Desperate Family Part 12

TO GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE WE GO

“Are we there yet?” Esther moaned from the back seat.  Her disabled brother, Ezra, was asleep in his chair and her older siblings, Edith and Elias, were both playing their Gameboys and wanted nothing to do with her.

 

“It’s only been an hour, sweetpea.  We’re only half way to Grandma and Grandpa’s,” replied her mother, Penny.  “You can read your book for a bit or colour…”

 

Esther sighed deeply, “I’m bored!  Why do we have to go all the way to Grandma and Grandpa’s anyways?”  She looked out the window into the miles and miles of Thanksgiving weekend traffic.

 

“It won’t be much longer, pumpkin,” her father, Jack, reasoned.  “Either way, I need to stop for gas. You can come and stretch your legs if you’d like.”

 

Esther perked up for a moment as Jack pulled off the highway.  Her dad usually got her a treat from the convenience store as well.

 

Penny sighed.  “I’m gonna go for a pee.  Anyone else?” Elias and Edith got up from their seats and headed off to the bathrooms.

 

Esther got out of the car but stayed with her dad.  When her mother and siblings were out of sight, she quickly asked, “Daddy, can I have a treat from the store?”

 

“Of course, pumpkin.  But you have to share with your siblings if they find out,” Jack smiled and gave his youngest daughter a five dollar bill that Esther promptly spent on a can of pink cream soda.

 

“Thanks Daddy,” Esther said, slipping the change back into his pocket.

 

“Do you need to use the bathroom before we take off?  There might not be another chance before we get to Grandma and Grandpa’s…” Jack warned.  He knew how Esther could be in these situations, especially given the can of soda she was going to likely drink in the next few minutes.

 

“Nope, I’m fine,” Esther replied, certain of her predicament.

 

“Are you sure, Ess?  You don’t want to just try?”

 

Esther rolled her eyes, “Dad!”

 

Jack sighed.  He went inside to pay for the gas and the family headed back to the highway.

 

Esther downed the cream soda before her siblings even put on their seatbelts.  She was crafty at hiding snacks and not having to share. It was a trick she had learned in being a younger sibling and it had served her well in her short life.

 

Only minutes had gone by before boredom set in and the grey highway mixed with the grey sky made Esther feel as though she were trapped in an infinite bubble of boredom.  She tried to colour, but it didn’t hold her attention for more than a few minutes. Reading wasn’t a great idea either, as it made her nauseous. She looked at Ezra, who was still asleep and drooling a bit.  She wished she could fall asleep, but the sugar rush from the soda she had just downed was going to prevent that for a while.

 

“Are we there yet?” Esther moaned.

 

“We still have nearly an hour left, sweetpea,” Penny reminded her daughter, “Did you want to do a puzzle?”

 

Esther sighed, “Okay.”  She sifted through the activity books that were kept in the netted back pocket of the middle seat.  Jack and Penny tried their best to have things for their children to do during car trips. Esther had proven to be the least occupiable of their four (soon to be six) children.

 

Esther hastily completed the mazes and word searches of her activity book as if quickly finishing them would make them arrive at their destination earlier than anticipated.  As Esther worked away, the traffic on the highway slowly impeded their progression. Her attempts to speed up the uneventful journey were fruitless. She put down the colouring book and looked outside again, sighing.

 

“This is worse than usual,” Penny said to Jack.

 

“It hasn’t snowed yet this year.  Probably all those Black Friday campers waiting for a deal tomorrow morning,” Jack replied.

 

“How much longer?” Esther moaned.

 

“Looks like there’s a bit of a traffic jam, sweetpea.  Not much longer, though, just two more exit signs and we’ll be there,” Penny replied, trying not to sound annoyed by her daughter’s pestering.

 

Esther went back to her activity book and started a colour by number page.  She was starting to feel uncomfortable. She looked down at the empty soda can she had left in the cup holder and felt instant regret.  Esther shifted in her seat. She didn’t have to go that badly.  She focused her attention back to the maze.  Just two more exits. Just two more! Esther felt the family van creep along the highway slowly, as if it was taunting her.  Shouldn’t have gotten that soda! Should’ve gone pee at the gas station! Esther swallowed hard and shifted to the front of the seat.  She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She could hold it for just two more exits.

 

The minutes ticked by, feeling like hours as the pressure was building in Esther’s small bladder.  She was getting really desperate now, jiggling her legs frantically. Cold sweat had formed on her back.  The van had barely moved and she felt like she could lose control at any minute.

 

Elias turned around and angrily glared at Esther.  “Stop kicking the seat! God you’re so annoying!”

 

Esther stopped jiggling her legs and crossed them, tightly squeezing herself.  It wasn’t a great solution, but it was better than the alternative.

 

Penny turned around, “Elias, don’t treat your sister like that.  You can politely ask her to stop.”

 

Elias sighed and begrudgingly apologized to his desperate little sister.

 

“Mommy… how much longer?” Esther squeaked.

 

“Not too much longer.  The traffic is letting up just ahead.  Are you alright, sweetpea?”

 

Esther shook her head.  “I… I have to go pee…”

 

“It won’t be too much longer, sweetpea.  Can you hold it for just a few more minutes?”

 

“I don’t know,” Esther admitted.  She was at the brink of peeing her pants.  The soda had gone right through her and one wrong move could end in wet pants.  Esther adjusted her position again, digging her heel into her crotch. This was one of the last tricks she could think of to keep from having an accident.  She leaned back in her seat and tried to stay still. The second to last exit sign slowly faded away.

 

“Just a little longer, pumpkin.  Just hold on,” Jack tried to reassure his daughter.

 

Esther didn’t respond.  She had to adjust her position again, leaning forward with thighs pressed together.  She hiked up her skirt and pulled her tights and underwear tight to her body, trying to plug herself.  Nothing was working, though. A few drops of urine escaped and soaked her underwear. Esther gasped. “Daddy!  I have to go pee right now!”

 

“We’re almost there, Ess, I need you to hang on for just a little longer.”

 

“Daddy it’s an emergency!” Esther shouted.

 

“Esther, we’re in the middle of the highway.  There is nowhere for you to go pee. Please try and hold it until we get off the highway.”

 

Esther felt hot tears pour down her cheeks, but she refused to let out a whimper.  She tried to hold it, but spurts of urine began to escape from her bursting urethra.  She couldn’t hold it anymore and her pee started to seep down her legs, soaking into the carpeted chairs of their family van, forming a pool under her and wetting her skirt.

 

When Jack finally pulled off the highway, he made a quick pit stop at the nearest gas station.  “Okay, Esther. You can use the bathroom now.”

 

Esther stood up from her seat, her skirt completely soaked through.  She began to cry. “I told you it was an emergency!” she wailed.

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Desperate Family Part 11

HALLOWEEN

“Hurry up, Taylor!  We have to finish this block before nine!” Esther demanded.

Taylor tried to hurry but she was having a hard time keeping up with Esther and Annie.  She really needed to use the bathroom. Taylor wadded her stockings up and held herself for a minute.  She could hold it for a bit longer. They were almost home…

“Taylor!  Come ON!” Esther whined.

Annie looked back at her little sister, who was holding herself tightly as she shuffled down the block.  “Taylor, do you have to go pee?”

Taylor nodded.

“We’re almost home,” Annie tried to reassure her sister.  She would never let on, but Annie also needed to go.

Taylor stopped for a minute, letting her sister and Esther get ahead.  Her bladder was giving up and she felt a wet spurt leak into her underwear.  Taylor whimpered. “I have to go to the bathroom!” she whined to herself, trying not to cry.  She wished she hadn’t drank a whole can of orange soda right before they left to go trick-or-treating.

“Come on!” Esther demanded, looking back at struggling Taylor, “You can go to the bathroom as soon as we get home, which will be sooner if you move!”

Taylor sniffled and trudged on, feeling another burst of pee drench her crotch and begin to soak into the fabric of her costume.  Taylor plugged herself and did a very dire potty dance as the three girls walked the final block of their neighbourhood. She was glad it was so dark outside and the leotard of her cat costume was completely black, or everyone would see she’d had an accident.  Taylor looked longingly at her house, which was just at the end of the street.

“Just a few more houses to go,” Annie shakily told her little sister, “You can make it.”

Taylor winced and tightened her hold.  She felt herself leak a few more drops.  Taylor gasped. “Annie… I have to go so badly!  Can we please please please go home!” she cried, her knees trembling together, trying not to wet her pants.

Taylor noticed her sister was barely holding on herself.  Annie was trying to disguise it, but she was doing an elaborate potty dance, crossing her leg over and behind, bouncing in time to music that didn’t exist.

“I can’t believe you two are going to go chicken out,” Esther groaned.  “I guess I’ll just trick or treat by myself if you two have to pee so bad…”

“Esther, my sister is about to pee her pants!  My mom will kill me if she ruins that costume…”

Esther wasn’t listening; she was already at the next door waiting for treats.

“Let’s make a run for it,” Annie said.

Taylor shook her head and began to cry.  “I can’t hold it anymore!” she blubbered.  Still trying to plug herself, she felt the looming wetness soak through her leotard.  As Taylor began to walk home, she felt her bladder spasm and slowly empty like a hot river down her legs, pooling in her shoes and socks as she cried.

Desperate Family Part 10

AMUSEMENT PARK

 

“Have fun at the book club,” Jack grinned, not believing his words were possible.  “Want me to bring you a candy apple?”

Penny rolled her eyes, “Those things are repulsive.”

“Tell that to the kids…”

“Daddy, can I have a candy apple?” Esther asked, “And also the candy apple you were gonna get for Mommy?”

“No candy apples!” Penny warned.  “Do you remember last year, Esther?”

The eight-year-old shut her mouth instantly, remembering the whirlwind of hot puke she had spewed onto her new sparkly dress after eating way too much junk food.

“I promise,” Jack replied.  He was excited to have a bit of fun with Elias, Edith, and Esther for an evening while Penny and Ezra went to the book club, which was really just a disguised support group for parents of disabled children.  It was the last weekend the fair would be up and running before winter and Jack had a hankering to ride the rollercoaster. On their way, they picked up Willis, Ruthie, and Annie.

Elias and his best friend sat in the middle of the van, ranking girls in their grade as hot or not.  “I’m pretty sure Frankie is the hottest chick ever,” Elias swooned.

“Kiana was so hot… until she left me for that jerkoff,” Willis moaned.

Ruthie, eavesdropping, angrily stared at them from the back seat, “That’s my brother.  He gets whatever he wants. And Frankie Ambrose is a total slut; I should know. She dated my brother and then left him for some freak at another school.”

“Whatever,” Willis sighed, not even turning to face her.  He had been less than enthused with most social situations ever since Kiana had left him.

“Frankie Ambrose left him because he cheated on her,” Elias whispered, “I hear she’s single.”

Willis’s eyes widened.

“I’ve also heard she’s coming down to the fair tonight,” Elias continued.

“Ha!  You don’t stand a chance!” Ruthie snickered.

Edith gave her friend a glare, “Stop,” she quietly begged.  Edith didn’t want to hear Elias’s complaints all evening long about how rude her friends were.

Esther’s shy friend Annie sat with the girls in the back row and remained silent, staring at her feet.

“Daddy, I need to go pee,” Esther whined, wiggling her legs in the front seat.

“We’re almost there, Ess,” Jack replied.

“I have to go right now!” Esther whined.

“Can you hold it for a few minutes, please?”

Esther dug her hand into her crotch and made a face.

“I swear, it’s the next exit,” Jack told his daughter.

Esther was squirming.

“I told you not to have that second soda…” Jack chuckled to himself.

“It’s not funny!” Esther shouted.

Jack tried to suppress his laughter, but continued to grin.

“Daddy stop!”

“I’m not laughing at you, honey,” Jack replied, taking the exit that led to the park.

Esther bit her lip and held herself tightly.

“Don’t worry, sweetie, we’re almost there.  Just hold on a little longer.”

Esther tried to focus on her breathing, but it was hard to ignore her desperate urge.  She rubbed her feet together and crossed her shaking legs.

When they parked, all the kids got out of the van except Esther, who sat there, trying to keep from peeing her pants.  She remembered the conversation she had with her mother not one month ago about her incontinence. Esther felt only shame over her predicament.

Jack opened the passenger side door.  “Come on, pumpkin. I thought you needed to go…”

“Daddy…” she whined, pressing hard on her crotch.  “I’m gonna pee…”

He undid her seatbelt and helped her out of the van.  “You can go right here on the pavement. Nobody’s looking,” Jack told his daughter.

Esther sniffled, knowing she wouldn’t make it much longer and took down her pants and underwear, squatting and letting a stream loose in the parking lot.

Jack handed her a tissue to wipe up with and they headed into the park, nobody noticing the aftermath of Esther’s near accident.

 

Penny and Ezra were approaching the door of the community centre where the book club was held once monthly.  “Oh Ez, Mom has to go again…” Penny whined.

Ezra waved his left hand and squealed in response.  Penny wasn’t even sure he understood what she was saying, but felt comfort in telling him of her troubles anyway.

“It’s your little sisters again.  I think they just like kicking my bladder.”  Penny pushed open the door to be greeted by Melody, the receptionist at Ezra’s physio.

“Penny!  You’re looking-”

“About 12 months pregnant?” Penny interrupted with a laugh.

Melody smiled.  “I was going to say radiant, but you do look like you need to take a load off.  Let me take Ezra to say hi to the other boys.”

“Thanks,” Penny replied, trying to hide her desperation.  The twins were definitely kicking her bladder and she wasn’t up to the challenge right now.  She darted (as fast as a pregnant woman can) towards the bathroom, but was stopped by Melody’s twin sons, Tyler and Trent.  Both young men, who had Down Syndrome, were fascinated by Penny’s belly and they were excited to see another set of twins.

“Are they boys or girls?” asked Trent, smiling down at Penny’s stomach.

“Both girls,” Penny replied patiently.  She squeezed her thighs together, trying to keep her panties dry for the evening.

“What are their names?” Tyler, who was two minutes older and wouldn’t let you forget it, asked.

“Erin Kayla and Erica Kelly,” Penny replied, smiling proudly.  She put a hand on her stomach, and feeling an instant pang of desperation from her bladder, “I’ll let you boys feel them kick when I get back from the washroom.”  Penny squeezed her legs harder and continued sauntering down the hall to the ladies’ room. Her hand found its way to her crotch and she held on tight, hoping to god she wasn’t leaking into another pair of pregnancy jeans.  The last thing she wanted to do was throw in another load of laundry.

Penny burst through the door of the first open stall.  Her hand had found its way to her pee hole and she was pressing down as hard as she could.  With the other hand, she yanked down the elastic jeans and her underwear. The flood gates opened with little mercy and her pee sprayed forcefully over her hand.  Some drops made their way to her underwear, but mostly she had made it. Penny sat for a few minutes, making sure she was empty. She sighed and rubbed her belly. “No more bladder kicking antics,” she telepathically told the babies.

 

“Dad, can me and Willis go see if Frankie and her friends are around?” Elias begged.  He knew Willis needed some female attention more than he needed to go on the rollercoaster.

“Go for it, boys.  We will meet at the front of the park at nine sharp.  Be there, or get left behind,” Jack jokingly warned, watching the teens head off to meet girls.  He remembered being fourteen and only thinking about sex. Things hadn’t changed much since those years, but he was glad to have a wife that still satisfied him.

“Daddy, can I have a hotdog?” Esther interrupted her father’s nostalgic trip.

“Of course,” Jack replied, “Annie, are you hungry as well?”

The shy, blonde girl nodded but made no eye contact.

“Do you like hotdogs, Annie?” Esther asked, eyes wide with excitement.

Annie shrugged, “Yeah.”

“Edith and Ruthie, do you two want anything to eat or drink before you head off?” Jack asked his older daughter.

The two twelve-year-olds looked at each other and shrugged.  “Maybe just two cherry sodas,” Ruthie said, “Hot dogs are kind of… yuck.”

Edith nodded in agreement.  Her little sister’s choice in food was questionable at best, but she could remember loving hotdogs at eight as well.  “Oh wow! They have ones in the shape of Hell’s Waterfall!” Edith exclaimed.

Ruthie grinned with excitement.  “That ride is so scary. Last year, my brother went on it and got so scared he nearly pooped his pants.”

Edith giggled.

“Three hot dogs, two small cokes, one medium coke, and Two cherry sodas in the Hell’s Waterfall cups please,” Jack said to the counter attendant.

Edith and Ruthie were overjoyed with their giant novelty cups.
“Dad, can we go ride the roller coaster?” Edith asked.

“Of course.  Just make sure you’re back here by nine,” Jack told them.  “…And maybe go easy on that giant soda, Edie.”

Edith wasn’t listening as she skipped off with her best friend.

“Annie, are you going to eat the rest of your hot dog?” Esther asked, eyeing the deliciously greasy snack in her friend’s skinny hands.

Annie shook her head, “I’m too full to eat all of it.”

Esther greedily grabbed the half-eaten mess of ketchup, mustard, and mystery meat and stuffed it in her mouth.

“Now let’s go ride Hell’s Waterfall!” Esther commanded.

Annie gave her friend a look of pure terror.

“What?  Are you scared?  It looks so fun!”

“C-can we just do the dragon coaster?”

Esther groaned.  The dragon coaster was for little kids!

“Ess, if you want someone to go with you on Hell’s Waterfall, I really don’t mind.  But first, let’s check out the ride Annie wants to go on,” Jack reasoned with his youngest daughter.

Annie lead the way to her favourite ride.

 

Penny sat on the old sofa, wondering if any of the other moms would care if she rested her tired, swollen feet on the coffee table.  She suddenly felt so tired.

“Penny, would you like a cup of tea?  You look like you need it,” Melody said, handing her a fresh cup.

“Yes please.  This pregnancy has been so tiring.  I’m only six months in and I feel like they’re a month overdue…” Penny suddenly regretted that whole sentence.  Melody understood already and didn’t need the details.

“I remember my pregnancy with Trent and Tyler.  Oh my god, there were days I swear I didn’t even get out of bed.  Thank god I had my husband.”

Penny jolted up, feeling another kick.  This time, they weren’t kicking her bladder.  “They’re at it again. Probably fighting,” she joked.

Melody put her hand on Penny’s belly, remembering how her boys were.  “Twins are so much fun, Penny. I’m so excited for you.”

“I’m excited to have them out in the world…” Penny felt her bladder filling again as she took a long sip of her tea.  “I have to pee again and I feel like I just got back from the bathroom.”

Melody grinned.  “It’s okay. That was most of my pregnancy as well.”

Penny took another sip before heading back to the bathroom.

 

“I dare you to go over there and ask her out,” Elias taunted his best friend.

“She won’t want to be with me anyway.  She dated that jerk Chuck Colborne!” Willis whined.

“What if I ask her out for you?”

“No, that’s okay.”

“Come on, Willis!  I’m so sick of you being all mopey and emo.”  Elias rolled his eyes. “Kiana was super lame anyway.  She didn’t even like video games. At least Frankie plays Halo.”

Willis perked up at the notion of a girl playing Halo.

“Go on then, go over there and ask her out!” Elias begged.

“If it’s so easy, you do it.”

Elias groaned and marched over to Frankie Ambrose and her gaggle of girlfriends.

Willis nervously stood there, watching is best friend talk with ease to the hottest girl in school.  Elias pointed to him, grinning with excitement, but Frankie did not look impressed. Willis watched in awe as Frankie Ambrose grabbed Elias’s hand dragged him over to where Willis was standing.

“I’m going to the haunted house,” Frankie said.  “It’s super lame, but you guys can come with.”

Elias shrugged.  She was still holding his hand, so he didn’t have much of a choice.  With the other hand, Frankie took Willis and the three headed off to the haunted house, leaving the rest of her friends behind.

Once inside the haunted house, Willis wandered around in the dark, looking at himself in the fun house mirrors.  He wasn’t that ugly, was he? He kept walking. Maybe he just wasn’t interesting? Willis turned around to find Elias and Frankie sharing a quick kiss.  Willis stormed off towards the exit.

 

Edith and Ruthie had just gotten off the roller coaster and picked up their giant drinks.  “I think I need to wait before doing another rollercoaster,” Ruthie admitted, “I don’t feel too great.”

Edith nodded, though she felt completely fine.  “Have some more cherry soda,” Edith offered.

“Maybe we can go on a different kind of ride,” Ruthie suggested, taking a long drink.

“Bumper cars?”

Ruthie nodded, breathing deeply as they slowly made their way to the bumper cars, which always had a giant line.  “I feel a lot better,” Ruthie said, “this line is really long though…”

“Yeah, usually it doesn’t take too long to get on ‘cause there are so many cars,” Edith reassured her friend.  She took another sip of her soda and marveled at the lights for a few minutes.

“I want that black Batman car,” Ruthie pointed to a knockoff Batmobile.

Edith looked around at all the different vehicles, eying the one that was situated near the Batmobile.  “I like the purple one with the sparkly flames! …but any of them are fine I guess.” Edith rarely got the car she wanted; a lot of other kids seemed to really like the fiery purple sparkle car.

The ride ended quickly and the line moved up.  Edith and Ruthie were very excited as they moved to the very front of the line.  This was a first for Edith – perhaps they would have their first pick.

A bell sounded and the ride began, cars bumping into one another at slow electric speeds.  Edith was excited, until she felt a sudden and desperate urge to pee. She crossed her legs and tried not to bounce.

Ruthie took another sip of her drink and suddenly looked a little worried.  “Oh man… shouldn’t have drank all that soda,” she mumbled.

“We can go after the ride,” Edith replied, “There’s a bathroom right over there.”  She pointed to a small building only a few meters away.

Ruthie nodded and reassured herself saying, “I can hold it.”

Edith squirmed and crossed the opposite leg.  She hoped she could hold it too; thankfully, sitting down usually made holding it a little easier.

The bell rang and the ride ended.  Edith and Ruthie set down their nearly empty drinks and awkwardly ran towards their favourite cars.  Ruthie’s legs were shaking as she pressed her thighs together. Edith pressed on her privates with one hand and held the steering wheel with the other.  Neither of the girls were enjoying themselves.

“I have to go so bad,” Ruthie moaned, bouncing her left leg.

“You can hold it,” Edith tried to reassure her friend.  She was losing the battle as well, trying to plug herself through her underwear.

The bell rang and the ride began.  A boy with curly, black hair immediately bumped into Edith’s car and she felt herself leak from the shock.  She bumped the boy back, trying hard to keep the rest of her pee at bay, but she could feel her soaking panties grow damper.

Ruthie shot her friend a worried look as she stopped her car and winced, holding herself with both hands, fingers curling inward to hold as tightly as possible.  Ruthie didn’t look like she was going to make it either.

The bell rang again and the ride stopped.  Both girls hurriedly grabbed their cups and headed to the bathroom.

“My bladder is so full!” Ruthie complained, “I don’t think I can make it.”

“We can try and run,” Edith suggested, knowing full well that neither of them could run.

Ruthie shook her head and stopped.  Her legs were twisted together like the braided bark of a bonsai tree.  She pulled up her skirt, revealing her pink panties, which were stained fuschia from where she had lost control.  Ruthie pulled her panties tight against herself, letting down her skirt again. The girls slowly made their way to the bathroom, not saying a word.

When they finally made it to the ladies room, it was blocked off by a garbage can and a maintenance sign that read “out of order.”

Edith gasped.  She could’ve cried.  “I…I think there is another bathroom over that way…” she pointed towards the ferris wheel on the other side of the park.

Ruthie shook her head.  “I can’t make it!” she cried, tears streaming down her cheeks.  “I have to go to the bathroom right now!” She jammed her hand in her crotch, placing her giant cup on the ground.

Edith’s situation wasn’t much better.  She was slowly leaking into her already soaked panties.  Suddenly, it struck her. “I know what to do,” she told Ruthie.  She opened the lid of her giant cup, hiked up her skirt and pulled down her underwear.  Edith placed the cup over her privates and began to relieve herself. She sighed deeply.

Ruthie shook her head.  “I can’t…” She couldn’t uncross her legs without leaking.  The pressure on her bladder was almost unbearable and she couldn’t hold it much longer.

“Just a second, I’m going to help you do it.”  Edith was undoing the lid of Ruthie’s cup.

Ruthie gritted her teeth, trying to hold on.  Her whole body trembled from trying to hold it all in.  Edith slid the cup over to her friend, who tried unsuccessfully to pull her panties down.  Ruthie began to sob as she flooded her underwear and part of her skirt.

“It’s okay,” Edith said, “it was just an accident.”

 

Penny returned from the bathroom again, seeing that her spot on the couch next to Melody was still vacant.  The other mothers were courteous like that. “Sorry for interrupting – the twins seem to be making a game out of kicking my bladder,” Penny joked.

“We haven’t even started yet!” Karen, the leader of the book club/support group replied, “We thought we’d wait for you, Penny.  But now that we’re all here, did anyone get time to read ‘Fall On Your Knees’ this month?”

There were laughs from within the group.  Penny herself smiled. She hadn’t even had a moment to go to the book store and find a copy.  There were a few mothers who had the chance to read, but most of them were busy working and caring for their children.

Karen grinned.  “I hope those of you who had a chance to read enjoyed it.  It comes recommended by Oprah, so it’s bound to be good. Anyone have any news to share?  Any milestones?”

Melody raised her hand.  “Trent and Tyler gave an amazing and touching sermon last Sunday.  The boys have started helping out with their local youth group, with meal prep and leading games.  I’m so proud!” Melody was ecstatic that her boys took such an interest in church, and that they were accepted despite their disability.  It made Penny envious that Melody’s sons were verbal and physically able.

“Wow.  Can we have some applause for Trent and Tyler?  You guys are amazing!” Karen beamed.

Penny finished her tea and gave the twin boys a big thumbs up.  She looked over at Ezra, who was sitting in his chair next to the three other non-verbal, physically disabled children.  One of them gave a shrill yelp, as if to applaud with the rest of the audience. Penny wondered if he even wanted to be here.  This whole thing was for her, not for him.

A few other mothers shared the joys of their autistic children regulating their emotions, kids learning to use their prosthetics, and the fascinating world of child-sized feeding tubes.  Penny had nothing new to share about Ezra. He hadn’t changed at all, apart from his stature. He was six years old now and should’ve been in first grade, learning how to read and write and do basic math.  But Ezra would never learn any of that. Penny tried not to cry. She told herself it was just pregnancy hormones. She suddenly needed to pee again; one cup of tea was definitely one too many cups.

Karen looked at Penny, “Anything new with Ezra?”

Penny shrugged.  “Nothing much. He’s going to be a big brother in a few months.  I think he’s excited to meet his little sisters.” She squeezed her thighs together, flexing her kegel muscles.

“And how is the pregnancy going?  Have you had all of the tests?” Karen asked, almost morbidly excited to hear if either twin had a genetic condition.  Karen’s three daughters were all disabled. Her youngest was born with cerebral palsy, though not as severe as Ezra’s.  Her oldest had Aspergers Syndrome, and the middle daughter was deaf. Karen had a bit of a complex, feeling as though she had suffered more than the other mothers, being that all three of her children were disabled.

“Everything seems to be on track and normal,” Penny replied.  “We had a bit of a scare a few months ago, but it was just stress.”  The pressure in her bladder was building and she was beginning to feel horribly uncomfortable again.

Karen nodded.  “Well, congratulations.  We’re all so excited for you.”

Penny smiled back, her leg bouncing up and down.  She looked towards the bathroom, but just as she was about to get up and go, Melody’s twin boys approached her.

“Can we feel the babies?” they asked in unison.

Penny winced.  She had promised them earlier and didn’t like to let them down.  “Of course,” she said, crossing her legs tightly. She was trying not to draw attention to her predicament, but it was only a matter of time.

Each of the boys lay their hands on Penny’s stomach and waited to feel something.

“I don’t feel any kicks,” Tyler scoffed.

“Where are the babies?” Trent asked.

“They might be sleeping,” Penny replied, “They don’t kick all the time.”  She was very thankful that they were not constantly active. But with that, she felt a violent kick to her bladder.

“Wow, I can feel the babies,” Tyler said to his twin.

Penny gasped, feeling her bladder spasm uncontrollably, unleashing a short stream of urine into her panties and jeans.

Melody’s eyes widened as she saw what had happened.  “Oh my goodness, boys, can you let Penny alone for a minute,” she shooed the twins away, whispering to Penny, “let’s try and get you cleaned up in the bathroom.”

“Oh my gosh, I’m so embarrassed,” Penny admitted, trying to dry her wet jeans with paper towel.

“Don’t even worry about it, Pen.  It happened to me a few times when I was pregnant.  Honestly, don’t let it bother you. I’m not offended.”

“Thanks,” Penny replied, sheepishly.  “My youngest daughter has been having so many accidents lately and I’ve really been on her case.  I think I deserved this one.”

“I don’t think so,” Melody replied, “You have a pretty good excuse.”

Penny patted herself down one last time with paper towels.  “I’m gonna duck out early and head home to change.”

 

Jack checked his watch as Esther and Annie exited the ferris wheel. “It’s nearly time to head back home, Esther.”

Esther pouted, “Daddy, you said we would go on Hell’s Waterfall!”

“I really don’t wanna go on that,” Annie said, almost inaudibly.

Jack tried to hide his disappointment that his daughter hadn’t forgotten about his promise.  The last time he had taken Esther on one of the adult rides, she’d been sick. Penny had blamed the questionable candy apple their daughter had eaten, but Jack was certain it was just motion sickness.  “Alright, pumpkin. I’ll go with you. Annie, do you just want to watch or is there another ride you want to go on in this area?”

Annie shrugged.  “I, um, I kind of…” Annie crossed her legs.

“There’s a bathroom right there,” Esther pointed to the building next to the ferris wheel.  “You can just wait for us at the exit! It won’t even be that long cause this ride is too scary and nobody wants to ride it… except me.”  Esther beamed, grabbing her dad’s arm and heading to the entrance of Hell’s Waterfall.

As Jack and Esther stood in line, they watched as the giant bench spun around one way, then the other, eventually plunging into the water and splashing its patrons with dyed red water.  Painted red flames adorned the contraption, along with demonic faces that seemed to vomit out more red water. “This is so cool,” Esther whispered.

Jack faked a smile, feeling instant regret as they lined up for the next ride.

A bell rang, and the ride was over.  Esther and her dad took seats in the centre of the giant bench.  As she buckled herself in, Esther felt her stomach gurgle. She had eaten one too many hot dogs and she winced as her stomach burned with discomfort.

“You okay, Ess?” Jack asked.

She nodded.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to do this-”

“I’m not scared!” Esther shouted, perhaps too loudly.  She felt her stomach cramp again, pursing her lips. She tried to ignore her body and so far it was working.

The ride operator pulled down the bar and strapped everyone into their harnessed seats.  Esther closed her eyes tightly, hoping the nauseous feeling would go away. She heard the bell ring and the ride began to slowly turn, raising the cabin to its peak position.  Esther opened her eyes, looking down on the vast theme park, its lights brightly twinkling like its own peaceful kingdom. Soon, the peaceful moment was over as the ride recklessly spun its guests, gravity clinging to their bodies, forcefully pushing them into their seats.  Esther held her breath. She could feel the waves of nausea getting worse. Her stomach felt like it was doing cartwheels as the ride spun. She gripped the bar of the ride, her knuckles turning white.

Jack turned to his daughter, who was turning a concerning shade of green.  He held her hand, “You okay?” he managed to bark over the mechanical churning and ambient hum of the park.

Esther shook her head.  She could feel the vomit creeping up her esophagus and burning as it made its way to the end of the tunnel.  Esther tried to swallow it back down, but there was no use. As the ride began its final plunge into the red coloured waters, Esther threw up all down her shirt.

 

Penny was exhausted.  After getting Ezra changed into his pajamas and putting him to bed, she felt as though she’d spent all day at the gym.  She lay down on her bed and closed her eyes for what felt like just a moment, but when she woke up to the sound of Jack and her other children returning home, she realized it had been more like an hour nap.  She slowly got up, realizing she was still wearing her wet jeans that smelled vaguely of urine. Penny sighed. The last thing she wanted to do tonight was laundry.

“Mom and Ezra are probably in bed, so please don’t go barging in and bugging them,” Penny heard her husband tell them.  For that she was thankful. Penny felt another kick to her bladder and stroked her belly, trying to calm the twins to no avail.

Jack crept into the room slowly, but realized his wife was still awake.  “How was the book club?”

Penny cocked her head to one side.  “Fine I guess. I never have anything to say, but Melody is always helpful.  How was the amusement park? Did you let Esther go on Hell’s Waterfall?” Penny gave her husband a sudden, stern look as she tried to control her bladder.

Jack sheepishly looked down at the bedspread, finally seeing the wet spot on his wife’s jeans out of the corner of his eye.  “I did,” he admitted, “And then she managed to puke up her whole dinner. So… I guess we both learned our lesson.”

“I can’t believe you took her on that.  She is way too young and you know how she is on those spinning rides!”  In her rage, Penny nearly forgot about her urge to pee.

Jack sighed.  He knew his wife was right, but he had a hard time denying Esther the things she wanted.  “I’m sorry. But she’s fine now. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and I think it probably did her some good.  And she’ll know for next time that spinning rides aren’t for her,” Jack reasoned. He reached over, stroking Penny’s thigh from knee to crotch.  He could feel the wetness in her panties.

“I… I didn’t make it in time,” Penny whispered, trying to maintain the hold.

Jack began to stroke her crotch, grinning.

“Oh god,” Penny whispered, “I need to…”

“Don’t,” Jack commanded, pulling down the elastic jeans.  He pried at the soaked crotch of her underwear and began fingering her.

Penny moaned in both ecstasy and pain.  “Oh god, Jack… I can’t hold it!” she moaned.

He began stroking her faster, feeling her muscles contract from the inside and then, all of a sudden, the dam broke and she flooded his hand and their bed sheets.

Desperate Family Part 9

MOMMY’S LITTLE GIRL
“Mommy we have to go right now!” Esther shouted from the bottom of the stairs.

“Esther, you know your mother doesn’t need any added stress right now.  The babies have only a month to go before they’re ready…” Jack tried to reason with his daughter, but Esther wasn’t listening.  He sighed as he injected another meal into Ezra’s feeding tube. The boy was drowsily seated on his father’s lap, staring into space.

“We’re going to be late!  This is the most important dance of the year!  And what if the people from the Solomon Centre are there?  What if they don’t pick me to join their company just because I’m late?!”

“Ess, please try and calm down,” Jack replied. “Come here,” he beckoned, straightening her tutu and fixing her hair.  “I’m sorry I can’t come watch you, pumpkin.”

Esther shrugged, pretending it didn’t bother her.  She felt a pit in her stomach and suddenly felt like bursting into tears.

“I have to be here for your brother this time, but I promise I’ll be there for your next one.”  Jack regretted saying anything at all. He could see the tears in his daughter’s eyes.

Esther put her head on her dad’s shoulder and tried not to be envious of the attention Ezra got due to his disability.

Jack held his youngest children closer and kissed the top of Esther’s head.  “It’s okay, pumpkin,” he said to her, spying his wife slowly heading down the stairs, “now go break a leg for your old dad.”

Esther broke away and smiled half-heartedly.  “Thanks, Daddy.”

“Esther, sweet pea, do you need to use the bathroom before we go?” Penny asked.  Though Esther had been potty trained for more than six years with hardly any accidents, she had been neglecting going to the bathroom at opportune times.  She had also had several accidents since Penny found out about the twins. Penny was worried about her daughter, and hoped that constant reminders would help the nearly-nine-year-old avoid embarrassment.

Esther glared at her mother.  “No!”

“I’m just making sure, sweet pea.  We wouldn’t want a repeat of last time-”

“I don’t have to go to the bathroom!” Esther exclaimed, “Let’s go let’s go let’s go!”

 

Esther buckled herself into the car and took a long drink from her water bottle.  It was hot in the car, and she knew she would need to hydrate before the performance.

“Are you excited, Ess?” Penny asked.

Esther crossed her legs.  “I guess,” she mumbled, bouncing her crossed legs in time to the beat on the radio.

“You guess?  I thought this was the biggest show of the year,” Penny pried.

Esther uncrossed her legs and kept bouncing.  Her knees pressed together, dainty and slight in her tights.  “Yeah,” Esther replied. Her mind was elsewhere.

“If you’re nervous, just take deep breaths.  You’ll do great, sweet pea. You’re always great.”

Esther took another sip of her water, which she instantly regretted.  She already had to pee but she couldn’t let her mother win this one. Esther stopped bouncing and shuffled back in her seat, squeezing her legs together.  It was going to be okay; Esther could see the dance studio just meters away. She tried not to think about her bladder, but as they got closer, she felt more and more desperate.  Esther put her hand in her lap, trying to disguise the hold as a nervous stomach ache.

The car came to a halt and Esther felt her bladder spasm.  She winced as some of her pee escaped, soaking her panties and probably her leotard (she was too afraid to check).  Esther crossed her legs again, uncontrollably wiggling to keep herself from getting any wetter.

“Now Esther, before you go directly to your class, can we hit the bathroom?”

“I, um, I don’t…”

“Esther, I want you to try.  You look like you’re about to burst.”

“No, really, I don’t have to-”

“Esther, you need to try.  This isn’t an option,” Penny demanded, grabbing her daughter’s hand and bringing her to the one family bathroom.  She helped her wiggling little girl remove her leotard before forcing her to sit at the toilet.

“I don’t want to do this!” whined Esther, who sat on the cold toilet, scraping her feet together.  She was going to keep holding it until she could either have some privacy or be at home where she felt comfortable.

“Esther, if you can’t go to the bathroom like a big girl, maybe we will have to invest in some diapers.  You can’t be in fourth grade and be peeing your pants every day. It’s just not normal.”

“Mommy I don’t have to go!” Esther swore, “I don’t have to go pee-pee.”

Penny hadn’t heard her daughter use such babyish words in a long time.  “Well, if you really don’t need to go, I’m going to go before the show. Your sisters really make it hard for me to hold it…” Penny stopped herself before giving her young daughter too much information.

 

The second Penny took her seat in the audience, she could feel her bladder swell again.  The twins weren’t making her life easy at the moment. She squeezed her thighs and wondered if she could make it through the whole show.  Thankfully, Esther’s group was the first to perform… perhaps when they were done, she could go for another pee? Penny cursed herself for even coming down to the show.  She tapped her foot as the lights dimmed and Esther’s dance teacher, Miss Ksenia, introduced her youngest group of dancers.

As the girls paraded on stage, Penny couldn’t help but notice Esther holding her crotch and squeezing her knees together whatever chance she got.  Her legs were shaky and her dancing was off. She definitely needed to go, and badly. Penny felt instantly terrible. Had she made going to the bathroom uncomfortable?  She crossed one leg over the other and adjusted her skirt, continuing to tap one foot for feigned control. Penny gritted her teeth and gripped the side of the plastic chair she was sitting in.  She was glad it was dark in the gym and nobody could see how desperate she was.

On stage, Esther was having trouble holding on.  Her right hand was arched above her head, and as she attempted to spin, she wadded her already wet leggings up in her crotch.  It helped a bit to keep the fabric tight, but her pee was coming, no matter how she tried to hold it in. She no longer cared if the audience knew she had to go, squeezing her knees together and hopping from foot to foot.  She pretended it was part of a solo.

The other girls took turns looking at her, confused and angry that she was ruining their dance.

“You’re not dancing right.  You’re going to ruin our score!”

“You’re not even good enough for this group.”

“Why didn’t you just go to the bathroom, Esther?!”

“You’re gonna pee your pants in front of all the judges from the Solomon Centre and they’re never going to want you.”

Esther closed her eyes and tried to ignore the taunts…  but they were right. Why didn’t she just go pee?

 

Penny’s had made its way to her quivering crotch.  She felt dampness and was unsure if it was urine or…

She closed her eyes for a moment and thought about how much Jack would’ve enjoyed this moment.  Gently, she rubbed the wet spot on her dark pregnancy jeans before desperately jamming her fingers in to help with the hold.  She shivered, not knowing whether she enjoyed the discomfort or if she had just sexualized it because of Jack’s fetish. Penny let out a short burst of urine.  Her time was nearly up; she would have to get to the bathroom before the lights came back on. She held tighter and tried to watch the end of Esther’s routine. The girl was barely moving at this point.  She just stood there, vibrating in the centre of the stage, holding herself with both hands. As the music stopped, she just stood there with wide eyes and began to pee herself. Esther gasped, looking fearfully at the audience before running off stage in tears.  Penny pressed on her crotch and suppressed a groan as she got up from her seat and went after her daughter.

 

Penny pushed open the door to the ladies’ bathroom, where Esther sat on the floor, crying in her damp clothes.

“Sweet pea, are you-”

“Go away!” Esther wailed.

“Essie, it’s okay.  It was just an accident.  I’m sorry I tried to make you go…” Penny attempted to repent for what was likely terrible parenting.

“Mommy, I’m sorry…” Esther sniffled.

“No, sweet pea.  It’s going to be okay.”

“Please don’t make me wear diapers,” Esther begged.

Penny wrapped her arms around her tearful daughter.  “If you need diapers for what happened, I guess I do too…”

Esther gasped as she discovered the growing wet spot on her mother’s jeans.

“Everyone has accidents,” Penny said with a smile, “Let’s go home.”

The two of them climbed back into the car, sitting on a couple of towels Penny had left in the car after her near accident months ago.

“Mommy, why did you pee your pants?” Esther asked, during the drive home.

“Sometimes when you’re pregnant, you have a hard time controlling your bladder.  And with the babies in there, everything gets a little… squished.”

“Oh,” Esther said.

“Why didn’t you go to the bathroom when I asked you to?” Penny replied.

Esther shrugged.

“You knew you had to go, didn’t you?”

Esther looked at her feet and uncomfortably nodded.

“Were you scared to?  You don’t need to be scared of using the public bathrooms.  They’re not the cleanest, but still better than peeing your pants.”

Esther shrugged again.

“Well, what is it, sweet pea?  Do you need me and Daddy to help you remember to go?”

Tears welled up in Esther’s eyes and she began to sob.

Penny pulled over to the side of the road.  She unbuckled herself and gave her daughter a big hug as Esther continued to sob.  When the little girl was finished having a cry, Penny tried again. “Essie, what’s going on?”

“I-I’m scared that once the babies come, y-you won’t love me anymore!” Esther admitted, starting to cry again.

“Esther!” Penny exclaimed, suddenly feeling horrible.  She held her daughter closer and gave her a kiss on the forehead.  “Oh Esther, I will love you forever. And I will love your baby sisters just like I love you and Ezra and Edith and Elias.  I will never love any of you any less; I promise you, okay?”

“Okay,” Esther replied, wiping the tears from her eyes, “Oh.  Mom?”

“Yes, sweet pea?”

“I have to go to the bathroom again.”

Desperate Family Part 8

SICK DAY

Penny woke up to another morning of nausea, waking her up a good hour before the alarm went off.  Today was Friday, her day “off,” meaning it was just a day spent doing chores and hanging out with Ezra.  It all felt like a chore these days. She’d started showing at only four months, which wasn’t the case with her last four pregnancies, especially compared with Elias.  She remembered wondering if she was pregnant at all up until eight months hit. Penny felt like she was ballooning more with each day. Her feet ached when she walked and sweeping and bending at the bakery were no longer tasks she could accomplish on her own, but the family needed the money.

She knelt next to the toilet bowl and heaved up what was left of last night’s dinner, tasting acidic pesto and chunks of pasta.  Penny spat the remains into the toilet and flushed. She washed her hands and face and brushed her teeth thoroughly. The taste lingered, so she gargled with Jack’s mouthwash before heading back to bed.

Jack groaned and opened his eyes.  “You alright?” he mumbled, half asleep.

“Mm-hmm,” Penny replied, trying to find her voice and force it through her raw throat.  “Just morning sickness.”

“Still?” Jack was amazed it was still going on.  Penny was a trooper, but enough was enough.

Penny shrugged.  “I thought it would’ve gone by now…”

“We should go for another check up.  What if-”

“I’m fine,” Penny insisted, “We’ve got another ultrasound in a couple of weeks.  We’ll know for sure by then if everything is on track.”

Jack shot her a worried look but said nothing.  He turned to her swelling stomach and placed his hand above her belly button.  “Have you thought of any more names?” he asked, staring intently at what would soon be two daughters.

“I can’t decide.  What about Emmeline and Eugenia?”

“Nah, too long,” Jack replied, “What about Eileen and Elena?”

Penny cocked her head to one side, “Mmm…”

She was interrupted by horrible bawling that came from their daughters’ room across the hall.  Both Penny and Jack jumped out of bed and rushed to the room, where they found a pale-faced Esther sitting up in bed, crying and gasping for air.  She had thrown up all over her bed sheets. Her older sister, Edith, looked shocked as she tried to comfort Esther, rubbing her back and whispering that it would be okay.  “Mommy!” Esther meekly cried out.

“Esther, oh my gosh, what’s wrong?!” Penny exclaimed.  She felt the shivering girl’s forehead. It was clammy and feverish.  “You’ve got a fever, sweetpea. Don’t worry, we’ll get you cleaned up.”  Penny peeled the sheets back and stripped her daughter’s bed while Jack carried the eight-year-old into the ensuite and ran her a bath.

“She said she felt sick last night.  I didn’t think she’d end up puking,” Edith sighed.

“It’s okay, love.  It’s not your fault your sister’s not feeling well.  I’m at home with Ezra today, so it’s not a big deal to keep her at home.”  Penny smiled at her oldest daughter and went in for a hug, “Edie, you’re turning into such a responsible girl.”

Edith could feel her mother’s pregnant belly press against her, like her two baby sisters were giving her a hug as well.  She wondered if she would have a large family of her own when she grew up. “I love you, Mom,” Edith said.

Elias peeked into his sisters’ room, instantly realizing what had happened.  He made a disgusted face, “Gross. I’m heading to school, Mom. Willis said he’d help me with my metal shop project…”

“Have a good day, Eli,” Penny called.

Jack helped his daughter out of her clothes and ran her a bath.  “Looks like you get to stay home today with Mom,” he tried to shine some light onto her predicament.

Esther didn’t feel like smiling.  She wiped the tears from her face.

“Don’t worry, honey, you’ll feel better once you get cleaned up and back into bed with some fresh sheets.  He kissed her forehead, which was still burning hot, “I’ll leave the bathroom door open. Just shout if you need anything.”

Esther nodded.  She was hot and shivering at the same time.  Her stomach hurt so much she started crying again. “Daddy…” she weakly called, feeling hot tears drip down her pale face.

Jack rushed in, “What do you need, sweetie?”

“Daddy my tummy hurts…” Esther warned.  She closed her eyes and clutched her stomach, trying to ground herself and fend off the wave of nausea.

“Do you need to throw up again?” Jack asked.

Before Esther had the chance to answer, she vomited over the side of the tub, covering the floor in watery, acidic bile.  Esther’s eyes widened in fear and she began to wail again.

“It’s okay.  You’re gonna be okay,” Jack tried to comfort his daughter.  “Let’s put on some new pajamas and see if your mom’s finished making the bed.

“Am I g-gonna d-die?” Esther sobbed.

Jack tried not to laugh at his daughter’s obvious fear.  “Of course not! You’ve just got the flu, sweetie.”

Esther stood up and her dad wrapped her in a large towel, carrying her back to bed.

Edith and Penny had finished remaking Esther’s bed.  Crisp, pink sheets covered the single mattress along with a new comforter.  “Are you feeling a little better, sweetpea?” Penny asked.

Esther shook her head.

“She was sick again,” Jack confessed, laying Esther down in her bed.

Penny sighed and handed their daughter a clean nightie.

“Mom…” Edith started, “I don’t feel so well either.”  She sat down on her own bed, closed her eyes, and held her head in her hands.

Penny looked to her other daughter, suddenly feeling overwhelmed.  Edith’s skin was looking paler than usual. “Are you going to throw up?” Penny asked.

Edith opened her eyes, looking worried.  She charged off to the bathroom.

Jack took a deep breath.  “I’m going to check on Edie and clean up Esther’s sick.  Are you going to be okay looking after all of them or-”

Penny was already overwhelmed with Ezra.  The day had barely begun and she already felt burnt out and useless.  There was no way she could ask Jack to help. They needed the money so badly now.  “Don’t stay. We need the-”

“Penny, I don’t want you to overexert yourself, especially with the babies…”

“I’m fine,” Penny insisted.

“If this is about money, there’s always a way.”

“I’m fine, Jack.”  She gave him her bravest face.  “I’m going to check on Ezra.”

 

Jack sighed heavily, trying to shrug off his worries about Penny overworking herself and having another kid like Ezra.  He also knew that missing time at work would eventually lead to defaulting on mortgage or credit card payments, a realistic fear Jack could never communicate to his wife.

Jack pushed open the door to the bathroom, revealing his almost twelve year old daughter kneeling next to the toilet.  He knelt next to her and rubbed her back. “Edith, are you still feeling sick?”

She nodded and heaved again.

“I’ve got to clean up this mess before work-”

“Ezra is sick too,” Penny said, creeping in behind her husband.  “Jack, you’re going to be late. Go have your shower and I’ll clean up.”

Jack wanted to help, but his wife was right – he had to go to work.  He quickly showered, shaved, and put on his poorly cared for suit. He gave Edith, who was still clinging to the toilet, a kiss on the head.  “Feel better, Edie.”

Penny was down on her hands and knees still mopping up Esther’s vomit.  “Bye, hon,” Penny tried to smile. Her back ached from kneeling down.

Jack felt nothing but regret as he kissed his wife goodbye.

 

A few hours later, the girls were asleep in their room and all was finally cleaned up.  Penny was with Ezra, trying to get him to take some medicine. “Come on, Ez. Be a big boy and open your mouth-” she attempted to spoon feed him some medicine, but he turned away.  There were tears in his eyes and he cried out. “Please Ezra…” Penny was beginning to lose her patience. She took a deep breath and put down the spoon. She didn’t like to force Ezra to eat and drink and take medicine.  Even the tube in his stomach made her feel like she was failing as a mother. Everything was her fault, including his condition. If she hadn’t fallen down the stairs that day, maybe he would’ve been okay? She wiped Ezra’s tears away with her thumb and kissed him on the forehead.  “I’m sorry, Ez. But you need to take your medicine. I promise it’ll make you feel better.” She injected the medicine into his feeding tube. It made her feel like a monster.

Ezra screamed and flailed his arms in defense.

Penny tried to hold back, but felt herself break down a little.  She choked back her tears. “I’m sorry…” she whispered and squeezed his hand.

Ezra let out another piercing yelp.

Penny couldn’t bear to sit there for another moment.  She was sure she was losing it. She walked downstairs and poured herself a glass of orange juice.  Penny stared at the half empty bottle of vodka sitting on the counter. She considered it for a brief moment, before reminding herself of the harm she could potentially do to her unborn daughters.  Penny gritted her teeth, wishing so desperately that she could have another drink, just this once. Just for a moment… She downed the orange juice and poured herself a glass of water.

“Mommy!” Esther shouted.

Penny sighed, finishing her second drink.  “Coming, sweetpea.” She took another longing look at the vodka before heading back upstairs.

“Mommy!  I want something to drink!” Esther whined, her mother barely setting foot into the girls’ room.

“Me too,” Edith admitted.

“How about I make you two some lunch as well?  I have to feed Ezra soon…” Penny suggested, already feeling like she needed to use the bathroom.  The water and juice seemed to have gone right through her.

“I just want juice,” Esther complained.

“Edith, are you ready for lunch?”

The older of the two girls shrugged.  “I can wait.”

“Girls, you should both try and eat something,” Penny warned them, “I’ll go get you both a drink and then I’ve got to feed your brother.  After that, maybe I’ll make you some chicken soup.”

“I don’t want any food!” Esther whined.

Penny sighed and went back downstairs to grab Ezra’s food and drinks for the girls.  The carton of orange juice was completely gone after filling two full glasses for Edith and Esther.  Penny checked her watch, wondering if she’d have time for a quick pee before feeding Ezra. She walked back upstairs, carefully as to not disturb her bladder and set the glasses of juice on the nightstand between Edith and Esther’s beds.

“Can I have water instead, Mom?” Edith asked.

Penny winced.  “Sure,” she replied.

“Mommy, can I have both glasses of juice?” Esther asked.

“That’s a lot of sugar, Esther…” Penny warned.

“Please?  It makes me feel better.”

“Okay,” Penny gave in and headed back downstairs.  With each step, she could feel herself growing more desperate.  She squeezed her thighs together and took a deep breath. Only a few minutes more… she just had to feed Ezra.  She quickly poured a glass of water for Edith and hurried back upstairs. The faster she went, the more uncomfortable she got.  Penny bit her lip and held tighter. She adjusted herself and gave Edith the cup. “I have go feed your brother now and then I’ll start lunch for you two, okay?”

Esther was downing orange juice and was occupied enough to disregard her mother’s insistence on the girls eating real food.

Penny walked down the hall, her bladder begging for release.  Ezra’s schedule was more important, though. She could hold it for a little longer, just until he was fed.  She pressed on her crotch and went into her son’s room. “I’m back, Ez. It’s lunch time!” she tried so hard to have some pep in her voice.  She sat down next to him, legs shaking. “God I have to pee,” she admitted, “I think your little sisters are kicking me in the bladder.”

Ezra groggily stared at his mother in response.

“Let’s hurry this up,” she said, administering the syringe full of liquid food into Ezra’s feeding tube.  “I hope this is more delicious than it looks.” Penny crossed her legs, trying to hold in whatever dignity she had left.  Feeding Ezra seemed to take hours. Penny checked her watch as she administered the last of her son’s food. It had only been a few minutes.

Penny wiped the drool from her son’s mouth.  “I hope you had a nice lunch, Ez… I wish feeding Edith and Esther was this easy.”

“Mommy!” Esther shouted, “Mommy I’m hungry!”

Penny sighed.  “I’m starting lunch right now,” she yelled back.  She slowly got up from her chair, pressing gently on her urethra through her grey leggings and made her way back downstairs to the kitchen.  Soup would only take a few minutes. She could make it.

Penny turned on the stove and scraped out the canned chicken noodle soup, slowly adding water as it came to a boil.  She turned up the heat, hoping everything would speed up. She crossed her legs and bounced in place, hoping to stop herself from leaking into the obvious grey leggings.  The soup was slowly coming to a boil. Only a few more minutes…

Penny felt herself leak into her underwear, immediately shoving her hand down her leggings to plug herself.  She groaned and squeezed tighter.

“Mommy I’m so hungry!” Esther shouted.

“It’s coming, sweetpea!” Penny replied, feeling another leak soak her hand.  The soup was finally boiling. She haphazardly poured the soup into two bowls, dropping a couple of ice cubes into each.  Penny squeezed her legs together, crossing and uncrossing them once more. She just had to make it upstairs… Her knees rubbed together as she carried the two bowls of soup, but the hold wasn’t going to work for much longer.  Penny took a few steps, but when she got to the landing, she felt another pang of desperation and felt herself leak more into her panties. She gasped and adjusted herself. Not… Much… Further…

Penny made it to the girls room, shaking with desperation.  “H-here you go…” she placed each bowl of soup on the nightstand.

“Thanks Mom,” Edith smiled.

Esther said nothing, shoveling the noodles and chicken stock into her hungry mouth.

“You’re very welcome,” Penny replied, weakly waddling down the hall to the ensuite bathroom.  She held herself, feeling how wet her leggings already were. Her body was shaking as she took down her leggings and soaked panties and finally sat down, releasing a harsh stream of urine.  She let out a deep sigh; her first moment of peace since she’d woken up this morning. It was sheer bliss for those seconds she let loose, until she opened her eyes and saw the spots of blood on her underwear.  Penny’s heart began to race with fear. She felt sick. The babies… She felt like she was going to faint. She got up, washed her hands, and ran downstairs to the phone, calling Jack’s direct line.

“Jack… you need to come home, the babies…” she couldn’t muster anymore words before breaking down into tears.  She could hear crying behind her, and turned to reveal Esther, whose new nightie was covered in sick, and Edith who was holding her little sister’s hand.

“M-mom?  Esther got sick again…” Edith explained, suddenly shocked by her mother’s emotional condition.  “Are… are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Penny lied, taking a seat at the kitchen table for fear she wouldn’t be able to stand much longer. “Dad’s coming home from work… we need to go to the hospital.”

“I’m dying!” Esther wailed.

Penny shook her head, choking back more tears.  “N-no, it’s your baby sisters… I think there’s something wrong.”  Penny buried her head in her hands and let the tears drip down onto the kitchen table.

Edith put her hand on her mother’s shoulder, “Don’t worry Mom.  I can stay with Esther and get her cleaned up. I can even look after Ezra while you and Dad are gone.”  Edith took her sister’s hand and they went back upstairs to their room.

 

Penny lay on the examination bed, her pregnant stomach exposed as Dr. Lawrence checked for a heartbeat.  She tried not to cry or show fear, but her face was very telling. Jack held her hand, but had no idea how to console her until they heard for sure that their daughters would be alright.

Dr. Lawrence gave Penny a half smile.  “Looks like we have a heartbeat…”

“What about the second twin?” Penny asked, heart racing.

Dr. Lawrence looked concerned, moving the ultrasound transducer and staring up at the screen.  She took a few minutes before saying, “Both babies seem fine, both have a heartbeat. I want you two to come back in a couple of weeks just to be safe.  Sometimes spotting can be from a cervical polyp, intercourse, or exercise, which is probably the case here. Penny, I want you to take it easy for the next week or so.”

“I… I have four other children and one who needs near constant care,” Penny protested.

“It’s not the doctor’s fault we have other children to care for,” Jack told his wife, “We’ll get help.  I can stay home. I need you to take some well deserved time off to relax.”

Penny gave him an angry stare.  She was starting to feel useless.

 

When they arrived home, Jack and Penny came in to see all four of their children waiting at the dinner table in anticipation.  Elias had returned from school and had helped his brother into his wheelchair. The girls were dressed and looking much better.  “Mom, Dad… What happened?” Elias asked, “Is everything okay with the twins?”

Jack nodded.  “Everything is fine.  Your mother just had a bit of a scare and will need her rest for the next few weeks.  She’ll be taking maternity leave as of Monday. You kids will have to help her out a little more around the house.”

“I can get a job,” Elias said, “Willis said I can work nights at the Video Barn.”

“Son, you’re welcome to get a job at any point, but your mother will need you at home.  And we’d prefer the money you earn stays with you. We just need you kids to be a little more responsible for yourselves for the next little while.”

Penny weakly smiled.  “And you’re all old enough now, and so responsible.  Everything will be fine.” She took the sonogram picture out of her pocket and placed it in the centre of the table, placing her hands lovingly on her belly.  “These are your sisters.”

The four siblings looked down at the black and white picture in awe.

“And we’ve decided on names,” Penny told them, shining with delight, “Your sisters will be named Erin and Erica.”

Desperate Family Part 7

LINE-UPS ON LABOUR DAY

It was Saturday afternoon and Penny was out with her daughters to buy them some new clothes.  Edith kept growing and Esther refused to wear her sister’s “gross” outfits from previous years.  To be fair, Esther was much skinnier than her sister at the age of nine. Penny was thankful that they had school uniforms and their choice of outfits for weekends were kept to a minimum.

“Mommy, I’m hungry!” whined Esther, “Can we get McDonalds?”

Penny gave her younger daughter a piercing stare.  “Esther, I fed you lunch two hours ago. Can you wait until we get home please?”

“Can I just get fries?” Esther pleaded, “And a drink?  I’m really thirsty.”

“Can I have a drink too?” Edith quietly asked.

Penny sighed.  It was two against one at this point.  She rifled through her purse to find cash for the girls, discovering a wadded up ten dollar bill at the very bottom, crinkled beside a used tissue.  “Fine. Don’t be too long, remember we need to be home in an hour to start dinner…” Penny warned, but the girls were already running off towards the food court.  She caressed her slowly swelling stomach, wondering if her twins would be anything like Edith and Esther. Penny pictured them both with long, dark curls, not unlike her other daughters.  They wore matching gingham sundresses and giggled as if they knew something she didn’t…

“Oh my gosh, Penny Dolman,” said a familiar, slightly nasal voice.

Penny turned around, dazed by her vision.  “Oh… hi Camille.” She fake-smiled.

“Penny, I haven’t seen you at the PTA meetings in… well, since last spring,” Camille accused, itching her nose.

Penny shrugged, feeling uncomfortable, “I’m sorry…”

“It’s just too much for you to show up once a month, I guess,” Camille scoffed.

“Honestly, Thursday nights aren’t the best.  I have to bring Ezra to physio and-”

“How are your girls, Penny?” Camille interrupted, not wanting to hear anymore about Penny’s tragically disabled boy, “Edna and Ellen, was it?”

Penny tried hard not to be offended, gritting her teeth.  “Edith and Esther? They’re… they’re doing well. Esther has developed this phobia of public bathrooms… Edith is, well, becoming a teenager.”

“Fear of public toilets?  Kids are funny.”

“How are Becky and Rachael?” Penny asked, feeling somewhat ashamed that she remembered Camille Moreau’s daughters’ names.

Camille beamed.  “Becky is going by Rebekah now.  She says it’s much more grown-up.  Just turned nine, you know how it is.”

Penny nodded, thinking of Esther’s plea to work at McDonalds to pay for extra dance lessons.

“And Rachael is taking on some AP courses through the high school,” Camille boasted.  “She’s also joined a cheerleading squad through the Solomon Center.”

“Oh wow,” Penny tried not to yawn.  Camille got a hefty payment from the government when her husband was killed in Afghanistan, which helped her out tons when paying for her daughters’ extracurricular activities.  The Solomon Center was one of the most prestigious gyms in the country; Esther would’ve killed to take dance or gymnastics there. Penny tried her hardest not to hate Camille for having extra time and money to spend on her kids, or for boasting about her privileges.  She couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to lose Jack, “And what about you? What are you up to?” Penny interrupted her own jealous thoughts.

Camille looked to the ceiling and half-smiled.  “You know, just overseeing the PTA. Making sure my girls grow up with everything I can provide for them.  Doing a little shopping…” Camille rustled around in her purse and finally found what she was looking for, passing Penny a little piece of paper with a low-resolution picture printed on it, “And this is Marco!”

Penny raised an eyebrow, “Who?”

“My new boyfriend!  I mean, we haven’t met in person yet.  I don’t really have time, what with the girls’ activities and being at school, planning…”

“What do you mean you haven’t met?”

“We met online!  Oh Penny you have to try- Never mind,” Camille backpedaled, remembering that Penny was still married to someone living.

“You’re so brave,” Penny replied, handing back the poor quality photo, “And he’s really good-looking!  You should try and meet him-” She suddenly felt a wave of nausea, squeezing her eyes shut and slowly breathing in.

“Penny, are you feeling alright?”

“Oh God, it’s just morning sickness.  It’s been really bad this time,” Penny confessed, “It comes in waves and all throughout the day I just feel nauseous.  I know every pregnancy is different, but-”

“You don’t think there’s something… wrong, do you?”

Camille had articulated Penny’s worst fears.  “I mean, we had the ultrasound and everything seemed normal with the twins, but…”

“Oh my goodness, twins?” Camille’s shock morphed into a sickly smile, “How are you going to manage that?!”

Another one of Penny’s fears played out in plain speech.  She felt another wave of nausea. Penny’s hand covered her mouth as she tried to hold back the vomit that was creeping up her esophagus.

“Mommy!” Esther shouted, “Look what we got!”  The soon-to-be big sister held up a giant fountain drink and a large fries.

Penny gave her daughters the thumbs up.  “I’m heading to the washroom. You girls stay here.  I’ll be out shortly.”

“It was lovely seeing you!” Camille lied, heading off towards the row of tween themed stores that were just beyond the food court.

Penny waved and abruptly darted off to the ladies.  Her throat was burning with sick. She tried to swallow it down, but her efforts were fruitless.  She fell to her knees in the first stall and emptied her insides into the bowl of the public toilet.  She held onto the dirty bowl for stability as she felt herself heave breakfast in its chunky glory back up.  Penny flushed and went to the sink where she washed her face and hands. Her mouth was still stinging with stomach acid.  She sighed and stared at herself. What if there was something wrong with the babies?  What if she was in over her head? Who was she kidding?  She was already in over her head. Penny gasped, feeling more out of control than she had in a while.  Her breathing was shaky and she felt tears well up in her eyes. She went back to the empty stall, sat down, and began to cry as quietly as she could muster.

Esther looked inquisitively towards the bathrooms.  “Is Mommy okay?” She shoveled another handful of fries into her mouth.

Edith shrugged.  “I think so. She’s just sick because of the babies.”

“I don’t want to have babies if you end up puking the whole time,” Esther mused.

Edith took a long sip of her soda and finished her fries as their mother emerged from the bathroom.

“I’m sorry girls,” Penny apologized, clearing her throat.  “Now finish up your drinks. We don’t have tons of time…”

“I’m done with mine,” Edith said, “I can’t finish it.”

Penny could still feel the burn in her esophagus, “I’ll finish it, Edie.”  Penny chugged the rest of her daughter’s soda, joining Esther in a race to finish their drinks.

Esther won, surprisingly, and let out an obnoxiously loud burp.

“Honey, that’s not necessary,” Penny scolded.

Esther glared at her mother, but didn’t argue.

“Can we go to Planet Girlz?” Edith asked.

“If that’s where you want to go…” Penny replied.

“And then can we see what plans they have for cell phones at Mobo?” Edith raised her eyebrows in desperate hope, knowing full well she’d be knocked down.

“Edith, you know we can’t afford that right now.  And those things give you brain cancer-”

“But mom!  All the other girls have them!”

“Edith, only Ruthie has one.  I know Pearl’s parents would never spring for one unless it was a necessity and Bea’s mom feels the same as me about the situation…”

“But Rachael Moreau has one.  And so does Conner Watts. And Sean Winters.  And Ashleigh Oberman. And-”

“Edith!  That’s enough!  When you have a job and you can pay for your own phone, we will help you get one.  But until that day, you will just have to suffer with the landline.” Penny felt only mild regrets about her harsh words.  She didn’t wish to hurt Edith, but at the same time she knew the family couldn’t afford that extra cost per month, especially with twins on the way.

Edith knew she had gone too far.  She hoped her mother would still buy her a new outfit.  She shied away from conversation and walked silently behind her mother and Esther.

“Mommy, I don’t even need a cell phone,” Esther piped up, holding her mother’s hand.

“Esther, we don’t need to keep talking about it,” Penny shut her down.  With her other hand she caressed her stomach as if to hug her unborn daughters.

“Penny!” came the once again familiar voice of Camille Moreau, “fancy seeing you again.”

“Yeah, Edith and Esther wanted to check out Girly Planet.”

“Planet Girlz, Mom!” Esther corrected.

Rebekah and Rachael emerged from the store, fresh blonde streaks illuminating their nearly black hair.  Rachael was wearing sparkling blue jeans with a black t-shirt depicting the Australian boy band “The Outback Boys.”  Her sister, who was once referred to as Barfy Becky because of an unfortunate incident in early elementary school, was wearing the same shirt but with a deep purple velvet skirt.

“Wow, you got to see The Outback Boys?!” Esther gasped.

“Yeah, Mom got us tickets.  It was pretty cool, I guess,” bragged Rebekah.

Esther remembered when they were in town and her mom couldn’t buy tickets because they were sold out.

“Nothing but the best for my daughters,” Camille cunningly remarked.

Edith rolled her eyes and considered mentioning that only little kids liked The Outback Boys.  She definitely wasn’t jealous of the t-shirt, but the sparkly jeans Rachael was sporting were something she envied immensely.  She looked down at the old romper she was wearing. It was a touch too small and she found it annoying to take on and off because of the size.  Esther didn’t look much fancier – wearing Edith’s baggy, hand-me-down overalls from the second grade. Esther was still too skinny to fit the clothes Edith wore when she was in grade four.

“It wasn’t as lame as I thought it would be,” Rachael sighed, checking out her fresh manicure, “I didn’t even want to go, but none of Becky’s friends could go on a school night.”

“My name is Rebekah,” Rebekah corrected.

The last thing Penny wanted to hear was Camille and her children bragging and fighting amongst each other.  She was glad the nausea from before had gone away, but was definitely regretting chugging the rest of Edith’s pop.  Her bladder had shrunk significantly in the last week and she felt herself constantly needing to use the restroom. Penny couldn’t remember it being this bad so early on, but everything seemed different with this pregnancy so far.  She didn’t have to go too bad for the moment. Hopefully Edith and Esther would find something quick.

“Come on girls, let’s see what they’ve got.  We only have an hour or so before we need to get home,” Penny rushed Edith and Esther into the store.

After a few minutes of looking through racks of sparkly designer jeans, Esther seemed to be getting restless.  She was dancing around the store, not really looking for clothes.

“Esther, sweetpea, please focus,” Penny warned her daughter.

Esther obeyed, still dizzily flitting about, but looking at outfits.  She adjusted her overalls and crossed her legs as she dug through racks of jeans.

“Esther, do you need to go to the bathroom?” Penny asked.

“No,” Esther insisted, shaking.

“Esther, if you need to go, I can go with you.  I know you don’t like to use-”

“I don’t have to go right now,” Esther lied, tugging at her crotch.

“Okay then,” Penny gave up.  She was feeling the urge though.  Penny pressed her thighs together and exercised her kegels.  She could hold for a bit longer while the girls looked. Penny began to feel concerned for Esther, who was looking very desperate and unable to disguise her potty dance.

“Mom, can I try these jeans?” Edith held up a pair of sparkly blue jeans, much like the ones Rachael was wearing.

Penny checked the price tag.  “Edith, these are over a hundred dollars.”

“They’re so cool though!” Edith insisted.

Penny looked to the discount rack and pulled out another pair of (much less sparkly) jeans.  “These are only twenty-five. Try them.”

Edith huffed.

“Try them both, Edie.  You can decide which one looks better,” Penny gave in.  Spending over a hundred dollars on jeans for a twelve-year-old didn’t seem like a wise investment, but Penny couldn’t stand letting Edith down twice in one day.  Even if it meant working a few extra hours at the bakery. Penny shuffled through the racks and found two more pairs of jeans for Esther to try on as well as a mass-produced Outback Boys t-shirt.  “Esther, come try these on please,” Penny called.

Edith grabbed the two pairs of jeans and headed into the change room with her little sister in tow.  There was only one free room, but it was large enough for both girls to go in and try on their new pants.  Edith struggled with her romper, trying to unzip the back. “Ess, can you unzip me?”

Esther held herself with one hand and yanked down the zipper.  Then she sat back down on the bench, wiggling her legs.

“Aren’t you going to try on your pants?” asked Edith.

Esther shrugged and looked worried as she dug her hands deeper into her crotch.

“Come on.  Mom says we don’t have all day to do this.  Just try them on and then we can go.”

Esther shook her head, thighs shaking.  “It’s fine. They always fit.”

Edith sighed, pulling on the normal jeans her mother had picked out.  They fit well, but weren’t anything interesting. Then she tried on the second pair.  “These are so cool,” she said to herself, taking a moment to admire her figure in the mirror, “I can’t believe Mom said she’d buy them for me.”  Edith felt guilt burrowing into the pit of her stomach. She thought about the new babies and her mom having to work extra hours. She thought about Ezra’s expensive physiotherapy and Esther’s dance classes, not to mention feeding and clothing all four (soon to be six) kids.  She took one last look at herself in the sparkly jeans before putting them back and pulling on her romper.

“Are you done yet?  I wanna go home!” Esther whined.

“Yes,” Edith huffed, “Can you do up my zipper?”

Esther yanked the zipper up with one hand and held herself tightly with the other.

Edith sprung open the door to the change room.

“How’d it go?” Penny asked.  She was trying hard not to potty dance in front of her daughters, but it was getting obvious how desperately she needed to pee.

“I only want the one pair,” Edith lied, “The sparkles don’t look good on me.”

Penny winced.  “Great! Esther, did you have any luck?”

Esther couldn’t hold still anymore.  “Both are fine. Can we go home please?” she begged, legs twisted around each other like the cables behind the TV.

“Let’s pay.  Before we leave, I’d like to use the bathroom,” Penny suggested.

“Mommy!” Esther whined, “I want to go home right now!”  She was shaking.

Penny patted her daughter’s head, “Are you feeling alright, sweetpea?”

Esther shrugged.

“I knew we should’ve skipped McDonalds,” Penny muttered regretfully.  Her swelling bladder was begging for a release. She crossed her legs tightly as the cashier rang them through.  Penny was thankful that it was just the two girls today. Elias would spend about three hours testing demos in Electric Arena and trying to schmooze with the staff in hopes of getting a job at the video game retailer.  It was nearly impossible to get him out of there. Penny’s groin was throbbing at this point. “Do either of you need to use the bathroom?” Penny asked as they exited the store. “Traffic might be bad on the way home.”

“Um…” Esther squeezed her legs together, trying to figure out if she could hold it until they got home.  Coming to the conclusion that she could make it, Esther responded with a firm, “No.”

Edith looked at her little sister, not believing her lie.  She was starting to feel the pressing urge to go and she’d only drank about half of what her sister had.  “Are you sure you don’t need to go? You drank a giant pop…”

Esther shook her head.  “I don’t have to go pee!  Stop asking!” She tried unsuccessfully to stop potty dancing, which didn’t help her argument.  Esther didn’t want to set foot in that mall bathroom. Elias said they never cleaned the mall toilets and one time a rat had bitten Willis on the butt when he sat down in the mens.  She wasn’t sure if she believed his story, but also wasn’t willing to take her chances. Esther clenched tighter, sure she would be able to make it for at least until they got home.

The three ladies made their way to the food court bathroom, where Penny was starting to feel like a regular customer.  Thankfully, there wasn’t a line. “Sweetpea, are you sure you don’t want to at least try and go? I would hate for you to have an accident,” Penny asked Esther.  She took a deep breath and squeezed her legs together.

Esther crossed her arms and angrily stared at the ground.  “I don’t have to go!” she shouted, “I just wanna go home!”

Penny sighed.  There was no convincing Esther.  Penny began to feel the urine seep out of her and moisten her panties.  She held tighter and made her way into the bathroom with Edith in tow. There was only one open stall and Penny dashed into it, yanking down her soiled underwear and rapidly letting loose into the porcelain bowl she had previously vomited into.  She suppressed a deep, blissful moan.

Edith stood next to the sinks, looking at the two other “out of order” stalls.  The bathroom was in dire need of a remodel; some of the taps were dripping in hastening rhythm.  With each dribble, she felt herself growing more desperate to go. Edith pressed on her urethra and crossed her legs.  She wished she had gone ahead of her mother into the only working toilet. She looked behind her – nobody else was in line.  Maybe she could just go in the mens? No! That’s gross. Maybe she could just go in the sink? No, no. She could hold it for another minute.  How long could Mom be? Edith reached for her zipper in anticipation, realizing that she couldn’t reach it. She thought of shouting out for Esther, but didn’t want to bring attention to herself, being that she was ready to pee herself.  Edith was about ready to burst. “Mom…?”

“Don’t worry, love.  I’m almost done,” Penny called back.

“It’s okay, I just need help with the zipper,” Edith responded, still trying to reach it.  She was trying hard not to potty dance. She was almost twelve, for goodness sake. Edith squeezed hard and folded one leg over the other.  She closed her eyes, hoping Mom would hurry up.

Edith heard the lock jiggle open and out walked her mother, looking overjoyed with relief.  “Let’s get that zipper…” Penny fiddled with the zipper at the back of Edith’s romper, “I think it’s stuck on the fabric.  Just hold on a little longer.”

Edith breathed in rapidly through her nose.

Penny felt instant guilt, fumbling with the zipper.  She should’ve let her daughter go first. Penny felt like a terrible mother.

Edith could feel pee spurting out.  She tried to hold on, clenching and holding herself with both hands, but still the flood came.  Her panties were soaking before she managed to stop the stream.

“Edith, can you hold on a little longer?  I think I’ve almost got it,” Penny said, tugging at the zipper and making some progress.

“I… I think so…” Edith lied.  She didn’t think she could hold on for even another five seconds, “P-please hurry…”

Penny gave the zipper another fierce yank as it broke off of the garment.  She swore under her breath.

Edith couldn’t hold it any longer.  She felt her pee gush into her soaked underwear and stream down her legs, out of the romper.

“Oh my gosh, Edie-” Penny gasped.  It was her fault. Her daughter was far too old to be having these kinds of accidents.  She handed her daughter the shopping bag from Planet Girlz, “It’s okay, sweetie. You can just change into your new clothes…”

Edith tried not to cry as she pulled off the old romper and soaked panties.  She couldn’t believe she had lost control like that. At least Esther didn’t see.  She would’ve laughed and made fun of Edith’s small bladder. Edith slid into her new jeans and came out of the stall to wash her hands.  She opened the stall door to see none other than Rachael Moreau.

“Nice jeans,” mocked Rachael.

Edith tried not to make eye contact, awkwardly shrugging her shoulders.

“It smells disgusting in here.  What did you do, piss all over the floor?” Rachael plugged her nose.  “God, if I didn’t have to go so badly, I’d be outta here so fa-” It was then that she noticed the wet, wadded up romper in Edith’s hand.  “Oh my god, what is that?”

“Nothing,” Edith lied, tossing it into the trash.

Rachael went and fished it out with an unsure hand.  “Oh my god. This is hilarious.” She held up the wet romper.  “Did you pee-pee in your onesie?!” Rachael taunted in a sing-song baby voice.  She laughed and threw Edith’s romper back in the garbage and washed her hands. “You’re totally gross, Edith.  You should wear diapers if you can’t get to the toilet on time.”

Edith said nothing and shuffled out the door, holding back her tears.

She exited the bathroom to find her mother and Esther waiting for her.  Mom was holding Esther’s hand and Esther was desperately trying to keep from peeing her pants.

“Let’s go let’s go let’s go!” Esther begged, tapping her feet and wiggling as she pulled her mother’s hand and awkwardly marched towards the parkade.  Esther knew she could make it. If she could just sit down, maybe her bladder would settle…

They were almost at the parkade when Esther stopped in the middle of the hallway and grabbed herself.  She knelt down and started shaking.

“Come on, Esther.  We need to get going,” Penny told her daughter.  She knew Esther needed to go, but she’d missed her chance.  They were already going to be late.

“I can’t,” she whispered.

“Yes you can,” Edith shook her head, “Come on.”

Esther shook her head and wiped the tears away.  “I c-can’t! I have to go pee really badly…”

Edith groaned.  “Esther! We were just in the bathroom!  Why didn’t you-”

“I didn’t have to go!” Esther moaned.

“Maybe we can go back…” Edith suggested.

Esther shook her head.  “It’s too late!” she insisted, standing up to reveal a growing wet spot on the backside of her overalls.  Dark lines began to appear as her pee ran down her legs. Esther was shaking, mortified that she had let it get to this point.  A small puddle began to form at her feet, urine splashing up onto her white sneakers.

Esther grabbed her mom’s arm, “Mom…”

Penny sighed.  “Come on, sweetpea.  It’ll be okay. You can change when we get home.”  Penny removed her cardigan and wrapped it around Esther’s waist, covering most of her accident.

Desperate Family Part 6

CHAPTER 6: NEW BEGINNING

Penny woke to that familiar nauseous feeling. For the fifth time in her 38 years, she was pregnant. Her bed was warm and inviting, but she knew she would need to throw up in mere moments. Every pregnancy was the same. She was ill for the first three or four months and then her body would adjust. Today was her three month ultrasound and she was thankful to be in the final few weeks of feeling like a wreck. She headed to the bathroom and promptly vomited into the too-familiar porcelain bowl in the master bedroom’s ensuite.

Jack came to her side, “You okay, love?”

“Fine, fine,” Penny groaned, “Just morning sickness.”

Jack kissed her head and gave her a squeeze. “Want me to make breakfast today? It’s the first day of school; kids need to eat something…”

“No… I can do it,” Penny weakly replied.

“If you insist,” Jack smiled and slunk into the shower, readying himself for another day at the office.

Penny flushed and washed her hands and face off before brushing her teeth to get rid of the acidic taste of last night’s dinner. Then she headed downstairs to make breakfast. She looked in the fridge, her stomach churning at the thought of eating eggs or toast. All she could bring herself to prepare were bowls of Mini Wheats. She felt bad, but knew she would surely throw up if she even smelled eggs. Penny sat down at her usual chair in the dining room, holding her head in her hands. Not only was the nausea paralyzing, but she was fearful that her little child would be born as dependent as five, nearly six-year-old Ezra, who was completely nonverbal and wheelchair bound. Penny knew that 38 wasn’t too old to have children, but she and Jack had had the conversation about what they would do if their new baby had Down Syndrome recently, and it tore her up inside to think of another child that would never be able to live independently. Penny buried her head in her hands and tried not to cry. She was so tired.

“Mommy!” Esther shouted, “Where are my eggs?!”

Penny sat up straight and tried to gather herself. “Sorry, sweetpea. Just Mini Wheats today… I’m not feeling so well.”

Esther looked like she was going to cry. “But I’m so, so hungry…”

“Mini Wheats will fill you up until recess, my love. You’ll be okay. Have a glass of orange juice or…” Penny trailed off, feeling another wave of nausea rattle through her already feeble body.

Esther grumbled something about wishing Daddy would make her his famous eggs, but Penny wasn’t listening. She was trying to keep from projectile vomiting all over the breakfast table. She weakly got up from the table and headed to the main bathroom without a word to her youngest daughter. Penny and Jack had decided to keep the pregnancy a secret from their children until they knew for sure that it would be healthy.

She heard Elias’s heavy teenage footsteps as he lazily slunk downstairs for breakfast. He yawned loudly, “Ess, where’s Mom?”

Esther babbled something about hating Mini Wheats.

Elias groaned. He was old enough to know that his mother was likely expecting another child. He had seen this three times before. He said nothing, not wanting to upset his little sister.

“Eli, which teacher did you have in grade four?”

“Mr. Browning. He used to ring a little bell instead of yelling at us to shut up. Weird guy. I think he keeps horses now. He retired last year…”

“Oh,” Esther guzzled a second glass of orange juice. She looked nervous.

“Don’t be all freaked out about being in the intermediate grades. Grade four is super easy,” Elias reassured his sister, “Just try your best. You’re not an idiot; you’ll probably be fine.” Elias didn’t have a ton of anxiety about grade ten; all of high school seemed the same. He was just excited to finish the half day at school and come home to his Xbox and Halo.

Esther smiled and finished her soggy Mini Wheats.

Jack came down the stairs, carrying Ezra (who was nearly too big to be carried even by his father, who was a reasonably strong guy). He gave the kids a tired grin. Behind him came a sleep-deprived Edith, who had been up all night worrying about what to wear on her first day of grade seven.

Jack set Ezra down in his chair and scooted him to the table. “Ready for some breakfast, kiddo?” Jack smiled at his son, who made little to no eye contact. Ezra smiled and cooed, looking in the opposite direction. Jack scruffed up his son’s ginger hair, “Looks like eggs and bacon, Ez.” He lifted his son’s shirt and administered the syringe of liquid into the tube attached to Ezra’s stomach. Ezra had to be fed through a feeding tube due to dysphagia, a result of his cerebral palsy. “Yum,” Jack gave his son another warm smile.

“What does that stuff taste like anyway?” Esther made a disgusted face.

“It’s just different nutrients in liquid,” Jack explained, “Kind of like milk but with more stuff in it. Your brother can’t eat normal food like you guys do.”

“Oh,” Esther replied, “I hope it tastes okay.”

Jack smiled but wasn’t sure what the formula tasted like. He looked to his disabled son, wondering what the boy was thinking about, if anything. He wondered what Ezra would say, or whether he would get along with his siblings if he could speak to them.

Penny emerged from the bathroom, dark circles evident under her eyes. Her back ached from sleeping at a strange angle. “Hi kids,” she mumbled.

“Penny, you should head back to bed,” Jack warned his wife. He could tell she wasn’t up to sitting at breakfast this morning.

“I need to eat something,” she weakly replied, taking her place at the head of the table. She took a few bites of the cereal and tried her hardest to keep it down. Penny could feel her guts rejecting the Mini Wheats and ran back upstairs to the ensuite.

“It’s about time for you three to head off,” Jack said, almost ignoring his wife’s rapid exit, “I’m going to get Ezra ready to go to your aunt’s. Elias, you’re in charge. Make sure the girls get to school safely.”

“Me and Esther don’t need him! I’m old enough,” Edith tried to reassure her father.

“Safety in numbers,” Jack warned as his three able-bodied children left for school.

Esther sat down in her new, empty desk. It was a bit different than last year’s third grade class. The desks were arranged into five rows each with three pairs of desks. The curly-haired blonde girl sitting next to her was completely unfamiliar to Esther. She looked around to see where her best friend, Addison, was sitting. She was all the way across the room and was seated next to Flossie Ambrose, who was always incredibly mean to Esther during dance class. Ever since Esther had accidentally wet herself when she tried to do the splits, Flossie would talk to her as if she were a baby, asking if a baby who needed diapers could even be in their dance troupe. Flossie and Addison were completely engrossed in conversation and hadn’t noticed that Esther was even in their class. Esther was sure the blonde girl was nice, but she wished she could just sit with her friend instead. She couldn’t believe Addison would even engage with the enemy like that. She felt her face go sour and her heart freeze from perceived betrayal.

The blonde girl shyly looked at Esther, and then looked away as if she wanted to ask something but couldn’t get up the courage. She looked like she was shaking from fear. Esther started to feel bad. Starting a new school was probably pretty hard, not that she knew from experience.

“Hi,” Esther said.

The blonde girl pushed her curls out of her face, “H-hi,” she quietly replied.

“I’m Esther. Are you new?”

“Yeah.”

“What’s your name? Where did you move from?” Esther stopped herself from asking another question, hoping she wasn’t overwhelming the poor girl.

The blonde girl continued to shake. “Annie. M-my name’s Annie. Um, I came from, I mean, we moved from…” she stopped shaking for a moment putting her hands in her lap, “M-Markham.”

Esther nodded, pretending she knew where that was. “Cool, I’m from here.”

Annie awkwardly grinned and then looked away, shaking again. Her hands were pressed in her lap, arms rigid.

“Hey, Annie?”

The blonde girl didn’t look up at all; it seemed as though she was completely ignoring her desk mate.

“Annie, are you okay?”

“F-fine.” She stared down at her desk and hid under her thick mop of blonde curls, continuing to shake and jiggle her legs.

Esther looked to Addison again, who still hadn’t noticed her. Flossie and Addison were laughing like old friends. Esther wondered if she would ever get to see her best friend.

“Hello grade fours!” the teacher greeted her students from the wooden podium at the front of the class, “I’m Mrs. Ireland. I’m going to do a quick attendance check and then a short rundown of our classroom rules and a summary of what you’re going to learn this year. Okay. Florence?”

The class was silent. Esther could hear hers and Annie’s desks bumping together as Annie jiggled her legs.

“Florence Ambrose?”

“It’s Flossie,” Flossie huffed, angry that her parents had given her such a long and ridiculous name.

“Sorry!” Mrs. Ireland apologized, flattening her black pencil skirt. She called a few more names. “Esther Dolman?”

“Here!” Esther called. She looked over at Addison, who still hadn’t noticed her.

“Addison Elliott?”

“Here,” Addison responded, sounding bored and unapologetic as if to impress her new best friend, Flossie.
“Annabelle Hollis?”

“Here,” Annie spoke just louder than a whisper. She had stopped jiggling her legs and had crossed one over the other, hands buried in the crotch of her pleated skirt. Annie didn’t even correct Mrs. Ireland on her name.

Mrs. Ireland continued to list off the names of their classmates as Esther took another peek at Annie. She looked incredibly uncomfortable. Her legs squeezing together as she scuffed the soles of her black maryjanes together. Annie let out a tiny whimper.

Esther gave her desk mate a poke and whispered, “Are you okay?”

Annie finally turned to Esther, tears in her eyes. She shook her head, no. “I have to go to the washroom really, really bad…” Annie whispered so quietly that Esther didn’t quite hear.

“What?” Esther mouthed.

Annie let out a horrified gasp, so loud that the whole class heard. She lifted her hands from her crotch to reveal a growing wet spot. She quickly tried to cover it up with her sweater, but there was no use. There was a small stream of pee that wasn’t being absorbed into Annie’s uniform trickling down and hitting the brown carpeted floor. She looked to Esther, completely mortified.

Mrs. Ireland looked to the two girls, instantly realizing what was going on. “Esther, why don’t you take Annabelle to the nurse to get cleaned up…”

With that, Addison and Flossie turned to see what had happened. The two girls began giggling amongst themselves. The rest of the class stared at Annie, shocked but amused by her misfortune.

Esther took her new friend’s hand and they did their walk of shame out of the classroom.

“You need a full bladder for us to do a proper ultrasound,” the receptionist said.

Penny sighed. She knew the feeling all too well and wasn’t looking forward to the discomfort. At least the morning sickness had subsided. She looked to Jack as the receptionist handed her a cup of water. Jack wore an incredible grin. The ultrasound was his favourite part of the pregnancy journey.

The bell rang for recess and Esther grabbed a ziploc baggie of carrots and her water bottle. She saw Annie had the same thing. “I got carrots too,” Esther said.

Annie didn’t say anything.

“Do you wanna hang out?” Esther asked, taking a big sip of her water.

Annie shrugged. “I didn’t think anyone would want to hang out with me…”

“Cause you peed?” Esther whispered.

Annie nodded, her blonde curls bouncing and partly covering her face.

“It’s okay,” Esther looked around to make sure nobody was listening, and then whispered, “Don’t worry. I peed my pants once too.”

Annie looked uncomfortable and meekly replied, “Let’s not talk about it.”

The two wandered the school grounds, eating carrots and talking about Annie’s old school in Markham. Whenever Annie brought up her hometown, she looked like she was going to cry. Esther couldn’t help but feel bad for Annie, but as she eyed Addison and Flossie from across the playground, she felt extreme jealousy. Esther wished she could swap places with Flossie as she saw the two girls giggling and pointing at her and Annie.

“They’re laughing at me,” Annie self consciously whispered.

Esther didn’t want to lie to her new friend, so she said nothing and led Annie in the opposite direction of the playground. She took another gulp of water and realized she hadn’t gone to the bathroom since before breakfast. Esther felt a little tingle in her bladder, but just as she was going to excuse herself, the bell rang and the girls made their way back to class.

“Are you ready?” Jack asked, Cheshire cat grin across his face.

Penny gritted her teeth, trying to keep from leaking. “Yup,” she quickly retorted.

“Mrs. Dolman? The doctor is running a bit behind. He’ll be with you in the next twenty-ish minutes,” the receptionist interrupted.

Penny let out a sigh, squeezing Jack’s hand.

“I know it’s uncomfortable, but it’ll be over before you know it,” the receptionist tried to comfort Penny.

“Yup. I know,” Penny was a bit short at this point, but her urine was ready to escape and resistance was futile. She pressed her legs together, trying not to make it obvious how badly she needed a release.

Jack rubbed his wife’s back. “Just hold on,” he seductively whispered.

“I hope you all had a nice little break,” Mrs. Ireland warmly greeted her grade four class. “Our next class is gym. Please grab your gym clothes and head down to the change rooms. I’ll meet you in the gymnasium.”

Esther smiled giddily. “I love gym!” she told Annie. Esther got bored sitting at a desk for too long, especially when she had to write out math problems or find grammar corrections. Even reading was a struggle for her, unless the book was incredibly captivating. It was part of the reason her parents put her in dance instead of music lessons. Esther and Annie went to their cubbies and grabbed their uniformed gym strip.

“I don’t really like gym,” Annie admitted.

“But it’s easy and all you do is run around and play games!” Esther tried to get her new best friend on board with her favourite class. She felt another twinge in her bladder, but was incredibly thankful that she had time to pee before class.

Annie shrugged. “I’m not good at running and stuff.” She looked down at her shoes.

“It’s okay,” Esther replied, “Just have fun!” She was trying not to do the potty dance in front of her new friend, but she felt herself getting more and more desperate as the moments went by.

Before she could use the bathroom, Esther decided to change into her gym clothes. She sat down on the wooden change room bench and pulled down her blue pleated skirt. Her legs were jiggling now, trying to keep her pee at bay. She squeezed her legs together, holding on as best she could. Pulling on the matching blue shorts proved to be a bit more difficult. Her thighs were pressed tightly together and loosening them made her leak just a little into her panties. Esther gasped, feeling a spurt of wetness. She quickly pulled on the white t-shirt and set down her gym bag, her uniform safely tucked away inside. “I’ll be right back,” she told Annie and walked briskly down the hall to the girls’ bathroom. With each step, her bladder bounced around inside her, desperately wanting to release its contents into her blue cotton shorts. Esther stopped for a moment, trying to adjust herself, one leg wrapped around the other.

“Esther!” Mrs. Ireland called, “What are you doing? We’re starting a game of dodgeball.”

“I just needed to go-”

“Come with me, there’s no escape from your first PE class of the year,” Mrs. Ireland ignored Esther’s plea, pulling her arm and forcing her into the gym.

Esther held tighter, her knees pressed together, one ankle wrapped around the other.

“Where were you?” Annie asked.

“I tried to go to the bathroom, but Mrs. Ireland said I had to come to class,” Esther replied, pressing on her crotch. She adjusted herself again. Maybe she could make it for a little while.

On the other side of the gym, Addison and Flossie were snickering and pointing at Annie, pretending they needed to go pee and miming Annie’s actions. Flossie threw a ball in Annie and Esther’s direction, missing them by a hair. Esther shot her ex-best-friend an angry stare and threw the ball back to them with little to no force or accuracy. Usually she was much better at sport, but today her efforts were focused elsewhere. She felt another spurt leak into her panties and squeezed harder. Esther knew she wouldn’t make it much longer.

Esther grabbed herself and sauntered over to her teacher. “Mrs. Ireland?”

The teacher looked down at her desperate student, “Yes?”

“Can I go to the bathroom?” Esther asked, barely able to keep still.

“Esther, you just had recess. I think you can hold it at least until the end of the game. Can you wait five minutes?”

Esther pressed harder on her crotch. “But-”

“I need you to wait,” Mrs. Ireland replied, “You’re a big girl. You can hold it.”

Esther whimpered and headed back to her friend.

“I thought you needed to use the washroom,” Annie said.

“She wouldn’t let me go,” Esther whined, “And I have to go so bad…” Esther danced, rubbing her thighs together. Her potty dance wasn’t helping. She didn’t think she would make it another second, let alone another five. Esther knew there wasn’t any point in asking again. She dug her hand into her crotch and bent her knees, trying to hold on.

“Are you okay?!” Annie gasped, feeling instant empathy.

“N-no… I have to go pee really bad…” Esther whimpered. Her legs were shaking. She felt another gush of pee soak her panties.

Mrs. Ireland walked over to Esther and grabbed her arm, “Esther, if you really need to go that badly, then go ahead.”

Esther was shaking, both hands pressing hard on her crotch. She could barely move, but tried to shuffle off as quickly as she could to the bathrooms. She felt another fierce spurt soak her panties and shorts. Esther could see the door to the girls room just a few feet away. Another pang of desperation hit. It was too much for Esther to hold in. She sprang a leak, trying to plug it with her hands, but failing. Pee soaked her blue cotton shorts and dribbled a few drops onto the laminate floors. Esther tried to keep holding as she entered the bathroom and pushed open the first stall. She had to go so badly, she didn’t even close the door. Esther squeezed herself one last time and tried to pull down her shorts, but it was too late. Her bladder could take no more, and burst from her hold. Pee rushed through her already sopping underwear, drenching her absorbent cotton gym shorts. She sat down on the toilet, pee dripping from her clothes into the toilet. Then the bathroom door swung open, revealing a stern looking Mrs. Ireland. Esther looked up at her new teacher, then down at her wet shorts and began to cry a river of tears.

Penny’s legs were shaking. “How long is this going to take?” she asked, trying to hide that she was bursting.

“Not long,” the doctor replied, applying the cold jelly to her patient’s abdomen, “You must be ready to burst.”

Penny shivered, leaking a bit into her underwear. She tried to smile in response, but just looked uncomfortable. The ultrasound machine began to make its familiar whirring heartbeat sounds as her baby was revealed.

The doctor wore a look of mild concern, moving the transducer around and searching for abnormalities. Her expression went from concerned to intrigue. “Looks like you two are expecting twins.”

“Twins?!” Penny was shocked, but excited.

Jack tried not to think about the complications of two babies and their already very dependent six-year-old son and feigned joy.

“Everything looks good so far. Do you want to know the sexes?”

Penny looked to Jack, whose once blissful state seemed to fade.

Jack exhaled, trying to focus on the task at hand. “Yes please.” He smiled at his wife, thinking of the evening of their child’s conception. His pants soaked in her urine. Their passionate exchange in a dark alley. Jack realized he would never be able to tell this story to anyone and began concocting a lie about the twins’ conception, should he ever have to tell that story.

Penny and Jack sat at the kitchen table, holding hands and beaming at each other. Ezra sat next to his father, dazed in his wheelchair. Esther had just come home from school with her wet bag of gym strip and underpants that she had thrown directly into the washing machine in hopes that nobody would know about her accident. She sat next to her brother, Elias, who looked just as put-out as she was. Elias sat boredly with his elbows on the table, hands holding his face up in a blank stare. He wasn’t excited for another kid. Where were they going to sleep? His room was far too small to share. Ezra needed the other small room. Edith and Esther were already sharing a room… Elias sighed and looked to Edith, who had no idea what was going on. She was sitting at the edge of her seat in excited anticipation. Elias wished he was still in grade seven and had her innocence.

“Kids, I have something to tell you,” Penny excitedly said.

Elias rolled his eyes. He knew exactly what was being announced. It made him angry. It seemed irresponsible to be having another child when they already had the burden of looking after Ezra.

“I just wanted you all to know,” Penny began, trying to downplay her excitement, “the reason I’ve been sick lately is because… I’m pregnant! You’re going to have two little sisters in March.”

“Are you excited, Daddy?” Esther asked.

Jack gave her a half-smile, “I’ll be excited when we know for sure that your little sisters are healthy. For now, I’m trying not to think about it too much.”

Elias had never seen his father look so concerned about a pregnancy. Even when Ezra was diagnosed, Dad never seemed too put out. He didn’t want to ask Dad any more about it. His sisters remained silent as well.