15 year old Natalie Evans lives in a dysfunctional family, a mom who isn’t good with people or their feelings, a dad who is a former alcoholic and a clean freak and must have everything in order, a little sister who feels she doesn’t have a mother and her family is too weird for her, a little brother who is annoying and a pest and is known as the Pokey Little Puppy by their mother, an older brother who has moved out and is finally free from all the chaos. But it gets more chaotic when Anita brings home a puppy. Glen isn’t happy but the kids love it but then Natalie starts to not like it. He keeps pissing in the house and her room is a special spot for it, he has chewed up one of her game controllers and peed on one of her game cartridges. She keeps her door closed now but Whimper keeps trying to get in her room so she thinks that dog is out to get her but to everyone else he is an innocent animal. Natalie starts to get unwanted thoughts in her head about harming the animal and starts to feel unsafe and she can feel her compulsion getting stronger and stronger to kill him. Will a miracle happen before it’s too late?
“Natalie, are you ready, let’s go,” said my sister Kelly. She is thirteen almost. It was the middle of December and her and I were going to go and chop down a real tree to drag back to our house. Dad didn’t want to get a real tree because he said we can’t afford one this year and Mom won’t take us because she is too busy painting and drawing to even bother taking us. So she finally said “if you want a real tree, go get one yourselves.” So my little brother Matthew who is nine decided we all go to the forest and find a nice one and chop it down. So Kelly had the wood cutter and I had an ax to use. I didn’t think that small wood cutter would work so I was carrying the heavy thing. We walked through our neighborhood to get to the forest that is outside of it. Matthew wanted to carry the ax but I told him it was too heavy but he kept on begging me to hold it. “Just let him hold it to prove it,” Kelly told me. I handed my pesky brother the ax and he carried it and said it wasn’t heavy. He started to chop up the grass in peoples yards. He would hack the ax in the grass. “Matthew, quit it,” I said. “I’m not doing anything,” he said. “Yes you are, you are hitting the grass with it,” I said. “So.” “It’s not our yard and you’re wrecking it.” “It’s just grass, I am not hitting anything with it.” Then we saw a couple neighborhood kids ride by on their bikes, Michael Scott and Grayson White. “What are you guys doing?” Michael asked on his bike. “Getting a Christmas tree,” said Matthew. “We are going to the forest to get one and cut it down and bring it home because Dad isn’t allowed to drive and we can’t afford a tree and Mom won’t take us to get one because she is at home painting.” “Oh yeah, your dad crashed into the bank because he is a drunk. He is busted and is going to jail soon.” and your mommy will just start screaming again if someone breaks another rule.” “No he is not,” I said. “He drank and he drove,” said Michael. “Your parents are so crazy and I bet your mommy will just start screaming again if someone broke another rule.” “Why don’t you look crazy up in the dictionary, it has a picture of you,” I said. Michael rode off fast saying “I am telling Mom.” “Wow,” said Kelly. A rule about getting back at bullies, tell them to look a word up in the dictionary they use. Matthew kept swinging the ax in the air and we walked to the end of our neighborhood. We walked between the two houses and left our neighborhood. We walked into the forest. We walked around. We saw an electric fence because it was someone’s property and it was to keep their animals in. We knew to not pass those wires. Matthew kept chopping at some of the trees we were walking by. Oops, I forgot to do an intro, my name is Natalie Evans and I am fifteen years old and live in Saltwater, Washington with my family. I have two cats and a dog and an older brother who doesn’t live with us anymore and I have a little brother and sister which is who I am with now. I have blonde hair and blue eyes and I am incontinent from being in a car accident when I was seven so I have no control over my bowels and bladder and have to wear diapers because of it. They are actually comfortable to wear and I like peeing in them and pooping in them just as long as it doesn’t happen in school or anywhere else except for at home. I still feel guilty about liking all this so I pretend I don’t like it. “I wonder if we will find a tree we can cut down and take,” said Kelly. We followed her and looked at trees around us. Some were big and small and some were huge. Most of them looked too big to fit in our house but the trunks were tiny. “Man, all these are too tall,” I said. “We can cut down a big one and cut the top of it off to make it fit like Kevin did,” said Matthew. “Thanks logic boy,” said Kelly. “But we didn’t bring a tape measure.” “We can still cut off the bottom,” I said. “Great idea.” I finally found a tree I liked. “How about this one?” I asked. The one I found had a lot of branches and it was green but not all parts were full because it had some gaps but it was the best I could find that would be suitable for our house and it looked short enough to fit. Kelly and Matthew didn’t answer and they kept on looking at the trees. “Hey, this one,” said Matthew. I looked at it and it was fuller than the one I found so his looked better. “That looks good,” said Kelly. She walked over to the trunk and started to saw it. I saw she had trouble with it and she said “I will need a little help.” Matthew grabbed the other end but she said, “Have Natalie do it, she is bigger. Natalie?” I came over and I grabbed the other end and we both started to saw. It was hard and we both had to push hard to make the saw go through. We also had to let it do its job than force it. Then the tree fell down and we looked at it and decided it needed to be cut shorter so we cut it shorter. Then Kelly pulled it up and it went up to our heads. I thought it was too short but Kelly said it was fine. It didn’t even look like a real Christmas tree, it was too spacey in between but it was still a tree. We all helped carry it back. I had to hold the ax and hold the other side while Matthew got to carry nothing and he only had to hold the bottom while Kelly held the top and I was in the middle. We carried it back to the neighborhood and back to our house. When we got back, I put the ax back where I got it and Kelly put the saw back too and I took my shoes off as I went inside through the laundry room. “Where were you?” Dad asked. “We got a tree,” I said. “What?” he asked. He was in the family room watching TV. He doesn’t work weekends anymore so he is home all the time now on the weekend. He got up and came in the kitchen. “Where did you get it?” he asked when he saw it. Kelly and Matthew had brought it inside. “We cut it,” said Matthew. “Where?” “The forest,” I said. I took my coat off and put it away while Matthew left his shoes out and Kelly already had hers off. The rule is we all have to take our shoes off so we won’t get the floors all dirty. “What gave you the idea you can go out and get a tree, that was private property,” Dad scolded. “It was out in the forest,” I said. Still private property.” “How, no one lives there,” said Kelly. “Someone still owns it, the county does, you just cut it without a permit.” “But Mom said we could,” said Matthew. Dad sighed and then he left us alone and he started shouting upstairs. “Anita.” We heard shouting but all I could hear was Dad’s voice. “They actually went out and did it,” Dad shouted. “They went and chopped one down because you told them if they wanted one, go get it themselves so they thought they could chop one and they did it in the woods.” “Now what are we going to do?” Kelly asked. “Put it up, it’s going to die anyway,” said Matthew. Kelly and I got the keys to under the house and went outside and opened the door. We went inside and looked for the tree stand. Then we heard something upstairs and then the back door opened and something was thrown out. I found the tree stand and Kelly found the lights. She took some out of the box and carried them up in the house. I saw Dad had tossed the tree out on the deck and we had to drag it back in and Dad was already shouting at us for a mess we made with the three. He was sweeping up the needles from the tree. “We’re going to put it up,” said Matthew. “A stolen tree,” Dad shouted. “We didn’t steal it, we got it in the forest,” said Matthew. “Which is not even on our property so it’s stealing, that is like going to town and cutting down a tree we see at the park.” “But it wasn’t on any property, it was nature,” said Matthew. “But the country owns that land. That is like finding a piece of land and building your house there even though no one owns it, you don’t do the same with a tree.” Ooops, I never thought of that. We were thieves. “Oh my god, we’re thieves, are going to jail now?” Matthew asked. “No one is going to jail, it was just an innocent mistake but now you three know. Your mum didn’t realize you were going to actually cut one down. She only said it because you wouldn’t stop bugging us about it so she finally said it,” said Dad. “What are we going to do with the tree now?” Kelly asked. “Well we can’t take it back because it’s already been cut down so we can put it up, just don’t do it again.” “Do what?” Matthew asked. “Chop one down again,” I said. We set up the tree stand in the family room and Dad put the tree in and tightened it. Then we put lights on. “This is another family day we’re having,” said Kelly. “I guess it is,” said Dad. After we finished putting the lights on, Dad brought up the ornaments. “Kids, go get your mother and see if she wants to help decorate the tree,” said Dad. I ran to the staircase and shouted, “Mom, we are going to put ornaments on the tree, wanna do it, come to the family room.” “I said go get her, not shout at her,” said Dad. “How much clearer can I be?” “I didn’t want to go all the way upstairs so I shouted,” I said. I went back in the family room and started to put ornaments on the tree. Soon Mom came down. “That’s an ugly tree.” “It’s the best we could find for free,” said Kelly. “It doesn’t even look like a Christmas tree.” “This is the best we could find Mom,” said Kelly. “Why do you think it’s ugly Mom,” I asked. “It’s too short and too much gap in the middle,” said Mom. “I think it’s a fine sized tree,” said Dad. “We don’t need a real big one.” Skippy, our Yellow Lab, was standing by the kitchen door. “Someone let the dog out,” said Dad. Matthew opened the door and Skippy went outside. I looked out the window few minutes later and saw he was taking a dump. I put more ornaments on the tree. Soon Skippy was standing at the door again and none of us noticed until he started barking. Mom grabbed a hand towel and let him inside and wiped off his paws. Then he went to his bowl and started to drink his water.
I soiled my diaper and I ignored it and kept putting ornaments on the tree. “Did Natalie poop her diaper again?” Matthew asked. “Maybe Skippy farted,” I said. Mom came over to me and sniffed my butt. “Go change Natalie, we don’t need to smell it.” “But I don’t want to miss this,” I said. “We can stop and wait for you to get back,” said Mom. “Natalie, now, you heard your mother,” said Dad. I sighed and went upstairs. This diaper was uncomfortable anyway but I didn’t want to take a changing break so I stayed in it. It was sagging and it felt loose and I could smell the BM a little bit. I went in the bathroom and changed and threw my dirty one in the garage so my room wouldn’t smell like poo. I would hate for my boyfriend to find out my secret and he comes in my room when he comes over. The first time he came in my room, he thought it smelled like the bathroom and told me to open a window. I used to wear cloth for a bit but Grandma Del pays for our diapers now so we wouldn’t have to use cloth and so Mom would have less laundry to do because Dad is being so cheap. That is why we couldn’t afford a tree this year. We have a fake one up but Matthew wanted a real tree like we always do every year. He doesn’t like change and was pretty upset when he found out we wouldn’t be getting one. I went back in the family room and everyone went back to putting ornaments on the tree again.
Today was going to be a little stressful because things were going to be different this evening. Every day after school I always come home and I do the computer and play video games and watch TV and do some housework that is on my list Dad has assigned to everyone. It’s either walking the dog or cleaning the cat box or helping out around the house now with sweeping or laundry and the dishes or cleaning the toilets or sinks because Mom is too busy with her hobby. Dad cannot stand messes because they stress him out and make him go mad so he screams at Mom about it when the house isn’t perfect and he yells at the rest of us for being pigs. We always have to keep neat. It’s the rule in our house. But tonight we were going to the Christmas thing at the community center. It’s free and it’s something we wanted to do so Mom was going to have to take us. I was hoping she wouldn’t ruin our fun with her sensitivity to noise and people. I preferred if Dad would come with so he can be there while Mom stays in the car. I came home and put my stuff away and shoes and went upstairs to Kelly’s room to be on the computer. I knocked and came in. She has no door knob on her door because her and I got into a fight and busted it off the door because she was holding it closed and I kept trying to turn it. She uses a rag to cover up the hole. Dad also won’t pay to replace it and Mom doesn’t want to use her money for it. She said Kelly can just keep it covered and remember to knock. But yet they paid to get my room painted and Mom did all the work. Kelly was on the computer chatting and she had on her headphones. She was dancing in the chair moving her body. I felt disappointed she was on the computer. I couldn’t go on the one downstairs because of Mom. I couldn’t look up AB/DL without her seeing. I wasn’t sure how she would react to the sites. These are about adults who like to wear diapers and use them and they like peeing in them and pooping and being a baby. I like peeing in mine and pooping just as long as there are no leaks and I don’t poop at the wrong time. They also give me this weird feeling sometimes and I also like to masturbate in them. This is my secret I have and I am not sure how other people would feel if they knew I liked peeing in mine and pooping. That is a advantage of being incontinent but there are lot of things I hate about it; the bulk, the sound, the smell, having to be sure other kids at school won’t find out I wear them, having to keep it hidden, making sure they will never show out of my clothes, the rashes, having to change them, finding a place to change, how lot of diapers suck so I have to rely on thick diapers because they keep me dry and hold the mess in but that means I can’t wear certain clothes, I always have to wear loose ones and long shirts or wear my swim suit under it to keep them from showing, blow outs, accidents while I am changing, cleaning up the mess after I poop, peeing on the floor, and of course leaks. I think anyone who would want to be incontinent is crazy. I do wish lot of stores would carry adult diapers and carry different brands like they do with baby diapers. The ones I see in stores I don’t like because they never last long on me and they leak at night badly. So we get them ordered and have them shipped here that aren’t sold in stores except medical supply places. We have cloth diapers for backup in case I ever run out. Mom wears them too but she can still control her bowels so she does it in the toilet. She started having accidents because of the stress from Dad’s drinking so she started wearing them because Dad was hating her accidents and getting upset about it and waking up in a wet bed. But Mom is going to retain herself again next month. I never asked her about it or else she would know I was in her room snooping and I read what she wrote in her pocket calendar. I wonder why she is waiting until next month before she starts. Why isn’t she starting now?
I just left Kelly’s room and went on the one in the kitchen. Mom was in the kitchen cleaning and there was something cooking in the oven. “What’s cooking?” I asked. “Homemade pizza,” she said. I turned on the computer and sat down. I waited for Windows to load and then I signed on. I did a Daily Jigsaw on shockwave. “Mom, can I go over to Jason’s on Friday after school and stay late?” I asked. Jason is my boyfriend and we play video games together and he plays the drums. He doesn’t know about my incontinence yet but his mom knows but she has never told him either. I love hanging out with him and talking to him. His mom is cool too and we also talk but she is also my English teacher subbing for our real teacher who is on maternity leave. “What?” Mom asked. “Can I go over to Jason’s this Friday after school and stay late?” I asked again. “How late?” “I don’t know.” “You can go over there after school but I will need to know how late you are going to stay,” said Mom. “Will I be picking you up or will she be taking you home?” “I don’t know,” I said. “Find out then when you go to school tomorrow.” The timer beeped and Mom took the pizza out. I was in the middle of my jigsaw when Mom sent the plate right by me with a slice of pizza on it. Then she called for Kelly and Matthew. I finished my jigsaw and then ate my pizza. The pizza was all gone and Matthew said, “Hey Dad didn’t get any.” “I can always cook more but he isn’t here,” said Mom.
Soon it was time to leave for the community center. I had to get ready and Mom had to get Matthew’s shoes and Kelly was putting her shoes on. Mom also had to use the bathroom first but she used the one in the master bedroom so I figured I knew what she had to do in there. Even if I didn’t know, I still wouldn’t have known because she used that bathroom when I was little instead of the kids’ bathroom we call it that is in the hallway upstairs and she wore underwear. It was also where she keeps her period pads so she always went in there to change it. Mom came back down with her purse and she grabbed her coat from the closet and put it on. “You have your shoes on Matthew?” Matthew only had one on and Mom said “Hurry up, don’t keep me waiting.” “Mom is so impatient,” Kelly told me. “I heard that Kelly.” “Darn,” she said. “I can hear conversations across the room and people talking across the street in their yard so I can hear you fine,” Mom said. Kelly blew some air blowing her bangs. “Let’s go,” said Mom after Matthew got his other shoe on. “Natalie, I hope you’re changed and have your diaper bag.” I grabbed mine and we left.
We arrived at the community center and got out. We locked our minivan and there were a bunch of cars in the parking lot. Some were parked on the side. “This is going to be crowded,” said Mom. “I can be on my own and can get a ride home or I can call you,” said Kelly. Then she said, “Mom, are you going to wear those things, they make you look silly.” I looked to see what she had on and she still had on her normal clothes. I couldn’t see what she had on different. “Wear what?” I asked. “There’s going to be a lot of noise. Lot of people and kids, lots of noise,” said Mom. Then I noticed she had earplugs in her ears. We went inside and there were things set up. They were homemade Christmas stuff and some were regular items. I looked behind me and Kelly, Matthew, and Mom were still with. Mom still looked normal. She just held her purse under her arm while holding onto Matthew. I saw some kids there I recognized. I started to look at all the booths. Mom looked with us and pretty soon we got separated. I didn’t care and I just kept looking. There were some sponsors going on too about places like dental or diabetes awareness, I saw one sign up booth about joining the boys and girls club. Dad tried talking me into joining it once but I prefer to stay home and do my things. I never liked joining activities and rarely did when I was little so I didn’t do much of them except gymnastics, girl scouts, pottery, Spanish, soccer, swimming, and softball. I also saw a booth from Wells Fargo and they had pens and candy they were giving away and they asked me if I would like to sign up for an account. I said no and moved on. I hate it when people think I am older. Lot of people think I am an adult instead of fifteen. Besides I already had a bank account. I also noticed my old choir class standing on the risers at the back of the room and Mrs. Hanson standing in front of them. Sandy was sitting at the piano. My old classmates had on nice dresses and pants and shirts and guys had on nice suits and neck ties. I could tell the girls had on makeup. I hate makeup. How can people stand it without giving into the urge to scratch their faces. Makeup just makes your skin itch and lipstick does too and when you rub your lips and your face, you get it all over. Mom doesn’t like it either so she never wears it. Dad thinks she would look nicer and prettier with it and maybe younger but Mom doesn’t care. She also wears nothing in her hair and keeps it cut short. I have mine short too. I notice how easy it is to brush my hair and how less messy it gets. My hair just stays neat. It’s also quick to wash it and rinse it. They were there to sing and perform for us. If I hadn’t gotten kicked out of school, I would be up there singing.
Then I saw a bunch of dog kennels with dogs in them, tiny ones. “What’s this?” I asked. “They’re all up for adoption,” said the woman. “Except this one here,” she pointed. I looked and there sat a small dog in the kennel by himself. He had curly fur and pointy ears and a tiny tail and a pointed nose. “Why?” I asked. “He is pure bred Miniature Schnauzer so we are going to do a raffle to give him away. You must be eighteen or older to put your name in and your phone number and put it in this jar here,” she said holding it up. “The drawing will be tomorrow and if your name is drawn, we will give you a call. It’s rare to get pure breeds at our shelter and he is approxmentally five months old and he was born in Clark County and no one has adopted him and we would hate to have him put to sleep so we are giving him away. This is your chance to win a pure bred and they never shed. Isn’t that a great thing about their breed, all you have to do is cut their fur and they look like this.” She showed me a picture and it was a cute small dog of a Schnauzer. “Their life span is about twelve to fourteen years,” she continued. “They are good watch dogs and very friendly and lovely pets. They will give you love and affection.” “So how come no one has adopted him?” I asked. The woman shrugged. “He did have one home but within a month, he was handed back to the owners and then they handed him to us because they couldn’t sell him, he kept being given back, that poor doggy.” “So how do you know he won’t be given back to you guys when someone wins it?” I asked. “That’s why we are selling tickets, it’s a dollar per ticket so that way we make money to expand our shelter.” “But how will that keep someone from returning the animal?” “Then we have still made money off him.” This whole thing was bizarre, why would lot of people not want the dog they bought and then return it and get their money back? I wondered if it was a bad puppy and people didn’t want him anymore so they took him back. “Is he a bad dog or something?” I asked. “No, he is very friendly, has never bitten anyone, he has never really had a home. Just too many people not being able to have a dog or find it’s not the right time to have one, you do have to housebreak them.” “Housebreak?” I asked. I pictured a house getting broken by them. “You have to train them to go outside, train them to not chew on things that is not a chew toy or food, not jump on any furniture or counter tops and having a puppy is a lot of responsibility and they need lot of attention just like kids do. If you have any children, this will be a good dog for you. So are you interested?” “I’m only fifteen,” I said. “How old did you think I was?” “Nineteen, twenty,” she guessed. I felt like Jack. I wished I looked younger. I wonder if I have some disorder that makes me look older but it’s not as bad as Jack’s. “Tell your parents about us and about the raffling,” she said. “I doubt they will want him,” I said. It was mainly Dad who wouldn’t want this animal because another dog means more money to spend because of vets and food and having to cut his hair. We never have to cut Skippy’s because his stays short. He just sheds instead so he is never allowed on any furniture and Mom just vacuums and he has his own bed to sleep on. I walked away from the dogs. There were also some activities and games and prizes to win and they were all free. There was bingo, fishing, ring toss, bean bag toss, the walk thing where you have to step on a number and you keep moving in a circle until the music stops and the person draws a number and whoever is standing on it wins. There was also the huge blow up bouncer set up for kids to jump in and I was too big because I was above the age limit. It was set up in the corner. I played some games. I did ring toss, bean bag throw, and I did fishing. I won some Christmas prizes and put them in my backpack I use as my diaper bag. I ran into some of my old school mates. Luckily they left me alone. I think they were too busy having fun to even bother me. I did notice the place took donations. I saw one of the choir girls named Amira put some money in the donation can. She was one of my old school mates. I didn’t want to give up any of my money to donate. Then I started playing Bingo. It was in a separate room and I sat at the table with my card and started playing. I played till it was time to pick up Dad but Mom never found me so I figured she must have left and got him and brought him back here. Then I saw Kelly with her friends and they all got a card and started playing too. I soon got tired of playing and quit after it ended and played other games again. Then I walked around the booths again with homemade stuff and then I noticed hanging on the wall were fliers for an upcoming play from Saltwater Middle School who would be performing in the Saltwater High School auditorium and I saw the incoming Christmas Concert choir and band performance from the Saltwater High school students in the high school auditorium also. I would have been in that concert if I didn’t get kicked out of my school. I looked around for Mom to see when we were leaving. I was ready to go. I couldn’t find her anywhere and I looked at the clock and it was a little past eight. I also looked for Dad thinking he could be here. Mom could have brought him here than taking him home. You see, Dad has to take the bus to work now so Mom has to come pick him up when he gets off the bus and she also has to take him to the bus where he gets on. He drank and drove and crashed into a bank and now he has to do some community service, can’t drive for six months, and he can’t drink either and he has to take a class for it. He also has to pay back the fines and court fees and for damage property. Now we’re all suffering from his mistake. Then I saw Kelly again. “Hey have you seen Mom?” “No,” I said. “I hope she didn’t leave us here.” “Why would she do that?” I asked. “You know Mom, she gets spacey so she could forget us you know. She has forgotten to pick us up or take us to our appointments.” “But she brought us here,” I pointed out. “So.” “So why would she forget about bringing us here?” “I don’t know. If she did, I can just get a ride home, oh and tell her if she can’t find me, I have gotten a ride home with a friend.” Then she took off. Mom does good remembering to pick us up or take us to our appointments. She writes stuff down on the calendar and the time. Kelly likes to make a big deal out of Mom’s mistakes. I looked at the booths again. I collected more candy and I had a coloring book with me and a box of four crayons one of the booths was giving away. It was about eating healthy and it had activities in it like word search and a crossword, what picture is different than the others, code word, and matching pictures by drawing a line from one picture to the correct one. I just sat in the hallway and colored. Then I got up and walked around again and there I saw Mom at the kennels and she was writing her name down and putting down our phone number and putting it in the jar. “Anita what are you doing?” Dad asked. I saw Mom had already picked him up and she must have left us all here while she went and got him. Mom didn’t answer. The whole gym was loud and Mom was wearing ear plugs and she was writing her name and number on every paper they had and putting it in the jar. “Anita, stop, let other people put their names in,” said Dad. He grabbed the pen from her but Mom fought him off and I noticed people were looking. “Glen, stop,” Mom shouted. “Let other people have a turn,” Dad shouted in her face so she could hear him over the noise and through her ear plugs. “Crazy parents you have Natalie,” said Michael Scott. I knew he was poking fun at me. He was with another kid from our neighborhood. “That must be fun to watch every day at your house,” said Nicky. “They said a dollar a ticket,” Mom yelled. “And you are not wasting all that money,” said Dad. She grabbed the pen from him and went back to writing. Dad shook his head. “Why did you do that Dad?” I asked. “Because, your mother, it’s hard to get her to stop whatever she puts her mind to. See why I have access to all our money and why you mother has a minimum?” Mom has always had a spending problem and has no money concept. Dad has to be very careful when she has money and what she buys with it. Now that she is making her own, she can buy stuff again. When she first got money from her paintings, she used it to pay the cable bill and internet. When we were in Montana for Thanksgiving, Mom sold some of her drawings and used the money to stop to eat in Spokane on the way home. “I can’t believe she wants another dog,” I said. “I don’t want another one,” said Dad. “We have enough animals already.” Mom kept on entering her name in the drawing and the lady running the booth had to tell her to stop and Mom argued she said a dollar per entry and the lady said back she needs to let others enter so Mom tossed some tickets aside and kept on signing her name. “You know what, it’s time to go,” said Dad. “Anita I want to go home and shower and read and watch some TV before bed and I am hungry.” Dad grabbed the pen from her again and said it again in her face. “Natalie, go find your brother and sister and we will wait in the car,” Dad ordered. I walked away looking for Matthew and Kelly. I hated looking for people, it takes too long and what if it takes me forever to find them and what if I never find them? I looked and looked and I started to feel stressed inside. Then I went out to the car and Dad was already walking back in. “Go to the car and I will find them,” said Dad. I went to our minivan and got in. Mom was sitting in the driver’s seat rocking back and forth. She had her ear plugs out. “Why do you want to get that dog?” I asked. “There is no dog,” she said. “But you were putting your name in the can to win the dog,” I said. “It’s a dollar per ticket and they draw a name and call the person.” “And you win the dog,” I said. “I’m going to get another dog if they draw my name?” Mom asked. “Yes,” I said. In my head I was thinking “Duh, didn’t the lady tell you?” But instead I said “Didn’t they tell you what the raffle was for?” “She said one dollar per ticket, just write your name and number.” “And you didn’t ask what it was for?” “I doubt I will win, Mom never wins.” Mom was acting like Mom again. That is what I call her abnormal behavior. Dad soon came back with Matthew and Kelly. They both got in and Dad got in at the front. “Mom can you stop that?” Kelly asked. “Mom?” “Jesus Kelly, stop harassing your mother,” Dad scolded. “She’s being weird.” “So?” “Look at what she’s doing.” “Is she hurting anyone? Is she?” Kelly didn’t say anything else. She leaned her head on the window. Mom turned the car on and backed out of the parking spot. “Seatbelts on,” she said. I remembered to put mine on.
Mom woke me up the next morning for school. She pulled the blankets off me and started to tickle me and lied on top of me. I hated the pressure but she always tortures me every morning to get me up. She does the same to Matthew she literally drags him out of his room and down the stairs and that makes him get up because he hates his head hitting the steps. “Time to get up,” she said. She touched my wet diaper and said, “Let’s get this stinky thing off you.” She took it off and left me lying here with the diaper undone. I could feel the cool air on my bottom. I heard Mom grab one of my clean diapers and she came back and wiped me with wipes and took the wet diaper away and put the clean one under me and put it on me. Then she picked some clothes out for me and put them on me. I saw my wet diaper was sitting on my bed. Mom then left my room but I made a sound and pointed to my diaper. “What?” Mom asked. I pointed to the diaper again. “What?” “You left it on my bed,” I said. “Your diaper? So.” “You didn’t throw it away,” I said. “It’s yours, not mine so you throw it away.” I picked it up and took it downstairs with me and tossed it in the garage in the trash can with the other dirty diapers. Then I had to wash my hands in the kitchen sink. I had to spell it out for my mother about why I was pointing to my diaper because she didn’t get why I was pointing at it so I had to tell her. I bet Kelly would have hated this because she hates it that Mom can’t read our minds so we have to say words to her. Don’t tell her the batteries are dead for the TV remote and expect her to come home with new batteries. Dad did that to her the other day and got upset with her when she came home with no batteries and she said “You never told me to get you any” and Dad said “Yes I did, I told you the batteries were dead in the remote” and my mom said “You didn’t tell me to get you any, you just said they were dead” and my dad said “Anita, why would I tell you about the batteries being dead when you were going to the store?” and Kelly who was hearing the argument shook her head and rolled her eyes. Then Mom said “I didn’t realize that was your way of telling me to get you some.” Then as a joke I said “Of course not, you’re a blonde.” Dad then just started laughing and Mom said “What? I don’t get it.” Matthew who was also with us had to explain it to Mom because he had figured out the batteries in the remote are dead so it means you replace them so therefore you would have to go to the store and get some and only a blonde wouldn’t make that connection so she doesn’t get any for the remote because her husband said the batteries in the TV remote were dead. Mom was so silly but she has blonde hair like I do so we are both dumb. Kelly is blonde too but she is a smart blonde and a dumb one. She is dumb because of what she thinks about Mom. She thinks she is mean and doesn’t care about us and doesn’t see her as her mother. She wants her to be normal like the other moms and dress normal and wear some make up. But Mom does care or she would have just let me sleep in and not take me to school if I missed the van ride to school. Kelly also came down and had some breakfast. I was eating some Waffle Crisps. “It’s your birthday today,” I said to her. Kelly was now thirteen. “And no cake and presents,” she moaned. “Stupid Dad having to wreck his car and put us in this debt and Mom not spending her money on me.” Mom was in the family room and she heard her but she didn’t say a word about it. I felt sorry for Kelly because I couldn’t imagine not getting anything on my birthday and no cake either. I wished I could give her something but I didn’t know what to do for her. That would show her I do care about others and I am not selfish. I got finished eating and put my bowl in the sink and I went upstairs and brushed my teeth and hair and I went in the den and played my Nintendo 64. I played my new game. Dad got me this month. We may be on a tight budget but he still has to get me a game every month due to a deal we have. I was playing the new James Bond game that had came out this year. The graphics were better and the characters talked than just having words on screen and it made the GoldenEye graphics look bad. Also it took longer in the new game to reload the gun because the game would show him unloading it and reloading it to refill it with ammo while in the other one the gun would go off screen and back in a second after reloading. What sucks about this game is it needs a memory card so I can save the game. I could hear Mom playing Christmas music out in the family room. “Thanks for remembering my birthday Mom,” Kelly shouted and I heard our front door slam. Soon it was time for me to leave and I grabbed my backpack and got some diapers and stuck them in there. I had to hurry because the van was here. It always comes around at the same time and if I don’t come out, someone knocks on the door. I also had to grab my coat and shoes. “I really should make a check list for you young lady,” said Mom. The song Run Run Rudolph was playing and it sure fit this situation because I had to hurry. I ran out the front door and across the lawn to the van.
I met up with my boyfriend Jason when I got to school. He was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see him. He liked standing real close to me. I put my stuff in my locker and I refused to open my bag and have him see what I had in there. This was the hardest part about having a boyfriend. I had my binder already out of my bag so I wouldn’t have to take it out at the locker or end up going to English without and then going back for my binder and being late and Mrs. Larson will not give me special treatment. If I am late, I get a consequence just like everyone else unless I am excused. Mrs. Larson is also Jason’s mother and she is the sub here until our real teacher comes back from maternity leave. I walked to English and Jason walked to his. I couldn’t wait to see him in Spanish, group therapy, PE, lunch, geography, and drama. Mrs. Robinson, my aide, was with me and she always waited for me at the front door before I go in the building. Luckily no one makes fun of me about it but I still hate it when she waits for me like I am retarded. Then she has to follow me to my locker and then to my classroom. She walks with me everywhere and sits with me at lunch. It’s like I need to be baby sat and can’t be left alone. This felt humiliating. I sat down in my seat and did my word search. This is a new activity I was given to do than playing my Game Boy. My teachers decided I should be exercising my brain more than playing games in school and everyone says too much videogames are bad. I don’t know how a word search is supposed to help or a crossword or reading. I was given those three options. But if I want to play videogames, it has to be educational and there are no education games for Game Boy. But I like word searches and I was still getting used to it. Also I was told my Game Boy won’t get stolen if I don’t take it to school and word search puzzles are cheap to replace if it gets taken but my Game Boy has never been stolen because I always have it with me. I never left it alone, if I had to go to the bathroom to change; my Game Boy went with me. I was lucky to get it for cheap at a garage sale and it came with four games. The bell rang and Mrs. Larson took attendance and set it by the door. I put my word search book away when she started class.
I headed to Mr. Brooks after class got out. I go in here for math and I always do the computer when I am done with my work and someone isn’t using it. Mr. Brooks gave me a math assignment to do. It looked like elementary school math but that’s okay, at least I can do the work. It was addition with rounding ad subtraction. It took me only ten minutes to do the work and then I was allowed on the computer but I had to share it with Racheal-Ann. Yesterday in class I got done with my work and I was playing Madeline Rainy Day Activities when Mrs. Brooks brought her to me and told me she will be joining me on the computer and this will be daily and I will have to share and let her pick a game. I didn’t like that idea because then it meant being told what game to pick and having to share and let her play and I sit and watch. But luckily she didn’t tell me what game to play and didn’t even ask to use the computer. “Natalie, please make sure she has a turn,” Mrs. Robison told me. I did the brain puzzles. It was just a block pattern and I had to put the patterns together to match the pattern in the square. I had seen some other kids play it and they suck at it. They keep putting the wrong pieces in the wrong spots until they get it right and they are slow at it. This was my favorite game on the whole software and I didn’t care for the other games on it. Racheal-Ann just sat there and I kept on playing. “Natalie, are you going to let her have a turn?” Mrs. Robison asked again. “She hasn’t even said anything,” I said. “Why don’t you let her have a turn?” “Do you want to play?” I asked her. Racheal-Ann took the mouse and continued with the brain puzzle. She was being slow at it and making too many mistakes so I told her what piece to take and when to rotate it and stop and where to put it. Then she let go of the mouse and said “You’re better at it than me.” I finished the puzzle and did another puzzle. “Natalie, let her have a turn,” Mrs. Robison said again. “I did,” I shouted. “She quit playing.” “That game is hard,” she said. “Do a different activity,” said Mrs. Robison. “How do you do that?” Racheal-Ann asked. “Do what?” “That puzzle you were doing.” What kind of question was that? “I just take a piece and put it in the right spot,” I said. “How?” “I look at the picture and then at the puzzle and take a piece and put it there.” “But how do you do it?” “I just told you,” I said. “You’re visual Natalie,” said Mrs. Robison. “I find those brain teases to be a little tricky.” “Why?” “I am just not good at it.” “How can that be? You just look at each square and find the pattern and pick it up and put it there,” I said. “People who are visual are better at it.” I got out of that game and had to pick something else. I did coloring. I found it boing and did connect the dots instead. While Racheal-Ann did one, I rocked in my seat. I hated sharing the computer but I had no choice. Rocking helped me feel calm because it gave me something to do.
Soon the bell rang and I went to Spanish leaving Racheal-Ann at the computer. I met up with Jason again and sat down close to him. I put my hands over his eyes to catch his attention like I have seen in a movie once. Jason grabbed my hands and pulled them off and I said “I’m here.” He put his hand in front of my eyes and pulled it away. “So can you come this Friday?” “My mom wants to know the time and when I will be home and if she is picking me up or being brought home,” I said. “How about after school, you will ride home with us,” said Jason. “Great,” I said. “Is that a good great or a bad great?” “Good great.” “Good, I can’t tell the difference if someone says it and don’t mean it or if they do.” “If it’s about something bad it’s a bad great,” I said. “Like if we go to Portland on a Saturday and we get stuck in a traffic jam and my dad says “oh great” it’s a bad oh great because traffic jams are bad.” “I still have troubles knowing the difference,” said Jason. “It’s easy, you just go with if something is good or not and if it’s good, it’s a good great.” “But how will I know if someone thinks something is bad or not?” Jason is more of a un normie than me. I felt smart. I always think I am stupid and retarded but I keep getting told I am smart and not retarded but other kids always said I was stupid or retarded. But I am not allowed to say I am stupid or retarded or I have to say three positive things about myself. “Whatever you think is bad is a bad great,” I said. “So what time will I be going home on Friday?” “I don’t know.” After school it is and I will tell Mom when I get home.
I left school again and it was going to be another stressful evening. I had my choir concert here at school at seven. That meant going home and changing what I would have to do after school than play video games and doing the computer and watching TV as always. I would have to shower early so I wouldn’t take a late one. I rode home in the van and got dropped off at my house. I went inside and I could hear Mom talking. “You’re such a cute doggie woggie. Sit. Good boy.” I took off my shoes and coat and put them away and walked into the family room and there was that schnauzer again I saw last night at the Christmas thing. Mom was playing with it. She was rubbing it and kissing it and hugging it and giving it treats. Matthew was there also playing with it. Mom saw me and said “Oh hey Natalie, look at what I’ve won here,” she said holding it.
“You won it?” I asked. “My name got drawn so I won,” said Mom. “What will Dad think of this?” “Kelly asked me the same and she thinks I forgot her birthday so she is in her bedroom moping but she will get over it once she sees the cake.” “Where is it?” “In the microwave, I baked it today and decorated it.” “I made her a card for nothing,” I said. “What do you mean?” Mom asked. “I also thought you forgot about her birthday so my boyfriend told me I could make her a card so I did.” “Oh Natalie, you didn’t make it for nothing, making cards is good so you didn’t have to spend a dime.” I noticed Princess, my gray Tabby cat, was looking at the dog and she had her fur stuck up. The dog walked over to her and she meowed and hissed. “Princess,” Mom scolded. “She hates our new dog,” said Matthew. “No she just needs to get used to him so she will eventually learn to share the house,” said Mom. “Isn’t this a great birthday present?” “It’s for Kelly?” Matthew asked. “Sure, I got him for free so I will give him to her. It’s her birthday.” “But she already has a pet and now she will have two, no fair,” said Matthew. “Sweetie, this will be a family dog.” “But you said it was for her,” Matthew pointed out. “For her and a family dog,” said Mom. “You can’t give someone a gift and then say it’s for everyone,” I said. “That’s not how it works.” “You kids have gotten Christmas presents and they were for all of you than just one.” Mom was right. So you can buy a gift and have it be for everyone. Mom just got the new dog and it was for the whole family and it was on Kelly’s birthday. “And this is our early Christmas present,” said Mom. Matthew and I groaned. “Let me guess, there won’t be any gifts this year because of Dad,” said Matthew. I felt upset again. No presents this year. This was going to be the worst Christmas ever. I couldn’t take it and I shouted all of a sudden “Stupid dad and his drinking.” “Natalie,” said Mom. “I don’t want no no presents this year,” I cried. “Me too,” said Matthew. “I know I know, your father screwed up so we all have to suffer but it’s the way it is. Just think, not all kids get a Christmas because not all parents have the money to buy presents.” I didn’t want a no Christmas this year. I borrowed some words from Kelly. “Kelly’s right, you are just selfish and don’t care about us and you are going to just spend all the money on yourself,” I yelled. “For once I wished I had a normal mother.” “Natalie, why are you being mean?” Matthew asked. I ran out of the room and up the stairs. I had a feeling I made Mom cry but I didn’t care. This was the worst day ever.
I went in my room and cried. I didn’t know why I felt so angry right now. I grabbed my nice outfit and brought it to the bathroom with me. I knew a shower would relax me. I took off my clothes and got the water started. I got in and showered and I made it quick. We are not allowed to take long showers. I shaved first and then washed my hair and I got out. I grabbed the tweezers and pulled some hair from my pubic area the razor couldn’t reach. I stood in the tub and did it so I wouldn’t have a mess to clean up. I saw my ugly body in the mirror, it’s ugly because it has scares from when I was in a car accident and my back is all ugly and I have a big butt and thighs and legs and my tummy isn’t flat. Everyone says I am skinny but I am fat. At least I’ve lost twenty pounds. I just did sports and didn’t have seconds or snacks and I ate three times a day and watched what I ate and my weight dropped fast. That is the lazy way of losing weight. But I still wear the same sized diapers. Then Kelly knocked on the door and told me to hurry up because we had to get Dad. I got out of the tub and got my diaper and put it on. I put my nice outfit on and I brushed my teeth and left the bathroom. I brushed my hair in my room. Kelly was standing at the doorway. “I heard you yell down there, what happened.” “Mom,” I said. “Yeah, now you know how I feel all the time.” “We won’t be getting a Christmas this year,” I said. “I am not happy about it either, we can both be mad at Mom together for her selfishness.” “She got you a family dog and that is our only Christmas present,” I said. “Yeah right Mom is only doing this because it’s something she wanted so she spent all her money entering for that damn pet. That’s why Dad handles all the money.” I got finished getting ready and I grabbed my Game Boy and went back downstairs and got my backpack I use for my diaper bag. I got out Kelly’s card and brought it upstairs and gave it to Kelly. “I made this for you, I felt sorry for you when you thought Mom forgot about your birthday.” It was just a folded paper in half with writing in different colors saying “Happy Birthday Kelly. I hope this card will make you feel better” and it had some stickers for her as a gift I found in school. “Thanks, I appreciate it when you thought of me,” she said. “My boyfriend gave me that idea,” I said. “Oh,” said Kelly. I told Jason in school about Kelly being sad about Mom forgetting her birthday and only spending money on herself and he told me I could always give her a card. I said I had no way of buying her one and he said “Make one” and I said I didn’t know how so he took a piece of paper from the print and gave it to me and told me to fold it in half. I did and he said it was now a card and I can write in it and decorate it by drawing. Luckily our school psychologist Mrs. Grenzle had stickers so I traded my group bucks for them. They were a birthday gift for Kelly and then I taped the card closed with stickers in it. I felt good about myself. “Let’s go,” said Mom coming downstairs. She grabbed her coat and purse and I saw Skippy’s old kennel in the family room and the dog was in there. Matthew was over there looking at it. “Come on Matthew,” said Mom. “We’re just going to leave him there?” Matthew cried. “He’s a puppy, we can’t leave him outside or in the house alone where he can poop and pee everywhere and chew,” said Mom. “He’s been outside already and I stuck newspapers in there for him to go potty since he didn’t go.” Our cats were always left in the house or outside and Skippy was in the family room on his doggy bed. We headed out to the minivan and got in. Mom stopped at McDonalds on the way just to give us all something to eat since we wouldn’t have time for dinner. “Oh thanks a lot Mom, you don’t buy me anything for my birthday but you buy us food,” said Kelly. “Yeah,” I said. “At least Natalie got me something, she got me stickers and a homemade card.” “School made card,” I corrected. Mom didn’t say anything. We all got Happy Meals and I was shocked Mom got one too. She said she wasn’t that hungry and McDonadls was just junk food so she didn’t need all that garbage in her stomach. “You didn’t get dad anything,” said Matthew. “Oops, we can stop again if he wants to eat,” said Mom. We headed to Portland to get Dad. Dad and his stupid drinking made this day stressful and hard for me. “This day is so gay,” Kelly whispered in my ear. “How’s it gay?” I asked. “Having to go all the way to Portland just to pick Dad up and then come back and go to your concert and my birthday was forgotten and Mom would rather spend her money on McDonalds and her dumb raffle tickets.” “But what does that have to do with being gay?” I asked. “It’s a figure of speech I keep telling you that.” “Mom made you a cake,” I said. “No she didn’t,” said Kelly. “Yes she did,” I said. My voice was a little louder. “It’s in the microwave at home,” I said. “I bet it’s one of those homemade cakes,” said Kelly. “So.” “She couldn’t even be bothered to buy me one.” “What’s wrong with homemade cakes?’ “Mom would rather spend it all on herself.” We did get stuck in traffic and Mom turned the music on. We went to Portland and Mom was supposed to pick Dad up from work. She wanted us all to be quiet when we got close to downtown and we crossed the river again. We had to cross the Columbia to get into Oregon and now we had to cross the Willamette to get to downtown. Now Mom had to look for Dad’s workplace. There were a bunch of cars down here and people walking. We stopped and went and then Mom jerked on the breaks and said “asshole” while the seatbelt locked and held me in place. “Whoa,” said Matthew. “What happened?” I asked. “That car pulled right in front of us and good thing Mom was paying attention,” said Matthew. “Yeah good thing she doesn’t drink or she would have crashed into him,” said Kelly. “She does sometimes,” I corrected. “Not like Dad.” “Quiet!” Mom shouted. Then she started saying to herself “Fifth avenue fifth avenue.” Then the phone rang. “Answer that for me,” Mom ordered picking up the phone and handing it in the back. Matthew grabbed it from her hand and hit a button and put it to his ear and said “Hello….Yeah we are downtown looking for your work…Mom is mad and lost. Too much traffic….ummmm where are we?” he asked us. “I don’t know,” I yelled, “what am I, the map?” “Broadway,” said Mom. “Mom says Broadway,” said Matthew. “Oh you want us to go south and turn left on Main. Mom, Dad says to go south and turn left on Main.” “But I don’t know if I have passed Main,” said Mom. “She doesn’t know where we are,” said Matthew. “Yeah we have cross freeways…..Not yet…have we passed Clay Street?” “I think so,” said Mom. Matthew heard more on the phone and then said “Dad says if you have reached Portland State University, you need to turn around because you have gone too far.” Driving in lot of traffic must be very stressful and people make it look so easy. So does Mom but this time she was making it look hard. “He says if you have reached the freeway yet, turn around.” I saw signs for Interstate 405 and I-5. While Mom was trying to turn, I started to poop my diaper. No no no this was not the right time for this. Poop kept seeping out of me. I didn’t want to change a messy diaper, not when I am not at home. I didn’t want to be changed out here in the car and risk anyone seeing me or else they would find out my secret. This is what I hate about being incontinent. I felt it spread in my diaper. Matthew was off the phone when he noticed the smell. He held his nose close and said “Ugh now we have to deal with the smell.” Kelly opened the window but Mom ordered her to close it. “She pooped,” Kelly argued. “It’s too loud, close it,” Mom shouted. Kelly closed it and sighed. She waved a piece of paper in front of her face. “Sorry,” I said. I didn’t want this to happen at the inconvenient time but it did. “What are you sorry for? It’s not like you could help it,” said Kelly. “But you always hate it when I poop,” I said. “But there is no place to change is there so what are you sorry about? That you can’t change because Dad had to drink and drive and crash his car and get his license suspended and now we have to pick him up now from work because you have a concert he wants to go to?” “I said quiet,” Mom yelled. Then she started to scream and hit the steering wheel and saying how she hates driving down here because of too many people. Then she said “Where is the fucking Portland Building?” All this was stressing me out so I rocked back and forth. I hated seeing Mom like this and it was stressing me out and I hated feeling tense and it was like I was driving but I wasn’t. Matthew was getting upset too. Kelly just sat there. Mom turned onto another street and drove north again. “The right street finally,” said Mom. She kept driving and I could feel the poop moving around in my diaper. I could feel it spreading in the middle and it felt it was going to the front. I wasn’t sure how far up the poop went too but I could feel it going up my butt cheeks. Mom was the only one who never commented on the smell. Then we arrived at the building Dad works in and we looked for Dad. Mom drove round the block and I couldn’t see Dad. “Where the heck is he?” Mom asked. She kept driving around and around and she kept talking and saying “Where is he?” “Just call him jeas louse,” said Kelly. Mom kept on driving and then cried “I can’t parallel park.” Then the phone rang again. “I got it,” said Matthew. He answered it again. “Hello….yeah that is Mom freaking out because she can’t find you…..keep driving, Mom and Dad will be on the sidewalk.” Mom kept on driving and soon we found Dad. Mom pulled along the sidewalk and Dad got in. “It’s about time. Okay, let’s head to her school,” said Dad. Dad told Mom where to turn and what roads to take because he knew the quickest way. It was lot of stopping and going and then we crossed a bridge and got on another freeway. There are several freeways in our area. Traffic ran slow on the freeway. I felt anxious. Dad should have just missed my concert and walked home again or wait at the bus stop. “Dad should have just missed my concert and wait at the bus stop,” I shouted. “This is gay, I should have just stayed home,” Kelly yelled. “What did I tell you about that word?” Dad scolded. “I thought that was retarded?” said Kelly. “Hey,” Dad shouted. “Kelly you are really treading on thin ice you know that?” “No I meant the word, you said I couldn’t use it.” “And I’ve had enough of the other word too,” said Dad. I hear gay and retarded all the time now in school. I used to not hear it as much in my old one but now I do in my new one. Kids even call other kids that and they will say “She is so retarded” and I heard a kid say that about one of their teachers. I have not noticed any other retarded kids in my school or teachers. At least I am not being called that and I do wonder if I am or not and I think I must be because I always need help with school work and everyone else only needs help with it sometimes. I am also not a normal teen because they are all mature than me. At least I have a boyfriend now so that makes me normal. But we don’t even do normal boyfriend and girlfriend stuff like hugging and kissing. None of us want to do it, it’s too gross and I still don’t feel comfortable with hugs and cuddling. I also don’t want sex because that is also icky. Jason thinks it’s hilarious but says he isn’t allowed to have it. Mom and Dad gave me rules about having a boyfriend. I am not allowed to have him change my diaper, have sex, sleep at his apartment or have him sleep at my house, see me naked or him naked, and touch each other wrong. Jason was given similar rules too by his mom but she never told him about my diapers so she didn’t give him that rule.
I kept looking at the clock. It was hoping to make it back to Vancouver before seven. My diaper was still a mess. “Did someone fart or is that Natalie?” Dad asked. “It’s Natalie,” said Matthew. It took Dad this long to notice the smell? “Natalie, what did I say about changing?” Dad said. “It happened while I was picking you up,” said Mom. “Oh. Can you hold awhile Natalie?” Dad asked. “Yes,” I said. I knew he meant if I could stay in my messy diaper and not have to find a place to stop for me to change. I didn’t think we would have time to stop. Kelly and Matthew kept their nose held closed. I felt pee entering my diaper and I could feel it spread to places it doesn’t normally go to when there is no poo. I could feel the pee going to the front where my legs are and it going to the back too where the leak guards are. Now I was even messier and it will be even dirtier to clean up. I kept wishing Dad just missed my concert because I couldn’t stop worrying about being late and missing it. Mom was refusing to move in lanes that were going quicker. “Let’s get in the other lane,” I said. “They’re moving quicker.” “And we’ll just catch up to them,” said Dad. “You can never go somewhere quicker in traffic this heavy.” We stayed on the freeway and the time got closer and closer to seven. I was worried about not making it. We would be stopped and then go. Then we were finally at I-205 and we had to wait to get on. “Why do lot of cars make things go so slow?” Matthew asked. “Because people try and switch lanes, get on the freeway, get off and when you add a lot of cars on the road and have everyone try and do that, it slows down traffic. You know how we have had to slow down when we were getting off or trying to switch lanes?” Dad explained. Soon we were finally on I-205. Traffic was running a little faster thank goodness. It was only seventeen minutes away to seven. I was very stressed about it. I hated feeling this way. Why did I have to let Mom drive all the way down here? I would have just said I didn’t want Dad there and to just take me to school. “If you miss your concert Natalie, it’s not the end of the world,” said Dad. “Next time I will just get off sooner and have Mum pick me up.” I cried and started yelling but Dad told me to shut up and not say another word. Soon it was seven and we were still on the bridge crossing the river. I wanted to yell more but I didn’t want to be yelled at again. Then traffic started to pick up a little. We drove a little faster instead of like five or ten miles per hour. It was soon ten minutes past and then Dad told Mom to just get off the freeway. Mom did and we waited in a red light and then Mom turned right because it was the only direction to go. Dad told Mom where to go. I was glad traffic was quicker despite not going 55 mph on the road. I looked at the clock again and it was twenty minutes past. I was in a messy diaper and I didn’t have time to change it anymore. Now kids were going to find out my secret. Soon we finally arrived and we were only thirty minutes late. I bet it was all over but Dad said to still come here to see. There were still cars here and the parking lot was packed. “Come on Natalie, with me,” said Dad. I grabbed my back pack and got out with Dad and we walked in the building while Mom found a place to park. I could hear the performance in the gym. Dad and I peeked in there and I saw the younger kids on the risers singing on stage. “Go to the loo and change,” Dad told me. “I will see if your group has sung yet.” I went to the nearest restroom and I went in the handicapped stall. I took off my dress, stretch shorts, and pantyhose and hung them over the stall door. I took out the wipes and a clean diaper and started to change. I sat on the toilet as I cleaned my butt and pubic area and I did it until there was no more poop on the wipes. No one had come in the restroom and I was hoping they wouldn’t. I felt very nervous the whole time. I didn’t want the dirty diaper to be seen or my clean one. After I got done cleaning, I unfolded the diaper and put it on and got dressed again and put my shoes back on. I hid the poopy diaper under my coat and threw it away in the trash can. There was barely any paper towels so the diaper was visible. It’s not like anyone would know it’s mine but I took a bunch of clean paper towels and threw them in the trash to cover the diaper. No one would dare to stick their hands in the trash. Lot of people find it gross. I washed my hands and went in the gym. I saw my class was already up there so I climbed on the stage and got on the risers in the soprano section. “There you are where were you?” Amber whispered. “On the road,” I said. “We didn’t think you were going to show up.” “We had to go all the way down to Portland just to pick my dad up from work and then we got stuck in traffic,” I said. “You went all the way down there? Why couldn’t he come here himself?” “He doesn’t drive anymore.” “I thought you bailed.” Kids were talking on the risers while waiting to perform. Our teacher, Mrs. Nancy, said in the microphone. “We are waiting on a few other people to show up and then we will start singing.” I all of a sudden noticed my Dad waving at me from the front audience. “Why are we waiting?” Brent whispered. Then I saw my Mom and Kelly and Matthew coming in the gym. They had all ran inside and Mom tripped over the big easel that was holding the program showing the performance and some kids on the risers giggled. Kelly just kept rushing looking for a seat and Matthew was the only one who pulled her off the ground. Then they were both walking and Mom fell down again and Matthew fell down with her and they landed on a person in the audience. This time I couldn’t help laughing. “What is the matter with that woman is she drunk?” Emily asked. “No,” I said. “How do you know?” “Because it’s my mother.” “Okay students we are ready to sing,” said Mrs. Nancy ignoring what was going on in the audience. Mom and Matthew finally sat down. My whole family were not sitting together. Dad and Kelly were off on their own. We sang four songs and they were all Christmas music and then we were done. It went quick. In my group we had ninth to twelfth grade singers and there were forty of us together. I had counted so that was how I knew. The audience clapped after we sang each song and I was so glad it was over because it was too hot on the risers. Too many people. Then I started to feel overwhelmed when they started talking again. Too much noise. I was also sweating a little. Everyone started to get off the risers. I stayed until it was all cleared so I wouldn’t be bumping into anyone. I got down and Dad was waiting for me at the bottom. I had my backpack with me I left right by the risers during the performance. “Now see Natalie, we still made it so you got worried over nothing,” said Dad. I was ready to leave but instead Dad made me sit down and said the concert wasn’t over yet. Instead the band started to perform. I saw Jason at the drums. I hated band and I was bored. “Why do we have to stay? I am done singing,” I said. “Don’t you want to see Jason play?” Dad asked. “I don’t like listening to the band,” I said. “But he had to watch you sing so you can watch him play, it’s courtesy.” I saw some people had already left and I also saw them leave. “But some people left already,” I pointed out. “And they were rude and we will not be part of it,” said Dad. I sighed hard. “He watched you sing you can see him play,” Dad said. “Just think how he would feel if you left and didn’t see him perform and he saw you perform but you didn’t watch him perform. How would you feel if he did that to you?” “I wouldn’t care because I wouldn’t expect him to watch me because I don’t like to watch the band so I wouldn’t force him to watch the choir,” I said. “You’re staying until this ends and that’s final.” I waited for the band to end and when it did, the band teacher put the microphone up to his face and said, “We’d like to thank you all for coming and watching our band and choir performance for our sixth grade and all the way to twelfth grade. Before you leave, please pick up your chair and put it over there on the cart,” he pointed, “and we all wish a Happy Holiday.” Everyone started to get up. Finally. “Stay with me, we need to look for the rest of our family,” said Dad. We had to pick our chair up we were sitting in and we carried it to one of the carts where everyone else was putting them. I wore my backpack so I wouldn’t have to carry it. Even the band kids were putting their chairs away and Jason was packing up the drums. Then the band kids picked up their things they have their music books rest on and they carried them out of the gym. They also carried their folders with their music in it. I saw Jen, Jason’s mother. Since school isn’t in session, she is Jen, not Mrs. Larson. She was standing in the hallway with Mom and she was talking to her. Matthew was standing and looking at the display case. Mom was looking away as Jen was talking to her. Then she walked away and Dad laughed. “What’s so funny?” I asked. “Just your Mum. It’s rude to walk away when someone is talking to you so don’t ever do that.” “Anita, I was still talking,” Jen called. “I thought you were finished,” she said. “I took a breath so I could breath.” “Oh.” “You should wait at least ten seconds and if you need to leave, you say you have to leave and then walk away.” Mom walks away from us all the time while we are talking to her. I never knew it was rude until Dad told me. So when someone talks to me, I am to stand still and not take a step and I have to wait until the person is not talking anymore before I can leave. It gets boring. I am anxiously waiting for the talking to get done so I can walk away without being rude and it’s a miracle when another person comes and the person starts talking to them instead so it’s always my chance to leave. Mom does it because she doesn’t know she is doing it. She doesn’t know when someone is done talking. She thinks they’re done so she leaves when someone takes a pause and she thinks the conversation had ended because she was done and people walk away all the time when they are done and they still move around when someone is talking to them. Maybe people should use signs when they talk to her and then hold up a green sign to mean they are done talking so she can leave now if she wants and keep the red sign up to mean they are still talking and not done yet. Everyone else can see those invisible signs. But whenever she does it at home, we just tell her we are still talking and we are not done yet and Kelly gets upset with it. Dad often has to tell her someone was still talking. “Good luck trying to teacher her any social rules,” said Dad. “I’ve been trying to teach her over the last twenty years and she has only gotten about this much,” Dad held his thumb and pointer out and had them nearly touching each other. “I got Jason this much,” Jen held her thumb and pointed out and she had a bigger gap between them. “We got Natalie this much,” Dad held his thumb and pointer further apart. “We are working with Matthew on his too, we’re trying to.” Mom had already walked away and now Dad and Jen were talking. Then Jason appeared and he walked up to her and said “Mom, let’s go now.” “Okay, nice talking you Glen,” said Jen. “Now I am heading out with my son here.” She waved at my dad. Dad waved back. “Aren’t you going to say good bye to Jason?” Dad asked me. “Bye” I said. Jen nudged Jason and told him to say bye to me. “Bye,” he said quickly and kept on walking. “I could trade her for Mum,” Dad told me. “Why?” I asked. “She seems easier to talk to and not as much work and she has far better social skills. Plus she works as a teacher and does Mary Kay and lot of stuff. Mum does nothing.” “She keeps the house clean,” I said. “Not lately.” “She has been selling her paintings,” I said. “Why not divorce her then and date Jen?” “Yeah I could divorce her but I am going to have to see if Jen is available first.” I imagined Jason being my step brother. They could move into our house and I would have my boyfriend with me all the time and we would play video games all the time. But then Kelly and I may have to share a room again and Jason moves in to my old room. Was Dad really going to divorce Mom? We met up with Kelly and we found Matthew. We found Mom next who was standing outside arms folded and she was leaning against the wall. Dad got her and Mom brought us to the car. We all got in and left.
“Boy am I starving, when we get home, I am going to eat something,” said Dad. “I haven’t eaten since noon.” “We’ll all have cake when we get home,” said Mom.
When we arrived home, Mom parked in the garage and we all got out. I took off my shoes when I went in the laundry room and everyone else removed their shoes. I could hear the dog whimpering. “Let Skippy out,” said Dad. “Skippy is right here,” Matthew pointed. Skippy was in the laundry room with us lying on his bed right by the door that leads to outside. “Then what is that sound?” Dad asked. “Our new puppy,” I said. Mom let Skippy outside as Dad said “What?” “Mom won the dog,” I said. Dad went out to the family room and said, “Oh no.”