Justin couldn’t believe his infantile state as he sat in the backseat of the car wearing a pair of toddler training pants after his two embarrassing accidents. He felt so small and ashamed especially considering he was also strapped into a booster seat given his smaller than average size. Neither he nor the nurse mentioned to his mom, Amy,  the accident during his nap. All she knew was he had peed his pants in class and was now in a pull up. She wasn’t thrilled having to pick up her son but she was understanding. The way she saw it was kids have accidents and there was no need to embarrass or shame the boy. She was just going to take him home, let him take off his diaper, change into his “big kid” clothes, and act like nothing happened.

That was exactly what Justin wanted too. He knew though this wasn’t going to just go away. Even if him, his mom, the nurse, and his teacher moved on like nothing happened, there was no escaping the fact that Ashley had seen it all and was surely going to tell the rest of the fourth grade. Knowing this Justin just rode the rest of the way home staring out the window in silence trying to hold back his tears.

Once home, Justin went straight to the bathroom to remove his babyish attire. Before he got changed though, he went ahead and peed. He felt an odd sense of pride having used the bathroom like a big boy. Just that thought made him feel embarrassed again. It shouldn’t be an accomplishment for a 10 year old to use the toilet, but that’s definitely what it’s viewed like when the kid pees in the potty with a dry pull up at his ankles. He took off the clothes from the nurse and happily slipped on a pair of normal underwear, some comfortable sweatpants, and a t-shirt making him feel like a normal kid again. He left the outfit on his bedroom floor as he went out to the living room to watch tv.

Amy went into Justin’s room to gather the clothes. She picked up the unused pull-up and slightly frowned. She thought she was done with these. She took it into the bathroom, opened up the cabinet and pulled out a half used package of the same training pants. She put the pair into the package and put it away, hoping it would remain unused.

Justin hadn’t needed the pull-ups for a while now, but Amy kept the remaining trainers just in case. There were still 11 in the pack and she couldn’t see throwing them away. Why waste them when they could come in handy? She had read that kids sometimes revert in their potty training and of that we’re the case with Justin she would still have the supplies. Sure he achieved day-time dryness, for the most part, by 3, but Amy considered a child still wetting the bed as not potty-trained. You need to have complete control to get that title.

When Amy imagined having a child, she didn’t think she’d still have to deal with diapers when her child was in school, so when Justin started waking up dry she finally felt like her time as a single parent was about to become easier. The thing was it actually got a little harder for a bit given that taking Justin out of pull-ups led to Amy having to wash wet sheets in the middle of the night on a few occasions, but the accidents were infrequent enough that she couldn’t justify putting him back in them. She felt good about her son’s maturing and thought that once he reached middle school he would finally be on par with the other boys his age, but now she was wondering if he was really ready to grow up or if he was just going backwards.

She walked out into the living room to see Justin trying to clean up the glass of juice he just spilled. She let out a sigh not saying anything as she grabbed the paper towels from her son and finished cleaning up the mess, walked into the kitchen and came back with another cup of juice, this time in a sippy cup.

“I’m sorry Justin, but clearly you can’t be trusted without a lid. I know it’s been a hard day for you so just drink your juice, watch some tv, and try to take a nap while I get dinner ready.” Amy said as she spread out a blanket for Justin.

Justin didn’t say anything. He just obeyed. He could feel that his mom was seeing him as a little kid. Amy hated it but looking at her son, that’s exactly how she felt.