This story is written by Les Lea
Monday morning and I was nervous. It was to be my first day at Rainbow Rooms and, as Auntie had pointed out the day before; I would be treated just like all the other kids. I would dress the same, I would eat the same, I’d play the same and I would nap when told to. I was not going to get any special privileges except, at the end of the day, I’d be returning home with auntie.
We’d spent an awful lot of Sunday chatting and I discovered a great deal about my parents that I never knew. Like, for instance, they had met at university and both had been Math Majors, apparently, they fell for each other over a discussion on Calculous. This meant nothing to me accept auntie informed me that they married early and tried, as soon as Uni finished, having a family. Alas, they were thwarted in their efforts and ended up immersing themselves in their careers, which were both spiralling to greatness in their chosen fields.
As it turned out, dad became a government analyst, whilst mother was headhunted for her code-breaking research, so both ended up working in the same ‘state’ department in the capital. Both mom and dad stopped discussing their work with family and were often away on special assignments around the globe. Then, as an unexpected career-ender, I came on the scene. I was such a surprise that mom never even knew she was expecting until two months before I arrived.
To say I was a shock to my parents system was a bit of an understatement and although they appeared on the surface to be incredibly happy at this ‘wonderful’ event, I arrived at the wrong time in their lives. According to auntie both of them tried to be good parents but such were the demands on them and their specialised knowledge, they shoved me off for others to look after.
“Your parents were both incredibly clever,” she said this as if, in some way, she was proud of their achievements.
“Alas, I’m afraid their parenting skills had left them completely by the time you were almost out of diapers. However, they wanted what they thought was best for you, even if they couldn’t actually be there to make it happen, so… you were handed over to people they thought could bring you up better.”
I wanted to interrupt. I wanted desperately to ask why she hadn’t taken me in; I never gave it any thought that perhaps she had her own ambitions that didn’t include me.
“Education, learning, achieving… these were your father’s edicts on life in general.”
She looked a bit sorrowful at me and to be honest I was feeling more than a bit sorry for myself as she continued.
“What it was like to be a parent completely passed them by… and to be honest, from the little we could glean from their hectic lives, the government needed their abilities more and more. So, they sent you off to where they thought you’d be best educated and I presume, because of their increasingly important work, safe.”
I know auntie wasn’t trying to be unkind but I felt like I was a burden to my parents and found that upsetting. Knowing I was the problem and not my illustrious parents was not what a thirteen year-old boy can quite grasp and I was feeling very sick in my stomach at the thought. I felt hopeless, useless and I wept not knowing what or who the tears were for, my head found it hard to cope.
That Sunday was a complete and utter revelation. However, as I listened (and sobbed) at least I gained more info about my parents in those few hours than I had in the rest of my life.
She also showed me photographs of her and my Uncle Bill, who I didn’t remember at all, and the glass trophy they had won for their dancing. Apparently they had met twenty years ago just as auntie was building The Rainbow Rooms Nursery. He had been an odd-job man and there to put the finishing touches to the building; painting, plastering, doing any of the little bits of carpentry that were left. She had been entranced by his easy going and affable nature, the fact that he looked great in his overalls also had a big say in her pursuing him.
They had struck up a conversation, found they both enjoyed dancing and in what appeared to have been a whirlwind romance, were married within six-months. He continued his odd-job work, she saw her nursery flourish, which he thought was amazing as he loved children as much as his wife, and they lived happily ever after. Well not quite.
It was strange as I looked in her album and saw all the happy photos of this rather handsome man I felt I’d missed out on so much again. What would it have been like to have a family, a family who loved me, a family who was there? My eyes filled up and I began to softly weep, which set auntie off and between us we hugged each other in comfort.
However, every time auntie patted my padded bottom I knew all was now well and I was secure; the soft rustling of my plastic pants a gentle reminder of that rather basic fact.
At around 6.30am auntie had come into the nursery to wake me up for my first real Rainbow day. My night had been filled with confusing dreams of my parents, except Auntie Joan and Uncle Bill were them, my real mom and dad were just passing people who appeared to have very little to do with me… apart from wave from a distance. I know at one point I got pretty anxious and shrieked out because I noted that in the morning I was hugging a teddy bear, which hadn’t been with me at the start of the night.
It was extraordinary, after I’d screamed, although I can’t remember if it was in fear for something to do with me or terror about someone else, a voice calmed me, telling me everything was going to alright, not to worry and go back to sleep. In my dream a teddy was placed in my outstretched arms and I loved the feel of his soft fur against my skin. The effect was instant. Everything was just as the disembodied voice had said, I was snuggly and relaxed and had my teddy for security.
“How is my best little boy this morning?”
She beamed as she moved around, dropped down the rails and pulled back my duvet.
I was grinning in happiness at being called her ‘best little boy’. All this sweet talk and cheeriness was having an impact on the way I woke up; excited and in high spirits.
“I see my little boy had a fright in the night,” she felt down my diaper, “let’s get you washed and changed as you have a big new day today.”
The fact that my thick night time fabric diaper was absolutely sodden was taken for granted – no big deal because the rest of the bed was bone dry. Although when at school I had wet the bed only occasionally, since the funeral it had become a nightly thing. I was grateful for the nappy, I didn’t like waking up to a soaked bed and it made me feel better knowing I hadn’t wet anything other than myself. She popped the studs on the onesie, pulled off my plastic protection and unpinned the diaper, helped me out of bed and patted my bottom towards the bathroom.
“Everything thoroughly washed and dried,” she said ruffling my short hair and gently slapping my bum once more in fun.
I was naked and toddled off to shower myself for what promised to be the start of an exhilarating day.
Showering appeared to be the only grown up act that I was allowed to do for myself because when I returned, everything was laid out and ready for the day ahead. Auntie inspected that I was dry and wiped any areas that I’d missed. She oiled and lotioned my entire body making sure that no rash or roughness had appeared on my delicate, newly exfoliated skin.
Once again my penis began to get engorged but auntie quickly powdered and applied a very thick soaker pad to my fresh clean disposable and taped it into place. This made access to my genitals almost impossible so I wouldn’t be seeking relief anytime soon. This time the diaper was covered in a pair of white rubber pants that gripped the top of my legs and waist tightly but added a slick, shiny look to my outfit. I had loved the nursery print pants I’d worn previously, and when we were alone I hoped to do so again, but I was glad that auntie had gone with a more neutral, if bulkier, look for my first day.
She’d found a loose fitting blue and green striped t-shirt from one of my unopened crates in the other bedroom and a pair of elasticated shorts, which hung loosely around my hips, from somewhere else. They didn’t hide my protection but at least they didn’t emphasise it either. I slipped into a pair of blue trainers to complete the first day in my ‘Rainbow Rooms Nursery Collection’.
I knew that Rainbow operated from 7.30am to 4.00pm and as it was now 7.35 realised that she was letting a few more of the usual kids get there first before I was introduced to them all. She had called Julie, her No. 2, the day before to explain that I’d be attending and that we’d be in about 8am. She also told her my age but said that owing to the tragedy that had recently befallen me, I was really not able to deal with any situation a boy my age would normally be expected to be able to cope with. This gave her the perfect excuse to introduce me to the other children as someone who was just like them, the staff already being pre-informed of my ‘problem’.
As I finished my breakfast cereal auntie was on the phone making arrangements for later that day.
She listened for the reply.
“Yes it is… pause… Yes I’m back… pause… I have some jobs for you and Colin if you are available?”
She walked through to the den to finish her call and I could no longer hear what was being said.
However, I’d found a new thing to occupy myself with; my slippery bottom and loose fitting shorts made an ideal padded, rustling sound as I slid against the chair. It felt funny, and sounded funny, and I was really quite absorbed in the strange sensations it created as I wriggled more and more in my seat. I was enjoying the completely silly experience of being silly and making a noise just because I found it entertaining. I didn’t realise that auntie had finished her call and was smiling as I bounced around making strange noises thanks to my padded bottom, rubber pants and slippery chair.
As we walked the short distance from the house to the nursery (auntie had told me she liked that term better than kindergarten or crèche) I was nervous. Nervous of being out where people could see me dressed as I was, happy that I was dressed as I was, loving the warm morning air as it swirled around my bare legs and incredibly happy that I was holding auntie’s hand as she led me into the reception area of her business.
All the small faces looked up for a few seconds and then got back to whatever they were doing. Obviously, seeing a taller toddler around the place was nothing new but the staff was quick to welcome me and feel part of the session.
Auntie had advised me to take my time to get involved. She pointed out that as a thirteen year-old my language skills were way ahead of the toddlers so, to listen and get their speech patterns, listen to how they describe or ask for things and then do things at their level, otherwise she said laughing, “They’ll think you’re just another member of staff.”
As usual, auntie made sense and I watched for a while. All the staff were engrossed with the children; there were four under 12 months, babies really, but the rest were from two and a half up to five years old.
It was fascinating watching what they did and how they went about it but Molly and William came and grabbed me and wanted to play – they were sort of the toddler welcoming committee.
I got down on all-fours and followed them to a play area which had huge cubes and shapes made out of colourful plastic backed foam. We set about creating a building of some description (and to Molly’s design) and had a great deal of fun watching the towers we built fall on top of us. There was a lot of laughter and squealing with delight involved.
My shorts rode up over the glossy white cushioned diaper so it could be clearly seen by anyone who might be interested I was just as padded as some of the other kids. Actually, there were about half who looked protected and others who’d made the grade to potty training, so wore normal underwear. However, Molly and William and a couple more of their friends were definitely like me because at one point I had two of them sitting on my tummy, another balancing on my knees and Molly’s little padded bottom wriggling on my head.
I’m not sure how to describe the sensation of having a plastic clad, damp and diapered little bum rubbing itself, with not a care in the world, into your face but it was quite overwhelming. The other diapered kids were equally unrestrained as they bound around and bounced up and down on my own well-protected and padded groin.
Occasionally one of the staff might ask if one of the boy’s or girl’s particularly droopy nappy (that’s my English education coming out again – ‘nappy’?) might need changing and if so, they were whisked over to the diaper station and quickly attended to.
Well into the morning and I was having fun. We stopped and sat around in a circle having milk and cookies whilst one of the interns, a pretty girl of about seventeen, read us all a story. Some of the kids drank their milk from Sippy cups or a baby’s bottle; although some were more than keen to show off they were grown up and didn’t need such childish things. I was given a Sippy cup like Molly and William for my milk and I couldn’t have been happier. The cookies were sweet, crumbly and definitely yummy.
My nappy was damp but I didn’t know if it was from sweating with all the running about or, if in my excitement, I’d let loose a flow. However, when a hand pulled at my shorts and felt down the front, I was led off by one of the main staff to be changed. I wondered if auntie would come and sort me out but it was left to the hand-owner to strip me down, wipe me clean, spread some cream around, powder and eventually slip me into a fresh clean disposable then back into my white rubber pants.
She then smiled, patted my dry padded bottom and said I could go back to play with my friends.
It was amazing! I wasn’t treated any differently to the other diaper wearing pre-schoolers. I was worried that my ‘emotions’ would mean I’d have a difficult time containing my excitement and that my de-pubed genitals might react. However, they were ignored, pushed to one side and the job of making sure I was sanitary and tidy was the obvious priority… it was almost as if I didn’t have a penis at all.
When diapered, and the bulge in my shorts seemed to accentuate my groin, I loved the fact that it didn’t allow access. Despite the fact that all this protection had become a major influence on my moment to moment existence, the potty was definitely out of the question and all my instinctive actions were that I could and should use my nappy. The urges that normally lingered ‘down below’, were of little to no importance.
Screaming in delight as we ran around the garden (I on all fours), flitting from one shaded area to the next, all of us in bare feet enjoying the tickle of grass between our toes, we spoke in very childish terms. They asked how old I was but I said I didn’t know though hoped I was the same age as them as they were my new friends. They liked that answer because both William and Thomas cuddled me. These little padded kiddies, with no ulterior motive, hugged and patted me as if I was a new found pet and that was simply wonderful. I felt accepted, so when Molly, Elizabeth and Corey, with whom I’d also been playing did the same… I was in my element.
Most of the nappy wearers smelled slightly of pee and poo and I wondered how long before I did… or did I already?
After lunch, ‘quiet time’ was announced so we all toddled to a little mat and lay out. It was too hot to need a blanket but I thought no one would be able to fall asleep after such an exciting morning. I was wrong. Not only did the blinds at the windows make the room nice and dark, there was a lilting piece of atmospheric music gently playing in the background, which appeared to push all other thoughts from the mind and let you quickly settle down. To my complete surprise I woke up with all the others about 45 minutes later. My other surprise, I was completely soaked and joined the queue to be changed. This time it was one of the interns, a nice, softly spoken Irish girl called Gwen who had the honour of cleaning me up.
She, like the rest of the staff, was quick and efficient and I was soon back, lying on my tummy crayoning with a few other kids. Normally I’m reasonably OK with art projects but on this occasion I let Molly and another quietly spoken and nervous-looking girl called Beatrice help me choose each colour I should use. Beatrice was wearing a cute little tutu style dress with her thick padding in matching pink plastic heavily on show. She decided to sit on my padded bottom to watch what I did and make noises of approval; well I hoped that’s what they were. Eventually she got up and wondered round to my head and I could see her diaper was hanging even more heavily than before and she had more than a faint odour of poo. Two seconds later and Doreen, one of the main staff, saw he sagging diaper and whisked her off with a smile and jolly words about being a lovely princess who should meet the ‘diaper fairy’.
Four pm came around far too quickly. Parents started to arrive and collect their offspring and there was a lot of chatting and discussion about… well… what do parents talk about? For once, I wasn’t really all that interested. It could have been about the cost of living, some political furore or me, I just did not care. I’d spent the best part of the day in nothing but play and I felt brilliant. I was only saddened that it had come to an end so soon but that feeling of despair soon was turned into one of elation as I realised that I’d be doing it all over again the following day. Being a tot was certainly a lot of highs and lows in pretty quick succession but I loved it.
I’d played, made new friends, been changed, made more new friends, screamed, squealed, charged around, napped, ate and wet myself and I wanted more of it all. As a thirteen (almost fourteen) year-old this was absolutely the most fun I’d ever had and it topped my computer games as a way of entertainment, like a million to one.
Other than at the start of the morning I hadn’t seen much of auntie. I suppose she was busy organising, arranging and doing what principals do but I know she kept an eye on everything that was happening. When a little later, after all the other kids had been picked up and she offered me her hand saying, “Let’s go”, I felt like I’d just had the best day of my life and I couldn’t stop squeezing her hand and thanking her for giving me so much.
Once we arrived back at 46 Glendew Lane I could see a young man just packing up a truck, it had GorCol Services written on the side and in script underneath, No job too small.
“Good afternoon Mrs Marsden, hope your day was fine?”
“Yes, thank you Gordon, hope all the little jobs weren’t too much for you and Colin?” She asked with a smile.
“No ma-am, we can come back tomorrow to give it all another coat of paint… if that’s OK with you… meanwhile, I think Colin is just finishing off upstairs. He’ll be down in a minute.”
“Fantastic, you boys certainly work hard… and fast, tomorrow will be fine but…” and she pushed me forward to meet this tall, blond-haired twenty something man, “this is Dean my nephew, and the reason for all the changes, he’ll be living here from now on.”
He reached out his large firm hand.
“Pleased to meet you Dean, your aunt is a fine lady…”
Whilst holding on to my rather juvenile handshake he looked me up and down, obviously taking in my bulky diaper and childish clothes. For the first time that day I felt uneasy under his gaze and wanted to hide just what I was wearing.
“…seems like you’ll fit in just fine around here.”
The smile was one of shear friendliness and my initial reserves disappeared as an equally good-looking young man joined him in his greeting.
Gordon introduced him.
“Dean, this is my brother Colin.”
He also shook my hand and nodded an acknowledgement but I could see he was as reticent as I was on this first meeting.
They climbed into the cab of their truck and, waving to us both, said they would be back in the morning to finish things off.
“Come inside,” auntie said, “I’ll tell you who they are over some food … you must be famished… you’ve never stopped all day.
“Gordon and Colin Hudson were two boys your Uncle Bill took under his wing when they were kids.”
I munched down on the pie auntie had supplied, fresh from the oven, together with mashed potatoes and veg. I don’t know how she knew it but had also made thick onion gravy, which I got a taste for back in the UK. I was half expecting to be eating baby food but this was wonderful and in between mouthfuls, she continued with whom these men were and what they did.
“They were just ten and eleven year-old, Gordon being the eldest, when they came to Bill’s attention as a couple of hooligans. Their parents had split up, dad was a drunk and they were left to fend for themselves.”
I continued tucking into my meal as she smiled at the memory.
“Somewhere in the course of their loutish behaviour they smashed down some doors at a property where Bill was working but he caught them.”
She could tell I was engrossed.
“He gave them the option of him calling the police, after which they would no doubt be spending time in a kid’s detention home, where they might possibly be split up, or they could help him repair the damage they’d done. Colin, the youngest started to cry at the very thought of not having his brother around so they reluctantly agreed to help.”
She looked at me as if revealing a huge secret.
“Bill discovered, that even at that young age, they had incredible carpentry skills. They fixed the damage and continued to help Bill on a few of his projects. Colin had problems when alone but as long as his brother was around he’d be fine. So, we ended up occasionally giving them refuge if their father was on one of his benders but all-in-all encouraged them to develop their talents.”
She went into slightly more detail but was smiling all the way through remembering the impact that Bill had on all their lives. How easy going, non-judgemental and positive he was. Gordon and Colin were his legacy.
“They have become one of the most reliable little firms in the area, and, are my number one guys to go to if I ever need anything doing.”
I was smiling because she was smiling but it did make me wish that I’d known Uncle Bill, he seemed a genuinely nice guy.
I wriggled in my damp diaper as she finished what she was saying and I swallowed the last piece of pie. I knew I was wet but seemed to just let it flow at the table without even thinking about it. I wasn’t sure if I should feel guilty or not but, well, it happened.
She looked over at me as I thanked her for the lovely meal and put her head to one side.
“Sweetie… are you messy… or just wet?”
It was as if I had no secrets or maybe the pleasure of a soaked diaper was just so apparent. However I nodded.
“Just, er, a little, erm, wet.”
So auntie held out her hand and led me upstairs.
My bedroom door was closed and had a sign that proclaimed WET PAINT. Meanwhile, the nursery door was open and I noticed there’d been a few changes in there as well.
“I’ve had the crib taken into my room.” Auntie confirmed. “Meanwhile, as you can see the bed you’ve been sleeping in has been moved over… I’m not sure it is all that comfortable for you as you are growing all the time…”
“No it’s perfect. I really like it.” I interrupted suddenly panicking in case I was going to be forced into the other room now.
“As you can see, I’ve had another bed installed, with your choice of covers and the fleece you wanted, which I hope will be slightly more comfortable for you.”
The room looked terrific. The dresser had been made higher, the shelves of all the diapers and stuff were also raised. Everything looked tidier and the two beds looked fit for a couple of sweet toddlers to have a great night’s sleep in. There was even a rubber mat with play areas and characters marked out all over it, any kid would enjoy. It looked ideal for where a toddler, or someone like me, could have a really good time. At the side of that was a huge box with the word TOYS stencilled across it and hanging off the rails above the diaper station were a selection of colourful plastic and rubber pants. I checked in the closet and a whole new bunch of onesies, sleep suits and toddler clothes were all hanging ready for… me.
“Ohh auntie.” I cried “It looks wonderful.”
I hugged her and she hugged me back.
“This is now your room, although, should you have a sleepover, or I have to babysit, you will be sharing this with any guest… understand?”
I nodded enthusiastically taking in the simple wonders that auntie had produced, well, Gordon and Colin I presumed had produced. The entire nursery just felt even more special and I could feel myself shaking in happiness that I had somewhere like this.
“What’s happening in the other room?” I innocently asked.
“Well, this is something we have to think about. You see, eventually you will have to go to school.”
I could feel the tears building desperately not wanting that to happen after my first day at Rainbow.
“Dean, I have to face facts. At some point the Education Department is going to start asking questions about why you’re not in school. Don’t worry, I shall keep them wondering for as long as I can but, it is inevitable that it will happen.”
My eyes misted over thinking about all I currently had, gone.
She took me by the shoulders so I was facing her as she explained further.
“This other room is going to be for a boy of your real age; your clothes, computer, everything that a boy your age needs will be there as you grow. There will be times when you are at the next stage in your education that you won’t want to be a toddler, you’ll want to be a teenager, you’ll want other things and they’ll become important to you.”
I didn’t want responsibilities but I knew that, unfortunately, as always, auntie was probably correct.
I’d just gotten used to my diaper and all the other stuff that made me feel, well, protected and like a child again. I’d loved these feelings of unabashed childishness – the liberty to act like a little kid and love every minute of it. To discover such simple and basic pleasures of having no stress because others took charge and made the decisions. My entire body left to enjoy the fun of play and not have to compete or meet anybody else’s expectations.
As I sadly thought all this I felt the slow, warming at the front of my diaper.
This story is written by Les Lea
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