Warped, 2.1

Note 1: Welcome to season 2. I was on a roll. Things should really start heating up pretty soon.
Note 2: This episode is based around a particular science fair project. While I did not choose it, I confirm that this was a real project option for one of my science fairs. I know it sounds far fetched but its true J. Also note: THE RESULTS OF THE PROJECT ARE ENTIRELY MADE UP. They are not based on actual research but on experience.

2.1 Science Fair

I woke up wet that morning.

I hadn’t been in diapers for two years now, but I still wet the bed. Dr. Frederickson insisted that this was the right way to go. But 6th grade me didn’t think so. I wanted it to be over. I was a sixth grader. It was getting old and embarrassing.
I showered, tossed my sheets in our laundry room (did I mention we moved to a much bigger house), and had breakfast before school. A few months ago, some friends of my families had moved in with us for a few weeks while they finalized buying a house. It had been a crowded house for a while, and David and I shared a room while the other kids – Derek, Cindy and Jessica shared my room. But that meant that we had to plan how to get everyone ready in the morning. After they left, I still followed the same routine. After breakfast, I walked outside and got the paper. I read the front page and any interesting local news before turning to sports and comics. The comics weren’t that funny that day, but the Braves had beat the Giants while the Phillies lost to the Marlins, so we moved one game closer to being in the lead.
After a little while, I headed down to the bus stop and climbed on once it got there. Our bus driver was fairly nice and she kept everything under control.
First period was English and second period was reading with the same teacher, so they ran together.
Third period was gym and fourth was band. I played the trumpet that year (later I would switch to the French horn after being good but for the most part embarrassing myself with some stupid mistakes). At lunch I sat with a few friends and then we headed back up to history class for fifth period.
Then came sixth period. Science. Physical Science to be exact, but I’m not sure exactly what that entailed, and had we covered a lot of ground so far. I much preferred history or math (which was next) but was okay at Science.
Mrs. Shlemer announced, “Okay guys, remember that the science far begins in two weeks, go ahead and start thinking about what projects you want to do. Anyone who can’t come up with one will be assigned one from this list of ideas,” she started to pass it out.
I started reading over it: some things were pretty cool, like testing the hardness of different materials or comparing types of clouds to rain or if plants would grow better to classical music. But none of those ideas seemed right. Last year I had done a taste test that turned out really amazing. Who knew that grape was the most recognizable taste if your sense of smell was taken away?
I racked my brain during math class trying to come up with an idea. But nothing came. When I got home, I asked Mom what she thought, “Well, you wanted to do the mouse maze last year, why not try that this year now that you are in middle school?”
I thought that was a great idea and stored it away. Actually I forgot about it for about a week and a half.
Then in sixth period Mrs. Shlemer announced, “Okay, if you haven’t done already, while the class is working on its worksheets, come up and see me about a science fair project. We have until the end of the week to pick one,”
When a couple kids had gone up, I went up and told Mrs. Shlemer what my idea was. “I’m sorry, James,” she said, “No animal testing,”
“Oh,” I said, disappointed, “Well I am sure I can come up with something,”
“I know you can,” she said.
I took that information home but we couldn’t think of anything. I was going to try out for the track team that year so we thought testing different shoes for speed would be a good thing but we realized there would be too many variables.
Then it was Friday. “Okay class, if you haven’t told me your project yet, come over here,”
There were about six of us. One was Chris. We still were friends but had a slight falling out and didn’t really hang out that much any more. Plus we were both involved with different things so we probably wouldn’t have had time.
“I’ve cut up the options and put them in this bag. Whatever you pick will be your project,”
Chris went first and got the plants and classical music one. Bummer, that one was the coolest I thought. A few others went up before I did. Then it was my turned. I reached into the bag and picked out a paper.
“Please read it to me,” Mrs. Shlemer stated.
I looked at it and started to read, not believing what I was reading, "Idea Number 43: The student will create and formulate an experiment to determine, “Which diaper absorbs the most liquid?”
“Thank you James,” Mrs. Shlemer said. I just stood there. “You may have a seat,”
I walked back to my seat, stunned. I couldn’t believe it.
On the bus ride home I kept reading it over and over, thinking it would change. It was like fate knew about my problem.
When I got home Mom was already there. “So, did you pick out a project?”
“yeah we pulled them out of a bag,” I said.
“And what did you get?” Mom asked.
I reached into my backpack and pulled out the paper and handed it to her. “Oh,” she said.
I nearly laughed. That had been my reaction.
I talked with a little about it, “I guess it would be simple enough to do. Take three or four diapers of different brands and pour water or Gatorade on each one, some slowly, some quick, and see which ones leak,”
Mom nodded, “Yeah. Water, Gatorade and salt water. Salt water is actually more like urine,”
The assignment wasn’t due for a couple of weeks, and I was due for another doctor’s appointment. We would ask Dr. Frederickson about get some samples then.
By now I had the routine down. I drank lots of water before we left so I could pee in the cup. Each time we went, some dose of medicine would change or a new medicine would be prescribed, but each time the final answer was, “He just has to outgrow it.”
This time before we left, Mom spoke up, “Doctor, Jamie has a project he is working on and could use your help,”
After Mom told him the project, Dr. Frederickson thought and said, “Hmm, well. Yeah, I suppose we can give you some sample products. Do you want enough so that he can start using them at night again too?”
“I thought,” Mom paused but the doctor broke her off, “You guys have tried a lot of medications and a lot of different techniques. If it is just a case of waiting for the bladder to grow to catch up with the rest of Jamie, then some sort of protection can’t hurt. It’s not like he is trying to wet the bed, right Jamie?”
“Right,” I quickly nodded.
“Are you willing to try diapers again Jamie?” Mom asked, “David’s not in them anymore it would be just you,”
The doctor didn’t let me finish. I started to wonder if this whole scene had been pre-planned, “I think he needs them. They would be good for him at this point. A little embarrassment won’t hurt things,”
I just nodded. The doctor said, “One moment. I’ll send in a nurse with your products
once you figure out the right product for Jamie, go ahead and call me and we can order some more,”
The nurse came back in after a few minutes and handed Mom several diapers saying, “There are five of each kind for the project, each labeled clearly. They are all the same size,”
Then Mom said, “And what about for Jamie?”
The nurse answered, “We need him to try a couple of different diapers on to see what works best. Then we can get the right sizes for the more personal project,”
“Okay,” mom said.
“Would it be easier for you if your mom left the room Jamie?”
I looked at Mom. If I was going to be back in diapers, then she would be the one changing me, but she nodded so I said, “Yeah,”
Mom walked out and the nurse handed me a medical gown to put on as she walked out too, “I’ll be back in a minute,”
I quickly changed. Then just sat on the table realizing what was about to happen.
The nurse came back in, “Okay. We are going to try three different styles of diapers okay?”
I nodded. ‘You might want to close your eyes dear,’ and I did. Soon I was in style number 1. It didn’t fit very well. I said so and the nurse replied, “That’s okay dear,” and went on about changing my diaper. Style number two wasn’t much better. Then I tried on style number three, and it fit pretty much just right. I would say it was like Goldilocks and three bears except after being changed twice by the nurse, my face was like the color of Little Red Riding’s Hood.
The nurse said, “Good. I’ll get some extra of those. You go ahead and put your clothes back on and I’ll bring your mom the others. No worries, I’ll be discreet,”
I pulled my clothes back on and walked out the door (still wearing the diaper). Mom was paying and the nurse was talking to her.
When we got home it was late, Mom said, “We’ll start the experiment Saturday. Now, are you already in the diaper from the doctors?”
I nodded, and she said, “That kind is called a Tena,”
I nodded and put on my pajamas before I fell asleep. It didn’t dawn on me until the next morning that I was back in diapers. It had been normal for so long.
I woke up wet.

The week past by and I tried several different diapers. Depends, Attends, Pampers, Huggies, Pull-ups, Goodnites, the Tena’s. The Tena’s were hard to beat. There were actually two kinds of Depends, one in a red white and blue package that fit well and were comfortable. Another that wasn’t.
That Saturday I woke up wet. I showered and did all my normal routine for Saturday. Soon it was time for the experiment. I set up a table on our computer:
Water – Slow
Water - Fast
Gatorade -Slow
G - Fast
Salt W- Slow
Salt W -Fast

Then I made a second chart that looked the same for soaking it then waiting then soaking it again. The Depends were the red and blue packaged ones, since we realized that the newer ones wouldn’t work anyway.
After trying several of these combinations, here was my summary of conclusions:
1)For all liquids, the results remained basically the same. There was no significant difference between the test done with just water and with Gatorade or salt water.
2)The name brands performed better than store brands.
3)Baby diapers were better for a single wetting while some of the adult products were better for multiple wettings.
4)Out of all the options, the best two options were Pampers and Abena.
5)Adding a price comparison versus strength of results, the best options were Pampers or Depends. No name brands no training pants or overnight pants.

The only problem was, I had to present this to the class. I wanted to make it funny and not embarrassing. Mom came up with the idea. I would wear one of the Pampers on the outside of my pants. When it was my turn to present, I would do my presentation then offer a couple of the extra’s to anyone who wanted to wear one. It would be hilarious.

And that’s exactly what I did. I was surprised by how many of the kids in my class tried to get one of the extra’s but I gave one to Elise, who I sat by in class and later found out had a crush on me. Elise was able to put hers on on her own to much applauding. I wished I could have learned how to do that. I gave another to my rival in the class John. He couldn’t get his figured out and Elise taped it up for him much to every one else’s entertainment.

I came back home after the presentation and told Mom how it went. And since the project had proved it, that night I wore the best protection I could. Yay Pampers. I was back in diapers.

That morning I woke up wet.