Sweet September (Part Three) - The Trip

She ran over to the fridge, got the bag of treats and snacks, ran back to me, picked up the diaper bag I dropped, put everything in my hands and went to the door.

“I know you’re not going to tell me where we’re going, but I want clues,” she said opening the door.

“Okay, I’ll give you clues on the way there,” I said following her out and heading to the car.

To be continued……

Continuing ……

We got in the car, and I drove down the road with a big grin on my face. I didn’t say anything. She sat there patiently, until finally she blurted out: “Clues! Clues! Clues!”

“All right, all right,” I started. “Where we are going, the sky’s the limit.”

“Outer space!” she guessed lightheartedly.

“No. That would be a little beyond the limit,” I responded.

“Are there animals there?” she inquired.

“Yes, but it’s not a zoo. I would not go there in a shoe. I would not go there in a box. I would not go there with a fox……”
“More Clues. Less Seuss, Daddy.”

“You can almost touch the clouds, and there are trees for miles.”

“Is it a park?”

"Yes. See, you didn’t need the clues. It was a matter of time before you figured it out. Yes, Nittany Park. Mount Nittany, actually. "

“What does Nittany mean?”

"It’s a type of lion that used to live here. It’s also a Native American word. "

“What does it mean in Niv American?” she began to say in a very child-like manner.

Realizing she wanted to feel little, I obliged. “I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out when we get there. I also hear there’s a legend of Mount Nittany,” I said.


“And we’ll find that out, too, when we get there,” I said as I began to lay it on thick. “I also hear there is a legend of Mount Nittany.”

“A scary legend?”

“No. The legend of how Mount Nittany was formed,” I said as we pulled into the park.

We pulled into a parking space, and directly in front of us was a bronze statue of a lion. It wasn’t as big as the one on Penn State Main Campus, but her eyes became glued to it. She got out of the car, and ran up to it. I got out of the car, grabbing the diaper bag, and following after her.
She walked all around the statue with eyes as big as could be. “And dats a ninny lion?” she asked.

“Yes, sweetheart. There used to be lions just like that one all over this mountain range at one point,” I answered, taking her hand and leading her down the trail.

“Where’d they all go?” she asked innocently.

“Probably away from us, as fast as they could,” I answered.

At the base of the trail was a plaque. We walked up to it, and I said, “And here it is. The Legend of Mount Nittany.”

“Read it to me, Daddy,” she asked sweetly as she brought my arms over her shoulders. And pressed herself against my body. “Please?”

“Certainly, Sweetheart,” I replied as I read the word on the plaque:

"The Legend of Mount Nittany: Nit-A-Nee, which means ‘single mountain,’ was an Indian maiden whose lover, Lion’s Paw, was killed…

Nit-A-Nee enfolded him into her arms and carried his still erect body back to a place in the center of the Valley where she laid the strong Brave in his grave and built a mound of honor over his strength.

On the last night of the full moon, after she had finally raised the last of the soil and stone over his high mound, a terrible storm came up unleashing itself with thunder and lightning and the wailing of a horrendous wind from the depths of the earth. Every Indian in the Valley shuddered and all eyes were directed to the Indian Brave’s high mound upon which the strong maiden Princess Nit-A-Nee was mounted with arms outstretched to touch the sources of the lightning bolts in the sky.

Through the night they watched with awe as the Indian Brave’s burial mound grew and rose into a Mountain penetrating the center of the big valley between the two legs of the Tussey and Bald Eagle Ridges. When the dawn finally came, a huge Mountain was found standing erect in the center of the Valley.
And that’s all it says. Let’s see where the trail takes us."

So we started walking up the trail. I put my hand behind her back, and we skipped a few steps, but I could see she was bored by it. So I placed my hand on her diapered bottom to “check”. She looked up at me and a big grin came across her face. She smashed herself into the side of my body like a shy four-year-old.

“You have no idea what’s ahead of us, do you?” I asked.

She looked ahead, and said: “Trees.”

I let out a laugh at her quick, yet honest answer. “Yes. There are a lot of trees,” I stated while still laughing, “but looked!”

I stopped and pointed off to the left. “What’s under those trees?”

Her eyes grew great big and wide once again. She leapt into my arms, and hugged my neck while exclaiming: “Swings! Will you push me in one of them?”

“Will you be good girl and hold on tightly to the swing if I do?” I playfully asked while carrying her over to the swing set.

“Yep!” she cried out while leaping out of my arms and running over to the swing.

I stopped dead in my tracks and put a fat-lipped, sad face on. She looked back at me, rolled her eyes up in her head, ran back to me, grabbed me by the hand, and ran us back to the swing. “Come on, Daddy!” she said while laughing.

She jumped into the swing without a moment to lose. “High. I wanna go really, really, really, really, really high,” she said with excitement.

“How many reallys was that?” I asked.

She counted out the number on her fingers, then showed me her hand. “Five,” she answered.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Why? What’s wrong?”

“BabyGirls should never go higher than four reallys. This many,” I said while showing her four fingers.

She touched her left pointer finger to her lip, and went deep into thought. Then, she thought of a comeback line. She snapped her fingers and said, “But good BabyGirls are allowed to do five reallys high. And I said I would be good. So five it is,” she answered with sincerity.

“That’s true. I can’t argue with that,” I said admitting defeat. (-wink-)

Content that she had won, she sat straight up in the swing, grabbed the chains on each side, and readied herself to be pushed. I grabbed the swing on either side, pulled her way back up high (five reallys high, mind you, not four!), and I let her go. She swung through the air like a bird. And with each pass, I heard her laughter increasing.

Her hair fluttered in the wind, and the sun shined through the trees and down over her dress with golden beams. She was an angel that seemed to have wings all of the sudden. Her smile, which always lit up her entire face and the room she was in, was now lighting up everything around us. Her laughter echoed up and down the mountainside.

When I slowed her up, and stopped the swing, I could tell she loved it. She got off the swing and embraced me. “I love you Daddy. I love you so much,” she said. “Can I have a Coke?”

“You certainly may,” I said while opening the diaper bag.

She reached in, grabbed a Coke, and handed it to me with the most precious ‘Please!’ face in the world. I smiled, and opened the Coke. She grabbed it, chugged the thing right down, and then let out a burp.

“Do you feel better?” I asked as I took the empty can and put it back in the bag.

“Uh-huh,” she responded as we started up the trail.

“You know what’s so wonderful about BabyGirls?” I asked.

She smiled. “Tell me,” she said.

“They’re emotional. They just want to be loved. They want to feel loved and they want to know that they will always be loved. They want to be taken care of and they never want to feel like they are a burden. They never are a burden, but they never let a moment go by where they don’t cherish how someone makes them feel.”

She smiled sweetly.

I continued on. “Her smile makes her beautiful. Her dimples and tiny nose make her adorable. Her pigtails make her happy. Her pacifier makes her comfortable. Her clothing makes her feel little. Her bib tells her it’s okay to be messy. Her crib tells her it’s time to settle down. Her diaper makes her feel like a baby. Her stuffed animals surround her and she hugs them all. And her Daddy makes her the happiest BabyGirl in the world.”

She smiled a lot wider and added, “and her Daddy knows best. She wants to make him happy, too.”

“She does. Every morning she wakes up, and opens her beautiful eyes and looks at me with a burning love I can’t describe. She may be a little baby, but her effect is really huge.”

“I don’t ever want to know anything other than the way you make me feel, Daddy.”

“My promise, BabyGirl: You never will.”

We walked up to another plaque alongside the trail. “Your turn to read,” I said as I walked up behind her, wrapped my hands around her, and put my chin on the top of her head.

She put her hands on my arms and leaned her head back on my chest. “Too many words,” she said.

“As you wish, my dear,” I said as I began to read the plaque:

"Kalmia latifolia, commonly called Mountain-laurel or Spoonwood, is a flowering plant in the family Ericaceae, native to the eastern United States, from southern Maine south to northern Florida, and west to Indiana and Louisiana.

It is an evergreen shrub growing to 3-9 m tall. The leaves are 3-12 cm long and 1-4 cm wide. Its flowers are star-shaped, ranging from red to pink to white, and occurring in clusters. It blooms between May and June. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Roots are fibrous, matted.

The plant is naturally found on rocky slopes and mountainous forest areas. The plant often grows in large thickets, covering large areas of forest floor. In North America it becomes a tree on the mountains of the Carolinas but is a shrub further north."

“Mow-Tin Florah,” she gibbered out.

I looked around. Nobody was anywhere to be seen. So I decided to get silly. “Hey, do you wanna see what this park looks like at a really fast speed?” I asked.

“Huh?” she asked, quite bewildered.

I tickled her sides and she howled with laughter until she broke free and began running away from me through the forest. I stood there for a moment, giving her a head start, and then bolted after her. I chased her for a while, waiting until we ran through an area without tree cover.

When we found a clearing, and caught up to her, grabbed her lifted her in the air, and placed her on her back on the ground. While she tried hard to fight me off with her hands, she couldn’t stop laughing long enough to stop me from flipping her dress up and blowing raspberries on her tummies. She kicked her legs up and down, and I eventually let her flip me over on my back.

While sitting on me, she finally had a moment to catch her breath and try to recover from laughing. “That wasn’t fair,” she laughingly stated in a breathless tone. "“I’m shorter than you and I have sandals on, and I’m wearing a diaper and I’m a babygirl…”

I sat up, holding her to me, and kissed her very softly and quickly on the lips. “And I love you for being all of that and so much more.”

We sat there for a moment gazing into each other’s eyes. “Do you remember the first time we met?” she asked.

“As if it were yesterday, Princess,” I fondly recalled. “We met at that little coffee shop you loved just on the edge of your hometown. You were so nervous to meet me, but you were beautiful in that dress, and your face was even more beautiful than the pictures you sent me. You were a little late, and you ran in with serious concern that I had left. I would have stayed there all night waiting for you. But then we saw each other, and didn’t it feel like the world stopped moving for a second?”

“Yes,” she responded in a tiny voice as she stared deep into my eyes.

“We didn’t say anything at first, did we. No. There weren’t any words that the moment needed or required. I don’t think I could have spoken at that moment. We knew so much about each other that the next step was to meet each other.”

“I remember running into your arms, and how warm your body felt. How good it felt to be in a Daddy’s arms. I wasn’t nervous after that. I had to meet you to know if I would feel the same as when we spoke, and I did.”

I kissed her on the forehead again, and she got off my chest and laid next to me. We looked up at the evening sky. There was plenty of sunlight left to the day, and the clouds were still bright white.

“What do you see in those clouds?” she asked.

“More clouds,” I replied. “How about you? When a girl, with all the love in the world for little things in her heart, looks at those clouds, what does she see?”
I looked over at her. She looked at every cloud in the sky, then spoke: “I see rivers and streams. Lakes and Seas. Oceans and Waterfalls.”

“And rainbows?” I asked softly, knowing why she was saying those things.

She looked back at me with tears in her eyes. “Yes,” she said very quietly.

“Shh,” I said very softly as I wipe a tear off her cheek. “It’s okay. I am always going to take care of you.”

I reached my hand underneath her, and found that her dress was soaked. I stood up, unbuttoned my shirt, lifted her to her feet, wrapped the shirt around her waist and we began walking back down the trail.

“Why were you crying?” I asked.

“You’re so kind to me,” she said. “Sometimes it makes me cry.”

She paused for a moment and then continued, “Do you know what’s so wonderful about Daddies?”

“Tell me,” I said.

“They care for you in a way that you never get cared for again for the rest of your life. Their voices are soft, and their hands are strong, yet gentle. You can collapse in their arms, and they will be there to catch you. You can fall to pieces and they will glue you back together, stronger than before. They make everything that seems like such a big problem seem like a little one and then they fix it so you can forget about it. If you feel grumpy they will make you happy.”

She paused for a moment to clear the lump in her throat before continuing: “And if you wet yourself and if by chance you soak your dress in the process, a Daddy will give you the shirt off his back to make you feel better.”

She pressed herself up against my side and put her head on my shoulder as we walked the rest of the way to the car. We were the only ones left in the park as dusk approached. I unlocked the car and opened the back door on the driver’s side. She took a seat and lifted the dress off her body. In a flash, I pulled the extra set of clothes out of her diaper bag, and had the baby-t over her head and on her body.

She layed flat on the back seat. I sat alongside her on the edge, handed her favorite teddy bear to her, put her pacifier in her mouth, and began to unfasten her diaper. In one quick motion, her legs and bottom went up in the air, I wipe her clean and positioned the new diaper under her.

Lowering her back down onto the diaper, I could see from the look on her face that she was feeling very small and little now. I obliged what her heart was longing for at that moment.

“You’ve been a very good girl on this trip,” I said as I fastened her new diaper into place.

She looked at me with wonderment of what I was planning next. I took the sandals off her feet, and placed them on the floor of the car with her diaper bag. It was time for a heart-pounder of a moment for both of us. For as much as it got our hearts pounding, what I did next was a rush and a thrill and a craving as well.

I picked her up in my arms, lifted her out of the car, and carried her over to throw away her wet diaper in the trash can about 30 feet away. Being carried like a baby, wearing a baby-t, a disposable diaper, with bare feet, and with a pacifier in her mouth, she felt like a baby from the tip of her head to the tip of her toes.

At first, she sat up looking around to figure out where I was carrying her. Then she became overwhelmed with that baby feeling and she rested her head on my shoulder. She clutched her teddy bear in one arm and reached up with her other hand to cling to the collar of my t-shirt.

As I walked us back to the car, I spoke softly into her ear. “You’ve been a very good baby girl today, too.”

A grin came over her face as I patted her diapered bottom. This sent shivers up her spine and she began to giggle as I kept trying to touch the tip of her nose with my pointer finger. I opened the driver’s door, got in the car and laid her down on the front seat with her head in my lap. Before we pulled away, I covered her body with her blanket.

As we drove off. She shifted and laid on her back so she could look straight up at me as I drove. I looked down at her, and asked: “Are you tired?”

She shook her head no.

“How do you feel about one more trip? We’ll have to put some pants on you first.”

She sat up, put her legs in an Indian style, and waited.

“Oh! You’re waiting for a clue?” I asked as she nodded. “Let’s see. Where we are going next, there will be lots of people, and lots of fun things to do, but no pacifiers allowed.”

She smiled, and removed her pacifier from her mouth. “What about sweet little baby girls and their daddies?”

“That will be fine. Come here. I’ll whisper in your ear where we’re going and you tell me if you want to go.” I said.

She crawled over to me and leaned her ear in to listen. I whispered it to her, and her eyes lit up.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” I said. “Now buckle yourself up, Sweetheart. We’ll be there soon.”

To be continued….