(Start at the beginning)
“Just Be Your Elf”
This was probably not the best of ideas to have waited so long to go shopping for those last-minute purchases, but Noel had no choice. Christmas was two days and three sleeps away. And she still had three relatives to shop for. All three of them were female. So they couldn’t be quick and thoughtless gifts. She was going to have to put in the effort to search. But luckily, she had planned ahead – having made out a list of possible gifts for all three of them.
She truly hoped that Nick was up for this. Thankfully, he would be right there with her to carry the bags. But he wasn’t much for stamina when it came to shopping.
Walking into the local mall, the sound of her heels brought her instant attention from a few guys who were sitting on a bench as she and Nick walked by them. The sound of her walking heels, along with the Christmas music playing in the mall, drowned out the crinkling of her diaper – an added bonus she hadn’t thought of. Now she wouldn’t need to worry about whether or not people could hear the crinkling she was making. Besides there were plenty of other things about her that could draw attention more easily.
Attention was not the enemy.
As a matter of fact, her entire outfit was getting her noticed – something Nick hoped would keep her heart pounding the whole time they shopped.
Back at the beginning of the month, on the day Nick bought her that pink snow suit and the Santa baby dress, he also bought her a green elf girl dress. And because she had a pair green calf-high boots at home, the outfit was complete. She simply added a bit of white cotton to the boots to make them match the elf girl dress.
And though she didn’t worry about the crinkling because of the noise in the mall, she did worry about her diaper becoming visible as the elf dress was really short.
Holding Nick’s hand, she looked at the gift list she brought and led the way. The first relative on her list was her cousin, a girl she had been closer with when they were younger but still kept in touch with now, on occasions when they had something to talk about.
The first store on her radar was the Brita store, Noel walking in and right past a few more guys who were leaning up against the wall – people watching. When they saw her outfit and her perfectly smooth legs, their jaws dropped open – a reaction that made her smile. Lowering her chin and sucking in her lips, she waddled into the store. Different Christmas music played inside from what was playing out in the mall corridor. And it played at a lower volume. With less noise to mask her movements, Noel shook her head. Oh, well. It would be back to usual for the crinkling.
But she was a BabyGirl and she was used to crinkling. However, that never meant she stopped worrying about it. And besides, she had her Daddy with her. All would be well.
And the first gift she purchased actually popped right up in front of her eyes, a portable water purifier bottle. Well, that was easy! Waddling over to the register, she set the bottle on the counter and paid for it. There wasn’t even a line she had to wait in. Handing Nick the first of many bags he would be carrying, she took his hand and out of the store they went. Those guys were still leaning up against the wall and they certainly checked out her “exit” as she left.
Oh, if they knew that her “exit” was powdered and diapered, their jaws might have dropped so far as to hit the floor!
Onward she went – one gift down, several to go.
The next gift for her cousin was an easy one to find. Right into the make-up store she went, Nick knowing he would be the only guy in there but still following her in. And Noel hit a second home run in a row, finding the in-class compact mirror she saw online with no trouble at all.
That was the difference between just browsing and shopping with purpose … the preparation.
But this time, there was a line at the register. Getting in line and clinging to her Daddy’s side, she kept her chin lowered slightly while trying not to smile. She had no idea who was “checking out” just then. But for once, she was enjoying it all while it was happening, as opposed to only enjoying the recollections after the fact. However, it was most likely that other girls were checking her out – not girl-watching guys.
Luckily, the wait in the line wasn’t terribly long. Putting the compact mirror in the bag he was already carrying, onward she led him – taking his hand and walking briskly out of the make-up store … crinkling up a storm during those quick steps.
The kind of attention she really wanted she wouldn’t find in there.
Onward she went – two gifts down, several to go.
She remained clung to his side, enjoying her time in the mall, enjoying the thrills she was feeling and enjoying the attention she kept getting from lookers-on. But the mall would eventually close and even though she was affectionate presently, she knew she had to stay focused. Looking at her gift list, her next relative to buy for was her older sister. A few years older than Noel, her sister and she were close – often sharing clothes and jewelry with each other all their lives. They would text with each other all the time. Her sister was important to her. So these were important purchases.
The first one she had figured out. The second one … well, she had no idea. But she’d find something.
Turning to her right, she led Nick into the Leather Boutique, a store with a heavy scent of rawhide. Now this was Nick’s kinda store. Wallets, jackets, cup holders … everything in different shades of leather. Walking past all the racks at the front, Noel made her way straight to the purses in the back. Again, she had located the gift she would be purchasing, but this time, it took an additional step. There were dozens of leather purses. Choosing the right one wasn’t going to be easy. She had to think about what her sister would like, not what she herself would like.
She stood there with crossed arms, nibbling on her lower lip as she perused the purse options. Some were huge, just ridiculously huge. Others were so small that they likely would hold the most minimal of make-up supplies and nothing more. But she knew her sister liked to be prepared for every conceivable emergency that might come up. So, the right purse for her would be one that could hold a lot of things without being the size of a duffel bag.
As Nick stood there, watching his BabyGirl try to pick out the right purse, he noticed her stance – one hip sassed out. She didn’t often throw a hip to the side like that. And there was only one reason he could think of as to why she was doing it now. Grabbing a pair of tight black leather pants, he walked over to her and had her stand in front of a floor-length mirror – holding the pants in front of her to see how they might look on her.
But that was just the ploy to get her over into the corner of that store for just a moment.
Noel held the leather pants in front of her, matching the waistline to where it would sit on her hips, seriously considering buying them. But her eyes grew big-n-wide, looking in the mirror at Nick’s reflection behind her when she felt him lift the back of the short dress – then cupping the underside of her diaper. Yes, there was a slight swell because, yes, she had wet herself … several times, actually. Her Daddy always knew her tells when she displayed them.
No one saw the diaper check, but oh my, did it make her tingle all over.
With her body temperature rising, she made her decision about the purses, picking up the first one she looked at and taking Nick by the hand – walking over to the register and buying the purse. Then Nick bought her those tight black leather pants.
Their stroll in the mall corridor slowed down a bit, Noel keeping the pace and not wanting to rush the new affection she was now feeling. But she pressed forward, knowing she had to be a Big Girl just a little while longer.
So, onward she went – three gifts down, three to go.
But she didn’t know what the second gift for her sister would be. She didn’t want to get her sister yet another pair of cutesy pajamas or yet another coffee mug or yet another repeat of countless items she had already given her in the past and no doubt, her sister had dozens of. There needed to be something unique this year. The leather purse was perfect. Now, Noel needed an accompanying gift. It took her a little while of waddling along slowly before it finally dawned on her. And it was the natural products store they were passing by that gave her the idea.
Into that store they turned and right up to the gift packs section Noel went. She didn’t need to look through endless options to find what she wanted, not when the store had already made care packages. It was brilliant, taking the thinking out of it and presenting customers with catchy options, right there.
So, Noel bought her sister a Bob’s Bees tips and toes kit, a collection of six creams and lotions. Her sister would most certainly use it and likely want more.
And onward she went – four gifts down, two to go.
The last person to shop for was her youngest Niece, a girl who just turned 12. This was a little more difficult to figure out than her sister or cousin. At that age, a girl could potential need a great many things. It was just a matter of where her head was at. And Noel’s niece was a tough cookie to crack, already adopting the defiance that would define her for the next seven or eight years of her life.
Nick sat on a bench in the mall corridor, his arms now loaded with packages and needing just as much of a rest as his legs did. He was losing steam fast. Noel was proud of how long he held up. Quite to the contrary, she had found a second wind, being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, at this point. Walking out of an outdoorsy store named Britches, she handed Nick a fairly sizable bag to hold and crinkled straight across the way – right into another store.
From her waddle and strides, he knew she needed a diaper change – perhaps so desperately needed it that a back seat diaper change in the parking lot was in order. But he certainly wasn’t going to interrupt her, just then. She was in the zone, well within her element to complete the mission of the night.
One gift to go.
And it didn’t take Noel long to make that final purchase, waddling out of the store – right over to Nick and sitting on his knee. She was beaming with a smile of satisfaction. She had done it. All her Christmas shopping was, at last, complete. And she would now have a few more gifts to wrap tomorrow … another little bit of happiness to brighten her Yuletide.
The last gift came in a long box.
“Starcade ring light with extendable tripod stand,” Nick said, reading the side of the box.
“Uh-huh,” Noel answered with a chipper tone. “My niece is all about the social media stuff and these things make for better quality selfies and videos.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” he replied with a laugh, looking in that huge bag she gave him to hold just a few minutes ago. “And this looks like a blanket of some sort.”
“Yes. It’s a tie-dye blanket,” she remarked, bouncing up-n-down ever-so-nonchalantly on his knee. “You see, my niece has had many favorite color phases in her life. At one point, she liked purple. And then she liked baby pink. And then she liked hot pink. And then she liked bright blue. And now, she’s into black. So, I got her something that has all the colors.”
“Okay. And what’s with these Bob’s Bees bottles?” he asked, looking in another bag.
“Oh! It’s a collection of creams and lotions with all-natural ingredients,” Noel answered. “What girl couldn’t use more creams and lotions? My sister will love them.”
“And I’m sure she’ll love the leather purse too,” he said, quite impressed with her logic on these gifts.
“I’ve lost track of how many times my sister has told me that she needs a purse that has a place for her cell phone. So, I got her one with a cell phone slot on the outside. That’s why it took me so long to choose that one,” she explained. “Plus, leather goes with almost any outfit!”
Nick looked in another bag, Noel answering him before he even asked the question.
”So my cousin is a make-up addict. And I mean: a lot more than the usual girl! She always checks her make-up no matter where she is. So, I got her an on-the-go compact mirror,” Noel explained, then moving right onto the other gift for her cousin. “And she is crazy obsessed with good tasting water. That’s why I got her that water purifier bottle.”
“Well done, BabyGirl,” he said, kissing her forehead and then standing up.
Loading up his arms with the bags, he followed a few steps behind her – seeing that her wet diaper was drooping just ever-so-slightly below the bottom hem of the back of her elf dress. She was bouncy as they walked out of the mall and he didn’t want to spoil her joyous mood by alerting her to the minor visibility of her wet diaper. And besides, they were leaving anyway.
She was bubbly. She was cheery. She was in the Christmas spirit, almost to the point of being a little too much. But he couldn’t blame her. She was just being her elf … er … herself.
Continue on to Thursday, December 23rd