Longform

Baby Man

Page 2 of 8

But unlike William Windsor, the vast majority of adult babies keep the fetish under wraps -- going only so far as to wear a diaper under their jeans or three-piece suits -- so they can function in the straight world.

Windsor, though, doesn't worry anymore about keeping "the baby thing," as he calls it, a secret. And he thinks he's the only adult baby in the U.S. (and he's been searching for nearly two years) who sleeps, eats, pays bills, runs daily errands, shops at the grocery store, and occasionally drinks beer at a local tavern -- i.e., who lives this way -- 24/7, 365 days a year. Turns out, according to some reports from online forums and psychological surveys, there have been, and might be, several "extreme" adult babies like Windsor. But it doesn't take long -- two years at most -- before most succumb to mounting debts and the hazing they get in public.

Willie, however, is determined not to fail.


It's hot and muggy outside Bogie's, a biker joint on 26th Street and Indian School Road, and the early-evening sunlight shines through the cracked back door, illuminating a layer of cigarette smoke hovering above the bar.

Baby has yet to arrive. In fact, he's 45 minutes late, despite the promise that he'd be here early to case the joint.

Finally, William Windsor appears in the foyer. His face is flushed and he's visibly winded from the walk over, from his apartment a few blocks away. He enters to an ovation of silence and disbelief. A tiny Navajo woman pushes herself up from her stool to get a glimpse, and two men in tight corduroy shorts have forgotten to light their cigarettes. The lull continues for about five seconds before a lanky 50-something asks aloud:

"What. In. The. Hell?"

"Hey, man," Windsor says, placing his "binky" on the counter before extending a hand.

He wears a pink bonnet over his golden locks, a pink polka-dotted dress that barely conceals his diaper, white bobby socks with lace trim, and those patent leather shoes. He sets a rag doll down gently next to his pacifier on the bar.

"Sorry I'm late," he tells me. "Gas prices these days, you know?"

Turns out, William Windsor can afford a tank of gas every week for the next 20 years without having to work another day for the rest of his life. But overzealous frugality is certainly not the oddest thing about a man who once locked down the seat of his toilet for months to become incontinent.

Windsor says he doesn't want to be asked about "family or finances." But over the course of the next three hours, and several weeks, Windsor reveals much about both.

He begins by explaining what happened a year and a half ago:

Three weeks after his father's death in December 2003, Windsor threw away every piece of grown-up clothing he had, bought an oversize crib, a specially made high chair, a diaper-changing table, and a closet full of specially made baby dresses, rumba panties and onesies.

Now, he's sitting at Bogie's, eyeing a pack of Marlboro Lights ("I really shouldn't be smokin'," he says, straight-faced. "It's important for me to maintain an image.") and ordering a Budweiser (bottle, of course), attempting to explain HeidiLynn, who just might be pooping her pants as she speaks.

For nearly 50 years, Windsor tried to conceal a secret desire to live his life as a 2-year-old. "The baby thing" had him spending his childhood allowance on diapers and baby bottles while his friends bought comic books and bubblegum.

Growing up, Windsor was a social outcast, until he discovered his love for theater at Arcadia High School -- and his booming singing voice. Both took him all the way to Broadway, where he starred in Hair, in the lead role of Claude, at the height of the anti-war movement of the early 1970s. Then to Nashville, where he chased his dream of becoming a country singer and songwriter, but failing to meet his potential.

He eventually divorced his wife of 11 years, was homeless, addicted to crack, and an alcoholic, struggling to find balance between his "adult baby" lifestyle and the normalcy he felt obligated to pursue.

But a year and a half ago, William Windsor was given another chance when his father, the grandson of H.H. Windsor, who founded Popular Mechanics magazine at the turn of the 20th century, died and left Willie and his three siblings a small fortune -- close to $1.25 million each.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joe Watson