(Start with Part One – “Getting Her Ready for Bed”)
Luke patted her diapered bottom, encouraging her to waddle into the living room. Taking baby steps forward, she had never before felt such a wonderful mixture of overwhelm, embarrassment and tingles.
Part Two –
Laney looked over to the couch, seeing the smiling faces of Jenny and Erica, her two besties. The girls were very inviting of her to come over to them, separating where they sat and giving her a space between them. This was a bit of acceptance that made Laney’s heart jump for joy.
Yes, she had told her girlfriends about the BabyGirl thing, but they had never seen it for themselves, until now.
Taking careful steps with a lowered chin, she kept her excitement in check. There was attention that would be forthcoming. And every little waddle she made, every little bit of crinkling that sounded from inside her footed pajamas, only added to the regressive instincts she had long since learned to know and trust.
Taking a seat in between the girls, Laney embraced both of them. Their acceptance and support … these were two of many reasons why they were her besties. She could always rely on them when she needed them … if not to agree with her on something, then at least to listen to what she had to say.
Luke handed Erica the hairbrush and then watched for a moment as the girls began to fuss over the best way to brush Laney’s hair out. This was when Luke took a step backwards and walked into the kitchen. Even Greg and Greg, the same-named husbands of Jenny and Erica, gave the girls the space needed.
Yes, Jenny and Erica had husbands with the same name. They were often referred to as Greg 1 and Greg 2, but even more often referred to as Thing 1 and Thing 2.
And it seemed Jenny and Erica had very different ways to smooth out hair with a hairbrush. From the kitchen, Luke was beginning to worry that this difference of opinions might pull Laney out of her regressive state of mind. But it surprisingly was doing the opposite of that. Laney sat in between them and kept tossing her head back-n-forth as she listened to each of them make their cases. It was as if Laney had no idea how to brush her own hair anymore and had suddenly become dependent on her besties to decide for her. And without any prompting, it seemed that including the close friends was a gamble that had paid off.
Greg 1 paused the movie they had been watching, knowing that no one would be ready to return to watching it for a little while yet.
And it was the distraction of this movie that had masked the fact that Luke and Laney, their hosts, had disappeared for 45 minutes. Within those 45 minutes, Laney had been bathed and diapered and dressed … and babied along the way. She had been guided so deeply into tra-la-la land that she had completely forgotten they had guests in the house … this of course, leading to Laney’s reaction of tingly surprise when she re-appeared before them in footed pajamas and with a mind full of babyish thoughts.
Thankfully, Jenny and Erica finally agreed to start the brushing at the tips of Laney’s hair, slowly working their way up until the ends of the bristles contacted the scalp on the back of her head. This was when they began to make long strokes with the hairbrush, going higher and higher and higher in her scalp. They both had long hair and knew well the glorious feelings that came along with having their hair gently brushed … especially by someone else.
Laney’s eyes had rolled back in her head several times from those wonderful feelings of the hairbrush bristles ever-so-lightly scraping against her scalp. This was a wonderful sensation that Luke had tried to duplicate so many times. But without long hair himself, he would always be a step or two behind professionals such as Jenny and Erica.
“Good Girl,” Laney kept hearing whispered to her by her besties, two little words that only added more tingles for her to feel.
She was now the baby of their group of friends. And she hardly had to try at all.
This was a thought that Luke planted in her mind years ago. Though she might never had learned it without meeting him, she truly was a BabyGirl at heart. He told her that when it happened for her so easily, it was because it was natural for her. And she would never have to try much at all.
Her best friends could see it in her so clearly. And this was pure validation.
Luke returned from the kitchen, quietly sitting in his Daddy chair, a dark red recliner that sat next to the couch. He joined Greg 1 and Greg 2 in smiling at how the three girls had figured the hair brushing out, Laney sitting in the middle and smiling brightly behind her pacifier – keeping her eyes closed and enjoying the tingles that were dancing all over her head. When she opened her eyes, she saw Luke sitting there. Erica put the hairbrush down on the coffee table and Laney stood to her feet, feeling just a bit more babyish as she had just been fussed over. She had traveled just a bit deeper still into the regressive landscapes of tra-la-la land.
Waddling and crinkling over to him with her teddy bear and baby blanket still in her hands, Laney climbed up onto his lap. Straddling her knees on either side of his thighs, she leaned in and wrapped her arms around his neck – his head becoming covered by her baby blanket. Patting her diapered bottom through the back of her footed pajamas, he remained with the head covering until she saw the baby bottle in his left hand.
This had been the reason for his trip into the kitchen. And that baby bottle was, no doubt, filled with warm milk. This was another part of their nightly habits, a routine she knew well.
And it began. She eased back into the cradle of his lap. The pacifier came out and the silicone nipple of the baby bottle went in. Luke held the back of her head with his left hand and gently drug his fingernails up and down her already affected scalp. This he had figured out well, the scalp massage. The hairbrush trick he was still working on. But she was most certainly tingling as she began nursing the warm milk.
Curling up and resting against his chest, she could hear Luke talking to their friends – answering their questions. But her brain was too affected to process the meaning of the words.
So she had her own feelings of shyness, dwindling embarrassment, love, affection and an obsession with remaining his BabyGirl for the rest of her life to keep her company as he bottle fed her. And with each passing second, her senses both softened and found focus:
Her eyes became focused on him and him alone. He would speak to the others, but he kept his gaze down on her.
She could hear his voice resonating in his chest as he spoke. The conversation continued, but she only heard the sounds of talking, still not capable of understanding the meaning of the words.
She could taste the warm milk in every tiny gulp as she nursed, a building of saliva mixing into the milk and leaking out of the corners of her mouth. Luke, her wonderful Daddy man, kept wiping away her dribbling drool.
And then the sense of touch. Oh, she loved touch, in all forms and for all reasons. But at that moment, it was the externals that captivated her … the diaper hugging her, the footed pajamas surrounding her and the warmth rising up off his frame, the texture of the teddy bear and her super soft baby blanket.
And there she would remain, surrounded by softness and in an environment of acceptance, with love and attention galore. She didn’t want that moment to end … ever.
Getting to the halfway point of the bottle, her eye lids grew heavy, drooping to half-mast and prompting Luke to sit her up. Taking the bottle from her lips, he embraced her for a moment – gently patting her back until the burps happened. Free of the gas, she whimpered a sigh of relief before he returned the pacifier to her mouth – then easing her back into the lay of his arms.
And as her eye lids closed, she heard three more words before drifting away.
“Good night, BabyGirl,” Luke said to her with that Daddy Voice that always comforted her.