We are still here…

I am not the best or most frequent blogger, but I am still here as is my baby daughter. We are still emailing a lot of babies and their partners and we see so much happening in so many lives. Some is good and some is bad.

I have seen Joanne more completely and begun to realise just how truly infantile she is. Rather than being a 3yo toddler, she is around 12 months and often not even that old. I am in the process of changing her baby clothes to be more age appropriate – that of a very young infant. She has gone to bottle feeds and now to formula. My surprise was how well she took to it and how she is so so babyish when being fed.

I wonder how many adult babies if given the chance would regress right back to sub 12month infancy?

Joanne continue s to explore her infancy and it is still full of surprises. Wet nappies are as natural as breathing and her bladder incontinence is near total and very babyish.

Good to be back.  Stay in touch everyone. Let us know how you are getting on.

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When it all goes wrong…

In the past few weeks I have received a couple of emails from people who have referred to their regression as an affliction or as a stumbling block. While we prefer not to think of being regressive as a disorder or an affliction or any other such negative terms, it is also true that sometimes it can still be exactly that.

My baby is one of those deeply regressive children who throughout his life has had moments where the infant overwhelms the adult, sometimes to the extent that the adult almost ceases to be for a short period of time.

Just like any behaviour, AIR (Adult Infantile Regression) is not intrinsically wrong nor a dysfunction, but it does need to be kept in perspective and in balance with the rest of life. What we do for Joanne is to give her regular measured baby times every day as well as occasional more expansive times of infantile experience. And now that she is in cloth nappies and baby plastic pants 24/7 there is always an infantile aspect in operation in her daily life. As many of you know, we also maintain a parent/child relationship where part of our dynamic involves me being a mother and her being a baby. All these things combine to take the sting out of regression. The regression is perhaps more common but it is shallower and more enjoyable. And in return I get a child that is much happier, far less stressed and pretty much in balance. And the irony is that in dealing with the infant’s needs, the adult is far more capable as well as more content.

But like all recipes, you sometimes cook up a disaster and you never really know why. So it was for us a couple weeks ago.

Joanne was happy and content and her infantile needs were being well met. Then one overnight there was a storm. My little three year old is terrified of wind and storms at night and so we had night-time tears, fear and when morning came, there was just a scared little infant in bed and the adult was as far away as he has ever been.  Joanne was thoroughly and irredeemable regressed and she would not and could not grow up. We had plans for that day. Adult plans. They were cancelled as there was no adult there – just an infant behaving at her youngest age level of 12 months old. The photo I have posted was of her playing with her two dollies, Alice and Cinderella and I took it because it typifies who she is and how I so often see her.

My 12month old baby daughter at her deepest regression

My 12month old baby daughter at her deepest regression

It was a difficult day. It was the deepest regression and it was difficult to communicate with her beyond limited baby talk or gestures. By evening she was communicating better but the following morning there she was again, very little and quite regressed. I felt like we were still back in the nursery level.

It took two full days for her to really return back to her place of balance and peace and I am reminded again that just as in the parenting of physical children, you can do all the right things and still get bad things happen. Joanne is normally a delightful and happy child when regressed and it is an exciting and happy time for her and for me. But those two days were difficult for us both because for at least one of those days, we had lost control over the regression.

I know some of you have similar experiences and it frustrates you.  I still believe in the parent/child relationship and in its power to heal difficult circumstances, to save marriages and to bring order to disorder. But like everything else in our lives, sometimes it all just goes wrong…

The need for authenticity

After a long period of time you sometimes get to see things that you thought you already understood quite well – and perhaps did in part – but now you see much more clearly. I’ve always known how important it was to my baby – Joanne – that she be authentic in her expression of babyness. My head saw the logic in dressing up as a baby and playing with baby toys when she felt like a baby inside. That made sense to me. But I see now how it is much more than just that. It is not just important for the baby to be authentic, but for others to see them as authentic infants. And what do I mean by this term ‘authentic’?

My baby is always a baby. She is never not a baby. For a lot of the time her adultness covers up that babyness – at least to most people – but I still see that baby there almost all the time. Sometimes in words or actions or other times in the nuances of body language that gives away the truth that underneath the adult exterior beats the heart of a 3 year old baby girl. So what is authenticity to mean if the only time Joanne is a baby is in those moments when work, family and general life permits it? If she is always a baby then she should be authentically so as well – all the time. Problem… simply not practical in the openly baby sense.

Joanne has transitioned to cloth nappies now and disposables are just for emergencies and for travelling. It was when we did this that I started to see her real need for 24/7 authentic infancy in a world that doesn’t really permit it. We bought Dependeco velcro fitted nappies from ebay (which are awesome by the way) and they are all covered in various infant, girly patterns. She looks great in them but more importantly feels great in them. Even under day clothes out in public she is wearing a nappy. Not just any old nappy such as an adult disposable but an infant’s nappy. It is styled and operates just like an infant’s nappy and other then the size they are just that. She certainly seems very happy in them.  We are a fan of the http://www.baby-pants.com website because of a lot of things, but one in particular is the attitude to authenticity that they exude. They have no pretence whatsoever that they sell adult incontinence wear. As the site name implies they sell baby wear but in adult size. I am particularly impressed with their Baby Pants Label on their products and the rationale behind it . To quote them: The Baby Pants label should face out in the back to prevent irritating tender skin. The label is your assurance that your baby is wearing genuine Baby Pants diapers and not an adult product. These diapers are exactly the same product we sell parents of small babies but sized for your big baby. You can be proud that your baby wears genuine Baby Pants diapers.”

My girl also has their nappies and plastic pants and when hanging on the clothes-line are clearly baby nappies. She has some frilly plastic pants and would love to wear frillies all the time (not going to happen!!). Because she can wear these under day clothes she can still be an authentic  baby girl even when in adult mode in public. She wears onesies all the time, but now they are baby ones with a baby label even if only she and I know the difference.

I’ve watched her at home when she is fully dressed as a baby girl and seen the transformation that takes place. She is at her happiest and most secure and stress free when dressed as an infant girl from head to toe. But thanks to a better understanding of her need to be a baby all the time, products like the above mentioned ones help her identify with her inner self all the time instead of those times when she can be all baby. In essence, it is less about what these products are, but rather what they openly proclaim to be – baby wear. And in a more general sense, the key to our parent/child relationship is that I understand and accept that she is a baby girl – all the time.

She is an authentic three year old baby girl.

A special baby birthday!

Earlier this year, I thought it was time to celebrate a facet of our relationship that we had never done before.  Joanne’s birthday.  Without her involvement, I decided that the 21st of September was to become her special 3rd birthday.

I’ve attached the photos of before and after opening presents, but they were only for her at the age of three.  Each year on the 21st of September will be Joanne’s special day.

I’m sure I hear some of you ask why.  Why do this for someone who already has a birthday?  Why turn a random day into your child’s birthday?  Why not just use their actual birthday and have this side story as well?

To me the answer was simple.  Here was my daughter who needed to be acknowledged as my daughter.  Not as my husband, play acting as someone else.  To be acknowledged.  The most obvious first step was to choose a significant milestone, and what better milestone to choose than her birthday?

And so, from this year forward, this will be a day we both recognise and acknowledge Joanne turning three.  She will always be turning three, so I will have to be very imaginative with my gifts over the years, but what a great problem to have.  It’s not because I have to, but because I choose to.

This was my way of saying, “I see you”, and truly see the little girl.  It was my way of identifying her as unique and individual, just as we see those around us as unique and individual.  She is different to Michael.  She is an individual, with her own ideas, thoughts and characteristics.  She is not Michael, she is Joanne.

I’ve found that many adults have unhappy memories of their birthday from over the years.  To them this particular day may epitomise all the unhappy and dissatisfied moments of their lives.  This day was the day they were born into a dysfunctional or abusive family.  There is an old saying, you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  This is a saying full of emotion.  We have choices with our friends – who we let into our lives and who we exclude, for whatever reason.  The same cannot be said about our family.  We have them, whether we want them or not. The good, the bad and the ugly.   Every family have some who will fit into each of these categories, but some families have way too many who we would class as “bad” or “ugly”.  Joanne doesn’t have these really in her adult family, but maybe you do.  Perhaps you would like to have a new birthday that will declare to yourself and those around you who know your other self, that this day will say to the world, I will not be dictated to by my ‘natural’ family.  I will be allowed to become the person I should always be.

And so, Joanne and I enjoyed a very special day, just for her.  Maybe you should have a new birthday too, just because you can!  What a wonderful day to celebrate this part of you that is unique, special and beautiful.  What a wonderful way to shake off some old hurtful memories and replace them with joy, laughter and a bright and happy vista.

Here’s to you everyone: Happy Birthday!

“I see you…”

While travelling recently I was sitting in my hotel bed with my baby girl who was all dressed up in her baby clothes and feeling very comfortable and I was reminded of an early episode of Cold Case where a boy said to his transgender girlfriend “I see you..” meaning that he saw HER for who SHE really was regardless of the outside appearance. The phrase stayed with me and that night I looked at her and said “I see you…”.

It was one of those deeply meaningful times that happen in a relationships; times that just appear without planning or expectation. She almost cried as she understood at a deeper level that I accept and understand that she IS a baby girl. She is not role-playing or faking it. She is not doing dressups or living a fantasy. Part of her is a 3yo baby girl and at that time was the dominant part. I truly ‘saw’ her at that time and she truly understood it.

I am sure that many of you wish that someone would ‘see you’ for who you truly are. I hope it happens for all of you soon – and often.

Welcome to all!

Hello everyone – although ‘every’ is a bit of an overstatement since this is our first ever attempt at a website/blog or anything like it. Some of you will know that Michael and I include a significant ‘parent/child’ element to our relationship as he is very definitely a regressive sissy baby and we are not ashamed of that. As part of the process of parenting and living with or as an AB for so long, we wrote a book for couples where one is an AB. It is called ‘Theres a baby in my bed!’ (available in paperback or ebook on Amazon). That was a remarkable journey as we delved into just what makes us ‘tick’ – both ‘parents’ and Adult Babies themselves.

Part of that experience has been the discovery of the great needs and joys that adult babies both have and experience. And we are discovering just how many other people come out of the woodwork to say “I am an adult baby too…”

Our hope for this tiny corner of the internet is to meet friends, help those with questions and otherwise add to the body of understanding regarding adult babies who regress to infancy.

I hope you will join with us and help us learn as we also try to help as many as want to. With a bit of luck we can make a difference to all for whom being an adult baby is both a curse and a blessing.

If by some chance you are the literal parent of a teenager who wants to wear diapers etc and you have no idea what is going on, please email me  at rosalie.bent@gmail.com so that we can discuss it. They are normal – just not average. And doesnt that really define ALL of us in some way or other?

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