This story is written by Les Lea
I was looking at some old photographs the other day and one of them was of my dad holding me outside our terraced (and somewhat dilapidated) old house.
The caption, obviously written by my father, read – 9 month old Popsi and me taking the morning air.
Apparently, my nickname as a baby was Popsi and, from the image at least, my sex indeterminate, which I suppose is OK for a baby, as it really doesn’t matter. As it was, I was dressed in a grey looking smock but my large white nappy was clearly visible resting on dad’s arm. I was giggling about something, and dad was smiling, so it must have been a fun occasion for all concerned but the thing was, I never remembered ever being called Popsi.
Now you may be wondering why I’m telling you about this. In fact, I have no idea why I’m sharing this little titbit of my life except as a reminder of the things you forget or aren’t aware of. I’m sure I was called Popsi (by my parents at least) for quite some time although as far as I know, I’ve never had a nickname at school or throughout my adult life.
So, although that early part of my life has been forgotten, there is one thing I do remember because in one way or another it continues to this day.
Like I remember, I must have been about six years old and having a bath on my own. I was enjoying playing with my little plastic boats and suddenly I needed a pee. Of course I was already in the bath so it seemed silly to get out and then pee in a different ‘bowl’ of water so I just relaxed and let it flow. I was completely transfixed by the small yellow plume that emerged from my little ‘pidge’ and found that it was something I ended up doing every time I had a bath. Quite simply it was fun and felt good to do.
The problem was, even though my potty training had lasted until I was four and I hadn’t wet the bed for over two years, I suddenly started again. These days I can see a link between the two incidents but at the time, well I was only a kid and it never occurred to me.
The warmth of the bath and the warmth of my bed both perhaps working on my brain to give me a similar feeling of relaxation; the two experiences were becoming one and the same.
However, the connection between the two wasn’t made because no one knew I peed in the bath, all mum saw was that one morning I woke up to a soaked bed. That was followed by further wet bedding and jammies so after a week of such accidents, mum said that I had to return to nappies until I was “over it”.
To say I wasn’t happy about this announcement was a bit of an understatement as I threw a tantrum and became very angry. The very idea of being returned to a ‘baby’ had me screaming the house down in protest, which didn’t help my case.
Now mum had never been a fan of disposables, I’m not sure if that was a result of worrying about the environment or because of the expense, either way, she never had them in the house. As babies we were always put in thick cloth nappies covered in a rather milky white pair of rubber or plastic pants. I have to say they seemed to do the job remarkably efficiently and mum never seemed bothered about colour or fashion.
She is also a no nonsense type of woman. She’s very loving but once her mind is set on a course of action nothing is going to change it. I think dad liked that spark in mum and that’s why he married her (also my oldest brother was on the way).
So, once she’d decided on what needed to be done to protect my bed and bedding, her damp little son was going to be well-wrapped at night whether I liked it or not and, as I said, I did not.
Besides, I had two older brothers and they would just take the piss (so to speak).
They did – as soon as they saw the plastic under-sheet being fastened over my mattress. I was now fair game being referred to as the ‘baby of the family’ and spoken to as if I was still a toddler. My brothers didn’t tire of ‘diddum’s this’ and ‘diddum’s that’ or be constantly checking my padded night time nappy and telling me it was time all babies should be in bed… at 6.30 or earlier.
Anyway, it wasn’t something you could talk to a six year old about so my parents just assumed I was being lazy, which may have been part of it, or that I’d probably grow out of my bed-wetting problem soon enough. In the meantime, nappies were the most obvious solution.
On that first night mum put me in them I was furious but had no option, both mum and dad said it was for my own good and that the sooner I stopped wetting the bed the sooner I could return to my normal PJs.
That initial night was hell, I couldn’t get used to them. They were hot, bulky, uncomfortable and sweaty, which made me squirm around in bed until they were so loose they ‘accidently’ wriggled off. This was a bad move on my part as in the morning my bed was soaked but not the nappy so it was obvious to mum that I hadn’t been wearing it. I got a couple of quick swats to my bare bottom for both lying to her about how it came off and for wetting once again.
The following night she pinned me in, added plastic pants over them and made sure I was under no illusions that if everything wasn’t exactly as she had left it (I.e. me in my protection) I’d be feeling more than the little ‘taps’ I’d received as punishment earlier. She had also made it very clear that I wasn’t to take it off, only she and dad were allowed to do that, so I was to stay in my nappy until told otherwise.
It was still a damned uncomfortable night but I dare not wriggle free of them this time. My crinkly plastic pants and under-sheet adding to my awkwardness but in the end sleep did visit and so did the pee fairy because in the morning my nappy was soaked. Thankfully, as mum saw it, everything else was dry so her precautions had been a huge success.
It felt really awful sitting at the breakfast table with my brother’s giggling at my bloated nappy and plastic pants. Mum said she’d change me when it was time for school. This really worried me because I thought she meant I’d have to wear a nappy to class but in the end she didn’t mean that at all and I went to school in my normal undies … and uniform. What a relief.
I didn’t have accidents during the day it was only when I was asleep or in the bath… but then the ones in the bath weren’t accidents… I really liked the feeling and watching the almost invisible pale yellow trails disappear into the rest of the water. I also discovered that if I peed near the surface, and my boats were somewhere near the flow, I could get the current to make them sail in a particular direction. I got pretty good at keeping a load of pee for when I was scheduled for a bath so I could spend more time on this incredible discovery.
However, protection at night became a regular feature of my bedtime and eventually my brothers got used to seeing me being wrapped in terry cloth and fitted into rubber pants before I went to bed
I shared a room with my two brothers, Leo, the eldest was nine and Gary who was eight shared a big double bed, whilst mine was a small single bed pushed up against the far wall. When all three of us were up or in the room at the same time, like when getting ready for school, it was a very cramped space. With draws, a wardrobe and of course the beds, we had no room for play, it was strictly a place for sleep and changing. This meant that when mum changed me into my night time protection, this was dealt with on my bed and became a bit of a ritual before my brothers needed to get ready. Otherwise there simply wouldn’t have been the room for us all to be changing at the same time and the bathroom was quite small, so there wasn’t much space in there either. We coped but it had to be done to mother’s precision organisation.
She liked to apply the various oils and powders and though I resented being put into nappies, that resentment was getting less and less every time. The thing was I was enjoying peeing in my nappy. On more than one occasion I’d woken up and could quite easily have made it to the toilet in time but enjoyed the warm surge. My nappy, like the bath, became the place to let it flow.
Mum was slightly annoyed that her washing line was once again filled with my flapping nappies and rubber pants; she thought she was over all that, but as the alternative was fluttering bed sheets and jammies, she let it go.
My night time toilet arrangements became quite a topic of conversation between mum and the neighbours who commiserated with her on my immature return to nappies. As far as I knew, and certainly mum never led me to believe otherwise, I was the only six year-old on the estate still needing night time protection.
Mum made sure if I was staying up to watch TV or we were doing something else, she always wanted to make sure I was in my protection well before bedtime. She dreaded that I might nod off when not in protection and shame myself by leaving a pool of pee that someone else might notice. I couldn’t understand this as I never arrived home from school in wet pants so why she thought I couldn’t be trusted I wasn’t so sure. Although I suspected it was just the normal amount of gossiping and conclusions drawn that went on between ‘concerned’ neighbours.
If mum or dad were going to be busy, on more than one occasion I’d arrive home from school or from playing out and I’d be taken upstairs and made ready for an early night. So, quite often I’d be in my nappy for ages before actual bedtime. So seeing me totter around the house wearing just a t-shirt and nappy was not unusual. I’d try and disguise my padding by choosing a brightly coloured t-shirt, which to me at least, drew attention away from the bulky material between my legs.
However, the urge to fill it then was strong, but I was sure that if they knew I could’ve made it to the bathroom and yet didn’t, then I would be in a great deal of trouble. If they thought it was accidental, and I did it in my sleep, that was acceptable.
Sometimes I’d have an early night just so I could pee in my nappy as soon as I got into bed. The feeling was wonderful and I’d often fall asleep almost immediately after the event. Mum once or twice checked me when she came to bed and, finding me wet would change me into a clean and dry one only for that to be soaked by morning.
There was no doubt I was peeing in my nappy more and more and both Leo and Gary started to complain about the overpowering odour of these ‘mishaps’. As I didn’t seem to be in the process of stopping (and there was nowhere else for me to sleep) her solution was thicker nappies, thicker soak pads and very robust rubber pants. Mum claimed that nothing would get out of this fortified prison and all my changes were to be performed in the bathroom from then on. It was far more cramped and uncomfortable but I couldn’t complain (although I did a little bit).
Mum was giving me more and more responsibility for my own changes. I was left to put it on myself, after suitable instruction and supervision from her, and I got quite adept at pinning myself into multiple folds of soft white (now slightly yellowing) fabric.
The doctor I went to see told dad there was nothing wrong with me and after giving him the third degree about how I was punished, and satisfying himself I wasn’t being abused, said that I’d probably grow out of it pretty soon.
Dad was annoyed that the doctor assumed it was his fault I wet and as a result, I was constantly under dad’s scrutiny and encouraged to improve my night time toilet habits. I did try. I hated that dad was so upset with the disgusting insinuation he was abusing me, so I did get dry for a week or so. Eventually, the strain of staying dry gave way to the pleasure of being wet so nothing changed. Although the outcome of all this was, because of his inquisition dad refused to let me see a doctor again regarding my nightly ‘accidents’.
Even when I reached my seventh, eighth and ninth birthdays I was still wearing my night time armour (as I’d jokingly come to call it) but that changed when dad got promoted and transferred to a different town. A change of house, school and friends suddenly had me more interested in that than my wet habits and miraculously (as mum and dad called it) I suddenly found I was dry and the toilet was not an alien place for me to visit at night. Pretty soon, after almost three years I was back to proper nightwear and a dry bed.
From then on I hardly ever thought about my ‘golden flow’ and certainly didn’t miss the thick nappy.
Here I’m going to do a potted history of my life then until now, simply because what happened during these years from when I stopped has no bearing on what I want to tell you about (well I don’t think so).
I had been working since I left school at eighteen though I never went to college, but found myself at a new firm that had ambition and a workforce that functioned very well together. I was one of their go-getters and the firm was in the right place at the right time for the technical facilities it offered. It was a great place to be and we all did fairly well sharing in the company’s successes.
At twenty-one I inherited money that my grandparents had put in trust for me. It was quite a considerable amount and enabled me to put the deposit down on a place of my own.
By twenty-four I was married to a nice girl but my sex drive, which had never been prolific, eventually drove her into the arms of another man (a workmate) and I was divorced by the time I reached twenty-seven.
During in all that time, I never thought about nappies or wetting and those two thoughts have only just recently surfaced, and that has taken me to a place I wished I’d found earlier.
Let me explain.
It’s several months since my divorce and I now live alone. Recently I was taking a shower – don’t get me wrong, I’d taken many showers since the decree absolute, it was just this one was sort of a turning point.
It was early morning and as I let the warm jets pulsate against my head and back I let my night time bladder build-up go in the cubicle. Now I’m sure I’d done this more times than I remembered but on this occasion something actually happened.
As the stream of bright yellow pee joined the river of warm water I watched in wonder and my mind was immediately transferred back to the moment when I was six and peed in the bath for the very first time. Then it was pale yellow and in volume hardly much at all but now I witnessed a yellow torrent mixing and mingling with a clear water flow and disappear in a swirl down the plughole.
It was magical.
It brought back that instant over twenty years earlier, when a shiver of excitement, wonder and sheer pleasure led to that most joyful of discoveries – peeing was fun… and not only in the bath.
I’d been in a little bit of self despair because I felt useless and it wasn’t just because of the break up. The divorce hadn’t hit me hard because I more or less knew it was coming from the moment I married Penny. We were more friends than lovers and we’d let ourselves fall into the trap that friends could be lovers. Alas, after just a few short, frustrated years (for Penny) it was over.
Since then my self-imposed depression meant I wasn’t the bundle of fun I used to be and quite a few of my ‘friends’ took the opportunity to let our friendship slide. I can’t blame them I wasn’t much company but it was all a mask for something… though at the time I hadn’t realised what that might be. However, a stream of pee and a delightful memory had had the most amazing effect and I bounced into work a new man.
For the first time in absolutely ages I felt happy. There was energy to my attitude and a zing in my step. I was, to put it mildly, amazingly focused on ME. Not in a depressed state of mind, not self-destructive, not in a negative way at all. In fact, I was all the things I used to be before I got tangled up in growing up. It was surprising how liberated I felt. I could do my job, I could function around others, and the divorce I realised meant a great weight of a lifetime of responsibility had been lifted from my shoulders. THANK YOU GOD… or whoever is in charge of such things.
Now, as I live on my own, I saw no reason not to indulge once again in a physical reminisce and went out to purchase a bag of Abena Abri-Form M4 disposables and a couple of pairs of thick shiny plastic pants (they were in packs of two).
This was an incredible, life-changing decision.
From now on, when not at work (and occasionally when I was, though not as thickly) nappies, disposables and plastic pants would be my underwear of choice. I have once again begun to appreciate that soft rustling sound of a slick pair of vinyl pants, the bulk between my legs, the smooth rounded front to my genital area and wondered why had I let these feelings go?
Powder, lotion and a return of baby pins that help make my fabric nappies fit tightly and look so special was like finding old and much missed friends.
Now I was older peeing in the bath had more force. I watched the few suds being swept into the current and being destroyed, much to my juvenile enjoyment. I began to drink more liquid in the hope that my bloated bladder made the length of pee last much longer. I now try to hold off from going to the toilet wanting to keep it for my bath time ritual… or later. When bed time comes I just let nature take its course and I find filling my disposable immensely satisfying.
I don’t want my complete childhood back but there are things I do that make me giggle like the little kid I once was. The little kid who peed in the bath and enjoyed the sensation of letting go… and letting it flow… a newly warm wet nappy is a thing of immense pleasure.
This story is written by Les Lea
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