Ages & Stages - Part 11
John had been sleeping for nearly two hours when Karen went in to wake him. As he stirred he seemed to notice the pacifier in place of his thumb, and immediately spit it out. Karen picked up the pacifier, and said, "You've been sucking your thumb, and that's not healthy. If you want to suck on something, I have no problem with you using a pacifier. You will NOT use your thumb! It is dirty. It has germs all over it. It could make you sick. Now what do you want? Your paci, or nothing?"
John was in shock! He had developed such a deep desire to return to infancy, and he had even thought about his favorite pacifiers of the past, but had been afraid to say anything to his mommy. "I want my thumb... but I guess I could use
a paci... if it would make you happy, Mommy."
Karen looked at the pacifier, wiped it off and stuck it back in John's mouth, and he happily took it. "Now let's get that wet diaper changed." John laid on his bed as Karen untaped the straps on each side. "Whew! Did you poopy?" She asked, "It sure smells like it!"
"No," John replied, "I farted! I gotta go poop."
So soon after she had prepared for this. Karen pointed to the potty chair on the floor, "I want you to use the potty chair. You know what happened yesterday, when you dibbled on the carpet trying to make it to the bathroom. I brought this in here so you won't have to travel so far when you're naked."
At that, Karen helped John off his bed and sat him on the little chair. In less than a minute John released his bowels into the bowl at the bottom of the chair. He could feel the large amount that he dropped into the bowl. At that same moment, he felt as if he was shrinking, getting smaller and younger.
"Wow, you really did have to go!" Karen exclaimed. "Aren't you glad I had your potty in here?"
"Yes, Mommy," John answered, and rationalized, "It really is better than peeing on the carpet." The sudden addition of the pacifier and the potty chair was definitely re-enforcing his babied state.
"Stand up and bend over," Karen commanded, "I have to clean your bummy." After wiping John's bottom, Karen lifted him back up onto his bed, where she sprinkled a liberal coating of baby powder on his babyish tooshy, and diapered him with a fresh Pampers™ 7. She took his hand to lead him to the living room, but he stopped short and said, "What about my poop? Aren't you going to empty my potty?"
"Oh, I'll come back and get it in a minute," she replied, "but first I want to get you settled in the living room." Leading him into the living room, John saw the multitude of baby toys. He stood there and stared, hardly able to put his thoughts to words. "Baby, I found these in the attic. I thought you might like to play with them. Anything you don't want to play with, I will donate to charity." This idea hit a nerve with John: as every other child in the world, there is always a small streak of
selfishness and jealousy, and he would have to prove to her that he needed each and every toy, so they could stay here, where they belonged.
As John started playing, Karen went back to his room to retrieve the "present" he had left for her in his potty. Karen figured that if she emptied the potty chair in front of John, showing him where the contents belonged, then, that might encourage him
to go back to using the toilet, and having to give up her baby before she was ready. No, she wouldn't make THAT mistake again. So, for now, she would handle his poopies as well as his wettings, as any mother of a young child would do. Besides, if his recent regression was any sign of things to come, she wouldn't be doing the daily dumping of the potty chair for long, he would surely find that using his diaper for everything would be far more convenient for him.
Karen went over to John's bed to tidy up, and noticed a small wet spot on the sheets. "My baby's diaper must have leaked," she thought to herself, "I'll have to do something about that." For now, Karen thought she could get by with doubling his diapers for sleep, but that would only be a temporary fix. "I wonder if they have baby pants in his size?" she pondered.
That evening, when supper time arrived, Karen had more changes in store for John. She cooked up a meatloaf, potatoes, gravy, and baked beans. Karen set her plate aside to be warmed in the microwave, after she finished attending to John. He sat in his
highchair, and was fed his entire meal by his mommy. Of course, by the end of his meal, John had gravy and beans all over his face and on his bib, but what would you expect of a toddler?
After cleaning him up, Karen set John back in the living room to play and watch TV as she warmed and then ate her meal. While playing, John felt thirsty, and just as he was about to call his mommy, he noticed a sippy cup full of milk on the coffee table.
This time, using two hands, he drank it all down. John sat in the middle of the room and scanned the area about him. Here he was, twelve years old, (or was it two years old), sitting among all these baby toys, holding a sippy cup (with two hands), as
a baby program played on the DVD. "Maybe... just maybe... I really am a baby," he thought to himself.
Later that evening, after Karen had bathed John, she double diapered him for bed. This was accomplished by first diapering him with his Pampers, then cutting the waterproof backing with a pair of scissors, then placing a second diaper over
the first. They cuddled on the couch to watch TV together. John was lying across Karen's lap, wrapped in a fresh clean baby blanket, sucking on his pacifier. "Are you thirsty, Baby?" Karen asked, "Would you like a drink?" John just nodded his head in the affirmative. Karen gently laid John aside, wrapped in his blanket while she went to the kitchen.
After a few minutes Karen returned with a sippy cup full of warm chocolate milk. As sleep overtook him, she held the cup for him and let him suck from it, very similar to nursing from a bottle. This action was not lost on John, as he quickly picked up on the nuances of suckling, and felt all the smaller as he finished his drink and the spout of the sippy cup was replaced with his pacifier.
John fell asleep with his pacifier in place and Karen carried him to bed.