normal amount. One day we took the kids with us and the middle one stayed home sick so we had them make him a get well card. “Draw something he’d like” we said. They drew pee, poop, vomit, a penis, etc.

The child in question even volunteered info that she once tried on the middle brother’s Pull-Up but it was too tight. She said this was “about two years ago” so based on when she said this she would have been around 7 and he would have been 5 or so. She is kinda tall for her age so I assumed he was wearing an S/M which I could see being small on her.

I laughed this story off as her being a cooky goofball which she totally is. In fact I took all of this and just thought, “She’s being goofy. She likes toilet humor. She’s a kid.” Their parents aren’t strick on gender roles or anything so while this stuff may be “normal for boys” and “unladylike” they don’t seem to mind. Plus she spent the pandemic at home alone with two bedwetting brothers, I’d say she’s pretty normal all things considered and her parents agree.

And then we get to yesterday. We were hanging out at a store, myself and my spouse and the older two kids. My spouse took the brother in one direction while I took the child in question elsewhere. We crossed paths again and the kids discovered some product with a poop emoji on it and thought it was the funniest thing in the world. We split up again and I was like, “Man, you really love pee and poop and stuff, huh?”

And she said, “Yeah. I wish I could wear diapers but I can’t.”

Now I should add here that while I still like diapers I’ve basically been a vanilla person for the past few years. My spouse is supportive but uninterested and I’ve lost some interest as well. I haven’t written anything in ages and even when I found a huge stock of the new XL Goodnites at a thriftstore they mostly take up space in our closet. I like diapers the same way I like Chinese food. I rarely think about it and when I enjoy it I enjoy it but that’s about it.

So when she said this to me it kinda reawakened a lot of the “me” in me and sent my heart racing.

Like I said she’s mentioned this sort of thing before but I’ve always ignored it as just her being a kid who likes potty humor.

I asked, “Why can’t you?” and she said she couldn’t get any that fit her. I assumed she hadn’t tried her brother’s Pull-Ups on in a few years and didn’t think they’d fit. The older of the two brothers is now in L/XL size (I think the mom buys them in bulk from weird places cus the size is discontinued but there’s always large plastic sleeves in their room). She’s taller than he is but like I could fit in L/XL up until like 2 years ago so there’s no way she can’t at 10. But she says she can’t because she tried about a month ago.

This reminded me, again, that she had apparently tried one on a few years ago and it was laughed off as her just being goofy. But now I was beginning to suspect it was more than that.

I asked if she could just ask her parents for them and she said it wouldn’t be wise to spend money on something she didn’t need (the kids are sweet like that.) She also said she hasn’t even told them she’s interested in them.

We were leaving the store soon so we met up with my spouse and the brother. On the car ride to our next destination all I could think about was the tone in her voice as she explained all this. It really didn’t feel like a kid who reads too much Captain Underpants or whatever. It felt like… well it felt like how I felt when I was her age. And then I thought about all the references and mentions she’s made about this kind of stuff in the past and it really felt reminiscent of my own past. And it’s rocked my brain for like 24 hours.

So… how should I proceed? Her parents are totally cool and despite being Church Every Sunday people they’d definitely be 100% supportive if she every came out as gay or trans or anything. But this is so different, you know? I know my parents tried shutting it down whenever I let out even the slightest hint. And that made me feel like a complete freak trying desperately to hide something that I was ashamed of but couldn’t make go away. Her parents are also Screen Time people so she doesn’t have unfettered Internet access like I did. She’s certainly not gonna stumble upon Deeker or whatever awful thing is out there now.

Part of me feels like talking to her parents about it. They’d probably be understanding and maybe it’d be nice to have someone like me there to help. The way she randomly blurted it out to me and answered all my questions honestly - plus the hints she’s left along the way - makes me think her parents probably know and just assume it’s a phase. But also I know how “normal” people treat us and I feel like bring this up, even if I don’t out myself in the process, that could end very badly.

Another idea I had was turning our home into one of those classic Diaper Lover origin story settings. Move my collection of XLs somewhere obvious like in the bathroom and let her discover them and maybe steal them. Although she’s probably too good of a kid to do that. If anyone asks where they came from I’d just say they were probably left by my nephew when he visited last and we didn’t know they were still there. That’s… mostly true. But I don’t see how this would really help prevent her from thinking she’s a freak or getting in trouble. I really just want her to know it’s totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

But also part of me feels like we should slowly and intentionally break off contact with these people altogether. Any interaction going forward could lead to my own “outing” and I don’t know if I can carry on as normal and pretend I don’t know.

Plus, unrelated to all of this, there’s that non-diaper hobby that her and I share and I’d really not like that to go away. After spending more than two years doing literally nothing at home, spending time with this family has really improved my mental health. The idea of never seeing them again gives me dread. But so does the idea of silently watching her go through the same turmoil I did.

Please, everyone. What should I do?

This is a real tricky situation for sure! I totally agree with the whole addage of leaving someone out of the community until they are an adult.

She confided something in you that she may be afraid to talk to her parents about. If you did talk to her parents, the way to approach it would be how you did here, starting with her making comments about the emoji, and your comment back to her that led to hear confiding in you that she wishes she could wear. However, talking to her parents and then them talking to her could cause her to lose the trust she has with you.

You could tell her that while her feelings are valid, it is something that is only appropriate for her parents to talk to her about, and if she isn’t sure where to start, you could bring it up to her parents. The fact you two share a hobby (that you didn’t mention what it is here) means the parents know that you have a shared interest, and they have trusted you to spend time with their daughter. Then with her okay, you could talk to the parents and then she is not blindsided by them talking to her about it unaware that you went to talk to them.

I think that last paragraph is the best option. It shows that you value her trust, her feelings are valid, and you are able to guide her to the way that is best for the situation to be handled, and that is with her parents.