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Depression and Diapers

by funygman

Chapter 1

Rain trickled down his face and soaked into his uniform, his backpack dragging along behind him behind him. He was Joshua; he was twelve years young and studying in school. He wasn’t feeling the best today; in fact he hadn’t been feeling the best for the past few months. His grades had been steadily slipping from high As to Fs. Out of class had been no better , he had started to become the target of bullies which just made matters worse. Lucky for him the rain mixed with his tears so no one could see him cry as he trudged home. He came and slammed the door, casting his bag over to the foot of the stairs. Josh rubbed his eyes and ran upstairs, he didn’t want his brother to see him like this, he would just worry and try and make it better. He got into this room, safely and securely. The school boy looked at himself in the mirror as he passed. He had slightly curled sandy blond hair with a slight part on the left side; well right now he was a drowned rat so his hair was darker and flattened. He undressed and went to the shower to get warm and wash himself after school. After this he had to give his report card to his brother Cole who was sure to take it out on him after he had finally hit rock bottom.

Cole was downstairs, head on the table. He left school at the first opportunity he got. He had hated school and wanted to get away as soon as possible. Right now he was at his first job, he was an office worker. It was pretty hard but the pay was good and he found the change in environment to be liberating and free. He always felt for his little brother whenever he toiled at school, school was tough and it wasn’t easy for him. Once he was a target for bullies they were relentless, he had had to patch him up more than once, it was just scraps and cuts but still needed some first aid. He sighed, today was report card day and if Josh had failed again he would have to take action. Better him than their older sister. She was much more brutal than him; luckily she was at work until dinner time. He dragged up his weary head and opened up his laptop that was sitting beside him and started googling both punishments and ways help him , at his rate he was have a breakdown in a few months if this keeps up. He stared up at the ceiling as the hum of the shower stopped. He went back to searching and came across something that seemed helpful.

Joshua got out of the shower and got dressed. He reapplied a white plaster to a cut on his cheek and one to his knee. He put on a sleeveless white shirt and a set of light blue shorts. He slipped on his shoes, blue and white with powder blue laces. He laced them up and headed downstairs. On the way past he snatched up his bag and went to the kitchen to see Cole. His brother looked up at the sound of Josh entering the room. Cole had ever so slightly darker redder hair than his brother but styled in the same scraggily haircut only with the part on the opposite side. His clothes were his business clothes, brown laced leather shoes, grey pants, white shirt and black overcoat. A set of black framed glasses were perched on his nose, just enough for him to look over them when he needed to and through them when reading. He had a red bow tie around his neck that was loosened since he got home to face all the stress that his brother had to offer. Josh took out his report card and threw it onto the table and walked out “don’t talk to me about it for the next two days” he warned, passing through to the living room where he lay down on the couch. The little blond stared up at the ceiling and sighed wearily, he just wanted an escape, even if it was just a few moments each day to just let go of everything. He hugged his knees and tears started to stream from his eyes. He started to cry out his pent up emotion, when his older sister came in he had to act normal, he knew his big brother would hide the report card for a few days to prepare for her wrath. So far she hadn’t caught onto his emotional wellbeing or school issues, she didn’t exactly look too far into it but he had to stay brave for her and not let his mask of normality slip, but the mask was showing a few cracks now. 

Cole looked over the grades “F, F, F, F all fails. This is not good, let’s see what the comments sections says……Oh, emotional wellbeing disturbed ,refused to consult school therapist …..” he sighed what was he going to do. His brother was heading into an emotional black pit and he couldn’t do anything to stop him.  Their sister would be no hope , she’s just kick him while he was down and demand he get up and continue to beat his emotions down until he had bruises as black as the pit. He got up and peeked into the living room, spotting Josh crying. He bit his lip, he had to do something, this was tearing him apart inside. He went back to his laptop and continued to search. He was at his wits end here. In desperation he clicked on Josh’s bookmarks folder and tried to find something he would like. While clicking through sites he came across something, a chat form. Cole looked though the chat, expecting some depressing stuff. But he came across something unexpected and ….he had to admit unusual. But it did help him in his search. 

The following day went a little better for Josh, but he was forced to see the school therapist. Not like he told him anything, they would just make notes and scurry off to his brother or sister like the rats that they are. He did nothing in class, just sat in his chair, trying to endure his depression. When he got home that day Cole was out, he had left a note saying he was out shopping and would be back late. Josh sighed, he didn’t get much alone time but what did it matter; he couldn’t do what he wanted anyway, too much evidence. He went to bed earl that night, skipping dinner, not hungry. He thought back to how he normally was, full of life and happiness; he was never one to pass up dinner or any meal. But now he kept avoiding all the things that made him happy. Now he just wanted to be alone.  

The next day Josh came home in the same way he always did , tossing his bag down at the bottom of the stairs, he had a couple of new blue bruises on him and had been given a few days off. He was grateful for them but didn’t know what to do with them, not like time off was going to help him. He dragged his feet upstairs, not seeing Cole at the table must mean he wasn’t home. When he got to his room his eyes met with Cole, sitting on his bed expectantly with a bag at his feet
“Hello Josh”
“Umm, hello to you too. Now get out. I want to be alone” he said hanging his head low”
“Not quite baby”
“w-what did y-you j-just call me?!”
“Little. Baby. Boy” he said, a grin spreading across his face 
“w-what d-did you say?!” he demanded, his tone sounding like ice wining and cracking under heat
“It’s okay Josh, I saw your chat log. Come, sit” he said, motioning to a spot beside him on the bed “Just explain what’s going on in that adorable little head”
“W-well I-I heard a-about these p-people who unwind by playing at being a baby. I can’t unwind and I’m getting all stressed over school and and” he stammered, being cut off by a hug from his brother “It’s okay, baby, it’s okay. You don’t need to worry” he soothed; Josh had started crying in his arms, it would be so cute of him to do so, if it weren’t so sad. Cole soothed him until he was calm, but he remained in his arms, his hands clutching onto fistfuls of his clothes “I got something for you yesterday. I think you’ll like them” he said, reaching into the bag at his feet. He brought up a light blue colourer rectangle shape. Josh thought it was a pillow by the thickness and soft look it had. He reached out a hand and felt it, in crinkled under his touch. He jumped onto the realisation that it was a diaper, quickly letting go and burying his head into Cole’s chest 
“I-it’s a diaper. Isn’t it. I’ve read the descriptions but not actually seen or touched one” he whimpered 
“That’s right.” He answered, unbuttoning his shirt and pants, gently slipping them off without resistance “we can’t have a baby in underwear, they would make a mess” he explained, unfolding the diaper and laying it out for him. Josh eyed the diaper, biting his own lip with anticipation. Did he want this? It was all so fast, it was like the fiction storied he read that he fantasised about sometimes. Cole moved him onto the diaper, dousing him with powder and rubbing in some baby oil before taping it up. Josh loved the smell, like soft flowers, it felt good too, it was better than he had imagined. Once he was done he was sat up by Cole and dressed. Cole had bought him some new clothes to go with his diaper, a soft baby blue tee that didn’t stretch to cover his diaper, matching baby blue mittens and booties. He put them on and pulled the tassels on them tight, Cole wanted to help replicate the helpless feeling Josh wanted so he didn’t want him to be able to take them off easily. He finished with a aqua coloured bonnet, an orange bib and a light pink pacifier, which he fastened around his neck loosely like a necklace “sorry , the only had pink” he apologised. Josh pulled the bonnet back and looked down at himself; the clothes were beyond soft, if this is what a baby wore then he wanted to stay like this forever. He lifted his arms up and Cole respond by lifting him up into his arms. Without warning Josh kissed him and hugged him tight, tears started forming in his eyes but his smile stayed. Cole was a little shocked, his brother nearly never showed any signs of affection “it’s okay baby” he whispered to his brother, patting him on the back and carried him out of his room. 

Josh was adorable; he stayed in Cole’s arms for a bit, sucking on his pacifier and enjoying the feel of his situation. He could hardly feel his legs but it didn’t matter, he was safe and for the first time in a long time, relaxed. Nothing bad could happen. Cole took him through to the living room and put him down on his feet. He stood for about half a second before his legs buckled and he went down onto his knees. He smiled up at Cole and went to find the remote, clambering on top of the couch and sitting cross legged. The blond flipped the channel to a baby show and started to watch, feeling happy and content with watching the bright colours and simple preschool education. Cole listened him giggle and laugh, it was so good to hear him being happy again. Cole started to make him something to eat. His favourite snack food was fruit, so Cole started chopping up the sweetest fruit they had into a fruit salad. It would also be good to get him eating again. He was already going on the dangerous side with his weight since the school troubles started. He knew it was stupid to expect something as easy as a clothes change to completely alter someone’s mental wellbeing but it might be a start. The brother stuck a spoon in and brought it through handing it to the smiling blond. He was about to head back through to the kitchen to leave Josh alone. This was after all, his thing, and it just felt a little weird for him to be involved. He moved to leave when he felt a tug at his shirt. He turned and saw Josh holding on; he seemed a little teary “stay. I want to talk” he said, softly, thin emotional ice. Cole sat. 

Josh chewed on a piece of melon, working up some courage to talk like he said he would. True this was what he wanted, but it felt like a silver lining around his dark cloud. 
“This must be really shocking to you. I’ve got from being depressed teenager to soft baby in just under five minutes.”
“Hm true. I don’t understand it, and I’ve got a feeling your happy attitude just now is just an act for now”
“A little. This does make me feel better though. It just doesn’t make my situation any brighter” he said taking a pause for breath, filling he empty space with the soft clatter of his spoon on the bowl
“Why does this make you feel better?” Cole asked, feeling more like a therapist than his brother
“…I guess I like the comfort. Babies don’t need to feel stress or worry about school or grades or any of that” he replied, a little anger boiling over into his tone. Cole noticed and let him simmer before asking further 
“I’m not exactly a baby sitter and I’ve got no training with little kids. Is this something I should leave for you to do on your own?”
Josh shook his head “no. I would like you to help. Part of it is having someone to take my problems away for a bit. Someone to care for me, just to give me some rest.” He said blushing now “I-I understand if you don’t want to” he said his voice breaking into sobs. Cole left another gap before giving his replay , he made him upset now when he was opening up his heart and letting his soul pour out, now he might never open up to anyone 
“It’s okay. I’ll look after you. After all what are brothers for” he said bringing him closer. Letting him feel that he was there for him, he noticed Josh cuddling into him and his body relaxing the more he made protective connections with him, letting him feel that he wasn’t alone. Josh on the other hand was relaxing, letting everything go. It felt so strange to feel safe with his brother, normally he saw him as a threat and got thorny with him whenever he tried to connect with him or ask how he was. If he told him his problems he thought he would just make them worse. Well now things couldn’t get any worse, he was reduced to a baby and Cole was given elevated responsibility over him, he hoped he wasn’t making this hard for him. Cole stayed with him for a bit, he couldn’t remember a time when his brother was this cute, it went well with his mental state. Having said that he could say the same for himself, his outfit was a little too mature for him. 

Cole stayed with his baby brother until he was certain he was had recovered from his emotional outburst. Moving him from his arms to the couch Josh resumed watching his show. Josh clasped his hands around the pacifier dangling around his neck and stuffed it into his mouth. Cole left to make him up some dinner, the kid could use it. He considered something soft, something he could easily feed him, he would like that. The phone went off as he was boiling some pasta, Cole answered it. Just his sister saying she wouldn’t be home tonight, that was a relief at least, if she saw Josh like this she was likely to tear Josh apart, she was not the sensitive type, but equally he didn’t want to hide this from her, she had a way of getting him to tell her everything, even things he tried not to tell her. He strained the pasta and put it back in the pot and started to add pasta mix. He was caught between a rock and a hard place; if he told his sister he would make Josh’s life infinitely worse and ruin what comfort he had found in being a baby. But on the other side he just couldn’t keep anything from his sister, she’ll find a thread out of place and start pulling and pulling on it until she had unravelled the whole story. He served up the pasta and set it down on the table in the kitchen 
“Josh, dinner” he called
Cole jumped a little when he saw the padded boy waddle in; it was going to take a little getting used to. Josh slid up onto a seat at the table. Cole smiled, sitting beside him and picking up the fork and stabbing it into his food. Josh was about to protest but Cole used the opportunity to shove the food into his open mouth, Josh realising what was going on and smiled with a shy blush. Cole smiled and fed the pasta into Josh’s open mouth, spilling it every so often but nothing unmanageable. After Cole ate his own dinner and Josh was fed he took the bowls to the sink he noticed his baby wasn’t moving. Wondering what was wrong he came back over “what’s wrong baby?” he asked looking him over for anything that might be the issue. When he got closer he spotted the issue, his snow white diaper had tuned to a lemon yellow and was gently spreading across the front. The boy blushed and looked up at his brother, waiting for his reaction. Cole smiled 
“Aww, did baby have an accident “he cooed, lifting him up into his arms. Josh giggled and gurgled 
“uh-hu, that’s what babies do” he replied, his voice light and free from its usual heavy emotion. Cole took him upstairs and laid him down on his bed and started to change him. The diaper was heavier now it was wet but it was just as thick. Josh bent his legs for him and sucked on his pacifier, giggling to himself from behind his pacifier. After a coating of baby oil and a powdery layer of talc he taped the diaper up for him, moving him up so he was sitting cross legged on the bed. Cole fetched out some baby toys from the bag by his bed and set them out for him, a collection of bright coloured and soft coloured toys. Josh smiled “I’ve always wanted toys like this” he said picking them up and starting to play with a red fire truck 
“I’ve also go something else for you” Cole said picking out a soft plushie for him
“A Kitty!” he shouted, shaking a pink and white rattle so it made a sound. He grasped the plushie and hugged it close to his chest. The rest of the night went well, Cole had Josh washed and padded up for bed. Josh had told him he was suspended from school, Cole had wanted to be angry but found it hard when he was sucking on his thumb. Instead he gave him a loving hug and told him it would be okay. A little while later Josh was received another change and was dressed into same pyjamas before being tucked into bed with a bottle of milk to drink while he drifted off to sleep. 

The next morning Josh woke up to pleasant sunlight coming in through the gap in his curtain. He cringed at the light, why was light always the brightest in the morning. He moved around a little, feeling the thickness between his legs, reminding him of what went on yesterday. He smiled innocently, a dry diaper was good, but a wet one even better, but he wasn’t a bed wetter so his padding was still crisp and dry. He snapped out his thoughts when his bladder signalled the need to go. Out of habit Josh moved to get up but remembered his outfit and with a bit of struggle forced himself to let go. He had no idea it could be this hard to wet the bed, it wasn’t as easy as he had thought it would be, his body was really set in its ways. He sighed and stared up at the ceiling, he felt comfortable and snug in bed and the best part was he didn’t have to get up for anything. He fell back asleep, woken up some time later by Cole lifting him out of bed. He yawned and cuddled in him as he was carried. He didn’t really pay attention to what was happening around him, vaguely aware he was being changed and dressed in the same clothes he had on yesterday, soft pastel blue shirt with mittens and booties. Cole moved Josh out to the garden to play, bringing him a collection of toys for him to play with. Josh had a bit of fun in the sun , playing with his toys and rolling around in the grass while Cole stayed indoors and did some work from home , occasionally leaning back so he could see out the window to make sure Josh wasn’t in need of him. He was still worrying about their sister. Good thing he hadn’t seen her all day yesterday or this morning which could be a good thing or a bad thing. 

Cole headed back out sometime later to check Josh was still dry; it was a little much to hope for, which turned out to be true, Josh was soaked and messy. Cole gave him a look but the blond only giggled and laughed, not a care in the world. He picked him up to take him back inside for a change when someone moved in front of the door carrying the diaper bag Cole had made up for his baby brother at the star of the day. The someone in question wore a red sleeveless dress with a large, cream bow tying it in place. She wore black elbow length leather gloves that made her looks like she had claws rather than hands. Her hair was the same colour as Cole’s a sort of dark creamy colour somewhere between dark blonde and light brown, it was tied up in a ponytail with a red bow. 
“H-h-Holly?!” Cole gasped “it’s not what it looks like” he tried, though no one in the right mind would believe that. Josh’s face burned, there were only a few things in this world which he feared, and his sister was close to the top
“Well well. Look what we have here” she said with a rather cruel looking smile. Holly slinked over to Cole and took Josh from him in one quick movement before he could react. Cole stood there, letting his arms fall away by his side as Holly took Josh inside. It took him a second to recover “what the hell just happened?” he asked himself.

Josh stared up, his face as red and only getting redder, but he remained quiet. How could he have let his guard down so much? He trembled as he was carried, he didn’t know what to expect from her, he would never have told her about this but she had caught him red handed and he had no escape now. Feeling trapped he resigned himself to be laid down on the floor. His ears pricked up when he heard the crackle of plastic. He looked down and saw he had been placed down on a changing mat. Out of habit he laid down but sprung back up to sitting position and crossed his legs, trying to make it as hard as possible to change him if that was what she was going to do, no way he was going to be this vulnerable with her on top of being caught, it seemed like a trap. 
“N-n-no! You’re not changing me”
“Oh, but why, you need a change” she chuckled with the smiling lips she always wore; it made her look like she always knew more than she was letting on. Josh shivered at each word as they rang icily in the air. He felt his legs loosen and twitch, he did need a change, but not from her anyone but her. She pressed Josh’s legs apart and pushed him down onto his back “stay” she commanded like she was talking to a dog, Josh obeyed. She was softer than he had expected, though the touch of leather on his skin made him tense up. She tore out the tabs and pulled the diaper out from under him, wiping him up and getting another thick crunchy diaper under him, the plastic crinkling as he was made to lie down on it. Josh didn’t know quite what to do once he was changed; he sat up and looked to his side 
“H-Holly…look I can explain” he started but was caught off guard by his sister picking him up and holding him close , a unusual move from the ice queen 
“Look, you’re shivering” she said, her voice coiling around him 
“y-your r-really scary sis” he said, nearly breaking into tears “I-I d-didn’t w-want you to know”
“Silly baby brother, I know everything that happens in this house. I’ve known how much of a baby you really are for a long time. So stop being so fragile”
“Y-You k-knew!” he stuttered
“Yea, I just wanted to respect my little brother’s privacy and didn’t want to expose you. Just leave you with your fantasies and such” she said with a smile, only serving to further Josh’s fears “I also know why you’re not at school, they phoned to confirm it. I’m not happy about it. I could accept bad behaviour out of rage, but not over you feeling a little sad.” She snapped, Josh froze and pee trickled out of him in a slow steady stream, he whimpered, unable to do anything about it. Holly sighed “it’s okay baby” she soothed, she didn’t realise he feared her so much “but something will be done I’m not having you go for days without education on top of all the work you need to catch up on. You can play baby all you want and I’ll help you with it if it helps you to feel better but I’m not going to stand by and let you throw away your education over your infantile needs” she said, every word cracking like a whip, and cutting him just as deep. It was fair to say Josh had an entire ecosystem of butterflies in his tummy, his bowels were quivering in and out of spasms, his body was trembling and tears were starting to form in his eyes. She let him stew to get a reply from him
“I’m sorry Holly!” he screamed out eventually, before descending into babyish screams and cries. 
Cole came into the room and took the baby from Holly “Quit scaring the boy. He’s been through enough “
“Stop enabling him. You’re just giving him a way out of school and that’s what all kinds want, to be out of school and to throw their future away”
“Not him, he’s sick in the head”
“He’s just sad, that’s no sickness, if it were up to me I’d stuff him with happy pills and send him off again”
“You’re too cruel sis” he said, cuddling Josh in his arms “how about a compromise, you can educate him while he’s off school, but I get to look after his mental health without your meddling”
“Fine by me, we’ll start tomorrow at 9; make sure he’s dressed in proper clothes.” She said before storming off, leaving Cole to deal with the baby, who by the feel of it could use another change, without their sister butting in and scaring him. Holly just didn’t know how scary she was to him. Cole got Josh changed for a nap and put him to bed, he was already half asleep and needed the mid-day rest, it would do him some good.

Holly avoided the pair for the rest of the day, she could feel she wasn’t needed and wasn’t about to take on extra duties, she had never been much of a caring sister, that’s what Cole was for. But she couldn’t help, but check up on the pair every so often. Cole seemed to like it too, he was never the sort to think about the bigger picture and think about things like education. She felt a slight flash of anger towards Cole for being so short sighted but could she really fault him for it , it was him who took action, now Josh was happily playing away free from his black gloomy depression and it was all because of Cole. Holly would never have done anything like that; the small things didn’t matter to her, only the end result. Josh caught her watching and went quiet, avoiding looking straight at her. She nodded and walked off, hearing the sound of a rattle as she left, knowing they had resumed playing.

The next morning Cole had to get up early, he was hardly awake when the alarm went off. He yawned; he wanted nothing more than to snuggle back into bed and sleep. The idea of his sister waiting for him was a splash of icy cold water and got him up in an instant. He got dressed in a red shirt and black pants and went to get Josh up. He found him tucked in the way he had left him. He opened up the onesie he had dressed him in to sleep and felt is padding, wet, but not soaked, he guessed he had either woken up during the night or had decided to wet himself before sleep. He could understand that, bedwetting wasn’t something someone could turn on and off at will, although he wondered if given a choice what Josh would pick. Cole lifted him up out of bed and into his arms and cuddled him, prompting him to wake up. Josh opened his sleepy eyes and mumbled something, trying to go back to sleep 
“No no, can’t have you going back to sleep, I need you up and awake” he told him, yawning as he did, this was too early even for him. He got his baby changed into a clean diaper, hoping he might wake up a little with some cold padding on him. Josh cringed as he was thrust from nearly sleeping to wide awake “you could have given me some warning that you were doing that” he complained as he was taped up. Cole dressed him in a white shirt but gave up with the pants, he was squirming too much for him to go through the effort “fine, keep them off” he sighed wearily 
“You’ll be with your sister today, she wants to educate you and to try and get you to catch up” he said, lifting Josh up to a sitting position on his bed 
“What! She wants me to do what!”
“That’s just the reaction I’d expected. It’s just for a couple of hours baby, just to make her happy” he said, trying desperately to soothe him but Josh was having none of it. He thrashed about and seemed about to throw a tantrum when he spotted his sister flow past his open bedroom door. She gave him her slimy smile on her way past. It was chilling, if anything could be said of her, it would be that she was commanding. 

Josh sulked as he was marched down stairs by his brother. At least he would get some breakfast before his lesson. He threw himself onto the nearest chair at the table and huffed, making sure they both knew his feelings on this by his attitude. His sullen attitude dropped as he got bored with it, keeping up a grudge was hard. He looked down and noticed Cole had padded him up with something different today. Yesterday’s one had been pale blue but today his padding had a strip of patterning on the front. It was sky blue with a brightly coloured sun. He couldn’t help but smile, a healthy mix of embarrassment and cuteness was just what he needed to lift his dull mood. He played around with the buttons of his shirt as he waited, maybe he should just ditch wearing pants altogether, all they did was get in the way, and this way he would always see his bulging plastic whenever he looked down, not to mention the fact that he would never have to ask for a change, all you had to do was look to see wither he was wet or not. Josh wondered what was taking them so long as so looked up from his own distraction. Holly was red in the face and leaning on the counter while Cole had that look that said ‘I told you it was easy’ by the looks of things Holly had had some trouble getting the toaster to work , she was great with people and getting her own way but when it came to machines she was the worst. She couldn’t work the washing machine, the stove, the TV or the kettle, Josh often giggled to himself when he wondered if she could even work light switches, but he through better on it than to mention his thoughts out loud. Cole was the one who most of the housework fell to. Now that he had a little baby to look after all he needed was to quit his job and he could be a house maid. Josh giggled to himself, he enjoyed making fun of both his siblings inside his head, if he said them out loud he would get hammered. His breakfast was placed in front of him, the clattering of the plate on the table snapping him out of his daydreams. He ate slowly, no point in going fast when he didn’t have much to look forward to.

After breakfast Josh was moved to the living room. Holly sat him in her lap, using one of his old shirts as a protector; she was concerned about him leaking. Josh was worried too, but it wasn’t up to him when he got changed or not. He wriggled and squirmed, he wanted to get up and leave, he knew Holly would never allow that but he could try all the same. Holly got annoyed with him and had had enough, she wanted to get on with it as much as he did, but him trying to escape all the time was not going to get it done any quicker. Holly snatched up one of his flailing arms and flicked out a ribbon, taking his other arm she died them both together behind his back in a tight knot so he wouldn’t be able to get it out. Josh opened his mouth to protest but his open jaws were instantly filled with a rubber teat of a pacifier
“There, quiet and sill.” She said, Josh shook his head and tried at his restraints. Cole came to the baby’s side 
“Hush now Josh. You need to do this. You’ve gotta be a brave little soldier and get through this” he soothed. Josh pouted through his pacifier and nodded grumpily
“I knew he was immature but I didn’t see him being this hard to deal with”
“He’s just not use to you being so….Involved with him.” Cole replied, looking apologetic for Josh. Holly shrugged and picked up the first book on the pile and started reading aloud.

At the end of the ‘lesson’ Josh was still not happy, he was bored. School was more interesting than this and he hated that too. He had already wet himself more than once just to do something. That and suck on his pacifier but that didn’t do much. Cole was the lucky one; he was fast asleep, recovering from an early morning start. Holly had lit up a cigarette and had looked up from her book, gazing into Josh’s eyes. She done it every so often to scare him stiff and to make sure he was still listening. Josh glared back, doing his best to pout without his pacifier dropping out. She gave him a smile, Josh leaned away. Holly took a hold of the ring for his pacifier and gently pulled it out 
“Now, let’s see if you’ve learned anything.” She said, Josh gulped, he hadn’t listened at all, he didn’t think he would actually be tested on this. She asked him a whole bunch of questions he didn’t know the answer too, he did his best to think up an answer that sounded right but she shook her head, her smile not even fading a little. But every wrong answer was disheartening for Josh, it reminded him of school and every shake of the head drove his frown down until it was in the shape of a horseshoe and he had tears in his eyes. Holly couldn’t stay so stone cold to him, not when he was like this. She put a hand behind him, undoing the ribbon with one quick tug and leaning him into a hug “it’s okay, I didn’t expect you to listen. But I’m going to keep doing this , need to make sure you don’t fall behind” she said , grabbing a handful of papers “I want you to do these maths problems for tomorrow” she said , letting him finish the hug and handing them to him. He groaned and slid off her lap, leaving her surrounded with the papers she had read through and left littered around her.

Josh waddled upstairs to his room and lay down on the floor. He looked around for some pencils but couldn’t find any, so just used crayons. He went through them, getting stuck on most of them but getting a few done. When he turned the last page he found a colouring book that had been stuck in at the end. He looked up and around as if to see who had put it in with the questions. He smiled and picked out some blue crayons to start his work. Unknown to him Holly was looking in on him when he was colouring in. She nodded in satisfaction before walking on, happy with both securing what he needed for being a big boy later and catering for his soft babyish side right now.


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