The Winceyette nightshirt
Definition of Winceyette: Cloth made of cotton that has a raised surface, used especially for nightclothes.
I’m fourteen and have to go and stay at grandma’s house for a while. My parents are going through a tumultuous divorce and the constant shouting is having an effect on my nerves. My grades have deteriorated badly at school. I hardly sleep; continually worrying that the screaming might escalate into something much more violent. I lie in bed shaking and only drop off in a very fitful manner dreading the morning when I know it will start all over again.
This in turn has led to one or two night time accidents and I wake up to a wet bed, not really knowing when it could have happened as I’d hardly slept. The atmosphere in the house is terrible and I’m perpetually on guard not wishing anything I do adding to the general dysfunction of my family – so I hide my problem.
Grandma (from my mum’s side, my dad’s parents are both dead), thinks it disgraceful they should behave the way they are when I’m around and appearing ignorant their actions have on me. She berated both of them and insisted that they “…got their act together or separate and not involve their highly impressionable child (me) in their ‘theatrics’”.
As soon as school finished for the Spring Break she insisted that I get away from the relentless bickering and spend some time with her. Now I love grandma, but spending any time at all with an old lady isn’t my idea of fun but her argument is sound; I need to get away and she is offering a sanctuary that isn’t available from anyone else.
It was an hour and a half drive to Grandma’s house and they even argued over whose responsibility it was to take me there. Tempers were rising and I simply couldn’t take any more so, I quickly shoved a few clothes in a bag, emptied my piggy bank and took the four hour, three bus changes ride to arrive completely shattered. This was partly due to the fact she lived at the edge of a village in a rather sweet one-bedroom cottage but which is a mile or so walk from the bus stop. Of course I was expected but she also expected that someone would have brought me. She was furious, she also thinks I need protecting from strangers (not sure what she thinks will happen on a bus); she forgets that I’m fourteen and can look after myself. So, she was once again angry with my self-obsessed parents and called them to let them know her disapproval, and of course that I’d arrived safely.
I could hear her lay into my mother about how terrible it was to be subjected to hearing a constant stream of invective and anger even if it wasn’t directed at me. Grandma thought I was far too sensitive to have to put up with such antagonism but also listened to mum bleating on with ‘her side of the story’. Grandma’s final words were.
“…no thanks to you two self-absorbed, unthinking bastards.”
Yep, that’s what she called them down the phone “BASTARDS”. I was both shocked and amused that she should think in such a way about her daughter and son-in-law.
Once her duty to inform them was out of the way then all her energy turned to me and the huge cuddle that followed was very welcome. I didn’t expect it but I burst into tears, perhaps she was correct, I was too sensitive. Whether through relief or what I’m not sure, but granny’s sweetly perfumed embrace meant the world to me. I left a huge wet tear stain on her pale yellow woollen cardigan but she didn’t seem concerned, her only thoughts were that I was safe, away from all the aggravation and determined that I should have an untroubled stay.
In recognition of my visit she’d been baking and the homemade pies and tarts that appeared to cover every surface of the small but highly functional kitchen bode well. One thing for certain, I wasn’t going to starve whilst at granny’s house.
When I was younger I’d stayed with grandma quite a few times and I’d always shared her bed, which was OK but now I was more grown up I thought I’d be kipping on the couch. However, granny has a routine, and one she’s had as long as I can remember and that was - guests take a bath before bed.
It was only about 8pm but I was well tuckered out and she noticed my eyes start to close. The meal she’d cooked, the lovely coal fire and the lack of any screaming certainly had me relaxing for the first time in many months. She smiled and suggested that, as she’d snuck off to run a bath whilst I dozed, I should take full advantage of the bubbles she’d added. I loved the fact that granny, as old as she was, still wanted to take care of me, something both mum and dad had been neglecting for some time.
I went to the bathroom and stripped down piling my sweaty clothes on the dresser and slipped gingerly into the hot steamy suds. The smell of lavender filled the space and the bath itself was slippery from the amount of foam she’d added to the water, the entire effect was one of tranquil bliss so I closed my eyes and just soaked in its warm embrace.
I fell asleep.
I woke up to granny peering down at me and smiling.
“Gosh, you really did need to get away didn’t you?”
I smiled back my agreement.
“Well I think you’d better get out otherwise you’ll turn into a wrinkled prune.”
She held out a fluffy blue towel and encouraged me to get out of the bath.
“It’s ok gran I can see to myself.”
I said nervous about being fourteen and being dried by my granny.
“I’m sure you can but…” and there was a twinkle in her eye, “why should you when I’m here to look after you.”
The towel did look very inviting and I nervously raised myself up but although the water had lost a great deal of its heat it was still very slippery and my grip on the side of the bath slipped as my feet slid along the bath floor and I made a huge splash that soaked granny.
I was embarrassed but she was laughing and although dripping herself, still held up the towel encouraging me to make more of an effort. My nervousness about the hairs that I’d developed quite recently left me; after all she wouldn’t be seeing anything she hadn’t seen before. I was still a little ashamed at splashing her but thought I couldn’t delay the inevitable any longer.
As she encircled me in the towel it brought back happy memories of when, as a child, she’d do this to me after a bath and the thorough rubbing would be followed, if tradition was being upheld, by a nice mug of milky cocoa before bed. Once she was sure I was dry she led me to her bedroom and I noticed some items piled on top of the blankets. I still assumed that somehow, or somewhere, in that small house there would be another bed, or sofa, that I would be sleeping on but apparently I was wrong.
I looked, somewhat bewildered, at the stuff that granny had prepared. In my haste to get to her place I’d not packed any pyjamas and the few items I had in my backpack were just a couple of shirts, t-shirts and undies, I wasn’t well equipped at all.
“I’m sorry about this sweetheart,” Granny looked serious and apologetic, “but you mother mentioned you’ve been having night time accidents at home.”
This information came as a bit of a shock, I didn’t know that mum knew… she’d never said anything. However, coming home from school I suppose the fact that there was washing still in the machine and perhaps my room had a tell-tale odour, she’d managed to put the pieces together. Maybe she wasn’t as self-absorbed as I’d thought.
I was uncomfortable that granny now knew and also ashamed. I felt humiliated and tried to hide my suddenly tearful gaze.
“Don’t worry sweetheart, with what you’ve been through I can’t say I’m surprised.”
She put her arm around my shoulder and gave me a tender hug.
“However, we will be sharing a bed so I need to know that you are both comfortable and safe.”
I tried to be grown up and said that I’d brought a t-shirt and underwear for bed but she just gently shook her head.
“No.” She pointed to a bundle of items that were there ready for me.
Although I’d noticed them I hadn’t paid that much attention as to what exactly was in the pile but suddenly realised that the white cloth item on top was in fact a thick terry nappy.
“But granny, I’m too old for that…”
“Sweetheart, you’re never too old to take precautions.”
“But, but, er, I, er, mmm…”
My argument was slipping away as easily as the comforting towel she gently eased from my shoulders leaving me naked on the bed. She unfolded the huge terry square and refolded it into the shape of a nappy and slid it under my bare bottom. She sprinkled powder and reminded me that as a kid I used to enjoy that part the best. I was mesmerised with what was happening. I couldn’t lash out at granny but I certainly didn’t want to wear a nappy. However, I remembered that I had left my own bed at home in a soaked state so perhaps this thick protection might not be such a bad idea.
Anyhow, I just couldn’t see myself arguing with granny and by the time I’d got my thoughts in order I was powdered and pinned in and she was shuffling a large pair of white plastic pants up my legs. She patted them into place and I just knew I’d never get my boxers over them as I looked around for them and my t-shirt.
Granny was way ahead of me as she unfolded what looked like a pair of fleecy-style brown plaid pyjamas. She pulled what I thought was the top over my head and gently slid it down over my body. It kept going so she got me to stand up as it came down well below my knees.
“Granny, er, I can’t wear this, it’s, it’s, er…”
“Don’t be silly, it’s a nightshirt, a lovely Winceyette nightshirt.”
She smoothed it down and over my bulging nappy.
“This should keep you nice and snug while you’re here.”
She patted my padded bottom and suggested we go down stairs for cocoa.
I was reluctant to go anywhere, especially with the thickness surrounding my crotch but I figured that granny was probably wise enough to know when ‘protection’ was needed and it would certainly save me some embarrassment should I wet myself in the night, especially as we’d be sharing her bed.
I felt strange. In fact, the whole process had seemed totally, how can I put it, er, out of body? It felt like it was happening to somebody else, well, perhaps it was a younger version of me but it certainly wasn’t me now. However, the fabric did feel nice against my skin. The cotton was soft and yet felt unlike anything I’d ever worn before. If I was to compare it to anything I would say it had the texture and smoothness of a fluffy kitten. There was an immediate sense of comfort as I waddled down stairs and settled myself in front of the fire whilst granny went to the kitchen to get our hot drinks organised.
The cottage was detached, had a fairly large garden, which gran loved to potter around in, but was quite small; a kitchen and living room on the ground floor and a bedroom and bathroom upstairs. A few years ago she’d had a small conservatory built onto the back, which was fitted out with wicker furniture; the place really caught the sun when it shined. It was a lovely place to relax in summer.
Her living room was just as you’d expect for a country cottage; old but comfortable, well-stuffed chintzy style furniture, wooden dresser and display cabinets. There were photos of the family displayed around the room; me as a seven year-old, mum, dad and me when I was a baby and several shots of mum’s sister Jane and her family. Aunty Jane and Uncle Tom I think were happily married and, whereas I’m an only child, I have four cousins; Thomas is the eldest and the same age as me, Julie is twelve, Toby is eleven and they have a new baby, Benjamin. There were photographs of them all amongst the ones of us, as well as a lovely image of Grandpa when he was younger and in uniform. Three walls had flowery green and brown wallpaper and one wall was painted a dark brown but the overall effect was one of cosiness. The brown wall held a fabulous painting of a sunrise over the village that a local artist had done many years earlier. I loved the cottage; it was homely and always made me feel welcome.
The fire crackled in the grate and a small ancient TV sitting in the corner fit nicely with the surroundings but I wondered how gran could put up with such a small screen. When she returned baring a couple of steaming mugs of cocoa and some biscuits I asked her, but she replied that she didn’t, as it hadn’t worked for over two years and not missed it one bit. I sipped my drink and felt the sweet taste and warming glow in my tummy filter throughout my entire body. I had a fleeting thought that this stay was going to be a long one if there was no TV but I had brought my IPad so it should be OK.
Granny was telling me all about the last visit from Aunty Jane’s family and that their eldest son Thomas had stayed with her when aunty was in hospital having little Benjamin. He also had a slight wetting problem and that’s how come she was prepared for my ‘needs’. She smiled as she said how quickly you can get things organised as a result of a wet bed. I swallowed hard hoping that my shame was not that obvious.
Again I was embarrassed that she’d brought the subject up but I understood she was just trying to let me know I wasn’t alone and that it wasn’t a huge problem so I shouldn’t worry. That was perhaps easier said than done. However, the cocoa was very soothing and sitting in front of her roaring fire, I soon forgot all my problems and dozed resting my head against grandma’s shoulder.
Time didn’t seem to matter as she guided me upstairs to her comfy bedroom and pulled back the covers for me to get in. The weight and bulkiness between my legs had given me a crinkly little gait but there was no doubt about it, the entire outfit left me feeling both comfortable and, strangely, loved.
The nightshirt hung on me with no bunching and the material next to my skin was soothing, just like my old teddy bear. I ran my hand over it all and for some reason it made me smile, it was if it was giving me back a pleasant memory. I wriggled contentedly and was asleep before granny came to bed.
I slept soundly throughout the night for the first time in many months.
I woke up and stretched and for a moment the unfamiliar surroundings left me confused. Thankfully, I recognised where I was and turned to see if granny was still sleeping. I’d dropped off before she came to bed and I slept so heavily I didn’t experience her near me at any time during the night. However, I could see the vacant dent and slightly askew sheet and blankets that proved where she’d been. I yawned and stretched further and could vaguely hear her down in the kitchen and if I wasn’t mistaken, she was cooking breakfast. The smell of frying bacon had wafted up the stairs and I was surprisingly hungry.
I pulled back the blankets and lifted my legs to get up when I saw that the nightshirt had bundled up past my hips and left my glossy protection on view. I’d forgotten all about that but now its presence was evident I suddenly realised that I was WET.
I was filled with panic as I brushed my hand over the sheets I’d only moments before been fast asleep on. Thank God they were dry. I examined the nightshirt and that was also dry so it was only the nappy that was wet – I was both thankful and appalled. How could I have wet in my granny’s bed and with her in it? I heard her coming up the stairs and quickly climbed back under the bedclothes hoping that I wouldn’t have to admit to anything but granny being granny, she gently set a cup of tea on the bedside table and assumed I was awake.
“Morning sweetheart, sleep well.”
“Mmmm,” I commented under a mock yawn.
“Well I’m making breakfast and it will be ready in about five minutes, meanwhile here’s a nice cuppa to rouse you…”
She then added off the cuff as if it was the most normal thing to say.
“… don’t worry about your wet nappy now; we can get you cleaned up after breakfast.”
She wasn’t asking, she was telling me as if she knew or at least expected it. My face went beet-red as I hid behind a quick slurp of tea.
“Would you like fried eggs or scrambled?” She said in the doorway as an afterthought.
“Erm, er, scrambled please.”
“OK sweetheart, don’t be too long I don’t want it to get cold.”
I was sitting up in bed, hugging my tea and thinking what a baby I was wetting myself for no reason. I couldn’t blame my parents arguing as I’d had the best night’s sleep for ages and yet here I was sitting in a soaked nappy.
After a few more sips I decided to get up. I pulled the ruffled up nightshirt back to where it should be, covering my damp shame, and even more gingerly waddled down to the kitchen.
I arrived just as granny piled the eggs on the plate with several rashers of bacon, beans and mushrooms. I took my seat and was very aware of the squishiness in my nappy; thankfully there was only a slight crinkle to announce my arrival. For a woman her age granny was incredibly nimble and I could tell that not only had she made breakfast, I could hear the washing machine going, probably the second load as I could see through the window there were already some items hanging out on the line.
She asked if I had any plans for the day but in truth, I hadn’t thought about doing anything. I’d stayed in the village on many occasions so had seen all it had to offer. However, there were innumerable walks and pretty sites to visit if the weather stayed nice.
Once I’d finished breakfast granny suggested that I slip out of my damp nappy so she could get it washed and out on the line whilst the sun shone. So I toddled back upstairs to change. I wasn’t expecting her to follow me and became quite embarrassed that she planned to watch me strip but she actually had a confession.
"Sorry sweetheart but the stuff in your backpack was all creased and to be honest, smelled a bit funny so I’ve put all your things in the wash.
Everything should be dry by tonight and I can iron them and make you more presentable.
“What about the clothes I arrived in?”
She shrugged. “Sorrrrryy. They were pretty smelly after your long journey. They are all in a long wash at the moment.”
“Oh. I’m not sure what I can wear then. Do you have any suggestions?”
“Well, if you’re not going anywhere, you can just wear your nightshirt…”
She suddenly had a thought.
“Have a ‘pyjama day’ I think it’s called.”
“Well I suppose I’ll have to.”
I didn’t fancy wearing any of granny’s clothes. I laughed at the very idea, what was I thinking?
“But let’s get you out of that wet nappy first and into something a bit drier.”
For some reason I thought she must have kept some of my underwear back from the wash for just this occasion but once I was out of the plastic pants and soaked nappy nothing else was forthcoming. Well, I thought, I could just potter around in my nightshirt, although I have to say, the soft and fluffy material was constantly brushing against sensitive parts of my body sending ripples of pleasure to places I’d rather granny not know about.
She brought in some wet wipes and more powder and draped over her arm was another pre-folded nappy.
“I think we need to clean you up first and I also insist that you wear something next to your… er…”
She was pointing at my groin.
“But granny,” I was already whining like a two year-old, “I can’t wear a nappy around the house.”
“Why not, there’s only the two of us here and I’m not keen on you wondering around not decent.”
I know I could have argued that it was her fault that I was in this position but I hadn’t been brought up to quarrel with the elderly and certainly not my grandmother. I think if I had, and it had got back to my parents that I was squabbling with her, then they may well have both got together to give me a sound spanking before they went back to their own quarrel. No I simply had to suck it up and do what she suggested.
I’m fourteen; the nappy-wearing came as a bit of a shock; the fact that she intended me to wear it about the house, as well as at night (when I could see her point), made me feel very uncomfortable. I know she was trying to make me feel loved and untroubled but the idea was nagging at me that this was a step too far. However, granny is such a human dynamo, that she simply set too and removed the saturated object, wiped and powdered my groin and fastened me in the dry one and slipped another pair of white rubber pants up my legs.
This time something happened.
The nightshirt never left my body during the entire operation. In fact, she’d just pushed it up over my belly and set to work whilst I still enjoyed the fleecy softness against my chest. It rubbed against my nipples and again I felt that shiver of ‘appreciation’ run through my body. Some of the fabric was tickling my neck and chin, which set me off giggling like a baby and I was surprised to feel an emotion I hadn’t felt for quite some time. Utter devotion. Granny certainly made me feel like I was the centre of her world and that everything she did, or was doing, was solely for my benefit… and it felt wonderful.
This strange piece of clothing was helping me appreciate so much more. Not only was it offering warmth and comfort but, together with the oddly reassuring nappy, I experienced an inner calm that spread around my body leaving each nerve ending with a special uplifting glow.
I stood up and granny kissed me and said that I should be OK for the rest of the day.
I was vibrating with pleasure as the nightshirt gently scuffed the back of my calves, tickling and caressing me at the same time; the nappy no longer making me worry but offered reassurance. I’d never felt more at ease as I settled myself in the tiny conservatory to enjoy the morning sun and catch up with email on my IPad.
Ooops, I’d forgotten that granny didn’t have Wi-Fi or broadband so, apart from listening to my music files, the odd game and catching up writing up some of my homework, the wonderful machine was useless. Thankfully, granny knew that the pub and the Tea Room in the village both had Wi-Fi, so, I could catch up by treating myself to a cuppa at some point. However, that wasn’t going to be any time soon as I only had my nightshirt and I wasn’t about to parade around the village dressed like that. I was at a loss as to what I could do to occupy my fourteen year-old brain now the electronic part of my plan had collapsed. The TV was useless but granny spent most of the day with the radio on in the background and seemed more than happy with that as company. She’d already done all the baking so I couldn’t do anything like that. My clothes were gently wafting in the breeze but the sun was un-seasonally warm so perhaps I would just sun myself in the back garden.
Granny thought that was a great idea because she had to go off to an old folk’s home later as she was a visitor and didn’t want to let down those less able than herself. Typical of the woman, she was there to help others and I half-heartedly felt I should offer to join her. She thanked me for volunteering but thought it better if I stayed home and relaxed. She was of the opinion that I needed a calming influence and the old folk’s home, she said with a smile, was anything but that.
She laid a blanket out on the grass and told me to help myself to anything in the fridge or food in the pantry and that she’d only be gone for about three hours. I heard a horn blast and granny saying her lift had arrived, after she kissed the top of my head, she was out the door and on her way.
Even though it was relatively early, just after 10am, the sun was very warm and as I grabbed a book to read I spread myself out and tried to concentrate on one of the ‘Historical Romance’ novels gran liked so much. It didn’t keep my attention for long and I was getting pretty hot in my nightshirt. Hesitantly I slowly removed it, and giggled as the tickly material slipped over my skin. I was sitting on the blanket wearing just my protection and the bright white of my pants glared for a moment in the sun. I hazily thought that perhaps I’d get an all over tan before summer and that might be nice. I folded the nightshirt and placed it under my head and then spread myself luxuriantly in the sun enjoying its caressing rays.
I woke up to find granny quietly chatting with someone else seemingly also enjoying the early sun. Then I realised that it must be much later than I thought as she’d said she’d be away for around three hours. As I became a little more conscious I realised that she was talking with her neighbour Mrs Davies, they were sat at a small table sipping tea.
“Ahh, would you like a cool drink dear?” She asked noticing my eyes flickering against the sun.
“Mmmm, yes please granny…”
“Good afternoon.” Mrs Davies smiled and nodded in my direction.
“Oh, er, yes, good afternoon Mrs Davies, er, how are you?”
Her smile broadened even more before a wistful look came into her eyes.
“Well I wish I could lie out in the sun like you dear, but alas, those days have gone.”
“Me and you both.” Granny nodded sagely.
It was only then I become conscious of the fact that I was lying there dressed in so little.
Suddenly overcome with embarrassment I made to rise and get the drink myself but gran was already on her way to the kitchen. Laying there and looking at Mrs Davies I took in the fact that I’d slept for quite a number of hours wearing just my nappy. I was very warm and I was sweating heavily and the damn thing appeared to have soaked up every bit of perspiration. It took me until granny arrived back with my drink to realise that I had in fact wet myself again.
How the hell had that happened?
I wasn’t sure what to do by way of hiding myself but I suppose it was way too late for that as granny brought my drink.
“Here you are dear,” she handed the cooling glass to me, “but I don’t think you should lie around in such a wet nappy for too long, I don’t want you getting a rash.”
How on Earth did she know?
Mrs Davies took another sip of tea.
“My Sally was forever wetting her nappy,” she shrugged, “I don’t know what it is about young 'uns but sometimes they seem to forget how to use the bathroom properly.”
“Yes I remember,” Granny was joining in, “Thomas was the same… kept forgetting to go potty”
I coughed, trying to hide my embarrassment and divert this course of conversation, so asked how long I’d been asleep.
“Well, it’s two thirty now, so…”
She left it for me to work it out.
Again I flushed red even though the sun had given me enough of a tan to hide my shame, but granny beckoned me to follow her into the house. First I went to check on my clothes hanging in the sun and they were almost dry but granny said she wanted to iron them all before I should wear them.
Again, I’m not going to argue with her so I just shrugged, grabbed my nightshirt and followed her inside. My shiny waddling bottom no doubt letting Mrs Davies know exactly how wet I was.
Mr Davies continued sipping her tea as granny and I disappeared back into the house.
“Sorry gran, I don’t know how it’s happened, I feel such an idiot.”
I was looking down at the bloated mass between my legs and thankful that the plastic pants had kept everything in place.
“Don’t worry dear, accidents happen and, after what you’ve had to contend with over the last few months, I’m not surprised.”
She was being very supportive.
“But why I should have piss… er, wet myself…” I was confused and embarrassed though it appeared not to be worrying gran.
“Look sweetheart, you’ve had plenty of things to worry about so now you are here… all I can suggest is that you let them all go and let granny look after you.”
She looked both serious and understanding and I desperately wanted to forget about my home life.
She patted my shoulder sympathetically.
“Look let’s get you changed and, might I suggest, you need some after-sun, you’ve already got a bit of a tan.”
I was glowing so once I’d wriggled out of my plastic pants and dropped my nappy you could see a nice little tan line.
Within seconds granny had a soothing cream which, despite my mild protest, she was intent on spreading into me. I’d never felt as relaxed as granny’s fingers gently smeared the oily lotion into my shimmering skin. I closed my eyes and let my thoughts drift as her fingers soothed. Once she was satisfied that I wouldn’t burn or peel from my sunbathing, she slipped another nappy under me and pinned me in. She did it all so fast I didn’t realise or have time to object, besides, I was getting used to granny looking after me.
As she once again pulled the nightshirt over my head I felt the comforting soft, fleecy material tickle as it enveloped my newly tanned body. The thrill as it slipped across my skin was electric and welcoming; I never wanted this incredible sensation to stop. The fact that I was once again wearing a nappy under it made me walk slightly differently, but when we joined Mrs Davies back in the garden, any inhibitions I might have had had disappeared.
The warm afternoon with me floating around in my nappy and nightshirt made me think I was on a tropical island or maybe some hippy commune somewhere (I’d heard about them but never experienced either of these places). Whatever granny’s secret was, it was most definitely working because my cares had drifted away and I loved the easy attitude and lack of worry she had given me.
Mrs Davies asked me about school and friends, ambitions and general topics, never once delving into family matters, well not my family anyway. We all sat chatting for some time and I was amazed at how often the conversation crept round to wet nappies and the problems both these adults had with getting their children and grand-children toilet-trained. Thankfully, such talk no longer embarrassed me and I zoned out for most of it although I did realise, or at least thought I realised, they were saying what they did to make me feel better about my little ‘accident’. It was strange, the way they talked it was as if they almost expected kids to have accidents and it was all normal and taken in their stride.
Once Mrs Davies had gone back to her own place granny started on our evening meal, which included one of her fabulous meat and potato pies with thick gravy, a personal favourite. She knew of my liking for anything pastry based so there was a fruit pie and custard to finish, I was in seventh heaven. No doubt when I eventually did return home I’d weigh a good number of pounds more… and I wasn’t bothered, granny just kept the fantastic meals coming.
That night after my bath granny once again had a nappy ready for me to sleep in. I could hardly object seeing as how I’d wet myself both night and day but I hoped this would be the last time. She’d ironed all my clothes and they were waiting on the dresser all neatly folded and ready for the morning when I had plans to go down to the Tea Rooms and use their Wi-Fi.
This time she unfurled a plain red winceyette nightshirt over my head, which if it was possible felt even more wonderful. There was just something about the way the fibres tickled and caressed my skin that gave it an unbelievable quality, one that made me immediately at peace with the world.
I felt quite floppy, whether it was the hot bubble bath or the nightshirt or a combination of both I’m not sure but I felt like a little kid again. I was giddy and childish and if granny had blown on my tummy I’m sure I would have been giggling like a toddler, and yet it didn’t feel disconcerting.
When we returned to the living room I was in two minds whether to listen to my IPad with my headphones but decided that would be incredibly rude.
Granny turned on the radio and it played some really old songs from her era, which at first I didn’t like but gradually they grew on me. At one point there was one I actually remember from when I was quite small myself. It was a kiddie sing-a-long type of tune and before I knew it, both granny and I were singing along like we were competing at a karaoke competition… or more likely a baby’s birthday party.
That night granny and I both retired together. She smelled wonderful and it didn’t take long after a kiss on the cheek I fell into a wonderful deep sleep.
I woke up and once again granny had disappeared and there was a cuppa on the bedside table. I could see it was steaming so had only recently been placed there. Granny was no doubt busying herself with whatever it was she found to do, whilst I just sat up in bed and enjoyed my morning brew. It took a couple of minutes to realise I’d wet myself and I sighed in frustration hoping against hope that this wasn’t going to be a regular occurrence. I toddled to the bathroom took off my nightshirt and slid the offending soaked items to the floor. Grabbing a flannel I cleaned myself up and, like granny had done before, slicked on some lotion before completing the operation with a sprinkling of talc.
I returned to the bedroom and of course all my clothes lay on the dresser all washed and neatly ironed. This is the type of service mum hadn’t provided for quite some time and I was grateful that granny had gone to so much trouble, even my underwear had been pressed. I quickly got dressed and wondered down to the kitchen.
I sat down and for some reason it was very noticeable that I didn’t have the padding that I’d become used to. My underwear seemed very sparse and unsubstantial and I wriggled trying to get comfortable but the chair felt very hard under my bum.
Over cereal gran asked me if I had any plans as I appeared dressed for a trip out.
“I thought I’d wonder down to the Tea Room and catch up on my emails and stuff.”
“That sounds like a plan dear.” She encouraged, “But don’t forget you’ll have to buy something whilst you are there, I don’t think they’ll let you use their facilities for nothing. Do you need any money?”
Once again gran was all concern and helpfulness and I suddenly felt guilty about leaving her alone, which was silly because she was one of the most independent women I’d ever met.
“It’s the Carter’s who own it, Deidre and Malcolm, if you need anything tell them I’m your grandmother and I’ll…”
“It’s OK granny, I’m sure I can manage… anything.”
I smiled although I noticed a strange note of irritation creeping into my voice.
“I’m fourteen for Christsake; I can manage to buy a cup of tea… I don’t need mollycoddling.” The thought ran through my head.
“Er, I’m sure I can cope… thanks granny. I have my own money so should be OK.”
Whether she’d detected my brief testiness I wasn’t sure as she just carried on with the washing up. However, I was shocked as to why I’d suddenly become irritable with the very person who was doing all she could to free me from my worries.
Guiltily I asked if there was anything I could do to help before I set off and she requested I peg out the washing, whilst she cleaned upstairs. It was the very least I could do so emptied the machine into a basket and sauntered out into the fresh morning air. Actually, it was already quite warm with a very gentle breeze, a perfect day for drying.
I hadn’t given it much thought but as I pegged each item out I realised that they were mostly my terry nappies, they looked huge hanging in the sunshine. My plastic pants were there, my brown nightshirt, a couple of towels and tea towels, a yellow sheet and that was about it. I stood back and looked along the line and watched as the breeze slowly flapped my nappies. For some reason I began to feel a bit ashamed. Not about having worn them but at not wearing them now. My thin underwear beneath my jeans failing to offer the fullness and protection my nappies had.
What a strange thought to have suddenly come into my head. I shivered in confusion and wondered why I should even think such a thing. I shook my head in disbelief but thought it best to start on my way to the Tea Room; after all it was over a mile to walk.
It didn’t seem as far as when I’d arrived in the village but there again I hadn’t travelled for over four hours or been incredibly tired. As I strode along the country road I passed several gardens and everyone seemed to think it was a wonderful day to hang out their washing. In almost every garden there were several billowing terry squares and colourful plastic pants fluttering in the breeze. I wondered if the village had suddenly increased its population by an explosion in the birth rate. However, it seemed only a few minutes before I was ensconced at a table in the Tea Room with my IPad open and a fizzy can of Coke at my side.
Time just shot by as I replied to my emails, downloaded some more music and caught up on a couple of my favourite TV programmes. During that time I’d also downed a couple of fruit juices and a pot of tea complete with a piece of fudge cake. Yum.
It appeared that Deidre Carter knew who I was, well at least that I was staying at my grans house, as she asked me to take a message back. She was very friendly and chatty (the place wasn’t that busy) but again I found myself getting irritated that I wasn’t being left alone. However, she didn’t charge me for the use of her Wi-Fi and I even got that first Coke for free so I couldn’t complain.
With all that liquid inside me it would have been sensible to go to the toilet there but seeing the time, I’d spent almost five hours engrossed with my gadget, I guiltily wanted to get back as soon as possible. Deidre gave me an envelope to give to gran and, smiling sweetly said the strangest thing.
“Nice seeing you again, I remember you as a baby… happy days… it’s good to have you back.”
As I left the shop I wondered when we’d met but couldn’t recollect having ever seen her before.
Alas, as I walked back along the road my bladder was pleading with me for release and I knew I’d not make it all the way without an accident.
I saw some trees down a slight embankment and thought they would shield me from the road while I did what I had to do. Unfortunately, as I stepped onto the grassy verge, I wasn’t really looking where I was going and my foot got caught up in a low lying bramble. I stumbled over that and found myself careering down the slope.
My newly washed jumper was suddenly covered in soil and grass stains as I plummeted the short distance to the bottom, ripping my jeans in the process. However, that wasn’t the end of it as a small, muddy brook pooled there and I slid head first right into it. As I lay semi-stunned my bladder gave way soaking myself. The warm pee was quickly doused by the cold muddy water seeping into everything. Even my IPad was awash in the canvas satchel I carried it in. I was angry but had no one to blame but my own stupidity. I only hoped my gadget wasn’t damaged.
I sat in the murky brook trying to turn it on but it was useless. The mucky water had not only killed my IPad but soaked my clean jeans, splattered my t-shirt and jumper and I could only guess at the soiled state of my underwear.
As I trudged the half mile or so back to granny’s place I was furious with the world and all my worries and anger at my parents returned with a vengeance and, inexplicably, I began to cry in exasperation.
“Oh dear, what’s happened?”
Granny greeted me at the door as I stumbled in covered head to toe in muck and filth.
“I fell in the brook.”
I was a mess and through my tears the words came out as a pathetic childish whine rather than the voice of a fourteen year-old.
“Oh my poor darling,” she was so sympathetic, “let’s get you changed and into something cleaner and drier.”
I pulled the sodden and filthy envelope from my pocket.
“Sorry gran, Mrs Carter asked me to give you this but, er, it might be illegible .”
“Not to worry dear, it’s probably just a special order for some pastries… I make them for the Tea Rooms. Mrs Davies makes the cakes - we both have our secret recipes that are in demand. It’s quite a little industry.” She beamed.
I think it was yet another demonstration of how self-sufficient granny was and not in any way some sad old lady shuffling around in her final days.
She helped me out of all my clothes in the kitchen and left them by the washing machine; it seemed that the job of doing my washing was going to be a never ending process. She wrapped a towel around and led me up to the bathroom and, because she didn’t have a shower, again filled the bath.
The confident, if agitated young person who’d walked into the village had returned nothing more than a mucky little tyke who couldn’t keep themself clean.
As the hot water flowed I stood worrying about this peculiar anger that had, thankfully, only fitfully suddenly come over me after I’d been so happy and relaxed. Now I was standing naked and wrapped in a towel I felt more like a stupid kid than my real age. My body shook like I was a naughty child who was about to be punished and I sensed my bottom lip quiver as if I was about to burst into tears.
However, once gran had checked it wasn’t too hot I slipped under the warm water and let myself soak. This time there were no suds but granny cheekily grabbed something off the shelf and dropped it in next to me, it was a plastic yellow duck.
“Have fun while I sort out your clothes.”
My initial thought was ‘how childish’ but soon I was pushing it around making quacking noises completely absorbed in my own little world.
The clear water began to get slightly discoloured as the mud was washed away but not before I noticed a slightly pale yellow stream of pee get caught up in the bath’s undercurrent and slowly dissipate. It took a few seconds to realise it was me who was responsible because I’d had no forecast it was about to happen. However, the duck was providing enough entertainment so I didn’t let the shame distract me from my watery fun.
Granny came back and, after shampooing the dirt out of my hair, dried me with a huge fluffy towel. I was led back into the bedroom where another pile of clothes lay waiting.
“I’m sure you don’t want to sweetheart but…”
She pointed to the nappy already arranged for my bottom.
“I think it will be safer in the long run dear.”
She must have noticed that I’d peed my pants on the way home and was taking further precautions. Perhaps she somehow knew I’d peed in the bath.
I couldn’t blame her; she quite rightly didn’t want some pee-happy person ruining her nice furniture.
Bizarrely, I wasn’t as bothered about it as much as I thought I should be. In fact, as she oiled, powdered and pinned me into its terry thickness, that feeling of annoyance I’d had brooding all day completely disappeared.
She fished a new pair of thick pink plastic pants from under the pile and wriggled them up my legs and into place. They were such a colourful contrast to the white ones she’d previously had me wearing something clicked and I had a smile on my face - I didn’t know why.
Granny smoothed them over my nappy; the subtle rustle announcing I was now well protected, which made her beam with satisfaction.
“Well sweetheart, these are definitely the right pants for you.”
She stroked the front and back arranging for the white terry pillow between my legs to be completely encased by the thick bright slippery cover.
I looked down at the glowing shiny bulk and wriggled with pleasure, even though I’d never worn pink before, it did look nice. As granny patted my well cushioned bottom I produced carefree murmurs of childish delight, which were echoed by her.
Finishing off she pulled a fleecy pink nightshirt over my head that had blue cartoon rabbits gambolling all over it. I was giggling with glee as the material delighted different parts of my skin.
It was incredibly childish but the soft cotton fabric once again enveloped my body making me instantly feel as if I was being nuzzled by a hundred fluffy bunnies; their warm silken coats producing an exquisite, feel-good sensation.
No matter how infantile it may have appeared, I never wanted to leave this garment’s furry embrace.
“Oh sweetheart,” granny was smiling, “you look so… so… so cute.”
I didn’t care. Dressed in my nappy, the new, sturdier plastic pants and the wonderfully infantile nightshirt I was no longer worried about anything.
Granny was snuggling with me on the bed and saying I was her sweet little baby who looked very sleepy and perhaps should take a nap.
I did feel tired but didn’t want to sleep it was still too sunshiny outside. However, as granny soothed me by stroking my hair and patting my well-padded bottom I slowly felt my body drifting into peaceful slumber.
When my eyes fluttered shut I could hear granny whispering to herself.
“There, there little darling, time to let go and enjoy a life with no worries.”
She continued to stroke my hair as I slipped further and further into a calming bliss.
“I think we’ve found the right nightshirt to suit your sweet, sensitive temperament - tomorrow, we’ll find you some new playmates.”
An intense tingling glow radiated around my body. I yawned and stretched and surprisingly gurgled as the warm sensation settled in my reassuring nappy.
As granny pulled the blankets over me the emotion of complete contentment engulfed my mind.
“Night-night sweetheart… granny will take good care of her sweet little baby.”