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We all know that kids can sometimes be pretty mean- that they can do things that hurt other people without their realizing how much damage they can cause or how serious the results can be. When I was thirteen, I was sure that I would always control my destiny and that no one could make me do anything I didn’t want to. Add on the fact that I acted like I was the center of the universe and you can see how I was setting myself up for a big punch in the nose from the world.
My name is Marc Santillo. At thirteen, I had darkish sandy colored hair, was about 5’ and weighed just under 100 pounds. I wasn’t a star athlete but I was good enough to be among the first picked in sandlot baseball games and other pick-up games. I had a pretty good collection of friends, some of whom thought I was cool because I would say mildly rude things to teachers and adults. Naturally, I was considered a discipline problem. You know the type. "Miss Hutchins," I would ask innocently to my young teacher whose face had broken out, "are you feeling well? You seem to have big red splotches on your face? Could it be the stress of teaching?" The other kids would giggle and I thought I was so clever. Of course, all the adults were seething, looking for a way to take me down a few notches.
I didn’t have a lot of problems as a kid, I grew up in a stable home with average parents who loved me and punished me as necessary. There was only one exception. For years our BIG family secret was my uncontrollable bedwetting until I was eleven and a half. My mom, Evelyn, was English and she applied the same solution she had seen her mother use with her older brother. She regularly wrote to her sister to send terrycloth nappies and rubber pants from England (changed to plastic pants when I was nine) for me to wear at night. My parents never made fun of me but I still thought they were cruel in making me wear those awful babyish garments. After the age of eight, I would put them on myself but they would check to make sure they were on tightly and that all the material was contained inside my rubber pants. I knew that I needed them but I still transferred the blame to them. My one comfort was that it remained a secret- until my tenth birthday, anyway.
My birthday is in May and it most often fell on a school day so our family had started the tradition that I would be woken up in the morning and be given my gifts immediately. Even though my birthday had fallen on a Saturday, we still followed the morning gift-giving tradition because my dad had to work a half-day. I was glad that I didn’t have to wait until lunchtime to receive my gifts. I was at the age when I was receiving more "practical" gifts of clothes and books, so I was happy to also receive a light for my bike. I hoped that this meant that my parents were going to let me stay out at night a little later than they had in the past. After I had opened my gifts, my mom announced that she was ready to start cooking my favorite breakfast, strawberry pancakes with whipped cream. At 8:30 my dad announced that he had to leave for work and that we would mount the light on my bike when he got home. As he was walking out the door, my friend Billy Haston gave my dad a quick "Good morning, Mr. Santillo," and ran past him into the kitchen. Everyone froze. I must have looked like a rabbit about to be hit by a Mack truck standing there in just socks, blue pullover pajama top, sagging wet diapers and plastic pants. I began shaking all over. I also remember having the absurd thought that at least my plastic pants were better than the awful rubber pants I used to wear. Even though I struggled against them, tears began to flow and my whole body shook in humiliation and shame. Incredibly, Billy was also sobbing and repeating "I’m sorry" over and over again. My mother gently pulled us to her where we stood crying into her apron for some time. By the time we had calmed down she had told my father that she would call him later. She led us to the living room where we sat on the couch (something I was normally not allowed to do while wearing wet diapers).
"You boys have just suffered nasty shocks and you need to talk. I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me."
Sniffling and slowly catching our breaths neither of us said anything for several minutes.
"I’m really, really sorry," Billy said, so low that I thought he might be talking to himself. "I know your mom doesn’t want you to have friends over on weekends unless they call first. I just wanted to give you this. I found two of them in my dad’s old collection and he said I could give one to you for your birthday."
He held out a birthday card in my direction. Not once during his speech did he look at me. I knew what that meant. He didn’t want to hang out with a kid who still wet his bed and wore diapers. My worst nightmare had happened. Taking the card out of his hand I said, "Thanks. Are you sure you want to give a gift to someone you won’t hang around with anymore?"
"What? Are you moving?"
"No," I answered, "I just thought that since you won’t look at me you didn’t want us to be friends anymore."
"I’m don’t want to look because I don’t want to make you feel embarrassed."
"Oh," I said. "That’s OK, go ahead and look. You’ve seen everything already."
"Thanks," Billy answered. "are you gonna open my gift now?"
I tried concentrating on the card, but my hands were still shaky making it difficult to open the envelope. Also, I could feel him looking at my diaper. Sure enough, when I looked up as I pulled out the card his eyes were firmly fixed on my plastic pants and soggy diaper. I wasn’t mad at him or anything but I felt my face turning red. He realized that I had caught him looking at my diaper and he turned red, too.
"Sorry," he repeated.
"No, it’s OK, it’s not every day you see someone your own age wearing stuff like this."
"Well, are you going to open it?" he prodded, turning my attention back to the birthday card.
I did and out fell out a baseball trading card that made me gasp with pleasure.
"Mom, mom…" I screeched in excitement. "Come quick."
My mother raced into the living room, a look of concern on her faced.
"What’s the matter?"
I then realized that she must have thought Billy and I weren’t getting along or something.
"Sorry, mom. Look what Billy gave me for my birthday."
"Oh my, Billy. Are you sure you want to give this to Marc?"
"Oh, yes, Mrs. Santillo. I do." As an afterthought he added, "My dad says it’s OK."
What he had given me was a rookie season baseball card for Ted Williams who was then winding down his career with the Red Sox. (In fact, this would be his last season.) We were both Red Sox fans even though we didn’t live in New England. We just worshipped the ground Ted Williams walked on.
"Well, in that case, I guess it’s OK," my mom conceded.
"You say your dad had two? How come you never told me he saved cards as a kid? Does he have a lot of good ones?" I asked hopping around excitedly.
"My dad just showed me his cards last week. He says he didn’t want me to see them until he was sure I was old enough to appreciate them. And, yes, he has some really, really good ones," he responded.
"Mom, can I go over to Billy’s to see the cards? Please, please…"
"Well, of course you can, honey. But, I think it’s up to Mr. Haston to say whether or not you can look at them. And, don’t you think you have to get cleaned up and dressed first?" she said pointing her finger at my diaper and plastic pants.
In my excitement I had forgotten all about them. I also now realized that I had unconsciously put my hands under my pajama top and rolled it up exposing all of my plastic pants. Turning red with embarrassment once again, I ran off to get ready to go to Billy’s.
On the way over to his house, he informed me that my mom had told him that I had to wear diapers at night because my insides weren’t growing fast enough. She also said that I had an uncle (her older brother) who had had the same problem growing up. He now had two boys with the same problem- my fourteen year old cousin Cecil and his brother Andrew, aged sixteen. Billy promised never to say anything to anyone- ever.
"Gee, I hope you get better before you get to be their age," he sympathized.
"So do I," I agreed. Until that moment, I had never made the connection between my cousins and me. I dreaded thinking about being in diapers at fourteen or sixteen.
Anyway, Billy kept his word. He never told anyone about my diapers. We had many sleepovers together beginning that birthday night. He knew everything about my diaper routine- how I had to rinse out my diapers in the basement sink and put them into the diaper pail for my mom to wash, and how it was my responsibility to wash my plastic pants and hang them up to dry. And, when I stopped wetting at eleven and a half, he congratulated me and even helped me take the plastic sheet off my bed.
As I said before, by the time I was thirteen I wasn’t very well behaved. My mom and dad were always lecturing me about my attitude and about how I had "grown too big for my britches." Whatever.
In late February of my eighth grade year, a new kid joined the class. We were a pretty small town and no one had moved into my grade during the last three years. His name was Freddie Zymmers. At first, I thought he was cool. He was pretty good at sports and fairly outgoing. Shortly afterward, though, he started getting on my nerves. He was stealing members of my group and even those who remained were talking about him and quoting him way too much. I had to find a way to discredit him but I couldn’t see how. His clothes were a little bit dorky but in those days parents exerted a lot more influence over what their kids wore than they do today. I decided to hang around with him "buddy-buddy" like to see what I could find out.
One day, when the classroom was really quiet the teacher asked him to work out a math problem on the board. As he got up from his desk directly behind me I heard a sound I knew well. The subtle crackling noise of plastic pants. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had imagined it. Could it be? As he was writing on the board I looked at him closely. There did seem to be a bulge beneath his pants now that I looked closely and his waist seemed to be thicker than it ought to be. My excitement at this discovery was enormous. If what I suspected was true, I would finish him off.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t so stupid that I didn’t see the connection between his diaper wearing and mine. I simply rationalized that his diaper wearing was different. You had to look at it from my viewpoint, "Geez, this kid was wearing them during the day!" I knew I could easily convince the other guys that they couldn’t possibly want to follow a pants pisser. This was going to be easy but I’d have to prove it. And before I could prove it I had to be absolutely sure that I was right. If only my lame school district had PE in middle school, none of this would have been necessary. He would either have been exposed on his first day in gym class or he would have a permanent waiver on gym class and I could have used that against him very effectively.
When he came back to his seat I smiled at him and complimented him for the good job he had done at the board. For the next few days, I hung around with him even more. That’s how I found out that he and his family were going to their grandmother’s to celebrate her birthday the following weekend. They lived in a big house on a one acre lot about three miles from my house. On Saturday morning, I left around nine o’clock on my bike to check out their house. People weren’t so security conscious in the early sixties so I figured if they had already left I might be able to find a way in. I rationalized this by saying to myself that I wasn’t going to steal anything- I just wanted to check out my theory.
The house looked deserted as I approached. I thought that if I acted like I belonged there no one would notice me. If anyone asked, I would say that the Zymmers had asked me to pick up their newspaper and to keep my eye on the house while there gone. Sure enough, their paper was still on their stoop if I needed that as an excuse. I drove my bike up the driveway and leaned it against the attached garage. There was a side window. I looked inside. No car. So far so good. I walked around the back and stopped by the kitchen window. No noise. Good. I waited for a few minutes. I heard no noise whatsoever. That’s when I began looking for a way in. The windows all had screens and I didn’t want to try prying them loose because I didn’t want anyone to know I had been there. Then I saw the bulkhead leading to the basement. I pulled on it and it was open. I walked down the steps and let my eyes adjust to the dim light. Eventually I saw the stairs leading to th house above. I hadn’t heard any noises. I was sure that I was alone. With pounding heart, I crept up the stairs and turned the knob. The door led into a hallway in between the kitchen and laundry room. I began to relax as I realized that I really was alone.
I walked into the kitchen and noticed that Mrs. Zymmers was probably as good a housekeeper as my mom. Even though they had four kids (one sister older than Freddie and one younger brother and one younger sister) the house was immaculate. I thought about checking out the laundry room but decided to find his bedroom first. He had told me that each kid had his own room. I walked up the back stairs. On my second try I found his room. His school books were neatly piled on the desk. He had several posters of sports heroes. Two of them were Yankees! Now I knew he really deserved what he was going to get. I opened the first drawer in his dresser- school socks, undershirts, and some handkerchiefs. "Hmmm," I thought, "no underpants. Interesting." The second drawer had some sweaters, shorts, play clothes and athletic socks. On the third drawer I struck it rich. Here they were. Two kinds of diapers- daytime flannel and nighttime terry toweling. (I wondered if his mother was English, too.) At this point I began feeling a stirring in my pants; puberty was in full swing for me and I used to get erections at the oddest times and in the oddest places. I shrugged it off. But where were the plastic pants? Now that I had found the diapers I really didn’t need to see them. I was just curious. I opened the bottom drawer. There they were- about a dozen pairs of plastic pants. OK, I thought this is it. I don’t need any more proof. Walking out of the room I needed to readjust myself in my pants. Suddenly, I thought to press down on his bedspread to see if he had a plastic sheet. Sure enough he did. My erection seemed to grow.
Back out in the upstairs hall I decided to check out his brother’s room. I wondered if his little brother wore diapers too. I opened the top drawer and noticed that he had underpants there. "Well," I thought, "guess he’s dry." Still, I pressed down on his bedspread on my way out. It crinkled. "Whoa, let’s go take another look in that dresser," I thought. Sure enough, the third drawer had nighttime diapers and plastic pants. "Good for you, little guy," I said out loud, "You’re drier than your brother." I don’t know why this made me feel happy but it did.
I ran down the stairs and out of the house. I knew my erection needed attention, but not now. However, the pedaling motion was causing a rubbing action against my pants and underwear that was driving me into a wild frenzy. I almost crashed the bike when I exploded inside my pants.
I spent the better part of the next week trying to think of ways to expose him. At first, I thought I could do it accidentally but none of my plans made any sense. One plan involved taking to school the pocket knife my grandfather had given me. What if I was showing it around when I tripped and accidentally fell and caught his pocket which was then ripped for about four inches exposing his plastic pants? I experimented with this on some old rags but the knife wasn’t sharp enough to cut through pants. Besides, what if I missed and actually stabbed him. I didn’t want to go to jail or anything. And what if a teacher caught me with the knife. We weren’t supposed to have those in school. I could really get into trouble. "No," I thought, "I need something that doesn’t depend on luck or accidents.
On Wednesday an idea suddenly hit me. I would get other people to help me. The plan I settled on went like this. In the first place, I would leave Billy out of it. I knew he would lecture me about how he kept my secret and that I shouldn’t be doing this to Freddie. Deep inside me I knew this was right, but I was so jealous of Freddie’s taking away my influence that I had convinced myself that what I was going to doing was justified. So, if I didn’t use Billy, who? I settled on Karl and Andy partly because they were sort of dumb and partly because they didn’t like Freddie either. (I think this was because I told them not to like him; they really were followers and not leaders.) My plan required that they not simply dislike him, they had to be really mad at him. So, I would lie to them. I would tell them that Freddie was spreading a rumor that they were sissies. I would say that he had said that they played baseball like sissies (in fact, Karl couldn’t catch an easy toss from three feet away) and that they always hung around together and that they never talked to girls so they must be sissies, right? I knew that this would make them furious. Then, I would suggest that we confront him on his way home from school.
I waited for lunchtime the next day to bait Karl and Andy. As I expected, they wanted to confront him on the spot but I convinced them that a public confrontation would only hurt them more. What if some kids hadn’t heard the nasty rumor? Confronting him publicly would only risk greater embarrassment for them. So, it was settled. On Friday morning we would all ride our bikes to school instead of taking the bus. (This wasn’t unusual once the weather got better and this year mid-April was very pleasant.) After school, we would leave right away and wait for him to get off the bus. Since his was the last stop, and from there he still had about a mile walk to his house, we would have plenty of time to reach our pre-selected hiding place. I could tell that Karl and Andy were as anxious as me for school to end. At the last bell we shot out the classroom and hopped on our bikes and made our way to the ambush point.
All the way there Karl and Andy were talking about how they were going to punch his lights out but this wasn’t what I wanted. I finally convinced them that if they got into a fight they might get suspended even if it was after school hours. Or, worse, their parents might ground them for a month. Instead, I suggested that they should confront him and ask for an apology and, if he gave it, they should make sure that he publicly take back what he said. If he denied spreading the rumor, then we would do something even worse than beating him up. We would prove that he was a diaper wearing baby. I concocted a story about one day seeing the top of his diaper and plastic pants while he was reaching into his book bag. I added that since then I had often heard the rustling and crackling of his plastic pants. Because his desk was right behind mine, they believed me completely.
Five minutes after we arrived, Freddie came walking down the road.
"Hi," I called from the bushes by the side of the road, "have you ever come in here to see all the near stuff that’s lying around?"
"What neat stuff?" he asked.
"Oh, you know, arrow heads and stuff."
By the tone of his voice I knew that he was hooked. As soon as he stepped through the bushes Karl and Andy jumped him and he was ours.
"Come on, let’s move further away from the road into the little clearing so that we can’t be seen," I ordered.
"What’s going on?" Freddie protested. "What is this? An initiation?" he asked hopefully.
"No," Karl answered, "we want to talk to you about what you’ve been saying about Andy and me."
"Andy and you? I haven’t said anything about you."
"Yes, you did," Karl insisted, "Marc told us."
"Uh oh," I thought, "this could backfire. I’d better take control."
"Look, Freddie," I said, "all of us have always gotten along. Since you came though, things aren’t going so good. Karl and Andy are really sore about what you said about their ball playing."
"But, that was just a joke," he said.
"Huh?" I thought, "did he really say something about them? This is too good to be true. I’ve got to be careful that he doesn’t explain what he said. I’m sure it’s nothing like what I invented."
Out loud I said, "So you admit to what you said."
"Well, yeah, I guess so," Freddie continued, "but it really isn’t anything that everyone doesn’t already see for themselves."
Karl and Andy were beside themselves with anger. Andy had been holding onto Freddie during this whole exchange. I sensed that Karl and he were about to beat the crap out of him. I had to act fast and to sound like the voice of reason.
"Remember what we talked about earlier," I said. "We don’t want to fight, we just want the truth. Since Freddie won’t give you the truth about what he said. Let’s find out the truth about him."
With that Karl joined Andy in holding Freddie’s arms. As I approached his belt, he knew what was coming and he began screaming and kicking so hard that his shoes came flying off, one of which hit me in the face. Now I got mad and since his shoes were gone his kicking was much less effective. In about thirty seconds I had his pants in my hands and Karl and Andy had his shirt. As expected, he was standing there in only his socks, diaper, and plastic pants. I was ecstatic. Karl and Andy were sure to spread this story all over school. Freddie was ruined.
"Give me back my clothes," he seethed.
"Take back what you said," I insisted.
"I don’t know what you’re talking about" he repeated.
I nodded to Karl and he ripped Freddie’s shirt in half, right on cue.
"Stop it," he screeched, "Why are you doing this to me?"
Andy walked over to me while Karl held Freddie back. He took one leg and I took the other as we tugged as hard as we could. His pants ripped in half.
"No," he screamed. Tears were now rolling down his face. "Why are you being so mean? I thought we were friends. I haven’t done anything."
"Let’s leave the pants-pisser to himself," I sneered.
Karl let him go as we calmly walked back to our bikes. We could hear Freddie sobbing in the woods but I didn’t care. I had won. By he end of the weekend Karl and Andy would have spread the story and Freddie was sure to be ruined for good.
At dinner that night my parents asked how I got the bruise under my left eye and I lied to them about getting hit by a hardball during recess. Since I had suffered various bruises over the years my dad thought nothing of it. My mom started here usual lecture about the dangers of sports but my dad and I tuned her out until she was finished.
A little after eight o’clock while I was watching television the phone rang. My dad picked it up and listened for some time making an occasional comment. His face was getting redder and redder. I began to worry. When he said, "Thank you, Mr. Zymmers, we’ll be right over." I nearly choked.
"Who was that, dear?" my mom asked.
"Get your coats," he said to me and my mom, " and, you," he said to me directly, "not one word until you’re spoken to again. Do you understand?"
"But, I don’t…"
"Not one word," he roared.
My mom was in the dark as to what was going on so he gave her a summary of what Mr. Zymmers had said to him. The story he told her was a pretty good summary of what had happened in the woods. I was sitting in the back seat of the car trying to decide how to react. Usually tears made my mom go easier on me but tears made my dad get really mad. Since they were together on this I was really stuck. I’d have to wait to see how I could manipulate the situation. Things didn’t look good, though. and I had a small sense of doom about all this. It should have been a very big sense of doom.
As soon as I entered the Zymmers’ house I knew I was sunk. Karl and Andy were there and the first words from Andy were "You used us. There never was any rumor about Karl and me."
"Oh, oh," I thought, "if even Andy has figured that out, I’m really in trouble." I decided to go for the tears.
"Oh, no you don’t," my dad roared again, "stop that crying this instant and tell us the truth, NOW!"
I couldn’t stop completely from crying but I managed to sob out a pretty complete confession. They even got me to confess my jealousy toward Freddie. I felt completely humiliated but it wasn’t over yet.
"What I don’t understand," my mom started to say to me, "is how someone who had to wear…"
"No," I pleaded, "don’t, please, don’t."
My parents understood that I was pleading for them not to divulge that I had worn diapers to bed every night until just one and a half years before this incident, but they were too mad to listen to me.
"Not another word," my dad roared one more time.
My mother started over. "What I don’t understand is how someone who had to wear diapers every night until a year and a half ago could be so cruel toward someone who has to wear them now. How could you?"
She glared at me expecting an answer but I was tongue-tied because the others now knew about my past bedwetting and they were sure to spread it around school.
"Well," my father insisted, "answer your mother."
I couldn’t. I just didn’t know what to say. I really was ashamed of myself but it was too late.
"I’m sorry," I said lamely.
Andy’s father cleared his throat and said, "This is a pretty disgusting story we have heard tonight. I’m sorry, Mr. Santillo, but it seems that your son was the instigator and ringleader. I don’t excuse anything my son did in this affair. He will be severely punished starting with a two month grounding." Andy hung his head even lower but he didn’t say a word.
Karl’s father agreed and said that Karl would also get two months worth of grounding and that he would apologize in writing to Freddie as well as apologize right away. Andy’s father agreed about the apologies, so Karl and Andy each took their turn and did so with voices that cracked with emotion a few times.
My parents hadn’t said anything yet and I was really getting nervous about what they intended to do to me.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" my father said, "Isn’t it obvious that you also have to begin by apologizing, too?"
I don’t remember what I said. All I remember is that I really did feel sorry for what I had done and that I cried twice during it. When I looked up at him through tear-filled eyes, Freddie actually looked as if he felt sorry for me. This really confused me. Shouldn’t he wish me dead or something? He politely accepted my apology and we left.
The ride home was agonizing. I was sitting in the back seat, sniffling. I wasn’t putting on an act, either. For the first time in over a year I genuinely saw that I was wrong, and I felt bad about what I had done. No one said a word all the way home.
"Get up to your room and wait for us to decide on your punishment," my dad said as we entered the house. I went meekly to my room.
For the next forty-five minutes I paced my room anxiously. I heard my mom on the phone talking to the Zymmers followed by my mom and dad quietly talking. Finally, they knocked on my door and walked in.
"Son, I can’t tell you how disappointed we are in you. You tried to humiliate another boy, a boy who has a disability. Can you see how mean and vicious that was?"
I couldn’t help it. I began to cry again, real tears of sorrow and shame. My dad must have sensed this since he didn’t yell at me to stop. I couldn’t speak so I nodded my head in agreement to what he had said.
He continued, "For some time your mother and I have worried about your attitude. You have been going around like a little tyrant trying to make people jump at your every whim. You have tried to manipulate your mother and me, and other people as well. Your teachers have also complained to us about your attitude at school. No amount of lecture or punishment has changed you. That stops here tonight, after tonight you will be changed."
I nodded my head again not realizing that his words had a double meaning.
"Well, I hope you’re serious about accepting change. But, that won’t get you out of your punishment. Your mother and I have decided that you should suffer the punishment that you tried to foist onto Freddie. Your mother spoke to his parents a few minutes ago and they concur. You will wear diapers 24 hours a day, every day, for one year. And everyone will know about it. You will come home directly after school unless you have our prior approval to go somewhere else. We’re not grounding you, we’re sentencing you to the public exposure you tried to subject Freddie to."
I was stunned. Of all the punishments I had imagined this was a hundred times worse.
"Furthermore, only your mother or I will change your diapers while you are at home. At school, we’ll see if we can arrange for the nurse to do it. Any questions?"
I shook my head.
"Good," now lie down on the bed.
"A short time before you stopped bedwetting," my mom said as I passively allowed her to strip off my shoes, pants and underwear, "your aunt had sent some larger size diapers that I had requested. I never used them because you stopped just after they arrived. I’m glad I kept them. They’ll come in handy until we can get some thinner daytime ones."
The full meaning of that sunk into my muddled brain.
"But, my pants won’t fit over these thick diapers," I meekly protested.
"Don’t worry, honey," my mom continued, "I will go to Suttee’s pharmacy and order some daytime diapers for you tomorrow. Hopefully they won’t take too long to arrive but until they do, you’ll wear your thick nighttime diapers all the time. Even if they have some daytime diapers in stock, you won’t be allowed to wear pants until Monday anyway. It’s all part of your punishment."
"Until Monday?" I queried, " but how will I do my weekend chores?"
"The same as usual, dear," she answered smoothly, "only I guess you won’t have pants on."
My parents kept a small blackboard in the kitchen on which they would write lists and chores to be done. I had already looked at it to try to figure how much time the chores would take. The majority of chores I was supposed to help with involved the front yard- weeding the front garden that ran along the sidewalk and helping my dad prune a juniper bush. I also had to mow and rake the back yard, which was a usual weekly chore. My eyes began filling with tears just thinking about being seen in diapers by my neighborhood friends.
My mother got my attention back as she started pulling my plastic pants up my legs, "Now, honey, you have four letters of apology to write: one to Freddie, of course, and then one each to Mr. & Mrs. Zymmers, Andy, and Karl. Be quick about, it’s getting late. Once you’ve finished each letter bring it downstairs for approval and then we’ll put it an envelope for delivery tomorrow."
I got up and sat down at my desk. Somehow or other writing paper was already there.
It took about forty minutes to write a one-page apology to Freddie. I brought it down to my parents who read it and made me make a couple of little corrections.
"That was fine, dear," my mother said, "now that you’ve done the first one, I’m sure the others will come faster."
I followed the same process for the remaining three. All this walking around, up and down the stairs, actually had a calming effect on me. Maybe the gently rustling and crackling noises of my plastic pants reminded me of my childhood. I was brought back to reality by the thought that tomorrow morning out on the front lawn those same noises wouldn’t seem so comforting.
It must have been due purely to mental exhaustion but I slept soundly that night. When my dad woke me at seven-thirty I was momentarily puzzled when he said that I would have breakfast before my diaper was changed. Thunk. The fifty pound weight fell back into the pit of my stomach.
"Alright, Marc, it’s time to get up." he began. "Here’s your new morning routine. You will get up right away when we call you. Any stalling will cost you one extra day of punishment. You will then come downstairs for breakfast. After breakfast you will get cleaned up and you will be allowed to use the bathroom. I think that fits your usual routine. Your diaper punishment will not include messing your diapers. That would make too much work for your mother. Are you clear on everything I said?"
I wanted to protest the extra days of punishment but I was smart enough to realize that this was the wrong time to do it. I simply nodded my head in agreement.
"That’s another thing. You will answer your mother and me out loud. No more just nodding your head or ignoring us. If you want to say ‘no’ to something say ‘no.’ If you have good reasons, we will negotiate with you. But, if we think there is no good reason for you to say ‘no’, then one month will be added to your punishment. Clear?"
"Yes, sir," I answered."
"Son, I’m not your drill sergeant. I’m your father. Please call me ‘dad.’ I know you think we are about to ruin your life but that isn’t what’s going on. Your mother and I both love you, don’t ever forget that."
Oh, man, why did he have to say that. He practically never said that. I already felt ashamed about my behavior and now I felt overwhelmed by my dad’s tenderness. I couldn’t help it- I started to cry. My dad gently hugged me and rubbed my back until I calmed down. Handing me some Kleenex he told me to blow my nose. I don’t know where it came from but I suddenly felt very secure. I put my arm around his waist and he put his arm around my shoulder as we headed off to breakfast.
I didn’t really feel like having breakfast but my mom insisted that I at least drink a glass of orange juice and have a piece of toast. The juice was OK but I could only swallow about half of the toast.
My dad accompanied me back upstairs and changed my diaper. He announced that we would start by trimming the juniper. It was still too early for anyone else to be out and about as I made my first tentative steps outside. I was carrying a short step ladder that my dad would use to reach the upper part of the juniper.
"Hurry up, Marc, we don’t want to still be working when the heat of the day comes," my dad reminded me.
The tree was finished in about twenty minutes. My job was to take the cut braches and bring them to the barrels out in back of the house. My mom was weeding the back garden so I didn’t get a chance to hide back there for a few seconds after each trip.
Now for the front garden. My dad got me a kneeling pad and a basket to put the weeds in. The only way to effectively get the job done required you to go out on the sidewalk, kneel with your back to the street, and pull away. I would be exposing my fully diapered rear to anyone who came by. Luckily, my parents had me do this job often and I could usually get it done in under fifteen minutes. I had just started when I heard bicycles coming toward our house. I peeked over my shoulder. It was Pete and Henry, two guys who went to private school but with whom I often played weekend pickup baseball games. I assumed that they wanted to ask me to play today. I turned back to my weeding, tears filling my eyes. As they rode up behind me I heard them whispering.
"Look, he’s wearing diapers. Man, he must really be in trouble. Should we ask him to play?"
"Marc," it was Pete. "Marc, I guess you’re in big trouble. Do you think you’ll be able to play today?"
I couldn’t turn around. I just shook my head to signify ‘no.’
They rode away continuing their whispered speculations. "Gee, I wonder if he’s being punished for wetting his bed?" I was hyperventilating so badly that my dad came over and told me to take a few minutes rest before continuing with the weeding.
The chores were finally done in the front yard. My dad inspected the garden and sent me off to mow the back lawn. In another forty-five minutes I was finished with all my chores. I usually went inside to take a shower but I thought I had better check this out with my mom first. She agreed and told me to call out for her when it was time to get my diaper put on.
It was while she was sprinkling me with powder that my mom announced the schedule for the rest of the day.
"After lunch, dad will drive you to deliver your letters of apology. I will take care of going to Suttee’s to order your new diapers and plastic pants. After that, we’ll spend some quiet time at home and then go out for a nice Saturday evening dinner."
"Out to dinner, without my pants?" I wailed.
""I’m afraid so," my mom continued, "just because you’re being punished doesn’t mean that I have to cook an extra meal this week. We’ll go out as usual. I think that Tamboni’s Italian restaurant will do. It’s a nice quiet family place."
I didn’t eat much lunch either but my mom maked me to finish my milk. I was so nervous that I thought I would throw up as we left the house to deliver the letters. We stopped at Karl’s first. The neigborhood was quiet and I don’t think anyone saw me walking up to the front door. Once inside, Karl was called into the living room. He didn’t burst out laughing like I thought he would. I didn’t stop to think that he was being punished too (though not severely enough, in my opinion). I handed him the letter and it seemed like it took him forever to read it. He accepted my apology and we shook hands. The little smirk on his face told me that I should expect trouble from him next week in school.
The process went pretty much the same at Andy’s except that his parents had to warn him several times to stop laughing. He really was dense. Didn’t he know that the last thing you do when your parents are angry at you is to give them reasons to get even more angry? On the other hand, I suppose it’s pretty hard for a thirteen year old kid to keep a straight face in front of another thirteen year old kid in diapers.
Now came the hardest part, the Zymmers. I didn’t want to cry again but I couldn’t help it. I really was serious in my sorrow for what I had done. After he finished reading my letter, Freddie’s only response was, "Can I go upstairs and get comfortable?" His parents were a little more gracious, but cold. They said that they hoped I had learned a lesson from this so that maybe, in time, I could grow up to be a decent human being. Ouch.
In late afternoon I had to use the bathroom for number 2, so my mom decided to change me completely since my diaper was rather wet. A short while later we left for the restaurant. Tamboni’s was a little family-run restaurant where an average family could find good food at reasonable prices. It was very popular. The parking lot was about half full when we arrived and it took some serious threats from my dad to get me out of the car. My mom held my hand. A wave of whispers and conversation followed us as we were escorted to our table. I recognized at least three kids who went to my school, but none in my actual class. Whatever word had spread from Pete and Henry would now certainly be doubled by the time school started Monday morning.
Mrs. Tamboni waited on us personally. She was a kindly lady who, seeing my plight, tried to cheer me up with stories of how she had punished her own children for misbehaviors. I actually laughed at some of the stories but none came close to identifying with what I was in for.
Sunday was dreary. I did wear pants to church but my suit was way too tight to accommodate my diaper so I looked like some toddler who had outgrown his baby clothes. In fact, the diaper was so tight the zipper popped and would have to be replaced before I could wear them again (hopefully, with thinner diapers). The kids were merciless. It was obvious that everyone now knew about my diapers. How would they react once they found out it would last a full year?
By Sunday afternoon my mom hadn’t mentioned anything about daytime diapers so I asked her about them. She told me that Suttee’s only carried my size diapers and plastic pants by special order. However, Mr. Suttee had another client who wore the same size as me so he had anticipated that client’s needs by ordering two dozen. of each (I guessed that Mr. Suttee must have been talking about Freddie.) "I will pick up that order tomorrow afternoon," my mom said. My mom went on to explain that everything had already been taken care of for school on Monday. When I asked what that meant she sent me upstairs to finish my homework. As I was walking back up to my room I started getting hard thinking that I would be wearing diapers originally ordered for Freddie. This puberty thing was really getting out of hand.
Monday morning we followed the same ritual: get up, get breakfast, clean up, new diaper, get dressed. Only, I still didn’t have any pants. My parents wouldn’t send me to school in just my diapers would they? The school wouldn’t allow it, right?
My dad called me downstairs and announced, "Get your backpack and lunch, we’re going to the Zymmers. Freddie has generously said that you can borrow a pair of his pants to wear over your diapers. We’ll go pick them up now."
"But, I can’t let him see…," I started.
"Don’t you dare complain about Freddie seeing you in your diapers and plastic pants after what you did to him last week."
Back out in public in my diapers. How would Freddie react to me this morning? Even worse, unlike the other two times I was there, his sisters and brothers would see me.
"Alright, Marc, it’s time to go," my dad repeated.
I couldn’t move. It wasn’t defiance- it was abject terror.
"Marc, this is the last time I’ll say it. Let’s go. If I have to repeat it, one month will be added to your punishment," my dad said in a calm, even voice.
That calm voice of his was even more terrifying than his yelling. It was a sign that he meant business and that there would be no negotiating. I moved toward the door.
"I’m so scared," I said through teary eyes.
"Yes, I bet you are. But think about the fact that you only have to walk from the door to the driveway and then, when we get to Freddie’s, from the curb to the front door. Last Friday, Freddie had to walk three-quarters of a mile in his diapers. You’d better behave impeccably or you’ll find out what that kind of experience is like," my dad answered.
Parked in front of Freddie’s house the front door looked so far away. My dad had already gotten out and was staring back at me impatiently. I didn’t press my luck. I bolted out of the car.
"Not so fast," my dad said as he grabbed me by the arm. "We’ll calmly use the sidewalk like civilized people."
I knew what he was doing. This was a fairly busy road and he wanted me to be seen by passing cars. He took me by the hand and we walked to the driveway (where the sidewalk began) and we leisurely approached the front door. Two cars passed but no one noticed me since there were no passengers in the cars. A third car that I recognized was coming down the street. It was Frank Beatley’s mom’s car. She drove Frank and two other seventh graders to school each day. Frank knew who I was since I almost always made fun of him during baseball games. He saw me and excitedly starting pointing me out to the others. Even his mom turned to look at me. I could feel my face burning redder than I had ever felt before. At this moment the front door opened and Mrs. Zymmers let us in.
"Good morning, Mr. Santillo, Marc. Please come in." Turning to me she added, "Freddie has got some pants for you to try on. He’s in his bedroom."
I started toward the stairs when I remembered that I wasn’t supposed to know where his bedroom was. If anyone ever found out about what I did on that Saturday, I would be in diapers for the rest of my life!
"Uh…, Mrs. Zymmers. Where’s Freddie’s room?" I asked innocently.
"Up the stairs, second door on the right. He usually keeps it closed. Knock and wait for him to answer." she replied.
I went upstairs and knocked on Freddie’s door. I heard the noise of him pulling on his pants and zipping them up. "After what happened Friday," I thought, "I guess it makes sense that he wouldn’t want me to see him in his diapers again." I waited some more and he finally opened the door, fully dressed. He looked me up and down for a few seconds with an indescribable smirk on his face. He then burst out laughing at me. I wanted to deck him but I knew that that would only get me into even bigger trouble. I hadn’t forgotten what my dad had said about having an ‘experience’ of wearing diapers for a three-quarter mile walk in public.
"Well, who do we have here? Let’s see, diapers and plastic pants- I know, he must be a ‘pants- pisser.’ Should I let him wear my pants to school today?" he taunted. "You know the idea of you spending one year in diapers was mine. When your parents called Friday night, I suggested it to my parents and they passed it on. Maybe I should go downstairs and say that I’ve changed my mind. Maybe I should say that one month in school, and everywhere else, without pants would be good enough. What do you think? Are you ready to stand in front of the class in your diapers and plastic pants?"
I was terrified. I didn’t know if he meant it or not. I guess I couldn’t blame him for being furious and practically out of control. On the other hand, I still didn’t know what he might be able to convince my parents or the school to do, so I had to calm him down fast.
"No, please. I’m really sorry for what I did. I promise I’ll never do anything to hurt you again." I blubbered.
A momentary look of pity crossed his face before it hardened again.
"Alright," he said skeptically, "try on these pants to see if they fit. Since you’re wearing thick nighttime diapers, start with this pair. They’re the biggest."
I picked up a pair of dark blue dress pants (in a style I would never have worn but they looked pretty good that morning) and pulled them up. There was no way they would fit. I panicked and started to cry again.
"Mom…," Freddie screamed at the top of his lungs.
My dad and Mrs. Zymmers appeared at the door.
"What’s the matter?" Mrs. Zymmers asked, seeing me on the bed crying. "Has there been another fight?"
"No," Freddie answered. "He (pointing to me) put the pants on and saw that they wouldn’t fit so he started crying. I was mad at him when he first came in and I said that I thought he should be sent to school without any pants. Maybe he thought you guys would really make him do that."
"Oh, Freddie, being mean won’t solve anything. You know that," she scolded her son.
"Yeah, I know. I’m sorry," he said, "but, he (pointing to me again) still doesn’t have any pants to wear."
Mrs. Zymmers apologized to my dad that she didn’t know of any other clothes that she could offer for me to wear.
"Well, thank you, anyway," my dad said, "I guess Marc will get a one day reprieve from being in school in diapers. I must say that I wanted him in school first thing this morning to start his punishment right away but I guess that’s not possible. I won’t send him to school in just diapers and I’m sure the school wouldn’t tolerate that anyway."
Freddie leaned over and whispered something into his mother’s ear.
"I don’t know, Freddie," she answered, "why don’t you ask Mr. Santillo."
"Mr. Santillo, any of these pants on the bed would fit Marc if he wore my daytime diapers. I have plenty- I’m willing to share some for a few days. If he’s like me he’ll only need three or four to get through the day. We bought some diapers at Suttee’s Pharmacy after we moved here and I know they can get them pretty fast so he could have his own supply in just a few days."
I was pretty sure that Freddie was saying this so that I couldn’t get out of going to school.
"Yes," my dad concurred, "As a matter of fact Marc’s mother is going there this afternoon to pick up a supply of daytime diapers and plastic pants for him. I would very much appreciate you loaning his some diapers and plastic pants." He then glanced at his watch , "Oh, dear. I’m going to be late. Perhaps you are aware that I own an insurance agency and that I have four other agents who work for me. Two of them have important clients coming early this morning and I have the only key to the office. I never thought that I’d have to tell a client that I was late because I was changing my thirteen year old son’s diaper."
"If you’ll permit, Mr. Santillo, I can change Marc’s diapers and drive him to school with Freddie."
"No," I shouted, "don’t let Mrs. Santillo change my diaper."
My dad glared at me furiously. "Marc, what did I tell you about that word ‘no.’ That will cost you one extra month of punishment. You should be grateful that Freddie and Mrs. Zymmers are willing to help you at all. If I were them I might have thrown you out of my house and told you to go to the devil." Turning to Mrs. Santillo he said, "After what my son did to yours, perhaps it would teach Marc some humility if Freddie changed his diaper, under your supervision of course."
A giant ‘no’ was building up inside me but I had the good sense to keep it to myself. Once extra month of punishment was enough. Freddie was smiling from ear to ear, delighted with the suggestion. I’m sure he thought it would be the perfect revenge. His mother looked a little doubtful but agreed.
"Freddie, you get the things ready. I’ll walk Mr. Santillo to his car so that I can get Marc’s books and things for school," she said to her eager son.
"Take off those pants and come with me," Freddie ordered.
He opened a hall closet filled with diapers for him and his little brother. Freddie must have seen the question in my eyes.
"My dresser isn’t big enough to hold all of my diapers. So my mom puts the clean ones here. I have to take them from here to my dresser. If you take four diapers and plastic pants from my dresser, I’ll have to refill it myself and I don’t want to have to do that. Here," he continued, "take these to my room. These are the ones you can use today."
His older sister came out of her room as we were standing at the closet. She glared at me, "So this is the big tough guy. He doesn’t look so tough to me," glancing at my bulging diaper and plastic pants.
Back in his room, Freddie asked, "Are you wet?"
"Huh?" I answered.
"Your diaper, stupid. Is it wet? If it is, I’ll have to put a changing pad on the bed."
"Oh, yeah," I stammered. I guess I was so nervous about people seeing me in diapers that I hadn’t paid any attention to the wetting I had done. Now that I thought about it I knew that I was wet. Very wet. How embarrassing.
"Uh, yes I am," I said without added comment.
He reached into his closet, took out a changing pad and laid it out on the bed.
"OK, hop on," he commanded.
I started pulling down my plastic pants when he stopped me.
"Oh, no, you don’t. I’m gonna treat you like a little baby. I’ll do everything."
His mom walked into the room and warned, "Freddie, don’t push it."
I laid down on the pad. I couldn’t stand to watch so I closed my eyes. I felt Freddie pulling off my plastic pants and I heard them fall to the floor. His mother must have noticed the wet condition of my diaper because she said that she would go to the washroom to get a warm cloth.
As soon as she had gone, Freddie leaned over me, began unpinning my diaper and sneered in a babyish voice, "Oooh, little Marc has only been in his didees for a little while and they’re already soaked. We’d better take lots of diapers to school. We wouldn’t want little Marc to overflow his baby pants, now would we?"
I had had enough. I opened my eyes and mimicking his voice I snapped back, "You’re the expert on didees. I’m sure you know exactly how many baby pants you go through each day. I‘ll just follow your lead."
This must have really stung him. From the look on his face I thought he was going to punch me but luckily his mother came back into the room. Sensing the tension between us she told Freddie to finish removing my diaper and that she would clean me up. I closed my eyes again. "Thank God for small favors," I thought. After she’d finished, Freddie ordered me to lift my behind (I wonder if he would have said ‘butt’ or ‘ass’ if his mother hadn’t been there.) as he slid a fresh diaper beneath me. This was the first time I had worn a daytime diaper since being potty trained. I could tell that it was thinner than the nighttime terry toweling diapers I wore, but not nearly as thin as I had hoped. (It did occur to me, though, that I would be wearing his pants and that no one at school had ever detected his diapers underneath. That was a comforting thought I needed to hold on to.) He made me roll over to generously sprinkle powder on my behind and them roll over again to generously sprinkle more on my front. He obviously wanted me to reek of baby powder. He then began pinning the diaper. I felt him use up the four pins from my other diaper and I was surprised when I felt him adding more.
"How many pins are you going to use?" his mother asked.
"Just four more. We wouldn’t want the baby to lose his diapers would we?"
"Freddie…," his mother warned but she didn’t stop him.
Eight pins made me feel even more trapped than I had felt in my thick diaper, even though I was wearing a thinner, more easily disguised one. My eyes were still closed when he asked me which plastic pants I wanted to wear. I said that I didn’t care. I felt them being pulled up and over my diaper.
"Stand up," Freddie said, "so that my mom and I can check that your diaper is completely inside your plastic pants."
I opened my eyes and stood up. I was horrified to see that I was wearing a pair of transparent yellow baby pants. They also made very loud crackling noises as I moved. Freddie had placed the diapers over the plastic pants when I carried them to his room so it was only now that I noticed that the other three plastic pants were also in bright babyish colors.
"Please," I begged, "don’t send me to school in these crinkly plastic pants. I’ll do anything you say, but please, not this."
"Put these on," Mrs. Zymmers answered dryly, handing me a light-colored pair of pants from the bed.
I wasn’t going to get any sympathy here. We walked down to the living room where my backpack was sitting on the couch.
"Put your diapers and plastic pants into your backpack," Mrs. Zymmers instructed.
No matter how I shifted things around, the backpack was bulging. The crackling sound of my plastic pants was already driving me crazy. There was obviously no way I was going to hide the noise they made.
"OK, it’s time for me to drive you to school," Freddie’s mother announced.
Walking to the car it was clear that, even with the outdoor noises mixed in, my plastic pants could easily be heard crackling. I also didn’t like the smug way Freddie’s was looking at me. Halfway to the car, he dropped back and started walking behind me.
"This is just too perfect," he giggled.
"What?" I demanded, spinning around and staring him down.
"Your pants, of course," he calmly stated. "My mom bought those for me a few months ago but I never wear them because even my plain white plastic pants show through. Everyone is gonna get a real good look at your colored baby pants today. I sure hope the nurse changes you into the red ones I gave you, although the blue and green ones will show through nicely too. You wanted Karl and Andy to see me in my plastic pants, well you won’t need to take off your pants to have everybody see yours."
I was mortified. Even Mrs. Zymmers had set me up. Everyone was against me. Why couldn’t I die right now? Mrs. Zymmers snapped me out of my reverie by ordering me into the back seat of the car. A few seconds after leaving his driveway Freddie turned around and began talking to me.
"You know, in a funny way you did me a favor last Friday. I’ve been worried about high school and joining teams or being in PE class. I want to take PE and to belong to teams but I didn’t see how I could tell you guys about my… special needs."
"You mean ‘your diapers and plastic pants’ don’t you?" I said bitterly.
Mrs. Zymmers gave me a warning look but Freddie continued on.
"OK, have it your way- my diapers and plastic pants. Anyway, I’m going to tell everyone about everything that you did to me Friday- about your lying to Karl and Andy, about stealing and ripping my clothes, about leaving me in the woods in just a diaper and plastic pants. I don’t care any more if people know that I wear diapers. You’re the one who’s going to look like a monster and I’ll be the innocent victim. And that’s something that I can make happen without lying to people or manipulating them the way you did."
That really hurt. I knew he was right- I had lied and manipulated. He wouldn’t need to exaggerate a thing. I had given him all the ammunition he needed to destroy me.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
The closer we got to school, the more terrified I became, and the more terrified I became the crazier my thoughts got. About one block from school I decided that I would make a run for it. I would jump out of the car as soon as it stopped, run across the street to the train tracks and then cut through the neighborhood back to my house. My dad was at work, I was sure I could cry and soften up my mother so that I wouldn’t have to go through this horrible ordeal. (OK, so it was a stupid plan. But, hey, I only had thirty seconds to think it up.)
Mrs. Zymmers stopped the car about a block from school and parked. Now was my chance. I quickly yanked on the door handle. Nothing happened. I checked the lock button, it was up. Maybe I hadn’t pulled hard enough, so I yanked again.
"That won’t do any good, Marc. Freddie will have to open it for you. The child safety lock is on so that my younger kids can’t fall out of the car if they accidentally pull the door handle," Mrs. Zymmers explained.
I was crestfallen. I didn’t even get the chance to try out my plan. My last resort was to try talking Freddie’s mom out of taking me to school like this. I knew it was important that I not sound like I was being whiny or disrespectful.
"Mrs. Zymmers, please," I started "don’t do this to me. I’m really sorry for what I did yesterday. I promise I will never ever hurt Freddie again. I’ll do any punishment you want, but, please, not this (pointing to my pants). Please."
"Hold it right there, young man," she said raising her voice. After a second she continued a little more calmly. "Let’s get something straight. I don’t much like you since you deliberately and viciously set out to humiliate Freddie. He thought you were his friend, he trusted you, you betrayed him and hurt him deeply. You didn’t see him when he got home, but I did. He came running into the house, hysterical. But he wasn’t crying about being seen publicly in his diapers, he was crying because you and the others had betrayed him. He kept repeating over and over again, "I thought they were my friends." I don’t think that any teasing that you get today, or in the future, can hurt you as much as you’ve already hurt Freddie. I think that deep down you know that you deserve this punishment."
I was surprised that as she was talking to me she was doing that mom thing. You know, straightening my shirt and pushing my hair into place. I guess it’s something moms do automatically.
"I don’t know why I’m going to give you the following piece of advice, but I will. If you want to get back the respect of the other kids, take your punishment like a man. Don’t strike back at them and don’t try to hide the fact that you’re in diapers and plastic pants. They’ll get tired of teasing you and eventually they may even forget about them most of the time. Act like a man and they’ll treat you like a man, no matter what you’re wearing. Now, I promised your father I would take you to the nurse’s office to drop off your supplies. Your mother should have already called the school to notify them of your new needs. After that, you’re on your own."
"Mom," Freddie said, "I’m gonna go now. I don’t want to be seen walking into school with him."
"That’s fine, dear," she answered.
After he had run ahead and we were slowly walking toward the school, I said, "Mrs. Zymmers, thank you for taking care of me."
She stopped and stared at me. I didn’t know if I had said something bad or not.
"You know, Marc. I can’t figure you out. A big part of me hates what you did to Freddie, but I can also see why he used to like you so much. You can be a very sincere and charming boy when you want to be. It’s a shame you don’t know how to be a real friend.
I wished I had had time to think about that but we had reached the school gate and the kids had already started whispering about me and taunting me.
"Look, there he is."
" Who’s that with him, his nanny?"
"Look at those pants- omigod, look he’s wearing yellow baby pants."
"Hey, Marc, when you wanted to get into the game the other day and you said it was time to change players, were you talking about your diapers?"
A lot more things were said but thankfully I didn’t hear them all. "Geez," I thought, "if this is what they’re saying with Mrs. Zymmers standing next to me, what will they say when I’m alone?" My fear went up one more notch. As we walked into the nurse’s office my palms were sweaty, my mouth was dry, my knees were shaking, and (I hoped they couldn’t tell) I was peeing my diaper.
The nurse, Mrs. Stinson, was sitting behind her desk in her combination office and infirmary. Mrs. Zymmers seemed to know her already.
"Oh, yes," the nurse began, "I’ve heard a lot about Marc Santillo from the faculty, even before this latest incident. Normally, I wouldn’t agree to be part of such a punishment but Mrs. Santillo convinced me that this plan was essential to curing her son’s budding arrogance. From what the teachers say, I’m inclined to agree that something must be done." Turning to me, she continued, "Marc, here is the routine we are going to follow in the beginning. You will report to me at morning recess, near the end of lunch, and at afternoon recess. I will assess whether you need a change or not. In time, if I think you can be trusted I will leave it up to you to decide when to come in. Also, your mother says you are to be allowed to use the bathroom for number 2. When that happens, you are to report here and I will unpin your diaper and you will use the little bathroom here. Now, give me your supplies so that I can put them away."
I once again fumbled getting my backpack open, distracted by the awful noise my plastic pants were making. She took the diapers and plastic pants and put them inside a locked cabinet that already had a cubbyhole labeled "M.S." I noticed there was a cubbyhole labeled "F.Z." that contained a large supply of diapers, plastic pants, powder, and wash cloths. At the bottom of the cabinet was a diaper pail also labeled "F.Z."
The nurse must have noticed me examining the interior because she said, "You mother will bring the rest of your supplies and diaper pail tomorrow morning. For today, though, I see that you didn’t bring any baby powder with you."
"It’s OK for you to use Freddie’s supplies, Mrs. Stinson," Freddie’s mom stated, "Marc is already borrowing Freddie’s diapers and plastic pants. I wouldn’t want Marc to get a rash and miss school because of it."
"I agree completely," responded Mrs. Stinson, "we wouldn’t want that. School is very important and Marc should not miss a single day, especially so near the end of the year."
I don’t know. They sounded sincere but somehow it felt like they were making fun of me.
"I’ll be leaving now," Mrs. Zymmers announced. Looking over her shoulder she added, "Marc, don’t forget what I said."
I slowly nodded my head. Mrs. Stinson startled me by saying, "OK, let’s check your diapers. Unless I miss the mark, I believe you were wetting them as you came in."
She knew! My faced must have turned scarlet. I didn’t budge.
"Do I have to tell your parents that you are being uncooperative?"
"No, ma’am. Please don’t tell them that."
"That’s better. Now close the door and come over here."
I had scarcely approached her when she undid my belt and let my pants fall. I felt a finger at each leg opening feeling for wetness along the edges of my diaper. I submitted to this examination without complaint even though I felt she was treating me like a baby. Would this happen every time I came in here?
"I think you’ll be fine until recess. If you wet some more, ask your teacher to write you a hall pass to come here."
"But everyone will know that I’m coming to get my diaper changed," I complained.
"Which do you think will embarrass you more? Not asking your teacher for a note and having your plastic pants leak, or asking to come here before they leak? Besides, have you got another pair of pants to change into? Would you want to walk around for the rest of the day in smelly pants?"
"No, ma’am. I guess I hadn’t thought of that," I conceded.
"It seems to me that you have a problem with not looking ahead to consequences and results. I hope you learn soon."
There were still fifteen minutes left before first bell when I left the nurse’s office. I didn’t know which way to go until I saw some of my classmates coming down the hall. I decided to go in the opposite direction which caused me to run right into Frank Beatley and his friends.
"Hey, guys, look Marc found some pants to wear. Too bad they don’t do much to hide his baby pants." Then, faking surprise, he said "Wow, look at that- his baby pants have turned yellow. Do you think that means that he’s filled them with pee pee already?" I continued walking as they laughed hilariously at my predicament.
I finally reached the door to the school yard. At least there were teachers around who would protect me- I hoped. I looked around for a sympathetic face but anyone who knew me either looked away in disgust or made some rude comment. One kid I didn’t even know came up to me and called me a coward and asked if I wanted to fight. The vice principal overhead him and told him to move along. The teachers weren’t doing much to stop the verbal abuse but at least I felt a little safer that they wouldn’t allow me to be physically attacked. (I knew I was a pretty lousy fighter, so I didn’t want to go down that road and be humiliated even further.)
I saw Billy standing alone on the other side of the yard so I walked over to him. He didn’t run away from me, but as I drew close to him he backed away a little. I could feel the anger emanating from him.
"You stupid jerk," he spat out. "What the hell were you thinking? Why?…How could you?… especially since you yourself used to wet your bed."
I had never seen him so mad. I knew him well enough to know that his real question was why did I attack Freddie over his diapers when I myself could be attacked for the same thing? Also, I knew he felt I had let him down. After all, he had faithfully guarded my secret about wearing bedtime diapers. I didn’t have an explanation. I didn’t know exactly why I had done what I had done. But I did know for sure that I had lost my best friend for good. I was really depressed when he silently walked away from me.
The first bell was about to ring so I headed to class hoping that I could be in my seat before most of the other kids arrived in the classroom. Miss Hutchins and about five kids stopped talking as I walked into the room. The crackling noise emitted by my plastic pants made the kids go into uncontrollable giggles. Miss Hutchins didn’t do much to stop them. After all the rude things I had said to her I guess she had the right to take some degree of revenge. I slunk off to my seat and tried to settle myself into my desk so that I would be as inconspicuous as possible.
Soon Marilyn Slaker, who sat right in front of me, came in and announced in a loud voice, "I think it’s disgusting what Marc did to Freddie. I think it’s so brave of Freddie to tell the whole story and to admit that he has to wear diapers. That certainly is much braver than taking two friends along to go beat up on somebody like some cowards do," she finished, staring straight at me.
Since she was the prettiest girl in the class and at least two-thirds of the boys would have done anything she asked, it was clear that she had set a tone that others would follow. I think Miss Hutchins was afraid of having a riot break out in her class, so she shushed everybody as they came in and made them sit at their desks immediately. That didn’t stop a whole bunch of hate-filled looks from traveling across the room and slapping me in the face. I decided that it would be better if I didn’t look up again. Remarkably, Freddie sat down in his desk right behind me without complaint and without kicking me or anything.
Miss Hutchins hadn’t forgotten about me, though. She started class by asking 10 students to go to the board to work out last night’s math problems. Naturally, she picked on me. Red faced, I crinkled up to the board, quickly wrote out the problem, and then quickly crinkled back to my seat. Miss Hutchins then announced a new procedure. Whoever did the problem on the board would come forward and explain it instead of her explaining it to the class. I nervously waited my turn to explain #4. I knew I had done it correctly, it wasn’t the explanation that worried me.
"OK, now who did #4?" Miss Hutchins asked innocently.
"Baby, Marc," shouted out Karl.
"Karl, I think you’d better watch what you say for the next few days. It seems to me that your behavior wasn’t exactly stellar last Friday, either," Miss Hutchins answered sternly.
Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle, crinkle. I arrived at the board with barely suppressed giggles echoing in my ears. My voice cracked and zoomed up about two octaves as I began my explanation. Damned puberty. Uproarious laughter filled the room. My eyes filled with tears but I was determined not to break down in front of the class. After Miss Hutchins had finished calming the class, I coolly finished my explanation. Something had changed in the classroom, practically nobody giggled as I crinkled my way back to my seat. I was a long way from gaining anyone’s respect but maybe Mrs. Zymmers was right. Act like a man and you get treated like a man. When I sat down even Freddie was looking at me in a funny way I couldn’t figure out.
At morning recess I had to cut my way through a flood of taunts and jeers to get to the nurse’s office. Some guys started to push me around but some substitute teacher I didn’t know stopped them. All this made my progress very slow. The nurse’s office door was closed and I barely heard her give me permission to enter in answer to my knock. The curtain surrounding the bed at the rear of the office was closed but I could see her feet protruding below the curtain.
"Take a seat and I’ll be right with you. By the way, who is it?"
"It’s Marc Santillo, ma’am."
"Oh, right," she answered, "I’ll be right along to change your diaper as soon as I finish here."
"Great," I thought, "is everyone going to make reference to my diapers and plastic pants in every single conversation I have for the rest of my life?"
I sat down on one of the chairs in the main part of the office. I noticed a pair of pants draped on the chair sitting just outside the curtain; sneakers stood nearby. I guessed that someone must be getting a diaper change. Shortly thereafter I heard the rustle of plastic pants being pulled up. Two stocking-clad feet appeared under the curtain.
"I’ll get your pants and shoes," Nurse Stinson said.
"No, thank you, I can do that for myself."
It was unmistakably Freddie’s voice. He pulled back the curtain and boldly stepped forward dressed almost exactly as I had left him in the woods Friday. He stared straight into my eyes. I felt like I was being magnetically maked to look at him. His eyes were that intense.
Out loud he said, "Aren’t you here for a diaper change?" as his stare descended to my diaper area.
The magnetism in his eyes made me reach down, unlace my sneakers, loosen my belt buckle and step out of my pants.
Mrs. Stinson broke the tension by advising me to go to the cabinet to get a clean diaper and fresh plastic pants. I hesitated on the choice of plastic pants. I could hear Freddie calmly buckling his belt and putting on his sneakers. I daringly selected the red pair and unfolded them loudly as I passed by him. The slightest of smiles curved up the edges of his mouth. Had he just tricked me into selecting that particularly hateful pair? What kind of hold did he have over me?
"Up on the bed," Mrs. Stinson ordered as she stood at the sink preparing a fresh wash cloth with which to clean my diaper area. The rest of the diaper change went on in silence.
The next two weeks were hell. Only the fact that people seemed to have run out of new and creative ways to humiliate me kept me sane. The days had a certain sameness to them that I was getting used to. The one bright note was that Billy seemed to have forgiven me, at least partially. He came over to my house that first weekend and he was even willing to be seen eating lunch with me the week after that.
The mystery of Freddie’s behavior kept haunting my thoughts. The first three days I was in diapers we only met that one time in Nurse Stinson’s office. After that, though, we seemed to meet more frequently. It was as if my body was adjusting to his cycle of diaper changes. I guess that made sense- we were about the same size and we had roughly the same habits.
The next time I showed up while Freddie was getting changed I didn’t know what to do. What would he think if I took off my pants and waited for my turn in just my diaper and plastic pants? I decided to wait patiently with my pants on. He stepped from behind the curtain in his diaper and plastic pants, looked at me, and said, "Well?" What did that mean? Was this a test of wills? Was he saying "I’m braver than you are?" I asked Mrs. Stinson about it and she answered by saying that I’d have to work that out with Freddie.
The next day, while I was getting changed Freddie knocked on the door and came in. I heard him remove his sneakers and pants, open the cabinet, and, presumably, get a fresh diaper and plastic pants. Sure enough, when I opened the curtain he was calmly standing a few feet away waiting his turn. I practically dove for my pants.
"You know, my dad says that you should always look people in the eye when you meet them and then greet them politely," he commented.
I looked up, "Uh…, hi," I said.
"Hi," he replied and walked past me and pulled the curtain shut.
For the next several days it was Freddie who arrived first for diaper changes. I would wait in just my diaper and plastic pants for him to come out. As he would step from behind the curtain, also in just his diaper and plastic pants, he would initiate a small conversation or make some small comment about something I had done in class, generally of a complimentary or encouraging nature. At other times of the day or around other kids he wouldn’t say a word to me, maintaining a cool aloofness. Was he waging psychological warfare against me- deliberately making me feel good about myself on some occasions but not others? I couldn’t figure him out and it was driving me nuts.
As I said before, shortly before my diaper punishment began, I had discovered the secret pleasures of masturbation. The first two nights I was back in diapers I was so depressed I didn’t event think about it. However, by the third night the urge had returned as strong as ever. Too scared to take off my plastic pants and diaper I began rubbing myself through the layers of material. It felt wonderful and the release came quickly. It then occurred to me that the peeing I would eventually do would probably hide all the evidence. At least diapers were good for something, I thought.
May was passing quickly and my eighth grade class was fast approaching its graduation trip. This was planned as a day trip up to the state capitol to visit the historical sites and to meet the governor. (This was in the days when politicians weren’t considered to be quite as slimy as they appear to be today.) Everyone was supposed to get all dressed up which meant that I would have to wear my suit. The trip was to be on the third Friday of the month and attendance was mandatory. I really didn’t want to go because my suit (with its newly repaired zipper) accentuated my diapers more than any other clothes I wore (going to church every Sunday had proven this). The teasing at church was bad but what would it be like on a whole day trip? I just couldn’t face up to taking this trip in diapers. I asked Billy for help.
"Please, let me come over to your house on my way to school tomorrow to borrow some underpants to wear instead of my diapers," I pleaded.
"How can that work? Mrs. Stinson is going on the trip with us and she’ll know you’re not wearing diapers if you don’t get changed during a whole day. She’ll also ask you where your change of diapers are. You can’t possibly expect to fool her," he answered reasonably.
"I’ll tell her that my parents allowed me to go on the trip without my diapers, that they understood how embarrassing it would be for me. The bus leaves at 7:45. If we show up at the last minute she won’t have time to check up on my story," I explained.
"I don’t know. She’s bound to check up eventually. You’ll get into trouble sooner or later."
Our discussion went round and round like this for some time.
"Look," Billy eventually said, "there’s one more problem. My parents told me right at the beginning of your punishment that if I ever helped you do anything to get out of it, they would punish me big time."
"Well, in that case," I said reluctantly, "I guess I understand why you don’t want to take the risk. Besides, I’m getting used to being publicly humiliated. Being humiliated in front of the governor won’t be that big of a deal."
He paused for a few seconds before saying, "OK, you can come here to change. But, so help me, if we get caught…"
The next morning luck was with us. Billy was waiting for me when I arrived at 7:15.
"My mom needed to keep the car today to take Tony to the doctor so she’s taking my dad to work right now. She won’t be back for at least 20 minutes," he announced. (Tony was his older brother who was a senior in high school. He had broken his leg sliding into home plate and was finally getting his cast off.)
"Is Tony around?" I asked nervously.
"Naw, my mom let him sleep in. A bomb couldn’t wake him up."
We walked to Billy’s room where I kicked off my shoes and took off my suit coat. I quickly unbuckled my belt, dropped my pants, and began unpinning my diaper. I suddenly felt embarrassed in front of Billy. This was the first time he had seen me in a diaper since my punishment had begun. He noticed that my diaper was already wet.
"Geez, are you going to be able to get through a whole day without wetting yourself?" he asked.
"Of course," I answered defensively, "I deliberately wet this one on the way over so that when we come back tonight I can put on a fresh one, pee in it a little bit and tell my mom I only used two diapers. It’s happened before."
"Good thinking," he apologized. "Let me get you a cloth to clean yourself," he said leaving for the bathroom.
For the first time in nearly six weeks I was wearing regular underwear. It was so cool, literally. Those plastic pants trap a lot of heat. I carefully rolled up the wet diaper inside my plastic pants and stashed my bag under Billy’s bed. Billy had to rush back to his room to pick up his suit coat that was still hanging in the closet but we still arrived at school with about two minutes left before the bus was scheduled to leave.
As expected, Mrs. Stinson asked me where my extra diapers were and I told her that my parents were allowing me to go without them because they didn’t want me to be distracted on such an important learning experience.
"Well, if that’s what they want," she sniffed.
She did look at her watch, though, as if judging if she had enough time to call my mom at home. Miss Hutchins interrupted her by announcing that everyone was accounted for and that we should all board the bus. I had made it, I was home free!
Freddie had overheard my conversation with Mrs. Stinson and he was eyeing me suspiciously. "Uh, oh" I thought, "he could ruin everything if he has his parents call my parents about what I’m wearing today, or to be more exact, about what I’m not wearing." This was a complication I hadn’t thought of. "Oh, well," I continued in my mind, "there’s nothing I can do about it now. He’ll probably forget all about it by next Monday, anyway."
The trip was really fun, except for all that boring historical stuff about the state capitol and having to have our picture taken with the governor. The bus ride back and forth was kind of like going to camp in the summer. Once the other kids figured out that I wasn’t wearing diapers they left me alone. After all, it’s kind of lame making fun of someone for something they’re not wearing.
The bus pulled into the school yard at 6:30pm. Now would come the tricky part. The plan was for us to walk to Billy’s and he would drop my diaper bag out of his window and I would put on a fresh diaper behind the bushes next to his house where no one could see me. From there I would continue my walk home. However, when the bus pulled up, my mom and Mrs. Haston were standing out in the parking lot. I didn’t like the looks of this. Billy also turned white when I told him what was going on.
"Omigod, omigod," he said to himself before beginning to violently shake. "They told me what would happen, and now it’s going to happen," he said in an increasingly shriller and shriller voice. "Why did I listen to you? Why did I listen to you?"
We delayed as long as possibly getting off the bus as if this would mitigate the punishment that was sure to come. I apologized to Billy for getting him in trouble but he ignored me.
What happened next was weird. Our moms didn’t say a word. They just pointed to the Haston’s car sitting a little bit away. We got in and rode about halfway to Billy’s house in silence. All this quiet was making me more and more scared. Suddenly, Billy began pleading with his mom not to go through with the punishment. I wondered what kind of punishment it could be that had got him so upset. He quietly cried all the rest of the way to his house.
In the living room my mom began her interrogation. "Marc," she started in a firm voice, "I think you know that I want you to answer only the question I ask and that you had better tell the exact truth."
"Yes, mom," I responded meekly.
"How many lies did you tell today?"
I stopped and thought, "I don’t know, exactly."
"Let me help you out. Did you lie to Miss Hutchins?"
"What did you tell her?"
"The same thing I told Mrs. Stinson- that you had allowed me to go without diapers because the trip was an important educational event."
"That’s two lies, I think. Two extra months of punishment. Who else?"
"Some of the kids asked. Maybe three or four."
"Just in case, we’ll call it four," she responded sarcastically. "That’s four more months. Oh, I almost forgot, there will also be two months added just for attempting a stunt like this. Let’s see now, you had worked off the extra month you earned at the very beginning and you were left this morning with eleven months and twelve days. So we add the eight months you earned today and we come up with twenty months and twelve days. By my count that brings us past Christmas two years from now. How jolly, Christmas was always so much fun when you were in diapers- now your father and I can enjoy two more!"
I was crushed. What had started out as a one year punished had now been extended to almost two years. At this rate, I would still be in diapers in college. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Billy’s mother now turned her attention to him. "Stop that crying this instant," she said, handing him a tissue to wipe his eyes. "You do remember your father’s and my warning to you, don’t you?"
"Yes," Billy squeaked through his tears.
"What did we say?" she pressed.
"That if I did anything, no matter how small, to get Marc out of any part of his punishment I would be severely punished."
"And what would the punishment be?" she continued.
"That… that… I would get the same punishment as Marc and that it… it… would last as long as his."
Holy crap. I couldn’t believe it. Now Billy was sure to hate me for good and I would be left with no friends at all. Why didn’t he tell me this was the punishment he would get?
"OK, Billy, get to your room," Mrs. Haston ordered.
"You, too," my mother said. "You’re going back into your diapers right now."
Billy’s room had a large set of built-in shelves which this morning had been covered with Little League trophies, boxed games, a baseball mitt, and other teenage boy stuff. All that was gone now; the shelves were filled with daytime and nighttime diapers, plastic pants, baby powder, and a container of large safety pins. There was no doubt that he was in it for the long haul.
"Why am I being punished for helping a friend?" he wailed.
"You interfered with Mr. and Mrs. Santelli’s disciplining of Marc. Helping him out like that is the same thing as smuggling a file to a prisoner so that he can cut his way out of jail," she retorted.
While Mrs. Haston was talking to Billy, my mom was laying out my diaper on the bed. She signaled for me to begin undressing. I took off my coat, tie, shirt, pants, shoes, and, of course, Billy’s underpants. She told me to take off my t-shirt and socks, too, as she had other clothes in the living room for me to put on. I was completely naked. I hurried over to the bed where my mom sprinkled me with powder on both sides and then began to pin on my diaper. I was surprised at how natural it felt to be wearing one. Up came the plastic pants and I was finished.
Mrs. Haston wasn’t having an easy time with Billy. He had taken off his coat, tie, shirt, shoes and socks, but he was refusing to remove his pants.
"Evelyn," Mrs. Haston said to my mother, "I think we forgot to explain one part of the punishment. You know, the part where we agreed that if either boy misbehaves and earns extra punishment time both have to serve the time."
"Good," Billy said, "I don’t care. I didn’t do anything, let Marc get another month."
"Fine," his mother agreed, "You both now have twenty-one months and twelve days."
"Is that all?" Billy asked, "Why not twenty-two months and twenty-four days."
"Done," his mother agreed again.
A look of doubt crept into Billy’s eyes. He was asking himself how serious his mother was. He must have decided that she was serious since he began to unbuckle his pants. As he finished undressing, his mother walked over to the shelves and collected a daytime diaper, plastic pants, baby powder, and four safety pins. She laid them out on the bed. Billy seemed to be fighting with himself. He knew that if he allowed this to happen he would be stuck with it for a long time. He also knew that he probably couldn’t fight it and win. He laid down on his diaper, utterly defeated.
My mother led me out to the living room where she said the rest of my clothes were. She handed me a blue t-shirt, white socks and my sneakers.
"Where are my pants?" I asked, knowing that I wouldn’t like the answer.
"At home. And you won’t be wearing any until you go back to school on Monday."
"But, how will I get home?"
"Without pants??" I asked incredulously.
"That’s right. When we started this punishment your father and I told you that we wanted people to know that you were in diapers. It doesn’t seem that that was a strong enough message for you. So now, for the next two weeks, people in the neighborhood will not only know, but also see, that you are in diapers. And don’t think that we’re going to allow you to hide inside the house. "
"Does this part of the punishment include, Billy?"
"Yes, I believe it does."
"Do you think I should ask Mr. and Mrs. Haston to go easy on Billy?"
"You could try. But from what she has told me, Billy has really been defying them lately. This latest stunt has really upset her. You saw Billy’s bedroom. Do you think she spent all that money on diapering supplies just to make an idle threat."
Funny, but my first thought wasn’t how embarrassed I would be, but rather how embarrassed Billy would be. I wondered if my mother would have believed me if I had told her that my thoughts at that moment weren’t for me but rather for Billy. Somehow, it made feel good to think that he came first in my mind. Maybe there was hope that I could grow up to be a decent human being.
My mom said that we would be leaving for our house now. My dad and Mr. Haston were already there preparing a barbecue. We lived across the street and five houses down. The daylight hours had been growing and the sun was still up as we started our walk. We must have made a funny looking procession. My mom and Mrs. Haston were ahead of Billy and me who were walking with our shoulders slumped and heads down trying to ignore the adults and kids who were watching us. A surprising thing happened. Instead of making fun of us or calling us names, people became real quiet as we approached as if we were aliens from another planet. For my part, I sure felt like one especially since I couldn’t seem to stop my growing erection.
In the backyard at my house my dad and Mr. Haston had finished building the fire for the barbecue. Billy ignored them and walked over and sat in the little gazebo that was in the far corner of our yard. I went over to my dad, figuring that I may as well get his lecture over with right away.
"Did your mother explain things to you?" he asked.
"Yeah, no pants at home for two weeks," I summarized. "And no hiding in the house, I have to be outside for the usual amount of time." Looking at Billy’s dad I continued, "Mr. Haston, does Billy really have to get the same punishment as me? Especially the stuff for the next two weeks. This is really mostly my fault; besides, I’ve had six weeks to get used to this. This is too hard on Billy."
Mr. Haston was about to respond when Billy, who must have been listening, cut in.
"I can take care of myself. I don’t need you to protect me. Stop talking about me," he shouted.
Mr. Haston looked over at Billy and sighed. To me, he said, "I’m afraid not Marc. I think you know that your parents, Mrs. Haston, and I are strict disciplinarians. What we’re doing is for your own good. We want you to turn into respectful adults." He then headed off to the gazebo to talk to Billy.
Billy got really agitated as his dad approached. I realized that Billy was probably most embarrassed about letting his dad down. He and his dad had always had what I thought was a special relationship. Mr. Haston sat down next to Billy and began to quietly talk to him. My dad sent me into the house to get the meat for the grill.
"Marc," don’t stand too close to the barbecue, I don’t want to have to buy you new plastic pants because you’ve melted the ones you’re wearing."
At first I thought he was kidding because he was smiling gently. But then he put his hand on my shoulder and pulled me further back.
"Oh, brother," I thought, "being careful to not melt your plastic pants isn’t supposed to be a teenage problem!"
As the meat was cooking, my mom and Mrs. Haston were setting up the picnic table. Just as we were ready to eat, Billy came out of the gazebo with his dad. He looked a lot better. His dad was one of those people that others came to when they were in trouble. He was a good listener and he could make people feel at ease. Billy came over to me and asked if he could say something. I agreed.
"I’m sorry for what I said earlier. This punishment isn’t just your fault; I earned it, too. You’re still my best friend."
We shook hands and sat down to dinner.
Our parents started asking us what we had learned about our state’s history that day. Billy must have been paying a lot more attention than I was. He knew all kinds of stuff and I was pretty much reduced to offering an occasional, "Yeah, that’s right."
Billy suddenly switched the topic and asked, "Does Tony know?"
"Yes," his mother affirmed, "but he also knows that there will be no teasing. I pointed out to him that diapers come in all sizes."
Billy and I snickered together, imagining his older brother in diapers.
After clean-up, Billy and I were allowed to go into the house. We went to my room where I plopped on the bed and Billy sat down on the floor.
"Man," he said.
"Yeah," I sighed.
We tried to plan out how we would survive the next two weeks. We agreed that we were lucky that school wasn’t over yet. At least we would be wearing pants most of the time on weekdays. At the end of dinner our parents had explained the rules for weekends and after school. On school days we had to go directly home and change into our "play" clothes, without pants of course. Then we would have to go outside and play until dinner time. We couldn’t play alone, though. We either had to walk to each other’s house and play there, or find another friend to play with. No matter what, we were going to be seen in our diapers out on the street. The same rules applied all weekend except for Sunday morning when we went to church. (I had to wear those stupid suit pants that did nothing to hide my diapers, and because it was getting warmer my mom didn’t let me wear the coat that partially hid the bulge.)
"Ok, Billy, time to go home," his dad shouted up the steps.
"You come down, too, Marc, you have to go pick up your suit and diaper bag," my mom added.
It was kind of late and people had gone back into their houses to escape the mosquitoes. I picked up my clothes and headed back home alone. Why did I have another erection? From somewhere in the neighborhood a wolf whistle rang out. Tomorrow wasn’t going to be easy
I was never allowed to sleep late on weekends so by seven-thirty I was seated in the kitchen eating breakfast. I tried to stretch it out as long as possible but my mother saw right through my ploy.
"Get started on your chores and then you can get cleaned up and go to Billy’s or wherever else you want," she ordered.
By five after nine I was ready to leave. I was expected to go to Billy’s until lunchtime, unless, of course, I wanted to hang out with some of my other friends. (How likely was that?) I took my baseball glove and left the house cutting across our front lawn in what I hoped was the shortest possible distance to Billy’s. Luckily no one was out yet but halfway there I again heard that wolf-whistle coming from inside one of the houses. I ran the rest of the way to Billy’s.
When I got to Billy’s house he looked really upset.
"My dad and I just spent an hour reseeding the back lawn. He just watered it and now he won’t let us go back there. We have to stay out in the front yard."
"No way, can’t we go back to my house?"
Mr. Haston must have heard the question because he came into the kitchen and said that he knew that my mom and dad were leaving to go grocery shopping in a few minutes so going back there was out of the question. Normally, I stayed home alone but I guess the implication was that during this phase of the punishment neither Billy nor I was to be trusted.
"May we stay inside for this morning, Mr. Haston?"
"Are you saying ‘no,’ to my instructions, Marc?"
"We’re going right now, sir," I said emphatically, as Billy grabbed his baseball and glove.
Once outside, we decided that if we played catch in his driveway we would get some protection from being seen. As time went on, we were throwing the ball harder and harder to each other. Finally, I threw one really hard pitch to him which went wild and caromed of the neighbor’s fence post and went rolling down the street.
"Nice going," Billy said. "Now go get it."
"I’m not going. You’re the one who missed it. You go get it."
"Me? I’d would have had to be ten feet tall to catch that one. It was your fault."
This continued on for a few more volleys when Mr. Haston came out into the driveway.
"Stop this arguing. You’ll both go get the ball."
We mapped out our strategy. We would proceed cautiously to the end of the driveway, scout out exactly where the ball had gone, and then make a run for it. The ball was in the gutter across the street and two houses down. On the count of three we ran to get it. We shot out of the driveway and reached the ball in about three or four seconds, Billy reached down to pick it up at the same time as I did, we bumped heads and succeeded in kicking the ball another thirty feet down the street. He told me to stay put and he retrieved it. By now we had been spotted. Everyone out on their lawns or playing the street was looking at us. The older the kids were, the more they hooted at us and made fun of us calling us "babies" and such. We started running back to Billy’s.
"Hey, guys, up here," a disembodied voice said.
Billy recognized it as the voice of his neighbor, Frank, who was also an eighth grader in our school but from a different room. I only knew him slightly because he wasn’t much into sports; I guess Billy must have known him better. Billy ran up to Frank’s porch with me closely behind. I wasn’t sure about this; but Billy must have trusted Frank if he was willing to talk to him the way we were dressed. I’ll say one thing though, as soon as we were out of sight of the other kids the harassment stopped.
"I knew that Marc was getting punished, but what happened to you?" he questioned Billy. "How come you’re wearing his diapers and no pants?"
A very red-faced Billy had to explain that he was wearing his own diapers and how he got put into them. He explained the two-week punishment and that he would be in diapers (like me) for some time, without mentioning the exact length. (Maybe, like me, he was hoping to get the time dramatically shortened although, so far, all I had accomplished was to get the time greatly lengthened.) Frank was amazingly polite considering what he could have said about two boys his age being put back in diapers. He covered his mouth a couple of times probably because he didn’t want to laugh out loud at some of the conditions of our punishment. I liked him. We sat on his porch for some time talking about all sorts of things but usually coming back to questions he had about our diaper punishment.
Soon it was time for me to go back home for lunch. Lots of people were out now. It seemed to me that some of them were hanging around strictly to catch a glimpse of one or both us in our diapers. Then, again, you do get awfully paranoid out in public in just your diapers. I went back to Billy’s to pick up my glove that I had left in the driveway. It wasn’t there so I guessed that Mr. Haston had brought it inside. We went into the kitchen and there were our gloves on the floor by the back door. As I was picking mine up Mrs. Haston came in.
"Ah, there you boys are. I was just going to call you for lunch. Billy, since you’re spending the afternoon at Marc’s while your father and I do some shopping, Mrs. Santelli says you can have lunch with them. She’s expecting you now."
I was happy about this since it meant that I wouldn’t have to walk home alone. On the other hand, it also meant that there were two targets for people to aim for instead of one. We resolved to walk as normally as possible and to ignore the taunts. In practice that didn’t turn out to be very easy. One mother even used us as an example to her little boy who must have been having trouble staying dry.
"See," she said, "even big boys who wet their pants have to be put back in diapers."
The little boy started crying and making promises that he would never "pee pee" his pants again.
"Great," I thought, "for the rest of his life that kid is going to think that Billy and I really do wet our pants."
At my house we could at least throw the ball around and hang out in the backyard which was pretty private. The afternoon dragged a little bit but dinner time came and Billy went home.
On Monday, I was very happy to get my pants back. Billy and I were required to apologize to Mrs. Stinson, Miss Hutchins and then the whole class for having lied to them. I really felt bad for Billy because word had spread that he too was now in diapers. Worst of all for Billy, it seemed that all his pants prominently displayed his diaper bulge just like my suit pants did. His parents, however, said that they would not buy him new school clothes this near the end of the year.
With three boys needing diaper changes Mrs. Stinson instituted new rules. It was almost like an assembly line: enter the office, take off shoes and pants, get diapering supplies, unpin diaper (to save Mrs. Stinson the time of doing it),wait for the bed to be available, get diaper area washed, get new diaper pinned on, pull on plastic pants, another boy checks that diaper is totally enclosed in the plastic pants, put pants and shoes back on. In just a few days we were able to all get diapered in a combined time of only seven minutes.
Freddie also seemed to get more friendly after Billy joined our group. Maybe it was because Billy had never done anything to him personally. In any case, we started chatting a lot more during diaper changes and Freddie even began talking to me in public. On the second Wednesday of our "no pants" diaper punishment Freddie even wished me a happy birthday.
I was fourteen. What a year it had been: I had gone deeper into puberty, I had experienced some of the rudiments of sex, and I had been put back into diapers. I was beginning to understand why my parents thought this punishment was important. It was teaching me two important life lessons: actions have consequences and you have to pay back for the harm you do.
I was a little worried that my parents wouldn’t celebrate my birthday this year but when they woke me up they were standing with gifts in their hands. (The big gift that year would have a profound impact on my future: a microscope set. I didn’t know it at the time, but that relatively simple instrument would spark a lifelong interest in science.) I thanked them for the gifts and they could see that I was really excited about the microscope. Unfortunately, I could only look at a few simple things before I had to get ready for school.
All day in school I dreamt about what I would look at under the microscope. Right after school Billy and I raced home to get changed in to our play clothes (still no pants) and he came running over to my house filled with excitement. We looked at all kinds of stuff under different magnifications. We were disappointed because we couldn’t see any life forms in a drop of tap water (probably due to the chlorine and other chemicals that they put in it). We decided to take a test tube and go to a little stream up the street. Our embarrassment at being seen in diapers had dropped dramatically, especially since after twelve days almost no one paid any attention to us (except that the little boy whose mother had threatened to put him back in diapers would run away from us screaming). On our way back with the sample, Freddie appeared riding his bicycle.
We stared at each other for a few seconds.
"Um," Freddie tentatively stated, "I heard you talking about your new microscope. Could I come and see it?"
This was great. Over the last two months winning back Freddie’s friendship had become very important to me.
"Sure," I said, "let’s get going. I’m really anxious to get back home."
"I understand," he said, "you probably feel funny being outside in just your diapers."
"Oh, yeah, that too," I agreed, "I meant that I’m anxious to look at all the stuff that’s in this water we just collected.
Freddie laughed as if I had just told a really funny joke.
"Mom, we’re back," I announced, "and Freddie is with us. Can he come up to my room to look at my microscope?"
My mother came out of the kitchen where she was preparing dinner.
"Welcome, Freddie. Of course, you can all go up to look at the microscope. But, Freddie, I have to tell you that the boys won’t get their pants back just because you’re here. I hope you won’t feel too uncomfortable with them the way they are.
"It’s OK," Freddie answered. "I really don’t like wearing pants over my diaper and plastic pants at home anyway. I think they’re too hot and too tight. My family is very used to me being in the house dressed in only my diapers."
My mother was obviously taken aback but she nonetheless invited him to make himself comfortable.
Upstairs in my room I couldn’t contain my curiosity.
"Freddie, please don’t get mad at me, but do you really go around without pants at home?"
"Of course," he said, "I wouldn’t lie to your mom. Do you think it’s OK if I get comfortable here?"
""She said you could, so, yeah, go ahead."
He took off his pants and we spent the next hour and a half looking at all kinds of microscopic organisms whose names we didn’t yet know. My mom came up once to offer us some soda but she didn’t say anything about Freddie’s attire and Freddie didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed in front of her. At five-thirty he announced that he had to leave for home.
On Saturday Billy and I got our pants back. In fact, since the weather had turned very hot, I should say we got our shorts back. It was wonderful. Billy and I made a point of being seen all over the neighborhood. It didn’t matter that we had diapers on underneath, just being able to go anywhere again felt terrific. We took our bikes out for the first time in two weeks and roamed the neighborhood for about an hour.
Late in the afternoon, I had to work on an English composition that was due Monday. With the end of the year and graduation so close I didn’t want to mess anything else up. I went up to my room and sat at my desk in front of my half finished assignment. I couldn’t concentrate. Freddie was right- pants (or shorts) felt tight and confining. I took them off and promptly forgot about them as I quickly finished the assignment. I was copying the final draft when my mom called me down to dinner.
My mom was putting the last of the dinner on the table when she looked at me. "Forget something, kiddo?" she asked.
My dad looked over his shoulder. "Tough getting used to pants again?"
I felt myself turning red. God, why did I get embarrassed so easily? I wanted to explain but my dad cut me off. "No matter. Sit down and eat your dinner."
After dinner my dad asked if I wanted to throw a ball around for a while. I went out to the garage to get a ball and some gloves. He looked at me quizzically as I came out to the back yard. I knew what he meant.
"No one will see me," I said referring to the fact that I still hadn’t put any pants on.
"Well, suit yourself. Or in this case, should I say don’t suit yourself?" He chuckled. Parents have such lame senses of humor.
Twenty minutes later Billy came by. He took one look at me and his face dropped.
"Oh, no, you didn’t get us into trouble again?"
My dad laughed and assured Billy that everything was alright. He handed him his glove and told us to continue without him. He went back in the house, probably to take an after dinner nap.
"So, what gives?" Billy asked.
I told him about how uncomfortable I had felt while doing my homework and how I had taken my pants off and that I had forgotten to put them back on for dinner. Since my parents had already said it was OK, I didn’t see any reason to put them back on.
"Don’t your pants feel kind of hot and uncomfortable?" I asked sincerely.
"Well, yeah, kind of," Billy answered equally sincerely.
"Then it doesn’t make any sense to wear them. I’ve already decided that unless my mom and dad object, I’m not wearing pants in the house when there aren’t any strangers around," I stated emphatically.
Eighth grade graduation was just a few days away. It wasn’t a big affair but there was a ceremony held in the school auditorium for family and friends. Everyone would dress up (that stupid suit again) and diplomas and prizes were handed out. We eighth graders weren’t really interested in doing much school work so the teachers found as many other things for us to do as they could. We even went through all of our books, page by page, erasing any marks in them before turning them back in to the teacher.
Anyway, it was in this atmosphere that school was winding down. Billy, Freddie and I were walking out of Mrs. Stinson’s office one morning when Freddie asked us if we wanted to go to a sleepover at his house the day after graduation. I said that I thought I could, but that I still had to check with my parents. Billy thought he would be able to go, too.
And so it was arranged. We would go to Freddie’s house Saturday afternoon and stay until Sunday afternoon. Our parents delivered our sleeping bags, diaper supplies, and other clothes by car while Billy and I rode our bikes. This way we could go places on our bikes without having to depend on Mr. and Mrs. Zymmers for rides.
The first afternoon was great. The Zymmers gave us money to go to the bowling alley and play a few games. (We were a small town- this was about the most fun thing around except for going to the movies.) After that, the Zymmers treated us to hamburgers and cones at the Dairy Queen. Back home Mrs. Zymmers asked if we needed to be changed. We did. She was very amused when he showed her the assembly line system we used in Nurse Stinson’s office.
Just like he had said, Freddie didn’t wear anything over his diaper and plastic pants at home. Even though his brothers and sisters were home I decided to join him. With a little coaxing, Billy did too. At first, it felt a funny being seen by his older sister and younger siblings but I soon forgot all about it. We watched a little television and then went up to Freddie’s room to talk.
"I know what we can do," Freddie started. "We all want to be friends, right? Why don’t we play the truth game?"
"What’s the truth game," Billy asked.
"Here’s how it goes. Each of us has the right to ask one question to each of the other two. The person answering the question has to tell the absolute truth. We all swear never to tell anyone what was said. If anyone breaks the trust, the friendship is off and we can talk about anything that person said to anyone we want. OK?"
"Wait a minute," I said. "Let me get this straight. The person can ask any question they want, the person answering has to tell the truth, and everyone promises never to tell about anything that is said. Right?"
"Exactly," said Freddie. "I’ll start. I promise to follow the rules."
"Me, too," added Billy
"Me, three," I concluded.
"Ok," Billy said, "I want to ask Marc the first question. Do you ever masturbate in your diapers?
"What?" I screeched. Unfortunately I also started turning crimson.
"Look how red he’s getting," Freddie laughed. "The answer must be yes."
"Wait a minute," I said, "Let me explain."
This led to guffaws of laughter from Billy and Freddie.
Finally, I told them about the first time I masturbated in my diapers and how I enjoyed it. They pressed for more so I finally admitted that I did masturbate regularly. They admitted that they did too, which made me feel al lot better. I just hoped that they didn’t notice how hard I was getting just talking about it. If I hadn’t been so naïve I would have noticed that were getting just as excited as I was.
Freddie was next. He asked Billy, "Why did you help Marc avoid wearing diapers on the class trip if you already knew that the punishment would be diapers for a year or more?"
"Marc is my best friend. I really felt sorry for him and I didn’t want him to be humiliated in public."
"Lame answer," Freddie declared. "Come on now, we’ve all sworn to tell the truth and to keep each other’s secrets. Give."
It was Billy’s turn to look uncomfortable.
"OK, but you really, really have to keep this secret."
"We will," we assured him.
"Marc, do you remember when I walked in on you on your tenth birthday and you were still in your nighttime diapers? I was really jealous because I had always wanted to wear diapers again. Then, when you got into trouble and my parents warned me about the consequences of helping you out, I thought that maybe I could use the situation to get back into diapers, at least for a little while. When you asked me to help you I knew I needed to sound hesitant, so I argued against your idea. On the day of the trip I deliberately forgot my coat so that I could pull your diaper bag out from under the bed so that my mom would find it. That’s how we got caught. But, I never thought that they would go as far with it as they did. Except for the public part of the punishment, I’m happy to wear diapers."
I was amazed. My best friend wanted to wear diapers. I had to pursue the topic, "Do you mean if our parents cancelled our punishment tomorrow, you would still want to wear diapers all the time?"
"Yes," he admitted. "If they took them away, I would try to hide some so that I could wear them secretly."
I was speechless and Freddie must have been, too, since he didn’t comment on Billy’s revelation.
"My turn," I said. "Freddie, why did you confront me the way you did in Mrs. Stinton’s office on the first day I was wearing diapers."
"Oh, yeah, that," he replied pensively. "My dad is always quoting that proverb about if you fall off a horse you have to get right back on. Well, that Friday out in the woods, you guys really scared me. I had never felt ashamed about my diapers before, but you made me feel ashamed of them. I was mad at you and I wanted you to know that I wasn’t going to be afraid of you. That’s why I walked out of the changing area in just my diaper and plastic pants. In the woods I felt humiliated, in Mrs. Stinton’s office I felt like I was in control. When I maked you into taking your shoes and pants off I felt like we were even. What really surprised me was when you went to the cabinet and deliberately chose the red plastic pants even though you knew they would show through your pants the worst. I felt that you were saying that you weren’t afraid of me either. Despite being really mad at you, I knew that that took courage and I admired you for it. I started making small talk with you in the nurse’s office because I wanted to get to know you better. I’m glad I did.
"I’m glad, too," I said.
"Yuck," Billy chimed in, "can we stop this mutual admiration society and get on to the next question?"
But Mrs. Zymmers came in and interrupted us to say that it was time to take our showers and to get put into our nighttime diapers.
"Aww, mom, do we have to?" whined Freddie.
I had always thought that Freddie acted more mature than me. It was nice to see that he was just like me in some ways.
It took about forty-five minutes for everyone to finish. It was ten o’clock and Mrs. Zymmers said we could stay up until midnight.
"OK," Freddie announced, "it’s time to continue the truth game. My question is for Marc. On the day that you, Karl, and Andy tricked me into following you into the woods, how could you be so sure that I wore diapers? No one else ever guessed, how did you know?"
"Oh boy," I said, "how come I have to make all the hard confessions."
"What are you talking about?" Billy objected, "I had to admit to Freddie that I want to wear diapers for the rest of my life. What could be harder than that."
"OK, OK, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to answer. I just said that I was going to find it difficult to admit how I did it," I said defensively. "First of all, because I had worn nighttime diapers every night until I was eleven and a half, I knew all about the sounds that plastic pants make. One day in class I heard your plastic pants make a very familiar crackling noise. As I examined you more carefully I thought I detected signs of bulging in the front and in the seat of your pants... Geez, now comes the hard part. I’m really sorry for what I did next. Please don’t be mad at me." I pleaded.
"OK, I promise," Freddie said, "just tell us how you found out."
"Do you remember that you told me that your whole family was going to be spending the weekend at your grandmother’s to celebrate her birthday? Well, I came over here on Saturday morning and found a way in. By the way, Freddie, your dad should do something about locking the bulkhead. Anyway, I got in the basement, found your room, and then found your diapers and plastic pants."
"I knew it, I knew it," exulted Freddie. "I’m sort of a neat freak for some things and when I came back home that weekend I noticed that my bottom drawer wasn’t closed just right but I couldn’t figure out who had been in my room. My plastic pants are too big for my little brother and my sisters think that they’re gross so they wouldn’t touch them for a million dollars."
"Marc," Billy said, "you broke into the house to check out if Freddie had diapers in his room? It’s a good thing that your parents never found it. They would have sentenced you to about a million years in diapers."
"What would you care?" I laughed. "If they had sentenced me to a million years in diapers that sentence would now also be yours and you just said that you don’t ever want to stop wearing them."
"You got me there," he agreed.
"Let’s see," I said, "I get to ask Billy a question now. This is hard. After all, you’ve already told us your biggest secret. Ok, how about this? Since our "no pants" punishment has ended, have you secretly walked around your house or back yard in just your diapers when your family isn’t home?"
"Yeah, I do," Billy admitted. "every chance I get I like to take off my pants and just go around in my diaper and plastic pants. It feels so good and it makes me get hard. I really like the feeling. Tony has nearly caught me a couple of times. Once, I had to hide in the bushes by the side of my house for almost an hour until he and his friends had left. Part of me wants my parents to catch me and part of me is scared that they might catch me. I suppose I could invent a story, but I really do want the freedom to not have to wear pants all the time at home."
"Why not just ask them?" Freddie recommended.
"I don’t know, I guess I’m scared," Billy said, ending the discussion on the topic. "Now I get to ask the last question. Freddie, you don’t have to answer this if it’s too personal or too painful. Why do you have to wear diapers?"
"Boy this is going to be hard," Freddie lamented, "but you guys have answered some really tough questions so I feel like I have to be honest, too. The truth is, I don’t have to wear diapers. I was a bed wetter, like you Marc, until I was almost ten. After I was dry and I didn’t need them anymore, I really started to miss them just like you did Billy. When my parents announced that we were moving last February, I got up the courage to ask them if I could go back full time into diapers. They were kind of surprised to say the least, but they thought it over and agreed. Actually, the first day I was full time in diapers was the first day I went to school here in February. Even though I was sad to leave my old friends I was really happy to be able to wear diapers like I wanted to. So you see, Marc, I’ve been full time in diapers only seven weeks longer than you. One last thing, neither my parents nor I ever lied and said that I needed diapers. All we ever said was that I wore diapers. Other people supplied the words have to."
This was really too much. Freddie didn’t have to wear diapers- like Billy, he wanted to. I thought this was so funny I nearly became hysterical. In moments we were wrestling and rolling on the floor. I was happier than I had been in months. Mrs. Zymmers came in to quiet us down and since it was past eleven-thirty she sent us off to brush our teeth before bed.
The lights were out and Billy and I were on the floor in our sleeping bags and Freddie was in his bed. "Thanks for coming tonight. I had a lot of fun. Now that we we’ve told each other our secrets, do you want to do it together?"
"Do what?" I stupidly said, before I understood. "Oh, that. What if your parent hear us?"
"We can do it quietly," he answered.
Billy hadn’t said anything but I heard rubbing sounds coming from his direction. I began rubbing myself. In what seemed like just a few seconds each of us had exploded into his diaper. I fell asleep quickly thereafter.
My eight grade year had officially ended. High school was looming ahead for all three of us. We would have great experiences and forge a bond of friendship that would never be broken.
Oh yeah, we all still wear diapers with great pleasure.
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