Yawning loudly, ”Uhh, I’m so tired,” I hear myself saying as I pull the lever back on my favorite chair and feel my body begin to recline. My eyelids are drooping, but still, they become drawn to the far wall and the reflection the Christmas lights are making. I will my mind to calm as I’m watching the way the colors appear to dance, and at the same time, I breathe in the delicious smell of the chocolate chip cookies cooling on the counter. Closing my eyes, I sing along with the soft sounds of Michael Buble’s’ White Christmas, trying my best to block out a hectic week and not dwell on the fact that my girlfriend is not sitting beside me.
My best efforts fail, and my mind drifts to her anyway. The plans we had to spend some quality time together ended abruptly last night, well actually, this morning when I found out that she stayed up three hours past her bedtime. As if that wasn’t bad enough, while we were making dinner, she let slip another big no-no, which we will be discussing this weekend. Every day this week, she spent her lunch break shopping for Christmas presents instead of eating, and she knows better than to ignore her health and skip meals.
A shuffling noise coming from the hallway snaps me back, and I stiffen when I hear Mandy’s slippers on the hardwood floor. My reaction to her feels sharper than usual. “Mandy, What’s going on? Why are you out of bed again!” Sharper, because I’m still processing her behavior from this past week. Each time I start to find peace and enjoy the night, her antics startup, and my annoyance rises. Rubbing my temples, I take a deep breath in an attempt to calm my already stressed nerves. This technique does nothing but makes my palm itch as I exhale.
Shyly peeking around the corner, Mandy shuffles into sight. She is wearing flannel pajamas with little hearts all over them and has her blond hair in pigtails, looking adorable, and at first sight, she appears to be ten years younger than her twenty-six. “Jody, I can’t sleep; please can I stay up. I’m sorry. It was just one night. I swear it won’t happen again.” conveniently forgetting about her shopping escapades, she pleads her case, looking up at me like a hopeful little girl, eyes big and sad, lip jutted out in a pout. I hate to admit, but she has that look perfected, and I almost waiver. Almost. I want nothing more than to spend a quiet evening snuggling with her on the couch, but I know if I let this go, she will be unbearable for what’s left of our weekend.
Starting from ten, I count backward, thinking that if I count slowly and alternate each one with a deep breath, I won’t snap. Although I believe I’m calm when I finish, I might not be as my tone still feels harsh. “Young lady, get back to bed! You’ve been acting out all night, and you know better.” immediately, I realize trouble is brewing as I sit in stunned silence, watching the turmoil as it unfolds. I feel the storm coming. We are moments away from a full-on tantrum, and I’m at a loss to stop it. Her face is a bright red, and I see her jaw clench. My heart drops, and I’m now sure this is no longer going to be the relaxing evening I had envisioned for myself.
The tension in the air thickens; before I can even blink, she lets escape a growl. Immediately the pillow in her clenched fist goes flying through the air, as if in slow motion, narrowly missing the nativity we have set up on the side table. The set was our first holiday-purchase made as a couple after falling in love with it at the Christmas market. Luckily for her bottom, the pillow comes close but doesn’t break anything. Realizing her outburst wasn’t nearly finished, I continue watching; not sure I believe my eyes, she begins stomping her slippered foot a few times before yelling. “But, Jody, Come on, I said I couldn’t sleep. Why don’t you listen? You’re such a jerk!”
Right then, it’s as if a lightbulb has come on, her senses appear to be returning, and I see the moment she knows she’s pushed too far. Her brown eyes meet the steel grey-blue of mine, and she freezes in place. The room is silent for what seems like several minutes but is probably only a few seconds. I can only imagine the fury reflected in my eyes. While the look of shock I see in her eyes might have been comical had it been any other situation. Backing away slowly, her hands come up pleadingly, and I’m sure she’s hoping to stop the inevitable. ”Sorry, Jody, I’m going.” then quickly turning, she runs.
By the time I enter our bedroom and approach the bed, I find Mandy buried deep and stiffly lying under the covers, with her eyes squeezed tightly shut. “Nice try, young lady. Up. Now!” I snap out while pulling the covers back and stare down at my naughty little lover. The only sign that she hears me is her bottom lip jutting out in a nervous pout, but she makes no move to get out of bed. I reach down and, with practically no effort, lift her out of bed, and in one swift motion, I sit down quickly, placing her petite body across my lap bottom up.
I hear the air swoosh from her lungs as she lands with a slight thud. Then through her labored breathing, she pleads. “No, no, no, I’m sorry, please, I’m sorry.” the sound she utters now is no growl but a groan of defeat at feeling my hand fumbling with the waistband of her pajama pants.
With a couple of quick pulls, and I’m sure to Mandy’s dread, down come my naughty girl’s pajama pants along with her panties. Once they are both mid-thigh, and I’m nearly ready to begin, I take a moment. Placing my hand on Mandy’s bottom, I gently rub tiny circles admiring her cute little orbs while quietly thinking. “This night could have been so much more pleasant.” then out loud, I say, “Hmm, now what are we going to do about this little tantrum. Let’s see if we can settle you down.” with that, I raise my hand and bring it down with a swift hard slap. In its wake appears a faint but visible pink image of my hand.
At hearing a gasp, I’m confident this lesson is registering. I only hope my naughty girl is rethinking her behavior and the wisdom of staying up past her bedtime. After that first swat, I continue to reign more swats down, one right after the other, warming every inch and painting the entire surface a lovely shade of pink. Swat, swat, swat as I am landing three solidly on the right cheek three on the left, the pink is darkening to a beautiful shade of red. On to her sit spots back and forth, I have a nice rhythm going, swats to the left swats to the right, about the time she finds her voice, although shaky. “Jody, I’m sorry, pleeeease stop, please it hurts. I’ll go to bed, Jody, ssssstop stop!!!”
Her sobs let me know I’m making an impression, but I’m not yet satisfied, so both her lecture and her spanking continue. ”Ok little one, remind me, At what time are you supposed to be in bed?” I make sure to punctuate my question with a few stingers perfectly aimed at her tender thighs.
Squealing loudly, Mandy utters, ”Owie! Owie! I-It’s eleven; it’s eleven on work nights. Please stop Jody, pleeease As she is gasping out her answer, I can see her tears as they flow freely from her face to the carpet below.
Mandy always has hated answering questions while being spanked. Knowing this, I ask myself if I’m fair to insist she answer. But then I think, Was it fair of her to break the rules and throw a tantrum? I continue. “Why do you have a bedtime in the first place?” smack, swat, smack.
”Owie, owie, Because I was late for work too many times.”
”And?” I insist, pushing for more.
”and I almost lost my job. And I’m on probation for six months. owwie.”
I’m nowhere near done with her lesson, adding a few more swats now switching back and forth, left then right. ”Tell me, at what time did you finally come to bed last night?”
”Ugh, two a.m. I only wanted to finish watching Elf, but then The Grinch came on.”
Shaking my head, I ask. ”And when I tried to wake you for work. What was your response?”
I continue watching closely as she quickly gulps down a sob, and her face contorts. I’m sure she doesn’t want to repeat this morning’s answer. “Umm, I told you to leave me alone, and I yelled at you to go away.” Cringing even more; I assume she remembered pulling the covers back over her head and trying hard to ignore me.
”Yes, you did, and I let that slide as long as you behaved and went to bed early tonight.” swat swat swat. ”I guess I should have taken you in hand and spanked you this morning after all.” swat swat swat.
Mandy’s leg flies up, and I catch it quickly and carefully put my leg over hers, securing her body. I know by the heat I feel and her animation that I’m lighting a fire on her backside. She’s struggling frantically, trying to squirm and kick but unable to move her legs; the only option left to her is to reach her hand back, which I grab and hold, leaving her completely trapped. Although her sobs are breaking my heart, I have no choice but to finish what we started. This attitude and her skipping meals tell me I should have been watching more closely, but we had both been so busy lately between work and preparing for the holidays. Tonight’s tantrum has me determined to set things right and give my little girl what she’s been missing.
Feeling Mandy’s body go limp, I slowly bring my assault to a stop and begin carefully stretching out my tingling fingers, willing the circulation to return and giving us both a moment to relax before quietly asking. “Little girl, are we done with this bratty behavior? Are you ready to start following the rules?” As the tingling in my fingers slowly eases and the feeling returns, I once again pay attention to her bare bottom. I’m admiring its many shades of red as I rub softly. Feeling the heat coming off her cheeks, I smile slightly, thinking of what a lovely reminder she will have over the next few days every time her bottom makes contact with a hard surface.
Through her hiccuping cries, I hear her answer. ”yes, ma’am, I’ll behave.” Sniffling and swiping at her nose, she is slowly gaining control of her sobs.
Pulling her up, I gently sit her on my lap. But no matter how gentle I am, she still gasps as her tender bottom makes contact with the material of my slacks. Holding her tight, I let her cry into my shoulder for a minute before reaching for a tissue. Continuing to reassure, I wipe at her tears and runny nose, then softly, I kiss the top of her head. ”Oh my baby girl, everything’s going to be ok. This weekend we will start fresh.” she snuggles in closer, and I add, ”If you’d like, we can take a trip downtown, maybe, visit the Christmas market.”
As the Christmas market is one of our traditions and something we look forward to every year, this idea has us both perking up slightly. She agrees softly, “Oh Yes, yes,” (hiccup), then asks, “Do you think they will have mulled wine this year?” (hiccup, sniffle), “And roasted chestnuts?” (sniffle), “They’re my favorite.” a moment later, her teary eyes meet mine and in a whisper. “I’m sorry for being mean to you this morning and giving you such a hard time tonight.”
I hug her tighter. “I forgive you, baby, ooh, I love you so much even when you’re naughty. Don’t forget this weekend we will be discussing your skipping meals.” with a pout, she nods. “For now, bedtime, and this time I want you to stay put.”
Crawling under the covers, she gives me a soft. ”yes, ma’am, I promise.” I could see her contentment as she snuggles down deep, laying on her tummy, her eyelids flutter closed, and she is out.
Kissing her forehead, I flip the light off and whisper. “Goodnight, my love.” As I am leaving, I hear faint sounds of music coming from the living room. As I enter the room, the words become more evident, and I recognize the song playing. Smiling at the appropriate choice, I begin singing along. “Oh, You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout; I’m telling you why! Santa Clause is coming to town!”