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 Summer morning ... and afternoon!

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Zee-Zee

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Number of posts : 1716
Age : 40
Localisation : Zee-Zee's house
Registration date : 2007-04-22

PostSubject: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:45 pm

Sometimes if I can't sleep, I tell myself a little story about Zee-Zee and his life. On Friday night I was in a strange bed, I had a big event the next day and I was sharing a hotel room with another guy, and it took me a long time before I finally got to sleep. The little story I made up turned into an epic, starring not just Zee-Zee but also my other fursona Sammy, and when I got home I wanted to type it up and save it.

No action and adventure, it's just a day in the life, but I quite like stories like that, and I don't think there are enough of them, so I hope someone else will like it too.

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Clever big squirrel!

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Last edited by on Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zee-Zee

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Number of posts : 1716
Age : 40
Localisation : Zee-Zee's house
Registration date : 2007-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:46 pm

It was a bright, sunny morning and Zee-Zee was just waking up when his mommy came into his bedroom. “Good morning, darling!” she said, as she opened the curtains.

Zee-Zee yawned, stretched, picked up his big round glasses from the bedside table and put them on. “Morning, Mommy!” he chirped, climbing out of his big-kid bed and running to be picked up and cuddled.

Zena smiled, and nuzzled the little squirrel. His pyjamas were damp, and there was a wet patch on the bed – his pull-ups had leaked overnight again. Zee-Zee refused to wear diapers, or even goodnites to bed, because as he always said, he was a big squirrel who used the potty and he wasn’t ever going to wet his bed again. His parents didn’t mind the extra laundry. Zena, still cradling Zee-Zee in one arm, pulled the wet sheet off the bed, revealing the plastic mattress cover underneath, and carried him into the bathroom, saying “Come on, let’s get dressed for the day.”

She stripped off Zee-Zee’s pyjamas and put them and the sheet into the laundry hamper, then sat him on the changing table, took off the soaked pull-up, wiped and powdered him, and tickled his tummy till he giggled. He never liked to be in a wet pull-up, but he was very easy to cheer up. Zena opened the cupboard and took out a new, dry pull-up from the almost empty packet. “Oh dear,” she said. “This is the last one! I thought we had another pack in here. You’d better try your best to keep this one clean and dry until we get some more, sweetheart!”

“Okay!” said Zee-Zee, his chest swelling with pride and responsibility. No accidents! He could do that, he was a big squirrel, and very clever for his age (two and a bit), and he knew all about going to the potty before it was too late. Mommy and Daddy said that if he could go a whole day without an accident, he could start wearing underpants just like a grown-up. He’d never quite managed it yet, but he had a very good feeling about today.

Zena helped Zee-Zee get dressed in a pair of light blue shorts and a yellow T-shirt with a picture of a happy bunny on the front, and they went downstairs for breakfast. Zee-Zee’s daddy, Zed, was finishing his cup of tea – he had to leave earlier than usual that morning for his work at the university. He ruffled Zee-Zee’s headfur and said “Good morning, champ!”

Zee-Zee giggled, and climbed up into his highchair, all by himself. He was quite an expert climber – no crib or playpen had been able to hold him since almost before he could walk. Zed put a sippy cup of orange juice, a bowl of cereal and a carton of milk in front of him. “Want to try pouring the milk again today?” he asked, with a grin.

“Yeah!” said Zee-Zee. This was his latest big-squirrel skill. He picked up the milk carton with both hands and very carefully poured just the right amount into his bowl, without spilling a drop.

“Now there’s my clever little squirrel!” said Zena, impressed. She tied a bib around Zee-Zee’s neck, knowing that while he took pride in pouring milk without spilling, he hadn’t yet considered that eating without dropping food down your front is another way to be big. He picked up his spoon and ate quickly, enthusiastically and very messily.

Zena sat down and helped herself to a slice of toast. “We’re out of pull-ups,” she said to Zed. “I think we’ll take a trip into town to get some more.”

“But you’re looking after the kids next door today, too,” Zed pointed out. “Not to mention that you’re six months pregnant with little Zach or little Zoe. Do you really want to take three little cubs to town by yourself? I could pick up some pull-ups on my way home, I’ll be back a bit after lunch.”

They looked at each other and considered the odds of Zee-Zee not needing a new pull-up before then, and smiled. “No, I think I’d better get some myself,” said Zena. “I’ll be fine.” They didn’t want to change Zee-Zee into a diaper, knowing he was so very proud of his big-squirrel pants and would feel like he was being punished (they’d ceremonially thrown out all the diapers in the house, anyway), or to use the underpants that they were saving as a reward.

“Such bravery!” Zed enthused with a silly grin. “That’s one of the many things I love about you! Well, I must fly. Bye-bye, Zee-Zee!” He gave Zee-Zee a cuddle, getting milk and cereal on his new tie, kissed Zena, and left, whistling cheerfully to himself.

“Bye-bye, Daddy!” Zee-Zee called after him, and wriggled out of the highchair to run to the window to wave goodbye. Zena waved too, and when Zed was out of sight, took off Zee-Zee’s bib, wiped his face and said “Run along and watch TV, darling, while I clear the table. When Richard and Susie get here, we’re going into town on the bus!”

“Yay!” said Zee-Zee, bouncing excitedly. He skipped into the living room, holding his sippy and singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round…”

Not long after that, the doorbell rang, and the rabbit family from next door came in. Richard and Susie went through into the living room while their mother stayed to chat for a while with Zena.

“Hi!” said Zee-Zee, who was sitting on the couch. “It’s Bob the Builder! And I can turn on the TV and change the channel all by myself, you know,” he added, looking at Richard. Richard was four years old and Zee-Zee looked up to him as the ideal example of what a big boy thought, said and did. He was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans with a button and zipper on the front, and Zee-Zee resolved to ask his mommy to get him a pair just like it.

“I like Dizzy,” said Susie, who was three, a whole year older than Zee-Zee, but still in diapers and not interested in learning to use the potty, despite her mom’s efforts. She took her pacifier out of her mouth to speak, and put it in again as soon as she’d finished. She was wearing pink overalls with a yellow duck picture on the front, and a pale blue shirt underneath. The bulge of her diaper was very obvious, and Zee-Zee compared his grown-up-looking clothes to her baby outfit with a happy smile.

“Dizzy’s stupid,” said Richard. “I like Scoop. He’s cool.”

“Me too!” said Zee-Zee. “Scoop’s the best.”

The show finished, and Zena came into the room. “Are you all ready to ride the bus into town?” she asked. Everyone said yes. “Okay! Anyone want to go potty before we leave?”

“Nope,” said Richard. “I went at my house before we came here.”

“Me too,” said Zee-Zee. “I mean, I don’t need to right now.”

“Why don’t you go and try anyway?” said Zena with a smile. “Hurry up, and then we’ll go to town!”

Zee-Zee sighed, and went upstairs to the bathroom, doing his best to give Richard a look that said ‘mommies don’t understand that big boys like us know when we need to go potty and when we don’t’. He climbed on the little step in front of the toilet, put his toddler seat on top of the regular seat, tugged his shorts and pull-up down, and sat there, swinging his legs, for about twenty seconds until he was tired of pretending to try to go potty. Then he hurried back downstairs, in case the others left without him.

Zena buckled Susie and Zee-Zee into the double pushchair, put the diaper bag (containing spare diapers for Susie, spare shorts for anyone who needed them, wipes, cartons of juice and any number of other things that might come in handy) in the space under the seats, held Richard’s paw and set off down the road to the bus stop. As they waited for the bus, Zee-Zee asked “Can we go to the toy shop? And the park? Ooh, can we buy a toy and then go to the park and play with it?”

“I think that sounds like a great idea!” said Zena, smiling. “And maybe we’ll have an ice cream in the café, too.”

“Yay!” said all three little ones, in unison. Then the double-decker bus arrived, and they got on board.

“Let’s go upstairs!” said Richard, already half way up to the top deck. Zena folded up the pushchair, leaving it in the storage space with the diaper bag, and followed the bunnies and Zee-Zee up. Richard had already settled himself in a front seat and was pretending to drive the bus.

“I’m the driver, and you’ve gotta buy tickets from me,” he said.

“Uh-uh,” said Susie, with her pacifier still in her mouth. “Babies don’t need tickets.”

“I’m not a baby!” said Zee-Zee. “I want a ticket!” He pretended to pay Richard for the ticket and sat next to him as the bus set off towards the town centre.

Susie looked out of the window, pointing out birds and houses, which Richard ‘swerved’ to avoid, spinning an imaginary steering wheel. Zee-Zee got a thoughtful look on his face and turned round to Zena in the seat behind him. “Mommy, I gotta go potty,” he said.

“Didn’t I ask you to try to go, less than five minutes ago?” Zena asked with a weary smile. “I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until the bus gets to town, because there’s nowhere to go potty before then. Do you think you can be a good little boy and do that?”

“Uh huh,” said Zee-Zee, nodding. “I’m a big squirrel.” He put his hand to the front of his shorts and concentrated on not having an accident.

Eventually, the bus arrived in the small town. “We’re here!” said Richard, who had got bored with pretending to drive some time before, and had found that watching Zee-Zee fidget and hop up and down made him need to go pee too. “Are we going to the potty now?”

“I waited till we got to town!” said Zee-Zee, still squirming but smiling at how clever he was. No accidents for this little squirrel, even if he had to hold it for hours and hours because they forgot to put a potty on the bus!

“Good boy!” said Zena, patting his head. She gently shook Susie, who had been put to sleep by the hum of the bus, and led the three cubs down the stairs. Luckily, the bus stopped right by the public bathrooms. Holding Zee-Zee and Susie by the paws, Zena hurried to the entrance to the women’s room, but stopped when she felt Richard tug on her dress.

“I can’t go in there!” he protested. “That’s the girls’ potties! I’m a boy!”

Zee-Zee stopped and looked up at his mommy, caught in a dilemma. On the one hand, if he didn’t get to a potty right that second, it was going to be too late, but on the other hand, if big boys don’t go to the girls’ potties, he couldn’t possibly go in there! Zena sighed. She could tell from Zee-Zee’s frantic fidgeting that there was no time for an argument, so she was just about to drag Richard into the bathroom and brace herself for a tantrum, when she heard a friendly, familiar voice.

“Well, fancy seeing you here!” called a tall squirrel with a friendly smile. He was holding the paw of a four-year-old squirrel boy, who had been staring unhappily down at the ground, but looked up and said “Auntie Zena!”

“Mark! Sammy! What are you doing here?” asked Zena, who hadn’t been expecting to see her brother and nephew in her town – they lived miles away, in the big city. “No, on second thoughts, tell me later. For now, why don’t you take the boys here into the boys’ bathrooms, while us girls go powder our noses and gossip?”
“Okay,” said Mark, cheerfully. “Come on, men, let’s go to the men’s room. Don’t I get a hug from my favourite nephew?”

Zee-Zee, who had been too distracted to notice Uncle Mark, took his hand and said “Potty first! It’s coming!”

They went into the men’s room. Richard went over to the lowest urinal and found to his delight that if he stood on tiptoes, he was just tall enough to use it. Zee-Zee, meanwhile, looked around in fascination. He was still very new to potty-training, and this was the first time he’d used the public bathrooms in the town. It suddenly sunk in that this was a major landmark on the road to becoming a big squirrel. Just look at the grown-up furs, walking in, using the grown-up potty and walking out again, and he was doing the same!

“Okay…” said Mark, looking around. He wasn’t used to looking after three little cubs on his own, and wasn’t sure how to work this so that he could keep an eye on all of them. “Do you need to pee or poop, Zee-Zee?”

Zee-Zee snapped out of his daydream and realised that he didn’t need to do either any more. While he’d been imagining how great it would be to use the grown-up potty, his pull-up had got thicker and warmer and the uncomfortable feeling in his tummy had gone away. “Um, pee-pee,” he said, hoping he could still bluff it out without anyone seeing he’d had an accident.

Meanwhile, Sammy was worried about the same thing. He and his daddy hadn’t been coming to the bathrooms so he could go pee. Although he was four years old, Sammy had a small bladder and had a lot of trouble getting to the potty in time. The pull-up hidden under his shorts was soaked and they’d come in here so he could get a change without anyone seeing. Now his little cousin and, even worse, this rabbit boy his own age, would know he’d wet himself again.

Mark lifted Zee-Zee up to the urinal and pulled down the front of his shorts and pull-up, but Zee-Zee couldn’t manage to do anything, not even a little drop so he could say he sort of used the big potty. “Looks like you didn’t quite make it,” Mark said, trying to sound reassuring.

“I nearly did, though,” said Zee-Zee, pouting.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get there,” said Mark, carrying him over to the changing table in the corner. He sat Zee-Zee down there, then picked Sammy up and sat him on it too, before taking off his rucksack and pulling out two new pull-ups. “Luckily, we came prepared!”

He took off Sammy’s and Zee-Zee’s shorts and wet pull-ups. “Boy, you really did wet that one, Zee-Zee, I can see you really had to go!”

Zee-Zee cheered up a bit. “I had to hold it for years and years cause we were on the bus!” he said.
“Yep, you’d need a bladder of steel not to have an accident waiting that long,” said Mark, trying his best not to giggle as he gave a serious nod. “Doh!” he added suddenly, “we had another kid when we came in here. Bunny-boy? Where are you?”

“Here I am!” said Richard, who’d been playing with the paw-drier. He came over to the changing table. “Did you wet your pants? Hey, do you wear pull-ups? But you’re as big as me! I stopped wearing pull-ups years ago and I never wet my pants!”

Sammy blushed, looked away and curled his tail around his naked lower body, wishing he could hide under it completely. Mark patted Richard gently on the head. “That’s not very nice,” he said. “Say, what’s your name, anyway? I’m Mark, this is Sammy. And that’s Zee-Zee, but you probably know that already.”

“I’m Richard,” said Richard. “I’m four and I live next to Zee-Zee.”

“Pleased to meetcha,” said Mark. Then Zee-Zee sneezed, feeling a draught, and Mark remembered he had two half-dressed squirrels waiting for him. “Bless you,” he said, and helped Zee-Zee put on the new pull-up. It was what they called a squirrel-style pull-up – most furs like a tail-hole in their pants and underwear with an elastic loop, but squirrel tails being so big and bushy, it’s difficult to fit them through a hole, so they like to wear the kind that fasten with velcro or a button above the tail. It hung loosely around Zee-Zee’s waist. Sammy wore the large size pull-ups, while Zee-Zee took the smallest size available. “Looks like it’s a bit too big for you,” said Mark, standing back to look. “Maybe we’d better get one of yours from your mommy instead.”

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Clever big squirrel!

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Zee-Zee

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Number of posts : 1716
Age : 40
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Registration date : 2007-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:47 pm

“She hasn’t got any!” said Richard. “They ran out cause Zee-Zee keeps wetting them, so we came to town to buy some new ones!”

Zee-Zee, who hadn’t realised Richard knew the reason for their shopping trip, blushed as red as Sammy, and protested “I don’t keep wetting them! I nearly never do that! I’m a big squirrel!” He hitched up his oversized pull-up and put on a sulky look that Mark found hilarious.

“Okay, chill out, guys,” he said, helping Zee-Zee fasten his shorts at the back, then giving Sammy a hand with his pull-up. “Come on, we don’t want to spend the whole day in the bathroom, do we? There’s a whole big town out there, let’s go explore!”

They came outside to find the ‘girls’ waiting for them. Zena had taken Susie to the bathroom, but her diaper was still dry and she hadn’t wanted to try using the big girl potty while she was there, despite Zena’s suggestion, so they’d been waiting for the boys for a while. “Zee-Zee and Sammy went potty in their pull-ups,” Richard told them, still finding it funny enough that he thought everyone needed to know.

Zena decided not to dignify that with a response. “So,” she said to Mark, “what are you doing here, little brother?”

“Well, I’m starting a new job on Monday and I need some new shirts,” he said, as the two adult squirrels buckled Zee-Zee and Susie into the pushchair. “And I remembered there’s a nice tailor’s shop here where I got my best work suit, so I thought we’d come here, do some shopping and then surprise you by coming round for lunch!”

“You’d have got a big surprise then,” said Zena, who wished her brother knew the meaning of advance planning and wouldn’t go doing things like this on a whim out of the blue. “We weren’t planning to be home for lunch. Zed’s working and we’re going to have a meal here in town for a change.”

“Even better!” Mark said. “So let’s hit the stores and see what there is to see! Where first?”

“Toy shop!” said Richard, Susie and Zee-Zee, all at the same time. The toy shop was only a couple of doors away from the bathrooms.

“Maybe we should get the pull-ups first,” suggested Zena, “and then come back for the toys? Did you bring any more spare ones for Sammy?”

“Nope, just the two, and the boys are wearing those right now,” said Mark. He lowered his voice to protect Sammy’s feelings, and added “But I’ve got some diapers in here too, just in case.” Unlike Zee-Zee, Sammy didn’t mind wearing a diaper. He generally tried to be a big boy, but after two or three accidents in a day, he was normally ready for a break from the responsibility of staying dry. As long as nobody knew about it, because he dreaded being teased more than anything else in the world.

So they went past the toy shop, to only a few complaints, and headed for the pharmacy. Susie saw a plane flying overhead, and everyone looked up to watch it go. “I’m gonna be a pilot when I grow up,” said Richard. “What about you?” he asked Sammy, trying to be friendly.

“Um, I – I don’t really know,” Sammy mumbled. He was shy with strangers, especially the kind who laughed at him when he had an accident.

“I’m gonna be a bus driver!” said Zee-Zee.

“I would have expected a rocket scientist or a mad inventor, from my little genius nephew,” said Mark.

“But if you’re a bus driver you get to drive a bus!” Zee-Zee explained.

“I’m gonna be a doctor and make ponies better when they’re sick,” said Susie. Richard rolled his eyes theatrically. His sister was such a girl, sometimes.

“I might be that too,” said Zee-Zee, not noticing that his idol Richard disapproved.

“You can give the ponies a ride on your bus if they’re too sick to walk!” Sammy suggested, and everyone laughed.

They came to the pharmacy, only to find the door closed and locked. There was a notice on it – “CLOSED FOR VACATION – BACK MONDAY”.

“This is the problem with living in a small town,” said Zena. “This is the only place in town that sells pull-ups, and the owner’s almost as unpredictable as you, Mark. I’ll call Zed and get him to pick some up on his way home. But I guess we’ll just have to manage with diapers. I think we’ve got enough to last us unless we have a heck of a lot of accidents…”

“I’ll make sure I don’t get too excited,” Mark joked. “Back to the toyshop?”

They turned round and headed back the way they’d come. “I’m not gonna have any more accidents today,” Zee-Zee said, matter-of-factly.

“You’re gonna be in diapers if you do!” Richard said with a giggle. “Unless Susie poops in all the diapers first, and then you’ll… what happens if we run outta diapers?”

“You know, I think you’re obsessed with potty accidents,” Mark said, trying to change the subject. He was good at reading what was going through Sammy’s mind, and he could see his son starting to worry about what would happen if he had one accident too many. “What are we going to get in the toy store, then?”

“Can we get a kite and fly it in the park?” Sammy asked. Everyone thought that was a fantastic idea.

“Tell you what,” said Zena, “the tailor’s is right next to the toy shop. Why don’t you go in and get your shirts, the rest of us will go and look at toys and you can come join us when you’re done. Give me your bag, just in case.”

“Four kids, two bags, one pushchair and another baby in your tummy?” Mark asked, raising an eyebrow. “You really are a glutton for punishment.”

“Oh, I like to keep myself busy,” Zena smiled. “I’ve dealt with a class of thirty-seven five-year-olds, you know. Besides, when you’re here it’s like I’m looking after five kids, so go buy shirts and give me a break!”

“Yes, boss,” said Mark, saluting. “Be good for Auntie Zena, Sammy, I’ll be back soon.” He gave Sammy a hug and went into the tailor’s shop. The rest of them went to see what the toy store had to offer.

“Ball!” said Zee-Zee, his eye caught by a big plastic ball with swirling rainbow colours. He struggled to get out of the pushchair. Zena unbuckled him and Susie, while Richard and Sammy went to look at the action figures. Zee-Zee grabbed the ball from the shelf and bounced it to Susie, who missed it, and the two of them chased it down the aisle, with Zena calling “Don’t run!” after them.

Sammy and Richard, meanwhile, had found that they shared a love for Action Man figures, and were comparing notes on their collections. They sat down on the floor by the racks of figures, looking at Doctor X and his minions and discussing how Action Man would beat their latest scheme to take over the world. A couple of older boys, a fox and a cat, walked by, also talking Action Man, and Sammy looked nervously at them, but Richard didn’t bat an eyelid and the big kids paid no attention at all to the four-year-olds.

But then Sammy felt a familiar feeling. He had to go potty again. He looked around for his daddy, but then remembered he was buying shirts. So Sammy couldn’t just go up to him and tug gently on his paw. Daddy had a magic way of seeing when Sammy needed to go potty, and would find one for him quickly without anyone else having to know. But since he wasn’t here, that meant he would have to ask Auntie Zena. And although Sammy knew she was very nice, it still took him a moment to work up the courage to go and find her. But just as he was about to stand up, Richard asked him a question about Action Man’s scuba kit. Sammy stammered an answer, and realised he’d have to tell Richard he had to go potty too. And he knew what would happen then. The other cubs at Sammy’s preschool laughed at him because he needed to go more often than they did, and had accidents a lot more. He could just imagine what Richard would say. “You need to pee again? You only just went! Are you a little baby who has to go pee-pee every five minutes?” Sammy shifted into a slightly more comfortable position and decided to wait until Daddy came back.

On the other side of the rack of action figures, Susie was feeling the same thing as Sammy, but she didn’t need to weigh up the pros and cons of going potty. She sometimes liked to hold it in for as long as she could, just because it felt funny, but she certainly didn’t want to start using the potty. She liked her soft, comfortable diapers, and the feeling of wetting and messing in them. Why would anyone want to give that up? Sitting on the floor facing Zee-Zee, batting the rainbow ball back and forth between them, she flooded her diaper, smiling around her pacifier, and giggled quietly.

Zena came to check up on Sammy and Richard, and immediately saw Sammy’s problem. He’d stopped sitting down, and was now on all fours, hopping with his back legs, unable to stay still. Zena had had plenty of experience of potty-dances as a kindergarten teacher and parent of a potty-training toddler, and she judged that she would have to act quickly if she wanted to avert an accident. Poor kid, she thought, so shy and nervous and a bladder problem to boot, it’s no wonder he prefers a diaper half the time. She decided not to waste time asking him if he needed to go, and just said “Richard, can you keep an eye on the little ones for just a minute while we go to the potty? Don’t let anyone leave the store.”

“Okay!” said Richard, so thrilled at being given such responsibility that he didn’t even register the part about the potty. He hadn’t even noticed Sammy’s squirming. Zena took Sammy by the hand and went to the counter. She knew the wolf who worked in the toy store, and gave her a friendly smile.

“Could we use your bathroom?” she asked. “Little emergency.” Sammy blushed a little, but he was pleased to see that Auntie Zena had that magic way of knowing he had to go, just like Daddy. And she’d even made it so Richard didn’t notice anything! Now, if he could just hold on a few seconds more…

_________________
Clever big squirrel!

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Zee-Zee

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Number of posts : 1716
Age : 40
Localisation : Zee-Zee's house
Registration date : 2007-04-22

PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:47 pm

The toy store clerk showed Zena and Sammy through the small door leading to the stockroom, and pointed out the door to the employee bathroom on the other side. “And if you could keep an eye on the other kids while we’re gone?” Zena asked, hurrying over. “The biggest one thinks he’s in charge!”

The wolf laughed, and nodded. Zena and Sammy rushed to the bathroom, where she pulled down his pants and sat him on the toilet. He gave a relieved sigh. “There, now I bet that feels better!” Zena said.

Sammy nodded. “Thank you, Auntie Zena,” he said, politely, as he finished up, got off the potty and flushed. As he pulled up his pull-up, Zena could see that the stars were blurry, but still visible.

“Looks like you got a little wet,” she said. “Remember that it’s fine to ask if you need to go potty.”

“Sorry,” said Sammy, hanging his head.

“It’s okay,” said Zena, giving him a cuddle. “Don’t worry about it. You might need a change, though, I think that pull-up will leak if that happens again.” She held him up to the sink so he could wash his hands.

“Okay,” said Sammy, shyly. “M-maybe I could wear a diaper…”

“No problem,” said Zena. “The diaper bag is back in the store, let’s go back and see if your daddy’s finished his shopping yet.”

When they got back, they found that Mark had indeed joined them, and was hearing from Richard how he’d been taking care of Susie and Zee-Zee and making sure they didn’t leave the store. “Hi, guys!” he said to Zena and Sammy. “I’m all done, how about you?”

Sammy gave Mark a tight hug, and held on to his leg. Zena smiled. “Well, we haven’t bought anything yet, but since there are about a million toys in the store and these two have spent the whole time playing with this ball, I’d say that looks like a good choice.”

“It’s got rainbow colours and when you roll it it goes all swirly!” Zee-Zee enthused. So they bought the ball, and just as they were about to leave Mark noticed a kite, bright green with a red dragon painted on it, and bought that too.

“So, what now?” Mark asked on the sidewalk outside, picking up Zee-Zee to put him in the pushchair again.

“I wanna walk!” Zee-Zee said, wriggling. “And carry the ball!”

“Okay, you can walk,” said Zena, picking up Susie and noticing her soaked diaper. “And you, little missy, are supposed to tell me when you’re wet.”

“Sowwy,” Susie giggled.

“I’ll take you for a change,” Zena said. “Anyone else want to come to the bathrooms with us?” She smiled at Sammy, and he realised his clever auntie had offered to change him into a diaper while still making it look to the others like he might be going to use the potty.

“Me please,” he said. Richard and Zee-Zee shook their heads.

“I’m thirsty,” said Zee-Zee.

“Me too! And hot!” said Richard. “Can we have ice cream now?”

“Good plan!” said Mark. “Why don’t we go to that little café near the park, while you three go to the bathroom and take care of business? We’ll order ice cream for you so it’ll be waiting for you when you join us.”

“Okay, if you’re all sure you don’t need to go,” said Zena, with a look at Zee-Zee, who shook his head again. “We’ll see you in a minute.”

The café was on the other side of the small town, near the public park. Mark pushed the pushchair there, and told Richard and Zee-Zee to hold on to it as they walked along. Mark’s new shirts went in the space underneath, the kite sat in one of the seats, and the ball in the other – Zee-Zee carrying it quickly proved to be a recipe for disaster that Mark didn’t want to risk. The sun was shining down and by the time they got there all three of them were looking forward to a cold drink. Zee-Zee was fed up of pulling up his too-big training pants, and his little legs were very tired, but he did his best not to show it as they arrived at the café.

The bell above the door jingled as they came in, and Mark immediately saw an item on the menu that grabbed his attention. “Ice cream floats!” he said. “Ice cream scoop in a tall glass of soda and you get a straw and a spoon and a cherry on top, right? I love those!”

“You’re like a little kid!” Richard giggled. He thought grown-ups should act a bit more, well, grown-up, but he was starting to like Mark.

“That’s the best way to be!” Mark said, sticking his tongue out at Richard and making both boys giggle even more. “We’ll have six, please,” he said to the large, elderly ginger cat behind the counter.

“Six?” she said. “Are you going to have two each?”

“Mommy’s coming soon,” Zee-Zee said, standing on tiptoes and trying to see over the counter, but still coming up more than a foot too short.

“Um, do you have booster seats? High chairs?” Mark asked, looking over at the booths by the window.

“Plenty of both!” said the cat, pointing to a corner. “We’re kid-friendly here. Go take a seat, I’ll bring your ice cream floats over.”

It turned out that Zee-Zee was too little to reach the table, even with a booster seat, but Mark judged that Susie would be just about okay, so went for three booster seats and one high chair. The ice cream floats arrived. “Two straws in each, not just one,” said the cat with a smile. “You look like the kind of people who’d appreciate that.”

“How did you know?” Mark asked, with a big grin.

“It tastes better with two straws,” said Richard, and Zee-Zee agreed, sucking a big mouthful of soda before digging into the ice cream with his spoon.

“Whoops,” said Mark, remembering what a messy eater Zee-Zee was as he saw him dribble ice cream down the front of his shirt. “I bet your mommy’s got your bib in her bag. Let’s make do with a napkin.” He tucked a paper napkin into the neck of Zee-Zee’s T-shirt. “There! That’ll stop the bunny getting covered in ice cream.”

“I’m a bunny, silly,” said Richard. “He’s a squirrel.”

“He means the bunny on my shirt, silly!” Zee-Zee said.

Richard blushed. He hadn’t realised that. “Well, I don’t need a bib!” he said, eating his ice cream very carefully.

“Are you sure? I’m having one,” said Mark, tucking another napkin into his own shirt. Richard giggled and agreed to have one too.

They drank and ate in silence for a minute, enjoying the refreshment. Then Zee-Zee said “Uncle Mark, I gotta go potty!”

“Okay,” said Mark, looking around. “Kid-friendly place like this has to have a potty for you, right?”

“Over there!” said Richard, spotting the door with the men’s room sign on it.

“Good eyes,” said Mark. “Come on, let’s go.” He lifted Zee-Zee out of the high chair and beckoned for Richard to follow them.

“I don’t gotta,” said Richard, not wanting to leave the half-finished ice cream float.

“Sorry, sport, I can’t leave you here on your own.” Mark said. “I know you’d be fine, but your mom would kill me. So would Auntie Zena, come to think of it. They’d be queueing up and arguing about who gets to kill me first.”

“Uncle Mark!” said Zee-Zee urgently. Uncle Mark looked like he was going to keep talking for hours, the ice cream was melting and Zee-Zee needed to go potty quick.

“Okay, come on,” Mark said, leading both cubs to the bathroom. Mark lifted Zee-Zee up so he could use the urinal just like a grown-up, while Richard told them to hurry up before someone came along and stole their ice cream. But when they got back to the table, all six tall glasses were still there, untouched and not even completely melted. They’d only just sat down again when Zena, Susie and Sammy joined them.

Zena flopped down in the seat next to Richard. “Okay, I’m worn out!” she admitted. “I should’ve taken the pushchair, Susie made me carry her half the way.”

“My legs were owwy and it was hot!” Susie protested.

“Baby!” Richard said. “Zee-Zee walked all the way and he’s littler than you.”

“And I went potty!” Zee-Zee remembered. “Mommy, I went to the potty, I told Uncle Mark I had to go and I went all by myself, kinda, and I didn’t have an accident!”

Zena stood up again, exhausted though she was, and gave Zee-Zee a cuddle. “What a clever boy!” she said. “I’m very proud of you.”

Sammy sat in silence, checking that nobody could see the diaper under his shorts. He leaned on Mark, and Mark put his arm around him.

“Ahh, that’s better,” said Zena, enjoying the drink. “But I’m not sure soda was the best idea. Sugary drinks go right through the little ones. Not to mention they make Zee-Zee even more hyper than usual.”

“Oh, one ice cream float never hurt anyone,” said Mark, grinning. He finished his glass, with a loud slurp. Richard did the same, and then sat back in his seat licking his lips just like Mark. He’d decided Mark was a great role model for him.

The café owner came over to the table. “Everything okay over here?” she asked. Everyone agreed that it was.
“Maybe we’ll come back here for lunch too,” said Zena, checking her watch and seeing that it was half past eleven already.

“Are we going to the park now?” Susie asked, finishing her ice cream, and sticking her nose into the glass to lick the last bits from the side. For once she’d forgotten her pacifier, which was lying on the seat beside her.

“If you’re going to the park, why not take one of our picnic lunches?” asked the cat. “We pack sandwiches, cakes, drinks, anything you might want, and we’ll lend you a basket and blanket for the full picnic experience. Drop it back in here on your way home!”

“That sounds perfect!” Zena said, and Mark agreed.

“Split the cost between us?” he said. “I’d offer to buy the whole thing, but until I start the new job…”

“Don’t worry, it’s on me,” said Zena, who’d spent years helping Mark out with money. He was a single parent, of course, and still very young, but she had a feeling he’d always be short of cash, whatever happened to him in life.

He reached over the table and ruffled her hair. “Thanks, sis. What would we ever do without you?”

“I dread to think,” Zena smiled. The two adults wiped the faces and hands of the cubs, who had all got themselves very sticky, and paid for the ice creams and the picnic basket, leaving a very generous tip. Nobody needed to use the potty, and yes, they were all sure, even when Zena said she was going anyway. So they left the café and went to the park.

The park was quite small, with a little playground at one end containing swings, a slide, a roundabout, a see-saw and a sandbox, and a large open expanse of grass. Zena spread the picnic blanket out on the grass and sat down. “Run along and play,” she said, “and I’ll unpack our picnic lunch.”

Mark helped Zee-Zee and Susie out of the pushchair, and kicked the ball away over the grass. All five of them ran after it. “Get it!” yelled Zee-Zee. “That’s the magic ball that makes rainbows and if we don’t get it there’ll never be any rainbows ever again!”

“Oh no!” said Susie, running as fast as her little legs and damp diaper would allow.

“Most kids just want to kick a ball, you know,” Mark said, laughing. “With you it’s the magic ball that makes rainbows…”

“Well, I’m gonna get it and pop it so there won’t be any more rainbows!” said Richard, with an evil laugh. “I’m Doctor X!”

“Well, I’m Action Man and I’m going to stop you!” said Sammy, zapping at Richard with an imaginary laser gun.

They chased the rainbow ball all around the park, kicking, throwing and bouncing it between them as the incoherent loose storyline of the magic rainbows developed. Mark trapped the ball under his foot, flipped it up, ducked his head, caught it on the back of his neck and let it slide down his back where it nestled between his back and his tail. “Where did it go?” he asked, in mock surprise.

“You’re the biggest kid of them all!” Zena called, as Mark ran past the blanket chased by four yelling little cubs. He stuck his tongue out at her as he doubled back, avoiding Sammy’s grab.

Zee-Zee ran headlong at him, still holding up the large-size pull-up with one paw to stop it falling down, and dived at Mark’s feet, trying to tackle him. Mark jumped to the side, but Susie jumped up and knocked the ball free. “I got you!” she squealed, happily.

Richard ran for the ball, but tripped over and fell. He screamed suddenly and started to cry, holding his knee. Mark and Zena both ran over to see what was wrong. “It hurts!” he sobbed. He had ripped his jeans and had a nasty cut in his knee from landing on a sharp stone.

“Oh, poor little bunny,” said Zena, hugging him tight and stroking his ears. “There there, it doesn’t look too bad, it’ll be okay in a minute. Come and sit down with me.”

She picked him up, with some effort, and carried him back to the blanket, where she wiped away his tears, and dug in her diaper bag for some of the useful supplies she’d brought. She wiped the dirt from his knee with a baby wipe, then stuck a band-aid on it. “There, that’s better. You’re a brave boy, aren’t you?”

Richard gave her a watery smile as the others sat down with them and helped themselves hungrily to the picnic lunch. Mark grinned at Zena. “Band-aids? You really do think of everything, sis!” he said. “How are you feeling, soldier? That ripped knee makes you look super-cool, you know.”

Richard really did smile at that. “Uh huh,” he said, looking much happier. “I’m okay. I gotta pee,” he added.

“Me too,” said Sammy, jumping to his feet again.

“Yeah, me three,” said Mark. “Let’s go potty. Coming, Zee-Zee?”

Zee-Zee looked down at his shorts. There were big damp patches around the leg holes of the too-big pull-up, which was sagging a lot more than before. “Uh oh,” he said.

“Toldya the soda was a bad idea,” said Zena. “You guys go potty quick before the same happens to you.”

Richard needed to go bad enough that he didn’t want to waste time teasing Zee-Zee about his accident, and he set off for the bathrooms, followed by Sammy and Mark. Zena picked Zee-Zee up and nuzzled his headfur. “Don’t worry, little guy, accidents happen. Especially when you’re drinking way too much soda and running around with your mad uncle. Let’s get you changed.”

Zee-Zee nodded, yawning. The excitement of the morning and the lunch he’d just stuffed himself with had caught up with him. Susie was already lying asleep next to the blanket, her nose twitching as the wind gently blew the grass and made it tickle her. Zena checked her diaper, and found it soaked. “And then I’ll change you, too,” she said, pulling diapers out of the bag.

She lay Zee-Zee down on the blanket, took off his shorts and pull-up, cleaned him up and slid a diaper under his bottom. “I’m a big squirrel,” he said, but he was too tired to complain.

“You’re a very big and clever and grown-up squirrel,” Zena said. “And when Daddy brings us a new pack of pull-ups this afternoon we’ll change you into one straight away, okay?” Zee-Zee didn’t reply. With his thumb in his mouth and a big smile on his face, he was fast asleep. “But you’ll always be my little baby too…” Zena whispered, as she kissed him on the nose and laid him down for his nap.

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Poco

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:22 pm

Awwww.... That's a cute story Zee Zee!
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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:00 pm

Very well done story, it made me feel warm and fuzzy but i wanna see more .....
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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:48 pm

aww^^ That is cute! Zee Zee, you're a terrific writer! And just the whole idea of writing a story about just a day in the life of your character is very original. hmm, in fact...if you dont mind of course, maybe I could borrow the idea for Max?

hehe, if you let me borrow the idea, I promise I wont get it wet!! and I'll return it! Plus, I'll put you in it, and draw euws a pitcha!

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:53 am

Oooh, ooh, yes please Max! I'd love to see it! *wraps up the idea neatly and hands it to you* And by the way, I haven't forgotten I promised to put you in my next story, it's just that this doesn't really count because I wasn't planning on it becoming something I'd post here, and you'll definitely be in the next one! Promise! And I still need to try drawing a picture of you too...

Thanks to Poco and Fire too, I'm glad you liked it! Heehee, reading flattering comments makes me feel warm and fuzzy too.

Edit: I should probably point out that I'm not claiming I invented the idea of writing a day-in-the-life story - this thing was heavily inspired by "Lig's Life" and a couple of people on FurAffinity who write sweet little stories too.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:51 am

*grins and takes the idea, nodding to ZeeZee*

Thank you vewy much ZeeZee!! I's gonna definatly twy it!

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:19 pm

Yay! My story inspired something Woot! Sorry I haven't commented on the story yet I'm still reading it. Been a lil busy. Hehe. But I like what I've read so far.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:24 pm

Sorry for the double post just wanted ya to see the comment. I love the story Zee Zee. I just finished reading it. I can't wait for more. It's such a cute story.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:27 am

Thanks, Lig! Mmmm, having people say they like your story is such a good feeling. It's like a big cuddle and a kiss on the nose!

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:56 pm

Well, I wasn't sure if I should continue this story, because I thought it would get repetitive and not so much fun. It's a story about nothing, after all. But a few people said I should, and I thought about it, and now, three months later, here's what Zee-Zee and his friends did in the afternoon!

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:57 pm

Richard hurried into the men’s room ahead of Mark and Sammy, and dashed into a stall, locking the door behind him. “Okay, we’ll be in the next one along,” Mark called to him. “Don’t wander off anywhere!”

“Okay!” Richard called back, struggling with his new jeans. They looked very cool, but they were hard to get out of the way quickly when you needed to go potty in a hurry. He finally managed to tug them down around his ankles, and used the toilet with a quiet sigh of relief. That was a close call – Zee-Zee’s mommy had been right about drinking all that soda. He’d needed to go for quite some time, while they were playing with the ball, and when he’d hurt his knee he’d had a little bit of an accident. Sitting down, he checked his Spider-Man underoos. There was a damp spot, but you couldn’t really see it unless you were looking for it, and his jeans were still dry. Nobody would ever know. He remembered when he’d first started wearing grown-up underpants, and his mother had said ‘Now, you don’t want to get Spider-Man wet, do you?’. “Sorry, Spidey,” Richard whispered, and giggled.

In the next stall, Mark quickly untaped Sammy’s diaper and helped him climb onto the toilet. “Well done,” he said, with a grin as the tinkling sound filled the stall.

Sammy smiled back. “I have to poop too, and I didn’t want to go in the diaper,” he explained.

Mark checked the diaper while Sammy took care of business, and found it a little wet, but not enough that he’d need a new one. After Sammy had wiped himself and flushed, he taped the diaper back around his waist and ruffled his headfur. “All set,” he said.

“I’m finished!” Richard called from outside.

“Just wait there!” Mark called back. “I need to go potty too!”

“Well, hurry up!” Richard shouted with a giggle.

“Daddies always have to go at the worst time!” Sammy said, laughing.

“Hey, no ganging up on Daddy!” Mark laughed back, finishing up. “Come on, let’s wash our hands and get back to the picnic.”


Some time later, Zee-Zee opened his eyes, and sleepily looked around. Where was he? He wasn’t in his bed at home. He heard the sound of birds chirping and laughing voices playing. That’s right, he was in the park! And he was missing all the fun by sleeping! Zee-Zee was sure he was a big squirrel who didn’t need to take a nap, but his body always seemed to take one anyway, however hard he tried not to.

He found his glasses and put them on. He saw the bathrooms over on the other side of the playground, and a memory came back to him of watching the big boys go to the potty with Uncle Mark, while he stayed behind with Mommy and had his diaper changed. That couldn’t be right, could it? He was a big squirrel. It must have been a dream. He looked down at his waist for a reassuring sight of his big-squirrel pull-up, and gave a meep of surprise when he saw a big thick diaper under his shorts instead.

Zee-Zee frowned. Maybe his potty-training had been a dream? Maybe he was still a little baby squirrel, and he’d just thought he was big? Maybe he couldn’t even walk and talk and play with the kite he could see Sammy and the others running around with! He looked around for Mommy, urgently. She was talking on her cellphone. “Yep, okay, we’ll see you soon, then,” she said. “Oh, look who’s woken up! You’ve had a good long nap, darling!” She patted Zee-Zee’s head. “Want to say hello to Daddy?” she asked, holding the phone out to him.

“Hi, Daddy!” Zee-Zee chirped. Good, he could talk. That was a relief.
“Hello, big squirrel!” said Daddy’s voice over the phone. “Are you having fun?”
“Yep!” Zee-Zee said, waking up more fully and remembering all the fun they’d had that morning. “We went to the toy shop and we had ice cream floats and a picnic and we got a new ball with rainbows and Sammy and Uncle Mark are here and I went potty in the café like a big squirrel! And we’ve got a kite!” he added.

Daddy laughed. “Sounds like quite a day! Okay, go and play with the kite, and I’ll see you soon, Zee-Zee. Love you.”

“Bye-bye!” Zee-Zee said, getting to his feet and rubbing his eyes. Mommy said goodbye into the phone too, and lifted Zee-Zee onto her lap, nuzzling him gently and brushing some grass and dirt out of his tail.

“I’m a big squirrel and not a baby again?” Zee-Zee asked her, just to make sure.

“Of course you’re a big squirrel, sweetie,” she said, smiling. “You’re just wearing one of Sammy’s diapers because we ran out of pull-ups, remember? Daddy’s coming to the park to meet us, and he’s bringing big squirrel pants with him!” She checked the diaper quickly, and found it damp – the rest of that soda had worked its way through his system while he was napping. But he didn’t seem to have noticed, and the diaper would take another wetting before it really needed changing, so she didn’t say anything.

Zee-Zee beamed a big happy smile, and wriggled out of his mommy’s arms. “I wanna fly the kite!” he said.

“Go on, then,” Zena said, patting his padded bottom and sending him running over to where Mark and the others were gathered around the big green kite lying on the grass.

“Hey, Zee-Zee!” Mark said, catching the running toddler and picking him up in a hug. “Have a good nap?”

“Yep!” Zee-Zee nodded. “I wanna fly the kite!” he repeated. Grown-ups always seemed to want to cuddle him when he wanted to play.

“It’s my turn!” came a loud shout, interrupting them. Susie was pushing Richard away from the kite.

“You’re too little and you can’t run fast enough!” Richard retorted, trying to get the string from her again.

“Okay, no fighting,” Mark said with a smile. “Zee-Zee hasn’t had a turn yet, let’s let him go next.”

Susie and Richard both didn’t look entirely happy about that, but Susie gave the reel to Zee-Zee, and he bounced up and down excitedly while Mark explained how to run with the kite and try to get it to stay up in the air. Sammy added “But it’s not very windy today and it’s not easy. I couldn’t do it.”

“I could, a little bit,” Richard said. “You have to go really really fast.”

“I’m fast!” Zee-Zee said, getting ready to run.

Mark held the kite up high, waited for a little gust of wind and said “Go!” Zee-Zee ran as fast as he could, but the thick diaper between his legs stopped him reaching much of a speed. It was one of Sammy’s, and bigger than Zee-Zee, who was still small for his age, needed, but at least unlike the pull-up Zena had been able to tape it so he didn’t have to stop it falling down all the time. He waddled as quickly as he could, looking over his shoulder, and for a moment the kite caught the breeze and fluttered in the air, before swooping down and bouncing on the grass.

“I did it!” Zee-Zee said, running a bit further and dragging the kite behind him to see if it would take off again.

“Way to go!” Mark said. “Not bad at all for a first try! Okay, let’s give Susie a turn.”

“Mine was better,” Richard said, “but that was still pretty good, Zee-Zee.”

“When I get pull-ups again, I can run faster,” Zee-Zee said, patting his diaper. “I don’t wear diapers normally,” he added, just in case anyone had forgotten and mistaken him for a baby.

Richard giggled. “You shouldn’t have gone potty in your pull-ups, twice, then!” he said, and Zee-Zee blushed.

“That’s not very nice, Richard,” Mark said, wagging his finger. “Zee-Zee’s still learning to get to the potty every time, and I think he’s doing a great job! Besides, I’ve heard that a certain big bunny sometimes has trouble keeping his bed dry at night…”

Richard stopped laughing immediately, and stammered with a shocked expression “Th-that only happens sometimes…” He wondered who’d told Mark – his mommy had promised to keep it a secret even from Susie!

Sammy put his paws over his mouth to stifle a giggle. He himself wet the bed every night, and had to wear diapers, of course, but the look on Richard’s face was still funny and it was nice to know that the big bunny had accidents too. He managed not to laugh out loud, just in case it drew people’s attention to his own little problem. Susie, on the other hand, didn’t see any reason not to giggle loudly at her big brother’s embarrassment.

Mark couldn’t help smiling a little, too. That had been a total shot in the dark, but he’d figured he was on pretty safe ground – there couldn’t be many four-year-olds who didn’t remember wetting the bed at least once. He ruffled Richard’s head and said “Sorry, big guy, it’s okay. Everyone has accidents once in a while. Heck, I used to wet the bed from time to time till I was older than you. So did Auntie Zena. So how about we all stop laughing at anyone who doesn’t make it to the potty, okay?”

“Okay,” said Richard, smiling again. Susie, after some effort, just about stopped giggling too and said “Okay.”

“Right,” said Mark, straightening up and picking up the kite. “Let’s go fly a kite! Up to the highest height!”

“Don’t sing!” Sammy said, covering his ears and giggling.

Susie had a go at getting the kite in the air, and so did Sammy, and Richard, and Zee-Zee again, but it wasn’t until Mark took his turn, with Richard and Sammy holding it as high as they could to start with, that it finally took off for more than a couple of seconds. “Got it!” Mark said, with a huge grin, letting out more string. All the little ones cheered and Zena came over and applauded too.

“Can I hold the string now?” Zee-Zee asked.

“No, it’s my turn!” Richard said, forgetting that it wasn’t.

“Just a minute, let me just make sure it’s going to stay up…” Mark said, walking around with his eyes on the kite now soaring high up in the sky.

“Share your toys, Mark,” Zena said, laughing.

He stuck his tongue out at her. “My kite!” he said. “Go play with your dollies!”

Everyone giggled at that. Zena tugged Mark’s tail playfully and said “Behave yourself, you’re setting a bad example.”

“Okay, okay,” Mark said. “It’s Susie’s turn, I think. Okay, hold tight to the string and don’t let go, try to make sure it doesn’t get too near those trees…”

He passed the kite on to Susie, who ran around with it, squealing with delight, while the others watched and clapped. When it was time to pass it on to Sammy, Zena said “Okay, careful, make sure Sammy’s got hold of it before you let go… oh no!”

The kite had been blown by the wind and pulled harder on the string at just the wrong moment, and the reel slipped between Susie’s and Sammy’s paws, bouncing away across the grass as the kite flew up higher and further away. “Get it!” Zee-Zee squeaked, and everyone ran after it. Mark set off at speed, grabbed for the string, missed it and stumbled over, falling flat on the grass with a “Whoops. Ow!” as Richard ran over his back.

It looked like the kite was going to get away and escape the park, fly into the road and get smashed by a passing bus, but as it flew towards the park gate, the string was caught by a grinning, bespectacled squirrel. “Anyone lose a kite?” he said.

“Daddy!” Zee-Zee yelled, running to him and holding out his arms to be picked up.

“Big squirrel!” Zed replied, grabbing him, lifting him into the air and spinning him around without even letting go of the kite.

“Nice catch,” Zena said, coming over to give her husband a kiss.

“I could have played cricket for England if I hadn’t come to live over here, you know,” he said, embracing Zena and Zee-Zee in a squirrel family hug that was interrupted a second later by the kite crashing down onto their heads.

“Didn’t see that one coming, though, did you?” Mark laughed, picking the kite up to check for damage.

“Hi, Uncle Zed,” Sammy said, shyly.

“Hey, Sammy,” Zed said, setting Zee-Zee back down on the ground and giving Sammy a hug. “Hi, Mark, how’s it going?”

“Just swell,” Mark said. “The kite’s fine, too, thanks to you. Nice timing!”

“Okay, I’ve brought chocolate and juice for everyone, and pull-ups for anyone who wants one!” Zed said, picking up the shopping bag he’d dropped to catch the kite. Everyone followed him back to the picnic blanket.

“I want one!” Zee-Zee said, excitedly. “And a chocolate, and a juice!”

“Me too, except the pull-up!” Richard said, giggling.

“What’s the magic word?” Zena asked, holding the bag closed.

“Please!” the four little ones chorused. Mark said “Abracadabra!”

“Just for that, no chocolate for you,” Zena said, handing out bite-size bars to everyone else and getting out Zee-Zee’s sippy cup and Susie’s bottle (which she insisted on drinking from whenever possible).

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:58 pm

Everyone ate up, even Mark after he’d asked nicely, and drank their juice. “Right,” said Zed, picking up the discarded wrappers and putting them in the picnic basket. “Let’s put some big-boy pants on my big squirrel!” He took a pull-up from the new packet and said “Need to use the potty before we change you?”

“Um… yes!” Zee-Zee said, thinking about it. He stood up and took his daddy’s hand. “Come on, let’s go to the grown-up men’s room!”

Sammy whispered in Mark’s ear “I think I need a change too.”

“We’ll come with you,” Mark said to Zed, swinging his rucksack onto his back. Sammy looked nervously at Richard, thinking he must have guessed from that that Sammy had wet his diaper and needed changing, but Richard was obliviously watching a butterfly and hadn’t noticed a thing.

“Anyone else need the potty?” Zena asked. “Susie, are you pooping?”

“No,” Susie said, squatted down with a look of concentration.

“Sure about that?” Mark grinned.

“When you’ve finished, I think we’d better take you along too,” Zed said, coming back.

“Hurry up, Daddy!” Zee-Zee said, tugging his paw. “I really gotta potty now!” He led Zed off at a quick waddle across the grass to the bathrooms, followed at a distance by Mark, carrying Susie and leading Sammy.

“Sure you don’t need to go, Richard?” Zena said, stroking his ears.

“Nope, I’m okay,” he replied, yawning. Unlike Susie and Zee-Zee, he hadn’t had a nap after lunch, and he’d done a lot of running around.

“Want to help me make a daisy chain while we wait for the others, then?” Zena asked, picking a couple of little flowers. Richard thought for a moment, torn between being pretty sure that was a girly thing to do, and wanting to find out how it was done – he’d seen Zena making a necklace out of daisies before and been curious ever since. He quickly looked around to make sure that nobody else was watching, and nodded.

Zed took Zee-Zee into the men’s room, while Mark led Sammy and Susie into the changing room next to it. “I’m going to the grown-up potty just like a grown-up!” Zee-Zee enthused, clutching the front of his shorts to make sure he didn’t use the diaper after all.

“Yep, you really are a clever big squirrel, Zee-Zee,” Zed said, taking him into a stall, pulling down his shorts, untaping and removing the diaper and sitting the little squirrel on the toilet, holding on to him in case he fell in.

“I’m going pee-pee!” Zee-Zee said, keeping up the running narrative. “All finished!” he added after a little while.

“Well done, champ,” Zed said with a smile, ruffling Zee-Zee’s headfur. “Now let’s put on your pull-up.”

While Zee-Zee got dressed like a big squirrel again and they went over to the sinks to wash their hands, disposing of the wet diaper in the trash can on the way, he explained at length to his daddy that he’d just gone potty, then, working back in time, described how he’d nearly made the kite fly with Uncle Mark. A grown-up fox smiled at Zed and said “Potty training?”

“Yep, and he’s doing great,” Zed said, “considering all the things there are around here to distract you from remembering to go potty.”

“Smart kid,” said the fox. “And quite a talker, too!”

“I’m really really clever for my age!” Zee-Zee explained with a proud smile, and the two grown-ups laughed.

“You certainly are, Zee-Zee,” Zed said, picking him up and cuddling him. “It’s getting him to stop talking that’s the tricky part,” he said to the fox.

In the changing room, Mark was still cleaning Susie up. “You really made a big mess of this diaper, little bunny,” he said, finishing up and adding a sprinkling of baby powder. “I’m glad you spared me from having another poopy diapie to change, Sammy.”

Sammy blushed and giggled, while Susie said “I made a stinky!”, sounding quite happy about it.

“Yep, but you’re all clean now, little stinker,” Mark said, tickling Susie’s tummy and making her squeal with laughter. He struggled to tape the new diaper in place around the wriggling little bunny’s waist. “Don’t tickle until the diaper’s on,” he laughed to himself. “I always forget that.”

When Susie had managed to calm down and keep her legs still, and Mark had put new clean, dry diapers on her and Sammy, they went back to find the others back at the picnic, finishing packing everything away into the basket and bags. “Home time already?” Mark asked, looking at his watch. “Wow, it’s after half past three! Where does the time go?”

“Days like this, you really wish there were more hours in the day,” Zena mused, fingering her daisy-chain necklace.

Richard blushed, looked around one final time to check nobody was laughing, and handed another daisy necklace to Susie. “I made this for you,” he said.

“Ooooooh!” Susie gasped as he hung it around her neck. She was taken aback by the unusual act of kindness from her big brother. He hadn’t even called her a baby or said she was too little to do anything! She dropped her pacifier in her surprise, and said “Thank you, Richard!”, giving him a big hug.

“Stop it!” Richard said, wriggling out of her arms, but laughing. The three adult squirrels all watched and laughed too.

“You’re a fantastic big brother, sport,” Mark said, patting Richard’s head.
“We’re going to pop into the book store before we go home,” Zena said to Mark. “Do you guys have to head off now, or can you hang around a while longer?” It was about an hour and a half’s drive back to Mark and Sammy’s apartment.

“We can stick around,” Mark said, smiling. “Sammy’ll sleep in the car. Maybe before then, he’s looking tired already. But I wouldn’t want him to miss any of the fun. Come on, let’s go look at some books!”

Mark picked Sammy up and gave him a piggyback ride, while Zed buckled Zee-Zee and Susie back into the pushchair and Zena took Richard’s hand, and they set off again.

They stopped off in the café to return the picnic basket, and the cat behind the counter greeted them warmly. “Have you had a fun day?” she asked the little ones, leaning over the counter to talk to them. All four cubs replied together, babbling about what they’d done and the fun they’d had, and she smiled back, saying “Well, isn’t that nice?” despite not having been able to make out a single word.

Everyone chorused “Bye-bye!” as they left the café and wandered down towards the book store in the afternoon sun. Sammy giggled, riding on his father’s shoulders again, as he swished his tail at a fly buzzing around his head and nearly overbalanced. “Careful up there!” Mark said, reaching back to make sure Sammy was firmly in place.

Richard tugged on Zena’s paw and asked “Is there a potty in the bookstore?”, wiggling his tail as he walked along.

“I’m sure they have one we can use in an emergency,” Zena replied. “Do you need to go, sweetie?”

“Uh-huh,” Richard nodded. “But it’s not an emergency. I’m a big bunny, not a baby. I can hold it.”

Zena smiled. “I know you are, honey. In fact, we might as well go to the public bathrooms instead of asking at the bookstore – they’re only a little way further down the road. Okay?”

“Okay!” Richard replied. “But I wanna go with Mark, to the boys’ potty.”

“Of course,” Zena said, looking over at Zed. “Boys can’t go in the girls’ bathrooms, you know.”

Zed laughed. “So Zee-Zee’s going to make me take him every time from now on, right? Lucky you.”

They arrived at the bookstore, and Mark took Sammy off his shoulders and stood him down on the ground again. “Be good, Sammy, we’ll be back in a minute. C’mon, Richard, let’s go potty.”

“Can I have a piggyback?” Richard asked, holding up his arms.

“Sure thing,” Mark said. He bent down to pick the bunny up, and paused. “You’re definitely not going to have an accident on the way?”

“No!” Richard giggled. “That’d be funny, though.”

“Funny for you, maybe,” Mark laughed, hoisting Richard up onto his back. “See you in a minute, guys!”

They set off down the road, and the others went into the store. Zena unbuckled Zee-Zee and Susie, and they ran to the children’s section at the back, squeaking happily as they raced to get there first. “Ssssh,” Zena said. “Not too loud, you have to be quiet in bookstores.”

“Hey, Professor Squirrel!” said a nineteen-year-old possum clerk to Zed, pausing in his work of stacking the shelves with new deliveries.

“Hello, Septimus” Zed replied cheerfully. “I forgot you worked here when you’re not in my classes. You’ve met my wife and little Zee-Zee before, haven’t you? This is my nephew Sammy and Susie our next-door neighbour.”

“Pleased to meetcha,” Septimus said. “It’s okay, kids, the grumpy old boss isn’t here today, you can make as much noise as you want!”

“Don’t say that!” Zena said in alarm, as Zee-Zee and Susie started a contest to see who could shout the loudest. “Come on, you three, let’s find some books to read.”

“What do you think to the cricket?” Septimus asked Zed, who had managed to persuade some of his students to take an interest in his favourite sport. The third day’s play in an important international match was about to start.

“Could go either way yet,” Zed replied. “If we get a couple of wickets before lunch, we should be in with a sporting chance. Of course, if the weather stays so unsettled, it might…”

“Daddy!” Zee-Zee called, waving a paperback book. “Come read to me!”

“Duty calls,” Zed said with a smile. There were very few things he’d willingly interrupt talking cricket for, but Zee-Zee was top of the list. He went over to sit on a beanbag next to Zena, and took the book as Zee-Zee thrust it into his hands. “Green Eggs And Ham?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “Zee-Zee, you’ve got this at home and you make us read it to you all the time.”

“But I wanna hear it again now!” Zee-Zee protested. “And you gotta do the funny voices!”

“Well, I guess Sammy and Susie haven’t heard it before,” Zena said, shaking her head in amusement. “Come sit down and listen, everyone.” Sammy, Susie and Zee-Zee crowded onto the beanbags too, and Zed and Zena held the book between them so everyone could see the pictures and follow the words as they pointed to them and read them out. “I am Sam. Sam-I-Am.” she said, in a squeaky voice.

“That Sam-I-Am. That Sam-I-Am,” Zed growled in deep, gravelly tones. “I do not like that Sam-I-Am…”

They went through the whole book like that, with Zee-Zee joining in at his favourite parts and adding commentary like “There’s the fox, look!” By the time the story was finished, Mark and Richard had rejoined them, and everyone applauded.

“I still don’t like eggs, though,” Susie said, contemplatively. “Even when they’re not green.”

“I don’t like broccoli, and that’s green,” Zee-Zee said.

“Let’s get another book!” Sammy said, getting up and heading over to the shelves of picture books. Without him noticing it, his shorts had been pulled down a little way, and his diaper was clearly showing above them at the front and sides.

Richard saw it, and said casually “Are you wearing a diaper, Sammy?”

“N-No!” Sammy stuttered in alarm, pulling his shorts up and feeling the diaper underneath them get warm and wet again without his meaning to.

“It’s okay,” Richard said with a cheerful smile. “We’re not laughing at people who can’t get to the potty, remember? Come on, let’s get a book!”

“Um… okay…” Sammy said, blinking with surprise. He’d spent most of the day dreading Richard finding out that he was wearing a diaper because he’d just found it too difficult to keep his pull-up dry, and now that he had, he hadn’t said anything about it at all! He shook his head and smiled. “Want to read another Dr Seuss together? I’m quite good at reading.”

Zee-Zee, meanwhile, saw a book that looked appealing on a shelf above his head height. He wasn’t sure what it was, but he could see by tilting his head back that it was bright red and blue on the cover. He stood on tiptoes, stretched his little arms up as high as they could go, and groped for it, but couldn’t reach. He swung his paws from side to side, to see if there was anything he could grab, but ended up knocking lots and lots of books down onto the floor around him. “Oops,” he said, covering his head and looking around to see if he was in trouble.

“Not a problem,” said Septimus the possum, coming over to help pick the books up. “You might want to use these steps next time, though, little guy,” he said, pointing out a small, brightly coloured set of steps nearby.

“Oooh,” Zee-Zee said, climbing up on them and examining the shelves he’d thought were out of his reach.

“I’m surprised he didn’t try climbing up the shelves,” Zed said with a grin, helping Septimus pick picture books up off the floor.

Zee-Zee found a book with a lot of pictures of construction vehicles, and sat down on the steps to look at it. Susie snuggled in Zena’s lap and listened to her reading a book of nursery rhymes, while Sammy and Richard read their way through One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, with a little help from Mark. “You’re good at this!” Richard said, admiring the way Sammy could sound out words and work out what they were, while he struggled to remember which letter was which.

Sammy blushed and said “Thanks. I like reading.” He smiled at Richard. “You’re good too.”

“It’s hard work,” Richard giggled. “Especially when it’s all silly made-up words!”

“Silly made-up words are the best kind!” Mark laughed. “There should be more of them! That would be a great squingulation, don’t you think?”

Richard and Sammy both giggled more loudly at that. “Your daddy’s silly,” Richard said, in admiring tones.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:58 pm

Peace and quiet reigned for a while, or something close to peace and quiet, anyway. Zed watched Zee-Zee reading a pop-up book and squeaking with surprise at every turn of the page, while shifting his sitting position every couple of seconds, and asked Septimus “Have you got a bathroom here we could use? That’s the dance of a little squirrel who knows he needs to poop but doesn’t want to interrupt his book-reading.”

“Sure, it’s just upstairs,” Septimus replied. “Can you really tell just by looking at him?”

“Oh, yes,” Zed said confidently. “It’s just one of those magic abilities you gain when you’re a father. Now I have the choice of waiting for him to leave it until the last second before telling me he needs to use the potty and maybe have a messy accident because he misjudged it, or taking him there before he asks and have him think I’m spoiling his fun and treating him like a baby. It’s a tricky balancing-act.”

“Well, I think my boss would want me to tell you to choose the one that doesn’t damage our carpet,” Septimus said, with a nervous glance at Zee-Zee.

“It’s okay,” Zed laughed. “He’s wearing a pull-up, there’ll be no leaks. We normally like to let him make his own mistakes, he’ll learn better that way.”

Zee-Zee did indeed know it was time to go potty, but he was quite confident that there wasn’t any hurry. He still hadn’t entirely figured out that if you’re not at a point when there’s going to be an accident if you don’t get to the potty right away, you might still reach that point soon and wish you’d found out where the potty was a little bit earlier. He finished reading his pop-up book and skipped over to show it to Richard and Sammy, who’d just finished their book too.

“F-u-n, funny things are e-v-e-r, um, ever…” Sammy read.

“Everywhere?” Richard guessed.

“That’s right!” Mark said, and applauded. “Way to go, guys! Oh, hi, Zee-Zee, what have you got there?”

“It’s a monster pop-up book!” Zee-Zee chirped, opening it to the first page and hopping up and down.

“Stay still, you’re waving it all over the place!” Richard said, taking the book and holding it so everyone could see.

They all read through the book, seeing the monsters jump out of hiding on each page. Zee-Zee told them what was going to happen with each one, until Richard told him he was spoiling the surprise, so he tried to keep quiet. He couldn’t quite resist it when it came to his favourite page in the book, and squeaked excitedly “This one comes out from under the bed and yeeek, Uncle Mark, I gotta go potty!” he finished, his expression changing from thrilled to panicked in a split second. He grabbed the back of his shorts and wished he’d found out where the potty was a bit earlier when it wasn’t very nearly too late.

Luckily, Daddy popped up behind them at just that moment, took Zee-Zee’s hand and led him quickly to the stairwell. “This way, Zee-Zee, well done for asking.” They hurried up the stairs to a dusty hallway not normally open to the public and into the little bathroom, where Zee-Zee used the potty almost completely in time. He still needed a new clean pull-up, but what mattered, he thought to himself, was that he’d used the potty like big squirrels do, even though he wasn’t at home and was busy reading. You have to be a big squirrel to do that. Daddy picked him up and helped him wash his hands, then gave him a cuddle and a tickle under the chin and told him he was a clever boy.

They went back down into the shop, Zee-Zee still smiling proudly, and Zed said “I think it’s about time to go home, Richard and Susie’s mommy will be waiting for them.”

“Yep, and we need to get back to our place, Sammy,” Mark said, standing up and stretching. “Pick a book, and we’ll buy it for you to read in the car on the way home.”

Sammy looked at the shelves of books and thought hard, before choosing If I Ran The Circus, because there was a funny picture on the front. Zee-Zee had found another book with a big scary monster on the cover and took it to his mommy, saying “Can we buy this one too?”

“Okay, sweetie,” Zena said, taking the book and flicking through it. “Just don’t let all those monsters give you nightmares.”

“I won’t!” Zee-Zee promised. “Monsters aren’t real,” he said, in reassuring tones, just in case Mommy was feeling scared.

They bought the books, said goodbye to Septimus, who waved to them as they went out the door, and set off back to the car park. By now they were quite weighed down with bags and toys, and all feeling a little tired after all the fun of the day. They came to Zed and Zena’s car first, and Mark said “Well, I guess this is where we say bye-bye!”

“Unless you’d like to come to our place for dinner?” Zed asked.

“No, we’d better go, we have pizza at home waiting for us, and I have things to do in the morning,” Mark said. “Thanks for the offer, and we’ll see you very soon, I’m sure.” He gave Zena a hug.

“Good luck with the new job!” she said, hugging back. She bent down to give Sammy a big warm hug too. “Bye-bye, Sammy.”

“Bye-bye, Auntie Zena,” Sammy said. “Bye-bye Uncle Zed, bye-bye Zee-Zee.”

Zee-Zee hugged Mark’s legs tight and said “Bye-bye!”

“Next time you come to Zee-Zee’s house, will you come see us too?” Richard asked.

“You bet,” Mark smiled, patting Richard’s head and prying Zee-Zee loose. “Bye-bye, favourite nephew,” he said, giving Zee-Zee a kiss on the nose. Zee-Zee giggled. “Seeya, Susie!”

Susie waved and said “Bye!” Richard said “Seeya!”, and Zena said “Take care, Mark. Got your shirts? Kite? Book?”

“All present and accounted for,” Mark said. He picked Sammy up, held him out so Zena could kiss him goodbye and Zed could tickle his tummy affectionately, and they set off across the car park. “Come on, Sammy. We’ll make a quick stop in the bathrooms, and then it’s homeward bound!”

Everyone waved to them as they set off. “Okay,” Zena said. “Do any of you need the potty before we go home?”

“I went in the book store!” Zee-Zee said. “I knew I had to go and I told Daddy and we went to the potty.”

“I went to the men’s room with Mark,” Richard said.

“I went in my diaper,” Susie giggled, and everyone laughed out loud.

“Well, we’re all set, then,” Zed said. “We’ll change you when we get home, Susie. Hop into your seats, everyone, belts on!” He’d fitted a spare toddler seat in the car alongside Zee-Zee’s usual one, for Susie, and helped her into it while Zena lifted Zee-Zee into his. “You can sit in the middle, Richard,” he said, giving Richard a hand to climb in and fastening his seatbelt for him.

They set off on the short ride home. The three little ones in the back seat chatted happily and a little sleepily about the day they’d had. “We can play with the rainbow ball in the back yard tomorrow,” Richard said.

“Yeah!” Zee-Zee agreed. “And read my new book together. I’m good at reading.”

“Here we are!” Zed said, pulling into the driveway of his house. “Home again! And here comes your mommy, bunnies!” he added, seeing Richard’s and Susie’s mother coming out of her front door and waving.
Zed and Zena unbuckled Richard and Susie and they ran over to their mommy, babbling about what they’d done today. “Richard made me this!” Susie squeaked, showing the daisy chain necklace she was still proudly wearing. Richard blushed.

“Well, isn’t that wonderful?” their mother said, smiling down at them. “Have they been good?” she asked Zena.

“Perfect angels,” Zena replied with a smile, as she picked up Zee-Zee and cuddled him in her arms. “Bye-bye, bunnies, see you again soon.”

“Bye-bye!” Richard and Susie chorused, and went back into their own house. “What’s for dinner?” Richard could be heard asking as they closed the door behind them. “We had ice cream floats and a picnic…”

“Well, I guess you’ll be hungry for dinner too, won’t you Zee-Zee?” Zena asked, looking down at the little squirrel in her arms.

“Yep!” Zee-Zee nodded, licking his lips and smiling up at her.

“I’ll make it,” Zed said, patting Zena’s back. “You’ve been running around all day, you must be exhausted. Go sit down.”

“Best idea I’ve heard all day,” Zena said. She carried Zee-Zee into the living room and sat on the couch. Zee-Zee snuggled up against her, and they sat in peaceful contentment for a while, just relaxing.

“Will you read me my new book?” Zee-Zee asked, holding up the bag from the bookstore.

“Of course, sweetie,” Zena said. She read the story – the monster, scary though it looked, turned out to be friendly and kind – and by the time they’d finished, and she’d repeated the funniest bit twice for Zee-Zee to giggle at, Zed had come in to say that dinner was ready.

Zee-Zee scampered into the dining room and up into his high chair to messily eat his fishsticks, potato waffles and green beans, with ice cream for dessert, and a sippy of apple juice, while Zed graded some papers at the table and listened to Zee-Zee talking with his mouth full about the monster story, the rainbow ball, the ice cream floats and the bathroom at the cafe.

When he’d finished, Zed wiped his face and paws clean, saying “You’re a messy little squirrel, aren’t you?” Zee-Zee giggled. “Want to help me wash the dishes?”

“Yeah!” Zee-Zee squeaked, excitedly. He always loved helping with grown-up work. Zed gave him the used ice cream bowl and spoon, and told him to carefully bring it to the kitchen sink, without dropping it. Although the bowl was made of plastic, so there would be no harm done if it did get dropped, Zee-Zee carried it very carefully, and handed it back to Zed to drop into the sink with the plate and cup, before climbing up onto a stool so he could reach the sink himself.

Zed tied an apron around Zee-Zee’s waist and let him splash the hot soapy water around and wipe the dishes. He somehow managed to get a huge amount of water over himself and the floor, and Zed laughed out loud. “Well, I was going to say you wouldn’t need a bath tonight, but it looks like you’ve had one anyway!”

Zee-Zee giggled. “I washed the plates, too!”

“You certainly did,” Zed said. “And you did a great job with it! You really are a clever little guy, you know. Now come on, I think this would be a good time to change into your pyjamas.”

He carried the dripping squirrel through the dining room and living room, where Zena laughed and asked “How did you get your tail wet? Did you dip it in the sink?”

“When Zee-Zee washes dishes, he does a thorough job!” Zed replied. “Cleans the whole kitchen and everything in it!”

They went upstairs, where Zed took off Zee-Zee’s wet shirt and shorts and gave him a quick rub with a towel. “That pull-up’s still dry, inside and out!” he said, wiping drops of water from Zee-Zee’s glasses.

Zee-Zee smiled and looked down at the pull-up. “The stars are still there!”

Zed gave him a hug. “There, you’re all dry, in more ways than one. Let’s get you dressed for bed.” He helped Zee-Zee pull on his pyjama pants and top over the pull-up, and they went back downstairs to the living room.

Zena greeted them with a wave. “How about a game of snakes and ladders before bedtime?” she said. She’d got the board set up on the floor already. Zed and Zee-Zee came to sit down around it with her. Zed looked at the clock on the mantelpiece. It was just after half past six, there was time for a couple of games before Zee-Zee’s bedtime.

“I’m the red button!” Zee-Zee said, finding his favourite counter and picking it up. They played three games, one after the other, and Zed won two and Zena one. Zee-Zee didn’t mind at all – he really didn’t care who won the game, but loved the excitement of counting up to six (he’d learned to do it recently enough that the novelty hadn’t worn off yet), climbing up ladders and sliding down snakes. But by the end of the third game, Zee-Zee’s head had nodded down so that his chin was on his chest and his glasses slid off the end of his nose.

“I think it’s bedtime,” Zena said, stroking the top of his head.

“’m not sleepy,” Zee-Zee mumbled, sitting up and blinking, wondering why things looked blurry.

“Come on, big squirrel,” Zed said, putting Zee-Zee’s glasses back on and picking him up. “Let’s clean your teeth and tuck you in. It’s been a big day.”

He carried Zee-Zee up to the bathroom, smiling at the feel of the little squirrel pressed tight against his chest and falling asleep again. He stood him down on the step stool in front of the sink. Zee-Zee opened his eyes again and said “I am a little bit sleepy,” with a smile.

“Let’s just clean those little teeth first, then,” Zed said, helping Zee-Zee brush his teeth and rinse his mouth out. “Give me a big smile?” he asked. Zee-Zee grinned and showed his teeth. “Perfect!” Zed said, and gave him a hug. “Now, potty time before bedtime?”

Zee-Zee frowned, remembering that he’d thought he might need to use the potty during the snakes and ladders game, but he didn’t feel like he needed to any more. He patted the front of his pull-up, hoping it wasn’t wet, but it definitely felt thicker and warmer than it should. “I think I went to sleep a little bit,” he said, with a little pout.

“Not to worry,” Zed said with a reassuring smile, taking off Zee-Zee’s pyjama pants and pull-up. It was indeed wet, enough that the stars had faded away. “You made it to the potty a lot of times today, didn’t you? Even though you were in town and had to hold it till we found you a potty?”

“I did!” Zee-Zee said, remembering with a smile. “I’m a big squirrel, aren’t I?”

“Getting bigger every day,” Zed replied. “Why not hop up on the potty and see if there’s any more to come?”

Zee-Zee did, and to his delight there was still a little to come. “Now I’m not gonna wet the bed!” he chirped, standing on tiptoes to flush.

“You know it’s okay if you do,” Zed said, helping him into a new pull-up and pyjamas and picking him up to carry him to his bedroom. Zena was sitting on the bed, waiting for them, and between them they tucked the sleepy squirrel into bed.

Zena took off Zee-Zee’s glasses and put them on the nightstand by his bed, picking up his teddy bear Tommy from the floor and tucking him into bed too. “What would you like for a bedtime story?” she asked, looking at the bookcase.

“Green Eggs And Ham!” Zee-Zee said, his eyes already closed.

“Again?” Zed laughed. “Okay, why not?”

They read the book again, but Zee-Zee was fast asleep by the end of the first page, his thumb in his mouth and Tommy the teddy in his arms. His parents each gave him a kiss on the forehead, turned on the nightlight, and left the room. “Sweet dreams, little guy,” Zena whispered.

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Lig
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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:31 pm

Yay! You updated this. Well I'll post back after reading it all. This might take a lil while but I know I'll enjoy it.

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:21 pm

Sorry for the double posty but I just finished the story and I must say ZeeZee I loved it. You did a bang up job on it. Very cute. I love reading your stuff.

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Poco

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:31 pm

So cute!
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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:09 am

Heehee, thanks, guys!

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Raikan

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:36 am

Too cute! Makes me squee! I loved it.
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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sat Oct 27, 2007 4:44 am

Aww, thanks, Raikan! Heehee, if I made someone squee, then it was well worth the time it took me to write this story! Smile

I just noticed that if I post this comment and one person looks at it, this thread will have more views than any other one on the story forum! Yay! Thanks, everyone!

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Maxis

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:23 pm

*hugs Zee-Zee tight*

Great story Zee-Zee!! You're an awesome writer!

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Kin, the adorable fox

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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:44 am

Wonderful! I love this story!

*huggles*
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PostSubject: Re: Summer morning ... and afternoon!   Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:09 am

Yay, thanks, Kin! And thanks everyone who's said nice things - I love the story too, but I'm so glad to see that other people like it as well! *huggles everyone bouncily*

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