I’m fed up with hearing those words from everyone.
“Because we say so.” or “Because I say so.”
It was the answer to my question, “Why do I have to wear a nappy?”
“Because we say so,” was and is the constant reply.
When I say “everyone” who I actually mean are my parents.
It’s never expanded on. It’s never explained. It’s never negotiable but, since being a baby until now at fifteen, I‘m still told I have to wear a nappy.
It isn’t like I have much choice in the matter; both mum and dad never gave me an option and insist that I wear all the time. As it’s the only thing I’ve ever known or been allowed to wear… it’s what I wear.
At night I have varied fabrications to sleep in but most often it’s a hefty doubled-up one with a pair of heavy, slippery opaque vinyl pants, whilst during the day, the padding is less bulky but only marginally. The daytime plastic pants I wear over them are quite crinkly and sometimes see-thru but thankfully not as thick as those I have to sleep in.
I vaguely remember when I was five, mum trying me out in a disposable to wear for sleep but waking up soaked through - not only me but the bed as well so, from that moment on, she insisted I also wore rubber pants over my nappies. In the intervening time she hasn’t seen any reason to change that decision so I have a selection of rubber, plastic, vinyl, pvc and other waterproof covers that range from the plain, to the colourful and some might say… ornate.
There is no other underwear in the house, well not for me at least, and the times I’ve tried to refuse that cumbersome fabric embrace have been met with determined and sometimes painful opposition.
“David, we’re not going through this again and again. We want you to be safe and secure at all times and we’ve decided the best way to maintain that is by wearing protection.”
Well, that’s roughly what the answer used to be to begin with - now they just ignore my occasional grumbling.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried reasoning with them, expressing the silliness of a lad my age still in nappies, the bulkiness of them and urine constantly next to my body…
Dad says he can’t see why I complain. In his opinion it is simply a different type of underwear and I should think myself lucky I have parents who dote on me enough to make sure I’m always well-guarded. According to them, wearing my toilet is no excuse for not wearing it???
There is no logic to their argument, not that it is an argument. I wear because that’s how my parents want me to dress. I’m an only child and although I’ve never known anything different, I know the other boys at school don’t wear what I have to. My parents regard it, for me at least, the absolute pinnacle of underwear and I think they pity those young people who’ve made the change to briefs or boxer shorts... or so I’m led to believe.
I’m always dressed impeccably, mum sees to that. My school uniform is always clean and pressed, fresh clean shirt, Windsor knot on my tie, I look like a new boy every morning. My parents don’t see the thickness in my pants, sending out messages of being incontinent or worse, as a problem.
You’d think a pair of briefs would be better than the reams of fabric I’ve worn over the years but they just reiterate that how can I be sure I won’t wet... again?
This is where they got me because once or twice my nappy had been soaked when I was younger and they used those few occasions as reason enough to keep me padded. Now I have no option but to flood my nappies because I have no way out of them.
Gary Harrison was grateful. A new job, in an executive position was just what he needed. His wife of barely a year, Jennifer, was expecting their first child, so this opportunity and financial reward couldn’t have come at a better time.
Prestige Pharmacists Products, a company his grandfather had founded and run for a number of years was ill so the firm needed an injection of new blood to take it to the next generation of supplies to the industry.
Gary’s father had recently passed, and with the prospect of the older member of the family also likely to be taken soon, there was urgency in keeping the family business on track. Even though Gary had tried to make his way in the world in his own fashion he hadn’t been involved in the family business up until that moment. However, with this new opportunity he found he had ideas and drive to take on such responsibility.
Harry, Gary’s grandfather, had come up with the idea of developing products that would last through a child’s formative years and well past puberty. He was hopeful to expand the company and have ‘customers for a lifetime’, not just at an age when they would normally need some protection – babies and incontinent old age. It was an idea that came to him when he saw how fathers would take their sons to football games at an early age; indoctrinate them in the ways, chants and colours of the team, which invariably lead to that child becoming a fan for life. He wanted that same principle to be attached to a lifetime for loving his products. He was an innovator and wanted new, exotic, must-have, trendy personal health products that would transcend the fact they were originally designed for only the pant-wetter’s of the world.
His plan would be part research, part commercial, part promotional and part innovation – but it needed a subject matter, a volunteer they could follow throughout his or her life.
Gary suggested his own, as yet unborn baby might be the ideal guinea pig for this experiment.
Despite an initial reluctance to allow this to happen, eventually, as her husband was suddenly promoted to CEO, Jennifer was talked into seeing the benefits of such exploration and agreed to pursuing the research with enthusiasm.
It was agreed that their son David, must never know the reason for the way he was being treated otherwise might reject the entire notion when older. He needed to know from his first questioning moments that he was a normal boy and his treatment was special to him because it’s what his mummy and daddy thought was best.
He must be continuously told it was for his own good and brook no nonsense from any and all nay-sayers. A firm and constant reply of “because we say so” to his curiosity from the very beginning would mean it unlikely that he’d grow up and make demands that would change this bizarre but important piece of research. Any questioning of their methods on how to bring up their child must be fiercely and vehemently defended. They would, over the years, learn to quell any and all objections to David’s way of life with a series of carefully defended and aggressively pursued explanations.
No one really knew what the outcome might be but making their son know he was (and is) loved, and not aware of being used as a guinea pig in some obscure marketing experiment, was paramount. They didn’t want to confuse him with mixed messages or any doubts, the way they cared for their son was to appear normal in their household at least.
Over the years I’ve found that a tantrum leads to a spanked bottom and no amount of crying, pleading or begging makes the slightest difference. I still end up having to wear a nappy. I occasionally still have my petty little rebellions, usually after someone has passed a comment on a boy my age still in nappies, but it’s no use. I usually end up seething for a few minutes before I’m back to wearing what I’m told. I haven’t been brought up to be confrontational, that has long since been spanked out of me, so tend to do as I’m told most of the time.
“Because I say so.” It can be either of my parents speaking; it’s always the same answer so my reluctance to do as I’m told has all but evaporated.
I may be a teenager but whilst my peers are all angst and mood swings, I’m a fairly easy-going type of guy. Despite being forced to wear a nappy I don’t have any particular hang ups, which I truly don’t understand. In fact, there is something about the way dad says he’s doing his duty by how he treats me is both mystifying but also quite pleasing… there’s never a moment when I don’t think mum and dad are there for me or are honest in their desire to keep me well protected.
Maybe it’s simply because I have to wear a nappy that I’m so easy-going and at ease with myself, I’ve had to put up with a lot... I don’t know, perhaps I’m immune to some of the pressures other kids suffer. However, mum and dad are certain that their way is the right way for me and I do as I’m told (more often than not).
From being a kid the changing of my soaked nappy has become a fun ritual. There is quite a bit of laughter, whilst the intimacy and tender way both my parents attend me is incredibly loving. Now, at fifteen, I don’t baulk if either of them want to change me, it’s just part of our relationship so I have no concerns about whether it’s appropriate or not. It simply doesn’t matter.
Despite all the “Because we say so’s”, I love my parents. I suppose my initial statement doesn’t look that convincing now I’ve written it down but there were (and are) times when the resentment teeters (briefly) on the verge of anger. Usually because someone else has wound me up over it.
Over the years various boys (and the occasional girl) have gone out of their way to befriend or bully me into wetting myself. When I was younger, the bullies were almost nonstop in trying to get me to pee my nappy. They would pull down my shorts or trousers and insist that I wouldn’t get them back until they had proof I’d wet myself. The growing yellow spot or gradual inflation of a disposable soaking up my scared pee was enough to have them victoriously laughing at my situation.
I’d arrive home crying and demanding to be let out of my nappy but, at those moments mum, who works as an administrator for an overseas charity, would show me photographs of the starving and destitute people they are trying to help and that soon puts a lid on any ‘pathetic’ grievance I think I might have. Seeing images of kids and entire countries desperately trying to find enough food to stave off starvation is not a helpful sight if your only complaint is that you have to wear a nappy; especially, when so many kids hardly have any clothes at all.
It was a shock to the system that what I have to put up with is as of nothing compared to the suffering others have to manage on a daily basis. I was learning that fact from a very early age and it sort of dwells continually in my brain should my ‘suffering’ seem all consuming.
However, mum never let me contemplate on it for too long and takes a similar view to dad saying that I am her (and by implication, their) ‘sweet little pumpkin’ who should have the constant reassurance that a loving family and nappy, offers.
Why they decided that a nappy is the best way to show that fact I’m not sure (cos no one tells me anything) therefore, I’m always well-protected.