(Disclaimer: This is based on experiences I had, though I am adding a bit to cover what my mother's side of the story was, that is based on what I was told happened. It's a long enough story that it will likely cover several posts.)
As we got in the car and headed out, my mother could tell I was somewhat drained by the day's experiences. "How about we do an early lunch?" she suggested. "You were very good about getting all this stuff today, so how about your favorite place?"
She knew I liked a certain fast food restaurant, and so we headed there to order. As we sat with our food and ate, she talked quietly to me. "Listen, I know a lot of this is new stuff to you, I'm sure it's going to take some time to get used to it all. To tell you the truth, I hadn't been thinking this would be the plans for the weekend, but it is what it is. There's nothing wrong with being curious, and I'm proud that you're willing to try these things to learn for yourself what it's like."
Between bites, I nodded my head and quietly said, "Thanks."
"Part of the reason we wanted you to have your own things," she went on, "is that you'll hopefully take better care of them than if they were borrowed from someone else. I certainly hope you can keep your panties a bit cleaner than you do with your underwear now."
I turned red again, for what seemed to be the hundredth time. I knew what she meant, of course. No matter how many times I wiped after going to the bathroom, it seemed I never could get clean enough and I would leave ‘skid marks' in my underwear. My mother always nagged me about it, between that and my bedwetting, it seemed I couldn't get a break. I thought about it for a bit. "What do the girls do?" I asked my mother.
"They wipe clean after going to the bathroom," she replied.
"Well, what about when it's that time of month?" I asked. Being the child of a nurse meant we had learned about our bodies and biology in general quite a bit over the years.
"Oh, that gives me a great idea," my mother said. "I think it'll work, but we'll have to try it to make sure. Are you done with lunch? We still need to run one more place before we head home."
I finished my food and we left, stopping at a nearby drug store. We went inside, with my mother grabbing a small basket as we passed the stack of them. She took me down the cosmetics aisle, pausing every so often to look at and pick up different items to place in the basket. "Foundation…mascara…eye shadow…eye liner…blush…lipstick," she verbally listed each one as she ticked them off her mental list, occasionally holding one item or another up to my face to look at the colors. Last, she picked up a bottle of nail polish and set it in the basket, a light red that was almost pink.
We headed over to another aisle marked ‘Feminine Needs' that she steered us down. She looked over the packages on the shelves, seemingly intent on finding one thing in particular. "Here we are," she announced, dropping a package marked ‘Lightdays Longs' into the basket. "Anything else you feel you want or need?" she checked as we headed toward the front. Passing the infant care aisle, she jerked a thumb over and joked, "Not needing diapers, are you?" I could only put my head down and shake it, quietly saying, "No."
The rest of the drive home was quiet until we turned into our neighborhood. "When we get home," my mom told me, "We'll put your clothes in for a quick cycle on the wash. I want you to go upstairs and run yourself a bath. I should have got you razors to shave your legs, but I forgot, so I'll let you borrow one of mine, I'll help you with it. I want you to wash your hair and body, and then I'll help you get dressed in your new clothes, we'll do up your hair, and get some makeup on you."
We got out of the car, and she pulled my new clothes from the trunk, handing me the bag from the drug store and the bag with the shoes in it. "Go ahead and take the shoes up to your room, the other stuff into your bathroom," my mother ordered. "Oh, and bring my clothes back down to my room if you don't mind."
I did as requested, and was about to head into her room with her clothes from the night before as she was walking up the stairs. She grabbed them from my hands, and reminded me, "I want you to go ahead and go take a bath, I'll be there in a few minutes to help you shave your legs."
Turning to enter the bathroom, I started running the water into the tub to heat it up, and began to undress. As the tub finished filling, I turned off the water and looked down at my naked body, trying to imagine what it would look like if it were a girl's body instead of what I currently had. I slipped into the tub, sinking down to relax a bit. I dunked my hair in the water to get it wet, and began to shampoo it when my mother walked into the room.
"Good," she said, "don't forget to use conditioner on your hair as well. Styling can sometimes be hard on it." I tried to cover myself again as she walked over to the edge of the tub. "Please," she intoned, "didn't I tell you last night, I see naked people all the time, and it wasn't that long ago I was diapering you every night and seeing you naked. Besides, girls aren't bothered by seeing other girls naked." She winked at me with the last statement.
I dunked my head back in the water as she laid a safety razor down on the edge of the tub. While I used the conditioner on my hair, my mom went to the bag on the counter and pulled everything out, discarding the bag itself in the trash can. She walked back over as I rinsed out the last of the conditioner, and picked up the razor.
"Go ahead and stand up," she told me. "Hand me the soap…please quit with trying to hide yourself, just move your hands." I handed her the soap, and she lathered up a small amount and put it on my legs. "The soap helps with shaving so you don't nick your skin," she explained, "go in long, neat strokes, usually from the bottom up. Sometimes it helps to put one leg on the edge of the tub to do this."
She helped me start with one leg, then left me to do the other while she ran downstairs to switch my clothes to the dryer. She came back in to check over how I had done, pointing out spots I had missed. She had me stand there for one last look, hands at my sides, looking up and down. "Go ahead and wash up a bit more," she told me, "I'll be back in a minute."
I hadn't got far with washing myself when she walked in holding a pair of scissors that I knew she used for trimming hair, motioning for me to stand up again. "You're getting a bit of pubic hair now," she explained, "you want to keep it trimmed a bit so it doesn't stick out when you're wearing something a bit narrower in the crotch." She reached towards me with the scissors opened, and I reflexively stepped back.
"Don't worry," she chuckled, "I'm not going to cut anything off, just trim back the little bit of hair you have there." She pushed my hands away and pulled at and trimmed the small amount of pubic hair I had. "Some girls like to shave their crotch, for now we'll just trim yours back and let you decide later." She finished with scissors, and placed them over on the counter. I finished washing my body, and then used the shower head to do a final rinse off before draining the tub, all under mom's supervision.
She handed me a towel to dry off with as the water circled the drain. I dried my hair, and then my body. My mom took the towel from me and showed me how to wrap it around my chest and tuck in the end; "After all, girls don't necessarily want to walk around with their boobs hanging out," she chided.
The curling iron was plugged in, and then she grabbed the hair dryer that my sister and stepsisters shared. Taking a brush in her other hand, she had me kneel on the floor in front of the mirror while she went to work on my hair. The first several minutes seemed to concentrate on getting my hair dry while also getting it to stand up and have a bit of volume, then switching over to the curling iron to put a small amount of curls into it. I wasn't expecting it when she reached down and grabbed the scissors and trimmed a few spots in my hair, hoping that it wouldn't mess up how my hair would look as a boy. After spending some time double checking how things looked, she pronounced me done.
"If you were to let your hair grow out longer," she remarked, "we could do a lot more with it. Give me a minute and I'll go get your clothes from the dryer." She left me there and I could only look at myself in the mirror, transfixed by the change the hairstyle had made. The face looking back at me was still mine, but it wasn't really a male or female one—just the way my hair had been styled looked feminine, but I could still barely see the underlying boy that I still was underneath.
My mother walked back in a minute later holding the yellow sundress together with a pair of panties and bra that we had just bought. She laid them down on the counter, and handed me the panties to begin with. I slid them up my legs, and while I did, she grabbed one of the packages from the drug store off the counter. "These are panty liners," she noted, "girls can regularly get some small amounts of vaginal discharge between their periods, so we use them to keep from ruining our panties." She pulled open the plastic and pulled out one of the thin pads. She flipped it over and showed me the adhesive strip on the back. "They just stick in your panties, you put in a clean one every day, and fold up the used one with the adhesive on the outside and wrap toilet paper around it to put it in the trash. Here, pull your panties down and put it in." She held it out for me to take.
I slid my panties down to my knees, and then took the paper off the back to expose the adhesive. "You'll want yours a little further back where us girls usually stick it straight in the middle," my mother advised. I stuck it in place and pulled my panties up. "These will be under the sink here next to the ones the girls use, let me know when you're running low and I'll get you more," she finished.
"Next to the girl's stuff?" I asked, somewhat scared. There would be no way that they wouldn't know now, I was afraid of what might come of it. "They're going to find out…"
"I told you already, this isn't going to be a secret, everyone living in this house is going to have to find out," my mother admonished. "Your stepfather and I will make sure you don't get teased about it," she finished, trying to calm my nerves. She placed the package under the sink in the space reserved for anything of mine. I saw similar packages for each of the girls, and resigned myself that it was going to be completely out in the open.
I took off my towel and hung it up while my mother handed the bra to me. "Some girls like to hook it in front, then bring the cups around and put their arms through the straps. Some of us have just gotten used to hooking it in back, so you can do whatever you think is easiest." I took the bra, looked at it, then slid it up my arms and hooked it in back as best I could.
"You'll get used to it and it'll be easier," my mom explained. "Is this more comfortable than the one last night?"
"Definitely," I agreed.
"Having a properly fitting bra is always worthwhile," she fiddled with the straps on my shoulders while she spoke. "I remember getting the girls their first bras, never really expected I'd be doing it for you too." Satisfied with the fit of the bra, she picked up the sundress and handed it to me to put on. I dropped it over my head, and she looked me over.
"That's a very pretty color on you," she noted. "Now, turn around and face me and we'll get some makeup on your face. I got you your own, since I doubt the girls want to share any of theirs."
I faced her and she began to apply things one by one, giving me descriptions and directions on how to use them at the same time. In the short breaks that came, I thought back about the day. "Mom," I asked, "do you think I'm gay?"
"Whether or not I think you're gay shouldn't really matter, what matters is what you think. Why do you ask?"
"When we were getting shoes today," I explained, "when we were leaving, I overheard one of the salesmen asking another if they thought I was queer."
"Well, whether or not you're gay depends on what you feel and think," she reasoned. "It depends on whether or not you're attracted to boys or girls. If you're gay, that's fine with your stepfather and I, but I know we would certainly be happy if you all found nice men to marry."
She laughed at me. "Now you're relaxing a bit! Good!" She continued applying the makeup. "Look," she reasoned, "you wanted to know what it was like to be a girl, and there's a lot for you to learn. Who you're attracted to isn't that important with it, but it is important that you understand that if you do this right, people won't see you as a boy in a dress, but they'll think you're really a girl. That's why I pointed out last night how you were sitting in the dress; if boys think you're a girl, they're going to want to sneak a look at your panties. You need to learn not just how to dress like a girl, but to act like one as well."
She stepped back and admired her handiwork. She motioned for me to turn around and look at myself in the mirror. I was amazed to see the boy from earlier completely gone. Nothing about the person looking back at me even hinted at not being a girl.
"Put your makeup in your drawer, and bring your nail polish downstairs and we'll do your nails," my mother said as she stepped out.
I opened the drawer that I had for my things in the bathroom. It had been sparse in there before—toothbrush, toothpaste, comb and brush, that was about it. As I placed each of the bits of makeup in there, I looked them over and tried to remember what my mom had said about how to use them. Foundation, just enough to even your skin tones out. Blush, just a bit to highlight your cheekbones. Eyeshadow, just on your eyelids and not too heavy. Eyeliner, just the edges of your eyelids. Mascara, one or two strokes to make your eyelashes longer and thicker looking. Lipstick, a thin coat to color your lips. Overall, don't use too much makeup, you want to highlight your natural features, not hide them. Not to mention that with too much you look like a cheap whore…
Closing the drawer, I stopped to look in the cabinet under the sink. My area under the sink didn't hold much before, just a seldom used bottle of hair gel. Now, the package of panty liners sat right next to it. The things my sisters used were there as well, each of them had a package of panty liners of one type or another, and they also had boxes sitting next to them. I pulled one out and looked at it. ‘Tampax Tampons' was what it said on the front. I took one out, finding it to be what looked like a plastic wrapped marker. I put it back, then pulled out the folded piece of paper inside. I opened it up and looked it over. There was a huge amount of warnings about toxic shock syndrome, and then diagrams and descriptions of how to insert one. It was interesting, but my mom was waiting for me downstairs. I folded the paper back up and put it all away before grabbing the bottle of nail polish and heading downstairs.
My mother was in the kitchen again, getting herself another cup of coffee. "Was wondering what happened to you," she chuckled.
"I just," I paused, not wanting to explain the fascination I had had with the box of tampons, "it's just that I was looking in the mirror and getting used to this."
"Fair enough," she replied. "It's been a long time since you last wore a dress, you probably don't remember it. Go ahead and sit down and we'll do your nails."
I sat down, wondering what she meant. I had worn a dress before? I certainly didn't remember wearing dresses at any point in my life. She had me put my right hand on the table and shook the bottle of polish before opening it and laying down a layer on my fingernails.
"Mom," I asked, "what did you mean it's been a long time since I wore a dress?"
"You were still pretty young, I'm not surprised you don't remember," she answered. "Do you remember how old you were when you were potty trained?"
"No," I replied. While there had been a number of times I was in diapers during the day for occasional bladder and bowel accidents, and I had been diapered nightly up until a couple years prior, potty training wasn't something I remembered.
"Spread your fingers a bit," she instructed, "you don't want to touch your nails to anything while they dry. As for potty training, you didn't start with it until you were almost five. It was really frustrating, because I had been hoping you'd be out of diapers before you turned three, like your sister.
"Anyway," she continued, "one of the hardest things with changing your diapers as you got bigger was that I had to pull your pants or shorts off to get the plastic pants off and then change your diaper. Pants and shorts for babies have snaps in the crotch to make this easier, but not for older kids. Your father didn't understand very well with as much as he was out of the house flying, but I needed to find some way to deal with this. Having you run around in a shirt and diaper was fine for at home, but not out and about.
"So, since your sister was the last girl born of all the cousins," she explained, "we had all the hand-me-downs from her that weren't going to go anywhere. I figured we could get some extra use out of them by putting you in them. It would make diaper changes easier when we were out, and some people thought it might even give you some incentive to potty train."
"Oh, I don't really remember this," I said.
"Like I said, you were really young, so I'm not surprised you don't remember," she went on. "Your father didn't like it when he found out, but I didn't really care, he was making me stay home instead of going back to work and he never dealt with your diapers anyway." She paused for a moment. "OK, that hand is done, make sure not to touch your nails to anything, but why don't you try doing your other hand." She handed me the brush from the bottle.
As I began to try and work the polish on to my nails, my mother went over to freshen her cup of coffee, and she continued to talk to me. "With diapers for bed, it wasn't really a problem, it wasn't like we were going out anywhere that I'd have to change you, so it wasn't a big deal. The few times you had trouble during the day where we put you in diapers really weren't that big of a deal since it only seemed to last a few weeks. I did consider having you in some of your sister's old things right after the divorce when money was tight, but when I met John things got better and we didn't need to do it. I didn't think you'd be wanting to wear them on your own."
"I hadn't really thought about it before yesterday," I admitted. "I'm still not sure what I was hoping to get for an answer when I asked you what it was like."
"Well, this is what I thought would help you understand the best," my mom reasoned. She came over to look at how I was doing on my nails on my left hand. "Not bad, you'll get better with practice. Anyhow, I wasn't sure how to answer that question either, so I figured if you wanted to know and were willing to dress up, it would give you a taste of it. I was a little surprised when you said you wanted to do your hair and makeup, and more so when you said you would dress again. I have to admit, you show some very decidedly feminine traits, and you look really pretty as a girl, so maybe this shouldn't be a surprise.
"Of course," she went on, "you're worried about getting teased about this. We'll make sure the girls don't tease you, but I think it would definitely be worthwhile for you to really learn how to present yourself as a girl. You certainly look the part, but you need to act the part so people don't see you as anything other than a girl when you go out."
"Go out?" I was worried again. It was bad enough that my sister, stepsisters, and stepfather would know, but my mom expected me to go out in public dressed as a girl?
"Calm down," my mother soothed, "it's not like we're going to tell anyone that you're a boy underneath. I can see John and I wanting to take all you girls out for dinner or for some special occasion, so don't be surprised if that happens. The thing is, if you can act like a girl, you already look like a girl, everyone is going to think you're a girl, not a boy in a dress."
I thought about this while I let my nails dry. "You need to learn some things pretty quick that the girls have been learning for a lot of years," my mother went on. "You should smooth out your dress or skirt behind you before you sit down, and you need to either sit with your legs together or crossed. If you sit with them open, you end up letting everyone see your panties. Understand, when people think you're a girl, you're going to get treated as such. Boys are going to think you're pretty and be attracted to you sexually, so that's something you better think about. If you're constantly flashing them your panties, they'll think you're attracted to them sexually as well."
I blushed at what my mother had just told me. I understood her point, thinking back to the face I had seen in the mirror just a bit before. I certainly looked the part, but would I be able to act it as well? "I'm not sure about this thing with boys," I said with hesitation.
"Sweetie, it's not something you get to control," my mother explained. "Look, there's a lot of kids out there who would beat you up if they knew you were a boy under that dress, we'll certainly do what we can to prevent it, but the best prevention is never giving them the slightest hint you're not a girl. The downside to it is that you're going to be seen as a girl and treated as a girl, so you need to think about life from a girl's perspective. Boys and how they treat you and look at you, how you react to that and treat them in response, that's part of it."
I couldn't argue with her logic. "I hadn't figured I'd be going out as a girl when I asked you last night," I admitted.
"Well," my mother explained, "I hadn't figured you'd even ask me a question like that. But you did, so I came up with an option for you, and you seemed to like it enough to want to do it more, so here we are. You wanted to know what it's like to be a girl, you're going to learn all of it firsthand. After how much we spent on you today for the clothes and makeup and everything, we don't want it to go to waste, so we expect you to wear these things regularly."
"OK," I replied. I knew at this point I was stuck. By not protesting it earlier, and letting my mom take charge as we did the shopping while I still was in a state of shock, now my choice had been made.
By this point, my nails were dry, and my mom brought the rest of my clothes in from the dryer. She helped me to hang up the skirt and blouse, and helped me fold my panties, bras, bathing suit and nightgown. She handed me the hangers with the skirt and blouse, and took the rest, motioning me to follow her up to my room. When we entered, she went over to my dresser and opened the underwear drawer while telling me to hang up the skirt and blouse in my closet. I walked back over as she finished putting things away, noticing she had moved much of my regular underwear to the side and saw the new panties and bras on prominent display next to them. The nightgown she handed to me to place under my pillow, while she placed the bathing suit in the drawer with my pants and shorts.
"Why don't you grab your wedges and come downstairs and you can practice walking in them," she pointed to the new boxes on the floor of my closet.
I opened the box and pulled them out. They weren't that tall in the back, maybe an inch or inch and a half more than under the toes. They had a thick canvas that went over the front of the foot but had an open-toe, and then another piece to hold your heel in. They were a neutral beige color, something I figured my mom picked out so they could go with most outfits.
I padded down the stairs behind my mother with the shoes in hand. I sat down in the kitchen again, and pulled the shoes on my feet. My mother looked down at them and remarked, "You should probably paint your toenails later." She pulled me to my feet from the sitting position and I tried to maintain my balance as best I could. The problem I found was not so much the difference in height between the heels and toes, but that height coupled with the narrow heel took some getting used to.
I tried walking back and forth across the kitchen and found a lot of trouble doing so. My mother watched me, and as I sat down, she started pointing out my problems.
"You've got to remember that the heels on these are a lot narrower than what you're used to for shoes. If you were in actual heels it would be worse, but when you step with your feet wide apart, it puts your weight off to the side and makes your ankle unstable. What you need to do is take shorter steps and keep your feet under you, almost like a heel-to-toe walk except that you put more space between each foot," she explained. As she did, she walked back and forth in front of me a couple times to try and highlight what she was saying.
I stood back up, and tried to focus on what I was doing while walking. It certainly was easier when I kept my ankles under the middle of my body to not wobble like before. It certainly took a lot more concentration to keep myself focused on how to step and then move the next foot forward. I made it across the kitchen and came back to stand in front of my mother.
"Much better," she complimented, "though you should practice a lot more walking around in shoes like these until you don't have to think about it. It's definitely a more feminine walk, and it gives your butt that little wiggle that drives boys crazy."
"Mom!" I blushed again.
She just laughed at me. "Like I said," she told me, "this is all part of being a girl. Whether or not you like boys is only part of it, they're definitely going to think you're pretty and they're going to like you. So you need to be ready for when something like this comes along."
I could only drop my head, understanding what she said to be true. I walked back and forth one more time across the kitchen, and then went to sit down at the table. "Hold it," my mom said, "when you sit down brush the back of your dress so it's under you and not getting wrinkled." She showed me how to keep it from bunching up under me, and had me sit. "And remember to either cross your legs or keep them together when you sit in a dress or skirt."