Australian Baby - A life of nappies, bottles and struggles by John Marshall

Australian Baby - A life of nappies, bottles and struggles by John Marshall

Author:John Marshall [Marshall, John]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-09-30T21:00:00+00:00

Chapter Thirteen: The sleepover rerun

I saw Charlie the next day and school and just wanted to run away and hide from him. The idea of a sleepover terrified me once again. The first had been a lot of fun, but had landed me in this extended punishment. This next sleep-over could only be worse.

He raced up to me excitedly and said, “Sleepover, Johnny! Yay!”

I looked at him glumly and said nothing.

“Your mum’s stopped punishing you now!”

“No, not quite,” I said. “I’ve still got to wear nappies and other stuff.”

“Cool!” he said. “Remember the nappies from last time?”

How could I forget! I was in this mess all because of that.

Charlie was indomitable. Nothing worried him and no problem was ever really a problem. My baby punishment was no issue to him at all.

“Mummy’s making me use a dummy,” I explained, feeling horribly embarrassed.

“All the time?” he asked.

“Except at school.”

Charlie shrugged his shoulders and remarked, “I’m only allowed to use my dummy in bed.”

I was shocked. How could the most popular kid in Grade Two and beyond, possibly not only wet the bed, but also use a dummy? I thought I was the only stupid kid still doing that.

Back in that era, most mothers seemed duty-bound to toilet train at one year old, stop dummies from about two and have their kids all achieve the same magic milestones at the same time. It was dumb then and stupid now. But apparently, my ‘unimaginative’ parents were more flexible than I gave them credit and seemingly, Charlie’s mum was also the same. That probably explained why our two mums had connected as close friends over the recent months.

“I wish I had nappies like you,” he said. “Wet beds are real cold.”

And with that remarkable exchange, the rerun of the sleepover was on – not that I had any real choice about it anyhow.

The last sleep-over gave me a month of baby girl punishment and virtually no time with my friends. There was no way I was going to play with friends wearing a bulky nappy! So, I spent much of the time alone, playing with dolls and teddies. My first - and only - attempt at a Saturday play time at the park ended quickly. Mum made me go and one of my friends laughed and pointed at the bulkiness of my nappy. It couldn’t be seen directly under my shorts, but the bulk made it very obvious.

Friday morning came and as I woke, I looked over to the spare bed in my room wondering how I was going to survive having my best friend sleep over. My bed was girlish and my pyjamas the same. All because I had stupidly told mum once that I wanted to be a baby girl.

No matter how much you wish it to be different, time travels at the same speed to wonderful events as well as to horrible ones and Friday afternoon came around just as it always did.

After school, Charlie along with his small bag of clothes walked home with us.


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