[WRITER’S NOTE: The problem with posting as I write is that I may put something in the story that becomes problematic later. The first of possibly many of those has happened. The family should have moved on a Sunday, not a Saturday. This will be revised in the final version of the story.]
“Well, what do you think?” Dad said, walking up behind me. “I asked for it to be furnished for a teen girl.”
I set my box down on the pink carpet of the giant nursery that apparently was my new bedroom. “A teen girl? More like a baby girl,” I commented.
“It’s not that bad, is it?”
“Dad, look at it. There’s a crib in the corner. Where’s my old furniture?”
“It’s all in storage. The company seemed to insist on us using the furniture they provide. They told me your room would be designed similarly to other girls your age. So perhaps all girls your age sleep in cribs.”
“Okay, the diapers were plausible, but is this just some giant scheme to turn me into an oversized baby?” I asked.
“Listen, Am,” Dad started. “The company knows what it’s doing. Sure, they’re a bit… unorthodox in their choosing. But I’ll tell you one thing, that crib looks pretty comfortable. How about we trade beds? You can sleep with your mother. But careful, she snores.”
I smiled. Somehow my Dad always cheers me up, even if his logic makes no sense.
“Tell you what,” continued Dad. “I’ll bring it up with Rhonda. That’s the person from the Department of Family Affairs who’s been helping us with the move. In the mean time, you can sleep with the bars down.”
“Thanks, Dad.” I hugged him. For a moment, I thought my parents had lost their sanity. At least now I knew I was not the only one who thought this was bizarre.
Unfortunately, my night did not get any less bizarre. We continued bringing in boxes and unpacking stuff, with help from the movers of course. I was happy to discover my other personal belongings were not “in storage” along with my old furniture, and I got all my books, posters, clothing, and various knick-knacks sorted around my room. Other than the baby elements, the bedroom started looking like something I could call my own. I had to admit, it was slightly larger than my previous one. I realized there was even room to put a beanbag chair on the floor, something I had always wanted but never had room for.
That night we were all too exhausted to go out for food, so my mom ordered in a pizza. Looking through the phonebook, we noticed Timberly doesn’t have any chain restaurants, or any chain stores for that matter. So no Pizza Shack, no Octomino’s Pizza, just some place called Timberly Pizza. Despite the obscurity, it had to be the most delicious pizza I’ve ever sank my teeth into. Perhaps the greasiest as well, but nothing a few paper towels couldn’t handle.
After dinner, I plopped down on the couch in the living room, rubbing my stomach. I felt so bloated! The television was already set up so I grabbed the remote and tuned in to see what was on. I was surprised to see we had digital cable, including all those premium channels. That’s when it hit me that whoever wanted my Dad to work here, they really want to treat us nice. I tuned to the first thing that caught my interest, trying to keep the volume up over the strange noises from my stomach.
Eventually I heard an “Amber, come up to your room please!” from upstairs. I glanced at the clock. It was already 9 PM! Guess time flies when you’re digesting pizza. After grabbing the remote and slowly pulling myself off the couch, I made my way upstairs.
I found Mom sitting on my “bed”, with the sides pulled down. “What do you think so far?” she asked me.
“I have to admit, I like the cable selection,” I joked.
Mom smiled. “Well tomorrow’s going to be a big day. First day of school, your first interaction with other kids your age in town. It’s going to be a long day, perhaps completely different from what you’re used to. That’s why I want you to get to bed now.”
I rolled my eyes in annoyance, but she had a point. “I can’t go to bed with you sitting in it, Mom.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll get off. I just wanted to make sure you put on one of these tonight.” She pulled out something flat and pink from behind her and held it up to me.
“Mom, I thought you said I didn’t have to wear diaper tonight!”
“It’s technically not a diaper, Amber,” she explained. “This is called a Sleeptite. They’re pull-on, sort of like Natasha’s Leg Ups. But they’re designed for older kids with bedwetting problems.”
“But I don’t have a bedwetting problem.”
“I know, but they require kids to wear specifically these at night, versus the diapers in the day. You don’t actually have to use it, Amber, you just need to wear it. And it’s not like it’s a diaper; just think of it as thick panties.”
Mom’s “convincing” was anything but. Fortunately after she handed me the object of evil, she left my room. So rather than putting it on, I tossed the diaper into the closet and searched for my sweatpants. Thankfully, I recalled the drawer I put them in earlier and got them on. I glanced at myself in the mirror. Even in a t-shirt and sweats I looked pretty good.
I spent the next thirty minutes or so getting ready for bed. You know, brushing my teeth, washing my face… I realized with a lack of bathroom, I could not complete my usual nightly routine. Luckily I was not that desperate to pee and decided I would figure out that whole situation in the morning. At this point I was too tired to even care.
I returned to my room and examined the bed I’d be sleeping in, at least until Dad could get me something more age-appropriate. Even with the sides down, it seemed really off. Was it true that every single kid in Timberly slept in one of these? I couldn’t picture it. I debated just going downstairs and crashing on the couch, but realized Mom would probably send me straight upstairs again. So I climbed onto the crib. Not too bad. It was actually quite comfortable. Perhaps even more comfortable than my old bed. Once again, they really wanted to treat us well.
As I was getting in, Mom appeared in my doorway again. She walked over and I sat up. “All ready for tomorrow?” she asked me.
“I think so,” I replied. “What exactly’s the schedule?”
“I’m going to take you to the high school a little bit early. We need to stop by the registration office so you can pick up your new schedule. After school, I can pick you up or you can take the bus home. Or if you’ve made some new friends and want to hang out with them, you can do that too. Just call me and we’ll play it by ear.”
“I doubt I’m gonna make friends that quickly.” Considering Jade was my only close friend, my socializing skills weren’t the greatest at the moment. That reminded me, I needed to call Jade! Oh well, I was too tired. I’d just have to wait until tomorrow.
“Well we’ll see,” said Mom. She sat down next to me and gave me a hug. “Goodnight, Amber.”
“Goodnight Mom.” I hugged back. However, instead of letting go, I felt Mom’s hand slide into the back of my pants. I quickly jumped back. “Mom!” I cried.
“I knew it!” she said. “I had a feeling you wouldn’t put the Sleeptite on. Amber, if you aren’t going to do it yourself I’m going to have to do it for you. Lie down on the bed, sweetheart.”
“Mom, I can do it myself.”
“No, come on. Let’s do this quickly.”
I was hesitant, but I didn’t really want to argue with my mother at this point so I listened. She quickly removed my sweats and panties, took out another diaper from my drawer, and pulled it up my legs. Should I have cared that my mother was not only seeing me naked but changing my clothes at 15 years old? Probably, but I was so frustrated by that point that I didn’t care. She then threw my sweats back to me. “Goodnight, sweetie,” she said as she left the room and closed the door.
Instead of putting my pants back on right away, I looked at this Sleeptite with closer inspection. Mom was right when she said they were just liked thicker panties, but then again, a diaper is essentially just thicker panties. There were designs of roses scattered all over it. I don’t know why the company would put designs on a product for older kids; it only made it look more babyish. I stroked my hand across the outside of the Sleeptite and it was kind of comfortable feeling. Still I felt self-conscious wearing this thing, even though every other kid in this crazy town was probably wearing one too at the moment. Were all those kids actually using them as well? I shuttered at that thought. Maybe all that pizza was just messing with my mind.
I put my sweats back on, turned off the lights, and got into bed. Even though the bars were down, I felt like a baby with that mobile hanging over me. Fortunately it did not take long for me to fall asleep. The last thought that was in my mind was knowing that tomorrow would be a very strange day.