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When I first knew about George he was wearing nappies, we both were because we were two years old.

We were next door neighbours and played together all the time. Our mums were as thick as thieves so wherever I went, he went and vice versa. We were in and out of each other’s houses so much it was often difficult for our young minds to know which was home. We loved each other’s company and would have started school together at five if his dad hadn’t run off.

His mother Denise was a homemaker and his father Donald worked away quite a lot. Like my dad his father had a great job because where we lived wasn’t cheap and the three-storey, twelve room house they lived in was almost identical to ours.

I have an older brother and sister, James and Florence but George was an only child.

However, after his father left, the house was sold and Denise and her five year-old son moved away and I never saw them again... that is... until three weeks ago.


I’m sixteen now and like a lot of girls my age do a bit of babysitting to bring in some extra cash. I know we aren’t poor but both mum and dad think it important that I learn the value of money by making some of my own. I understand what they want for me and have built up quite a good reputation as a reliable and honest babysitter... and I suppose it helps that, unlike some of my friends, I actually like children.

The other reason was that my parents had promised to match whatever amount I’d saved when I wanted driving lessons and eventually a car. That was incentive enough for me to work as often as I could. I knew later on a car would be indispensable for whatever career I wanted to pursue.

I got a call on my mobile three weeks ago from a Mrs Thompson who desperately needed someone to sit her son as she had a sudden urgent meeting and wondered, as I’d been ‘highly recommended’, if I was available. This was Friday evening and she needed me the following morning from 9am to approximately 3pm.

Now it’s always nice to get a recommendation but this person lived a few miles away from where I normally worked. However, as she said such nice things, and I was available, decided as long as she covered my travel expenses as well as my fee that was fine. She agreed so the following day I arrived at the requested time in the morning because she had to be out of the house by nine.

I recognised her straight away but she’d changed back to her pre-married name. When I knew her she was Mrs Hardy and as much a mum to me as my own. She was fun and friendly but now I saw a determined and humourless person in her place. She didn’t quite recognise me but did say that she once knew a Melanie Philips over ten years ago and wondered if I was the same one. She had a wry smile when I said I was and asked about my family. I was able to briefly bring her up to date on that particular subject before she was out the door and on her way to the meeting.

I did manage to ask if she’d remarried, had any other children but she just grimaced and said that not a lot had changed and her son was upstairs playing with his toys.

As George would be my age I simply thought that she must have a younger son and that’s who I’d be looking after. As she hadn’t mentioned George I thought it prudent not to ask in case he’d gone off with his father in the end.

As most parents do, she left me a list of phone numbers and because she wasn’t expected back until around three that afternoon there was a list of food her son was allowed to eat. Most was already prepared and in the fridge and all I had to do was heat things up and help myself to anything I wanted. The final line of the note told me where I’d find the nappies should I need them.


In my babysitting duties I have changed babies and toddler nappies before, and although it is one of the drawbacks to the job, it has to be done for the comfort of those in your care. I take it very seriously and I like to think that’s one of the reasons I have gained a fairly positive reputation – for being conscientious about such things.

I have friends who babysit who’ll wait until the parents come home and tell them that their child must have just filled their nappy, just to avoid that side of the job. Not me.

However, as I made my way upstairs to where his mother had indicated his bedroom was, it was a shock to find an almost adult boy dressed in a bright Pokémon t-shirt and matching little yellow shorts. Not only that but his visible yellow plastic pants protruding down the leg holes obviously contained a substantial nappy.

It was recognisably George. In the split second he looked up and then went back to his game I noticed the pale blond hair hadn’t changed nor had his blue eyes. As a toddler he was absolutely beautiful and now... well now... he was just as beautiful but very shy, nervous and appeared slightly ill at ease with me.

“Hello.” I ventured.

He had a toy train he was pushing around a wooden track. Not an electric train but the type of toy a kid of three or four would be given, it didn’t even wind up he just choo-chooed it along.

“Hello, what’s your name?”

I could see him shiver as he looked up once again.


It was the tiniest of voices.

“Well hello Georgie,” I beamed, hoping my enthusiasm would put him at ease but I saw him nervously recoil a little.

“Oh, erm, don’t be frightened Georgie... I’m a friend... I’m Melanie.” I looked around his bedroom; it was full of colourful Fisher-Price toys, loads of stuffed animals and dolls. The room was definitely decorated for a toddler and the single bed had a Minions duvet cover. The walls had pinkie-blue combination wallpaper and posters from several Disney cartoons. Not really what one might suspect a sixteen year old boy would want.

He was staring at me uncertainly but I kept up my smile and said that I hoped we’d get to be friends, not mentioning at that moment that ten years ago we were inseparable. I asked him to introduce me to his favourite teddy bear. This is usually quite a good ice-breaker when I’d babysat before and I hoped it would work on Georgie.

He stood up awkwardly. His plastic pants crinkling as he moved, his shorts were very short indeed and the padding was expanding his bottom outwards. He was obviously well-trained in doing what he was asked immediately and walked, with small, measured steps to his bed and retrieved a large blue fuzzy teddy sat on his pillow.

“Ohh Georgie he’s so cuddly,” I enthused, “what’s his name?”

He hugged him to his chest and ruffled his nose in the fuzzy material.

“Bluey.” Again it was a voice I could hardly hear but I guessed as much.

“Well isn’t he a proud bear... I bet he’s so snuggly to sleep with.”

Georgie nodded and hugged him even more tightly.

This was a strange position to be in. I wasn’t sure what had happened to George, had he been in an accident or perhaps had some ailment that had affected him. However, at the back of my mind I knew that George simply hadn’t grown up.

“How old are you Georgie?”

He shook his head and again in the quietest voice said, “I don’t know.”

“Well I think you’re a lucky boy to have such a lovely teddy and all these wonderful toys...”

He was sucking on the bear’s ear when I asked if he was hungry, or thirsty.

He simply nodded.

“OK then, let’s raid the fridge and see what there is for you shall we?”

He looked a little scared. “Mummy said I had to stay in my room and play.”

“OK,” I had to think quickly, “but hasn’t mummy left me in charge?”

He nodded though still unsure.

“Well, I see a big boy who needs a drink and perhaps he’d like to come down and keep me company whilst I have one as well.”

He still hesitated.

I reached out my hand for him to take.

“You can bring teddy...”


“Sorry, yes, you can bring Bluey if you want.”

He seemed happy with this and took my hand. I smiled brightly; his touch was that of a small, bewildered child. His hand was soft and, as I looked into his eyes, his long eyelashes and clear pale skin made him look a lot younger than his real age.

He was the same height as me (around five foot four) but looked so timid. His bright yellow t-shirt only hung down to the top of his matching shorts. A bright Pokémon design filled his chest and copies of the same character on his shorts clung to his bulging hips. When he moved the rustle made it abundantly clear he was wearing a nappy, whilst there was also a babyish smell of pee and powder about him. It may have been because of the size of his protection but with tentative steps he slowly followed me down to the kitchen.


Although the journey to the kitchen was short it did give me time to wonder again at George’s, sorry Georgie’s predicament. I couldn’t imagine the trauma he’d gone through when his father abandoned him, or what tortures or terrors he’d been through since. What I did decide was that this poor anxious looking toddler hadn’t matured at all and was stuck in a toddler’s world.

He seemed slow and nervy but there were no signs of abuse or that he wasn’t being fed, although he was very slim he didn’t look or act in the least bit neglected. I looked in the fridge, it was full. The top shelf contained prepacked meals, whilst the second shelf displayed a host of baby’s bottles with latex nipples and a few small dishes covered in cling-film. Each one had the time it needed in the microwave and they were numbered so I knew which meal to give him first.

The first colourful bowl was just segments of fresh fruit, which he accepted.

“Would you like your...bott... erm... your...”

“Baba.” He nodded tentatively as I held out the first baby’s bottle of what looked like milk.

“Baba? OK. Let me warm it up first shall I?” I knew not to warm it in the microwave but then I saw there was a bottle warmer next to the toaster so was aiming to use that.

However, he shook his head, perhaps he preferred it cold, and went back to slowly eating the cool fruit one small piece at a time.

As he ate I watched closely. He was slow and graceful in his movements, never trying to cram more in his mouth than there was room for. He’d chew slowly, like he’d been told to chew each piece twenty times before swallowing. He occasionally looked up at me and I have to say, those long lashes and bright blue eyes had an effect on me – he looked so cute.

I know it isn’t a term I would normally use on a teenage boy but Georgie was beautiful, I just wanted to scoop him up (even with the difficulty his size would entail) and mother him. I know I should have been feeling sorry for him, or at least angry at his mother for keeping him the way he was but, in truth, I found him a striking person... who just happened to be a toddler.

All the other boys his age at my school were in the main, atrocious, noisy, bragging, smelly, annoying and generally up themselves. They never seemed to stop from hitting on any pretty girl or making the less pretty feel awful about that fact. Boys were just unpleasant and it was an absolute bonus, despite the obvious peculiarity of the situation, to find someone like Georgie not affected by all that nonsense. 

He finished his fruit and reached for his baba and immediately started suckling from it. There was shyness, a child-like vulnerability as he slipped the latex teat between his lips but evidently this was the way he took his drink. A sixteen year-old, even dressed as he was, shouldn’t be doing that... and yet...?

There was something so natural in this un-natural state.

My curiosity was aroused to know more on how George had ended up as Georgie.

+ be continued




Part 2

After finishing his snack and draining his baba I asked what he’d like to do. He led me through the living room and into a large enclosed space that then led out to the garden. This nearly doubled the size of the downstairs space, which was pretty deceiving from the modest front of the property.

Here were piles of toys, kid’s books, drawing and painting materials and everything a small child would love. He went over to a cupboard, crouched down and pulled out a large piece of paper.

I noticed as he bent down that his nappy became more apparent and appeared discoloured so asked if he was wet.

He looked up red-faced and full of guilt as he nodded his head. I smiled and told him that it was all OK and that it might be best if we got him changed before we started painting any great masterpiece. He smiled and looked relieved as I held out my hand for him to take.

“OK, you know everything...” I was attempting to boost his self-esteem, “so where... do you keep your special nappies?”

This was a way I’d learned to get toddlers over any embarrassment they might feel about wetting in front of a stranger. It got them involved so they thought less of their damp situation and more in helping me find the things needed. Before too long they’d usually forgotten they were ever embarrassed in the first place and the change became quite an easy, well, easier task as a result.

When he stood up and came over to me I had the strangest feeling. This boy had been my best friend when we were both toddlers but the moment I saw a soaked nappy all I thought about was changing the little tyke. The thing was, even though he’d grown, for a split second I only saw him as a wet toddler.

In the next instant, he was standing at my side holding out his hand to be taken like any child would an adult. At that moment I realised this was a teenager like me and a strange shudder passed through my body. I suddenly comprehended I was about to change a sixteen year-old.

Whilst he appeared to have no worries I could feel myself all hot and bothered. However, I tried to remain professional, here was a wet boy who needed his nappy changing and I was there to make sure he stayed dry and comfortable. I was a young, competent woman (well, sixteen) in full control of the situation... but I had to tell myself that several times before I actually believed it.

Once in his room he pulled a gaily coloured plastic pad from under his bed and set it out on top. Then he went over to his closet and opened it up. There were shelves and shelves of both fabric and disposables and a rack of plastic pants of all colours and thicknesses to choose from.

“Well that’s a lot of nappies for a...” I suddenly thought I was about to say something I shouldn’t so suggested he chose what he wanted to wear.

Again, this was something I hoped would get him involved, rather than just being changed by someone he was to some extent participating in the situation. It became a joint venture rather than something imposed on him.

Whilst he was making up his mind I scanned his room further. The top of his dresser had baby powder, Vaseline, soothing creams and lotions, pins, wipes and surprisingly a jar containing several dummies. It seemed a very cosy room for a small child as there was plenty of space to play. It wasn’t a messy room, although there were toys everywhere it looked like there were specific areas to play with them. I’d say it was quite well organised.

Staring into the closet he thought for a moment and then pulled out a couple of white terry nappies and a pair of slippery-looking plastic pants that had blue teddy bears all over them. I wondered if these were in fact his favourites or items his mother made him wear but, as he was beaming from ear to ear at the selection, I deduced it was his choice.

“These are like little Bluey’s.” That small, child-like voice again really got to me and I led him over to the bed.

“Well then...” I beamed back letting my inner Mary Poppins out, “let’s get you into them spit-spot eh?

Without any instruction (he’d obviously been well-trained) he lay out on the plastic mat and left it to me to pull down his shorts, gently remove his yellow plastic pants, which, from his body heat, I have to admit felt nice and warm, then unpinned his soaked fabric nappy. That material was also quite warm so he’d only recently filled it... but there was a lot of pee, it was well sodden. Four large pins held it in place and, as I concentrated on each fiddly pin, he lay there relaxed and hugging another stuffed toy.

“Who’s this one then?”

“Donny... he’s my doggie friend.”

I wrestled with the last pin.

“Do you go out and play together?”

He made a sound like he did.


I released the nappy and was surprised to see that not only was he completely hairless (I’d seen enough boys, and I did have an older brother, to know there is usually hair down there) he had a small plastic device, with a small lock attached holding his caged penis in place.

Having never seen such a gadget before it took me a few seconds to comprehend what it was actually for. I was mesmerised by the clear plastic tube that surrounded his little pink penis. Again I was both horrified and entranced by my discovery and wondered why his mother had decided to deny him access to something that most boys prize above all else.

Although the device fascinated me, his soft smooth skin was also intriguing – to all intents and purposes he looked like any under six year-old boy I’d ever babysat. I wiped him clean, whilst further examining the gizmo, then slathered on loads of Vaseline and a shower of baby powder before fastening the fresh nappies in place. He giggled like a toddler as I slowly wriggled the plastic pants up his long, hairless legs and then helped him to his feet.

Without so much as thinking of adding shorts he walked over and sat down on his cushiony bottom and started playing with his wooden toy train. He clearly had no qualms about wandering around in protection and little else. It seemed his thoughts of painting were temporarily abandoned for the time being.

I picked up the wet nappy and went off to find the place for its disposal. There was a covered plastic bucket in the bathroom and as suspected that was the place for them. The bathroom was equally equipped with all the elements a baby boy would need - baby shampoo, bubble bath and an array of friendly looking bath toys. I couldn’t help but smile remembering just how much I enjoyed bath nights when I was a kid.

When I returned I was in two minds whether to start a conversation but with him on his hands and knees seemingly happily engaged in his game I thought better of it. I watched intrigued as he shuffled around, quite ignorant to the fact that his best friend from ten years ago was watching him and his bulbous, shiny plastic protection scoot around making juvenile train noises. For a brief moment I imagined us back and playing together as we used to do all those years ago.

When I’d last seen him he was, like me, a good year, year and a half potty trained, we were both looking forward to starting big school (as we called it), although we had been at nursery together. We were both proud to be out of nappies and our parents had complimented us on our move into panties for me and underpants for him.

For a brief second I came over all nostalgic for those times and got quite upset because my friend didn’t now recognise me at all.


I remembered the tears I saw when his father left, my best friend was quite inconsolable. His mother was in a similar state and my mum and dad tried to explain what had happened but, as a five year-old, it just didn’t really sink in. Before we knew it, the house was up for sale, and, as it’s a very sought after area, sold very quickly. Then sadly my best pal just disappeared and I don’t think even my mum heard from her friend Denise again. If she did she never said anything.

However, the main thing that kept going through my mind now was - how could he be kept as a toddler all this time? Surely, Social Services or the Education Department would have been involved at some point? Again it made no sense. The problem I had was that the more I watched this innocent sixteen year-old behave like a three year-old, the more I loved the way he was – uncomplicated, genuine and it has to be said... completely adorable.

After he’d been playing up in his bedroom for a while I asked if he wanted to do some painting with me. The enthusiastic “Yea” that followed, and the pure eagerness to do something jointly, was an absolute joy. He still didn’t bother with any shorts as we toddled downstairs, his plastic pants rustled noisily with each step (there was no doubt that his Bluey inspired, shiny pants looked incredible on him) as he took the lead and guided me back to the large conservatory where the ‘art’ supplies were.

Without any nervousness, which I took as a good sign, he pulled out two large pieces of paper and erected two easels. He showed me where the paints, coloured pencils and crayons were kept and left me to decide what medium I wanted to use. He settled on a small paint box of water colours and filled a small jar with fresh water.

“What shall we paint?” I asked.

He tilted his head slightly as he looked at me. “Each other” he timidly suggested.


I’m not much of an artist and to tell you the truth I couldn’t have done him justice. He was handsome... not just handsome but quite a few degrees above that term... I suppose beautiful would be the correct turn of phrase. Had he been in my grade at school he would have a huge female (and I suspect male) following. But there again, perhaps, without his juvenile demeanour, and with the rigours of growing up, he wouldn’t be like he is... but that’s not something I could prove one way or another.

However, my brain was simply hooked on his thick and shiny protection that seemed to gleam even more with all the extra light flooding from the floor to ceiling fitted window that revealed the entire back garden.

I think I could have managed to paint the lawn - a bit of green, a few trees – green and brown, a touch of blue sky and that would be about the extent of my artistic abilities. However, no matter where my imagination strayed, it soon returned to my friend, his plastic pants, nappy and the memory of the gadget that kept him locked as a chaste child.


As I daubed the paint, and hoped it would look like him, again my mind wandered to what exactly might have happened to reduce George to Little Georgie. I hadn’t completely dismissed the idea of a breakdown of some sorts, a medical reason or accident, although just searching him for clues was getting me nowhere.

Then of course, even in the short time I’d met his mother, she had certainly changed from the woman I used to regard as my second mum. I came to the conclusion that something drastic happened when her husband left that had gotten us to this point but I had no idea what that could have been. Surely, the fact that he left couldn’t be the cause - that a boy of sixteen still had the life of a three year-old - could it?

The intense concentration, with his tongue slightly protruding from his lips, as he continued his ‘work of art’, meant we were fairly silent for the most part. Out in the garden were several items for a child; swing, slide, a bright yellow plastic house in the corner, yet I couldn’t imagine a boy his age, especially one his size, enjoying any of them.

By noon I’d finished my attempt and watched as his lithe movements and concentration continued with each brush stroke. I suggested a break for some lunch and went off to see what else was already prepared in the fridge. I warmed up a bowl of mac and cheese with mixed-in cut up vegetables for Georgie, put one of the prepared milks in the bottle warmer and got myself a microwave chicken dinner.


All was ready as I called him through to the kitchen for lunch.

His slow, gentle waddle, combined with the whispering rustle of his plastic pants announced his arrival as he sat at the table. He looked in his bowl.

“Yeah... cheesy-mac an’ stuff.”

“Is this your favourite?” I beamed.

He just shrugged and shoved his plastic spoon in to the steaming gloop.

“Hold on a sec.” I suddenly remembered I’d seen a bib somewhere in the kitchen and thought it must be there for a reason so I’d better use it. Once more it was a pale blue vinyl and actually matched his pants quite well.

I fastened it around his neck without so much as a moan from him; it was something he was obviously used to wearing.

“OK, let’s eat.”

My chicken ‘ping’ meal wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We never have microwave food at home as mum always cooked things fresh. There again, mum was home all day whilst Mrs Thompson was, actually I didn’t know. I think she must have worked from home normally so she could look after Georgie. I’d not thought of that before as I’d not noticed an office area or anything like that.

He chewed like he had before, slowly and methodically.

I was wondering about his mum and, never mind any cat - my curiosity was now killing me.

“What does mummy do?”

With a heaped spoon almost at his lips he looked apologetically at me and said in that lovely, soft, childish voice.

“Mummy doesn’t like me to speak while I eat.”

“I’m sorry... mummy is quite correct... we’ll talk after we’ve cleared our plates.” I smiled to let him know he’d done nothing wrong.

His mother had certainly got him well-trained. I don’t think he was scared of her just knew to do as he was told. Perhaps it had been drilled into him that ‘mummy knows best’.

When I think about it, both mum and dad had drilled into me that they knew best... a notion I’d rejected many years earlier.

“OK,” they said. “Make your own mistakes but they could be avoided if you listen to us in the first place.”

I was a teenager so sought independence and knew exactly what I wanted and what was needed to achieve my goals. So it was, after I’d made stupid decision after stupid decision, they were both there to pick up the pieces and offer a shoulder to cry on. When I thought about it, there wasn’t an instance when, if I’d taken their advice, my parents would have steered me wrong.

However, I did take mum’s advice to earn money as a babysitter. She told me how good she thought I was when my younger cousins visited and I seemed to have a ‘natural affinity’ for what a toddler needed. I decided to give it a go and surprise, surprise, I did enjoy it, whilst making some money as well - a definite plus to the enterprise.

Georgie was an unworldly child in a teenager’s body but I couldn’t believe he was happy. However, I couldn’t say he was unhappy either but I did like his gentle disposition, which made all the other teenage boys I knew suck in comparison.

It’s amazing what goes through your head sometimes... and that was all because of this sixteen year-old toddler making me think.

+ be continued

Part 3

After lunch, and I’d cleaned up his slightly messy face (the bib had been needed), I checked if he was wet. He didn’t appear to mind me not asking as I slipped a finger down the front of his plastic pants. He’d just finished sucking on his second baba. So, relieved not to have to change him for the moment, we toddled back to the conservatory to finish our respective art work.

Because the earlier light cloud cover had lifted, the room seemed even brighter as the sun flooded in. His plastic pants glistened and rustled in equal magnitude as he stood for a moment pondering his arty venture.

In that setting, and in that moment, he looked splendid. I can only explain it that, well, he appeared to radiate some kind of, I don’t know what, but he wasn’t just a teenage boy wearing a nappy. Even in such childish garb, the very thing that should have made him look ridiculous... there was something more about him.

Anyway, I was finished with my feeble arty attempt. It looked vaguely like a figure but could have been anyone. The only thing that made it Georgie was the thick, blue billowing lump I’d managed to include surrounding his groin. It was pathetic.

I wondered over to his easel expecting childish daubs and a matchstick version of me. Instead, there was the most beautiful portrait of my face and bust in subtle water colours.

It was astonishing.

I was quite incredulous and almost asked him if he’d done it, which would have been stupid as I’d been there watching him. How could a child, a teenage baby boy, a...?

I was shocked and stumped for words because he’d captured me so brilliantly. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he made me look better than I really was. He’d even given me more impressive boobs without making me look top-heavy.

God... I wished I had bosoms like the painting.

“This is amazing,” I gushed, whilst at the same time, absentmindedly, stroking his padded bottom. “Where did you learn to paint so well?”

He just shrugged.

It was only then that I looked at the side wall which was covered in paintings. I’d not noticed them before, well, I had but hadn’t give them any thought assuming they were kiddie paintings so therefore not really worth my attention. Hell was I ever wrong.

Whether it was a portrait, a seascape, a sunset or whatever, each image was superb. There was lightness to each brushstroke that I didn’t believe possible with ‘kiddie paints’, yet each painting drew you in. Nothing was weird or abstract.

Even some one as uncultured as me could see the use of colour and subtlety was way beyond the abilities of an amateur.  I gazed in wonder.

“My god Georgie... these are fantastic.”

He shuffled his feet under the praise and became quite self-conscious. A few seconds later, after I’d finished staring at the portrait of myself and wondering what he saw to produce something so wonderful, I looked back at him. This time he was red with embarrassment and I instinctively knew that the second baba had done its work and he’d soaked his nappy.

“Oh sweetie... are you wet?”

He shyly nodded.

“Well, let’s get you changed and then, as it’s a nice day, why don’t we play out in the garden?”

Again that shy, unsure smile told me he liked the idea so I held out my hand and he took it.


Back in his room I removed his sweet pair of plastic pants and nappy. There was no doubt that when Georgie wet, he flooded, the fabric was completely soaked. I wiped him clean and dry then went to his closet to grab a replacement.

“Does your mummy let you wear disposables?” I said as I thought I might save myself some trouble using the large baby pins.

I looked back to the bed and saw, from a new perspective, an all but naked sixteen year old boy laid out with only a piece of moulded plastic for cover. It may have kept his wandering hands away from his penis but I’m sure it couldn’t have been comfortable to wear constantly. Up close I hadn’t given it much thought but now, well I had that strange shiver run up my spine again as if there was something I simply wasn’t getting.

“When we go out.” He almost whispered.

“Sorry sweetheart, what was that I didn’t hear.”

“Mummy puts me in them if we go out but she uses the others for at home.” He was almost apologetic in his quiet response.

I returned to the job in hand and tried to remain focused on my naked charge in need of some more substantial covering.

“OK that makes sense,” I murmured but more to myself than him.

I grabbed a couple of fabric nappies that I thought felt really soft, pulled out a couple of soaker pads and  hoped that would do until his mother came home. Once I’d applied the various creams and powders I folded the enhanced nappy tightly round before securing him in with four of those very sturdy pins.

“Does that feel alright?” I said running my finger around the waistband.

He nodded.

There was a pair of thick, shiny, white rubber pants hanging up which I thought would be more robust and hold everything firmly in place. They took a bit of dragging up his legs but Georgie helped and soon he was ready.

As we were going out into the garden I suggested he put back on his Pokémon shorts. He pulled them up but the bulk of his new nappies puffed out down the legs and above the waistband but he didn’t seem to mind one bit.

Once in the garden there were other items I’d not seen; a covered little sandpit, a tricycle, some huge skittles and a host of outdoor toys.

We set up ten bright red skittles and rolled a ball to knock them down, he loved this game. He charged around in the sun, the white bit from his plastic pants gleaming in the sunlight and defining his nappy area. We took turns and he chalked up the score on a blackboard. To make things more interesting, we moved the distance from ball to skittle once we’d played the best of five.

We laughed an awful lot, mainly due to my pathetic kicking of the ball and the distance it covered to knock down anything at all. In the end, I was allowed to have my attempt closer to them whilst he was much further away.

The rest of the afternoon simply shot by and I was surprised at one point to see his mother standing in the doorway un-noticed by either of us watching as we played.

When he did notice her he burst into a huge smile and ran over excitedly shouting “Mummy, mummy”

She hugged her son and patted his bulky bottom as I sauntered over to greet her as well.

“Hello Mrs Har... Thompson.” I just remembered in time that she was no longer Mrs Hardy but had reverted to her maiden name. “Hope your meeting went well?”

She stood about two or three inches taller than Georgie and dressed as she was in what I’d describe as a power suit, she looked very imposing and in charge.

“Yes very well thank you Melanie,” she said stroking her son’s hair, “very well indeed.”

She kissed the top of Georgie’s head.

“I hope my little hero has been on his best behaviour?” He beamed at his mother.

“He’s been an absolute pleasure to look after. I was just about to get him an afternoon snack or drink... erm... would you like me to still do that or shall I go?”

“No, no Melanie, please stay a while if you have time... it would be nice to catch up. I’m back slightly earlier than planned but you two seemed to be having fun and I don’t want to spoil it.”

“I’m in no rush and you did book me until three so...”

“I’ll tell you what,” she said in a rather chirpy manner. It appeared that now she was home she no longer needed to keep her ‘business’ face on. “Why don’t we have a cup of tea and chat and Georgie can play with his Lego or watch some TV?”

“I’ll make tea if you like...”

“That’s very kind of you dear... I’ll just nip upstairs and change.” She walked over to her son who was waiting at the fridge to get his drink and checked to see if he needed a change as well. He was dry.

“I see you have him well contained.” She was tugging on the leg of his rubber pants. “You’ve done a terrific job... thank you.”

She disappeared upstairs whilst I got a juice for Georgie and put the kettle on to make a pot of tea.


Georgie was excitedly watching something called Paws Patrol on TV, I’d not heard of it but his mother had said it was one of his favourites because it had doggies in it. Then I remembered being introduced to his stuffed dog Donny and it made more sense. Meanwhile, we both sat at the kitchen table chatting over a cup of tea.

“What do you recall from when we lived next door to you?”

“That me and George were best friends... and until...” I was unsure whether to bring the subject of her abandonment up.

“You mean when Donald left us?”

“Yes, as far as I can think... erm... we were looking forward to starting school... we thought of it as going to Big School.” I smiled at the memory.

“Well, I don’t know what you’ve been told,” she said looking stern and serious, “but that bastard left us broke.”

Over the years I’d heard rumours of what happened. I’d heard reports that he was shacked-up with a teenager in Mexico and tittle-tattle about links to the criminal underworld. Some gossips said she’d bumped him off, whilst others were convinced he’d embezzled from the company. It looked like I was about to hear the truth.

“He must have been planning it for months because he’d emptied all our accounts at the bank, left a trail of debt because no bills had been paid for weeks and weeks and then, like that,” she snapped her fingers, “left us to cope on our own.”

“How awful,” was about the total of my scandalized response.

However, I knew she wasn’t looking for sympathy, or anything else for that matter. It was just a matter of setting the record straight. Nevertheless, I was all ears and wanted to know what had happened to my ‘second mother’ and how they had both ended up here... and more importantly, what happened to George.


It was strange to see how she’d transformed just by changing her clothes. When I first arrived, I had been slightly intimidated by the ‘Mrs Thompson’ who greeted me. She looked and sounded all business-like and severe but I’d seen the obvious love and affection between mother and son when she got home and my first impression changed.

She looked at me to see if I had any further views on the subject.

“I was only five so...”

It seemed the best answer I could give.

Seeing as how she was going to get very little from me I hoped she’d open up further.

“Have you been able to track down your husband?”

I said the word hesitantly and we both looked over to see if Georgie was listening in. He wasn’t he was miles away laughing at some antics the cartoon characters were performing.

“No,” she said very definitely, “and I don’t want to now after all we’ve been through.”

She patted my arm.

“Georgie was severely traumatised by suddenly not having a father. He cried nonstop, threw tantrums and peed the bed every night. On top of everything else I could have done without it and I’m afraid  wasn’t very understanding of a five year-old’s anxieties.”

She looked a little ashamed.

“The police, his company, the banks... all were coming after ME for answers, and I didn’t have any. On top of that my sweet little boy was left to sort out his own agonies as I tried to battle with all the other problems that blew up.”

I nodded as if I understood but in truth I couldn’t imagine the difficulties such an event in someone’s life would cause.

“It appeared that he had embezzled from the firm and then just disappeared. As far as I know no one has seen or heard from him since.”

I was surprised but kept quiet as she took a breath and carried on.

“I was desperate. I even got in touch with my mother again.” She whispered the next bit. “She’d never liked Donald and it had caused a bit of a rift between us. So much so, that after Georgie’s christening, we hadn’t spoken. However, with all that was going on I had to swallow my pride because, well, quite simply, they were kicking us out of the house and I had no money or anywhere else to go.”

“Did she come through for you?”

“She certainly did, this is her house. She never gave me a moment of ‘I told you so’ or any other such crap... she was an absolute angel and fell in love with Georgie immediately... couldn’t do enough for either of us.”

“What a wonderful...”

“Do you remember us leaving?” She interrupted.

“Not really... just one minute you were there and the next... gone.”

“Yes well, things were getting a bit hairy and we couldn’t stay in the house any longer because of... well... everything really. So, mum hired a van and came to collect us both and whatever we wanted to take at two in the morning. As it was, we only packed our clothes because nothing else actually belonged to us. Donald, that little piece of sh... well, we had nothing just a couple of cases, which we threw into the back of the van and disappeared.”

I looked a bit bewildered at the story but she hadn’t finished. To be honest, I could have done with a toilet break but she asked if I wanted a top-up from the teapot and, so I could hear more, nodded.

She poured the tea and then looked up at the expression on my face.

“Mmmm, I bet all you’re really interested in is Georgie... right?”

“No, no, erm, well...”

“You’re wondering... what happened to Georgie. Am I keeping him in nappies to punish him for some reason?”

I didn’t want to say anything because it looked like I was going to be told anyway.

“Why is my sixteen year-old son still in nappies?”

+ be continued

Part 4

“Don disappearing from our lives, and all the ructions that followed, was very traumatic for Georgie.” Mrs Thompson said in a serious tone. “So much so that his nights were plagued with nightmares and wet jammies.” She shook her head as if remembering the awful times that followed. “The poor boy just couldn’t cope with all that was happening and my vulnerable state didn’t help either. Anyway, for me, the easiest cure for the problem was to put him back in nappies, which he hated, but, as I’ve said, I wasn’t in the best state myself for seeing my poor distressed little boy’s own problems.”

She took a thoughtful sip of tea and I was now so engaged the trip to the loo was forgotten.

“He woke up soaked every morning though mainly dry during the day... in fact...”

There was a sudden direction change in the conversation.

“I don’t know if you remember...” she smiled, “but both of you could often be found charging around the garden wearing nothing but your underwear – him in Spider-man briefs and you in your Disney Princess panties.”

Oddly enough I did remember that quite clearly even though we were only about four at the time.

“It was mum who noticed that Georgie didn’t like to have his legs covered,” she continued, “It had never occurred to me... and I was his mother.”

This conversation was going off at different tangents.

“Anyway,” she settled on the theme, “Georgie was still wetting the bed when we got here and mother was brilliant at looking after him. It was easy for her because, although I was out of it as far as any mothering award, she was running this house as a nursery. Kids would be left with her from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon. She loved and understood kids but... oh... here’s something I didn’t tell you.”

Here we go on another tangent - it seemed like now she’d started there was no stopping her and the information just flowed.

“My dad left me and mum when I was eight. He wasn’t as conniving or secretive as Don but took up with his pretty secretary and buggered off with her to start a new life without us.”

She let that sink in and I suspect, from the reaction on my face, she knew I was completely hooked on what she was saying.

“Oh good grief,” was the response I came up with... pathetic I know.


“Mum didn’t seem too surprised when I told her about Donald but, even after cutting her out of our lives all those years, didn’t hold it against me. She was so pleased to have Georgie and me under her roof.”

She went on to tell me how the nursery operated in the house we were now in. How pre-school kids, often ten to twenty of them, would be left in her mother’s capable care. She had a couple of young school-leavers come in and help but mainly she ran it on her own, probably against any rules and regulations. Apparently, it was something the area needed and she answered that necessity. No one complained.

Anyhow, Georgie, who still seemed more than a little traumatised. Had become wet and reclusive, and with his mother trying to find work to make ends meet, was initially kept at home for what was supposed to be a short period. However, although his wetting didn’t stop (in fact he was having daytime trouble as well), he eventually did come out of his shell and enjoyed playing with the kids at the nursery. So, he just slipped into being one of the regulars and in so doing, more or less slipped off the educational grid.

“It was a difficult time.” Mrs Thompson continued. “Thankfully, because mum could keep an eye on him, and he was settling into a routine, I could be away from him for that part of the day without the poor boy worrying or crying too much.”

She went on to explain again that Georgie didn’t like to wear anything covering his legs and if he was placed in something that did he’d spend all his time trying to get rid of it. As he was still wearing protection that meant he was often running around the nursery in just a nappy and plastic pants. None of the other kids seemed to mind, they all got used to it and so did he.

“Mum just thought if he was happy, then everyone should be happy, he wasn’t hurting anyone and we’d got him settled into a routine we could manage.” She shrugged, although I’m not sure if she thought it clarified anything.

I looked at the clock and it was four o’clock. I had to get home and changed because I had a date that night. It wasn’t babysitting I actually had a date with a boy from school who I quite liked and we’d decided to go to the cinema together. I was excited at the prospect of this new ‘friendship/relationship’ but didn’t really want to put a stop to the story I was being told.

“Ohh look at the time. I’m sorry Mrs Thompson, I’ll have to go.”

“Ohh good grief. I’m so sorry Melanie... I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to anyone about all this since mother died so I’m afraid I’ve taken advantage of your availability.”

“Oh, that’s alright. I am interested and I’m sure mum will be pleased to know you’re still alive and... well?”

“Erm, I’d be grateful,” she said with a hint of suspicion in her voice, “if you didn’t tell anyone I am alive and well. There was a lot of gossip at the time and I’d hate to bring all that back to the fore again... and besides... I’m happy with the way things are at the moment but... I could do with your help?”


I managed to get home in time to change and ready for my Saturday night date. Mrs Thompson had paid me extra and asked if I’d be willing to do the same the following week as she had further meetings and, as I’d got along so well with Georgie, hoped I’d be available. She admitted to not wanting to try and find another babysitter, especially with references as good as mine.

Of course I agreed. I was pleasantly surprised she’d taken to me and I admit, even after all this time, to feeling a sort of affinity towards them both. After I’d agreed to the future arrangement and I was about to leave, she called Georgie over and told him to kiss me “bye-bye” but that he’d see me again “Next weekend”.

He shyly came over and planted the most gentle, almost butterfly-fluttering kiss, against my cheek that I’d ever received. Bloody hell – once again that shiver ran down my spine. I also thanked and patted his well-padded bottom for the lovely picture he’d painted and given me to take home.

On the bus ride back to my house all I could think about was Georgie. He was so sweet and softly spoken, had manners and a tender way of doing things. Wearing a nappy or not - he was an unbelievable and unique young man/baby.


Peter Gibson was my date. I’d known of him for quite a while as we were at the same school but not the same class. To be honest I hadn’t taken much notice of him, nor I suppose, him of me until we were thrown together in the AmDram after school activities. We hadn’t secured the lead in the production (one written and directed by our teacher, Miss Hemsworth) but still enjoyed our parts and he made me laugh. He always knew his words but kept everyone amused with his comic banter, devastating impressions and generally likeable personality.

Because we were supposed to be boyfriend and girlfriend in the play we spent a lot of time together learning our lines and rehearsing. Eventually he asked me out and this, after several previous attempts (I’d had babysitting duties to perform) this was our first official date.

We’d agreed to meet in town by McDonalds and I have to say Pete looked even better minus the school uniform, wearing chinos and a pale yellow polo shirt under a shiny black puffer jacket.

The plan was we’d go for a bite to eat and then to the cinema, dad had said he’d pick me up at 10.30pm outside the Town Hall as that was my curfew. Pete agreed to all this and we had a great time, well, not exactly great because all the time I was comparing him to... Georgie.

It was grossly unfair.

They weren’t a bit alike and yet my mind kept wandering and wondering what Pete’d look like wearing a nappy, perhaps with lovely shiny plastic pants. I tried to picture him in the same situation as Georgie but it just didn’t work. He was confident for starters. He had plenty of humour and fun in his personality arsenal and yet my mind was elsewhere.

If I wasn’t thinking of my date wearing a nappy or, God forbid, a bright Pokémon outfit, I was actually thinking of a guy who did. I’d like to believe Pete didn’t notice that my mind was elsewhere because I think I reacted to the right parts in the film... and to the jokes he told as we ate earlier. He really was, no, is a great looking guy and a pleasure to be around but...

At 10.30, when we parted he kissed me goodnight as dad waited patiently for us to finally break away from each other. I could feel his thigh pressed up against my leg and he definitely wasn’t wearing what Georgie had to wear in that area, even so it was him that was in my head and not the person I was with.

Although his kiss on the lips was tender and gentle, and to be honest, quite nice, it wasn’t like the one Georgie had planted on my cheek. I hadn’t got the shiver at all and I wondered if it was because I didn’t really fancy him. However, the truth was, I did fancy him but at that moment, his leading position as a potential boyfriend was being usurped by a sixteen year-old baby boy I’d just met and who wore a nappy.


On Sunday morning I went to a car boot sale and found the very thing I was looking for – a nice large chrome picture frame. I scuttled home with my purchase, cleaned it up and then placed the wonderful portrait Georgie had produced of me in it. It looked really good. I took down the spectacular image of a Scottish Glen I’d had over my bed for several years and replaced it with... me.

I thought it looked stunning and, as it turned out, so did everyone else in the family. Mum wondered who the talented artist was but, as I wasn’t allowed to tell her Mrs Thompson’s real identity or therefore Georgie’s, I said it was someone at school. He’d not signed it so I wasn’t giving anything away there either but it was very flattering that they all thought the artist had definitely captured ‘my heart and soul’.

I spent the rest of the day, until I had further local babysitting obligations from 6pm-10pm, wondering if Georgie and I were still neighbours would we in fact have become girlfriend and boyfriend. I got excited and depressed at the thought but the main outcome was; I couldn’t wait to see him again. Saturday morning couldn’t come soon enough.


All week at school Peter paid a great deal of attention to me. Apparently, he’d had a really good time on our date and hoped to have further ones. I was non-committal, telling him that I had loads of babysitting obligations but at least we’d have rehearsals when we could see each other.

I didn’t realise it at the time but I was really being quite casual with him. I mean, I’d not given him much thought at all. Even when I was with him my mind strayed to what Georgie might be doing – playing with trains or even filling his nappy - it was only when rehearsing that he got my full attention.

My friends were desperate for gossip of our date; what he was like, how far did we go, was he a good kisser? I tried to be as enthusiastic as I could about him. My friends, who had all become entranced by the handsome and funny Peter, giggled about when we were next going out and where did I think he’d take me. Meanwhile, I was thinking about changing a certain someone’s messy nappy.

I told my over enthusiastic group of friends we were taking it slow because of my commitments to baby-sitting, and surprise, surprise, that was taking up more and more of my spare time. I was earning quite a lot and yet, when child minding, could only compare them against the big baby I really wanted to look after. It was strange because some of those kids could be noisy, unpleasant tearaways who previously hadn’t bugged me but now wished were more like Georgie.

At one point I got it into my head that I was spending far too much time thinking about him and then I had a terrible notion: What if his mother had picked up on some accidental or subliminal attachment from me and had arranged for a different babysitter. I was depressed at the idea for a good few hours. In the end, and under some pretext I hoped sounded convincing I called Mrs Thompson and asked if our arrangement still stood for the following Saturday morning.

“Yes dear, of course... but I’m glad you called because I might need you a little longer. Could you be available from 9am through to 9 pm at all... please?” She asked optimistically.

Actually, I had another babysitting job on that night from 6pm to 11pm but told her I was free. For the first time in my baby-sitting career I was going to let a customer down. The bad part was... I didn’t care. All I could think about was seeing him again; that gorgeous face, those beautiful eyes, his soft childish voice, his gentle demeanour and on top of all that... the soft rustle of plastic over his thick fabric nappy. In just those few hours we were together, somehow he’s managed to immerse me in his world and occupied my thoughts.


Eventually, I found a friend, Sarah, from school who I knew did occasional babysitting duties (she had younger brothers and a sister) to deputise for me so in the end I didn’t let anyone down. She was also pleased to get paid for something her parents got her to do for free and was very happy about that. She said later that compared to her home life... it had been a breeze and was up for any further such work I could put her way.

However, this extension to the times made it so I couldn’t take up Peter’s request for another Saturday date (hopeful of me ditching my babysitting duties to go out again). He’d been buzzing since the last one and I knew from that parting kiss (and hard crotch) he really liked me. Still, I’m sixteen so in no hurry to make any kind of commitment and certainly not for a boy no matter how keen he was on taking the relationship further.

The school week that followed was also one where, for the first time I can remember, my homework suffered. Normally, I’d always arrive home from school and immediately get on with anything that had been set before I contemplated doing anything else. Alas, when I got to my room the portrait had me spellbound. I couldn’t help myself. Those eyes... my eyes felt like they were looking at me, not staring or evilly examining me, but just looking, as if they were curious.

Stupidly I’d gotten into my head that it was in fact Georgie who was gazing out at me with his beautiful, expressive eyes. So, instead of doing the work I was supposed to, I put on a little show for him. Telling ‘him’ about myself, showing him my room, photographs, my old toys, dolls from my childhood, reading poems I’d written and hopes for the future. I didn’t involve him in those aspirations but trusted he’d get to know (and like) me a little bit more.

Even at school I found my mind wandering and several pages in my exercise books saw doodled images of babies, nappies and plastic pants, which had become my link with the absent Georgie. 

The thing is - the fact that I wasn’t seeing him made me fantasize about him more. I wondered what it would be like if...?

+ be continued




Part 5

Denise Thompson was smiling as she changed her son’s wet nappy. She’d been doing it for almost sixteen years (give or take a couple of years when he’d mastered the potty) but she didn’t resent the fact she still had to do so. Her baby boy was the most wonderful and precious thing in the world and cleaning up a damp nappy was not a big price to pay for having someone so sweet and loving in her life.

Today Georgie had two friends coming to play, Tammy and Eric, who used to come to the nursery when his granny ran it. Although the house hadn’t been run as a nursery for over three years, there had been many pre-schoolers who had enjoyed playing with Georgie and still liked to visit. He was quite popular and everyone who did call seemed to enjoy those happy times all over again.

Children who were now ten or twelve, and had long since moved on from their nursery years, came along and still loved being in Georgie’s company. It didn’t appear to faze anyone that their friend hadn’t grown up like they had or that he still ran around wearing protection.

Then as now, as the kids played, Denise would pull out her computer or a bunch of files and set about her work as an in-demand accountant. After the mess Donald had left her in, once she saw her son settled, she’d gone out of her way to make sure never to be in that position of reliance on another.

To her surprise she’d proved very good at figures, so after helping mother restructure her finances to be on a better economic footing, found other clients eager to access her aptitude of the system. Whilst mother was alive she could let her and the nursery look after Georgie as she developed her business and searched for clients. She made sure she was always back before the nursery session ended.

With the passing of her mother the nursery, although much needed in the community, lost its driving force. Denise couldn’t keep it going as an enterprise because she was knee deep in her own work. Also, at this time, the council wanted to see a license, which she was financially ill-equipped to pursue. Georgie suffered from the lack of support that being around other kids offered. However, so she could be there for her boy, and to make him happy, made it so her son could have playdates whilst she worked at home to keep an eye on things.

However, now a new client, with the possibility of a large portfolio, had become more than just a prospect. Unfortunately that came with the proviso she was needed in the office on certain days of the week. The new opportunity would mean a considerable boost in finances but there was a slight downside. At the moment it was just Saturday she was required but that could change. Thus she needed a reliable baby-sitter and it was no accident she chose Melanie.

On that first meeting she had pretended that it was just a happy coincidence that Melanie Philips was indeed THE Melanie Philips she’d know all those years back. In fact, she had researched the area for possible baby-sitters and when her name popped up, couldn’t believe her luck.

Denise remembered how close she and Georgie had been all that time ago but realised that a lot had happened to separate each other’s experiences. She hoped there’d be some kind of connection still and although she saw it in Melanie’s eyes, any recognition from Georgie was sadly absent. However, this was just a small disappointment because she knew once anyone got to know her sweet baby boy, they fell head-over-heels for him and his innocence.

Everything; the way he looked, dressed, spoke or the way he interacted with his childish affection, made him desirable. This was not just some arrogant boast by a loving mother. Melanie had felt it, even his granny had felt it, there was something about Georgie that made most people instantly want to care for and love him.


George Hardy, now Georgie Thompson, had not coped very well at the time of his father’s unexpected departure. The fact that his mummy also fell to pieces, so didn’t consider the effect it had on her son, left him desperately trying to find somewhere in his life where he felt safe. Whilst his mother was being hounded by everyone from neighbours, creditors and the police, as well as the looming eviction hanging over them, he disappeared into a place where he didn’t have to think of anything; un-noticed he slipped back into babyhood.

His mother had problems of her own fending of accusations, hurtful gossip and her own disbelief that her husband had just upped and left them both without any consideration.  The frightening abandonment drove her to dark thoughts and the depths of depression. She found it difficult to understand or have any empathy with what her five year-old was also going through and sought the simplest solutions to his sudden bout of bed wetting... a nappy. She didn’t even notice that he’d turned almost mute, or hugged his teddy, or sucked his thumb... all this passed her by as she fell into her own quagmire of despair.

It was only after Denise contacted her estranged mother that she was slowly able to start her own healing process. Unfortunately, Georgie’s psyche was buried deep and there was comfort in the closed-off world in which he had found himself.

At the time neither mother nor grandmother grasped the depths of his regression or the seriousness of the situation. They were simply glad when he eventually stopped hiding away and found enjoyment in playing and being with kids at the nursery. Although he was the biggest boy in the group he wasn’t the only one who still wore nappies, so his inclusion didn’t seem to worry any of the youngsters who enjoyed what the playgroup offered. Georgie was treated just like them.

As he grew bigger any attempt to get him to grow up was met by tantrums and fear. Even trying to get him to wear anything even slightly more appropriate to his age was met by him instantly dragging such clothing off. He spent all of his time wearing just a nappy and plastic pants because his wetting and pooping didn’t stop.

As he’d more or less disappeared off the educational radar by then, and to keep him happy, the women in his life made excuses should anyone enquire. Grandma had a friendly doctor who saw to any medical needs. She even had him visit a psychiatrist, but that ended badly as the anxiety it caused the boy, and the panic attacks he suffered, were just too detrimental to his health. From then on the doctor decided not to push that element for any instant recovery.

So, over the years, as he changed physically, his mentality didn’t. He clung to his childish wardrobe; his nappies and rubber pants and hated anything covering his legs. He grew handsome but was completely unconscious of its affect. He found an escape when he was with kids his own age, but that age was of a three year-old. So, without the pressure to change - his soft voice, natural loving empathy and childish innocence made him the unique person he’s become – a toddler in a young man’s body.


All week the only thing I thought about was being with my old friend Georgie. Saturday morning couldn’t come soon enough and although the thought of an early visit passed through my mind, I didn’t want to appear obsessed. However, on the Saturday morning I was there almost an hour before schedule.

“Well good morning Melanie,” Mrs Thompson answered the premature knock at her door, “you’re early.”

“Yes, sorry, hope you don’t mind... erm... it was just dad offered to give me a lift as he had an appointment nearby (this was a lie) and it seemed silly having to catch a couple of unreliable buses... sorry.”

“No love, I’m happy you could make it. Georgie is still up in his room playing but we could have a cup of tea first if you fancy? I have some time before I need to be off.”

“Will he be okay... on his own... upstairs?”

“Yes love, no trouble he’ll be fine... and I thank you for taking the baby-sitting so seriously. The comments on your Facebook page are quite correct... you are diligent and focused.”

I beamed under the praise and took a seat at the kitchen table as Mrs Thompson poured a fresh cup of tea.

“I’m so grateful you could do this for me,” Mrs Thompson started. “You don’t know how relieved I was when you said you would be available.”

“No, no, it’s my pleasure and Georgie’s such a nice boy.”

“Well, he’s playing with his train at the moment... it’s his favourite toy. He can spend hours just pushing it around his bedroom and he comes up with the most amazing journeys.” She smiled at the thought. “So he’s up and changed ready for the day, his meals are labelled in the fridge but as it might be after 9 when I get home tonight... you’ll probably have to put him to bed.... his bedtime is 8 o’clock... no later please.”

“Okay, but isn’t that a little early for a boy his age?”

“Not really,” she changed the direction of the conversation back to his feeding arrangements. “You’ll see the meals numbered and his last one is warm bottle of milk which he likes before he sleeps... though to be honest, he’s often asleep before he finishes it.”

I smiled my understanding.

“Oh yes, I knew there was something else and I hope you don’t mind but he has two friends coming over about 1 o’clock for an hour or so, Tammy and Eric. They are old friends of his and come round often and as it’s the weekend... I hope this isn’t going to be a problem?”

I was quick to try and hide my disappointment, I was hoping to have him all to myself but then I realised how annoyingly jealous I was being. That emotion took me by surprise so I tried to hide it with a question.

“Okay... erm.... can I ask something... if it’s not too personal or erm... embarrassing?”

“Yes of course dear what is it?”

“Why does he wear that little plastic thing around his... erm... privates?”


“Well now,” She thought for a few seconds before letting me in on the reason. “When he was around ten he became quite infatuated with the contents of his nappy and just wouldn’t leave it alone.” She smiled and shrugged at the memory. “And in truth it was getting to be a bit embarrassing around the little kids at the nursery. We tried a lock on his rubber pants and thicker nappies but he still ended up rubbing away for all he was worth. I can laugh now but at the time other parents coming to pick up their little ones were a bit horrified.”

She took a sip of tea.

“Eventually someone, or I’d read somewhere, suggested that there was this little implement called a chastity devise that might be useful. I wasn’t sure but bought one I thought might fit and one night, whilst he was sleeping, slipped it on. He couldn’t work out how to take it off and as he wasn’t getting the same stimulation that he used to do... he stopped trying.”

“Didn’t you think that was a bit cruel I know most boys indulge?” I said rather too well-informed. She raised her eyebrows.

“I knew he wanted to play in the nursery and be with all the other kids so I had a choice of removing him so as not to upset them and their parents, or finding a way for him to stop. I also thought the devise was just a trial thing and didn’t think for a moment it would have the desired effect or any effect for that matter... but it did.”

“What do you mean?” She’d got my attention.

“Well, after a brief time of crying and stroppiness, but without access to his penis and getting the thrill it offered, we unexpectedly saw he found something else to occupy his hands.”

I can’t tell you the thoughts that went through my mind at the end of that sentence. Things I would have been ashamed to think of just a week or so ago but...


The fuzzy heat of guilt I was feeling when I realised I was going down the wrong thought process completely made me blush. I tried to claw some of my ‘professionalism’ back.

“You mean his lovely paintings?”

“Yes, and not just his paintings. He drew, crayoned, used water colours, pencil, ink... even got the other kids involved in decorating their paintings with colourful borders and using shading. It was quite the revelation.

“What about, you know, him playing around down there?”

“Well, that was the thing. With this new distraction it didn’t seem to worry him but, the minute I removed it, all his energy resumed to playing in his nappy so...”

She shrugged as if to say that’s why we are where we’re at... and the system works.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this disclosure but I had to agree that he hadn’t appeared to be distressed by the little plastic hub, and of course the portrait he’d done of me was quite superb.

“Come with me.”

I followed Mrs Thompson through to the large conservatory where she pointed to a fantastic painting of an old lady in a frame on the wall.


“That’s my mother, Georgie’s granny.” She said with more than a hint of pride. “He painted that, from memory two weeks after she died.”

I looked intently at the painting. It had a real life and energy of its own. The woman in the portrait didn’t look like someone who was ill, in fact a depiction of health and vitality...

“Georgie never knew his gran when she was like this – fit and healthy - yet he conjured this image of her from his own mind. I think this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen and of course it’s a fantastic testament to mum’s work here at the nursery. She helped me and Georgie in our time of complete and utter crisis... I think this is his fitting memorial to a wonderful woman.”

There was obviously a great deal of pride in her mother and in what her son had produced... it was then I wondered if she was actually in awe of her son and possibly not just his talent.

We chatted for as little longer about some of the other artwork that decorated the room and once again I was struck by the brilliance of each piece. I asked if she’d ever thought about exhibiting some of the items but she just smiled and shook her head.

“I’m almost positive that Georgie wouldn’t be thankful for that type of attention, even though I agree, he has a flair that far exceeds his age.”

I had a thought.

“I babysit for a lady who has a gallery, would you mind if I showed her some of Georgie’s work. You know, just to get a professional take on them?”

Mrs Thompson looked at me a bit suspiciously.

“Why? He’s happy just doing what he’s doing I don’t think he’ll be bothered in what anyone else thinks.”

“Okay, it was just a thought.” I thought she’d be pleased to get confirmation of her son’s talent but obviously I was wrong.

“Anyway,” She said looking at her wrist watch, “I’ll have to be leaving in a minute so why don’t you go up to his room... he is expecting you.”


I tentatively opened his bedroom door and was assailed by that combination smell of powder and pee.

“Morning Georgie.” I smiled my most winning smile (or so I hoped) his face beamed a welcome as he jumped up and waddled over in greeting.

“Hello Melanie... nice to see you again.”

That childish, almost hushed welcome once again stole my heart. I was hoping that with him using my name he’d actually remembered our childhood past but could tell it was a greeting his mummy had taught him to be polite.

“Well don’t you look handsome this morning?” I took in his pristine white t-shirt and his tight short denim dungarees, seemingly even tighter because of the huge padding underneath. There was no hiding the sliver of blue plastic pants that appeared down each leg hole but he looked incredibly happy. I was pleased.

His hug was an unexpected, but most welcome, bonus. The gentle briefness of it had a strange effect on my own body. Ripples, like currents of mild electricity, ran to every extremity and I was desperate to cling on and demand it last longer. That tender touch belied the fact that he was really my age and size... there was innocence, a kindness that I’ve only ever experienced before from a two year-old. Those fleeting moments probably meant more to me than to him as he scooted back to the toy he’d been playing with on the floor.  

I’m not sure if I can totally explain the feeling I had. It was as if his mere presence made the day, a special day. I felt like I was walking on air, my mind filled with love and appreciation for everything around me. Yes I know... silly... but there was certainly something because I was so unbelievably happy to be back in his company.

I flopped down beside him and we talked about the game he was playing and in just moments we were both so engrossed in play that we hardly noticed his mum say her goodbyes.

“See you later sweetheart... and be good for Melanie.” She kissed her son’s head.

“I’ll try and be home before nine if at all possible but 8 o’clock bedtime please.” She nodded to me. “OK... see you soon... bye.”


Oddly, I felt relief after she drove off and I think it was because I had this gorgeous man/child all to myself. Not that I’d got any great plans but as we played I asked him about what he remembered.

His thoughts seemed to be a jumble of memories about things he’d done with mummy, friends who’d visited and TV programmes from only a few days ago. I tried to make him think back to when we knew each other ten years and more back but it seemed time meant very little to him.

Even though his memories were restricted in time, he was happy to chat about them. His low voice and cute face, which would light up when he remembered something ‘special’ had me engrossed. I never knew I’d be so caught up in the storyline of Paws Patrol but his excitement and enthusiasm for these little doggie characters had me desperate to watch a programme with him.

We went down stairs to the TV and he slipped in a DVD of the show, he knew all their names and what they did and was overjoyed at being able to tell me about each of them. Before the show started he went and did the most childish thing I’ve ever seen anyone do – he collected all his stuffed toys and brought them to watch with us. He talked to them all as if they were real people and for the briefest of moments I was jealous of a few stuffed animals. He knew them better than he knew me and my heart hit the ground on this insight.

I was desperate to jolt his memory of the times we used to have. I wanted to reminisce about the many adventures we’d experienced, the fun we had, the friends we were but I couldn’t think how to do so. However, for the time being that wasn’t going to happen. He was laid out on his stomach all excited; the mound of his padded bottom and glimpses of his plastic pants offering all his surrounding toys, and me, the notion of a totally innocent child. I squatted down next to him and put my arm around his shoulder and hugged him. The beautiful smile I received put everything back in perspective.


By 12.30 we’d watched several episodes of Paws Patrol and played a silly game of Jenga (where neither of us got the tower very high without it falling over), had a contest over some coloured card game of Georgie’s devising (I’d never heard of before) and went on a journey with his toy train, which was fascinating.

I asked if he was wet and shyly he affirmed he was so asked if he wanted lunch first or after I changed him. He settled for after lunch so we sat in the kitchen and had very pleasant, if silent, meal. Afterwards, as he sucked on his baba I set about changing his wet nappy, which because of the access buttons at his crotch was a very easy change to make. As before, the fabric was soaked but set out on his dresser was an already pre-folded one, with an extra soaker pad, waiting to be wrapped around this gorgeous man’s protected childish pubic area. I saw a pair of pale blue plastic pants with little kittens chasing balls of wool around and asked if he liked them. His face lit up so I quickly shuffled them up his legs and around the ballooning fabric.  He pawed the glossy material and looked very happy.

“Aren’t these kitties cute?” I asked.

He didn’t answer just beamed back his response, which sent that shiver of electricity once again throughout my body.

I’d only just finished buttoning him back up when I heard a knock at the front door. Obviously his playmates Tammy and Eric had arrived. be continued

Part 6

It was amazing to see how Georgie’s two visitors interacted with him. He hugged them both in greeting and their faces lit up in an obvious display of total delight.

“Hi, I’m Melanie... I’m Georgie’s ba...” I stopped myself from saying babysitter as I didn’t want to embarrass him, “I’m looking after him whilst his mother’s working...”

“Hi Melanie.” They both chorused as they immediately launched into a game that the three had probably played many times before. I stood and watched in amazement as these two older children willingly adopted a much younger role than I would suspect they did when not playing with Georgie.

They rushed into the garden and started setting up various bits of apparatus, all the while giggling and chatting. Eric was the leader because he was giving instructions on how he wanted whatever game they were going to play, set up. Although Georgie was the eldest he happily took direction from the other two and judging by all the laughter, whatever they were playing was one they all enjoyed.

I watched a little detached wondering if I should join in as I realised what they were building was a sort of adventure course. They’d run to one area say where the skittles were set out and they’d have to knock them over before they could continue to the next area where another ‘obstacle’ had to be overcome. Both Tammy and Eric were always attentive to Georgie and asked him if he needed anything or if he was still enjoying playing the game... his smile and gentle excitement encouraging them to carry on.

Tammy wore a bright yellow dress over her leggings, whilst Eric wore a plain white t-shirt and a pair of well-fitting jeans, both looked their age. Meanwhile, Georgie, complete with his obviously well-padded bottom looked the part of an excited toddler. In fact, that’s just what he was.

Despite all the exhilaration I never heard Georgie raise his voice. He didn’t scream or shout but was equally engaged and encouraging as his two friends. They seemed to know what was needed, what was to happen and what the next part of the game entailed. To be honest I felt a little redundant. It was Georgie who suggested I should join in whilst the other two looked hopefully on to see if a grown-up... me... would.

I did ponder for a few seconds on whether I should stay aloof and let them get on with it but it actually looked fun... and I wanted to play and enjoy being part of the group giggles.

I threw myself whole-heartedly into their game relieved to be silly for a couple of hours. It also meant I could join in all the hugs that went on when each part of the game was completed. There were no inhibitions just a very loving and tactile trio... erm, foursome.


We stopped for refreshments and whilst his friends drank their juice from glass tumblers, the fact Georgie drank from a bottle didn’t raise so much as an odd look. At one point I heard Tammy ask him if he needed a change but he just shook his head and they continued with their game.

By 3 o’clock the energy levels of his visitors were still high but I noticed Georgie begin to sag a little. I went over and put my arm around him and asked if he was tired. He shook his head but I could tell he was wet.

“Do you need a change sweetie?”

He looked up through those lovely long eyelashes a little embarrassed and almost imperceptibly nodded.

“Well let’s get you changed shall we.”

Without me saying a word Eric looked up at the clock and apologised for the fact that they were both late and needed to be off. They were both sweet and polite kids as they thanked both me and Georgie for a fun afternoon and hoped they could pop around again soon. With that, they both kissed his cheek and disappeared out the door.

“Well what nice children.” I whispered and guided my charge upstairs to be changed.


Like before Georgie took the lead by pulling out his changing mat and placing it on top of the bed. He lay out and, a surprise for me reached over for a dummy and slipped it between his lips. He started sucking on it immediately whilst I began to pull apart the press-studs under his swollen crotch holding his denim dungarees together. Once open his plastic pants were smooth and glossy shaped as they were over the soaked material and I have to admit, laying there as he was, he looked pretty amazing.

His eyes fluttered shut as I eased them slowly down and set about unpinning the soggy material. He lifted his bottom automatically as I needed him to and reacted with a slight moan when I began to clean him up with a succession of cool antiseptic wipes. I spent perhaps longer than usual cleaning around his little plastic nub and taking in how clever but restricting the design was. He didn’t appear to mind me lifting and inspecting this little detail and, as he sucked happily, his eyes wavered between closed to barely open.

Of course, over my career as a babysitter, I’ve washed quite a few messy boys and wiped their ‘equipment’ clean but theirs were hardly in the same grown-up league as Georgie’s. However, what was interesting, that whilst he didn’t seem to mind me paying such close attention to it, it did pulsate slightly and dribble a clear sticky fluid. I cleaned that up and proceeded to rub in some anti-rash cream before dousing him in baby powder. All the while he sucked gently on his dummy as if he was a small trusting child.

Then once those preliminaries were complete I fitted him into a thick terry nappy with an extra soaker pad to be on the safe side. The pins weren’t as tricky as before so I guess I was getting better at the job. I saw that he had a fun pair of pink plastic pants covered in more doggies chasing each other so I slipped them up and patted them into place. He looked gorgeous – white t-shirt and slinky pink vinyl pants.

I asked him if he’d like to nap but at that suggestion he immediately shook himself from his relaxed state and said he wanted to play with some toys. I was surprised because he’d looked so sleepy but I suppose it was just his way of reacting whilst getting his nappy changed. He waddled over to his toy box, still dummy in mouth, and took out a truck, placed it on his play mat and started chugging it around the track

The play mat was quite nice because it had a road, play areas, colourful squares with all kinds of ideas. In the middle sat the start of his wooden train set and I could imagine, as his mother said, that this would inspire him to go off on incredible, imagined journeys. There were other cars and dolls neatly set out, which no doubt were other games he could launch himself into when alone.

I watched as he began to push the truck around and despite him being a sixteen year old boy, with his glossy thick padding, and his childish enthusiasm, it still didn’t seem odd.

Georgie appeared content so I left him alone as I went to dispose of his soiled nappy and wash my hands. There wasn’t a towel handy so I opened the airing cupboard and was happily surprised to see piles of thick new nappies and quite a selection of new vinyl pants... some had really fun (though childish) prints all over them... I couldn’t wait to start putting him in them.


When I’d first seen Georgie I’d been surprised and suspicious of this great big teen/baby and thought how awful it must have been to be trapped in such a mental turmoil. I had hoped that perhaps I could be the one to release him from what I saw must be very restricting for him, and thus he’d lead a pleasant teenage life from that moment on. Strange how just a few days can change a person’s mind? Now, I wanted to help dress him up in his childish clothes, feed him his meals, or suckle from a bottle. As long as I could spend time with this innocent boy I’d happily let him slurp sweetly on a dummy whilst changing his messy nappies.

Simply watching him at play was something of a pleasure. He didn’t seem to need anyone else as his imagination held no bounds and he got caught up in his own little world.

I watched enthralled as he as his glossy pink bottom crawled around his bedroom pushing this toy, engaging with another, having a two-way conversation with a stuffed dog or rabbit or teddy bear... it was wonderful to behold.

My entire focus was on what an incredible person Georgie was as he scooted here and there, his thick nappy offering no restriction to what he wanted to do. I saw him stop for a moment and then turn his head to look at me.

“Do you wanna play?”

That gentle whisper, those big eyes searching from behind the floppy hair and long eye-lashes. My heart leapt.

“Yes please... what are we playing?”

“Cheer up!”

I looked at him oddly. “I’m not sad.”

His face beamed the most radiant of smiles. “No silly... we cheer up all my animals cos they don’t get to chat all the time...” He then blushed because I think he realised he’d said I was silly.

“Umm, sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.” He whispered in his guilty defence.

“No offence taken Georgie... and I think it’s very nice of you to keep all your lovely friends company.”

He seemed relieved as I joined him on the floor and I ran my hand over his thick slinky protection and gave it a reassuring pat.

“Who shall I talk with first?”

“Jeremy.” He pointed to a large giraffe so I picked him up and told him what a big boy... errrmmm... giraffe he was and that we should go and chat to some of the other animals.

“Does Jeremy get on with everyone?” I said picking up a stuffed lion and thinking they might be enemies.

“Oh yes, everyone likes Jeremy and he and Leo are the bestest of friends because, well, Leo doesn’t eat other animals.”

I could see I was going to have to learn all the relationships between this vast menagerie he had surrounding his room. Soon, Georgie was talking to me and the animals, encouraging, being friendly, sharing secrets... it was amazing just what went on in his head. Nothing deep but oh so imaginative... I was spellbound.


Time just sped by and it was just after five before I knew it.

“Oh Georgie... I think it’s time you had something to eat.”

Without any argument he tidied up the toys he’d been playing with took my hand and I led him to the kitchen. I’d never met a boy like him, there was a grace to his movement and the little smile he gave as our fingers touched was wonderful. What was also truly wonderful, his little waddle and gentle rustling of his plastic pants as he walked. Anyway, apart from my pleasure... I think he’d enjoyed our play time together.

He went and sat in his chair as I checked out the fridge to see what meal his mother had prepared. There was a small dish labelled ‘SPAG BOL’ (with microwave cooking time) and a small side salad. Of course I could help myself to whatever I wanted and saw a chicken microwave meal so decided on that. Whilst that was cooking I saw a sippy cup of apple juice and gave that to him.

Once the dish had warmed through enough I emptied it into the cheerful cartoon bowl in front of him. He used a matching plastic spoon for that but picked at his salad with his fingers. He seemed to enjoy his food as I detected he was wriggling in his seat a little bit, hum-huming, as he ate.

Apart from that occasional sound of contentment, we ate in relative silence, but at one point some sauce fell onto his t-shirt and I felt stupid because I’d forgotten to tie a bib round his neck. Too late now but thought I’d better give that a soak as soon as we’d finished our meal and remember in future for him to always wear a bib.

Once he’d finished his ‘spag bol’ and salad I asked him if it was a favourite meal and he nodded enthusiastically.

“Mummy always makes nice foods.”

“Okay, now you’ve finished... and I’ve let you mess your t-shirt, how about I give that a little soak before putting it on to wash?”

He seemed unaware that he’d dripped any sauce and looked searchingly for the tell-tale smudge.

“Ohhh,” he pulled a face. “I forgotted my bib.”

Although he was sixteen, occasionally he’d say something like that “I forgotted my bib”, which was so wonderfully juvenile, I’d just melt.

“No sweetheart, I forgot your bib so it’s my fault but... let me take that and put it in the wash then you go up to your room, find a fresh clean t-shirt and bring it back down and I’ll help you into it... hhhmmm?”

“Okay.” He said raising his arms for me to pull off over his head.

“Thank you.”

His hairless chest and soft childish appearance belied the fact he was my age. Standing in nothing but a thick nappy and rather fetching pink plastic pants he looked so adorable.

“Right Mister... have you got a pink t-shirt to match your...” I pointed to his plastic pants.

He nodded enthusiastically.

“Right then sweetie... go get it whilst I dab a bit of Vanish on this stain and put it to soak for a while.”

His face beamed with pride as he took off; the rustle from his nappy indicating just where he was in the house. Before too long he’d rushed back into the kitchen just as I put his mucky shirt in a bowl to soak.

“My, you were quick.” I said drying my hands. “Let’s have a look at what you’ve brought.”

The t-shirt was a lovely shade of pink and had a green cartoon dinosaur, which looked like one of his stuffed toys, on the front.

“Is this a picture of one of you ‘friends’?”

He beamed. “Danny.”

I remembered – Danny the Dinosaur. He raised his arms and I slipped it over his head and pulled it down to his waist. It covered part of his nappy but I still took the opportunity to stroke his slippery padding and check he was still dry. He was... and his cuteness level just went up several notches.

+ be continued

Part 7

The sight of a teenager wearing such a childish top and obvious padding should have made me think anything but cute, alas, I just wanted to hug and tell him how special he was... so that’s what I did.

It was quite spontaneous.

Whilst stroking his silky plastic bottom I held him close and whispered in his ear, “Georgie, you look as cuddly as your teddy bear,”

He giggled and that made him even cuter.

His padding, like him, felt soft and warm and wasn’t too sure how long I could continue before it got ‘too personal’. As it was there were strange stirrings and hot flushes zooming around my body perhaps it was already too long. I’m sixteen, and although I knew my body fairly well, these new sensations were a surprise.

I gently eased him away and looked to see if I’d crossed any kind of line with him but he just smiled and said “Thank you” (god he was polite) in that soft gentle voice before going and finding a place in front of the TV and asking if it was OK to watch his show.

To be honest I was glowing, I think that’s the correct term, and would have had trouble denying him anything at that moment.

I needed a distraction so went and washed up the few dishes.

He sat content in front of the screen singing and humming along, or laughing and encouraging the characters, as they went about their exciting lives. He’d chat to his stuffed toys and ‘boo’ if a baddy seemed to be getting the upper hand. In cartoons a baddy is never successful for long before the stars of the show win the day but in Georgie’s head none of that mattered. He was just enjoying the programme like any toddler would.

I sat bemused and confused by my responsibility. I mean, I could see he was enjoying his life but I wanted more for him (and perhaps me) but didn’t know how I could snap him out of his current state. Obviously his mother had settled for how he was but surely she couldn’t be happy for him to be imprisoned in the mind of a toddler.

I know this was only the second time I’d babysat but he’d occupied my headspace from the very moment I saw him and felt I needed to do something, though didn’t know what.


Although this was only the second time I’d left Georgie with Melanie, I knew she was a good fit. Not only did they have that history together, even if to Georgie that part of his life was a mystery, but I could tell from the way she reacted to him that they’d get on - having said that my boy gets on with everyone. Although often shy and uncertain to begin with he sees the best in people and they appear to respond to his genuineness.

When mum was alive I’d always managed to balance my workload with looking after Georgie and, as he got on so well with his granny, it was easy to leave them together. Now, with that workload beginning to pile up and the demands on my time changing, I have to rethink my situation. Of course, my initial idea was... if I could... to get Melanie as a fulltime nanny, which would be ideal but the pretty girl seems to have a lot going for her and, at sixteen, I don’t think I can entice her out of school to take on such a job.

It was a silly thought on my part, although I am glad to see them back together and I do wonder if, over time, any of his memories of their relationship might return (again, only wishful thinking).  

I love my son how he is and, although he may be a damaged in some people’s eyes, he’s perfect in mine. Don’t get me wrong, I have had him examined by a psychiatrist but he seemed more upset by her than with the life he now leads. His tearfulness was just too much and he looked at me as if I was trying to hurt him on purpose. He never stopped crying all the way through the sessions... or should I say attempted sessions.

I couldn’t subject my little boy to such pain and suffering so I changed psychiatrists (which I think she was thankful for) but in the end, at mum’s suggestion, decided to leave things as they were. When I discovered his artistic ability, it was like he was some kind of savant, a word I’d recently picked up when trying to research Georgie’s ‘condition’.

I hope I’m not thought of as a cruel mother but didn’t want to change my little boy for a possible ungrateful, stroppy teenager. He was everything and more the way he was. Also the fact that he’d never quite gained control of his bladder or bowels would be a problem for an adolescent boy.

The thing is Melanie might end up just a temporary solution because my work is getting more and more demanding. It’s heading towards them wanting me more and more in the office and at the moment that isn’t possible. I’ve tried to organise myself to Georgie’s needs but our future might depend on finding a permanent solution to this company’s demands.

Also, their offer has come at quite an opportune time. The number of clients I freelance as a private accountant for has diminished as I got more and more into the firms business, so I really need to make some decisions soon.

When I first started working for them it was purely on a part-time basis and appeared understanding and grateful for my input. Now, as I’ve done more and more for them and really become a significant member of the team they now see my work as integral to their own survival. As they helped me out with a job in the first place, it would be disloyal to turn my back on them now. They’ve even offered me a raise to help pay for a nanny or permanent home-help but finding someone Georgie would take to won’t be easy.


I asked Georgie if he had a favourite painting out of the many that filled the walls. He immediately pointed to the one his mother had showed me last week, the one of his granny.

“Gwanny,” he slurred as he took me over to see it.

The same as his mother’s if I remembered correctly.

“I think it’s your mummy’s favourite as well.” He nodded in agreement and his smile, even behind the dummy, was infectious.

I’d not given him the dummy he’d popped it in after we’d eaten and seemed happy to suck on that. His mother had mentioned before she went that morning he’d had a pretty restless night so he might be feeling a bit tired. So, if he wanted a nap just to let him settle where he felt comfy. However, we were still inspecting some of his paintings that weren’t on the wall but just a pile on a desk in the corner. I was stunned at just how many wonderful pieces of art he produced and asked if he’d let me take a few home for my wall. He seemed really pleased I liked them and nodded to take my choice.

The thing is, when I occasionally looked up from the pile I kept noticing his granny’s portrait and her eyes were so vivid, it was like they followed you around the room. He was still standing in front of the portrait so I asked him if he missed his granny.

He nodded but then turned and said the most amazing thing. “She omes to shee me ewy nigh b’fo I go to sheeps.” The dummy took away some of what he said but I got the drift.

“Tell me that again please Georgie... but without the dummy... please.” I needed to make sure I hadn’t got the wrong end of the conversation. He removed the dummy.

“Granny comes to sit on my bed when I get ready for sleeps.”

I was stunned. “Every night,” I queried?

He nodded and slipped the dummy back in.

I had no idea what to say or how to take this further so we sat, with him lodged happily in the crook of my arm as we watched some more TV.


I can’t tell you just what was going through my mind but the next thing I realised was it was 8pm and I needed to get my little treasure off to bed. He was already dozing so I had to wake him and aim him upstairs. For the last couple of hours or so, I’d been quite neglectful. Not that he’d minded as he was just curled up and appeared content but I was left wondering if this wasn’t something to worry about for the sake of the poor boy’s mental health.

“Go and get your PJs ready and I’ll be up in a minute.” I needed to warm up his night time bottle of milk and basically, pull myself together; I wasn’t being the best or most diligent babysitter my reviews said I was.

When I returned to his bedroom he was playing quietly with Bluey, who was in conversation with Jeremy. I didn’t catch what they were saying but when he saw me he stopped the chat, stood up and came over to me and gave me a hug.

“Well thank you sweetheart, that’s very nice.” I said appreciatively. “Now then, let’s get that nappy off and you into... oh, you are a wet boy aren’t you?”

I was then stung by the thought that maybe he’d been wet for ages and I just hadn’t noticed and he would never think of telling me if he was comfortable.

I got on with cleaning him up and his nappy was soaked and only body temperature so he may well have been wearing it for ages.

“Let’s just take a look to make sure you’re not getting a rash sweetheart, eh?” I was inspecting a sixteen year old boy’s private area, and although it was hidden away behind that locked up piece of plastic, he was still a teenager.

Anyway, after a thorough inspection I daubed on my creams in a thick coating, showered the area with a heavy dose of powder and wrapped him in an extra thick padded nappy. I let him choose the plastic pants and he went and grabbed the shorty PJs on his pillow. The top was a soft jersey with several dinosaurs and the word Rrroooaaarrr across the front, and his little shorts were of a matching stretchy jersey that pulled easily over his thick night time protection. I helped him into bed but didn’t want the blanket to cover him yet.

“Do you want to drink that yourself?” I said pointing to his full bottle of warm milk.

He nodded he was fine as he lay down and slipped the teat between his lips and immediately started to suck. I looked at the clock and it said 8:12 I hoped his mum wouldn’t be angry I was a few minutes late getting him to bed.

I sat with him whilst he finished his bottle but mainly I was intrigued to see if his granny would put in an appearance. Silly I know but he seemed so definite.

“Do you want me to read a story?”

“No thank you I’m tired.” He looked at his bedside table and reached for his dummy and slipped it between his lips.

“Ni-nighty, hope the bed...” Actually, I’d never liked that saying. Who wants to go to sleep thinking about bedbugs? “Sleep well sweetheart and have pleasant dreams.”

I’d just got downstairs when Mrs Thompson appeared looking exhausted.

“I’ve just got him off,” I said slightly guilty it was later than intended.

“Well done love, I think I could do with a nice drink.”

“Would you like me to make you a tea or something?”

She smiled, “No love I think I could do with a glass of wine, you’re more than welcome to join me if you feel you want to.”

I thought for a moment but decided that it would be unprofessional and besides, my mum would kill me if she thought I was secretly drinking.

“No thanks... I’m fine.”

“Good girl.”

Was that a test?


I looked at the clock and saw it was 9pm. “OK, if you’re all OK, I’ll be getting off now, I have two buses to catch so...”

“Oh Melanie, I’ve been so thoughtless, let me pay for a taxi... I can’t have you travelling on your own at night. Look, here’s your fee and let me call the firm I’ve used a couple of times, they seem quite reliable... is that OK with you?”

I was quite thrilled because I wasn’t expecting such thoughtfulness though I’d already thought about getting a taxi myself. I didn’t fancy traveling on public transport late at night, on my own.

“Yes, thank you, that would be lovely... thanks.”

“Great, no problem, let me kick off these shoes first, check on my boy, get a drink I’ll give them a call... and whilst we wait you can bring me up to speed on how things are going.”

How things were going? I wasn’t sure what she meant whether regarding Georgie, home life, school or what... but I’m sure I’d find out when she returned to the living room with a glass in her hand.

In just a few moments she’d changed into something a little bit more comfortable, had a glass in her hand and said I’d done a great job getting Georgie all comfy in his favourite jammies.

I smiled in relief that I wasn’t in trouble for being a little late getting him to bed.

She called the taxi firm.

Apparently they were busy and there’d be a thirty minute wait, “Are you OK with that?” She asked me.

“Yes, sure, no problem.”

“Yes that’s OK and it’s from...” she talked into her mobile giving her address and where I was going. They confirmed it would arrive in half an hour’s time but said they’d send a text when it was nearby.

Once all that was sorted she seemed to relax a little more. “How’s my little boy been?”


For the next twenty minutes or so we chatted about Georgie but she also mentioned that her workload was growing and might have to think about a more permanent arrangement for someone to look after him. She confided that she quite liked the social aspect of being in the company of fellow workers but felt guilty about leaving her son alone for any length of time.

The problem was Georgie didn’t respond to new people and couldn’t cope with change at all. He needed to have everything in order and a regular schedule. Denise, Mrs Thompson, did say that she was overjoyed that he’d taken so quickly to me and that hadn’t been the case with the few babysitters she’d tried in the past.

“You have something Melanie, and if you can bottle that... you’d be set for life.” She smiled as she raised her half full glass in my direction.

We then chatted about me and school and the fact that I was rehearsing a play. I mentioned that the boy who was playing my boyfriend in it, also wanted to actually be my boyfriend.

“And how’s that going?”

“Well, I see Pete at school all the time but I’m too busy with my babysitting business to really give him any extra...”

Encouragement?” Mrs Thompson cheekily added.

I went red.

“Good for you sweetie. There’s no rush and you seem to have everything sorted. You’re a very clever young woman so make sure you also want what he, or anyone else, wants.”

I was pleased she thought I’d been such an instant success with Georgie. Perhaps that was because we had known each other at a different time, but even so, it was nice to know I was appreciated. However, it hadn’t occurred to me until that moment that the play was in two weeks and that meant a show Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights... I wouldn’t be able to babysit my favourite little boy.

And then of course there was that ‘thing’, that strange... ‘thing’ I needed to mention but still had no way of getting into it.




“Well love, your ride looks like it will be here in a few minutes so I just want to thank you for being available for such a long stint and hope you might feel able to do it again in a week’s time.”

“Oh, I’m sure that will be OK.” I nervously added because I wanted to tell her that ‘unbelievable thing’ that Georgie had mentioned. It was now or never.

“Hmmm, I asked Georgie what was his favourite painting and he said “Granny”.

“Yes, well, it is pretty marvellous and it’s also mine...”

I picked up the couple of paintings I’d left in the conservatory. “I hope you don’t mind... he said I could have these for my bedroom walls.”

“Of course not love. If he wants you to have them... by all means take them... shows he likes you.”

“Mmm, well, umm,” I didn’t know how to broach this particular topic. “There was something else.”

“Well love,” she could see I was unsure, “what is it.... I think we’re friends now.”

I took a deep breath and pointed to the portrait. “He said it was his favourite, umm, but, ermm, that his granny comes to speak to him when he goes to sleep.” I looked to see what reaction this info had on his mother. She went pale and nearly spilt her drink.

“Ohhh, mmm...”

At that moment there was another ‘beep’ on her phone so automatically looked out the window. “My ride’s arrived.”

“Yes, well, ermmmm, OK love.” She looked confused. “You’ve got your money and fare haven’t you?”

I nodded as I slipped on my coat and picked up my shoulder bag.

“Well love, erm, thanks again and I hope to ermmm...” She showed me out the door and, pre-occupied, never finished that sentence. I wondered what she made of my last comment but I’d have to wait to find out as the taxi would be charging me for standing around.


I shakily poured myself another glass of pinot. This couldn’t be true and yet Melanie mentioned it as if Georgie had actually believed it... and she believed him. I mean, it had to be nonsense, surely. However, it got me thinking and remembering things that at the time didn’t mean a great deal.

Like, for instance, when Georgie had been withdrawn but then began to play with the other kids in the nursery, mum had said that he was at the ideal age; innocent, gentle and dependent. We were so glad he’d come out of his shell and overjoyed he joined in with what the place, and mixing with all the other kids, had to offer. Although he was mainly playing with two and three year olds it didn’t bother him, he seemed happy.  Meanwhile, he was still wetting himself but mum said that whilst he was reliant on his nappy, he wouldn’t stray very far.

Mum’s husband had abandoned us, Donald had abandoned me and Georgie and mum said that no other man would ever abandon us again... and we drunk to that. I had no idea that she was aiming that comment towards Georgie. I mean that didn’t make sense.

But, and this is what is sticking in my head, she always encouraged Georgie to stay a little boy. So, when I was out at work and she was left to look after him, I had no idea just what she said or did to him to make him so devoted. I mean, I was convinced she’d never hurt him but perhaps just not encourage him to use the potty or maybe insist that being mummy and granny’s little boy was what we wanted. I don’t know but my head was spinning with all these thoughts as to whether they were anywhere near the truth or not, who knew? I needed to find out because I was now worried about what had happened to my precious and vulnerable boy.

Off course, I might be worrying unnecessarily and none of this happened.

I finished my third glass of wine and wandered up to bed. I called in on Georgie and stood by the door and was convinced I heard him say “Night-night granny”.

I was shocked and silently moved over to his bed but he was spark out, dummy in mouth and his little fleecy blanket pushed off his bare legs to the bottom of the bed. It must have been the wine he couldn’t possibly have spoken. I bent down and kissed him night-night myself and slipped a finger up his jammies leg; soaked but it would have to wait until morning. I didn’t want to wake him up because he looked so sweet as always. My sixteen year old baby boy was the sweetest, cutest most lovable... I went to bed more confused than ever.


Sunday morning and Pete arrived at the door fairly early. I’d forgotten that I’d invited him to pop over as I’d felt a little guilty at not seeing him Saturday night. We spent an hour practicing our lines and then he saw the paintings I’d brought home last night.

“They look good, where did you find them?”

“Oh, erm,” I was thinking, “Where I was babysitting yesterday, the lady had them and let me have a couple for my wall. They’re good aren’t they?”

He picked one up. “Mmmm, not bad,” he shrugged.

Not bad... are you mad... they’re fantastic.” But I didn’t say that merely thought it though my estimation of Pete’s taste dropped considerably. As it was such a nice pleasant day I had an idea.

“Look, I need a couple of frames for them and I thought I’d nip along to the car boot sale in the park, see what I can find. You can come and join me if you like.”

He half-heartedly agreed but I could tell it wasn’t his thing. I think he was expecting us to spend some time together, just me and him and not with a park-load of other bargain-hunters.

However, he held my hand throughout the good hour’s search where he made jokes and we laughed over some of the rubbish that was on offer. Thankfully, like the chrome frame last week, I’d found just what I was looking for, a couple of large wooden frames that I hoped would set my new Georgie paintings off perfectly.

“Can we go now?” He said somewhat frustrated.

“Of course but I have to get back for Sunday lunch, we have people coming round. Erm, I’m sure mum will find an extra place if you want to stay.”

He shrugged in frustration. “Are we ever going to get time to be together?”

“We’re together now.”

“But all this babysitting and stuff... I mean... it’s getting in the way of... us.”

I could see his point but I was running a business of sorts and didn’t like the fact he thought he should take precedence over it. However, I’m not one of those girls who think that it’s all about them so answered politely.

“Pete, I like you a lot, you’re funny and nice to be with but I have responsibilities elsewhere at the moment... and I see you every day at school and we spend time together rehearsing so... I see you lots.” I tried to say all that with a smile in my voice.

“S’pose so.” He reluctantly agreed.

“Look, I need to get off for lunch now... are you coming?”

“No thanks.” He seemed a little deflated but still walked me home though didn’t hang around even for a farewell kiss. “See you around.” He said and sauntered off.

Now of course I was feeling even guiltier. Even though I didn’t want the relationship I suspected he wanted, I didn’t want to dump on the guy.

Anyway, I made my way upstairs to my room and was surprised to see just how well the paintings fitted. I was just planning on where on my wall they’d look good when mum called lunch was ready.


When I eventually got up Sunday morning Georgie was already up and sat playing in his pyjamas with some toys on his play mat. I could see (and smell) the poor boy desperately needed a change so that’s what I did first. Thankfully, as always, his plastic protection had proved to be invaluable and had kept everything contained, his jammies were spotless.

I cleaned him up (as he often did he kept himself entertained behind his dummy throughout the process), and soon had him dressed in a nice thick and well-padded nappy with his favourite blue vinyl pants with puppies prancing all over them.

It had been mum that first bought him such juvenile plastic pants to cover his padding and at the time I thought how cute it was but now...

Again, suspicions about what mum might have suggested to my son came back to haunt me though wasn’t sure how to broach the subject with a boy who barely could count up to ten. I thought I’d wait until we got downstairs and in the conservatory and then I could ask him about granny’s portrait. Yes, that would be a good way in.

After a late breakfast I suggested we go outside to play but before that, as we passed the painting, I mentioned that Melanie had told me it was his favourite. He smiled from behind his dummy and nodded.

“I think it’s mine as well, but all your paintings are fantastic.” He hardly acknowledged that little bit of flattery but started to make his way to the garden. He had a lovely little waddle because of the thick padding and his plastic pants looked very glossy in the sunlight. As was often the case when at home he’d not bothered with any shorts.

“Do you miss granny?” I ventured as an afterthought, although it wasn’t.

He stood stock still and I could see him begin to wet his nappy.

“I know I do but... Melanie said that you often see her at night... is that true?”

He slowly and nervously nodded his head.

“Can you tell me about that sweetheart?” I rubbed his arm in reassurance.

Again he looked shyly at me but was unsure how to answer.

“You know you can tell me anything...” I said hopefully.

“Bu’  I’m no’ shuppose to.” The dummy was hiding his answer.

“Take the dummy out sweetie and answer mummy if you can.” I didn’t want him to think he was in trouble but there was something preventing him from being open about it all. He stalled for as long as he thought he could but I saw the turmoil is infantile brain was going through. Under my understanding gaze he eventually started to open up.

“Granny said it’s our secret.” I barely heard him.

“But mummy and Georgie don’t have secrets do we?” I’d been surprised at his response but tried to make it sound like I hadn’t.

He shook his head.

“Well then, what does granny say to my sweet boy?”

He bit his bottom lip but eventually whispered the answer.

“She says I’m a good boy for wetting my nappy.” And nodded because that’s just what he’d done. “She says I’m the best boy because mummy and granny love their baby boy and I should always stay that way.”

“Oh does she?” I tried to sound pleased he’d told me but there was a tone of annoyance I found hard to hide. “Anything else sweetheart?” I tried better to sound light-hearted.

“To make you both happy I need to stay... ‘a polite little boy and not a nasty big boy’.” He was obviously quoting mum but gave a grimace that I’d never seen before. I didn’t realise immediately it was because he’d told me a secret and wondered if he was in trouble.

“Well sweetie,” I pulled him over for a hug. “You do make me very happy, and I love you lots and lots. You mean more to me than anything else in the world and I could never stop loving you.” I was getting quite emotional and hugging him tighter than I realised. He let out a little squeal. “Sorry love, I just want to hold you in a cuddly hug for the rest of the day.”

He giggled with relief, whilst I pondered just what damage mum had done.


My son’s big blue eyes and long eyelashes, soft smile and gentle whimper as he snuggled in close were heart-warming. There was something of the warm puppy or soft furry kitten about him that would melt ice. So, as I stroked his hair and patted his warm padding my mind was full of what had been said but I’d also made a decision... the house should be put up for sale immediately.

+ be continued.


Part 8

Mrs Langford-Court, whose eight year old daughter, Felicity, I babysit owns a gallery in town. She displays local, as well as more established talent and, of course, despite my promise not to, I wanted her opinion on Georgie’s artwork. She thought the couple of unframed paintings I showed her were very accomplished and asked me to leave them with her for further analysis. Maybe, she teased, she would be interested in exhibiting them at some point in the future, when her gallery “...wasn’t so busy”.

I was disappointed because it felt like a brush off and then I said something that I know I shouldn’t but wanted Georgie to be acknowledged for the incredible talent he was.

“What if I was to say this artwork is produced by a sixteen year old who has the mental age of a toddler?”

I could see she was intrigued and wanted to know more and I’m afraid, I was so keen on talking Georgie up, I forgot the promise I’d made.

It was strange because although I was doing all the talking, with the occasional “yes” and “hmm” from her, I could see her brain was elsewhere - no doubt planning publicity campaigns about her ‘finding and promoting’ a new genius.

“Is he autistic or something?” She enquired and I could see, despite her natural upper-class restraint, she was getting quite excited about the possibilities.

“Not that I know but he is ‘different’.”

“When can I meet this... exceptional artist?” She was no longer dismissive and things had become real.

“Erm, ummmm, emmm, I’m not sure...” I suddenly realised I’d overstepped the mark and didn’t know how to put the genie back in the bottle.

“Come on Melanie,” she said clutching the artwork closer to her chest, “surely it’s not a secret and I’m sure we can all earn something from a little venture.”

“I’ll have to ask.” She could see I was hesitant but now she was engaged didn’t like the sudden reticence.

“Well you do just that Melanie... and I expect to hear from you soon. I just hope this doesn’t interfere with your babysitting opportunities.” Although she was smiling I detected a slight threat that if this didn’t go as she hoped, there would be consequences.

I also realised that there would be consequences from Mrs Thompson because I’d betrayed her trust. God, I’d made such a mess and it’s was entirely my own stupid fault. Why couldn’t I leave well alone?


I must be mad. For the next couple of nights, once I’d put Georgie to bed, I hung around outside his room to see if I could hear him ‘talking’ to mother. I wasn’t sure what I expected to find out, and in many ways wasn’t sure there was anything to find out but my sweet boy said he chatted to his granny and I couldn’t ignore that ‘fact’. A ghost of mother would be just too much, but also, why wasn’t she coming to see me?

However, nothing.

By the third night I realised I was indeed mad and why had my head immediately fixated on mum being a ghost? I mean, that’s just stupid and yet I’d let myself be drawn to that as a possibility rather than examine what might be really happening - my poor boy misses his granny and dreams about her still being in his life.

In this initial folly and ill-conceived ‘action plan’ I did seriously think about moving house. However, and this was a very good point that I should have thought about before getting in touch with an Estate Agent, where the hell would we live when we had a fantastic home that was already paid for?

Once I’d come to that conclusion I felt a bit better but was quite annoyed at myself for going down that path. However, it had been useful in some ways. I was able to see how mum had influenced both my son and me. Because of the way she talked about him being a good little boy for his mummy and granny, those apron strings were tied tightly so he wouldn’t be straying far at all. Yes, she’d been quite an influence but maybe I was giving her too much credit (or accusing her) because perhaps Georgie is being Georgie and the way he is, is the way he is – simple, innocent and loving.

However, I asked him if he fancied moving house and living somewhere else but he just looked at me vacantly as if he didn’t understand the question. I’d keep him as amused as I could during the day but then, at various times in the afternoon, some of his friends would pop in and he’d play with them. Thankfully, all the kids that came I could trust to be friendly and keep Georgie interested. Although, in truth, he’d never had much of a problem keeping himself entertained. It was at these times (and when he was in bed) that I could catch up on the freelance accounting jobs.

Nevertheless, rather than the casual stuff, I was finding that I had to devote more time to the accounting and finances of the firm who wanted me on a more permanent basis. There was no doubt about it, I’d have to wind up the irregular side of things, which didn’t pay that well as there wasn’t as much of it around, and spend all my efforts towards full time work.


To begin with, when mum was around we’d managed and the extra money coming in from the freelance stuff helped pay some of the bills. Once mum died she left the house and a small legacy which meant we were getting by OK, as long as the casual stuff continued to the same extent. Unfortunately, that was slowly disappearing and the offer of part time work had come at the most opportune time. At one point I even thanked mum (in my prayers) as I was sure it was her that had guided me to their advert in the first place.

I’d placed an IN MEMORIUM announcement in the local paper after her passing and in the column next to it was an advert for - Part-time staff with accounting experience needed at family run business. It was as if it had all been meant to be and that mum was still part of my life guiding in some way.

The things you do and say without thinking only for it to turn around and bite you on the bum when something like Georgie’s possible night time visitations happens. I mean, I don’t believe in ghosts (or pixies for that matter) but when Melanie said what she said about Georgie’s declaration I felt a weird cold shiver run down my spine. It was spooky and I could quite easily believe that ‘shiver’ meant something.

So for a couple of days I’d convinced myself that mum was making ghostly visits to my son and it was only once I actually sat down and rethought the situation, and my reaction to it, that I was able to make some sense of it.

Mum was always very supportive of her grandson. After the unbelievable trauma of his dad leaving and my incompetent way of dealing with it, a gentle approach to his rehabilitation seemed the best way to go. She didn’t want to rush him into anything and always praised him for any little social venture. Even telling him what a clever and wonderful boy he was for using his nappies. At the time it seemed sensible and even I found myself praising and accepting these small triumphs as positives that Georgie should be praised for.

Georgie had spent a great deal of his life where the two most important people in his life praised him for wearing and using his nappy, of course the boy was going to continue to do so. He thought (or thinks) he is doing precisely what we want.

Although at times it is quite exhausting - making sure he’s clean and dry, and, with constant washing his nappies, it takes quite a bit of effort to keep him content and happy. The fact that he can, at sixteen, run through the house wearing only his protection and not feel in the least bit concerned, well it’s strangely heartening. I know it shouldn’t be but he looks so cute the way he is and what he wears just makes him look so unbelievably adorable.

I suppose I’m as much to blame as mum because I’ve just let it happen. I accept there’s been trauma on both sides but Georgie hasn’t so much as found himself, more he’s been created to fall in with an image I found acceptable after the nightmare of us being lied to and abandoned by my husband.

Perhaps my sweet, traumatised little boy saw how much kids in the nursery made his granny happy and simply fell in with that image. The fact he was then praised for it, maybe, made him cling to something he felt safe with... I just don’t know. I could still be trying to justify my part in all this OR I could be right all along and Georgie has been damaged so much he can only function at the level of a little boy.  

I’ll have to tell the Estate Agent that I’ve changed my mind and I’m not selling.  I’m sure that won’t go down well because the house is in a very desirable area. Oh well!


For the rest of the week I was pretty distracted. I wasn’t sure if Mrs Langford-Court actually found Georgie’s artwork worthy or if she was just seeing him as a ‘cause’ she could both make money from and appear to be a philanthropist. On top of that Pete was getting edgy as the end of term performance dates approached, which I don’t think was helped by my keeping him at a distance. No matter how hard I tried, whenever I was with him I was still thinking about Georgie. I saw Georgie everywhere. I don’t mean in his granny’s ghost coming to visit him type of way, he was just permanently in my head. Even when we were rehearsing for the play I’d occasionally get Pete’s character’s name wrong and say Georgie, much to the director’s annoyance.

As soon as I was in my bedroom, and with the portrait of me looking down, all I could think of was that cute little boy. A sixteen year old teenager, who wore a nappy and seemed completely happy, would fill my head and make me smile. He was so unlike anyone else I’d ever met or read about, unique, and just so wonderful to be with. Because of the way my body and mind reacted to him I think I was falling in love, or that’s what it felt like. I had no other explanation. I felt privileged to be part of his life, no matter how weird it was.

Of course, the other thing that had got my mind racing was the fact he said his granny visited every night. I wasn’t sure if I believed in ghosts or not but didn’t feel I could discuss this point with anyone other than Mrs Thompson, but then I’d have to mention the gallery and Mrs Langford-Court. I needed to speak to her before next Saturday if possible because I had too much going on and my head felt like it was about to explode.

I picked up my phone and dialled.


I was surprised to get the call from Melanie. She sounded a little agitated but asked if there was a chance we could meet up before her next sitting. I mentioned I’d be coming into town with Georgie to get him some new bits and bobs and suggested , if she could, that we’d meet up for lunch. She agreed.

She looked so much younger dressed in her school uniform, although still very much like a girl-in-charge and seemed genuinely pleased to see us both. As I hadn’t told him about the meeting Georgie was very excited to suddenly see her and gave her a huge hug - like he was greeting one of his best friends.  I saw she automatically patted his bottom as they hugged but I thought his shorts hid his padding quite well though I’m sure he wouldn’t be bothered anyway.

She told me she had a confession and that she’d done something I specifically asked her not to do. I was immediately worried that she’d exposed who she was babysitting for and that the entire estate would know who and where I was. I couldn’t stand the idea of bringing up all that gossip and those appalling accusations. But no, it was something about Georgie’s art. She said that because she was so impressed she’d taken it to have it appraised at a gallery. I know I gave her a dirty look and she was all contrite and full of apologies. That was until I said that I didn’t mind as long as it wasn’t that appalling Langford-Court woman. She’s such a stuck up bitch I couldn’t stand her... even when we were neighbours.

I could see her face drop and she admitted that, as she babysat her daughter (So, her and her husband finally found time for someone else in their lives did they?) she went to her.

“You didn’t say who the artist was?”

“Not by name but, I’m sorry to say, I did lay it on a bit that the artist was ‘special’”

She smiled at Georgie, who I was sure hadn’t followed much of what was said.  He’d got a colouring mat and seemed to be happy crayoning on that; much to the amusement of other diners.

Although he was dressed far more juvenilely than any else his age, because it was quite a warm day he wasn’t the only teenager wearing shorts. So he wasn’t like a sore thumb, I suppose it was because I knew what he wore underneath and that made me a bit more ‘protective’?

“I’m really sorry but she’s pushing for a meeting and...”

“Well that isn’t going to happen. I’m afraid Melanie you’ve got yourself into this so you’ll have to find a way of getting out. All I can say is that if she asks, tell her that I know who she is and it’s a flat no because I can’t stand her because I think she is a stuck up bitch.”

She laughed out loud, which was nice. “That should certainly stop her asking.”

We both chortled at the idea of the possible look of shock on her face. I was behaving like a school kid myself. Georgie was grinning as well, I think pleased that we appeared to be enjoying our time together.

She then brought up the subject of ‘granny’s late night visits’ and I asked her if she believed in ghosts. She was unsure. I told her I didn’t but could see how dreams about his gran could quite easily be interpreted by a boy like Georgie to be actual visits. I told her I’d not seen nor heard anything that might suggest otherwise, other than mum’s striking portrait in the conservatory. I had to agree, her eyes did follow you around the room.

We laughed at our silliness but I saw Georgie take a black crayon and scribble out the fine piece of crayoning he’d done. He didn’t look happy.

I asked if he needed a change but he just shrugged and went to sitting in silence, which was the complete opposite of how he’d been. Now neither of us could get even a smile out of him and he began to moan about wanting to go home.

Before I left she reminded me about her play and said she’d be unavailable certain days that week and hoped I’d be able to find someone else. I complimented her and said I’d find it difficult to replace her but that I appreciated the time she’d already given up for me and was only sorry I couldn’t come and bring Georgie along to see it.

We did a little bit of further small talk before Georgie’s grumpiness got the better of him and he began to sulk. I checked his nappy and it was soaked so I brought the proceedings to a close by finding a toilet to change him before we went home.


I was glad to get things off my chest. Mrs Thompson hadn’t been as annoyed as I thought she would and, although I pretended otherwise (not) I thought her comments about Mrs Langford-Court were spot on; having said that, she does pay well for me sitting her daughter, so I can have no complaints. However, it was a definite “no” about Georgie’s artwork so I would just have to tell her that the artist’s mother had refused any such meeting.

I was however a little perplexed at Georgie himself. He seemed happy and radiant (if I’m allowed to call him such) to begin with but with the mention of his granny’s ‘visits’ there was a sudden and dramatic change in his personality. I’d not seen him grumpy before so it was quite a shock. Try as I might I couldn’t nudge him from his silent and then moaning state. Even his mother seemed a bit baffled by it.

The thing is, when I first saw him and he smiled at me, I caught a glimpse of how it used to be when we were toddlers. I mean, even at sixteen he still looks like he did back then (or is it just me thinking that way?) even down to the nappy under his shorts. God he looked so damn cute and that cheerful greeting and hug was just what I needed.

So, although it was good to talk about my worries, the play and boyfriend situation, it also just confirmed how much I’d rather be changing Georgie’s nappies than doing any of that. His immature clothes, and it has to be said equally immature features, make me just want to protect and cherish him as much as his mother does.

“Oh god, do I want to mother him?”

I watched as his mother led him towards the toilet for what I assumed would be a nappy change and I felt a little cheated. I wanted to do that to my favourite person. However, as I walked away I felt a strange chill run down my back and I immediately knew I’d be seeing him again soon and all would be well. Although I had to admit, it was the weirdest sensation I’d ever experienced and for a moment felt relieved and quite faint at the same time.


After our lunch I returned to school and then, as we had further rehearsals spent more time with our theatre group. Pete was being all moody and his acting suffered as a result. The director noticed our lack of cohesion and took me to one side and asked if there was anything wrong. I said nothing I could think of, I wasn’t playing his little game, but I thought it was a little unprofessional.

However, her attitude was it was up to me to fix it and I baulked at that suggestion. I simply told her that I had other things going on in my life that weren’t centred around the play or the rest of the cast and reminded her that she’d asked me to play the part, I hadn’t auditioned.  

I was surprised at my antagonism because normally I’m the peacemaker but on this occasion I couldn’t be arsed with him for bringing his wounded persona into the rehearsal room and for Miss Hemsworth thinking it was my fault. I walked out and told her straight she should sort him out or get a replacement and I said out loud, “...for him or for me I don’t mind... you choose.”

I could hear the intake of breath from the rest of the cast but as I was through the door I felt a touch of relief. I’d never been like that with anyone before and, if I’m honest, I found it quite liberating not agreeing to anything for a quiet life. I liked this ‘new and improved’ me.

When I thought about it further it was something Mrs Thompson had said that made me react like I had. “You’re a very clever young woman so make sure you also want what he, or anyone else, wants.” That was the thing, all this other ‘stuff’ was keeping me away from Georgie so it wasn’t what I wanted... he was the one person I really wanted to be with.

+ be continued.


Part 9

For someone who likes everybody and tries to get on with everyone, the flouncing out of rehearsal with a barbed comment was just so unlike the Melanie everyone knew. I mean, I didn’t know it at the time but in that moment I got a reputation of being a bitch.

Me a bitch! 

Apparently, Miss Hemsworth let it be known to all and sundry that I’d got into a strop and stormed out of the play leaving her to find a replacement at short notice. I’d let everyone down and should be ashamed of myself. I was relieved.

Having learned this the following day, the next time I saw Miss Hemsworth, I called her a deluded, no talent bitch and was happy to be free of her ill-conceived and badly written play. Actually, I didn’t. I’d calmed down a bit so I may have thought it but said nothing and kept my head down.

However, in that brief but intense exit from the play I’d found a different type of self-confidence that I hadn’t known I possessed. So, when there were a few comments and attitude from teachers, as well as other students I wasn’t prepared to put up with, I made it very clear not to mess with me because, if they thought I was a bitch now, just wait and see how much of a bitch I could be. That I did make clear.

However, my threatening words carried no threat as I wouldn’t have had the first clue where to exact any kind of revenge. Still, it had given me confidence that I wasn’t going to be at anyone’s beck and call.

When word trickled down to my family, to say they were shocked would be an understatement and mum set about trying to build bridges that I immediately burned down.

“This just isn’t like you sweetheart.” Mum couldn’t understand her Grade A daughter creating such waves. “Why have people turned against...”

“Look mum, people are stupid. They think they can do and say anything and I’ll go along with it because I’m nice. I’m not going to do things for other people just because they think I should. I’m nobody’s puppet.” I found myself agreeing even more with Mrs Thompson’s words of advice, which were once again swamping my thoughts.

Mum just didn’t get that I had other, more important, things in my life that I was prioritising. Mind you, although she knew about my babysitting, she had no idea about Mrs Thompson and Georgie or exactly who I was babysitting for.

To be honest, they had never questioned me about who it was that I travelled so far to babysit, they trusted me. However, I could see that things might change and I’d have to find a way of protecting the identity of Mrs Thompson and Georgie like she’d asked me to. I was sure that after all this time, the neighbours who still lived in the area must have by now forgotten about the Hardy’s but I couldn’t be sure and didn’t want that kind of scrutiny forced on the couple.

Meanwhile, dad had subtly asked if I was having ‘boy trouble’. I wondered how he knew but realised he meant Pete, not knowing about my obsession with Georgie. Phew, I was easily able to swat that one away.

I called Mrs Thompson up immediately and told her that my situation had changed and I could do this Saturday as planned and now the following Saturday if she hadn’t got anyone else yet. She seemed delighted at the fact and promised to pay for a taxi there and home afterwards. I was made up.

However, she did ask if I had a cold as I sounded a little different.

“No, just cleared my throat earlier.” I lied because I had no idea what she was talking about.

“OK love, see you around nine on Saturday... and thanks.”


The next thing to do was get the artwork back from the gallery. Mrs Langford-Court had kept them to ‘reappraise’ but now I had to tell her that there would be no meeting and the artwork was no longer available for exhibition.

I called in on my way home from school and she wasn’t happy with the news. It had also filtered down to her about my exit from the play and I suppose she thought I’d be a bit down about the entire thing and as a result could play me. At first she refused to return Georgie’s paintings and got quite clever about exhibiting this ‘mysterious’ new young artist.

However, I just held out my hand and said “Paintings now” and she moved into her office and returned looking threatening as if to tear them up.

“I’d think again lady,” I said in my best actressy voice. “Because if there’s so much as a crease on them... I will smash every single piece of ceramics and glass in this place.” I was standing next to a rather wonderful glazed ceramic vase, which had a price tag of £500 - I picked it up and rolled it in my hands.

I tried to look my most casual but threatening as if it would be nothing for me to do just what I implied and she immediately went into defence mode. Maybe I’m a better actress than I thought?

Mind you, I think she realised I wasn’t kidding and handed back my stuff unharmed.

“It’s bloody rubbish anyway,” she sneered. “Oh, and don’t bother coming to the house again I think we’ll find someone better for Felicity.” Again the stupid woman thought she had the upper hand.

“Thank God for that.” I smiled with as much contempt as I could muster. That would be a big dent in my finances but, I had more important clients... well, one. So I simply nodded and left with my artwork and breathed a sigh of relief that I was now free of another obligation and could focus on the one thing that mattered.


I didn’t ask Melanie why her circumstances had changed I was just so grateful that they had. I know I’m sounding a bit selfish but the relief of not having to find someone else quickly was a huge weight off my shoulders. Also, I noted that the school holidays were fast approaching and didn’t know if she’d found work to tide her over or if she’d be able to find more time for Georgie. Yes, I was being incredibly selfish.

Meanwhile, Georgie had thankfully snapped out of his temperamental phase from the mall and seemed to have slipped nicely back into being mummy’s sweet little boy. In fact, in some ways he seemed more content, and loving, if that’s possible.

At the mall the thought crossed my mind that he might have been getting a bit frustrated. I mean, he is sixteen and I wondered if perhaps he was experiencing feelings for Melanie. The quick way his mood changed had been a surprise and there had to have been some reason for it... and sadly for me that was the direction my mind went. Not only that, but if he was ‘excited’ with her being nearby and frustrated, then perhaps his little chastity cage was preventing him from doing what a normal sixteen year old boy’s willy does.

However, when I was changing him, there was no evidence in his nappy that was the case and made no protest about the little pink contraption wrapped around his sweet little genitals. So, I just cleaned him up, put him in a super thick nappy with extra padding and pulled up a pair of lovely cheerful blue plastic pants with his favourite doggies running all over them. He seemed to calm down almost immediately, so assumed the little sulk was all about him being wet.

Once ready he hugged me in his usual loving manner and slipped his dummy in but, as we were going to be walking through the mall, decided it might be better for him not to. Anyway, with one hand held in mine as we exited the place he shoved his other thumb between his lips so he could have had his dummy after all.


Collins and Sons, the firm that wants me more permanently, had recently expanded their business, buying up a couple of smaller firms and incorporating them in to their own. The MD, Teresa Pritchard, had taken me aside and told me that there was a job, a permanent job, that desperately needed filling. It was mine if I wanted it but they needed an answer a.s.a.p.

They knew I had a son that had ‘special needs’ so appreciated that I might need some time to organise things. However, the job had a huge salary increase and would easily pay for any extra care needed. I got the impression that I’d have to be let go if I couldn’t accept because they needed someone to be in the office and sorting finances out permanently.

I understood their predicament and was pleased that Teresa had explained that it was thanks to my financial know how that had made their business a growing success and they wanted me to be involved and be a part of that success. It was all very encouraging but... they needed a “Yes” or “No” pretty soon.

I wondered if I could talk Melanie into looking after Georgie during the school holidays that would give me time to find a more permanent solution though realised it was going to be a lot to ask a sixteen year old girl to commit to.


For the last couple of nights I’d had a most intriguing dream. Although Georgie had popped up in my thoughts and the occasional dream, this had been different because it felt so real. I was in their conservatory, looking around and scanning all the artwork around the walls. It was as if I was doing an inventory but in my head the words “Who’s such a clever and talented boy?” were echoing around. Eventually my eyes focused on Georgie who was standing at an easel, deep in concentration, dummy in mouth but I couldn’t see, from where I was observing, exactly what he was painting.

Try as I might to change position I just couldn’t, I was stuck. However, Georgie looked up at me and smiled behind his dummy “Hewo Gwanny, wiz I’ for ou.”

It was then I sort of understood I was looking at the room from the position of granny’s portrait on the conservatory wall, and he was talking to that.

I woke up startled and was further thrown into shock as my portrait suddenly looked like her. I blinked and rubbed my eyes, thankfully things were back to normal but I lay there shaking for a few moments before I could compose myself fully.


“Are you getting a cold dear?” Mum asked over breakfast.

Not that I knew but Mrs Thompson had mentioned it so perhaps I was.

“Maybe, the last few days have been... you know... difficult.” I offered by way of explanation. “Perhaps I’m just running a little low on energy or something...”

“Maybe love, but just look after yourself...”


Mum offered various powders and potions from the medicine cabinet should things progress further. I just hoped, if I was getting something it didn’t stop me from looking after Georgie. I don’t think I could have coped if I’d had to cancel that particular bit of babysitting.

As it was, at school Sarah approached me and asked if I’d packed in babysitting as Mrs Langford-Court had asked her to look after Felicity. I told her that I’d had a bit of a run-in with the woman and so we mutually dissolved our arrangement.

“Oh, she said she’d fired you.” Sarah said with a hint of suspicion but also desperate for the real reason.

“Did she now? Well you’ll find out why if you take the job... so... good luck if you’re planning on accepting it.”

I left her with that thought as I couldn’t be bothered playing that stupid, double-barrelled, deluded woman’s game. I was better than her in just about every way. I didn’t need to feel superior, I was.

Where that thought suddenly sprang from I have no idea but I was definitely feeling a lot more assertive in myself. I must be maturing, perhaps that happens to girls when they reach sixteen?


In English Miss Hemsworth tried her best to ignore me but I just kept looking at her with the utmost contempt. I knew I wanted a reaction from her so I could lambast her in front of the class but she seemed more than usual on edge and fluffed her lines a few times as she read the lesson. Sitting in the corner was Pete with Abagail Trent, who I suppose had been drafted in to take my place. She was a lot plainer than me (and I’m not saying that to be a bitch) but I’d seen her audition and she was hopeless. She had nice hair though.

Anyway, none of that bothered me at all. I was out of it and I could concentrate on the other kids I babysat and look forward to the only one that really mattered come the weekend.

Thursday night and I had the most incredible dream that included Mrs Thompson, mum, dad and Georgie.

Mrs Thompson had offered me the job of ‘live in nanny’ to be permanently looking after Georgie. Mum and dad were furious once they found out who exactly it was I was working for and forbid me to have anything more to do with the family. However, the row didn’t end there. I refused to continue my studies and go on to University like me brother and sister had, and told them I wanted to work with children and this was an ideal opportunity.

They didn’t know of Georgie’s ‘problem’ but because of all the rumours and gossip surrounding the Hardy’s (the family name when we were neighbours) they thought I’d be best well away.

When I explained that for the last three weeks I’d been babysitting her boy they accused me of being underhand and lying. They were not having it and a huge bitter row ensued.

I woke up without the argument coming to any conclusion and a little confused because mum and dad and the Hardy’s had been the very best of friend’s way back when. Nonetheless, I was very restless about the following day when I’d see the Thompson’s again and wondered if my dream was some kind of message... or premonition... or maybe wishful thinking?


Since I’d met Melanie that lunchtime I’d been wondering if I should take Georgie’s artistic bent a little more seriously. I mean, I also thought he was talented but didn’t think his stuff worthy of an exhibition. When does a sixteen year old get their own exhibition? I asked myself. The fact was, the conservatory was festooned with his artwork and maybe it would be good for him to have something else other than... me?

Well, I‘ve tried to protect him from the more unsocial elements of life because I knew how being different can so easily cause trouble. It was OK with his mates from the nursery coming to see him because they’d known him for most of their lives. Those who did still keep in touch simply accepted him as he was and that was a blessing but should I be making more of an effort? He was sixteen and his world consisted of the house, his nappies and me and although he seemed content I didn’t really know if he was.

I think it strange that it’s now that I’m thinking these thoughts. I suppose because things are changing in my life (what with the job offer) I need to think more about Georgie and our future needs. I’m sure when Melanie first met him she wondered what I’d done to keep him as a child. I kept telling myself it was what he wanted, no, needed, to survive and I wanted my son more than anything else. It had taken so long to cajole him from that dark place he retreated to as an abandoned five year old, I just wanted him back and in my life and thanks to mum, we eventually got that.

I look across at him now from behind a sheaf of Collins and Sons papers I’m working on and he’s happily playing on the lounge floor talking with Bluey and an assortment of his other stuffed toys about someone coming to stay soon and they had to be nice. He’s wearing a pale blue onesie and underneath I can see his thick nappy held in place by his Pokémon yellow vinyl pants. He’s crawling around, organising and giving a cheery word to each animal and seems, as always, completely stress free.

I wonder if he’s going to ask me to buy him another toy from something he’s seen on TV, it’s where he gets most of his ideas – a new cartoon or kids show. The thing is, I love getting all these things for him; the clothes, the toys, the books and bedding and that’s simply because I feel guilty about the life he’s led so far and if these simple items make him happy, then why not? The joy on his face when he gets anything new is wonderful to see. He literally lights up a room; his blue eyes sparkle, his blond hair shimmers and his happy smile radiates pure delight.

The thing is... all those things make Georgie special. I never get tired of watching him or playing with him or watching him play with others in his innocent and always thoughtful way. He never has tantrums (well apart from the sulky moment in the mall, which was most unlike him) and is happy to be led rather than be a leader. How can I interfere with a boy who has found such comfort with himself, who has no worries or cares and loves his mummy?

He’s seen me looking and smiles, comes over and crawls into my lap. No more work for the time being because it’s cuddle time and I never miss an opportunity to snuggle with my loving son.


I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days but I’m having the most intense and detailed dreams. I wake up and I’m exhausted because it feels like I’ve actually done whatever I was doing in my dream world. This last one had me attending Georgie (naturally) but it was more of a hands-on approach, more like his mother than a babysitter. I was cleaning him up from his regular wet nappies, making him meals, taking him out to the park and generally looking after him. Except, I wasn’t his mummy because she was in the dream too and was being supportive; agreeing with my actions and praising when Georgie accomplished even the most basic task. It was quite weird because I was leading the conversation and actions.

Anyway, I’d booked a cab Saturday morning to get me over to their house by 8:30 as I wanted to check a few things with Mrs Thompson before she had to hurry off to work. She appeared pleased when I arrived a good thirty minutes earlier than planned and invited me to take breakfast with them both.

Mrs Thompson had coffee and toast, Georgie was enjoying Rice Krispies in a Minion plastic bowl. He smiled as I entered but didn’t say anything else... he knew not to talk whilst eating. He was still in his Minion jammies so assumed his mother hadn’t got him ready yet but neither appeared in the least bit worried.

“I’m glad you’re here love, I wanted to run a couple of things past you.” Mrs Thompson started before I had chance to voice my concerns. “As I’ve mentioned before Collins, the people I work for, want me on a more permanent basis. They’ve offered me the most perfect job, which to be honest I desperately want to take but of course, for the past few years my life has had to revolve around Georgie but circumstances change and therefore so do other things.”

I was nodding because she’d alluded to this in the past and in our conversation at the mall.

“I need to find Georgie a permanent nanny. One I can trust and more importantly, one who knows how to treat him as the special boy he is.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This was exactly, well more or less, the dream I’d had but now it was real.

“I think,” She continued, “it may well take me some time to find the right person.”

Again I nodded though wanted to offer my services.

“Anyway, the upshot is the company want me to start in the office permanently in the next couple of weeks and I was wondering, if you haven’t made any other arrangements, would you like the temporary job of, well, being just that... Georgie’s nanny whilst the school holidays are on?”

I couldn’t believe what she was asking, it was all falling into place but I was struck dumb for a moment.

“I know this is great deal to ask, and I’m not even sure you haven’t already made other arrangements but, if there’s a chance you can, please say yes as it would save me an awful lot of worry.”

Georgie had stopped eating and was watching his mum and me having this discussion and for the first time since I’d met him, he appeared to be engaged in exactly what we were talking about. He didn’t say anything but I got a glance like he knew. Not only that, he knew what my answer would be.

+ be continued.


Part 10

Mrs Thompson saw that I was a bit stunned by what she’d just asked. What she didn’t know was that I’d more or less lived this scenario already and I knew what a storm it would kick up - if my dream was to be believed.

“Look love, I know it’s a lot to ask but please, take some time and have a think... talk it over with your parents and...”

She could still see things ticking over in my head. To be honest I was still a bit shaken by Georgie’s look. I mean, I know it sounds daft but it was like I was already a guest at a party I didn’t know I’d been invited to (or perhaps I had but just didn’t know it). Also, I wasn’t sure what all this meant because all these points were coming together just as I thought/dreamed it would.

“Oh, I’m sorry love,” she changed the subject, “I forgot, how’s the play going?”

I came out of my daze. “I’ve quit. Things weren’t going as I’d hoped and, too many distractions.”

“That boy?”

“Well,” I shrugged trying to be non-committal, “a boy.”

“I hope he’s worth it love but...” then realising something, “Oh, is that why you’re now available next week?”

I simply nodded as I didn’t want to get into a huge discussion.

“Well, from a purely selfish point of view... yeah!” She waved her hands in the air as if celebrating some childish victory or other. It was also nice to see her face so animated; it took a good ten years off when she wasn’t being serious.

That little “Yeah” was quite a revelation because I saw that Mrs Thompson had a silly side and wasn’t afraid to show it. I mean, I couldn’t imagine my mum in a hundred years saying something so silly and juvenile but then, she doesn’t have a Georgie to live with. He was giggling at his mum’s reaction and I caught just how much the two of them were like each other.

Well, perhaps I’m reading too much into that moment of silliness but it did look like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders and the result was instant happiness... and I’d done that by making myself available for next weekend. I felt really good about myself because I could make a difference. I will make a difference.

She looked at her watch. “Oh hell, where does the time fly? I’m going to be late so... well... you know where everything is and I’m sorry but I’ll have to leave you with Georgie’s soaked morning nappy, if that’s OK?”

“No probs, you get yourself off I’ll see to our Little Minion.”

Georgie had finished his bowl of cereal and was sat quietly wriggling (not unhappily) in his soaked nappy.

After his mum kissed him bye-bye and she’d driven off, I looked at him and he gave me one of his wonderful welcoming smiles.

“OK buddy, let’s get you all fresh-as-a-daisy shall we?”

He nodded vigorously but with a slight grimace so perhaps he was more than just sodden.


A poo-filled nappy isn’t a problem to me as I’ve changed quite a few over the time I’ve babysat but there was something about changing Georgie that felt would be different. Not different in that he was a bigger boy and therefore, what would greet me would also be bigger, but it felt like it was going to be a turning point of some kind. Again, I’m not sure why I thought this way because it wouldn’t be the first time I’d changed him but my approach this time was more dutiful than before. It felt as if this should be what I did for him, like not only did he expect it, but I expected to do it.

What I found myself saying when the result of his open nappy was revealed “What a good boy.”

He lay on his back hugging Bluey distractedly humming some piece of music from one of his favourite cartoons. Undeterred by the mess I simply smiled and encouraged him and continued to say how impressed I was and what a clever boy he was. It was like I’d been doing it my entire life. He was sucking on Bluey’s ear.

His body was that of a teenager, although I have to say a baby soft teenager and had few if any muscles, but I spoke and treated him like he was a three year old and everything was special and an adventure so he should be praised for being ‘a good boy’. It was catching.

However, as I cleaned that little pink piece of plastic holding his genitals in place I asked if it bothered him. I wasn’t sure what answer I was expecting but he just shook his head and said that mummy knows best. I suppose she does but I was still thinking he was sixteen and yet here I was treating him as a little tot. It was strange that one second I simply saw him as a child and the next a teenager like me.

The thing was he wasn’t a teenager like me. He was a child, a vulnerable, sweet baby boy who needed protecting from the world’s nastiness and horrors. No wonder his mum and gran had gone out of their way to give him a life of juvenile security... his innocence would keep him safe. Well, all those thoughts filled my head as I set about making him as comfortable as I could.

I quickly had Georgie all cleaned up and wearing in a lovely soft thick nappy, which returned him to the toddler status where he always looked most content. He’s a sweet child who needs love, affection and a great deal of looking after. I was in my element.

I let him decide which plastic pants to wear and he pointed to a new pack which had been left unopened on top of a chest of drawers.

“Oh,” I cooed as I ripped open the cellophane, “are these new?” He nodded. “Well this is exciting isn’t it... getting a new pair of pants for...” I was stunned because they were a lovely soft pink vinyl, very shiny but looked durable because of their thicker leg cuffs – nothing was going to leak from them.

His eyes lit up.

“Do you like these sweetheart?”

He nodded enthusiastically, obviously the colour didn’t worry him in the least and then I thought, of course they wouldn’t, he doesn’t see things as boy colours or girl colours, nothing is that categorised in the mind of a toddler.

He held Bluey up and talked to him as I shuffled his waterproof pants up his legs: they were incredibly sturdy. “Right then mister,” it was easy to see how unaffected he was by being changed but as I helped him up he just hugged me and said “Thank you hhmffaanyy...” The last word lost against my neck.

“My pleasure sweetie,” I thought for a moment he’d called me ‘nanny’, which although a little odd had been what his mother and I had been talking about. He stepped back and of course I couldn’t help but pat his padded rear and ask him what he fancied doing next.

His new pink plastic nappy cover actually glowed as a ray of sun brightened up his room and, ridiculously, I saw that as some kind of sign. I know I’ve said it before but he looked childishly, uncomplicatedly radiant. There was luminosity about him and it wasn’t just his shiny pants.

He eagerly shouted “train” and ran over to where it was on the play-mat in the corner of his room, knelt down and began to push his wooden toy around the newly extended track.

I had the soiled items to get rid of so I left him totally engaged shunting his train through whatever imaginary land he’d discovered. “I’ll be back in a few minute sweetheart... just need to do something with this” and held up his mucky bundle.

Meanwhile, he’d slotted in his dummy and was already well into his ‘rail’ journey. “You’re a very good boy Georgie.” I found myself repeating as I left to go downstairs and begin my first day, as I saw it, as his nanny.


I was so pleased that Melanie was able to do next week because it would give me time to try and find someone a bit more permanent. However, because she hadn’t said a definite ‘no’ to my question about the school holidays, my hopes lifted that there might be some way she could help out. The thing is, even though it’s barely three weeks since she’s been coming, it’s difficult thinking of her as a sixteen year old schoolgirl. I mean, she appears to have matured right in front of my eyes and seems more than capable of looking after Georgie in a permanent capacity.

Not only that but I feel confident in leaving her with him and I’m sure he’s happy being in her company. The way he hugs her and... well... I have wondered if he has the slightest idea of how friendly they used to be. I haven’t seen any indications that he recognises her but there are times when I think he must have a memory that there is something they have in common. At least I hope so... I hope that there’s at least a residual spark that links them together.

I know, I know, it’s a ridiculous idea for her to be a ‘nanny’ because no doubt someone with her ambition and drive will have mapped out a future that doesn’t have me and my son at its centre. You’d think, over the years, that I’d have managed to gather a group of real friends who I could count on to ‘help out’. That’s simply not the case. I’ve always been weary of exposing Georgie to other people and suspicious that others might want to change him or interfere in him being how he is.  Mum was always so protective and I suppose I became equally invested in keeping him away from any negativity others might bring. With Melanie, I don’t feel in the least bit worried about that.

However, if she could give me those few weeks of summer holiday I’d make it financially worth her while but right now, I need to concentrate on work. They have a big contract coming up and I need to make sure the financial aspects are covered correctly.


The morning had gone quickly. Once I’d Georgie all cleaned up (he looked super happy in his t-shirt and pink vinyl pants), the washing done and nappies out on the line. Lunch would be a doddle because the fridge always had his meals labelled and ready for a warm up or simply ready to serve. Thankfully, Georgie isn’t a fussy eater, or maybe his mother had just worked out what he liked and gave him that, anyway, the hard work was already done.

“Are any of your friends visiting us today Georgie?”  He shook his head but showed me the extra track he had for his wooden train set and led me on a journey around his room that it almost circled. He made lots of train noises and station stops along the way and I was quite impressed just how simple the activity focused his concentration.

For a brief moment I remembered us doing something similar when we were kids together. Then, like now, he was the train driver but I was a passenger and he’d take us on a wonderful journey around the living room stopping off at fairy-tale places he’d just learned about. His imagination, even as a toddler was quite exceptional. Well, that’s what my memory informed me.

Now, I had to put my adult hat on. It was all very well getting down and playing next to him, stroking his lithe body and patting his padded bottom in encouragement, but I was an adult and had to come up with some fun things to occupy our time together.

I’d seen that there were cooking ingredients in the cupboard and decided that after lunch I’d get him to make a special cake for when his mum returned from a hard day at the office. He liked that idea.

Before that I took a break and checked my diary. He’d moved over to a space ship made from Lego that he was incorporating into his game but he’d slipped in his dummy and was gently sucking on that. Meanwhile, I had three people I sat for on a regular basis and another four who called me in when they needed emergency cover. However, with the holidays coming up, as had happened the year before, I was busy babysitting almost the entire time; some people not coping very well with their young being home during the day and often needing a break. Last year I made a ton of money in the holidays and anticipated the same would happen again this time so I hadn’t found a job like some of my friends.

However, if I simply told everyone that I was fully booked up for this year so couldn’t do what I had before, then that would allow me to babysit Georgie the entire summer months. I know I wouldn’t make as much as I could do but, as someone famous once said “Money isn’t everything”, it might be an experience being a full time ‘nanny’.

However, travelling backwards and forwards every day might be a burden but I could get around that, somehow? I wasn’t old enough for driving lessons, or a car but I did have a bike, though very rarely rode it these days. Still, it might be a possibility and it would keep me fit.

The more I thought about it the more I definitely wanted to do it but thanks to that dream, my parents might have a problem with it all. I’d have to chat with Mrs Thompson more and find out if I can let them know just who it is I would be ‘nannying’ for, I mean, she did say to discuss it with my parents.


I was home by six with the smell of baking throughout the house. Georgie was grinning as I walked in and said, as he ran up to give me his usual welcoming kiss, that he and granny made me a cake. I thought he’d said ‘nanny’ and wondered if perhaps, somehow, between the two of them, they’d discussed it and Melanie had decided she’d take the job.

Of course that was just me being very keen because I doubted if Georgie could discuss such a thing with anyone. His speech, like his reading and mental level was that of a three year old but my heart leapt at the thought. He was so proud of the sponge cake that was cooling on the table and I joined in with Melanie’s praise as to what a fantastic job he’d done.

“Mummy, we’ve made a cake for your tea,” he beamed.

He was wearing a very shiny pink plastic nappy cover and I wondered if it was something Melanie had brought for him because I didn’t remember buying him anything like it.

“Is that a new pair of plastic pants sweetie?”

He nodded that was the case.

“They look shiny sweetheart, do you like them?” I queried not sure of the next response.

He eagerly nodded his support for them. They did look quite sturdy and the thicker cuffs I’m sure meant, no matter how wet things got, very little would be escaping. I was impressed.

“He’s been wearing them since this morning.” Melanie chimed in her usual measured way. “They were an unopened pack on the dresser... I wasn’t too sure,” she said as I ran my hand over them, “but he seems to love them”.

I hadn’t bought him any new ones recently but perhaps they were a pair that had been in his drawers for a while and he’d just discovered them. I had a thought - maybe, ermm, perhaps from when mum used to love buying him stuff like that. That would be a few years back now surely they haven’t been hiding away all this time?

“Did you find them in your drawer sweetie?”

He shook his head. “Granny brought them.”

“You mean granny ‘bought’ them sweetheart.” He looked a bit confused but I didn’t go into what the difference meant. “Well sweetheart, I think you look lovely wearing them and they go so well with your t-shirt.”

“Yes, when I changed him earlier he wanted them back to wear and he even got some flour over them but it just wiped off... easy to clean wasn’t it Georgie?” asked Melanie in the sweetest manner. I liked the way they were with each other and hoped against hope that things would soon work out and Melanie would stay. “As easy as pie.”

“Cake.” I added in my own ‘sweet’ and humorous way.

I looked across at Melanie and she was equally as thrilled with what they’d produced and offered to make me a cup of tea.

“Well it all looks fantastic sweetheart,” I said to Georgie, “but perhaps we can have a piece together after we’ve had our meal.”

“Oh, I haven’t fed Georgie yet. Would you like me to make you something as well... I see we have pasta and stuff?” Melanie was on her way to the kitchen.

“No love thanks. I had quite a large lunch so if you’ll just get his meal ready that would be terrific...” She looked at Georgie who was admiring the cake, “and then, later, I think we can enjoy the fruits of your afternoon’s labour.”


After he’d eaten his meal and Melanie had washed up we sat in front of the TV, Georgie lying on his belly with his legs wafting from side to side as he enjoyed one of his favourite cartoons about a police force of little dogs. I was sat on the chair, whilst Melanie sat on the sofa but I think we both knew we needed to talk. As Georgie was engaged in his show I ventured to ask if Melanie had thought any further about my offer.

“I love the idea Mrs Thompson...”

“Denise please, I think we’re past being that formal now.”

“Denise, erm, it just doesn’t seem right but if you insist... Denise. I’d love to look after Georgie during the holidays but mum and dad will need to know an awful lot more about where I am and who I’m working for... are you sure it will be OK for me to tell them?”

“Look love, I’m asking a lot of you and I’m sure, as a sixteen year old you have plans that take you far away from a babysitting service. However, you would be doing me a huge favour and I know Georgie would love it. So, if you want to tell your parents that’s fine and should they need to chat, I will make myself available if they have any queries.”

I could see the worry slightly disappear from her face knowing she could chat openly to her parents but now I was worried about old wounds, opinions and gossip rearing its head all over again. I didn’t want to subject Georgie to any upset.


All the way home in the taxi I was both buzzing and apprehensive. The cake had gone down well and seeing Georgie in his little pink plastic pants had made me shudder in delight. It felt like he was wearing something I‘d given him, and not only that, he’d loved it. The pleasure I had on watching him wonder around, get involved with his toys or as we giggled our way through making the cake was immense. It seemed that every chance he got he wanted to cuddle and whisper how much he loved me and I repeated the same love back to him. As I patted his slinky pink padded bottom I knew I was destined to look after him.

That was another thing. The fact that Denise had no idea where those pants came from was a bit perplexing but as she reasoned, it must have been something hidden away that her mother had bought at some time, and had resurfaced with Georgie finding them in a hidey-hole somewhere.

In fact, the entire day couldn’t have gone better. Mrs Thomp... I mean, Denise had agreed to let me tell mum and dad about who she was and told them to ring her if they had any queries. However, despite my enthusiasm for the job I knew that neither of my parents would be happy about such a decision. They want me to follow my brother and sister to have a university experience and education. But, I know I’m only sixteen but I feel I know what I want for my future... and that’s working with children and what better way to get a start on that than being a ‘nanny’ for a few months during the holidays?

Denise also said that if I wanted, there was a spare room that I could have so I wouldn’t have to travel every day, but that was up to me. The wage discussed was nowhere near how much I’d earned the previous year doing part time babysitting but it was more than I’d expected.

Yes, by the time I got home I’d planned just how I’d approach my parents and how reasonable I was going to be. However, and this was the determining fact, I wanted to spend the summer holidays with Georgie... no matter what anyone else thought.


“Mum, I’ve found a job for summer.” I started as soon as I got in.

“Have you love... well that’s super... where?” She smiled her support.

“The lady I babysit for, the one I’ve just returned from needs someone more permanently and asked if I fancied being her son’s nanny.” I forced a smile laced with apprehension which I hoped she didn’t notice.

“Really, isn’t that a bit too much to expect from a teenager?” I could see the doubt creeping into her eyes.

“Not really,” I was quickly in with my argument. “I have been spending the last couple of Saturdays with him and he likes me and I like him, we get along well and besides, his mother needs the help.”

“Yes, but love, being in total charge and babysitting are two completely different things... there’s so much more responsibility to being a nanny. Don’t you have to pass a test or something to be such a thing anyhow?”

The conversation went on this way for some time and repeated itself when dad arrived home. However, I told them that despite everything it was something I wanted to do as I planned a career in childcare and this would be a brilliant opportunity to see if I was really cut out for such a job.

“Well, who is this lady that’s offered you such an opportunity?” I think dad had tumbled there was more to my desire than just babysitting.

“Well,” I started now for the first time a little unsure of myself, “do you remember the Hardy’s?”

“Of course, Denise and Donald and erm...”


“George, that’s right George.” I saw dad remembering things as they used to be.  “Wasn’t he your best friend when you were kids, always in and out of each other’s houses?” He smiled at the memory.

“It was such a shame what happened to them but Donald,” she sighed, “was such a bad self-centred man and Denise, well she was left to look after that little lad all on her own. It was disgusting what her husband left her with... all that debt and all...”

Once mum got started it seemed she had a lot to say on the subject. I just let her talk.

Eventually, the recollections of that period over ten years ago began to falter and brought them both back to what we were originally talking about. They looked to me to explain.

“Well, Mrs Hardy is now Mrs Thompson,” and as if to explain I added, “her pre-married name. And, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been babysitting for her.”

“Good heaven,” mum said, “I thought she’d left the area completely after all the things that were said about her and...”

“Yes mum, that’s precisely why she didn’t want me to tell anyone I was babysitting for her... she didn’t want to rake up all the ‘nastiness and accusations’.”

“Oh. I hope she didn’t think we were part of...” Mum was trying to defend something that might or might not have been said over ten years ago but she faltered as if she had perhaps said something she now regretted.

“I suppose she didn’t re-marry?” Dad was on the case.

“No, there’s just her and her son.”

“So, she had another kid then?” Mum had a touch of accusation to her voice that I didn’t like.

“No, just Georgie.”

Ohh,” was the confused collective sound from mum and dad.


... to be continued



Part 11

I explained to mum and dad how with his father leaving and the subsequent problems Denise endured the entire thing had a profound effect on George who now had a mental age of a toddler.

“Oh my God, the poor boy,” mum empathised.

“Poor woman,” dad added.

“Yes,” I joined in, “people were not kind except for one person... Mrs Hardy, erm, Thompson, I mean, Denise’s estranged mother, without a second thought, took them in and helped her back from the brink.”

I hoped I wasn’t being too melodramatic for my parents but from what Denise had said, she wasn’t far off doing something very drastic as she slipped down the hole she found herself in. She was in no position to stop that slide and was dragging her scared and confused son down with her.

I saw it as my duty to defend Denise and all she’d endured since the flight from next door.

There was so much more I wanted to say but thought it was really her decision just how much they were told. However, I did tell them, that I had a phone number if they wanted to discuss anything further with her but she wasn’t keen on making the journey back to the area where all her problems began.

“Mmmm, that’s understandable,” agreed dad.

After that there were a few moments of recollection before they began to tell me what a bad idea it was.


I was dreading the phone ringing so when it did I was really quite a bundle of nerves. I’d just got Georgie changed and nicely wrapped in his thick nightly padding when it went.  I knew who it would be and wondered, after ten year and more, how I would be able to chat about something that for years I hadn’t had to confront.

The Philips’s, despite being our next door neighbours and Georgie and Mel being childhood best of friends, hadn’t been there to offer the support I’d needed when trouble broke. The general opinion was not very sympathetic towards me because of accusations that I must have known about my husband’s criminal intentions. I hadn’t but it hurt a lot that was how most people thought. I had no one definite to blame for such a slur but it was one that gained credence and was the start of my anguish.

When I disappeared and we found our way to mums not once on my mobile or via email did any of my neighbours reach out. I was cut off completely. Thank God for mum otherwise I’d have been more swamped than I actually was.

However, I now needed a favour and as I padded downstairs to answer the phone I picked up the receiver with some misgivings... but hoped that I’d maintain civility and get my hopes across without losing any of the control I thought I had.

“Hello” Quite an inauspicious start to what I was sure would be the third degree.

At that moment, something happened that had never happened before. Georgie had got up from his bed, waddled down the stairs and stood in the doorway to listen in. He’d never left his bed before and this was quite a moment. However, I saw he wanted to be involved so waved him over as I added some pleasantries as I began to speak with who was on the end of the phone.

Georgie came and snuggled up against my bosom. I was breathing quite heavily, such was the anticipation and fear for where this conversation might end up but it was Melanie who spoke first and then put her parents on conference call so everyone could join in.

Georgie’s presence had an immediate effect on me. He calmed me down as I hugged and patted hi soft thick padding. His slinky pink plastic pants, which he’d asked if he could continue to wear, together with his pink onesie made me go more maternal than I think I’d ever been before. This was silly really, I’d just put him in all this stuff and yet now, here beside me, the feelings I have to protect and love my damaged son meant I wouldn’t take any nonsense from my ex-neighbours... even if it did mean me losing Melanie.


Mrs Thompson, I mean Denise (I’ll have to get used to calling her that), answered all mum and dad’s questions. She even complimented them on producing such a wonderful daughter who was so attuned to a child’s needs.

She was very open with them about why she’d booked me in the first place, hoping against hope that perhaps our past as best friends might just open a mental pathway that he recognised. She admitted that as yet sadly she saw no signs of this happening but realised it was purely wishful thinking on her part. As it was, I’d proved a better babysitter and a more efficient caregiver than anyone else.

I listened in, trying not to interfere too much, or guide the conversation, but there have been times at their house, and especially in the conservatory with granny’s portrait looking down on me, when I’ve thought I knew and understood everything so well.

Meanwhile, Denise was upfront about her current economical state and that she needed the job being offered because of the financial security it would give. Alas, in so doing, meant the flexibility would disappear and that’s where a more permanent caregiver was needed. 

She confessed that she’d happily offer me a full time job looking after Georgie if I was old enough and wanted to. However, if I could do it for the length of the school break, it would give her time to look for a different candidate. Unfortunately, she was under pressure herself and hoped that I might be able to accommodate her temporary request.

I was impressed with how she dealt with all my parent’s queries and I could feel my determination growing that I wanted the job as nanny to Georgie. I began to think that even if they forbid me from doing so, I would still find a way of doing it.

Throughout the conversation I thought my parents were trying to find fault, or catch her out, and I didn’t like that. In fact, the more Denise spoke and answered the question posed the more I felt protective of her. When I noticed mum pull a face, whilst actually agreeing verbally it annoyed me so much I actually called her out, much to my parent’s surprise. 

Dad said he didn’t really want his sixteen year old daughter travelling backwards and forwards every day - late nights and early mornings. Denise simply said that would be no problem as she had a spare room with my name on it if that made life easier for everyone and helped put their minds at ease. Dad was stumped for an argument against that idea.

Mum then put forward the fact that it would interfere with my social life, my friends, my other babysitting obligations.

“Well, of course I’d hate to interfere with any of that.” Denise answered. “But Melanie has said that she’s always thankful to have parents who respect their growing daughter’s opinion and decision making abilities. I’m also of that opinion. I’d love Melanie to be here for Georgie and me but she is a young lady who knows her own mind. If she says ‘No’ then ‘No’ it is and I would think no less of her because of the fantastic job she’s done so far and the help and encouragement she’s given my son.”

With each word she spoke I was getting even more single-minded (if that was possible) that I would be spending my summer break being the perfect nanny. There was also another thing bubbling inside my head... it was a job I was meant to do.


God, that was difficult. I tried my best to sound positive and honest but I got the feeling that I’m still not trusted, even after all this time. However, because Georgie was cuddling with me all the way through the conversation, his gentle presence kept me calm. It was really quite amazing how just stroking his hair, or patting his thick padding, or running my hand over the silky texture of his plastic pants, relaxed me and made the ordeal that much more tolerable.

My advice would be to all parents who have proper loving kids to keep them in nappies and plastic pants because they’ll reduce the anxiety levels instantly once you get to pet them.

So much for my advice, Impractical I know but it certainly works for me.

Meanwhile, back to the real world.

I didn’t get a definitive answer but I knew, regrettably, that the debate in the Philips’s household was going to be fractious. However, I hoped I hadn’t made things impossible for Melanie and trusted that when she called me back (whenever that might be) that at least she’d still be able to do next Saturday.

If I’d been a religious woman I might even have prayed that an angel would come to my rescue if Melanie couldn’t continue with her amazing relationship with Georgie.

After the call, bless him, my son was dozing whilst still hugging tightly, so I suggested I take him back up to his bed.

“Don’t worry mummy, she’ll be back with us soon.” His eyes were heavy with sleep but that was typical of him, even if he wasn’t sure what was going on, he was always so loving and supportive. I bet everyone wishes they had a son like mine.

I got him back to his room and popped in his dummy, which he instantly began to suck and settled back down. For him this had been quite a late night but I was so glad I had him with me. I hate to think how things might have gone had I not had his soothing presence.

“Nigh –nigh munny,” he was tired but tried to speak with his dummy in, “hanny il b wi us soom.”

Such reassurance from him did lift me so as I kissed him night-night. I can never stop gazing at my boy. Snuggled down under his juvenile blanket, in his blue and pink onesie and thick padding, whilst sucking on his dummy, I  filled up with as much love as anyone can have for their child and there was no one anywhere quite like Georgie.


After the call mum gave me an appraising look. “You’ve changed young lady... and I’m not sure if it’s for the best.”

Nevertheless, I returned the damning look because I knew she had opinions without knowing the facts, and after ten years, that really bugged me. However, I also knew what she meant because in just a couple of weeks I’d gone from a nice meek and mild schoolgirl, who’d want to keep the peace at all costs, to someone with a mind of their own and who wouldn’t put up with any crap. Yet, having said that, I could (and do) go weak at the knees when thinking of Georgie.

It’s having spent time in that environment. The house has been through a great deal and I’m sure before the stressed out ‘Hardy family’ arrived, there’d been a lot of love going on with her mother’s day care responsibilities. I suppose I picked up on that.

I knew, from what Denise had said about her mother that the day care was a placed loved by all. Her mother loved looking after all the children, the kids themselves found a place of fun and happiness and their parents found a woman who could be relied upon to do the best she could for their offspring. Yes, Georgie’s granny was a force to be reckoned with and there was something in me that strived to be that good and accepting - strong and supportive.

It might have been the way her portrait looked down across the conservatory but even I got the impression she was keeping an eye on all that went on. I also got the impression that she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her sweet baby grandson. I wanted to be that person who attained that much respect and love from one and all.

Perhaps, if this all worked out, maybe we could open up the day care centre again and I could look after many children, but, I was getting ahead of myself.

I had hoped Georgie might have good memories of the times we spent together as toddlers but somehow, that’s now all gone but his granny, the day care and the kids themselves gave him a new perspective. Not the one perhaps everyone expected but one with which he seems happy. I was seeing it as my duty to carry on that good work.


My parents continued to argue about it not being right and how they thought Georgie should be in some kind of institution where he could be looked after properly. I argued that he was being looked after properly and no institution, hospice or private hospital could offer him more care and attention than how his mother and gran had, and continued to care for him. They just couldn’t see it but eventually I wore them down with my argument, although it might have been my determination, and they agreed that I could spend my summer ‘nannying’ if I was sure that’s what I wanted to do.

However, they stipulated two things; the first was that I find a course that would give me childminding status, and second, that if at any time I felt it was all getting too much I had to promise I’d give it up and not continue just because I felt sorry for Georgie.

I was so pleased I’d got this much consent (in the way things were going I honestly thought they’d never agree) that I didn’t tell them that in no way did I feel sorry for Georgie. In fact, quite the opposite, I found him a beacon of unselfish love, thoughtfulness and there was no denying it... unbelievable cuteness.

I know there would be many who agree with my parent’s assessment that he should be in an institution but that’s because they didn’t know him and had no idea what the boy had been through to get to where he was. To me, there are far too many people happy to consign others to the scrap heap if it means they don’t have to deal with a problem. Mainly though, Georgie wasn’t a problem, he was just a cute, if large, toddler who loved everyone and everything, who had a talent for art and who looked wonderfully happy in a nappy.

I went and grabbed the portrait Georgie had done of me and had received many plaudits from everyone including mum and dad. At last I could reveal who this talented artist actually was... initially they didn’t believe me. I told them about my interaction with Mrs Langford-Court and her desire to have an exhibition. Though I didn’t add what Denise’s opinion of the woman was. They seemed impressed and I could see they were now unsure of the true nature of Georgie.

It just made it all so clear to me, everyone and everything would be better off with more Georgie’s in the world.


The following morning when she called with the good news I was ecstatic. I was just giving Georgie his breakfast and planning on what he was going to wear for the day when the phone rang. I wasn’t expecting it to be Melanie, more likely work, so I wasn’t ready for such good news first thing. When she said that she could take the reins from the following Saturday after school broke up, she was “...available to be the nanny I wanted”.

I asked if this was OK with her parents and she said they’d had a long and frank discussion but the end result was... she had permission. The two stipulations didn’t seem unfair and I thought how grown up of her to want to be registered as a childminder and not simply a babysitter. I was so grateful to her parents although didn’t know what she’d had to go through or agree to, to get this fantastic result.

Both Georgie and I danced around the kitchen we were so happy.


She had to get off to school but promised to call me that evening and then we could finalise things better. She said she was so excited and couldn’t believe the way things had panned out and so quickly. I just hoped she hadn’t felt overwhelmed by everything and that she’d thought through her own needs and hopes. We talked for quite some time but wondered if being called a nanny was too much.

When I thought about it ‘nanny’ was probably an unacceptable term but Melanie didn’t mind. The fact that I helped her find a course online that would of benefit with any future qualifications. I was pleased she took the job so seriously and the fact that she wondered if, at some time in the future, we might open up the house for childminding more than just Georgie, I liked her ambition. Very much like mother.

When I’d finished chatting Georgie came and crawled up beside me. Even though he was almost as tall as me, it was always lovely when he did this and we snuggled together. He had his thick daytime nappy covered by the pale blue vinyl pants that had little puppies running all over them. His t-shirt also had a puppy on the front but he’d discarded the matching shorts. I patted his bottom and he cuddled in further, sucking his dummy and looking happy with the news. Although, when I think about it, he never seemed in any doubt she’d be coming to join us. In fact, he said that she’d be with us soon.

We made plans to get the spare room ready, just in case she decided she would like to stay over. I quite liked the thought that I’d have another person to talk with. It all seemed to be panning out and I can’t tell you how pleased the company was that I was going to become full time after all.


I arrived Saturday morning armed with a small case full of clothes, my laptop and some books on childminding.

Denise and Georgie greeted me at the door both appeared to be very excited. Georgie was dressed in the same Pokémon outfit he wore when I first saw him. He looked his usual gorgeous self and every bit of the cutie he was. His mother was very welcoming and showed me to ‘my’ room, should I decide to use it. I’d more or less decided it was a good idea to spend as much time as possible there so that wasn’t a problem.

When I got downstairs Georgie came in for a cuddle. He’d done this so many times and yet it never failed to send a shiver of excitement up my spine. When he pulled away he took out his dummy and had the most dazzling smile.

A few moments later he said “Granny” and tilted his head ever so slightly.

“Nanny?” I gently corrected.

He came back for more cuddling. “I love you granny.”



The End



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