“Wake up sweetheart, time to get up; we’ve got a full day ahead.”
Granny was gently stirring me from such a deep, deep sleep.
Drowsily I twisted and stretched, I was so comfortable I didn’t really want to move.
Eventually my eyes began to focus and I could see granny beaming down at me.
“Well,” she said as her fingers traced the outline of one of the characters on my nightshirt, her smile broadened, “I know another sweet little bunny that needed their sleep.”
A yawn escaped as if in agreement.
Slowly she drew back the covers and I lay there slightly disorientated because I couldn’t work out what time it was. I mean, I’d fallen asleep in the afternoon and it didn’t feel that much later but, well, the light in the room made it, ermmm…
Seeing my confusion granny leapt in with an explanation.
“Sweetheart, you’ve slept right through. Its morning now and breakfast is ready when you are.”
She drew back the curtains and let in more of the fresh morning light. I could see the cloudless blue sky outside with the obvious promise of another fine day.
How on earth had I slept for so long? I must have needed it but hadn’t felt particularly tired when…
I began to wonder if in fact I had been very tired and just hadn’t realised. Perhaps it was the long walk into the village? Maybe, everything from my home life was just catching up with me? Sleep was coming particularly easy after all those months of my parent’s constant bickering, when even dozing for a short time had been a problem.
There was little doubt that since I’d been at granny’s I’d felt incredibly stress-free. Even the silly, though incredibly comforting, nightshirt had added to the cosy feeling and helped keep me calm. I may be fourteen but thoroughly loved my new PJs.
At home, my jammies hadn’t meant a great deal, I wore them if I remembered but often just slept in my underwear but now. Well. It was like cuddling up to your favourite teddy bear, all warm and fuzzy and something you could totally rely on… except, more so.
I ran my hand down over the nightshirt. I’d forgotten just how juvenile it was but it didn’t matter, the pinkness and blue rabbits made me smile. Kiddie style or not, it all seemed very appropriate for such a splendid morning – lively and adorable. And, that’s how granny made me feel anyway.
As the material slipped under my fingers once again I got the delightful sensation I was actually stroking a little rabbit, but, stranger still, that petted little bunny was me. The soft fleecy coat, the warm glow, the totally tranquil feeling… it was all so wonderful.
I remembered, even as I’d slept, stroking myself and squirming in pleasure, despite my bulky protection, nothing stopped that marvellous thrill coursing through my body. I even recalled waking slightly to feel a warm flush in my nappy but again it felt pleasurable so fell back to sleep knowing I need not worry.
As I’d slept and drifted on a cloud of utter contentment I experienced another hand slowly rubbing the fabric, which now I assume must have been gran though at the time it was all just a disjointed dream.
“There, there Sweet-pea… you just relax, sleep… just take it easy,” said a voice so soothing, so encouraging.
Now, as I thought about it, what were just phrases in my head before, was definitely granny, probably coming to bed and wishing me a goodnight. The gentle caress, the reassuring hug, the soft kiss and the tender arm that encircled my waist left me with a feeling of total love.
All these thoughts and nocturnal memories flooded my mind as granny cheerfully helped me up from the bed.
Once standing I became aware of the heavily soaked nappy clinging between my legs. I’m sure if it hadn’t been for the particularly thick and tight pink plastic pants it would have slid down my thighs landing in a sodden pile at my feet.
However, gran said that we’d sort it all out after breakfast so I cautiously (and squishily) made my way to the kitchen wondering just how much pee a nappy could actually hold… it felt like several gallons.
The thing was, fourteen or not, I now totally accepted that I had to wear a nappy. It didn’t feel babyish, it didn’t feel odd, it simply felt like that’s the way it should be. Filling the thing, either day or night, was not a problem, granny seemed to expect it. What should perhaps have filled me with horror, a soaked and drooping nappy, was normal and I was encouraged to give it no thought at all.
Granny’s total and unconditional love meant that any problem I had was no problem at all to her. In fact, she’d gone out of her way to make me feel like I did when I first used to come and visit her as a toddler. There was nothing too much trouble for her little ‘Sweet-pea’ and I appreciated that she’d gone to so much trouble to remind me of the fantastic times we had together before my parents had become emotional high-maintenance.
Breakfast was my favourite sugary cereal and a glass of milk, both of which I downed very quickly. I hadn’t realised just how hungry I was and a second bowl, followed by a large glass of apple juice, went down with equal speed.
As I sat eating and drinking my protection oozed a bit between my legs and it wasn’t very nice. I was glad that the plastic pants gran put me in the day before were sturdy enough to prevent leaks so at least I wasn’t dripping all over the cottage.
I’d noticed my ‘accidents’ were getting a little worse because each morning I’d woken up very damp, the day before I’d peed my pants and I’d even had a surreptitious dribble in the bath. Yep I was definitely ‘tinkling’ (a granny term from when I was tot) more.
As a consequence, granny had been correct in making me wear some protection because my bladder seemed to have a mind of its own and I had to admit I felt safer when I did. I’m not sure if it was security, defence or just plain preference but I liked the bolstering quality of them now and more than happy to enjoy the security it offered.
However, there was certainly something special about being back with granny. It was like stepping back in time. I suppose wearing a nappy was all part of the reinforcement of when things were good and, in her own sweet way, she was reminding me of those happier, more sentimental times.
Granny saw me wriggling in my chair and humming to myself. At first I wasn’t aware I was but, although the fullness and dampness of it wasn’t necessarily pleasing, my wriggling wasn’t because of irritation but somehow it amused me. There was an unmistakeable rustling from the plastic and a sort of ‘squish’ from the saturated cloth. As I ate I was unintentionally entertaining myself through the little noises my protection was creating.
“I think I’d better get my favourite bunny out of its wet nappy before there’s a chance of any rash, we wouldn’t want that now would we?
I giggled but shook my head like a well-behaved toddler as she guided me back upstairs to change.
Standing in the bathroom she pulled the night shirt over my head, the soft winceyette sending a delicious tingle all over my body. The plastic pants were tight and, as she eased them down, I could see the imprint of the elastic waistband and leg cuffs leaving a red mark. No wonder they didn’t leak. Then the sodden disposable slipped effortlessly to the floor where granny had me step out of it and into the bath. She ran the warm water and then instead of having a bath, I stood whilst she soaped and sponged me down like you would a toddler.
Once all that was done she led me back into the bedroom where a large disposable and enormous thick shiny blue rubber pants were waiting. I wasn’t expecting to be put back into protection, it was morning after all, but I didn’t feel able (or want) to complain. It felt like granny knew best so it was best to go along with her judgement. In fact, I really liked the way gran was looking after me and it all just seemed effortless and practical.
She always takes pride in smearing in the preventative nappy rash cream, making sure that any vulnerable area is well coated. She has fun sprinkling on the baby powder (I’m giggling more and more each time she does this) and fixing my disposable (with an extra layer of padding) correctly, which means I’m always grateful for her attention to detail.
Pulling up the rubber pants I could feel there was a bit more ‘body’ to them than the plastic ones I’d been wearing. They were denser, shinier and looked fairly impenetrable in comparison but I guess she’d looked at the nappy I’d just taken off, realised how saturated it was so decided I needed more help than usual. She appeared happy with the result, whilst I chuckled (I don’t know why but I’d been in that joyously juvenile frame of mind since I got up) as she checked and smoothed everything down, looking at the final glossy effect with a nod of approval.
Another nightshirt was pulled over my head. The cotton was as soft as the previous one except the material was blue with little brown squirrels running all over it. It made no difference, as soon as it engulfed me and tickled the back of my legs I felt so happy and cosy I thought I’d never want to take it off again, which was a strange thing to enter my head. However, many similar thoughts and questions had done exactly the same but had disappeared with the ease with which they arrived.
Uncontrollable chuckles just erupted as I stood waiting for whatever was to happen next. The nightshirt had an effect I couldn’t explain except I absolutely loved wearing it. It tickled, it comforted, it was so unlike anything else I’d ever worn. Granny was all reassuring smiles and I felt happy that she was happy.
I was dressed for night but the day had only just started.
“We’re going to a party… a pyjama party.”
Granny announced when she saw me examining the baby pattern on my daytime clothing.
Was about all I could muster at that point though in truth, once her announcement had sunk in, I was suddenly quite thrilled by the idea of a party.
Indeed, had I been a little kid I might have found myself jumping up and down with excitement.
Unintentionally, I was actually jumping up and down.
The clothing now made perfect sense and the ultra-thick protection hardly registered because of the anticipation of going to such an event. Any reluctance that I may have had regarding what I was wearing and being seen by others had completely disappeared.
Granny noticed by immature enthusiasm.
“From now on sweetheart, it’s going to be fun, fun, fun.”
She stroked my hair, smoothed down the nightshirt, which sent even more ripples of pleasure through my body and ended up patting my padded bottom.
“Well sweetie, I think you’re just about ready so… shall we go?”
She slipped a huge colourful bag over her shoulder and headed for the door.
There was no doubt about it, I was beaming from ear to ear at the prospect of the party and straining like a puppy on a lead desperate to be let off. Unfortunately, that excitement, together with the milk and apple juice from breakfast had an effect and I found myself, quite uncontrollably, filling my pristine and lovingly applied nappy.
However, I just wanted to get off and join the festivities as soon as possible so I didn’t say anything to granny, hoping that she couldn’t tell. The warmth spread around my groin and bottom… I smiled what I hoped was an eager smile to hide my guilt.
Granny didn’t tell me whose party it was she just held out her hand, which I took with barely a second thought, and we toddled down the back lanes to our destination.
For the briefest of seconds I had a touch of Déjà vu. I’d walked down this lane, holding granny’s hand before, which over the years was not an impossible thing to happen except, I was dressed exactly the same but still only a toddler. It was weird but the ‘vision’ soon passed and everything felt right again.
Thankfully granny doesn’t walk too fast so the journey wasn’t an awkward waddle trying to keep up with a soaked and bloated nappy between my legs. The blue rubber pants were very tight so kept everything quite well contained but there was a feeling in that particular area that I might be pretty well waterlogged. Then I remembered granny had fitted a thick soaker pad so that was probably what was giving me that ‘bloated’ feeling under my nightshirt. As I shuffled along holding her hand I was smiling to myself for a couple of reasons. One was that I was off to a party; the other was that again she’d known I’d need extra protection and that’s just what she’d given me.
Granny was very special indeed.
For a second time I noticed that nearly every back garden we passed the washing hanging out was very similar; nappies, colourful plastic pants, lovely designed nightshirts and various towels. It seemed that granny wasn’t the only one who needed to keep up with a messy kid.
No sooner had I noted this phenomenon than I disregarded it as anything in particular because I could hear the noise of a party in the distance. Needless to say my waddle speeded up a bit and I was almost dragging gran along behind me. However, she kept a grip on my hand so I couldn’t just rush off by myself.
Eventually we arrived at a building that looked like it was once a small village school. In fact it did have Thurswell Green Infants carved into the stone above the door but there was a newer painted sign that announced Thurswell Green Crèche. This colourful banner had happy cartoon children and baby animals all over it so I suppose it now doubled for a slightly different need in the village. Granny guided me through the doors, by-passing a couple of bright little empty classrooms and out into the back.
This was a surprise.
The large enclosed area must have once been the playground and sports-field for the school and it was still being used in a similar manner. There must have been about thirty or forty children charging about, playing on various swings and slides. Toys were everywhere; there were a couple of shallow little plastic paddling pools with boats and other objects floating about. Trampolines, a cardboard fort, huge building blocks and a host of other colourful items were peppered around the place.
My eyes lit up when I saw the large bouncy castle, which was proving very popular. It was one of those things that I’d always loved to play on but, being, er, erm… I forget now, but too old for simply jumping up and down on some inflated piece of plastic.
What I noticed most was that the children were all ages, from toddlers to teens. In fact, there were definitely other boys and girls who were older than me all running about, screaming and laughing but the one thing we all had in common was – our nightshirts. This was a very specific pyjama party.
A few toddlers were running about wearing just their nappies, whilst others like me wore their brightly coloured nightshirts. As people bounced or ran around, their nightshirts flapped in the warm morning air revealing a host of different coloured protection. Some were plain white, some didn’t wear plastic pants and others had bright and shiny pants keeping everything in. What I noticed, but it didn’t really click as anything strange, was that all the kids of every age were wearing nappies.
So, this was gran’s idea of a pyjama party… GREAT… I couldn’t wait to join in.
She let go of my hand, patted my padded bum and told me to go and enjoy myself. I didn’t need telling twice and immediately made my way to the bouncy castle. There was a short line of kids waiting and an even longer line of shoes; trainers, sandals and flip-flops belonging to the people already bouncing up and down. I looked around at the swarm of youthful exuberance and hardly anyone was wearing anything on their feet. It must be that once you’d taken them off, the grassy surface proved more enjoyable. I quickly slipped off my trainers and put them into the line with the others and I had to agree, the grass felt really fantastic tickling between my toes.
Suddenly I experienced someone slap my arm.
“Tag… you’re it”
I spun around to see the smiling face of a boy, a little bit younger than me, running away but looking over his shoulder, I suppose to make sure I was going to join in. I did. I set off after him and before long I was playing amongst a group of other kids. It was fantastic, all ages played with each other and no one was left out. As new people arrived they were just as quickly absorbed into the noisy multitude and having a brilliant time.
It appeared that a large proportion of the village youngsters, and quite possibly any that were visiting like me in the school break, were here. It was a very communal activity, which seemed incredibly well supported.
Around the edges of the playing field were gazebos and awnings offering shade and sitting chatting in those were where the adults kept themselves. Mostly the noisy kids were left to their own devices but occasionally individuals were called over to have their nappies checked. If the grown up thought they were too wet or messy, they were changed right there and then on the spot before being fitted into a fresh one and sent back out to play.
It was the same from the youngest to the oldest and no one thought it odd, mostly those being changed just wanted to get back with their friends to continue whatever it was they were doing. The noise and the screaming, the laughter and childish excitement about being with such a big group of like-minded juveniles was just so infectious. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed myself so much or played so many different and silly games.
Granny called me over because I’d been running around for about an hour, lifted up my Winceyette nightshirt and slipped her hand down the front of my tight reflective blue pants.
“OK baby, let’s get you changed… you’ve been like since we left home and I don’t like you in this state for too long.”
I shrugged, so she had known but let it pass because of my excitement… I loved granny.
As I looked around I could see that most of the shaded areas had loungers, deck-chairs and spread out covers and most had huge holdalls somewhere nearby. Parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents or whoever was caring for the various children had come well prepared to make sure their little ones were going to be well looked after.
It never occurred to me to be shy or anxious about granny changing me in public. Indeed, only ten feet away a boy, who was probably a couple of years older than me was nonchalantly being changed and next to him was a little girl, possibly his sister, who was also being slid into a pair of nursery print vinyl pants. As soon as both of them were done they kissed their parents and charged off to join their group of friends.
As granny was fastening my shiny blue rubber pants back into place, her neighbour, Mrs Davies came over holding the hand of a little boy. He was wearing what appeared to be a very wet disposable but still had a huge smile on his face.
“Peter here has just been for a swim in one of the paddling pools,”
She half laughed and shrugged at the same time.
“He didn’t realise that his nappy would soak up all the water.” She laughed again. “What does he look like?”
With that he was plonked down beside me whilst being relieved of his flooded and drooping appendage.
He smiled across at me as Mrs Davies got to work cleaning him up and powdering his hairless little body. She introduced him as her grandson.
“Hi” I half smiled and nodded back
“Wiwl you pway wiv me?”
His big blue eyes were both smiling and searching hopefully.
Granny gave me a nod and a smile that I took as “That would be a nice thing to do”. Not that I wouldn’t have anyway but… well… I’d do anything to please her.
“Mmm, er, sure…”
Granny patted my padding then pulled the nightshirt back down to my knees.
There was something I’d noticed since the first time granny had put me back into a nappy – the padding around my bum and the thickness between my legs made me feel, er, different… no special, er, no that’s not it either. Gave me a feeling of total wellbeing, as if, being wrapped in such soft, thick material was sending messages to my brain declaring all was wonderful and I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Granny also gave me that feeling, as did the nightshirts, there was something unusual going on but it was something I embraced.
“This one will be a minute or two yet.”
Mrs Davies said as she pretended to search for something under her grandson.
His face was engulfed in a broad grin and his little giggle, as she tickled his sides and slightly tubby tummy, was quite contagious. I found myself laughing along with him for no other reason than it was fun to do. Both granny and Mrs D were also smiling as their two charges rolled around hardly able to contain their mirth. We both wriggled on the blanket in our fresh clean nappies chuckling our heads off.
So as to protect young Peter should he want to go back in the paddling pool, Mrs Davies fed a pair of tight see-thru plastic pants up his legs. His blue cartoon printed disposable was clearly squashed by the glossy material giving the effect he was somehow trapped in glass. He squirmed, beaming his childish but quite captivating smile as they were snapped into place. Once granny had made sure I was looking my best, we set off together to find something exciting to do. He slipped his hand into mine and we made our way to the makeshift cardboard fort.
I couldn’t remember the last time I’d played with someone his age but I, and a couple of others, were soon involved in a fantastic game of aliens and dinosaurs. I was no stand-offish teen but an energy fuelled toddler and it appeared I wasn’t the only one. Before long we had about ten people join us making monster noises and alien sounds. I’m not sure there were any rules as such but that didn’t stop us charging around having a brilliant time.
There simply was no age barriers.
The nightshirts never seemed to hinder our play although sometimes, the colossal size of the protection underneath made running at speed very difficult. Some kids would fall over and expose just how loaded their nappies were or reveal some unexpectedly silky, shimmering covers. Some boys had equally colourful or frilly vinyl pants like the girls but no one commented. In fact, I don’t remember seeing any tears or nastiness amongst any of the children. We were all getting along wonderfully because it didn’t matter, everyone was equal and what you wore wasn’t down to you, it was the decision of the grown up supervising.
There were many styles of vinyl pants that I thought looked fantastic and mine, on more than one occasion, had little hands pawing at the very smooth glossy surface. Judging by the noisy mayhem going on around us no one seemed in the least bit inhibited by what they had to wear.
After a further couple of hours the kids started congregating at the canopied areas for some lunch. Once again, everything seemed to be well organised as the huge bags were delved into and a copious amount of food and drink produced. All the kids huddled in close to their parents, or whoever had brought them, and settled down in the shade of the very hot sun, to feast.
Granny of course had brought some of her fabulous pies and I shared them with Peter and Mrs Davies. A couple of other grown-ups I didn’t know but whose kids, Ray-Ray and Bonnie, I’d been playing with also came over and shared granny’s and Mrs D’s fabulous baking.
“Do you remember Mr and Mrs Wilkinson?” Granny asked me.
I felt a bit guilty because obviously granny thought we’d met before but I couldn’t recall when it could have been.
“Sorry but…” I shook my head slightly.
“Well don’t worry about that.” Mr Wilkinson said smiling before shaking my hand. “You seem to have made great friends with our nephew and niece.”
“Yes, we’ve had a great time…”
I started to say but the food was being spread out so the adult conversation centred on that.
“Thank you for inviting us to join you all.”
It was Mrs Wilkinson’s turn to talk.
“It really is a splendid day and…” she said looking at the fine spread granny and Mrs D had set out, “you two really have the gift for baking… this all looks simply scrumptious.”
Ray-Ray was wearing a nightshirt like mine except with a different colour combination, whilst the young girl Bonnie just crawled around in her rather bulky nappy. Again it all seemed so normal and our blanket was a wonderful place on which to spread out. As he sprawled, stretched and yawned Ray-Ray’s jammies rode up and I could see the neatly pinned terry nappy he wore under an opaque pair of plastic pants. For some reason, as I bit into a fantastic piece of pie, I began to think whether I preferred fabric or disposables and was quite captivated by the choice made for him.
However, as we all enjoyed what was on offer, Mrs Wilkinson produced a couple of drinks for the kids. To my surprise at least, both Ray-Ray and Bonnie, who weren’t toddlers, drank their milk from baby’s bottles. Even Peter, who was the youngest of our little group, drank from a sippy cup and I wondered if granny had brought one for me. She hadn’t, I drank my chocolate milk from a refreshingly cold carton which was delicious. But I was thirsty and begged for a second, which of course granny let me have with a warning to take it easy seeing as I’d wolfed down the last so quickly. Despite my best intentions and with not a little embarrassment, I still somehow managed to get a large proportion of the cool brown milky substance down the front of my nightshirt.
“It’s a baby’s bottle for you in future.”
Granny said half seriously as she looked around at the others who were slurping and nursing without making a mess.
She pulled the stained nightshirt over my head and again I giggled as the tickly fabric sent ripples of pleasure around my body.
“I’ll let you rest now and I’ll sort out something else for you later.”
Lunch certainly wasn’t as noisy as it had been earlier and, as meals and drinks were finished, things got quieter and quieter until the entire assembly had drifted off as they would at nap time in kindergarten.
All around were snoozy and worn out youngsters snuggling up to their loved ones. All the adults seemed grateful for this lull in proceedings and appeared to join them in this calm interval. On our blanket granny, Mrs D and the two other adults were sitting in deckchairs, whilst we kids huddled close together on the warm fleecy blanket. Without my nightshirt I was just wearing my shiny blue protection. As sleep was about to engulf me I felt Peter snuggle up closer and wrap his arm around my slippery protection. I heard him sigh softly as he drifted off, slip his thumb between his lips and, with the weather being so pleasantly warm; it wasn’t long before I joined him.
I woke up to see Peter facing me and sucking on a dummy that had replaced his thumb whilst he still snoozed contentedly. Mrs Wilkinson was in the final act of changing Ray-Ray by pulling up his plastic pants and Mr Wilkinson was patting down his niece’s new pink plastic pants over her large nappy. I could see both fabric nappies held in place by two huge pins with pink safety covers. At the same moment I noticed this I also became aware that I’d wet myself. The chocolate milk had gone right through me and I’d filled my nappy. Granny was just about to see to my needs.
Some of the other children were already up and about, charging around like before and bouncing up and down on the inflatable castle. I heard my name called and being waved at so, as granny slipped off my rubber pants, I shouted back that I’d be with them shortly. She peeled away my soaked nappy and set about with a host of wet wipes to clean me up.
Ray-Ray and Bonnie had already run off to join their friends and Peter was still sleeping innocently on the blanket. Mrs D checked his padded bottom and grimaced, apparently her angelic little grandson had done more than wet himself. She shrugged, delved into her bag and retrieved another, much larger disposable and some extra padding. She let him doze as she pulled down his plastic pants and released his messy blue disposable. Granny had just about finished cleaning me up and was rustling a pair of see-thru plastic pants up my legs, they looked similar to the ones Peter was wearing and I assumed meant that any ‘accidents’ could be immediately identified.
“There.” She announce proudly. “My little sweetie is all spick and span.”
She kissed the top of my head and patted my thickly padded bottom and sent me on my way so I didn’t have to be a witness to the mess Peter had made. I was thankful.
The rest of the afternoon continued much the same as the morning and even running around in the hot sun didn’t seem to inhibit anyone’s spirits. We all seemed to have a terrific time though by around four-thirty we were all pretty well tuckered out.
Slowly the fun died down.
Eventually granny folded up the blanket and packed her bag and called for me as it was home time. I had one last bounce before I regained my trainers and waddled over to her. Peter and Mrs D had already gone; the Wilkinson’s had gone a lot earlier so although I didn’t want the games to end, I knew the party was ending. Someone else was packing up all the chairs and awnings so all we had to do was to say our farewells to those still left.
Granny held out her hand and once again I was more than happy to hold it as we toddled home, I even offered to carry her shoulder bag, which she seemed most grateful for. We chatted about the day, about the new friends I’d made and how fantastic I thought the idea of the pyjama party was. I told her I was surprised to see most teens, in fact all the kids, dressed in nightshirts like mine and asked why this was.
“Oh sweetie, we’ve been wearing nightshirts for many years, there’s a clever lady who makes them specifically for us here in the village.
“But why nightshirts and not, er, you know, normal pyjamas?”
“Well sweetheart, it’s down to access.”
I looked at her a little confused.
“It’s so much easier to change our sweet babies if they wear something that is easily accessible… and over the years we’ve found these nightshirts, which everyone seems to adore, the best system.”
The fact that an entire village of youngsters was wearing protection didn’t register as anything unusual. I accepted granny’s reasoning without question. I supposed, if I had to wear a nappy there was no reason why others didn’t feel the need as well and, as I’d found out, I was glad of them now.
None of the kids charging around at the party had questioned why they were wearing what they were and nor had I. I hadn’t assumed anything it just wasn’t something I thought needed an answer.
It was what it was and we all seemed happy enough with what that was.
We arrived home and the first thing granny did was check if I was damp or not. I was, very.
“OK sweetie let’s get your clammy nappy off and you in the bath for a nice long soak.”
I smiled and run up the stairs to strip off whilst gran filled the bath with one of her famous lavender bubble bombs. I’d never experienced these before I visited her home but I actually loved the smell, the way it made the water not only bubbly but also feel all silky and nice. My skin felt like I’d been well and truly pampered and sleek with a thin layer of exotic oils.
As granny suggested I soaked for a long time I took full advantage. I skipped the need to play with the little yellow duck but kept happily submerging myself below the tide of suds. I’d surface with foam piled on my head and looking in the mirror kept rearranging it to make beards, moustaches and the like. In contrast, the hairs ‘down below’ I’d developed and which had caused some unease when I’d on that first night were no longer a problem as they’d simply disappeared. Eventually granny came in like she had on that very first day and spread a towel inviting me to get out and dried. Where once there had been awkwardness and embarrassment about being naked in her presence, now I just climbed out and let her encircle me in the soft folds of her love.
As she rubbed me dry and whispered sweet words of love and encouragement in my ear, the feeling of being fourteen all but disappeared and it was wonderful returning to a part of my childhood where I was so valued, didn’t have to worry and my life was taken care of. Indeed, age seemed to have very little meaning because I’d been happily playing with kids of all ages and none of us cared. I suppose because we were all dressed roughly the same helped but it was just nice not having to worry what others might think or say. It just hadn’t mattered.
It was still only about six o’clock, there was still plenty of the day left but granny had already spread out my nightwear. It wasn’t all that different from what I’d been wearing all day so she just guided me over to the pile of stuff I was so getting used to and lay out. She took her time with the lotion, checking to make sure I hadn’t got any more of my body sunburnt before liberally smoothing it over my entire body. She had me roll over onto my tummy and took an equal amount of time making sure my back, neck and legs were all sufficiently coated. She even rubbed some into my bottom that had me giggling like a two year-old. Once that was done came the cloud of baby powder that she freely sprinkled everywhere, which set us both howling like hyenas.
A well stuffed fabric nappy was then tightly fastened in place, which reminded me of Ray-Ray’s and once again I couldn’t believe how granny knew so easily what I wanted. The pins were exactly the same and she smiled knowingly as I wriggled in total contentment when she finally slipped a new pair of thick white nursery print vinyl pants up my legs. I was both surprised and elated at this little extra because for some reason it had been another thing I’d desired from the moment I’d first laid eyes on them at the party.
Granny was brilliant she knew everything and made me feel like the luckiest person in the world to have her in my life. She finally eased a new white nightshirt over my head. If possible, and it was, the fabric was even softer and wrapped me in a fleecy hug I found overwhelming. The white fabric had the opening lines from nursery rhymes and cartoon representations of the subject and I found myself singing or saying them out loud to my audience of one.
The shirt was a lot shorter than normal and only came down to just over my hips, which meant that my matching protection was obviously on show. At first I wasn’t too sure I thought it looked very babyish but granny was full of praise, saying how nice and special it looked and that she’d had it made specifically for me. She hugged and rocked me in her arms and I could do nothing but respond with equal enthusiasm. Granny was the best, and, as the overpowering sensation of the new ultra-soft touch material caressed the upper part of my body, I could feel the nappy and pants embrace the lower in the same way.
It must have been because I’d had such a hectic day but suddenly I felt quite tired. I’d yawned and granny had asked if I was hungry or thirsty. I wasn’t starving because we’d been snacking all day but I wanted a drink and, ever attentive gran, put me to bed, pulled up the covers and then said she’d go and get me something whilst I rested.
The thing about granny’s bed is that it was incredibly comfortable. Once you sink into its soft mattress and slide under the sheets and blankets, it’s like you’re in your own personal cocoon. It may still have been early but I wallowed in the soft comforting bedding and its wonderful overwhelming welcome.
When gran returned I was almost asleep but she came and lay by my side and propped my head in her lap. I was only half aware that something was being pressed to my lips but that was enough for me to get the taste of warm strawberry milk. With no other thought than I wanted to drink I opened my mouth and a rubber nipple slipped in and before I really knew much about it, I was sucking and enjoying the fruity warm flavour and thoroughly enjoying the sweet experience.
All the time I suckled gran was hugging and humming the nursery rhymes that I’d been singing earlier. I reached under the covers and my hand gently slid across the bulging plastic pants, which also sent ripples of pleasure throughout my body. So that shudder of pleasure, together with the tasty treat I was slurping on, seemed to empty the bottle quickly. Once I’d finished I felt her kiss the top of my head and call me her ‘sweet little baby’ before I snuggled down deeper and drifted off.
The rest of my break at granny’s followed a similar pattern; either other kids came over to our house or I visited them at theirs and we played enthusiastically without a care in the world. Even though my outfit was now more baby-like, and my protection was always on show, it didn’t matter we all happily played together.
I vaguely remember waking up from a naptime and hearing Mr and Mrs Wilkinson talking to granny.
“… I know its more work but I do enjoy seeing them like this.”
Obviously I hadn’t caught the beginning of the conversation.
Ray-Ray and Bonnie were lying next to me on the blanket, both with dummies in their mouths and snoozing heavily. I had an empty baby’s bottle next to me but the teat was still resting between my lips.
“It’s a shame they have to go back to normal when its school time… they are far more trouble then.”
There was a murmur of agreement between the adults.
“This village is fantastic, everything about it is designed to encourage kids to be kids and enjoy life as a kid.”
It was Mr Wilkinson talking.
“No responsibilities, no worries… no growing up… even if it’s all just for a short while.”
“Better than never…” Mrs Wilkinson paused and then added, “and we get to have our babies back.”
Then I heard granny’s voice.
“I worry that my silly daughter and her equally silly husband will still be arguing instead of sorting out their problems.”
Her voice went softer.
“I hate to think of my poor little Sweet-pea having to put up with all that anxiety. Some time’s I wish I could just keep…”
There was a slight pause as Bonnie woke up and looked at her aunt.
“Auntie, I’m wet.”
“I know precious,” she replied. “We’ll get you all cleaned up when Ray-Ray wakes.”
Bonnie leant over to her brother and cheekily pulled the big blue dummy from his mouth. A string of drool accompanied it but it also woke him up.
One morning I woke up and granny suggested I have a bath, which of course I happily agreed to. This time there was no bubbles or fancy bath salts and the towel was draped over the peg on the bathroom door so I even had to dry myself. I ventured back into the bedroom and although granny wasn’t there my clothes were laid out on the bed ready for use. This time it was different.
Gone was my nappy and nightshirt and in their place were my other clothes; my jeans, jumper and underwear.
Granny called up the stairs.
“Hurry up sweetie, your mother will be picking you up in a short while and I don’t want to send you off without any breakfast.”
I’d forgotten that I’d have to return to school after my two week break and I really didn’t want to. My time with granny and the rest of the people in the village had been the best time of my life. I slipped into my underwear and it just didn’t seem right, I was missing that bulk but, as I was going home I suppose I couldn’t wear a nappy for that.
I sat at the kitchen table dressed pretty much as I’d arrived two weeks earlier. I slowly ate the bacon and eggs granny had cooked and her cheerful chat tried to keep my disappointment at bay. I didn’t want to leave but a new school term called and I couldn’t get out of it. I asked granny if it would be OK to come and visit her again during my next break, she said she’d like that a lot.
I gratefully sighed and smiled back at her – she was and is totally amazing.
There was a knock on the door and mum came in. She kissed gran and then kissed me and smiled at seeing me again.
“I’ve, er, we’ve missed having you around.” She ruffled my hair in a loving manner.
As I finished my breakfast granny and mum went into the conservatory to chat privately.
“OK sweetheart, we need to get an early start we have some shopping for new school clothes and I thought I’d treat you to a spot of lunch at the mall. Would you like that?”
I nodded semi-enthusiastically. I was going to miss granny but already I was forgetting why.
At the door I kissed granny goodbye and thanked her for having me.
“Anytime sweet-pea… there’s always a place for you here… whenever you need it.”
I slung my backpack onto the back seat of the car and climbed in beside mum in the front.
As we drove away a pang of… something… I wasn’t sure what rippled through my body.
When passed the sign that said WELCOME TO THURSWELL GREEN – children please drive carefully another shiver made me go quite rigid.
“Are you OK sweetheart?” Mum sounded concerned.
“Mmmm, yes, er, I think so… just sad to be leaving… “
Mum smiled and I was left wondering why exactly it was that I felt so depressed about leaving.
“Well, what have you been up to over the past fortnight?” Mum enquired.
“Oh, nothing much. Oh I did fall in the brook,” I smiled at the memory but then remembered something else. “Unfortunately it destroyed my Ipad.”
“Well that would explain why we hardly heard anything from you.”
I wasn’t sure if mum was thankful I’d not kept in touch or relieved but either way she made my day by saying that since we were going to be at the mall, perhaps we should get a new one. This booked me up no end and I was really pleased.
“Wow, thanks mum. I promise I’ll keep it safe.”
“What else have you been up to?”
“Oh nothing much.”
I really couldn’t remember much at all.
“Well as long as you got on well with granny.”
“Do you know she doesn’t have a TV… and… get this… doesn’t even miss it.”
Mum laughed in mock horror.
“So what on earth did you do to pass the time?”
“Mmmm, oh this and that, the weather was nice so I could get out and….”
I trailed off. I couldn’t remember much about anything I’d done.
Story is written by Les Lea