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An Unhappy Wife




            Tired of staring at the ceiling in the dark, Hannah sat up in bed and glanced at the clock. 3:35 a.m. Waking up in the middle of the night had become an unwelcome habit as of late and she wasn’t happy about it, but nothing seemed to work to relax her mind and allow her to go back to sleep. As she had so many nights before, she decided to pass the time by evaluating just what was the cause of her restlessness.


            She knew she had a good life. A loving husband, two wonderful children, and a life of relative ease. She’d married her first husband after she got pregnant with Abigail while still a teenager, but after a few years of tolerating his infidelity sued for divorce and got a large settlement along with a good-sized child support payment every month. Combine that with the money from Christopher’s lawsuit against his employer after the industrial accident at the plant six months ago and his disability payment and neither one of them would ever have to work again to live a comfortable, even a luxurious, life.


            Not that she stayed idle, that simply wasn’t in her nature. She started up her own Etsy shop through which she sold one-of-a-kind curiosities that she found both online and by scouring the area’s garage and estate sales. Twice a year she’d travel around the country to increase her supply. She found that she had a talent for finding things that no one else saw value in until she cleaned them up and marketed them on her site. It kept her busy, gave her a purpose to her days, and made her happy.


            She heard a soft groan to her left and looked over at her slumbering husband. In some ways he was absolutely the answer to any woman’s dreams. He was thoughtful, caring, affectionate, and a good father to both eighteen-year-old Abby, a lovable pain in the ass in her first semester at the local community college, and to Cassie, their own two-year-old bundle of energy. He and Abby had their conflicts when he was a little more strict than he should have been, but then teenagers needed a firm hand sometimes and she admitted that she herself was a little soft when it came to the kids. Yes, she was lucky to have found him.


            And yet, she realized, it was also Christopher who was the source of her angst. The accident had caused a lot of damage to his internal organs, rendering him impotent. He did his best to satisfy her needs in other ways, but she was growing increasingly desirous of having a man inside her, to bring her the waves of pleasure that only penetration could achieve. She was at her sexual peak and even though she knew that her husband’s inability to give this to her wasn’t his fault, she found herself irritated with him all the same. More and more, thoughts of finding pleasure elsewhere occupied her thoughts, but she was loyal to the idea of institution of marriage, as well as to Christopher. As long as she saw him as her spouse, an affair was off the table.


            But then there were the diapers. Along with the impotence came damage to his bladder, which gave him the control of a young toddler. He often didn’t know he had to go until the last minute, which had him rushing to the bathroom. This could be annoying, but during the day the effect on their lives was minimal. At night was a different matter. During Christopher’s first few weeks home from the hospital, he was getting up to pee three or four times during the night, disrupting Hannah’s sleep. Too many days in a row with only a few hours of sleep, combined with several wet beds, forced her to put her foot down and demand that he wear diapers at night. To his credit he only put up a token resistance and she’d diapered him before bed from that point on. The few times he’d tried to do it himself showed he couldn’t be trusted to get the diaper on tight enough to prevent leaks, so she assumed that responsibility.


            But then there was the smell. The odor of a baby’s wet diaper didn’t bother Hannah, but then she didn’t sleep in a nursery where she had to breath in the stench of urine for eight hours straight. Having to actually share a bed with the source of the odor was the initial cause of her waking up, then her irritation at the situation kept her awake. It didn’t help that her husband and bedmate blissfully slept through the night in his sopping, stinking diaper.


             None of this may have been his fault, but he could at least be considerate enough to share the consequences. Not once when he wet the bed, or the couple of times that his diaper leaked, did he offer to wash the sheets, leaving it up to her deal with his mess. Same with his underpants. Almost every day lately his underpants were wet by the end of the day and Christopher simply threw them in the hamper and expected her to wash them. This wasn’t the case until the last few weeks, leading Hannah to suspect that he was simply being lazy when it came to using the toilet. In fact, it dawned on her that even though he was home all day, he didn’t make dinner, clean, or do much of anything to help with the daily chores. Sloth was one thing she couldn’t tolerate, especially when it meant more work for her. Just thinking about it made her angrier than she could ever remember being.


            That’s it, Hannah thought. If Christopher wouldn’t assume control of the situation, she would take charge. Starting that morning she would make some changes and he would have to accept them. Gleefully her mind began to create a checklist that would save her sanity. Eventually satisfied, she lowered her head to the pillow and, to her surprise, fell instantly asleep.




            “Change rooms? I don’t understand, why would I do that?” Christopher was shell-shocked at his wife’s suggestion. He had no sooner sat down to breakfast at the kitchen table than Hannah broke the news. And by the tone of her voice, she made it sound like an order rather than a point up for discussion. He would have none of it. “We’re married and should be sharing a bed, that’s what married couples do. Besides, the only spare bedroom we have is Abby’s old room.”


            Hannah was non-plussed; this was the reaction she’d expected and she was ready. “You’re always saying that you’ll do anything to make me happy,” she replied sweetly. “And this will make me happy. You want a happy wife, don’t you?”


            “But why? You’ve never complained before.”


            “Christopher, I just reached my breaking point. I was hoping I would adjust and get used to your smelly diapers, but that never happened. If anything, I think you’re wetting more than you used to. I need my sleep, dear, and unless you have another idea you need to sleep in Abby’s old room until we come up with a better solution.”


            Christopher was momentarily without a response. He did want his wife to be happy, and in Hannah’s shifting the burden of a solution to him, he felt it necessary to come up with an idea, any idea, but nothing came to mind right away. He’d have to find another reason not to move.


            “But dear, if I move into a separate bedroom, we couldn’t hide that from Abby, and how would we explain...”


            “Explain what?” Abby entered the kitchen in a rush to grab a piece of toast or granola bar before heading off to school, but discovering something that her stepfather wanted hidden from her was too good to pass up. She could be late for geometry class. She got along with Christopher well enough, but at times he could be a real pain in the ass. If there was a secret out there that would give her any leverage over him, she wanted to know what it was.


            Across the table, Christopher was in a panic. Abby was well aware of his toileting issues. You couldn’t be in the house more than a couple of hours before noticing that he constantly had to run to the bathroom to avoid having an accident. But Hannah and he had been successful in hiding his diaper wearing from their daughter out of fear of undermining his authority, not to mention how humiliating it would be if she found out. Up until now, any smell of urine upstairs could be attributed to Cassie’s diaper pail, although she was in the process of potty training and for the past week had only been in diapers at night and when leaving the house. That excuse wouldn’t last much longer.


            Hannah saw the fear in her husband’s eyes but was resolute in her plans to take control of her life, even if it meant altering the family dynamic. “Sit down, dear. I can drive you to school so that you won’t be late because there’s something that you should know.” Hannah noticed Abby lean close in as she sat, eager to hear what came next. Her daughter’s enthusiasm gave her the push she needed to continue. “You know that your father has a weakened bladder from the accident that basically gives him the control of a eighteen-month-old girl. What you don’t know is that while he can barely manage to keep his pants dry during the day, he’s not so fortunate at night. In order to manage his bedwetting, he needs to wear diapers when he sleeps.”


            Abby couldn’t believe her luck and a broad smile broke over her face. She looked directly at her father, who had turned three shades of red, while still addressing her mother. “You mean he pisses in a diaper like a baby? Is he wearing one now? Do his diapers have cute designs on them? Can I see?”


            “Whoa, sit back down girl, he doesn’t have one on now. At least for the present time, he only wears them at night. You’ll have the chance to see them at some point. Now that the secret is out, you can help me by diapering your father when I’m not home to do it myself.”


            Christopher couldn’t believe what he was hearing nor how fast the situation had deteriorated. Not only were the two women talking about him as if he weren’t there or wasn’t allowed into the conversation, a decision to let his teenage stepdaughter get involved in a very private process was made without consulting him. Just because he wore diapers didn’t give them the right to treat him like a child. He needed to say something, but Hannah spoke up before he could think of what to say.


            “Anyway,” she began, “we’ve decided that until he can get his bedwetting under control, he’ll be moving into your old room. We’d appreciate it if you could help us with the move.”


            Before Abby could answer, movement could be heard through the baby monitor. “Oh dear, Cassie’s awake early. Christopher, would you please go check on the baby while I drive Abby to school?”


            “Yeah, Daddy,” Abby chimed in as she grabbed her backpack. “Please go check on the other baby. I wonder if she was able to stay dry overnight or if she joined the soggy diaper club.”


            With that, the two women left the house, leaving Christopher stunned and seething.




            “I mean, there’s no medical reason that he should be wetting himself during the day, is there? He may have a weakened bladder, but he managed to stay dry up until the last few weeks, so I wonder if he’s given up trying.”


            Hannah sat in the cramped office of her friend Emily Strong, a pediatrician who cared for both of Hannah’s children as well as those of half the town. She was a tall and imposing woman renowned for her extensive knowledge of any and all medical issues from newborns up to adolescence. Hannah respected her no-nonsense attitude and her uncanny ability to diagnose a problem and prescribe exactly what was needed to address it. That, and she wasn’t afraid to be frank with her friends on personal matters even if her advice made them uncomfortable.


            “I wouldn’t think so,” Emily answered. “It’s not the kind of injury that typically degenerates over time.” She paused to bring her schedule up on the office computer. “Tell you what. I have a cancelation tomorrow morning at 11:00. I’ll have Christopher’s medical records sent over in the meantime. Why don’t you bring him by and I’ll give him a thorough examination. In the interim, I suggest you fill this.”


            Emily wrote out a prescription and handed it to her friend. Hannah took several seconds trying to decipher the handwriting before giving up, throwing a puzzled look at the bemused doctor.


            “They’re medical grade adult briefs, basically disposable training pants for grown-ups. Far thicker and more absorbent than what you can buy off the shelf, and they have a waterproof outer lining. That should reduce the amount of your laundry for now, although to save money long-term you might want to invest in some cotton briefs. Lots of options online.”


            Hannah gawked at her friend, but the image of her husband in training pants and an idea that simultaneously popped into her head made her insides tingle. She smiled broadly as she stood to go.


            “Thanks, Emily. I’ll make sure he’s wearing a pair when we come by for his appointment tomorrow. See you then.”


            Emily watched as Hannah left the office, filled with compassion for her unfortunate friend, then turned back to her computer. There was time before her first appointment of the day to do some research and to order a few supplies to be delivered on an expedited basis. If, as she suspected, Christopher was simply letting himself regress with no expectation of consequences, she wanted to be prepared for tomorrow.



            Christopher’s resolve to confront his wife about the morning’s events dissipated as the morning wore on. He never liked conflict and the more he thought about it the more he could see things from Hannah’s perspective. And maybe he could turn the separate bedroom arrangement to his advantage. He’d always wanted a man cave, a room where he’d be free to be himself, but until now there was no extra space in the house he could use. This could be the opportunity he was waiting for.


            He hadn’t spent much time in Abby’s former bedroom since she had moved to a bigger room before he’d met Hannah, and Cassie was still in the nursery. Now he stood at the doorway, looking at it with a critical mindset. It wasn’t huge but would do nicely. The child-sized bed could be moved to the garage until Cassie was out of the crib, and the pink and white dressers could be painted. His computer would fit into one corner and he might be able to fit a decent-sized television in another, along with a comfy chair. The closet was even deep enough that he could put a mini-fridge to store beer, soda, and snacks.


            Christopher smiled. Yes, this could work out well after all. Of course, the pink and purple trim would have to be repainted and all of the nursery rhyme decals peeled off of the walls. He would replace those with posters of his favorite sports teams. And the rug with baby animals on it would simply be rolled up and eventually moved to Cassie’s room. What started off as an idea he was ready to stand firm against he was now ready to embrace. Hannah would be proud of his enthusiasm in making the move and how he’d turned a negative into a positive. He couldn’t wait to tell her his ideas.


            He was disappointed, then, when Hannah returned late and busied herself with other matters around the house. The frostiness of the morning had thawed and they were cordial with each other, although interactions were brief. Hannah did say that they’d start moving him to his new room after Abby got home and seemed surprised at his lack of argument.


            The afternoon moved slowly but finally Christopher heard the front door close and recognized the distinct sound of a heavy backpack being dropped on the floor. Excitement ran through his body as he waited to be summoned to assist with moving his clothes to his new room. Just think, his own man cave.


            Christopher practically flew up the stairs when Hannah called to him, where he encountered his wife and Abby standing just inside the door of his new bedroom. Cassie was toddling around exploring. He’d have to make sure that they all knew that once it was set up, the room would be off limits to the children.


            “I brought some boxes so that Abby and I can put away her old clothes to store in the attic while you carry your clothes in from my bedroom,” Hannah told him. “You can lay them on the bed until the closet is cleared out.”


            “Before we start, let me tell you about my idea for the room,” Christopher stated proudly. He then proceeded to lay out the plans he had so carefully constructed in his mind earlier, but was soon interrupted by Abby.


            “Mom, he can’t do that! You promised Cassie that when she’s potty-trained she can move into the big girl’s room, and she’s getting close. If Daddy makes any changes, he’d have to change them right back again. That doesn’t make sense and isn’t fair to Cassie.”


            As Abby spoke all eyes moved to the toddler, who was grinning as she moved from bed to dresser to closet, pointing at everything while she repeatedly said “mine.” Unknowingly, the youngest member of the family was dealing the final death blow to her father’s plans for a man cave.


            “She’s right, dear,” Hannah said sternly as she turned to face her deflated husband. “It may only be a matter of a week or so before Cassie is fully trained, and she knows that this room is her reward. We can’t break our promise to her. Don’t worry, that gives you a week to prove that you deserve to come back into my bed, otherwise there’s the nursery.”


            Abby had to suppress a giggle while Christopher stood dumbfounded. He wasn’t made aware of the promise to Cassie, although to be honest he hadn’t really participated in her toilet training. That was left to the two women. His dream of his own room was vanishing. The nursery was smaller, but maybe if he put the tv on top of a dresser he could squeeze everything in. All he knew now was that there was no sense fighting a battle he would lose. With a sigh, he turned to go collect his clothes.


            He was hanging up the last of his shirts in the closet when he noticed Hannah placing unfamiliar items in one of the dresser drawers. Try as he could, he couldn’t figure out what they were. Towels, maybe?


            Hannah smiled. “No, dear. These are your new underpants. If you look on the bed, you’ll see that I lined up the underwear you’ve worn for the past week. Seven pairs, seven heavily stained with urine and one even has a streak in the rear. I’m going to have to toss away all of them, they’re too far gone to wash. Before we buy new ones, you’ll need to prove that you can stay dry during the day. These are disposable and absorbent, so if you have an accident you won’t ruin your panties or the furniture.”


            Neither parent noticed Abby had returned from bringing a box to the attic and was standing in the doorway listening intently. She was giddy, with Christmas coming early in what she had just heard.


            “Wait, Mom, you mean Daddy has to wear training pants just like Cassie? Will we need to remind him to go potty like we do with her?”


            Christopher started to say something but a look from Hannah shut him down before the words got to his mouth. “You know, honey, that’s a great idea. Your father will benefit from a little more structure in his toileting. From now on, every time one of us brings Cassie to the potty, we’ll make sure he goes as well. They can be potty buddies. That way we can also check to see if your daddy needs a new pair of panties at the same time.”


            It was all she could do not to jump and scream, but Abby wasn’t dumb. She knew she had to play this cool, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t rub her father’s new status in a bit. “Cool. And Daddy, if you have to go at any other time, come and ask me to take you to the bathroom. Maybe we should get your own sticker chart like the one Cassie has on the fridge.”


            “Great idea, dear,” Hannah added. “It couldn’t hurt. And from now on, Christopher, you also need to ask any grown-up to take you to the toilet for pee pees or poo poos, and either one of us can also take you at any time we think you might have to go. We know the signs. All right? Good. That’s settled. Come downstairs, girls, and let your father change into his trainers.”


            Christopher was paralyzed on the spot. What had just happened here? Decisions had been made as if he had no say at all, and no one asked for his opinion. And to treat him like some incontinent toddler was just unfair! As he pondered what to do, his glance at the bed brought seven pairs of heavily-soiled underpants into his view. Defeated, he grabbed them up and brought them to the trash, added the pair he was wearing, and reached for the dresser drawer.




            “Honey, can you come here for a moment?” Christopher shouted out his bedroom door, being careful to hide all but his head from whomever might be lurking in the hallway. For the last twenty minutes he’d been searching his drawers and closets for a pair of cargo pants that was normally much too large around the waist for him without success. He prayed that Hannah knew where they were.


            Just as the door opened, he froze in fear after realizing that he hadn’t specifically called for Hannah, and was relieved when it was she rather than Abby that entered the room. Hannah smirked as she saw Christopher cowering before her dressed in nothing but his shirt, socks, and a pair of the training pants, which ballooned out from his body. They were much thicker than she imagined while putting them in his drawer earlier.


            “Well don’t you look adorable,” she said in her most innocent tone, “and they’re white just like your old undies, so you can barely tell the difference. Let me check the fit.” As she spoke Hannah knelt down and ran her hands around the garment, patting both front and rear and running her fingers under the leg openings. It felt like she was touching an enormous puffy cloud. “I think they’ll work perfectly well in stopping any leaks if you have an accident. Now was there something that you needed?”


            “I can’t fit my pants over them,” Christopher whined. “Do you know where that pair of gray cargo pants is? You know, the one that I accidentally bought the wrong size?”


            “Don’t you remember? We gave those away when we cleaned house last spring?” Hannah replied, knowing full well that they were actually hidden in the back of her closet where she’d put them earlier today.


            Christopher was in a panic. “But what can I wear over these, these...”


            “Training pants? You can say the words, no need to be ashamed. I can’t think of anything you have that would work, dear. Would it be so bad to just go without? Certainly it would make checking you for wetness easier.” Hannah felt a thrill inside to see all color drain from her husband’s face as he vigorously shook his head. “Well, I do have an idea. Hold on.”


            Hannah left the room, returning moments later with a short yellow skirt. “How about this? I don’t wear it anymore and you can have it to keep.”


            “I can’t wear that!” Christopher cried. “That’s for women! Don’t you have anything else?”


            “I’m afraid not, honey. It’s either this or just the panties. Make up your mind soon because dinner’s almost ready. Make sure you’re downstairs in five minutes.”


            Christopher’s first thought as Hannah left was that he would never leave his room again, but he couldn’t expect his family to bring him his meals and he was hungry. The idea of his daughters seeing his shameful underwear finally swayed him to put on the skirt. With no mirror in the room, he was unable to see that the bottom of his training pants clearly peeked out from beneath for all to see. He sheepishly headed downstairs.


            As he entered the kitchen, Hannah had to turn away to cover her involuntary giggle and Abby couldn’t contain her glee. “Gee, Daddy,” she said happily, “nice look. Would you like a bra to go with it?”


            “Abby, that’s enough!” Christopher exploded. “This is just to wear around the house since none of my pants fit over...well, just because my pants are temporarily unavailable. And not a word to anyone, you understand young lady?”


            “He’s right, dear,” Hannah added. “This is just within the family for now. Although it will be hard to hide your skirt, Christopher, when we go to the doctor tomorrow.”


            “The doctor? I never made a doctor’s appointment.”


            “I know dear,” Hannah replied softly. “I did. We need to find the cause of your daytime wetting and find a solution. There’s no need to be upset. I would think you would appreciate my proactive effort to get you out of training pants. We have an 11:00 appointment with Dr. Strong.”


            Christopher sat silently. Hannah should have consulted him, but on the other hand she did have his best interests in mind. Maybe that would be the first step back toward normalcy, and even set him on the path back into Hannah’s bed. He chose to remain silent.


            Abby, however, did not. “Dr. Strong? My doctor? Cassie’s doctor? Isn’t she a pediatrician?”


            “Well, yes,” Hannah admitted. “But she has more extensive experience in the areas that we need to consult her about.”


            “You mean bedwetting and pants piddling?” Abby replied gleefully. “I can see your point. She probably sees a lot of three-year-olds with the same problems.”


            The two women went on to discuss Abby’s school day, but Christopher tuned them out in a sulk. As soon as he finished his dinner, he quietly excused himself, rinsed his plate off in the sink, and left the kitchen to go watch television, ignoring the giggles emanating from behind him.



            “Christopher, dear, wake up. We need to get you upstairs to bed.” Hannah gently nudged her husband, who had fallen asleep while watching a game that quickly became one-sided. “Abby, you should come too.”


            Christopher stood up groggily, wondering why Abby was going to bed this early. She was usually the family’s night owl, even on school nights. He took hold of the hand Hannah held out and followed her upstairs, never once considering how much it made him look like a child following his mother to bed. His oldest daughter noticed, however, and also had a full view of her father’s training pants as she trailed behind them on the stairs. She couldn’t be sure, but they looked like they were drooping.


            “No, dear, don’t you remember? This is your room now.” Hannah directed Christopher away from the master bedroom and into Abby’s old room, pulling him toward the small bed and gently guiding him down onto it. The sound of a distinct crinkle filled the room signaling the presence of plastic under the pink princess sheets left over from Abby’s younger days. Christopher made a mental note to remove the plastic the next day and to find some other sheets that would fit the bed.


            It wasn’t until Hannah began to pull his skirt down his legs that he realized that Abby was standing beside her watching the process. He began to protest only to have Hannah push three fingers against his lips, motioning him to stay quiet.


            “Honey, you’re eighteen now and old enough to start helping with your father’s diapering. Now’s as good a time as any to learn how. It’s really not that different from changing a baby, just on a bigger scale. I’ve got an idea of how to convert the top of that long dresser into a changing table but for now we can just put a pad under him on the bed, like this. Lift your hips, dear.”


            By this time Christopher had turned a deep crimson and closed his eyes as tight as he could. He was silently praying that a giant hole would open up beneath him and swallow him down away from this embarrassment. But while he could keep from seeing the two women above him, he couldn’t close his ears and avoid hearing their running commentary.


            First, though, he heard a distinct sniffing sound. “Oh my. I think he might have wet himself when he fell asleep downstairs. Do you smell that? I know, it is reminiscent of Cassie, at least when she still wore diapers. Same principal here. Put a couple of fingers inside like this. Now you try it.”


            Christopher felt a second, smaller set of fingers starting to probe. “Eww,” Abby squealed. “He definitely peed himself. Can I have that wipe? Thanks, Mom. No, I’m okay. Can I finish the change?”


            Reflexively, Christopher opened his eyes as he felt his training pants being pulled down his legs, only to see Abby’s jaw drop and hear her uncontrollable laughter. “Mom, did you...did you...I mean...”


            “Yes, Abby, I keep his shaved down there. It’s more sanitary, cuts down on rashes, and is supposed to minimize odors, although I’m not sure about that last one.”


            Abby wasn’t done inquiring. “Does the lack of hair make it look smaller? Really? Oh mom, I’m so sorry. Are you sure Cassie is his?”


            “Hush dear, that’s not something he had any control over.” Hannah said, unsuccessfully trying to sound stern through her smile. “Now you want him to be clean before putting his diaper on, so make sure you wipe in all the creases and yes, even down there.”


            “Ick, ick, ick,” Abby muttered as she completed the task. “I think he needs to relearn wiping when we take him to the potty. No, let me finish what I started. Mom, these diapers aren’t very good. I think you need to find something thicker.”


            “I’ve thought about it but just haven’t had the time. Do me a favor. I’ll give you my credit card. Go online tonight and see what you can find. Look for some washable training pants too, they’re better for the environment and I have a feeling we’ll run out of these sooner than I thought. And as long as you’re shopping, see if you can find something for your father to wear that will fit over whatever training pants you buy. Thanks, honey.”


            Abby didn’t need to be thanked. She would have gladly used her own money to find a new wardrobe for her father. She practically skipped out the door on the way to the bathroom to wash her hands.


            “Good night, dear. Get some sleep. You have a busy day tomorrow.” Christopher wasn’t sure if Hannah’s tone was meant to sound like a parent talking to her child or if it was his imagination, but he didn’t miss the significance of her flipping on the Hello Kitty night light as she left the room.




            Christopher stumbled sleepily into the kitchen for breakfast. He had found it hard to get comfortable in the child-sized bed until eventually he discovered a fetal position in which he could relax enough to fall asleep. He had reluctantly put on another pair of the offensive training pants, having no alternative, but he opted not to cover them with the skirt he wore the day before. That, unfortunately, made things even worse.


            He was surprised to see Abby already at her usual seat, as she usually rushed in only long enough to grab something to eat minutes before the school bus arrived. The reason for her early arrival became evident soon enough.


            “Good morning, Daddy,” Abby chirped. “Did you remember to go potty when you got up? Come here, let me check your panties.”


            “Abby, enough. I’m your father and...” Christopher got no further before he was interrupted.


            “Dear,” Hannah said firmly. “You’re still Abby’s father for everything else. But when it comes to your diapers and potty privileges, you need to listen to her. If I hear that you’ve refused to cooperate with her or of any backtalk, you’ll be sorry. Do you understand? Good. Now let her check to see if you’re still dry.”


            Biting his lip to hold back a comment that surely would’ve made things worse, Christopher stood and shuffled slowly to Abby’s side where he endured her intrusive fingers once again. Once she withdrew them he turned to go, only to feel her pull the back of his training pants back as she looked inside and audibly sniffed the air.


            “Good girl,” she said as the mortified man made his way back to his seat. He sat glumly as he began eating his cereal, avoiding all eye contact.


            Breakfast was over. Abby headed for the front door as her parents moved toward the stairs to go get dressed for the day when the baby monitor came alive with the noises of a waking toddler. Abby froze and turned toward her mother.


            “Mom...” she begged.


            “I’m sorry dear, you’ll have plenty of opportunities. Right now you need to get to school.”


            Abby grumbled but obeyed and left the house. Christopher marveled at the unspoken communication between the two women. How did Hannah know what Abby wanted, and what exactly was it? The answer came almost immediately as his wife stopped him before he entered his new room.


            “Not yet honey. Cassie needs to be taken to the potty as soon as she wakes up and I need you to try as well. Remember what we talked about? Every time she is put on the toilet, you are as well. It’s for your own good. You’ll start to regulate your bathroom trips and avoid accidents. You’re under the same rules she is. Stay clean and dry and you earn big girl panties. Too any wet or dirty pants and it’s back to diapers. So come along.”


            Christopher couldn’t believe his ears. He of course remembered their talk about toilet trips with his young daughter, although he’d hoped that Hannah had forgotten. But he didn’t think their discussion mentioned anything about the possibility of daytime diapers. Not that he needed to worry about that. He was an adult, after all.


            Christopher trailed behind his wife as they entered the nursery and listened without enthusiasm as she praised Cassie for staying dry at night, a part of him wondering if he’d ever be the recipient of the same accolades. The trio hustled for the bathroom, where Hannah quickly put the portable child’s potty seat onto the toilet and gently placed her daughter onto it. The child sat and played with the toilet paper dispenser but there was no immediate release of pee. Christopher didn’t see the point of his being there and began to fidget. Hannah took notice.


            “Oh dear, I’m sorry, I can tell you need to go potty. Cassie takes her time in the morning. Give me a second.” She reached past him to open the linen closet door and pulled out a baby potty chair, pulled down Christopher’s training pants, then motioned him to sit. “Cassie’s graduated to the grown-up toilet and it’s not recommended that she return to this one, so this will be yours for toilet time. And no standing, you’ll spray and make a mess. You’ll sit from now on.”


            Christopher could tell that this was an order, not a request. He didn’t want to have an argument in front of Cassie, but added this to his list of grievances he would bring up with Hannah later. With some difficulty he squeezed onto the seat with the help of his wife, who pushed his penis down behind the splash guard.


            A few minutes later he heard a tinkle from Cassie’s direction and saw the proud smile on his daughter’s face. Again, Hannah showered her with positive reinforcement before wiping her and lifting her off. She turned to Christopher.


            “Nothing yet? Keep trying, dear, while I get Cassie dressed. I’ll come back and check on you in a few minutes.”


            And he did try, but the combination of having peed when he got up and being in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable position on the undersized potty chair wasn’t conducive to results. He scrunched up his face, closed his eyes, and concentrated with all his might in order to make Hannah proud of him too when he felt a presence standing above him.

            “I can see you’re trying very hard, darling, but using the potty isn’t easy when you’re not used to it. We’ll try again later, but for now we need to get moving in order to drop Cassie off at day care and get to your appointment on time.” Hannah began moving away before stopping and looking back, studying Christopher as he pulled up his trainers. “I think it would be a good idea to bring along another pair, just in case.”


            Christopher walked to his room to get dressed, only then realizing that he had nothing that would fit over the bulk of the training pants, and there was no way he would wear a skirt again. Maybe if he threw a fit it would get him out of seeing the doctor at all.


            “Hannah!” he cried. “Come here.”


            “Good heavens, dear, what is it? And why aren’t you dressed?”


            “I don’t have any pants that fit, remember? And I don’t think you want anyone to see your husband out in public in a skirt.”


            “Is that all it is?” Hannah said softly. “Don’t worry, Abby came up with a solution. You can borrow these from her.” Hannah held out a pair of pale pink sweatpants. As he unfolded them, Christopher saw the faded, pastel floral decoration that he remembered from a picture of Abby from when she was twelve. He looked up at Hannah in dismay.


            “It’s that or the skirt dear. Now hurry, we need to go.”


            “Can we stop on the way and buy a pair of men’s sweatpants?” he pleaded.


            “No time, dear. Besides, Abby said she ordered some clothes for you that’ll fit and they should be delivered later today. No sense spending money if we don’t have to. It’s only for the morning. Now move!’


            Christopher pulled the sweats up his legs and over the training pants. They were stretchy enough to wear, although they did little to hide all of the padding and only went down to his mid-calf. Christopher signed in resignation. He could make it through the morning, then he’d get his new clothes and have a talk with Hannah and everything would be okay. And if he told himself that over and over, he would almost believe it.




            Christopher fidgeted in his chair, conscious of the furtive glances of the other adults in the waiting room and the not-so-subtle stares of the children. Being a school day, all of the kids there were five years old or younger, many still in diapers. The curious looks they got when they entered the doctor’s office without a child in tow turned to expressions of disbelief for those who overheard Hannah answer the receptionist’s standard question as to the reason for their visit with “he can’t seem to keep his pants dry.” It didn’t help that the office staff continuously opened the door to the back rooms a crack to take a peek at him.


            His embarrassment never lessened, as the women and children who were called back were quickly replaced by new sets, so that he was constantly scrutinized and judged by prying eyes. As much as he dreaded what was to come inside the exam room, every time a nurse opened the door to call a patient in he silently prayed that it would be him. Finally, his time came. An attractive young woman of around twenty-five with a cute bob cut and a chest that pushed the limits of her scrubs opened the far door wide and looked right in their direction.


            “Ms. Coleman and Chrissy,” she said loudly. Hannah stood, taking Christopher’s hand and leading him across the room past all of the other mothers, a low murmur filling the room as they walked. He breathed a huge sigh of relief as the door of the examination room closed behind them.


            “Now what brings you here today?” she asked innocently, ignoring Christopher and directing her question to Hannah.


            “My husband has been wetting the bed for some time now, which we manage with diapers, but lately he’s been tinkling in his panties during the day as well. I thought we should check to see if there’s a medical reason or if he’s just continuing his regressive behavior.”


            Christopher was aghast that Hannah didn’t mention his accident as the reason for his lack of control and started to interject but was met with a “hush” from both Hannah and the nurse.


            “I see. And is he wearing protection now?”


            “Yes, I’ve put him back in training pants for the time being.”


            “All right, well please help him up on the exam table here and strip him down to his training panties so that I can take his vitals. Do you know his height and weight?”


            Christopher was so annoyed that he was being treated as incapable of answering these questions on his own that he barely noticed as Hannah slipped off his shoes, pulled off Abby’s sweat pants, and started pulling his shirt over his head. He could have done that, he wanted to say, but he was being totally ignored. In one way, he thought, it was almost better if he didn’t draw the nurse’s attention to himself. That hope was quickly dashed.


            “Okay, Chrissie, I’m going to listen to your heart. This might be a little cold but it won’t hurt. Can you be a big boy for me and lie there quietly? Very good. Now let me look into your eyes with this tiny light and try not to blink. Can you do that? Now, Ms. Coleman, can you help turn Chrissie over so that I can listen to his lungs? Good gir..boy. Now Chrissie I need you to lie very still while I take your temperature.”


            Christopher started to turn back over and sit up, but felt two pairs of hands press down on him to keep him on his stomach. It wasn’t until he felt the back of his training pants being pulled back that it dawned on him what was going to happen. He started to protest, loudly.


            “Oh baby, you were being so good up until now,” the nurse’s voice sounded from behind. “Ms. Coleman, can you keep him still while I get something?” A few seconds later he felt a rubbery object being pushed between his lips. “Open up, baby. Now don’t spit it out or your mommy might have to spank.”


            Christopher crossed his eyes trying to see what had been forced into his mouth without success, but as his tongue explored it didn’t take him long to realize that it was a pacifier. What he didn’t know was that his exploration caused the binky to move in and out of his mouth as if he were sucking it, and that two women were watching with amused expressions.


            “Okay, Chrissie,” the nurse told him, “this won’t hurt and will be over soon.” Christopher felt her Vasoline-covered finger moving in and out of his rosebud followed shortly after by the cold and rigid thermometer, which the nurse held in by cupping his butt cheek. He knew he was blushing, partly out of humiliation and the infantile intrusion into his backside, and partly because of the pleasure he was feeling from it. For once, he was thankful that he was unable to react down there. Unknowingly, he did begin to suck the pacifier and was doing so rapidly.


            All too soon, the thermometer was withdrawn. “Normal,” he heard the nurse say. “You can turn him back over and pull his panties up. By the way they’re a little damp, but I think they’re fine for now.”


            Damp? They’re perfectly dry, and Hannah needed to know that. “Thhrmm ntt wwmtt,” Christopher protested.


            Hannah chuckled. “I think you can take your paci out now,” she told him, “unless you want to keep it in.”


            Christopher immediately reached to pull out the offending object, but his hand had barely touched its ring when Dr. Strong entered the room.


            “Oh, how adorable,” were her first words. “Please, Chrissie, leave that in. There’s more of the examination that I need to do and I’d prefer that you don’t distract me with questions or commentary. Your pacifier will remind you to stay quiet. Now scoot up and lie back down.”


            Lying flat, Christopher was unable to get a good view of what the doctor was doing, but he could hear metal objects being pulled out and clicked into place. Dr. Strong then appeared between his legs, the perspective making her seem larger than life. He felt his left foot being lifted and watched in horror as it was strapped into the stirrup, followed by his right. She then moved to the side of the table and pulled a heavy strap across his midsection, buckling it so tight that he was effectively immobilized.


            “Some of the tweens react a bit physically for their first gyno exam,” she explained in response to Hannah’s inquiring eyes. “In this case, it’ll keep him still while I probe his private areas, and the stirrups give me a bit of a clearer view.”


            Christopher tried to imagine himself on a quiet beach or relaxing in a hammock, or anything to avoid thinking about the invasions he had to endure at the hands of his wife’s friend. She too stuck a finger up his rear, then a couple more, and then moved them around as if looking for something. She cupped his balls, flopped his member back and forth, and stuck a tube down it to collect fluid. All of the morning’s activity stimulated his rectum, but not always in a good way, and Christopher cringed as he let out a wet fart.


            “I think we all know what that means,” Dr. Strong commented to Hannah as she pulled Christopher’s training pants back up, leaving his feet in the stirrups. “Let me get the nurse back in here to draw blood right away.”


            In seconds, the attractive nurse returned and had to stifle a giggle at seeing Christopher in a most feminine position. Ever the professional, she quickly regained her composure and drew the blood samples, but as she was leaving Dr. Strong stopped her.


            “Sarah, I’ll handle the samples. Would you mind taking Chrissy here to the potty while Hannah and I have a few words? And yes, it would be a good idea to stay and supervise him and wipe him if necessary. Thanks.”


            “Everything looks normal as far as I can tell,” she told Hannah when they were alone. “But I’ll run the blood tests to see if there’s anything I wouldn’t find in a physical exam. We should have the results by tomorrow. Let me ask you something, though. From his medical records and seeing no reaction to my manipulating him just now, it’s clear that his days of having sex are over. How do you feel about that?”


            Hannah felt a tear reach the corner of her eye. “Emily, it breaks my heart. He’s my husband and as long as we’re husband and wife I won’t betray him. He’s a good man in so many ways, and how would I look to divorce him for something that’s not his fault? But I really, really miss having a man inside of me. No, not just miss. I crave it. Am I expected to go the rest of my life relying on his tongue and my vibrator? It’s not fair.”


            Dr. Strong looked thoughtful as if she were making a decision. “What if he stayed a part of your life, but you no longer viewed him as your husband? Or,” she added with rising enthusiasm, “a man at all?”


            Hannah was confused but intrigued. “I don’t understand.” She watched as Emily opened a drawer and pulled out two large bags of powder.


            She smiled at her friend. “Let me explain.” And she did.


            Ten minutes later, giddy as a teenager, Hannah returned to the waiting area where an abashed Christopher sat in a corner in nothing but his shirt and training pants, trying to blend into the wall but seemingly unaware of the pacifier between his lips. The receptionist called Hannah over and handed her a plastic bag containing Abby’s sweatpants. “Wet,” she said in a stage whisper.


            Hannah looked at her husband and shook her head. If there had been any doubt before as to her plans for him, this sealed the deal. She took his hand and led him to the car.





            Christopher sat on his bed, his thoughts jumbled. Upon arriving home from the doctor Hannah brought him into the bathroom, wiped him down with a warm washcloth, then gave him a clean pair of training pants. Other than several “tsk, tsks” from his wife, the process was performed in silence. She didn’t otherwise comment on his accident nor give him a chance to explain that the nurse was too slow in getting him into the bathroom so that it wasn’t his fault. How she viewed it, though, was evident in the large container of baby wipes that she put on top of his dresser. They’d also been married long enough that he could tell without speaking that she wasn’t pleased with him.


            Because of this, and despite the fact that it was the nurse’s fault that he wet himself, he chose to wait until she calmed down a little before he initiated his talk with her. He needed to make clear that her new rules were unfair, unnecessary, and undermined his authority with Abby. For now, though, he was avoiding her and decided to stay in his room and think about how to broach the subject without causing an argument. The stress of the morning’s events and the lack of anything to do eventually had his eyes drooping. A short nap, he thought, would help bring his mind back into focus.


            He awoke when the front door slammed and he heard Abby call that she was home from school, followed by a small shriek and her comment that “they’re here!” Christopher’s attitude immediately improved. She had to be referring to the clothes that she had ordered for him, which she must have requested express delivery for. He smiled for the first time in days. Finally, the first step back to reestablishing respectability.


            He stood up to make his way downstairs, but was startled to feel his training pants droop between his legs. This wasn’t his fault either, he knew, because he had fallen asleep and what happened was essentially bedwetting even though it occurred during the daytime. He wondered how noticeable it would be and whether he could quickly get one of his new pairs of pants over them before Hannah or Abby would see. Or maybe he shouldn’t take the chance and change before he went downstairs. But was Hannah keeping track of the number of trainers that he was using? Would changing only make things worse? He wasn’t that wet now, was he?


            Before he could make a decision, Hannah popped her head in the door. “Dear, your new clothes are here. Could you come downstairs for a few minutes?” Not waiting for an answer, she turned and left, expecting him to follow. Encouraged by her pleasant tone of voice that seemed to say that this morning’s events were forgiven and forgotten, he gave up all thoughts of changing and left the room. Things were about to get better, he just knew it.


            As he reached the bottom of the stairs, he was greeted by the beaming smiles of the two women and the sight of several large boxes on the living room floor. Cassie, just back from daycare, was trying to climb one of them. Hannah picked her up and brought her to sit with her on the couch while Abby was cutting the tape on the first of the boxes.


            “I was lucky to find these at a huge discount. If I ordered in quantity and let the shop pick the patterns, probably those that weren’t big sellers for them, I got fifty percent off,” she said proudly. “So even I’m not sure what they look like except for the fact that they’re the top brand. Daddy, you don’t need to worry about those training pants anymore.”


            Christopher couldn’t believe his ears, but his elation quickly deflated when Abby reached into the box and pulled out a pair of large cotton yellow and lilac briefs adorned with flowers and butterflies. He was speechless, but Hannah quickly filled the void.


            “Those are darling, Abby. Can I see them? Oh my, they’re thick. They must have a dozen layers in the crotch. They’re even heavier weight than the disposables he’s using now. Good job. How many pairs did you get?”


            “Twelve, plus a coupon for twenty percent off if we order more,” she said brightly. “And they’re the brand for heavy wetters. Should we see the rest?”


            Christopher lowered himself into a chair as the women pulled pair after pair out of the box, oohing and ahhing at each one. There were several animal prints, plain pairs in pink and yellow, polka dots, and flowers. Not one of them seemed appropriate for a male, or for an adult for that matter. The only saving grace was that they would be hidden under the pants that must have been in one of the other boxes.


            “Well, c’mon Daddy, which one do you want to try first?” Abby gushed. “I know, this one with the turtles is super cute! Come here, I’ll help you.”


            Knowing he didn’t have a choice, Christopher walked over to where Abby sat on the floor, her head at his waist level. She reached to pull his current pair down before she paused, sniffed the air, and felt his crotch.


            “Mom, would you mind getting some baby wipes. I think all of this excitement was too much for Daddy.”


            Giving her husband a look of profound disappointment, Hannah left the room and returned shortly, handing Abby a box of wipes. She stood by while Abby had him step out of his soiled pants and wiped him down, then again left to dispose of the offending garment. When she returned, though, her face brightened at the sight of Christopher in his new training pants.”


            “Well isn’t that just the cutest,” she said. “And turtles spend a lot of time in water so they won’t mind getting wet.”


            “Oh yeah, speaking of that,” Abby said, “these don’t have the waterproof outer layer so I had to buy plastic panties to go over them.” As she spoke Abby reached into the box and pulled out a stack of plastic pants in assorted colors and patterns. She picked out a light yellow pair. “This one kind of matches. Well, it’ll definitely match the color of the panties after he wets them,” she giggled.


            “Now dear, be nice,” Hannah admonished, albeit with a smile. “Honey, step into those and then come let me see.” Christopher stood mute while his wife adjusted the plastic pants to make sure that the fabric beneath was completely incased. Satisfied, she patted him on the rear and sent him back to his chair.


            Abby pushed the now-empty box off to one side and pulled another over. “It wasn’t easy to find clothes in his size that we could get quickly, so a lot of what I ordered won’t be here until next week. But I bought a few outfits that he can wear for now.”


            Christopher leaned forward eagerly. Finally, he could cover up his shameful trainers. It would be far more convincing telling Hannah that she needed to start treating him more like an adult if he was wearing a pair of jeans. He blanched as his daughter pulled out the first of her purchases.


            “They’re onesies, see? I couldn’t believe they made them in adult sizes, but then I read that they’ll help keep his diapers—I mean his training pants—from sagging after they’ve been used. Isn’t that nice, Daddy? That way the fact that you need a change won’t be so obvious when you’re out in public. And look, they have snaps in the crotch to make changes easier.”


            Christopher was stunned as he looked at the pile of oversized onesies in any number of childish, even infantile patterns. His prolonged silence hung over the room.


            Hannah intervened. “Well, Chrissy, aren’t you going to thank her for being so thoughtful? They’ll save you lots of embarrassment if you have a wet or messy accident in front of others. You should be grateful.”


            “ you Abby,” he stammered. Please, he thought to himself, let there be something in one of the other boxes to cover these up, although his confidence in his daughter’s judgment was rapidly waning. His fears were quickly realized.


            “These are just the ones I could get fast,” Abby noted as she pulled three outfits from the final box. “There’s a couple of sets of shorts and tops with animal patterns. The shorts don’t have snaps but they can be pulled down easily, and one of them has a plasticized lining. But this is my favorite outfit.”


            Christopher’s hopes were raised as he saw something denim being pulled from the bottom of the box. Finally, he hoped, a pair of blue jeans.


            “Look at that, it’s a pair of shortalls,” Hannah cooed. “And a fire truck on the bib. Is there a matching shirt?”


            “Of course,” Abby said as she held up a white shirt with a red collar and fire trucks and dalmatians all over. “I think he should try this one first.”


            “Absolutely,” Hannah agreed. “It’s probably easier if you unsnap the crotch first so that we can adjust the shoulder straps.” Together the two women fussed and fiddled as they dressed Chrissie. He could have been a doll for all of the input he was allowed. Finally they stepped back, admiring their work.


            They had been so absorbed in discovering Christopher’s wardrobe that they had mostly ignored Cassie, who had been watching the proceedings quietly. Suddenly, though, she stood up and toddled over to Hannah holding her crotch with one hand. “Potty,” she said desperately.


            “Oh dear,” Hannah exclaimed. “Abby, I’ll bring Cassie. You grab your father.”




            Abby arrived at the bathroom, Christopher in tow, just in time to see Hannah quickly place the potty seat on the toilet and lower Cassie on top. Confused, she wasn’t sure what to do with her dad. Hannah noticed her hesitation.


            “I’m sorry, Abby, I forgot this is your first time. It’s important that your sister use the toilet in order to make the transition off of the potty chair, so your father will be using the baby potty for now. It’s in the closet but we might as well leave it out from now on. As you know every second counts and that may save a puddle.”


            Abby slid the potty chair out then bent down to undo the snaps of Christopher’s new shortalls. She misread his token resistance. “Try to hold it, Daddy, this will just take a minute.”

Once the last snap was pulled away, Abby swiftly pulled down the training pants he had just been put in minutes before, stood, and guided him to a sitting position on the potty. Meanwhile the sound of urine hitting the toilet bowl from Cassie’s direction indicated success for the toddler.


            “Did you hear that, Daddy? Now can you go pee pee like Cassie just did? C’mon, baby, you can do it.”


            “Abby, I’m not...” Christopher began, but froze still as the sound of pee splattering on plastic rose to his ears from beneath him.


            “Yay!” Abby cheered, clapping her hands as she knelt before him.


            “Good job, girls!” Hannah joined in. “Our first double. This calls for an extra sticker on both charts.” She handed Abby toilet paper and both women proceeded to wipe or dab their respective charge. Christopher barely noticed Abby pulling him to his feet and redressing him as he focused on Hannah’s last words. Who was the other girl? What chart was she referring to?


            “Why don’t we all move to the kitchen while I start dinner,” Hannah suggested. “It’s Friday night. How do fish sticks sound?”


            The family moved down the hall and into the kitchen where Hannah deposited Cassie into the high chair and buckled her in. As Christopher went to sit, he noticed that a black trash bag had been taped over the seat of his chair.


            Hannah saw him hesitate to sit. “Just a precaution, dear. You know how hard it is to clean the cushions.”


            Grumbling, Christopher sat then spent close to a minute trying to settle his position where he didn’t feel like he was going to slide onto the floor. When he looked up, Hannah was at the stove and Abby was doing something to the front of the refrigerator.


            “And another smiley sun for big girl Cassie!” Abby said enthusiastically, earning a big smile from her sister. Christopher watched as his daughter placed a bright yellow sun sticker on Cassie’s potty chart. He hadn’t paid it much attention before, but now could see nearly that it had been nearly two weeks since her last rain cloud.


            “And Daddy, your first sun!” Christopher hadn’t noticed a second chart had been placed next to Cassie’s. It was identical to Cassie’s, but with far fewer stickers. The only two on the chart before Abby placed the sun on it were rain clouds. It wasn’t fair that they started keeping track of accidents without telling him, but he knew how ridiculous it would sound to start an argument over a toilet training chart. He wisely decided to keep mum.


            Hannah continued to prepare the fish while Abby cut up vegetables and made a salad. Cassie happily ate a few crackers that had been put on her tray while Christopher remained silent. He studied his wife as she worked. Did he do something to offend her? Was she mad at him?


            The two women soon were placing dinner on the table, fish filets for the women and fish sticks for Christopher and Cassie. Hannah poured herself a glass of wine, then brought a large glass of beer to Christopher. “A reward for your success, honey,” she told him cheerfully. Christopher couldn’t help but feel better. She must not be angry with him after all. He took a large swig. It didn’t taste quite right, but his mood was improving and he wasn’t going to ruin it by complaining.


            Soon he joined the conversation as Abby talked about acing her math test and the latest gossip at school, Hannah discussed some recipes for Japanese food she had found online, and Christopher complemented them on the dinner. Dinner was drawing to a close when Hannah suddenly remembered something.


            “Abby, I’ve got an opportunity to get first crack at the belongings of an elderly woman who just passed away before they have an estate sale. I’ll be leaving after breakfast and will be gone most of the day. I’ll need you to take over potty duty tomorrow.”


            “Mom!” Abby whined. “Jess is coming over tomorrow to hang out. I can’t babysit them all day.”


            “You don’t have to babysit, dear. I’ll make lunches before I leave and will leave money for pizza in case I’m not back for dinner. Your father can play with Cassie. All you need to do is take them potty every two hours or if one of them tells you they need to go. Jessica has a younger brother, I’m sure she’ll understand.”


            Christopher assumed that Abby would be thankful if he offered to take Cassie to the bathroom so that she could have uninterrupted time with her friend, and also that his own new potty rules would be suspended when company was over. His mind was so wrapped up in wondering what was for dessert, that he didn’t even think to ask.



            At breakfast the next day, Hannah busied herself in making lunches for the rest of the family and double-checking that she had everything she needed for the day. She had taken Chrissie and Cassie to the potty, dressed her husband in a onesie and her daughter in a romper, and they were both now happily eating their meals. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Chrissie drop some egg down his front before quietly brushing it onto the floor and looking around to see if Hannah noticed. Abby was still sleeping but would have to be woken up before Hannah left in the event of a toileting emergency.


            She was at the top of the stairs on her way to Abby’s room when her cell phone rang. It was Dr. Strong.


            “Good morning Hannah. The tests are in and it’s good news/bad news. The good news is that there’s no medical reason preventing Chrissie from staying dry during the day. The bad news is that there’s no medical reason preventing him from staying dry during the day. Your instincts were right. He’s just being lazy and expecting you to clean up after him.”


            Hannah gritted her teeth at the news. “No surprise I guess, Emily, thanks. I have to run but we can talk later. Oh, and I gave him the first dose last night.”


            “Remember that the muscle relaxants will start to take effect within a day or two and build in effectiveness for about a week until he’s as weak as a fifteen-month old girl. The timetables for the drugs that will eventually kill off all control of his bladder and bowels are hard to predict as to when they reach maximum effectiveness, but expect occasional accidents to start fairly soon. The estrogen and testosterone blocker are long-term, but you may have a moody teenager as he progresses through puberty.”


            “Great, another one,” Hannah laughed. “At least no period this time. Thanks, I’ll be ready. Bye.” As she hung up she pondered how much to tell Abby. She deserves to know, as she’ll have to deal with another baby in the family, she decided. But not now when she’s short on time.


            She sat on the edge of Abby’s bed and gently shook her daughter awake. “I’m leaving, sweetheart. You need to get up to be ready to take the two little ones to the bathroom. They went about forty-five minutes ago so you should be good for a while. But before I go, I have to ask you to do something for me.”


            The conspiratorial tone of her mother’s voice immediately got Abby’s attention and she sat up. “Sure, Mom. What?”


            Hannah hesitated before committing to going forward. “I need you to add a, um, supplement to your father’s drinks at lunch and dinner. It’s a powder that’s in an oatmeal box behind the flour and sugar in the cabinet. Don’t let him see you do it. A tablespoon each time and mix it in well. I’ll explain later tonight.”


            Abby was now wide awake with a hundred questions to ask, but her mother was already halfway to the door. Hannah turned around, smiled and winked at her daughter, and was gone. Abby felt a surge of excitement surge through her body and couldn’t comprehend how she would survive the day before her mom returned. Energized, she headed to the shower before she would go downstairs and say good morning to the babies.





            “Hurry up Daddy.” Abby stood over her father as he sat on the diminutive potty seat, waiting for him to do his business. Cassie had gone almost immediately and was watching Christopher with curious eyes. “Jess will be coming over soon and I still need to feed you your lunch.”


            Christopher was having difficulty. It was different without Hannah present, and he couldn’t perform under the time pressure. If Abby would only let him use the toilet now that Cassie was done, or at least leave him alone for five minutes, but when he suggested these ideas Abby shook her head and shoved a pacifier in his mouth.


            “Fine,” Abby said only about thirty seconds later. “We don’t have time for this. If you need to go pee pee later you can come and get me or wait another two hours for the next trip with Cassie.” With that, she lifted Christopher by the elbow and guided him to his feet, then pulled up his training pants. Today he was wearing a pink pair with yellow flowers and see-through plastic panties.


            The trio made their way to the kitchen, where apple juice already sat at her two charges’ respective places. Abby hadn’t been confident enough to add the powder with her father in the room, so she had prepared it in advance and stirred it for over a minute to make sure it was fully dissolved. She watched her Christopher out of the corner of her eye as she prepared macaroni and cheese. He didn’t seem to sense anything out of the ordinary with the juice and she got bold. After she scooped out Cassie’s portion, she stirred extra powder into his macaroni and watched it melt into the hot cheese. Whatever this was, if one scoop was good two scoops was better.


            She made no secret of the fact that she wanted lunch to be over before Jess arrived, and sped things up by feeding Cassie by hand. Her continual reminders to Christopher that he needed to hurry led him to get sloppy and a couple of cheese-laden noodles dropped onto the front of his onesie.


            Abby sighed and wet a washcloth. “Honestly, Daddy, if this keeps up you’re going to need a bib.” She washed the stain away from his chest then roughly ran the washcloth over his face. “Lunch is over. You two can go and play in the living room.”


            She quickly rinsed the dishes and put them in the dishwasher before checking on them. Christopher had turned on a baseball game and had no idea that Cassie was climbing onto the top of the couch and pushing against the window screen. She yelped and went to rescue Cassie, depositing her into the playpen with a bag of blocks, toy phone, and some other toys.


            Abby then walked over beside her father, picked up the remote, and turned off the tv. “Mom was very clear, Daddy, you need to play with Cassie while Jess and I have grown-up time. And since I obviously can’t trust you to keep her out of trouble, she’ll need to stay in the playpen. That means you need to be in there with her.”


            Christopher looked into his daughter’s face and for the first time saw the reflection of her mother when she was firm in her resolve. He had learned not to challenge Hannah when she was that way and quickly decided not to cross Abby right now either. He also knew that any negative report from Abby would lead to a punishment from his wife. Without comment he stepped into the playpen and settled in one corner.


            Abby sat in the chair her father had just vacated and watched the action in the playpen with amusement. After a few minutes of pouting and acting sullen, Christopher eventually took a few blocks and tried to make a tower only to have Cassie topple it with a truck and laugh. Annoyed at first, he soon had a car of his own and joined his daughter in destroying any structure the two would make almost before it got off the ground. He started giggling along with Cassie, but his expression turned to one of horror when he heard the doorbell ring.


            Abby got up and opened the door wide for her friend to enter. Jess, a psychology major at the same college as Jess, took two steps in then froze, her eyes glued on the two playmates and her mouth dropped open. She finally turned her head to look at Abby. “I mean, my mom told me, but...”


            Abby smirked. “I know, it’s different to see it in person. And he normally doesn’t sit in there but he was being such a baby that I didn’t have a choice. Mom put me in charge. C’mon, they’ll be fine until potty time and we can go to my room.”


            Potty time? Jess wasn’t sure she had heard correctly but didn’t say anything further, continuing to stare at the playpen as Abby dragged her up the stairs. I guess we’ll see what that means later, she thought.


            As the teenagers talked and the afternoon wore on, Christopher began to regret his inability to use the potty earlier. The apple juice was having its usual effect on his bladder and to his dismay after looking at the clock, it was still half an hour until Abby would bring them to the bathroom. His play became less active and he focused more on crossing his legs and avoiding an accident. The second hand on the clock barely seemed to move and watching it didn’t help. He closed his eyes and tried to do math puzzles to pass the time.


            He was never so relieved as to hear footsteps on the stairs. Wait, though, he thought, it sounded like more than one set. Sure enough, Abby and Jess both came down together. Christopher assumed that Jess would wait in the living room. Toileting wasn’t a public affair after all.


            “C’mon, girls, let’s go potty,” Abby sang as she lifted Cassie out of the playpen. As Christopher stepped over the side, he felt his control slip a bit but he quickly shut down the dribble once he got out. He walked behind his daughter and stepped into the bathroom, waiting for Abby to settle Cassie. To his surprise, Jess appeared at the bathroom door.


            “Okay Daddy, your turn,” Abby told him as she reached to unsnap the crotch of his onesie.


            “Mmph, no!” Christopher muttered through the pacifier he’d forgotten was there. He spit it out. “Not with her watching!”


            “No, you can stay,” Abby told Jess as she motioned to go. “Babies have no privacy and he has to learn to go even with people around.” She turned to her father. “Take your hands away, Daddy, and let me undo you.”


            But Christopher was adamant. He backed into the wall, crouching down with his arms crossed in front of him, making any approach to his midsection impossible. Abby started to say something then stopped, reconsidering. A slight smile came to her lips which she immediately hid.


            “Okay, fine. Cassie’s done anyway. You both can go back into the playpen. I’ll turn on cartoons or something.”


            She led the group back to the living room and turned on the same channel she watched when she was two. She smiled as it seemed like the same shows were still on. She remembered being bored with them even then. Checking to make sure that both her sister and father were safely inside the mesh, she and Jess returned upstairs.


            It wasn’t long before Christopher could wait no longer. He knew that he’d never make it until the next potty break and wasn’t even sure he would last ten more minutes. As silently as he could, he stepped out of the playpen and made his way down the hall to the bathroom. Maybe if he peed in the tub no one would notice. When he reached the bathroom, the door was closed. That’s odd, he though, there shouldn’t be anyone in there. He turned the knob. Locked. He then heard laughter from upstairs, indicating both girls were in Abby’s room. Damn. She had locked the door.


            He had no choice now if he were to prevent a full-fledged wetting, which would have disastrous consequences when Hannah got home, not to mention how humiliating it would be if the girls found out. A minor embarrassment in asking Abby to take him would be the lesser of two evils. He crept up the stairs, each step making holding it in more difficult. He knocked gently at her door and opened it a crack when Abby answered “Yes?”


            “Um, Abby, could I see you in the hallway for a minute?” Christopher asked softly through the opening.


            “No Daddy,” she replied, “whatever you have to say you can say in front of Jess.”


            Christopher was torn. He did seem to have his bladder under better control. Maybe Jess would be leaving soon. “Never mind dear,” he said, and he returned downstairs.


            Minutes later his agony returned, only worse. Not only that, his stomach was sounding and putting pressure behind. Christopher realized that he hadn’t had a bowel movement since the morning before and it was past due. He had to swallow his pride and headed back upstairs.


            Again he knocked, only this time he entered and stood before the girls, who sat facing each other cross-legged on the bed. “Um, Abby, um...would you please take me to the bathroom?”


            Abby smiled. “I’m sorry, take you where Daddy?”


            Christopher grimaced, both in embarrassment and in pain. “Would you please take me to the p..p..potty?”


            “No I don’t think so,” Abby replied mischievously. “But I will bring the potty to you.” She left Christopher fidgeting in front of Jess for a quick trip to the upstairs bathroom. She knew that the upstairs potty chair was much more girly and infantile than the generic one on the main floor.


            She soon returned, spread a garbage bag on the carpet, then placed the potty in the middle, only a few feet from where Jess sat on the bed. Abby joined her. “Come here, Daddy, and let Auntie Jess pull down your panties.”


            This was too much for Christopher. “No, I won’t! I’m your father, dammit! I can go potty—I mean use the toilet—all by myself! I won’t have you treating me like a stupid infant,” he yelled.


            Abby and Jess sat dumbfounded at this display of defiance. Abby stood and walked over to her father, her face close to his. “Not an infant? Who pees his diapers every night? Who wears training panties during the day, and if I’m not mistaken these are even a little damp? Who needs to be taken to the potty? And who needs to be spanked for his little tantrum?”


            Taking Christopher by surprise, in one quick motion Abby pulled her father to the bed, sitting down and positioning him over her lap. Pulling his panties down part way, she slapped his naked bottom a dozen times, each one harder than the last, and each one punctuated by giggles from Jess.


            Deeply shamed and using all of his energy to resist releasing his bladder, Christopher offered no resistance as Abby took him by the ear and led him downstairs, a delighted Jess tailing behind with the garbage bag in hand. At Abby’s direction, she placed it in the near corner of the living room.


            “Daddy, your punishment is to stand in the corner for thirty minutes and not move a muscle, and no talking. If you do, your time starts over again. Do you understand?”


            Christopher nodded as he shuffled to his designated spot. By this time, his bladder was screaming, but it was the other end that worried him the most. There was nothing wrong with his sphincter, and he had never soiled himself. He wasn’t about to do so now. After less than five agonizing minutes, he needed relief.


            “Abby, please dear, I need—” he began.


            “What did I tell you about talking? Thirty minutes starts”


            The mere thought of starting over was too much for the chastised man. He decided to release a little pee to relieve the pressure on his bladder so that he could focus on his bowels, but once he started he couldn’t stop the flow. He switched his concentration to the front end only to lose the battle in the rear. He felt the rear of his training pants fill and completely lost control up front, half a day’s worth of urine streaming down his legs and forming a puddle on the garbage bag at his feet.


            He started to turn around only to hear a delighted Abby tell him that he still had twenty-two minutes to go on his timeout. Christopher couldn’t imagine how the situation could get any worse, but then it did.


            “What in the world is going on here?” he heard Hanna ask from the doorway.





            Christopher turned to his wife, his eyes pleading to be saved. He was embarrassed beyond belief, not to mention extremely uncomfortable. And it was all Abby’s fault. He needed Hannah to save him and to straighten out their daughter. If he wasn’t too old for a time out, she wasn’t either.


            Surprisingly, it was Jess who spoke up first. “He was so mean, Ms. Coleman. He refused to use the potty and yelled at us and even said some swear words. So Abby put him in time out to calm down. He deserved it, Ms. Coleman. He wasn’t being nice.”


            Hannah looked from Jess to Abby, who confirmed it. “Yeah, mom. He’s been like that all day. I took him to the potty every time I took Cassie and even one other time, but he wouldn’t use it and then went all nuclear on us. I didn’t know what else to do.” She looked at her father and the puddle at his feet. “It’s almost like he wanted to use his training pants.”


            Hannah stared at her husband for several long seconds then again faced Abby. “How much longer does he have in time out?”


            “Well, like eighteen or nineteen minutes, but I told him that if he moved he had to start over. That’s half an hour. But Mom, it’s getting kind of stinky in here. I’m not sure I can last that long.”


            “Understood, dear. Why don’t we move to the kitchen where we can talk. Chrissy, turn around and put your nose in the corner. You still have thirty minutes to go. And don’t think you can move just because we’re in the next room. Mommies have eyes that see through walls.”


            Christopher moaned as he turned back to the corner. His wet panties were cooling and getting itchy, the puddle at his feat was spreading, and the mess in the seat of his pants stunk badly. He would accept the training pants, the potty, his new room, everything. He just wanted to be clean.


            Meanwhile in the kitchen the women sat around the table. “Jess, I’m sorry that you had to see that,” Hannah began. “As you can see things with my husband are in a state of flux right now. His behavior seems to be regressing as you might have guessed.”


            “That’s okay, Ms. Coleman,” Jess replied as she took a drink of her Coke. “Mom told me that he had some problems after his accident. I just didn’t expect this.”


            “We didn’t either, to be honest,” Hannah said. “But I think I know now how to handle it. Abby, there’s a box on the back seat of the car. Do you think you could go get it for me and bring it here?”


            As Abby left, Hannah again turned to Jess. “I think I need to have a talk with your mom. Do you still have your babysitting club? If so, who’s in it?”


            “Yeah, we’ve been doing it a couple of years now and with tuition to pay, we need the money more than ever. We share tips and sometimes work together if there’s a lot of kids or some that won’t behave. Besides me there’s Jill, Suzie, and Beth.”


            Hannah nodded. “That’s what I remembered, thanks. I think I need to have a talk with all of your moms. You could be a big help moving forward.”


            Just then Abby returned and placed the box on the table. Hannah took a kitchen knife, opened it, and pulled out a red booster seat. “Abby, would you move the high chair to your father’s place at the table, and bring his chair back to Cassie’s spot? Then put this booster chair on her seat. I think she’s proven herself to be a big enough girl that there need to be a few changes around here. We’ll talk about that tonight after the babies are in bed. Jess, would you like to stay for dinner? I defrosted some spaghetti.”


            As the teens set the table, Hannah returned to the living room. “Chrissie, it’s time to get you cleaned up. I’m not happy with you and the way you acted in front of the girls. I think it’s best if we postpone a discussion of the consequences until tomorrow when I’ve calmed down. For now, I’m going to give you a bath, put you in your nighttime diaper, and feed you dinner. Then you’re going to bed early. Do you understand?”


            Christopher nodded. Hannah left briefly and returned with a large bath towel, which she had her husband hold between his legs so as not to leak on his way upstairs. She brought him straight to the bathroom, where she carefully deposited as much mess in the toilet as possible and wiped him down with baby wipes as she ran water into the tub. She stopped the water when it was only about four inches deep.


            “This is how babies who aren’t mature enough to keep from wetting and messing themselves get bathed,” she told him as she dipped a washcloth into the water before rubbing it with a bar of soap. “I want you to sit here without a word and think about what you did.”


            After he was clean, she took his hand and brought him to his room where she pushed him down on the bed. It would be a long time in the same diaper, so she added two thick inserts before taping him up. She made sure to use extra baby lotion and powder to cover any residual stench. His onesie was disgusting, but Hannah found a yellow sleeper with a baby bear applique that Abby had bought in a drawer and pulled that on. By the time he was ready to go downstairs, he could barely walk without waddling and he smelled and looked like he was twelve months old.


            Abby and Jess dissolved in a fit of laughter when Hannah led Christopher into the kitchen, and Cassie, safely buckled into her new booster seat, joined in the fun even though she didn’t know why everyone was so happy. Christopher’s face fell when he saw the high chair at his accustomed spot. Without saying a word, Abby pulled the tray out and fastened the buckles once Chrissie was seated. She secured the tray tightly against his chest, pinning his arms in the process. Jess, meanwhile, moved to the back of the high chair and flipped an oversized bib over his head, tying it behind his neck. Hannah chuckled when she saw pink trim and the words “Mommy’s Messy Eater” on the front.


            The three women chatted about any number of subjects as they served out the food, essentially ignoring Christopher’s presence. His mouth drooled at the smell and sight of pasta with red sauce and meatballs. But how would he eat without the use of his arms? He was sure Hannah would see his predicament and fix it when he was given his portion.


            When all the plates on the table were filled, including Cassie’s, Hannah filled one more plate with a generous share of the spaghetti along with asparagus, broccoli, and garlic bread. Instead of setting it before her husband, though, she moved to the counter, scraped it all into the blender, and pushed the “puree” button. Thirty seconds later, she poured the mushed contents into a plastic Barbie bowl and but it on the tray of the high chair.


            “Can I feed, her?” Abbie cried. “Please?”


            “Sure, dear,” Hannah answered. “But I don’t want your food to get cold. You and Jess can take turns.”


            Christopher cringed as Abby took a small baby spoon, filled it with the now-unidentifiable and gross-smelling mixture, and moved it to his lips. His hunger overcame any resistance and he opened wide. He was still in the middle of a gag when the next spoonful was already there. And so it went with both Abby and Jess. By the time they were done, his face was covered in sauce and his bib was unreadable.


            “Thanks, ladies,” Hannah said as she cleared the table. “If you can finish up here, I’ll get him to bed. Then Jess, I don’t mean to kick you out, but I’ll need some time alone with Abby.”


            “No problem, Ms. C,” Jess replied. “I’ll tell my mom to expect your call.”


            Hannah cleaned Chrissy’s face with a wet paper towel, removed the tray and undid the buckles, then again took him by the hand. He heard two sets of giggles as he waddled after his wife.


            Hannah tucked in her husband, who wanted to complain but knew better. He hadn’t gone to bed with the sun still up since he was three. “Night night” Hannah told him as she switched on the night light and closed the door. As Christopher stared at the ceiling, he became aware of a wetness that was trickling down his rear. It was going to be a long night.



            “Does that mean that he’ll grow little titties?” Abby asked delightedly to her mother as they sat drinking tea at the kitchen table.


            “Possibly, dear,” Hannah replied with a smile. “But not for a while. The other effects will start sooner. But I want to be clear. His mind will be unaffected by the changes, but his body in essence will be that of a young toddler. Except for his titties,” she laughed. “And before we continue down this road, I want to make sure you’re on board with this because you’re going to be sharing his care. And that means bathing, feeding, dirty diapers, and more. And the estrogen will make his emotions more uncontrollable, just like any other baby.”


            “I got it, Mom, you’ve told me several times already. I mean, I know it’ll be gross at times. Wiping his nose or his drool, and I’ve already seen and smelled what his diapers will be like. And it’ll be extra work preparing bottles and baby food, watching him when you’re not here, and so forth. Just like I did with Cassie but...bigger. It’ll be worth it. But on two conditions.”


            Hannah looked at her daughter with suspicion. “Which are?”


            “First, that he no longer has the status as my father. I’m in total charge of him. And second,” Abby dramatically paused, drawing out the suspense, “I don’t really want a baby brother. I’d like another sister.”


            Hannah sat back and roared with delight. “I think we can arrange that,” she said. “Why don’t we move to the couch. I’ll get my laptop and we can do some shopping.”





            Christopher had already been awake a long time before Hannah came in and sat on the edge of his bed. He was relieved that she no longer looked angry, but she did seem to have something on her mind, a conclusion that was confirmed when she told him that they had to have a talk. He knew from experience that that meant she talks, he listens.


            “Chrissie, there’s no excuse for acting up with Abby, especially in front of her friend. I thought I made clear that she’s in charge of your toileting when I’m not around. I know it’s hard to have your roles reversed, but it’s for your own good. Your control has been slipping during the day and we were trying to help you avoid daytime diapers by retraining your brain to recognize the signal that you need to pee.” Hannah smiled sadly at her husband. “I’m afraid yesterday you discovered the consequences of both disobedience and not using the potty when you were given the chance.


            “I still hope that we can reach our goal, and maybe we can even beat the odds and eventually get you dry at night. But for the immediate future, I don’t feel we have a choice. For the next week minimum, you’re in diapers full time, day and night. No more training pants, no more potty. Part of this is punishment for yesterday, but mostly it’s because I want you to feel what it’s like to spend twenty-four hours a day, day in and day out, in soggy, dirty, stinky diapers with no control over when you get changed. The idea is to kick-start your brain into being so disgusted with the circumstances that it’s motivated like never before to get into training pants. You’ll see training pants as a good thing, as a step forward. After than, we’ll see.”


            “But,” Christopher interjected, “does that mean...” The prospect was so horrifying that he couldn’t finish his question, but Hannah knew what it was.


            “Yes, poopies too. Added incentive for one thing, but also once a diaper goes on it doesn’t come off until Abby or I or whoever is in charge of you decides, and that’ll usually mean you’ve used it to its fullest. And you’re not allowed to let us know when you think you need to be changed, that’ll be up to the grown-ups. How well you behave might be a factor too. I’m sure you don’t want diaper rash, although...” Hannah got a dreamy look in her eyes, “that might be the best motivator of all.”


            Hannah got up, retrieved the changing pad from the top of the dresser, and slid it under the contrite man. She continued with her talk as she changed his sodden diaper. “After one week Abby and I will decide if we try again with your training or continue for another week. I admit our decision will be subjective, and it has to be unanimous. In the meantime, it’s possible that there will be other changes or new rules for you to follow. I suggest you do your best to get on our good sides, especially your daughter’s after what you did yesterday.”


            Hannah completed the change, then left Christopher lying on the bed as she walked to the closet to choose an outfit. “Ah, this one will do.” She brought back a one-piece yellow and lilac floral playsuit that screamed ‘little girl.’ Christopher began to object, but Hannah’s words linking his behavior to getting out of diapers silenced him. Hannah took advantage of his open mouth to pop in a pacifier. Chrissie immediately felt the silicone bulb fill his mouth. This wasn’t the one he had been using and he could tell he’d never forget he was using it.


            “Breakfast time,” Hannah told him as she left the room. As Christopher got up to follow, his legs suddenly felt like jelly and he nearly fell. He straightened himself, started walking, and again felt like he would topple over. He lunged to the wall and managed to make it to the hallway only by using it for support. When he got to the top of the stairs he paused, worried about making it down in one piece. Instinctively, he sat down and proceeded to descend each step on his bottom, proud of his ingenuity in solving that issue. He continued to wobble and hold onto the furniture and the walls as he made his way to the kitchen, unaware of how much he resembled a toddler just learning to walk. Abby and Hannah, however, did notice and smiled at each other.


            Once settled into the highchair, Chrissie felt more secure. Hannah set a plate of scrambled eggs and sausage on his tray along with a small plastic cup of orange juice. He picked up his fork and knife to cut up the links, but couldn’t get his hands to cooperate. If he got the fork in the right position, he had trouble moving the knife to cut. If he tried the knife first, the fork would just shake in his hand. Noticing his difficulty, Abby got up without a word, took his utensils, and cut his sausage into small pieces before returning to her seat. Chrissie continued to have issues getting his fork where he wanted it to go, so he gave up and began to eat his eggs and sausage with his fingers. Even so, half of them dropped down onto his bib.


            Hannah and Abby were doing their best not to let Chrissie know that they were watching him, but when he went to pick up his orange juice, they both looked his way in anticipation. Sure enough, he barely got it lifted off the tray before he dropped it, spraying juice in every direction. He was ready to cry.


            “Let me help you with that Daddy,” Abby told him. As Hannah cleaned up the spill, Abby refilled his cup and brought it to his lips, tilting it back to allow him to drink. Without asking his permission, she then used his fork to lift eggs to his mouth, leaving the tiny sausage pieces for him to manage.


            Hannah had been looking for a way to get her husband out of the house while a few items were being delivered this morning, and the juice incident played into her hands perfectly. “Abbie is still using her sippy cup, and it’s not a good idea to share anyway,” Hannah told him. “Just to be safe in case you continue to have problems with a cup, I think you and Abby should go to the store to get you your own.”


            Christopher wasn’t asked if he needed or wanted a sippy cup, or if he wanted to go to the store with Abby. But he knew he didn’t have a choice if he wanted out of diapers. For now, he would do what they wanted.



            Abby leaned over in the back seat to unbuckle Chrissie’s seat belt. Hannah had argued that sending him out in his playsuit was too much too soon, so he had a pair of her track pants over his bottom half and a loose t-shirt on top. She knew he felt that he had scored a victory with his wardrobe, but he clearly didn’t know that his poofy and by now droopy diaper was obvious both physically and by the smell, and that the top of the playsuit was visible through the light fabric of the shirt. Abby had also surreptitiously clipped a flower barrette in his hair when she strapped him in before they left.


            Her father was still having trouble walking, so Abby wheeled a race-car shopping cart intended for older children to the car and he climbed in. Once he was settled and she was out of sight pushing the cart from behind, she grabbed the diaper bag from the front seat and slung it over her shoulder. They entered the store, a large chain store with everything a parent would need for babies or toddlers. As they approached the wide-eyed teenage greeter, Abby asked where she would find sippy cups in a louder voice than necessary. A few shoppers turned their way and stared before going about their business.


            Abby quickly realized the advantage of having a cart where the basket was behind the seats, so that her father would be unable to see what she put into it. Most of the supplies she and Hannah had ordered from a fetish website they found would be delivered today, but that didn’t mean that she couldn’t let the cashier ring up a few baby bottles.


            “Okay Daddy, what sippy cup do you want?” she asked, causing a woman down the aisle to look their way. “No opinion? Tell you what, I’ll pick two and then you tell me which one you prefer. Let’s see, the jungle animals or Elmo? I’m sorry, it’s hard to understand you with your binky in your mouth. Just point.”


            And so it went, with Abby providing a running commentary as the cart filled with lotions, powders, diaper rash cream, and baby toys. She was just getting ready to head toward the checkout when they passed the family bathroom. Did she dare? Of course she did.


            “Daddy, I think you’re overdue for a change. Pee-ew! C’mon, we can go in here.” She supported Chrissie with one arm while grabbing the diaper bag with the other. Once inside, she laid the oversized changing pad on a bench and beckoned her father to lie down.


            “Icky, Daddy, you really soaked this one,” she told him as she pulled the tapes off and opened the diaper to reveal his shaven pubes and shrunken parts. Just then the door opened and a woman with toddler in tow entered, the odor that accompanied him making evident why she was there.


            “Oh, I’m sorry,” Abby told her. “I must have forgotten to lock the door.”


            “I can wait outside,” the blushing woman responded, her eyes glued on the diaper change in progress.


            “No, I don’t think you should,” Abby laughed. “It’s pretty obvious that your little one shouldn’t wait. Don’t mind us, we’ll be done in a few minutes.”


            The young mother thanked Abby, lifting her son onto the changing table, which allowed her a clear view of Chrissie’s diaper change.  


            “At least this one isn’t messy,” Abby said conversationally. “Although I’ll bet as soon as I get a clean diaper on him he’ll have a blowout.”

            “Isn’t that the way it always is with boys,” she replied, watching Abby clean Chrissie with wipes. “And I’ll bet your dirty diapers are worse than mine,”


            “That’s the truth,” Abby said as she pulled a clean diaper out of the bag. “But I’m used it.” She laughed. “Okay, no I’m not. They’re pretty gross.”


            The other mommy joined in the laughter as she turned her attention to her own stinky project. “Well good luck and I hope he’s ready for potty training soon.”


            “Thanks, you too,” Abby answered as she pulled Chrissie to his feet. “Let’s go, home Daddy.”





            Walking through the front door with Abby’s assistance, Christopher immediately felt an air of excitement emanating from Hannah and Cassie. He saw his daughter throw a questioning glance at his wife, who nodded enthusiastically. When Abby left him to go over to Hannah, he sunk to the floor, his legs too weak to support him on his own. No one came over to assist him, so he crawled over to his chair in the living room and pulled himself into it.


            He was quickly joined by his wife, who seemed to tower over him. “No dear, we can’t risk leaks on the furniture. Until you get your daytime wetting and soiling under control, you’ll need to sit in the playpen.”


            Christopher glared at his wife, but was resolved not to give her any reason to use his disobedience as reason to extend his week in diapers. He stood, toddled, and then crawled over to the playpen. By the time he was settled, Abby had joined them and Cassie was perched on Hannah’s lap, bouncing in anticipation. Christopher realized that he was the only one not in on some sort of family secret.


            “Today’s a very important day for our family, and in particular for Cassie,” Hannah announced with pride. “She’s proven that she can stay dry both day and night, that she no longer needs help being fed her meals, and has even graduated out of the high chair. Since she’s proven that she’s no longer a baby, she gets big girl privileges. And that means she gets to move to the big girl bedroom.”


            Abby and Hannah clapped their hands and Cassie soon joined them as she bounced up and down with joy. Christopher, however, looked on in shocked dismay. Where would he sleep? Was he being relegated to the couch, and how long would that last? No answers seemed to be forthcoming from his wife or daughter and he didn’t want to spoil Cassie’s moment by making it about himself, so for the time being he didn’t say a word.


            “Well, Cassie,” Hannah said to her beaming daughter. “Should we all go upstairs and see your new room?”


            Cassie jumped down from Hannah’s lap in a squeal of joy and ran toward the stairs, the two women right behind. Abby looked back at her father, who hadn’t moved. “C’mon, Daddy, you need to see it too.”


            Christopher managed to make it all the way to the bottom of the stairs by leaning on the furniture, but he knew that climbing them on foot was beyond his current capabilities. He crawled up and stayed on the floor as he made his way to what until today had been his room, finally sitting with legs splayed just inside the doorway.


            He watched as Cassie jumped up and down on the bed, which now had a Disney princess bedspread and was littered with her favorite stuffed animals. There were new posters on the wall and her name was stenciled on a closet door. Inside the closet, he noticed as Hannah opened it for Cassie to see, were all of her clothes, none of which were as infantile as what he was currently wearing. The dresser drawers were similarly devoid of training pants or diapers, instead housing neat stacks of panties. All traces that Christopher had ever stayed in the room were gone.


            After about five minutes of allowing Cassie to explore, Hannah walked over to where Christopher sat, his expression and the tear in the corner of his eye giving his feelings away despite his silence. She beckoned Abby to join them. Both women remained standing, making Christopher feel very small. He tried to pull himself to a standing position but failed, and neither woman offered to assist him.


            “I’m guessing that you wonder where you’ll be now,” Hannah said to him. “It should be obvious. As the only member of the family still in diapers, you’ve been moved to the nursery, although we’ve made a few changes to accommodate you. Why don’t you crawl after us and we’ll show you.”


            Christopher’s initial anger at being put into the nursery was mollified when he heard that Hannah had made some changes. Certainly she’d have switched the crib out for a twin bed, and maybe she’d even found room for a television and recliner. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.


            As he entered his new room, however, Christopher’s world began to fall apart. Far from the man cave he’d envisioned, he was looking at a baby girl’s dream nursery. He did get an adult-sized bed, but in the form of a grotesquely large crib with pink and white bars and floral bumpers secured to the sides with giant pink bows. On one end of the crib a built-in row of colorful beads beckoned its occupant to play with them, while on the other in fancy script was the name “Chrissie” with the ‘i’s dotted with pink hearts. The sheets and pillows had baby unicorns frolicking in a meadow of flowers. A mobile from which bunnies hung reached out over the crib.


            The trim of the long dresser had been painted pink, and its top had been converted into a changing table. At its end stood a three-drawer cart filled with an assortment of powders and lotions, wipes, bubble bath, extra-large patterned baby bottles, a rectal thermometer, and more that he chose not to see. Hannah opened the drawers to reveal stacks of colorful disposable diapers in a myriad of infantile patterns, plastic pants, and lacy socks, along with onesies, rompers, and playsuits. Abby opened a closet drawer to disclose a long row of oversized baby dresses, some with puffy leaves, or bodices harboring baby animals or Winnie the Pooh, or built-in diaper covers with snap crotches.


            “And look, Daddy,” Abby crowed, “Your very own diaper pail. It’s much bigger that Cassie’s, so we won’t have to empty it as often. Although in order to get a larger size, we had to give up on the models with odor protection, so I don’t think it’ll take long for your room to smell like wet and dirty diapers.”


            Christopher was so overwhelmed by what he was seeing and what it would mean for him moving forward that he hadn’t noticed when Hannah left the room. She reentered and moved in front of, squatting down to be closer to his eye level. Christopher eyes immediately focused one the large baby bottle she held that appeared to be filled with milk.


            “Chrissie, I know this is a lot for you to process, but Abby and I have discussed it and we agree that the only way for you to move forward is to first go backward several steps. In this family you now have the status of a young toddler girl of around fifteen months old and will be treated as such. Your routine will be similar to what Cassie followed when she was that age, and that means you’ll drink from a baby bottle, be fed mush in a high chair, get burbed and bathed, and do virtually nothing for yourself, not even wipe your nose. Any adult behavior will result in your being stuck at this age for a longer time. We’re a little late, but it’s time for your bottle and to be put down for a nap.”


            “Oooh, can I feed her?” Abby chimed, not waiting for an answer before taking the warm bottle from her mother’s hand. She walked over to a corner of the room filled with large pillows, leaned back against one as she put another on her lap, and motioned Chrissie to crawl over to her. He did so and settled his head on the pillow. As the nipple entered his mouth he instantly could tell that the bottle wasn’t filled with milk. The smell and taste of baby formula had always nauseated him but he wasn’t given an option to refuse. It flowed so fast that he was having a hard time keeping up, and some of the liquid dribbled down his chin.


            He was relieved when he began to suck air, not only to get rid of the taste but he was feeling bloated from the quick consumption of the formula. Abby positioned a cloth diaper over her shoulder and shifted so that he was leaning over the top of it, then rubbed and patted his back. Seconds she was rewarded with a small belch and a slight dribble onto the makeshift burp cloth. Before she let him down from that position, Abby pulled the back of his diaper back and peeked in.


            “I thought so,” she told her mom. “A little messy and extremely wet. Should I change her?”


            “I don’t thing so, dear,” Hannah replied. “She’s got to get used to the fact that she’ll be changed at our convenience, not when she wants to be. Let’s go get some lunch and we’ll decide if she warrants changing after her nap.”


            With assistance from both women, Chrissy climbed into his crib. Hannah tucked a blanket over him, started the mobile playing nursery rhymes, and pulled up the side rail. Christopher listened as it clicked into place then heard a second click, as if a lock had been closed. His mind reeled as the women left the room and closed the door. What had he done to deserve this? Was this really the best way to deal with his accidents and to eventually find his way back to Hannah’s bed? How had he soiled himself without realizing it?


            A hundred other questions swirled in his mind, but after sleeping in the uncomfortably small bed in the other room, this mattress felt so soft and inviting, the music was soothing, and the warm formula made its way through his system, lulling him to sleep.





            With each day that passed, Chrissie felt that Hannah and Abby were treating him more like a baby than an adult, or even the toddler they told him he would be. They had conversations between them as if he weren’t in the room or capable of understanding big words, and when they did talk to him it was always in baby talk. If he tried to join in, he was reminded that he was only allowed to babble or use a few simple words like “mama” or “baba,” and definitely nothing else over a single syllable. He was increasingly referred to as “the baby,” a moniker that not long ago had been used for Cassie.


            Worse, his life became one of relentless tedium and a boring routine. Meals in the high chair where he watched the other three eat solid food while he was fed bland pureed food. Bottles of formula that made him gassy, or occasionally apple juice which seemed to run right through him into his diaper. Naps that he soon realized he needed as his energy level dropped. And that’s what worried him the most. While his mind knew he was a grown-up, his body was quickly adapting to infancy. He could barely toddle and usually crawled. He’d fall asleep nursing a bottle. His hand-eye coordination diminished to the point that he couldn’t find his mouth with a spoon and needed to be fed.


            But worst of all was his growing incontinence. For a couple of days he had hung on, mostly anyway, holding his bladder back and peeing only when he needed to go badly. And he was proud of controlling his bowels, again mostly, until right before an anticipated diaper change. But lately he hadn’t noticed the need to pee, and the first sign that he needed to poop was when he smelled his diaper already filled and stinky. He needed to get this under control quickly before his first week was done so that he could show Hannah and Abby that he was ready to move back into training pants.


            He wasn’t sure how many days had passed. Was it five, maybe six? His potty chart, his only way to keep track of the days gone by, had disappeared off the fridge when he went back into diapers Each day seemed to blend into the next and he wasn’t always sure if he was waking up after a long night’s sleep or from a two-hour nap. Today, though, he was pretty sure that it was Saturday because Abby had been in charge of his care while Hannah was busy cleaning and fussing in the kitchen, although she might have been home because it was a workshop day for the teachers. If it was the weekend, that meant that a week had passed since he had been put back into diapers and his probationary period was over. When would Hannah and Abby talk with him about taking the next step up? He’d tried so hard to be good.


            As he laid in his crib pondering all of this, his diaper wet and messy, he heard laughter and shouting from multiple voices downstairs. It seemed like a party, although maybe it was just the two women watching television. But no. He could now distinguish younger, more giggly conversation coming from down the hall, probably Abby’s room. That was odd. Did each of them have guests over? If that was the case, would Hannah or Abby be able to sneak away and change him before he got a rash? It was all too stressful. Chrissie held his favorite stuffed elephant close and pulled the blanket up over his head.


            Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Hannah and four other women were on their third bottle of wine. Hannah decided that everyone was lubricated enough that she could broach the subject of why she’d invited them and their daughters over.


            “Ladies, I’m sure you’ve heard rumors about my husband, or maybe our girls have been talking and mentioned something to you. You already know that since his accident Chrissy has been both unable to perform in bed and had nighttime issues keeping the bed dry.” One of the women snorted giddily. “Well, I need to tell you a story.” Hannah went on describe the events of the past week to the delighted reactions of the women, who by the end were begging to get a glimpse of their friend’s new baby girl.


            “We’re getting there,” Hannah told them with a smile. “And as much enjoyment as we’ve discovered we get from humiliating little Chrissy for her new status in the family, the real reason I want you to see her is that this will most likely be a long-term thing. Probably even years. That means there’ll be times when I want to go out for a little fun and companionship...” the ladies hooted in agreement... “and Abby won’t be available to watch over her new sister. Your daughters have a babysitting club and I’m going to want to use their services. I figured you might have reservations about their being alone with a grown man. Once you see her and I prove her inability to be any sort of a threat, I don’t think you’ll have any doubts about their safety. Now, shall we move upstairs?”


            The gaggle of happy women moved as one up the stairs, pausing outside the closed door labeled “Nursery” with a wooden plaque on the door. Hannah turned the knob, pushed the door open, and stepped aside.


            “Oooohh,” was their first reaction as they took in the sea of pink frills, then “Eww,” as the scent of the diaper pail assailed their noses. “Haven’t smelled that in awhile,” said one. Soon all eyes moved to the crib, where the mound hiding under a pink blanket was trying to remain invisible.


            Hannah moved over to the rails. “Chrissy, you have guests who want to meet you,” she said softly. When she received no response, she lifted the edge of the blanket and walked down the length of the crib, pulling it as she went. The women were initially stunned into silence, then broke into a loud cacophony of laughter and squeals.


            Before them sat the spitting image of a baby girl, only larger. She wore a red dress with white polka dots and a white Peter Pan collar, lacy trim at the hem, and scalloped sleeves. Frilly socks covered her feet and a white diaper cover with light red lace across the bottom peeked out from under the dress. A red floral bow ornamented her hair. Chrissy sucked furiously on her pacifier, her face almost red enough to match her dress.


            “Can we get a closer look?” asked an attractive redhead. Hannah lowered the side rail. The woman reached in and stroked Chrissy’s cheek, softly cooing, tugged teasingly on the ring of the binkie, then lifted her dress and put her hand on her crotch before leaning in and sniffing.

“She needs changing, Hannah.”


            “Yes, I think our noses already came to the same conclusion,” Hannah answered. “And that gives me the chance to show you what I mean.” She assisted her reluctant husband down from the crib then let go of his hand. He toddled two steps in the direction of the changing table before toppling to the floor and crawling the rest of the way. Once there he again needed Hannah’s help to climb onto the table.”


            “As you can see, she’s as weak as any other baby,” she commented as she pulled the wide Velcro strap across his chest. “She’s clearly not capable of any aggressive behavior. Now as I change her I’ll put her sexual capabilities to the test.”


            “Oh, can I help?” Jess’ mom Shelly asked enthusiastically.


            “Are you sure?” Hannah replied with a smile. “It’s pretty nasty.”


            “Of course. She can’t help being a little Miss PooPoo pants.” Shelly untaped the diaper and lowered the front down. The resultant vision of a shriveled, hairless penis and the noxious odor unleased from within brought on shrieks of derision from the assembled group.


            “Okay, Shelly,” Hannah told her. “Try to make it hard.”


            Giggling, Shelly took Chrissy’s member in hand, stroking it and manipulating it for several minutes with no reaction. Reaching over to the cart, she grabbed the bottle of baby oil and poured a generous amount onto his crotch, repeating her ministrations. As before, he stayed as limp and unresponsive as a true infant. Just as Shelly was about to give up, her hand grew warm and wet with a stream of pee.


            The women all roared with glee as Shelly reached for the baby wipes, first for her hand and then to begin the unpleasant task of cleaning up the baby’s bottom. Hannah smiled, her point proven. Once the change as complete, they moved back downstairs, placing Chrissy in the playpen, and opened another bottle of wine.



            Meanwhile, Abby had been having the same discussion with her friends. Like their mothers, they were delighted with the opportunity to meet the baby and to eventually take care of her, at double their usual rates. Abby was careful to set out the rules that her mother had told her to pass on.


            “It might be hard at first, but you have to treat my dad like any other baby girl you babysit. That means talking to her like a baby, no adult conversation, feeding and changing her, and playing baby games. If you turn on the tv, it has to be age appropriate. Trust me, after a while you won’t think of her as an adult, especially after a couple of dirty diaper changes. It’s only been a week and I mostly forget that she’s not a real infant.”


            “Do you have a stroller? Can we take her to the park and put her on the slides or in the sandbox?” Jess asked, her eyes gleaming in anticipation.


            “You know what, that never occurred to me,” Abby answered thoughtfully, her mind racing with new possibilities. “I’ll have to check with my mom.”


            As they were talking there was a soft knock on the door and Hannah entered, giving the thumb’s up signal. “All of your moms signed off on you as babysitters,” she announced to cheers from the teens. “We’re going to celebrate by going out to dinner. I’ve left money on the table for pizza. Do you think you’re up to watching the baby tonight for a couple of hours?”


            No reply was necessary, as all five girls jumped up from Abby’s bed and nearly trampled Hannah on their way out the door. Abby stopped as she reached her mom, then smiled as they gave each other a high five.





            “It all worked out exactly as you said it would” Hannah told Emily Strong when the pediatrician called to check up on how her special powder had worked out. “It’s been about a month now and other than her size she’s indistinguishable from any other baby. No boobs yet but her emotional outbursts are something to see. Your concoction works almost too well; the little stinker poops herself three or four times a day. Of course we don’t change her that often so we’ll probably have to come in soon with a bad case of diaper rash. What’s that? Sure, I’ll call your office to set up a three-month exam.


            “I have to run now, I’ve got to finish getting ready and the sitter will be here any minute. What, you think Abby is the only one with a date tonight? Of course, let’s get together for lunch soon. Better yet, drop by and get a peek at your creation. Bye.”


            Hannah finished putting in her earrings and took a look in the mirror. Yes, she still had what it takes even as the mother of three. She’d better text Abby that she may not be home tonight. As she passed the nursery she heard Chrissy crying. Probably needs a change or a bottle, but the babysitter can handle that. She doesn’t want to keep her date waiting.



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