Mama Said : Chapter 1
By: Ormseinbani


Growing up in a poor town in eastern North Carolina, theres a sense of
hopelesness that seems to permeate from the very ground itself. When your
life starts out as a long string of seemingly devastating misfortunes, the
feeling of depression sinks only ever deeper into the conciousness of those
who see only a dead-end future.

Thomas Geraldi walked slowly through his hometown, head down, on his way
home from school. This was the last day of class, first day of summer. For
all intents and purposes, and seeing as how Thomas was a very healthy
specimen of a 8 year old boy, he should have been happy! But Thomas had all
ideas that if this summer was anything like the last, it would just be
another dissapointment.
Due to the relatively low financial status of his family, with his dad being
unavailable to contribute the family funding, Thomas had spent the last 3
summers of his life in the care of his overly strict grandmother. This would
not have been so bad, had it not been for the fact that his grandmother
owned the most boring little tract of land in the country side; which, it
seemed to Thomas, was in need of his constant labor to keep running. No,
summers had not been very fun for the poor boy.
Perhaps the boy would not have been subjected to such a pitiful fate in the
eyes of the young. Who wants to work on a farm in the summer?! Might as well
stay in school for all he was concerned! Atleast it ended at 3. Thomas
pondered these things as well as the absence of his father, whom his mom had
divorced on the basis of irreconcilable religous differences. Ms. Geraldi
had gained custody of Thomas, and the father refused to be apart of the
family that did not include him permanently. Thomas was indeed in a hard
way.
Thomas's mother noticed the melancholy of her son as soon as he entered the
house, threw down his pack, and flopped on the couch.
"Whats the matter Tommy?" Ms. Samantha Geraldi tried to keep a straight face
at the sight of her son looking so down. She knew excatly what was bothering
him, as Thomas had vehemetly and constantly expressed his disdain at the
idea of joining his grandmother for another summer of farm work.
"Nothing, just leave me alone." Thomas was mad. It just wasnt fair.
"Well, 'Mr. Down and Out', I've got some good news for you." his mom said,
now smiling widely.
"Unless you're going to quit your job and not make me go to the farm, then
it doesnt really matter." Tommy pouted. He wasnt in the mood for his
mother's perkiness in the face of such a detestable act as spending time on
the 'farm'. His friends didnt have to go to the FARM.
"Funny you should say that, kiddo!"
Tommy perked up, but stayed doubtful. "Why? Did you win the lottery?"
"No, silly, but I can tell you that you wont have to spend any time with
your grandmother this summer." Samantha said, watching her son's eyes grow
wide with disbelief. "That is, unless you want to. In which case its fine by
me." ~smirk~.
"No! God no! Anything but the farm! There's nothing to DO there, except
chores." Tommy was shocked! How could his mother even THINK he would WANT to
go back to that boring little plot.
"Oh, alright then. You know I've been getting alot of new house cleaning
jobs lately," Tommy's mother explained, "And one of the ladies I have been
cleaning for works at a small daycare right here in town."
"But I thought you couldnt afford a day-camp, mom." Tommy pointed out, as
obvious as any eight year old is.
"Yes, I know what I told you, but this lady agreed that somewhat in payment
for my services, she would give me a discount off of what they normally
charge to keep children."
"Really?! You mean I dont have to stay with gran'ma! Thank you!" Thomas was
overjoyed! This was GREAT news!
"Now dont get all worked up about it yet, I havent told you the catch."
"Catch?" Tommy half heartedly asked, he didnt care as long as he didnt have
to go to the farm and said as much, "Anythings better than being gran'ma's
little helper again for the whole summer."
"Well hear me out. This day-care usually only accepts children under the age
of 4, so you may not have many kids your own age to play with."
"Thats ok mom," Tommy was just glad to get out of chicken feeding duty for
once, "As long as I can bring some toys or my gameboy or something."
"Oh, thats fine, Ms. Kennar said she wouldnt mind." Thats Ms. Geraldi,
thinking ahead for Tommy. "However, she said that you would still have to
follow some of the rules that all the other kids follow."
"Like what?" Tommy inquired, still not really bothered by the lack of other
kids his age. He could PLAY!
"Well, you have to take a nap, which I've already got you a kinder-mat to
sleep on. Plus, you can only play outside when there are adults around, for
obvious reasons."
"Ok, no problems. If I dont have to clean any more pigs, a little nap is
nothing."
"Thats the old Geraldi spirit! I knew you'ld probably like this better than
your grandmothers farm. I've already made arangements for you to stay at
this day-care for the rest of the summer."
"Thanks mom! I Love you!" Tommy was bounding off the couch now. "Will I
still be able to play with my friends when you get off work?"
"Of course! Why do you think I worked so hard to let you stay in town?"
Thomas was just bursting. So what if he had to spend alittle time around
some little kids?! He could still hang out with friends, and play his
gameboy or do whatever else he could at the center. This was shaping up to
be the greatest summer of his young life!
Later that night, before bed, Thomas Geraldi unpacked his books from his
school bag. In the place of them went his gameboy, some choice G.I.Joes, a
few Transformers, the Kinder-Mat, some fantasy books for reading, a walkman,
batteries, and hopes.

"Wakey, wakey," came a gentle voice floating into the ears of a
semi-concious Thomas Geraldi. "Its time to get up!"
"C'mon Mom, its summer, can't I sleep in a little?" Tommy rolled over and
tried to pull the covers over his head.
"I will be having none of that!" Tommy's mom pulled back the covers,
roled her son over, and shook him gently. "You gotta get up now, I've got to
be to work soon and you have to go to day-care."
Thats right! Thomas shot to a sudden wide awakeness. This summer he
wouldnt be sentanced to a desparately boring existance of farm work at his
grandmother's farm. He was gonna stay in town, even if it meant having to
spend his days surrounded by smaller children.
"Go get washed up, and dont forget To BRUsh YoUR TEETH" Ms. Geraldi was
forced to raise her voice as Tommy jumped out of bed and ran to the
bathroom. "Heh, he seems happy!"
Tommy quickly washed, rinsed, brushed, dressed, and above all else,
hurried. When he was done, he met his mother in the kitchen for a quick go
over of the rules over breakfast.
"Now remember, you have to follow whatever rules that the women at the
center give you. I will know if you've been bad." Warnings like that do not
go unheeded in the lives of the young. After all, Tommy's mom had known
about the time he pushed one of the girls on the play ground even before he
had gotten home from school! She had to be psychic!
"Sure thing mom!" he beamed, "But I must make one thing clear, if they
want me to chase down even ONE chicken, so help me god..."
"Ha. ha. kiddo. I dont think you have to worry much about that."
"Alright then, I guess I can put up with it." Tommy faked his
dis-interest.
"Whatever. Now finish eating and go get whatever you need to before we
leave."

A half hour later, Thomas and his mother were pulling up infront of a
large brick building. The building was set quite a ways off the road with a
small dirt driveway leading up to the main facility. The front play area
was surrounded by a thick line of trees, effectively hiding the playground
from any passing cars on the main road. The building itself was somewhat
larger than Thomas had imagined, with several windows that loked in on
offices. The words "Farmer 'N' the Dale Day Care Center' stenciled across
each one. Thomas consided the word 'Farmer' in the title, but decided that,
in the absence of actual farm animals, there was indeed going to be no
farming involved.
As they pulled up in front of the day-care, a young woman came out the
door to meet them, a huge smile plastered firmly on her face.
"Hello! My name is Judith Kennar, and you must be Thomas Geraldi. Welcome
to Farmer 'N' the Dale Day-Care. I'm sure well have a nice time." The woman
hadn't even given Thomas time enough to get fully out of the car as she
began to speak in an almost sickenly sweet voice.
"I would just like to thank you again for giving me such a break,
Judith", Tommy's mother shook Ms. Kennar's hand, "You just dont know how
much this helps me."
"Oh its no problem, Andrea. Anything I can do to help the best cleaner
I've ever had is no problem."
"Well, Thomas wasn't looking forward to another summer with my mother
anymore than I was looking forward to him not being around. I'm just sorry
we have to come so early in the morning."
"Oh, dont worry about it. We're used to it here. Some of the children get
dropped off much earlier than your son." Ms. Kennar turned her attention
back towards Thomas, "I'm just sorry we dont have any toys you'ld be
interested in Tommy. You see, we usually only keep younger children."
"Its no problem for me, I brought my own toys!" Tommy was overjoyed at
this current situation.
"Well thats nice dear. I'm sure you wont be to bored here." Ms. Kennar
smiled warmly at the young boy.
"Thomas, honey, you behave yourself for the ladies here and maybe I'll
have a surprise for you when I come pick you up, ok?"
"Sure thing mom! I'll be the best that I can!" Tommy hugged his mom and
began his first day of day-care.

Inside the building, Thomas was led down the hall to a large room with
brightly painted walls and pastel pink carpeting. In this room, several
children, the oldest couldn't have been over 3 years old, sat and played
with various toys obviously made for their age group. Along one wall were
several toy boxes, along another a row of baby playpens, 2 of which were
currently occupied. At the back of the room were 3 short, tall tables with
padded, rubber covered tops. On this tables were containers of baby wipes,
baby powder, and diapers (disposable and cloth) with several different
styles of plastic/rubber pants.
Noticing the entrance of Thomas and Ms. Kennar, the other employees,
consisting of one young woman looking no more than her mid twenties, and an
older lady with a nice face, came over to greet their new charge.
"You must be Thomas," The older lady spoke first, "My name is Ms. Rouse.
We hope you have a wonderful time with us!"
"Indeed, Thomas," The younger girl affirmed, "We dont usually see
children your age here, but I do hope we can accomadate you without to much
trouble. By the way, you can call me Pammy!"
The three women seemed to be some of the most cheerful people Thomas had
ever seen this early in the morning. Tommy was told (in about three
different ways) that he was free to play with anything in the room he
wished.
"Thanks, but I'm alittle to old for these toys, ma'am." he said, quickly
adding, "No offense meant, but I've brought my own toys!"
"Thats ok," Ms. Rouse chuckled, "But just incase you get bored with
those. Now, Thomas, we do have some rules you have to follow here."
"First of all, you can't leave this room unless accompanied by one of us
adults," Pammy started in. "We have lots of important records in this
building, and we just dont want any messed up."
"Exactly," Ms. Kennar continued, "Just ask us if you need to go potty or
if you need anything at all." Thomas winced at the mention potty, didnt
these women know its called a toilet? "Second, after lunch, all of our
children must lay down for a nap. The nap room is down the hall, and you'll
see it later today."
"Your mommy did pack you a mat to sleep on, right Tommy?" asked Ms.
Rouse.
"Yes ma'am, she did."
"Good, good."
"Lastly, every afternoon, weather permitting, we allow our children to
play outside in the front yard." Pammy kneeled down in front of Thomas,
"With that in mind, do you have any known allergies, such as certain
flowers, animals, or to any other things commonly found outside?"
"No, ma'am, not that I know of." Thomas replied.
"Good!" Pammy smiled wide.
"That seems to about wrap it up. We'll let you know anything that you
need to as the day goes on." Ms. Kennar went on, "Why don't you go play, but
ask if you need anything!"

Thomas started out the morning with what he hoped would be some relaxing
reading. This turned out to be not as easy as he thought. The ladies were
constantly walking in and out of the room, babies crying, and other assorted
noises associated with children playing. As this went on, Thomas's reading
dissolved into playing with G.I. Joe's and Transformers, who, it seemed,
were engaged in a deadly battle for the fate of the Earth. The Decepticons
had formed an unholy alliance with the evil Cobra. Only the brave Autobots,
commanded by the Joe's own SnakeEyes could save the planet!
At one time, Thomas asked Pammy to go to the bathroom, which, it seemed,
was located down the hall on the right. Despite this new bit of
information, Pammy still insisted on watching him to make sure he didn't
stray from the path. When he returned, the battle raged on between the
forces of good and evil, only this time, on Tommy's gameboy! Certain
information regarding the 4 elemental lighthouses, and certain peoples plans
to relight said lighthouses to release the power of alchemy had come to
Thomas's attention. This could not be allowed to continue! HE MUST SAVE
THEM! That is, atleast untill lunch time.
At lunch, Thomas engaged in small talk with the three women as they fed
the babies and watched the younger children smear their various meals over
their faces. Tommy ate his ham and cheese sandwich, drank his grape juice
box, and generally enjoyed not having to help some immigrant workers plow
fields.

After lunch came the inevitable.
"Nap time, children!" Pammy called above the post-lunch noise in the
caffeteria. The smaller babies (all 5 of them) were carried, while the other
kids held hands in a line, headed towards the 'nap room'. Tommy stood stored
his lunch box in his back pack, took out his Kinder Mat, and followed the
other children down the hall. Of all the rotten luck. Just as he was about
to really enjoy playing his game, he had to take a nap. Ms. Rouse noticed
the sour face on the young man.
"Cheer up, sonny, it will be over soon. Just remember, when you are in
nap time, you cant get up and walk around."
"Also," added Ms. Kennar, "You wont be allowed to play, as that would be
setting a bad example for the other children. As the oldest you are expected
to be a good role model for them."
"I understand" Thomas replied, still dissapointed that so much potential
play time would be ruined by sleep.
The "nap room" was nothing more than a dimly lit room, with much the same
color scheme as the play room. The furnishings, however, were much
different. Along the 2 longest opposing walls were lines of cribs, starting
smallest at the back of the room, and progressing to larger cribs closer to
the door. The closest cribs seemed to be nothing more than youth beds with
high side rails.
"Now remember, Tommy; No playing, getting up, talking, or being
disruptive in any way." Ms. Rouse reminded him. "You'll be sleeping on the
floor in the middle of the room, so we can keep an eye on you." She
finished, slightly jokingly.
"Yes ma'am." Thomas said, while folding out his Kinder Mat in the center
of the room. The smell of baby powder and disposable diapers filled the
room, giving the distinct feeling of being in 12 nurseries at once. As Tommy
lay down, the 3 women went to work putting the other children into their
cribs according to the size of the child. Thomas noticed that no children
were put into the large cribs nearest the door, not even those who were, as
far as he could tell, 3 or 4 years old. The three women then took their
overseer position in three rocking chairs along the back wall (opposite the
door) of the nap room. Thomas was soon lured to sleep by the soft sounds of
baby breathing and the soft music emanating from some unseen speaker playing
sweet lulabies.

After a refreshing nap, Thomas and the other children were taken outside
to play on the extensive (for babies) playground. Thomas was to big to play
on the slides, and all the swings were child safety swings. Instead, he
spent much of his outside time playing with his cars in the sand-box,
followed up by some relaxed reading time under a convienient shade tree.
The care-takers had their hands full with diaper changes, potty trips,
shouting, crying, fighting, running, in short, the kind of chaos that can
only be created by a large group of small children all in one place.
Soon after all the children were herded inside, the parents of the
children started showing up to collect their offspring. One by one, the
other children left, eventually leaving Thomas by himself in the play room.
"Tommy! How was your first day?!" Thomas jumped at the sound of his
mothers voice.
"Mom! It was great! I didn't even have to do any work!"
"Well, its nice to see you enjoyed yourself!" The workers looked on from
the doorway as the last child prepared to leave, packing up his toys and
books, deciding to leave the Kinder Mat at the day-care for simplicity.
"It was fun, except for nap time." Thomas explained.
"I'm sure it was." Ms. Geraldi turned towards Ms. Kennar. "Did Thomas
behave himself today, Judith?"
"Oh yes, he was the most well mannered child I think we've ever taken
care of here."
Pammy coined in, not one to be left out, "Oh yes, he's such a sweet
little boy."
"We look forward to seeing him tommorrow." Ms. Rouse finished.
"Thats good to hear." Ms. Geraldi beamed with pride. "Now come on, Tommy,
I think its time we made a stop at the comic shop before we head home!"
"AWESOME!" Thomas jumped in the car. Not only was he away from his
grandma's slave ca- farm, but he was gonna get some new comics also! He just
couldnt wait to get home and show off his new reading material to his
friends.

After a quick stop at the comic shop, and Tommy spending some quality
time with his friends from the neighborhood, Thomas and his mother ate
dinner.
"So, what do you think of the day-care, Thomas?"
"It's ok. I can do about what I want to, as long as I dont leave the play
room, and nap time is kindof a downer, but otherwise I've got no real
complaints!"
"Well, I'm glad you like it! I've also got some hopefuly good news."
"Whats that mom?"
"Well, today I ran by the local historic society; there was an ad in the
paper; and they're looking for someone to help keep the historic houses in
town clean. The only thing is that they have to be cleaned only with period
methods and materials."
"Ok...." Thomas was puzzled. His mom had been raised on a farm that, in
his mind, existed in a time bubble devoid of any modern niceties such as
running water and indoor plumbing. "Whats so bad about that."
"Nothing! Oh, Tommy, I do so hope I get this job! It could mean the end
of all our financial troubles." Ms. Geraldi stared off into space, a dreamy
look in her eye.
"Well, um... good luck?" Thomas didn't care. It didn't concern him how
his mom made money, so long as she was able to keep paying for him to stay
in town.
"Well, lets get cleaned up here ok?"
The rest of the night went the same as any other night. Alittle TV, some
video games, reading, playing, and eventually, bed time. Thomas looked
forward to his next day at the day-care, not knowing that this was to be the
turning point of his entire young life.

In the morning, Thomas's mother woke him up earlier than usual. Thursdays
were her busiest days, with twice the normal number of houses to clean. This
meant that she had to get Thomas to the day-care almost an hour and a half
earlier.
"C'mon, sleepyhead! You can go back to sleep in the car on the way." Ms.
Geraldi was rushed, and her son's resistance to conciousness wasnt helping
at all. "If you don't hurry up and get dressed RIGHT NOW mister, then you
can kiss your freedom good bye! You WILL be grounded this weekend!"
"Yes maaaa'aaaam," Thomas groaned. Thursdays sucked.
The ride to day-care was nothing but a blur of buckling a seatbelt,
laying the seat back, and then the stop in front of the center, where Thomas
was shaken awake again by his mother.
"C'mon, Judith didn't agree to meet us early just so you can sleep in the
car. Besides, I dont think my clients would appreciate you running around
their houses all day."
Thomas stumbled out of the car, his pack held loosely in hand. Ms. Kennar
and his mom exchanged some breif niceties, the usual thanks and 'your
welcome', 'its no problem', 'but its so early', blah blah. Ms. Kennar then
took Thomas by the hand and led him inside while still half dazed from his
inability to be fully awake.
"Well, it seems someone is still alittle sleepy this morning huh?" Ms.
Kennar, master observationist, "Why don't you just go lie down in the nap
room until you feel like joining the rest of the world, ok?"
"Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure," Thomas yawned, in absolutely no position to
argue. So he proceded hand in hand with Ms. Kennar to the nap room, layed
down on his Kinder Mat, and was soon fast asleep again. Ms. Kennar closed
the door as she left, so as to not wake the very tired little boy. It did
not, however, escape her how keen eye how cute Tommy was when he was
sleeping.

A few hours later, Thomas woke up. For a second he lay on his mat letting
his eye adjust to the semi dark room.
"Thats right," he said to himself, "I was sleeping in the nap room." As
he finished his thought, the door to the room opened suddenly, letting
bright light pour into the room. Thomas squinted, his eyes having a time
trying to adjust to the sudden intrusion.
"I see you're finnaly awake," came Pammy's sweet sing-song voice from the
light, "Well, you certainly were tired."
"Yeah, I guess.. Can I go to the bathroom?" Nature had to be answered.
"Yeah, sure, kid. Come on. Then you can go play with the other children
ok?" Pammy led Thomas to the bathroom, waited for him to finish, and then
accompanied him to the play room.
Today's play scheduled consisted mostly of reading comics he had borrowed
the day before from his friends. Interesting stuff really, what with all the
happenings in the lives of super heros. Of course, it was all pretty tame
reading. His mom didn't want thim to read anything to violent or overly
mature. Just some fun-filled frolics in the form of Dork Towers, Hero Bear,
and the slyly disguised copy of "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" #1. Kids need
standards after all.
"Lunch time!" Ms. Rouse called into the room. The children that were old
enough to understand, immediatly headed towards the door. The others were
helped along by the atendants. After all the babies were seated in thier
highchairs across the hall, and the other kids were happily digging into
their assorted collection of sandwhiches and soups; Thomas sat down and
began his own lunch. This day's menu was comprised of a PB&J sandwich, yet
another grape juice box, an apple, and one small brownie.
"Alright everyone," began Ms. Kennar, "Lets get you all cleaned up,
changed, and then its nap time!"
"Awww... but I'm not even near tired!" Thomas wined.
"Come on Tommy, " Pammy took over, "You have to be a role-model for the
other children. If they see that you arent having to take a nap, then
they'll all want to get up and play." Good points, but made more for the
sake of the women, who just so happened to regard nap-time as their own rest
time, than for the sake of having a good role model.
"Do I have to?!" He was right before the REALLY good part of his latest
comic aquisition.
"Yes." Came the stern reply from Ms. Rouse, "No more discussion.
Remember, Thomas, we have rules and you ARE expected to follow them.
Thomas winced. Stupid rules! He was older than these little brats, so why
did HE have to take a nap. It just wasnt fair! But fairness aside, he was
escorted to the nap room for a second time. Laying on his mat, not even the
soft music flowing into the room was enough to calm him down today. He was
forming an idea.

Thomas lay silently, pretending to go along with this forced napping, but
he was secretly waiting for his chance. He had managed to get his back pack
into the nap room after lunch by simply wearing it during lunch. Now it lay
only scant feet away near the door. Thomas looked over at the three ladies
in their comfortable chairs, seemingly absorbed in their own readings.
Thomas made his move.
He started by slowly rolling to the side, closer to the line of cribs
against the closest wall, which effectively obscured him from the view of
Ms. Rouse and Pammy. Ms. Kennar was still reading as Thomas slowly inched
his way along the floor, staying close to the legs of the cribs, approaching
his goal. When he finally got to his pack, he was forced to look away from
Ms. Kennar in order to open the sack and remove his prize. Halfway through
the un-zipping, disaster struck.
"Thomas Geraldi, what on earth do you think you are doing?!" Ms. Kennar
had caught him!
"Uh umm.. " Being caught had a way of taking any thoughts out completly
out of his head.
"Well, it seems you've disobeyed the nap rule." Ms. Kennar seemed
dissapointed. "Well, mister, you do know what this means dont you?"
"I'm gonna be punished?" Thomas couldnt look at the woman.
"Thats right. You are." Ms. Kennar took his hand and led him towards the
door. He was gonna get spanked, or WORSE. They were could call his MOM! That
would mean an instant grounding!
"Since we dont have your parents permission to spank you," she began.
Awesome. No spanking. But that meant grounding! Oh the humanity! "And we
dont want to disturb your mother at work," What?! No call to mom?! What kind
of hideous, heinous, cruel and unusual punishment could these WITCHES have
in store?! "But we here at Famer 'N' the Dale believe that the punishment
should be befitting of the crime."
What could this mean? Were they gonna put him to sleep? Take away his
comics? Tie him to the FLOOR?! Well, none of these actually.
"Since, little man, you can't seem to stay still at nap time sleeping on
the floor, then from now on, either at nap time or anytime you are asleep
here, you will.." What?! THE AGONY of SUSPENSE! Thomas thought he was about
to burst!
"You will be sleeping in a crib, just like the other children here."
Stunned silence. Thomas was shocked. Of course he didnt want to have to
sleep in a CRIB. He was eight for the love of god! On the other hand, the
fear of what might happen to him if he didn't cooperate. Slowly, he shook
his head in reluctant agreement to the punishment.
"Well then, dont think that you're gonna get off this easily." What now?!
"In addition to what we do here, your mother will hear about this."
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thomas was stunned, but relieved that he wasnt gonna get a spanking or
anything that would hurt! Besides, the only other people here were all too
young to be able to tell anyone about his shame. Ms. Kennar took Thomas's
hand and led him to one of the large cribs at the end of the room, the ones
that had caught his attention the day before. The rail was lowered, the
sheets turned back, and Thomas Geraldi's fate was sealed. Ms. Kennar,
belieing her appearance, picked Tommy up and lay him down in the crib.
"Now maybe you can learn how to stay down during nap time."
"Yes ma'am. I'm sorry." It couldnt hurt.
"To late, kiddo. This will be your crib from now on. Whenever you sleep,
you sleep here." She noticed a somewhat worried look on the child's face.
"Don't worry, noone outside of this day-care, except your mother of course,
will ever know about this."
Thomas blushed. Despite Ms. Kennar's reassurance, he was still highly
embarassed. Here he was, eight years old, and forced to sleep in a crib. All
he could think about though, was that it was his own fault. If only he
hadn't tried to sneak a comic. Thomas closed his eyes and tried to block out
the fact that he was laying in a large crib, but the sound of the bars being
lifted back into thier full and upright positions didnt help very much. On
the plus side, the mattress was alot more comfortable than the half inch of
foam packed inside his Kinder Mat. Due partly to his now much subdued
attitude, the comfortable bedding, and the soft music; Thomas did eventually
fall asleep.

Upon waking, Thomas stared up at the ceiling, the bars of his sleeping
prison towering above him. He decided it was time to get out, the "legal"
way. As Thomas stood up, however, he realized that getting out of the crib
on his own was going to be a challenge. The rails came up to just below his
shoulders, preventing him from just simply climbing over them. The mechanism
to lower the bars was located on the bottom of the rails, which due to the
thick bumper pad, was perpetually out of reach.
"Oh, Thomas, I didnt notice you were up." Pammy, approached the crib
containing the now concious and slightly embarrassed Thomas Geraldi.
"Can I get out now?" He asked. He had to go to the bathroom.
"Well, seeing as how you only have to be in the crib why you're asleep,
and you are not asleep now, then I'ld say yes!" Her cheery-ness was
deffinatly infectious. As soon as the rails were lowered, and he was lifted
to freedom, Thomas started to feel better.
"Thanks ma'am, but I really need to pee." The truth is always the best
policy.
"Ok, lets go then, most of the kids are already outside, so you can join
them when you're through ok?" Pammy watched from the nap room doorway as
Thomas went down the hall to the bathroom, waited for him to come out, and
walked with him to the outside door. "I've gotta go watch the few children
who are still asleep, play nice now!"
As Pammy turned back inside, Thomas noticed that his back pack had been
moved outside before he himself had! AWESOME! Soon, the problems in his sand
city; what with all the car chases and fires to put out; made him completly
for get his nap time ordeal. His fun continued until well past the other
children had been picked up.
"Thomas," Ms. Rouse called, "You're mother's here!"
"Coming!" Thomas packed his things and headed towards the door. As he
entered the main recieving area, he walked into a half finished conversation
between Ms. Kennar and his mom.
"Well Judith, I trust your judgement and I totally agree with your course
of action."
"Well thats good." Ms. Kennar smiled, "I know it must be embarassing, but
we do have to keep order around here. Thank you for your support of our
decision."
"Don't worry, he'll learn his lesson." It was then that Ms. Geraldi
noticed Thomas. "Hey there honey, how was your day?"
"Alright. About the same..." His voice trailed off as he rememberd nap
time.
"Lets go, I think we have some things to talk about." Thomas's mom seemed
slightly upset, but not so much so.

Thomas spent the rest of that evening in his room, except for dinner. His
mom wasn't that mad, but she did think that he needed to be punished at home
to reinforce what the ladies at the day-care center had done. But one thing
kept nagging at the back of her mind. During their conversation at the
center, Judith had mentioned what a sweet little angel Tommy had looked like
sleeping in his crib.
"Ahh.." She thought, "If only I had been able to spend more time with him
when he was younger...."

----------------------------------------------------------
Thomas's mother stood at the foot of his bead, watching him sleep. It was
time for him to get up, but for some reasons, the words of Ms. Judith Kennar
kept floating into her mind. As a young single mother, Ms. Geraldi had tried
to provide the best for her son. However, in doing so, she was forced to
have two jobs just to support her and her new baby. Falling back on mother
wasn't an option, as her mother was firmly convinced that if she was old
enough to reproduce, she was old enough to deal with the consequences. This
resulted in Thomas spending a great deal of his young life in strict care of
his grandmother, while his mother worked herself silly just to provide for
him. The only time Ms. Geraldi was able to see her son, was when she got
home from work, which was usually past his bedtime.
She slowly shook the thoughts from her head as she gently shook Tommy
awake.
"C'mon, honey. Time to get up."
"Grruuunn.. what time is it?" Thomas slowly sat up, rubbing his eyes.
"Well past time for you to be up and ready to go."
"Awww...." Tommy wasnt sure if he was looking forward to attending
day-care today, the previous day's events still fresh in his mind. He had
spent the entire night sitting in his room beating himself up for being so
stupid. Why had he broke the rules?
"Now don't be sour. Go hurry and get ready young man!"
"Ok, Ok, I'm going! Sheesh, can't a boy get some sleep around here what
with the grumblee...." Ms Geraldi watched her son mumble his way to the
bathroom, when suddenly an idea struck her. She just hoped it would work out
the way she hoped it would.

"Good morning, Tommy!" Pammy was WAY to happy for it to be so early in
the morning.
"Hey, Ms. Pammy.."
"Just Pammy, I'm not that old yet," She chuckled, "Are you gonna behave
for us today?"
Tommy blushed. Was he stupid or something?! "Uh.. Yeah?" he replide, a
hint of sarcasm in his voice.
"Thats good to hear," Ms. Rouse was gruff as ever, "Maybe you've learned
your lesson about our rules."
Ms. Kennar and Ms. Geraldi watched the exchange with a mild ammount of
amusement. Early mornings and happy moods did not mix well in Tommy. As he
was led inside, Ms. Geraldi decided to follow up on her earlier idea.
"Judith," She started, "I'ld like to speak with you regarding something
you said yesterday."

Thomas was bored. He had spent some of his morning playing with his
action figures, but for some reason, they just didn't have any stories to
tell this morning. To make matters worse, he had already beaten the only
game he felt like playing on his GBA. There was nothing that kept his
interest today for some reason.
"Tommy, whats wrong?" Pammy had noticed the child sitting against the
wall staring at the ceiling.
"Nothing," Thomas sighed, "I'm bored."
"Aww.. Well, you could always play with the other children." Pammy smiled
warmly. He couldnt say no to that smile. It was infectious.
"I guess," Tommy looked over at the other children, most of them either
beating on things with other things or playing with toys designed to
stimulate the mind of a toddler, "But they're just babies! They don't know
how to play!"
Now, let me take a while to explain the intricacies of the eight year old
play method. If you do it, younger kids can't. Not so hard a concept right?
"Well," Pammy countered, "Why don't you teach them? You could show them
your action figues. Just dont let them have the small pieces."
"OK!" Tommy grabbed some of his more complex figues and walked over to
where a couple of the older babies; between 3 and 4; were playing with a
puzzle set. If he could be in charge, and maybe impress some of these kids
with his wide knowledge of the inner workings of a foot soldier society, he
wouldn't be considered on thier level. The perfect loophole!
The three women watched Tommy and the other children playing, noticing
how Thomas seemed to have forgoten about 'teaching' the others and was
instead fully engaged in playing. Judith smiled, thinking about the
conversation she had earlier with Thomas's mother. She needed to make that
call, but that could wait. Judith thought it was a good idea, and any time
she could help people become closer as a family was fine with her. It all
depended on how Thomas reacted to the proposal.

Lunch came and went, and Thomas realized that he needed to pee.
"Ms. Kennar," he pulled on her shirt sleeve, "Umm.. I gotta go to the
bathroom."
"Alright, lets go then. Pammy, could you get Thomas's bed ready for
nap-time?"
"Sure thing, Ms. Kennar."
Thomas winced. His 'bed' really refered to the crib he would be sleeping
in during his nap. Nothing he did now could change that... but he could
delay it!
"C'mon! I really gotta go!" Tommy faked the pee pee dance, for effect.
"Alright, Thomas!" Ms. Kennar was the only one of the ladies that
actually held Thomas's hand when he went to the bathroom. Not in the toilet
of course, but on the way to and from. When the got to the bathroom, Thomas
broke free and dashed inside, closing the door behind him. Minutes passed,
and Ms. Kennar became restless.
"Are you done yet?"
"No ma'am, I really had to go!"
"Well hurry up. Its nap-time and I need to help watch the others."
Sitting on the toilet, Tommy was stuck, he couldn't drag this out any
longer without arousing her anger. He decided he would go. He couldn't hide
from his punishment. He flushed the toilet and washed his hands. He was led
down the hall to the nap-room, where Ms. Kennar lifted him into her arms,
opened the door, and aproached the waiting crib. The side rail was already
down and the covers pulled back.
As Tommy was gently laid in the crib, he couldn't help but notice that it
was a very comfortable prison. The matress was a bazillion times more
comfortable than the thin Kinder Mat. The pillows were a nice touch also.
The blankets were warm, but not hot, and the side bumpers kept him from
hitting his extremities on anything; which was a constant problem while
sleeping on the floor between a bunch of crib legs.
"Now you sleep good, ok? I dont want to hear a peep out of you today."
Ms. Kennar smiled down at the young boy. "I know you think of this as a
horrible punishment, but I think you're better off here than on the floor."
"Well, it isnt so bad." Tommy admited, "Its deffinatley more comfortable
than the floor. But its still for babies!"
Judith just smiled. It seemed he wasn't completly against the idea of
sleeping in the crib. Good. His mother's plan may work out for them after
all. Only time would tell.
Time, however, soon found Thomas Geraldi soundly asleep in his crib, the
soft bedding and music taking its toll on the mature eight year old's tired
body.

After his nap, Thomas didn't even think twice about the crib. Instead, he
played along side the other kids in the sandbox outside, not really with
them, but not away from the as he had been the first few days. Pammy and Ms.
Rouse stood a vilagent watch over the children while Judith slipped inside
to place a call to a certain store across town. Everything was set up, and
Ms. Kennar placed her second call, one to Ms. Geraldi's cellphone.
"Everything's set up, All you have to do is call them and give a delivery
address."
"Are you sure? What did the cost come to?"
"I'm sure, and dont worry about the cost, we're they're best costumers. I
have so much credit built up with them that I could ask for a private jet
and probably get it." Ms. Kennar chuckled.
"Oh, Judith, this is to much! I have to pay you something!"
"Don't you worry about it! The only payment I need is seeing you and your
son 'catching up' on 'old times' if you get my meaning."
"Oh, I dont know how to thank you enough!"
"Just don't force it on him. I realize you want this, but if he doesnt,
it could hurt your relationship beyond any repair."
"I understand, I just so much wanted to be there for him as a baby."
Judith heard sniffling coming over the speaker in the phone.
"Don't cry! You take care of business on your end and I'll be waiting for
you to come pick up your son ok?"
"I'm just so happy! Thank you so much!"
"It's nothing, really."

Thomas's mother arrived to pick him up alittle later than usual. Tommy
sat with Ms. Kennar in the front lobby, Ms. Rouse and Pammy having left a
while back. When Ms. Geraldi pulled up in the drive, Judith stood to greet
her, beating Thomas out the door.
"How did it go?" She began.
"Well," Tommy's mom replied, "We had a little time getting it set up, but
I think it's gonna be perfect! I dont know how to ever repay you!"
"It's nothing. Well, Its getting late, you and Thomas need to be getting
home."
"Thank you again!"
"Bye Ms. Kennar." Tommy waved as he got in the car and rode off into the
warm North Carolina sunset.
When they arrived at home, Ms. Geraldi sat with on the couch.
"Thomas, come over here," She patted the cushion, "I want to talk with
you."
"Whats up mom?" Thomas sat down, questions in his eyes.
"Well, you know when you were little I wasn't around very much."
"Yeah, It's ok. I know you had to work..."
"Thats not it, Tommy. Yesterday, when I came to pick you up, Ms. Kennar
was telling me about having you sleep in a crib at nap-time and-"
"I'm not gonna be grounded still, am I?" Tommy interupted, he was already
punished once wasnt he?! What gives?
"No, nothing like that. Its just that Judith was telling me how sweet you
looked sleeping in the crib and I just..."
"What?" Thomas was confused. What was his mother talking about? And were
those tears in her eyes?
"Well, I kinda wanted to see it for myself." A tear rolled down her
cheek. "So I talked to Ms. Kennar, and asked her where I could get a 'bed'
similar to the one that she uses at the center." Seeing the sudden surprise
in her son's eyes, she sped up her pace.
"Now its all up to you, Thomas, but I would love it if you would think
about letting me replace your bed with one like the one at the center."
"But, mom," Thomas didn't know what to think, "That's a crib. I only
sleep in that because I broke the rules! I'm not a baby!"
"I know, I know," Ms. Geraldi had expected this. It didn't look good,
"But I love you, and if you agreed, I promise noone has to know. I just want
to see my baby as I didn't get to see him when you were younger."
"Mom..." Thomas began. This was weird. So, his mom wants him to sleep in
a crib at home, because she missed the chance to buy him one when he was a
baby?
"Would you atleast do it for one night? It would mean so much to me
Tommy." She was all out crying now. Thomas wasn't sure what to say. Sure he
didn't really want to sleep in a crib, did he? I mean, sure, the one at the
center wasn't lumpy like his bed. And it wasn't as creaky. And his mom was
crying. Even as a eight year old, he knew that this meant alot to her.
"Ok." Thomas slowly nodded aggreement. If his mom would feel better if he
slept in a crib for one night, then crib it would be. "You've done so much
for me, it doesnt matter if you werent there when I was to small to
remember. Don't cry mom. If you want me to, It's ok wih me, just so long as
noone has to know..."
"OH Thank you Thomas!" She grabbed her son, hugging him tightly and
crying heavily.
"Mom, its ok! Geez, let go! I can hardly breathe!" Thomas struggled out
of her grasp. He had to reduce the mushiness of the situation fast. It was
one thing to sleep in a crib for the night, but to have to be constantly
hugged?! What if someone was to see him!
"Ok," Ms. Geraldi wiped her eyes, "Then its settled. If you dont want to
sleep in the new 'bed' after tonight, then thats fine with me. Oh, Tommy."
She was at a loss for words.
"Fine," Tommy planned to spend as little time as possible in the crib as
possible. Just one night to make his mom happy. No problem.

The rest of the night seemed to drag on for both mother and son. After
dinner, Thomas spent time playing his new Spiderman 2 : The Movie game as
his mother went about setting up the new crib in his room. This was a task
that was easier said than done. The crib, being the length and width of a
normal bed had to be assembled in the room where it was intended to go. This
meant taking the old bed apart and hauling it out to the spare bed room.
however, the directions were straight forward and many of the pieces came
pre-assembled.
After the assembly, Thomas's mother relaxed on the couch, watching her
son's game and absently reading a trashy romance novel. When 9 o'clock
rolled around, she hurried Thomas to his room to see his new sleeping
arangements.
The crib, Tommy noticed, was very much like the ones at the center, size
and design wise. The only major difference he could see was that the one his
mother got was a high gloss white instead of a wood stained finish. His
mother's choice of bed sheets was impecable. The mattress and blankets were
covered with Transformers designs. The bumper pads had airplanes and clouds,
the default set of bumper covers that came with the crib.
"What do you think?" Ms. Geraldi asked her stunned son.
"Umm.. its nice? For a crib anyway." He tried to maintain his detatched
calm about the ordeal. Secretly he was impressed by it.
"Well, get your jammies on and then its bed time for you mister."
Tommy's mom watched her son start to get undressed and held back her
desire to go over and help him get ready. Instead, she turned her attention
to the crib, lowering the sides and pulling back the sheets. One other thing
that had come witht he crib needed to be attached, and she took the time to
finish the job.
When Tommy had his PJ's on and looked back at his mother, he noticed
something completly new in the already slightly absurd scene.
"Whats with the mobile?" He asked, slightly taken aback.
"Its to help you sleep, honey." His mother smiled big.
"But I dont need it! I sleep fine!" Thomas protested, this was a bit
much!
"Well," Ms. Geraldi smiled big, "We don't have to turn it on, it just
makes me feel better."
"Well, if you say so.." Thomas aproached the crib, only to be scooped up
by his mom. As she deposited her ward in his new crib, a single tear rolled
down her cheek. Finally, a mother had layed her child down in his crib for
the night. Absently she reached up and wound up the mobile, its soft melody
floating into the room.
Thomas looked up, not wanting to say anything that might spoil his
mother's moment. He realized that his crib was REALLY comfortable! His old
bed had been just that, old. Springs sticking through the mattress, lumps,
creaking, etc. This was a welcome escape from the almost painful hardness of
his previous sleeping aparatus.
Thomas's mom leaned into the crib, giving her son a small kiss on the
forehead, Tommy only blushed.
"Thank you," She whispered. She raised the side rail of the crib, on the
verge of full on spells of exstatic crying. Tommy could say nothing as his
mother backed slowly out ot the room, watching through the bars as she
switched off the light and closed the door. The mobile hang over his head,
slowly spinning and playing a light lullaby.
"This isn't so bad," he thought as he drifted off to the best sleep of
his life.

Ms. Geraldi sat weeping on her bed. Oh how she had longed to do that. Her
baby, sleeping in his crib just as he should. She wept for the past she
could never have, and for her son, whom she had somehow raised to be a
perfect person. Her maternal instincts were in full force as she cried tears
of absolute joy into her hands. She knew she could never have her baby back,
to start over again. This, however, was the single most fullfilling act she
had done as a mother.

Thomas awoke the next morning laying on his stomach, staring at the brightly
colored bumper pad. Light poured in through his window, and his mother stood
above him, gently stroking his hair. Her face was beaming to beat the
morning sun. She stopped playing with Thomas's hair as he rolled over,
rubbing his eyes.
"Good morning, honey! Did you sleep well?" She was.. sunny, to say the
least.
"Uhh.." Tommy tried to shake the sleep from his head, "Yeah. I guess."
"Was the crib comfy?" Ms. Geraldi seemed very curious as to the quality
of sleep her son had experienced, "Was the mattress too lumpy?"
"It was ok.." Thomas was barely awake, and as a consequence, in no
condition to try to downplay his feelings, "It was good, I was fine."
Thomas's mother looked up, clapped her hands, and practicaly did a little
dance around the room. "Well then! I guess its settled!"
"Wha?!" Thomas sat up in his crib, suddenly wide awake.
"Well, since you seem to like it, and the fact that your old bed is
almost worn completley out, I think it would be a good idea for you to sleep
in the crib until I can afford a new, bigger bed."
"But, mom! I'm not a baby! I don't have to sleep in a crib!"
"Of course you don't, but isnt it way more comfortable than that lumpy,
creaky old bed you've been sleeping on?" Thomas's mother looked like she
might burst into tears. Realizing this, Thomas made a quick decision.
"Uhh.. sure its a better bed, but I dont like sleeping with the rails up
all the time." Thomas didnt want to admit it, but to keep from having to see
his mother sad, he had said what he really felt about the crib.
"Good," His mom seemed to perk up instantly, "I think I'll donate your
old frame to the Salvation Army, and as soon as I can save some more I'll
buy you a new big boy bed ok?" Without waiting for an answer, she started to
leave the room, her head in the clouds.
"Hey! MOM!" Thomas stood up in the crib, gripping the top rail, which he
noticed came up to about chest level, "I need to get out! I gotta go to the
bathroom!"
"Where's my head?" Ms. Geraldi walked back over to her son's crib,
lowered the rails and lifted him out, gripping him under his arm pits.

After a quick pee, dressing, and breakfast; Thomas asked if he could go
hang out at with some of his friends from the neighborhood. Having them come
over to his house was completely out of the question. What would they say if
they saw his crib?! He'ld be a laughing stock of the entire town before you
could say Go Go Power Rangers! He gathered his toys, a few choice games and
comics, and headed out the door with his mother's blessing.
Having the house to herself, Ms. Geraldi set about cleaning up the place.
She started in the living room, picking up some stray toys, organizing the
game controllers, vacuming, dusting, polishing, etc.. Next, she moved to the
bathroom, cleaning every nook and cranny with a steady and precise hand. Her
third stop was Thomas's room, which was stewn from one end to the other with
typical childhood effects. She took great pleasure in fixing the crib
bedding, making sure the sheets were folded exactly even on each side, that
the pillows were as straight as could be, and that the bumper pads were in
thier correct places. She then continued on to the rest of the house, with
the care that only a professional cleaner can provide.
While cleaning her own room, Ms. Geraldi stumbled upon her old scrap
book, chock full of pictures. As she poured over the memories, she noticed
that most of the pictures were of either her and her mom, or her mom and her
son, but very few were of her with her son. "Ahh well," she thought with a
smile, "Now that I've got him for the summer, that's gonna change." And
then, as she reached the last page, she pulled a poloroid out of her back
pocket and placed it on the first blank page. It was a picture of an eight
year old Thomas Geraldi, sleeping soundly in his crib.

When Thomas got back from his friends hangout (the tree house in one of
the other kid's back yard), it was well past lunch time.
"Did you have fun, Kiddo?" His mom asked, while sipping a cup of tea,
reading on the couch.
"Yeah, some." Tommy snapped.
"Watch that attitude young man!" Ms. Geraldi looked sternly at her son,
noticing his lack of energy and the scowl that adorned his face. "I think
someone needs a nap."
"Mom, do I have to?" Thomas whined, "I'm not at day-care! Sheesh!" he
shot his mom a dirty look, as if to say 'How dare you suggest that'.
"Well," She shot back, "I was just joking, but seeing how grumpy you are,
I think you do need to lay down for a while."
"But..!"
"No buts, young man, unless you want me to paddle yours!" Spare the rod,
spoil the child was Ms. Geraldi's old fashioned point of view. She very
rarely had to spank Thomas, but she attributed that to all the times that
she did.
"Mo-"
"Room! Now! March!"
Thomas lowered his head, and walked to his room. He knew when to fight
and when to give in to his mom. Ms. Geraldi followed her son into his room,
lowered the side of the crib, and with a smarting look from her son,
proceeded to place him into it.
"Now I want you to stay here, and rest up. I'm don't want to hear your
lip later today."
"Yes, ma'am," Thomas didn't much like the idea of being put down for a
nap by his mom, but quickly fell into a light sleep.
When he awoke, aside from being in a better mood, he was also hungry.
"Mom!" He yelled, standing in his crib, not even thinking as to his
juvenile appearance. The comical nature of the scene, however, was not lost
on his mother, who almost teared up at the sight. She helped him out of the
crib.
"Time for dinner, by the way." She walked out of the room, talking as she
went, "That is, if your in a better mood."
Thomas was indeed in a better mood, his hunger motivating his agreable
attitude. The dinner was delicious, and afterward Thomas and his mother
spent some quality time enjoying TV together. At 10:00 p.m. sharp, Ms.
Geraldi had an announcement to make.
"Time for your bath, then bed, young man." She said while turning off the
television.
"Awww.. Mom, do I gotta? I wanna watch Toonami!"
"No, sir! Now go get in the shower and then get ready for bed."
Tommy had been here before, and knew that there was no arguing with his
mother on the subject of bed time regulations. The woman was tenacious! Nine
on weeknights and Ten on weekends. No questions asked. Some rare occasions
saw Thomas staying up later, but only if there was a special occasion.
After his bath, sped up with the warning that if he tried to stretch it
out, his mom would 'tan his hide', he walked into his room, dressed only in
the towel he had dried with. He had forgotten his clothes in his haste to
avoid a hide tanning. For some reason, his mom wanted to help him get
DRESSED! But after a small argument consisting mostly of him declaring that
he was old enough to do it himself, and his mother complaining that he didnt
do it fast enough. Finnaly, after some struggling and both parties declaring
victory (in truth, Thomas had put on his underwear himself and his mom had
'helped' him with his PJ's), Tommy was lifted into his crib, the side
raised, and the mobile turned on.
"Mom, I thought you weren't gonna raise the rail!"
"Silly me! I must have forgotten." Ms. Geraldi inwardly flinched. She had
hoped Thomas wouldn't notice. She was enjoying this so much she wanted it to
last forever. She lowered the rail, but left the mobile on, as Tommy hadn't
protested that.

Sunday started off boring enough, with Thomas being let out of the crib,
having breakfast, and then settling into the recliner for a few hours of
reading. There was never anything good on TV Sunday mornings and his mother
prefered to home school her son on the ways of worship, as the local
churches did not approve of her being a single mother. Sufficed to say, Ms.
Geraldi taught her son well in the ways of being a good person, and to have
temperance and understaning of other people.
Thomas had always reserved Sunday mornings for heavy reading. Comics were
good for hanging out, but for sunday mornings, he read his real books, by
such authors as Magaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (fantasy RULES). After a
long morning of reading, Thomas was relieved when his mom presented him with
a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches and potato chips.
Upon finishing, Thomas spoke up. "Hey Mom, can I go hang out with Rick?"
Tommy's mom saw this coming, and, remembering her son's behaviour from
the previous day, had her response ready. "Sure thing, after you take your
nap."
"But mom! I'm not even tired!" Thomas was indignant! He hadn't even been
out playing. He would not admit, even to himself, that reading for 4 hours
was tiring.
"No. Buts."
"Alright! Geez! You're taking this whole nap thing a little to
seriously.."
"Thats because I know how you act when you dont get one." she stated,
effectively ending any extended arguments from her young son. How can you
argue with that when all evidence supports the prosecution?
"Fine, fine.. but I'm not tired!" But, with a full stomach and a head
full of visions of dragons, Thomas was too tired to protest the mobile or
even the raising of the rails. He slept for an hour and a half, to awaken
refreshed and ready to go.
"Mom! I'm up!" He shouted from his now somewhat standard position
standing in the crib.
"Alright already," she sighed as she helped her son out of the crib,
handing him his shoes and socks. Tommy readied himself quickly, him and Rick
had a little matter of a bike race to attend to. The previous day's
challenge was about to get answered!

Three hours later, a tired, sweaty, happy, and victorious Thomas returned
home. A new comic was his prize, his ego boosted, and his friend put in his
place.
"Thomas Geraldi! You're FILTHY!" his mom stood at the door to the
kitchen, a shocked look on her face. "You go get in the shower RIGHT NOW
mister! Dinner's almost ready and I will NOT have you sitting at my table
smelling like gym socks!"
"Ok, be right back," Thomas gave no resistance, his mood elevated by his
stunning victory.
Dinner went well, with no fight about dressing before hand (his mom was
cooking dinner). Thomas went on and on about how he had outmatched Rick and
his fancy 16 speed armed only with his Mongoose trick bike and a will to
win! His mom listened intently, hanging on every inspired word. The tale was
a daring mixture of danger and intrigue. Racing around curves, jumping
sidewalk obstacles, and generally exagerating the events of the afternoon.
After dinner, Thomas and Ms. Geraldi watched some Sunday night sports.
Neither of them were really into sports, but the other shows were to
'mature' for little Tommy's eyes. CSI, JAG, and others like them were too
gruesome, and even Cartoon Network had this "Adult Swim" thing which Ms.
Geraldi did NOT approve of at all (writers note : I LOVE adult swim! ATHF is
teh 4w3s0m3). So ESPN it was.
At precisely 9pm, Thomas's mother shooed her son off to bed, stating that
he had an early day tommorrow. Monday would bring another early morning of
day-care, along with more work for Ms. Geraldi and her budding career as a
home sanitation specialist.
Ms. Geraldi helped her son into his large crib, raised the rail with no
complaints from the occupant, and wound up the mobile. She then took a
minute to reach down and furl Tommy's hair.
As Thomas fell into a deep sleep that could only be brought on by extreme
exhaustion, niether mother nor son would ever imagine how the next day would
change both their lives.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thomas awakened early Monday morning, his head slightly groggy. He had slept
soundly and deeply, his body and mind exhausted from the previous day's
activites. He rolled over, staring up at the top of his crib and the mobile
that hung from it. He shivered. Shivered?
"Did mom turn down the AC?" he thought, as he sat up. And then it hit
him.
Ms. Geraldi was just getting out of the shower when she heard the noise.
It sounded like some kind of strange wailing coming from down the hall. In
fact, it seemed to be coming from her son's room. He was crying! Her
maternal instincts kicked into full force. She threw on her bathrobe, and
ran towards her distressed son. As she entered Tommy's room, she saw....

-----------------

Thomas stared down for a minute, trying to comprehend what had happened.
The sheets below him, as well as the bottom half and most of the top half of
his PJ's was soaked. As there were no drinks in his crib with him, the only
obvious conclusion was that he had.... gasp.... WET THE BED!
"How did this happen!?" He screamed in his head, "This isnt right?! I'm
too old to be wetting the bed!" Thomas didn't know what to do. He stood up,
attempting to get out of his crib. He knew it wouldn't change the fact that
he had done it, but he wanted to try and clean up, run away, get his mom,
something. If he could atleast get away from the scene of the accident, he
could save some dignity! He struggled with the rails, only to find that
they can only be released from the outside. Next, he tried to climb over the
rail, but seeing how high up he was, he decided not to continue in his
endeavor. So, as there was no way out of the crib, Thomas did the only thing
he could...

-----------------

Ms. Geraldi looked in surprise at her son, sitting with his legs spread,
his feet touching, and crying his eyes out. The reason for her son's bawling
was not at first apparent, as her eyes were still trying to adjust to the
dim lighting. However, when she flipped on the light switch, the problem
become evident. Her little boy had wet his bed.
"Oh Tommy!" She ran over, lowered the rails, and threw her arms around
him. "Dont worry... It's ok... Don't cry... c'mon.." She attempted to
comfort him.
"I didn't mean to mommy! I swear! I don't know what happened! I.... ~sob~
just... ~sob~" Thomas broke down into unintelegible sobs as he tried to
explain.
"I know you didnt mean to, baby, It just happens." His mother lifted him
out of his crib, and walked with him to the bathroom to help him clean up.
On the way there, she decided to share something with him. "Thomas, honey...
I know this may be hard to believe, but I wet the bed untill I was 7 years
old," Thomas looked wide eyed at his mother, as she began to take off his
soaked PJ's, "and its not un common for young children to occasionally wet
the bed. Besides, you were so tired yesterday you probably just slept to
soundly." Tommy was sniffling, but his crying had died down. "I bet it will
never happen again, ok?"
Thomas stopped sniffling, almost completely nude at this point. "I'm
sorry, mom."
"Nothing to be sorry about! I'm not mad or anything!" Ms. Geraldi ruffled
her son's head, "Now you get bathed, I'll go change the sheets on your crib,
alright?"
"Ok, you promise it wont happen again?"
"I'm almost positive." She smiled as she left her son to his own devices.
"Ahhh well.. no big deal," She thought, returning to the scene of the
accident, "at least the mattress was waterproof."
She stripped the crib of all its sheets, including the also waterproof
bumper pads. She had thought ahead though, and she carried the bedding to
the washroom, and placed them into the wash. On her way back, she stopped by
the linen closet and picked up a towel and the spare sheets for the crib.
She mopped up the left over urine on the mattress and quickly re-sheeted the
mattress and pads. These sheets had teddy bears, blocks, bunnies, and other
babyish designs on them. She had rejected putting them on first, as she knew
that her son would not have approved. Now she had no choice. She returned to
the washroom and threw the now dirty towel in with the already soaking
sheets.
"There," She sighed, returning to her own room to get dressed, "So much
drama already this morning."

Tommy was still depressed as they arrived at the daycare center, once
again, earlier than anyone other than Ms. Kennar.
"Good morning, Thomas! How are we this morning?"
Thomas didn't say anything, he just hung his head and walked towards the
door, propping up against the side of the building while his mother talked
with the attendant.
"Well, he seems kinda grumpy. Did he just wake up?"
"Not really, Judith, he had an... 'accident' this morning."
"Huh?" Ms. Kennar was clueless, "What kind? Is he ok?"
"Yeah, he's fine. He just wet the bed last night."
"Oh, well, this complicates matters....." Ms. Kennar trailed off, looking
slightly concerned.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, Ms. Geraldi, we have rules here at Farmer 'N' The Dale, and one of
those is that anyone who has previous accidents of this nature, must wear
some sort of protection."
"You don't mean..." Ms. Geraldi shot a worried glance at her son.
"Yes, I do. But, I dont think it will be a problem, as he will only need
the protection during nap time."
"I don't know..."
"If he can keep dry during nap time today, then he won't have to wear it
anymore.'
"Well, I do suppose it would be a bother to have to wash sheets..." Ms.
Geraldi glanced at her son again, "If you say its only this one time..."
"I promise." Judith gave Tommy's mom a reasuring smile, "If he keeps dry,
otherwise we will have to continue to provide 'protection' until he can keep
dry."
"Well, it was only a one time thing, so it's ok." Ms. Geraldi gave in,
and smiled at Tommy, who had become somewhat worried about the length of
time they were talking, knowing it was all about him.
"No worries, We'll take good care of him."

Thomas moped around the daycare for most of the morning, keeping to
himself and barely even playing with his toys. The other children didn't
seem to mind, but some were put off when they tried to play with him, and he
walked off to be alone.
"Hey there, guy!" Pammy smiled, suddenly hovering over Tommy.
"Hey." He replied shortly.
"Look, I know what happened this morning and," Thomas shot her a dirty
look, his mom had betrayed him! , "I just wanted to say, its no biggie!"
"But, It is! I didn't want to do it!" Thomas got deffensive suddenly. How
dare she say it was no 'biggie'?!
"Really, its not a problem! All kids do it sometimes, even my little
brother! Well, when he was your age anyway. Geez, he'ld kill me if he knew I
was telling anyone."
"Your brother wet the bed?" Thomas was skeptical.
"Yeah, but only every once in a while. He stopped completely when he was
nine."
"Yeah, but its still embarassing." Thomas blushed. He couldn't believe he
was talking about this to Pammy. The single most embarassing moment in his
LIFE and he was talking about it with this very much too exuberant woman.
"I know, kid, but hey, listen." Thomas looked at her, "You see, we know
you didn't mean to, but we, Ms. Rouse, Ms. Kennar, and myself, think that
you should wear some protection during nap time today."
"What?! I swear I'll never do it again! C'mon! You said so yourself! Its
only once!"
"Calm down, kiddo! All we're saying is that it would be better for all of
us."
"How is it better for me?!"
"Well, for one, if it DID happen again, which it won't, you wouldn't be
all wet and uncomfortable, plus, I think you'ld look just ADORABLE!" She
swooned (faked of course).
Thomas stared at her, unconvinced. But there was a strange feeling inside
his head that seemed to overtake all reason. He would later identify this as
his very first crush. He knew this woman was beautiful, but his young body
and mind had no way of expressing this, other than for him to immediatley
give in to any and all suggestions from this strange female creature.
"Well, if you say so, I guess it wont be too bad.." Thomas was
hypnotized, and didn't know why, "But, what kind of protection are you
talking about?" He already knew, though, just from looking around the room.
Pammy leaned down and whispered that magic world in his ear.
"I dunno..." Thomas feigned hessitation, "Those are for babies."
"Well then," Pammy whispered, provacatively, "I guess you'll just have to
be my baby today then, wont you?"
Thomas blushed. He didnt want to wear the 'protection', but how could he
say no to that?! This woman was all over him! Now, of course girls had
cooties, but Pammy wasn't a girl, she was a woman, and that was different.
He could tell his friends of the mutually confessed love and not be
ridiculed. There's something about older women that young boys love. It
wasn't sexual, eight year olds didn't know anything about that, it was just
about being a bigger man. The baby part, however, would be left out of the
victory story. That would be SO lame!
"Yeah.... but dont tell ANYONE!" Thomas was embarrased to be giving in to
this, but wow, Pammy so wanted him to be his date.

"How did it go?" Ms. Rouse asked Pammy when she re-joined the other 2
women at the far end of the room.
"Perfect. I knew he had a crush on me. Little kids are so immature."
"So he aggreed?" Ms. Kennar looked over at the boy, who seemed to be in a
world all his own, blushing and smiling like an idiot, "Good, there won't be
any problems later. I hate to do it to him, but I for one do not want to be
washing sheets later tonight when its time to go home."
"Agreed" The other two chimed in together. Pammy continued, "However, I
should be the one to do it, as he would probably be to embarassed with
either of you." She saw their faces and added quickly, "No offense, but I
know how little kids work." The others just rolled their eyes.

At lunch, Tommy ate slowly. He didn't want what he knew was coming, but
he promised Pammy. He was torn between his temporary manliness and his
boasting later. She wanted to be his man, but he had to be her 'baby'. He
already agreed, but.. No! He wouldn't regret this! He had to go through with
it, no matter what the cost. But now, he had to conquer this sandwich.
After he finished eating, Pammy aproached him. He blushed and looked
away.
"C'mon guy, let's go get ready for nap time."
Tommy looked at the floor. "Ok.... But this is just for today right?"
"Sure thing! If you can keep dry today!" she winked at him, "But you're a
big boy, so I dont think that would be a problem, right?" She smiled and
winked, a sure thing.
"Yeah! I'll keep dry! You'll see!" Thomas jumped up, ready to go!
Straigt to the bathroom. That was Tommy's first stop before heading to
the nap room. This would make sure that he was empty before he was laid down
for nap. Afterwards, Pammy took him by the hand and led him back towards the
nap room. No words were exchanged as Pammy lifted the young boy up onto one
of the changing tables along the back wall of the room. She took off his
shoes, and unbuttoned his pants. After quickly stripping him of his jeans
and undergarment, Tommy turned his head, blushing to beat the band. No woman
other than his mom had seen him naked before. Pammy said nothing, for fear
of making the boy cry. This was already embarrasing enough for the both of
them. She reached for the largest diaper the center had, which was indeed
designed for larger children. She then, having done this countless times,
she grabbed his ankles and slid the soft cloth beneth his bottom. She gently
lowered him down, noticing the redness in the boy's face. Being careful, as
she was taught, she gently dusted the boy's diaper region with talcum
powder. She pulled the folded flannel up between his legs, and pulled it
around his waist. Two pins quickly followed.
"Alright, almost done." Pammy lifted the young boy off the table, and
reached for the last piece of the puzzle. She gently guided Tommy's legs
into the holes of the plastic pants. She had chosen the plain white ones,
trying to be as considerate to the boy's feelings as possible.
"All done!" She piped up, after making sure all the cloth was tucked
inside the diaper's covering. "It's not so bad, now is it?"
Tommy thought. It indeed wasn't bad, but he didn't think it was good
either. He did NOT want to be diapered. This was not right! He had only wet
the bed once! The cloth was soft, however, and the bulk between his legs
wasnt uncomfortable, but it did make walking a little more difficult. He
frowned. How had this happened? Why did it happen to him?! A small thought
of the farm slowed this thought proccess. Another factor was the quick kiss
applied to his cheek by the beautiful Pammy.
"I guess not.." Tommy was glad this was only going to happen once.
"Well then, its nap time I guess. Time to get you situated."
Thomas was placed in his crib, the rail raised, the covers tucked and the
crinkling of his diaper slightly muffled. Everytime he moved he was reminded
of the babyish bulk between his legs, and the bulge was clear even beneath
the covers. He was extremely glad noone would ever find out about this. The
lights dimmed, and Tommy closed his eyes. He couldn't keep his mind off his
diapers. He was glad that he this was only once, and that he had used the
bathroom before nap time. What he didn't count on, however, was the effects
of a large container of milk on a young boy's body, and was soon fast
asleep, dreaming of things untold.

"Wakey wakey sleepy head!" The sing song voice of Pammy, beaming into the
ears of a slowly awakening Thomas Geraldi. "Get up so we can get you changed
back into you're regular clothes."
Thomas started to sit up, a strange sense of wrongness prevaded his
senses. His diaper felt different, heavier, thicker, somewhat more...
"Now, I'm so proud of you... for......" Pammy had removed the boy's
covers, and discovered something. Something bad. His diaper was irrefutabley
and unquestionably soaked. The slight discoloration of the cloth under the
clear plastic along with the sagging of the protective pants were clear
signs. These signs were not lost on poor Tommy, who immediately started to
cry.
"Oh, honey!" Pammy had to calm the boy down. This was unexpected, "Don't
cry, don't cry! It's ok! Noone thinks you're any different than before." She
picked the boy up and carried him over to one of the rocking chairs in the
center of the room. There, she whispered assurances into his ear while
rocking him. Slowly, he calmed down enough to talk.
"Why... Wha.... how....." He sputtered, climbing out of the womans lap.
"Why did this happen! I'm not a baby! I don't wet the bed!"
"I know, kiddo, I know.. This is only a phase! My brother didn't stop
wetting 'til he was nine, remember?" She tried to comfort the boy, his face
red with shame.
"I know, but I dont wanna wet the bed." He was almost crying again.
"Noone wants to wet the bed. It just happens..." Pammy was being more
successful in calming the boy, "Its not a big deal. This just means you get
to be my baby every day now."
She smiled, its infectiousness reaching the young boy. He smiled back. He
didnt like wearing diapers, but he did like getting attention from the
pretty woman before him. He sniffed, wiped his eyes, and stared at his
sagging wet diaper.
"I bet you want to get out of that nasty thing, don't you?" Did she even
have to ask? "Well, lets get you cleaned up, and ready to play some more.
And don't worry, this is just between us ok?" Thomas was reassured, but
still embarrased and ashamed by the whole ordeal. Having Pammy be so nice
about it, however, had the effect of making the child feel not so bad about
it. He didn't look forward to wearing diapers at nap time, but the fact that
it was only within these walls, with these nice women, made it tolerable.
Meanwhile, Ms. Kennar had witnessed the entire event from the other side
of one of the cribs, checking on one of the longer sleeping children. After
handing the baby off to Ms. Rouse, who was oblivious to the drama unfolding
across the room, she left Pammy to the task of cleaning the boy up. She left
the room, heading for the front office. A short time later, a telephone
conversation took place. After hanging up, she decided to confront Tommy,
who was outside with the rest of the kids, dressed back in his underwear and
jeans.
"Tommy, can we talk for a minute?"
"Yes, Ma'am." Thomas walked over, already knowing what the conversation
was about.
"Tommy, you understand that since you wet during nap time today, that you
will have to wear 'protection' until we decide you can stay dry, right?"
"Yeah, I know. It's ok.. you wont tell anyone right?" Tommy was worried,
Pammy had promised, but Ms. Kennar was a different story. He must have her
silence.
"Yes, Thomas, I won't tell anyone. I did, however, phone your mother to
let her know what happened." Tommy was worried, what would she think?!
"Is she mad at me?"
"No, no. She understands that most children go thought phases, and some
of those include bed wetting."
"But.." Thomas started.
"Don't worry about it. I think you'll be ok, but for now, we all think
you would be better off if you helped us to help you."
"What do you mean?" Thomas was puzzled.
"Well, I'll let your mother discuss that with you when she gets here, its
not really my place. However, I just wanted to let you know that you
shouldn't be ashamed or blame yourself. I just happens."
"I know. I just don't want to wet the bed."
"It's ok. Noone WANTS to (((((((ed. note : 'wink wink wink')))))))) but
sometimes it just happens ok?"
"Ok." Thomas wasn't happy about the situation, but he didn't feel so bad
anymore. It's nice to know that other people have the same problem
sometimes. He wasnt alone. He just wished it hadn't happened to him. Having
finished the conversation, Thomas wen't back to playing with some of the
older babies in the sand box, and generaly not worrying about his problem,
believing this was the end of it.

"Thomas," His mother started later that night, over dinner, "I think we
need to talk."
"Huh?" Thomas knew. Somehow he knew where this conversation was going.
"Well, Ms. Kennar told me about what happened today," Thomas blushed,
"And I just think that you may need to wear the same kind of protection to
bed tonight."
"But Mom!" Thomas wined, "That was only a one time thing!"
"I'm sure it was, honey," His mom countered, "But it happened twice
already. I don't have enough money to buy you many more crib sheets, and I
surely dont have time to do laundry every night."
"I know," Thomas looked down at his plate, "but I can't help it!"
"I understand honey, which is why I think that until this blows over, you
should wear protection. It will help you stay cleaner and healthier, and it
will help me by not having to clean up every morning."
"I..." Thomas was torn. He didnt want to wet the bed, but he also didnt
want to have to lay in wet PJ's if he did. And the laundry.... Was it really
that much trouble to wash sheets? "I guess I dont have much of a choice,
huh?" Awesome, he could give in without making it seem like he was giving
in. Diapers were embarassing, but having wet sheets and pajamas was even
more embarassing in his eyes.
"Well then its settled," His mom smiled, "After your bath tonight, come
to my room and we'll get you ready for bed ok?"

Thomas lay on his back on his mother's bed, butt naked and embarassed as
hell. His mom smiled at him, trying to reasure him. She lifted his legs and
slid the diaper under his bottom. She then powdered him down, pulled the
garment up, and taped the sides. She made sure everything was secure around
the leg openings, and then patted him on the stomach.
"All done," She smiled, for more reasons than to reasure her son, "That
wasn't so bad, now was it?"
Tommy stood up. This diaper was different than the one at the day-care
center. This one was a disposable, made for bedwetters. It was lighter, and
little bit less bulky, but on the downside, it was louder. The plastic outer
covering made crinkling sounds at every move he made. He rubbed the diaper,
amazed at the smoothness and the softness around his body. All in all, it
wasnt his first choice of undergarment, but it wasn't as terrible as he had
immagined either.
"It's ok.... I still don't like wearing diapers though." He was
determined not to like this. It was to embarassing for him to get
comfortable with wearing diapers. He was NOT a baby, despite the fact that
the diaper he was now wearing was covered with childish designs of all
kinds.
"Well, then. I think these will do, but I may need to get some plastic
pants if they leak." Tommy's mom's mind seemed to wander off into it's own
little world for a moment. "Oh well, we'll see how these do on their own
ok?"
Thomas grabbed his PJ's and quickly got dressed, the bulk of his diaper
clearly visible under the bottoms. Oblivous to this, he waddled out of his
mom's room towards his own bedroom. It was all she could do to keep from
laughing at her son as he crinkled his way out the door. He looked so funny,
almost like a real baby, only larger. The diapers were obvious in both sight
and sound, and the waddle made him impossible to take seriously. Ms. Geraldi
followed her son to his room, and helped him into his crib, the irony not
lost on the young mother.
For his part, Tommy was going to protest the babyish designs on his bed,
but the memory of why his sheets were changed kept him quiet. He lay down,
pulling his covers over him to hide his diapered state, with no luck. He was
to obvious. The diapers kept his legs spread apart and made it almost
impossible to sleep on his side. His mother, though, didn't seem to notice
((wink wink again)) his predicament, which boosted his confidence of the
false image of being discreet. The rail was raised, the mobile wound, and
his mom exited the room. Tommy tossed and turned for a while, before finding
a somewhat cofortable position on his back, hands above his head. Once
again, the softness of the crib mattress, along with the soft nightlight
illuminating the softly spinning, lowly singing mobile lured the young boy
to sleep, just like a baby.

Tuesday morning arrived, accompanied by the sounds of birds chirping,
cars going by outside, and the slight buzz of water running. Thomas awoke
slowly, eyes closed, mind still snuggled in that area betwixt wakefulness
and sleep. That certain state where you can dream but still know that you
are dreaming. In his dreams, he's laying on the sand in the middle of the
desert, hot sun beating down on him. As he slowly opened his eyes, coming
fully into a conscious frame of mind, he realized that the sun was indeed
beating down on him. Rays of sunlight poured in from his window, around the
crib bars, and landing directly on him. Squinting, Thomas sat up.
First and foremost, Tommy turned his attention to the crib sheets which
were, thankfully, dry. In doing so, however, he was reminded of his diapered
state. The garment stood out in the sunlight like a beacon on a dark sea.
From the outside, it was hard to tell whether or not it was wet. Thomas held
out hope beyond hope that it was indeed dry. Maybe this was the end of this
indignity! He would be free of the burden of wet beds and, even worse, wet
diapers! He slowly reached out and squeezed the front of the diaper.
But alas, his hopes were dashed like so many things that are dashed. The
diaper was obviously soaked and swollen. Upon closer inspection, it was
obvious that the front was tinted a slight yellow, a tell tale sign of his
nights 'work'. Resigned to another morning of defeat, Tommy lay back down in
his crib, pulled his sheets over him and stared at the ceiling to await his
mothers arrival. Thoughts slowly made their way through his head. What if he
never stopped wetting the bed? What would his friends think if they could
see him now? Would they laugh? Almost certainly. He'd be an outcast in the
neighborhood society! At least the situation was secure firmly behind the
walls of his house and the seclusion of the day-care center.
Thomas's morning thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door to
his room opening. His mother entered, still only wearing a bathrobe with a
towel wrapped around her head.
"How's my little man this morning?" She asked, terribly up-beat for so
early in the morning. Without waiting for a response, however, she simply
reached down into the crib and inserted a finger into the leg opening of her
son's diaper. "Wet again I see." Thomas blushed.
"Yeah......" was all he could manage.
"Let's get you out of that icky diaper then, shall we?" His mom bubbled,
like a pot of overactive coffee.
She lifted her son out of his sleeping confines and placed his feet on
the floor. She next attacked the diaper, ripping the tapes off on one side,
then the next, letting the soiled garment fall unceremoniously to the floor.
"Go get in the bath, kid. I'll clean this up and get your clothes ready."

Thomas played with some of the older children for most of the morning.
His arrival at the center had been mostly uneventful for him this morning.
Little did he know, there was a conversation between Ms. Kennar and his
mother about his night time business. This conversation was a minor, 'Did
he?' and 'Yeah' affair. Poor Tommy was still sentenced to a life of diapered
naps, at least for today. These things and more he pondered as he
halfheartedly pushed a small rubber ball back and forth to several of the
kids. Is it really so bad to wear diapers if no one knows about it? They
certainly weren't un comfortable when he wore them yesterday and last night.
Bed wetting sucks, but at least he didn't have to wake up all smelly and
yucky.
Suddenly, the milk at breakfast, and juice at mid-morning suddenly caught
up with Tommy, causing him to realize that a bathroom break was indeed
imminent. Tommy stood to go to the bathroom, but as soon as he did, the kids
rolled the ball back at him. He kicked it lightly back to one of the other
kids and turned to go. The crying of the children made him stop and turn
around, afraid he had kicked the ball in one of their faces or something.
But lo, they only wanted him to sit and play! Never mind the bathroom,
children want attention!
Not wanting to attract too much attention, Thomas sat back down and began
playing with the kids again. Stupid babies, always wanting something and
crying when they don't get their way.
Tommy sat and played with the kids for another hour, at which point his
bladder was aching for release. This was it, he needed to go NOW! Thomas
stood up and turned to go find Pammy or someone when he realized something
that man has downplayed since the beginning of time. It starts with a slight
tingling, progresses to a feeling of electricity throughout the area, and
eventually pure numbness. Tommy's leg was asleep and unresponsive to his
body's sudden plea for cooperation. The walking procedure, suddenly
interrupted by the failure of one of the key components, failed to complete
in its entirety. The end result was that Thomas went tripping over an errant
stuffed elephant (green, fuzzy, googly eyed, and not the least bit "soft").
The ensuing impact had repercussions that would be felt for the rest of the
summer.
Thomas picked himself up off the floor, his hand landing in a puddle of
some sort of warm liquid. A closer inspection revealed that the source of
the liquid seemed to be him. He was peeing himself. Right there on the
floor! OH MY GOD! The worst part, was that he was to late to do anything
about it! By the time he had been able to realize that he was falling to the
time that he pushed himself up to a semi sitting position, he was "all peed
out".
Tears welled up in his eyes. They came more from humiliation than from
pain. Pammy and Ms. Kennar came over, having heard the noise from his fall,
only to find the little boy crying his eyes out in a puddle of his own
urine. This was sight they were all too familiar with, having worked with
young potty trainers many times in their day.
"Tommy! Are you OK?!" Pammy was concerned. There was no visible injury,
but the way he was crying he could very well have a broken bone.
Tommy's response was to cover his face and cry even more.
"Thomas! What happened? Are you alright?" Ms. Kennar knelt down and
pulled his hands away from his face, "Let's get you cleaned up, OK?"
Tommy nodded, and slowly started to stand up, tears still rolling down
his face. Ms. Kennar turned to Pammy.
"Pamela, go call Thomas's mother and see if she can bring him a change of
clothes."
"Yes, Ma'am."
Ms. Kennar led Tommy to the bathroom. On the way, the passed Ms. Rouse,
looking grumpy carrying a towel and some carpet stain remover. Once in the
bathroom, Judith slowly slid the young boy's soaked pants and underwear
down, then took off his shoes and socks. Tommy was naked from the waste down
in no time, and his shirt (which had gotten a little wet) was soon to
follow. He could only hang his head and try to explain what happened between
breaths, his tears having dried up.
"I know, I know, you fell. It'll be OK, Tommy," The older woman reassured
the boy, "Your mother will be here with a change of clothes for you soon,
ok?" Tommy nodded his head.
Ms. Kennar didn't know what to do. She wiped Tommy's legs and crotch with
a wet paper towel trying to get as much of the pee off him as possible. When
she was done, she was gathering up the wet clothes when she got a glance at
her watch. 11:47. Then an idea hit her. The center did not keep any clothes
that would fit the older boy on hand, so she only had one option open to
her.
"Thomas, come with me, hon. We need to get something on you. Can't have
you running around naked now can we?" She tried to sound cheery as she led
the boy into the nursery by his limply hanging hand, to embarrassed by his
action to be embarrassed about his un clothed state. Before he could
protest, Ms. Kennar lifted him up onto one of the changing tables.
"Tommy, it's almost lunchtime," She explained, "So lets go ahead and get
your diaper on before you eat, and then your mother will have brought a
change of clothes when you wake up from your nap, OK?"
Thomas nodded his head weakly, still ashamed. Before he knew it, Ms.
Kennar was wiping his area with a warm baby wipe. This was followed by a
generous dusting of sweet smelling talcum powder. Next, he felt his legs
being lifted in the air as the thick flannel diaper was placed under his
bum. It was quickly pinned around his waist, and a pair of light blue rubber
pants pulled up and snapped into place over his diaper. The edges tucked in,
and Thomas was lifted back to the floor.
"Let's get something to eat, ok." Ms. Kennar was sympathetic, "Things
will look better in the afternoon."

Thomas barely ate any of his lunch. He wasn't so embarrassed about
wetting his pants, he had no control over that. He was more concerned that
he had done it in this location, around so many babies, and then been
diapered because of it. He felt his maturity had somehow taken a large blow.
He was tired and deflated as he was lain down in his crib for nap time.
Pammy, who had the honors of escorting him, felt sorry for him and gave him
a few words of comfort and a kiss on the cheek before raising the bars and
pulling up the blankets.
When Pammy was sure that Thomas was asleep, however, she approached Ms.
Kennar.
"Ms. Kennar," she began, "I wasn't able to get in touch with Tommy's mom.
What are we gonna do about his clothes?"
Ms. Kennar thought for a moment, looking at the sleeping boy, his diaper
bulge visible beneath the covers.
"The only thing we can do, Pam."