I shook my head as I watched her run from her car to the front door. If I hadn’t known better, I would say the demons from hell were chasing her. An imagination fueled by horror films, along with listening to stories, was why my girl was afraid of her own shadow. Even years of special chats haven’t deterred this behavior.
Before anyone thinks I’m being unreasonable by not allowing my girl to do things she enjoys. Understand to the extent she takes on this passion. On the first day of October begins a month-long marathon of the scarier, the better. The movies start, and when she is not watching tv, she’s reading or listening obsessively; this marathon would extend to November, given the change. It only takes a week of this scarathon for her to drag me into the mix.
I’m not a horror movie fan, but it’s my responsibility to chase away monsters. It becomes my job to check under the bed, behind curtains, and in closets for spooky things lurking. She’s even woken up in the middle of the night, so I can accompany her to the bathroom. Of course, on those occasions, it’s me and the hairbrush she fears the following day. I don’t mind chasing a few monsters away, but when it comes to the cost of sleep, that’s a different story.
She sees me in the doorway and almost knocks me over as her arms surround me, hiding her face in my sweater. “Babe? What is going on?” I ask, although I’m pretty sure of the answer.
“I got spooked.” although muffled, I understood.
“Come inside. You can tell me all about it.” my girl is still clinging to me, but she is calmer. “Did you eat the dinner I packed?” a shy nod tells me all I need to know. “Have a seat at the kitchen table, and I’ll fix you a snack.” the missed meal doesn’t worry me; my girl eats when she’s hungry.
At the table, she’s relaxed, “I downloaded a Dean Koontz book from the library; it is creepy.” she shivered, “It was ok on the way to work but driving home in the dark, man, that was scary.” “so many shadows.” “I was so happy to see you at the door cause when I parked, I didn’t want to get out of the car.”
This behavior baffles me; I don’t think she understands it either. I place a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in front of her. “If the book is too scary, you don’t have to finish listening.”
The look I received in return was one of confusion, “What do you mean? Of course, I’ll finish. I have to know what happens.” “Besides, I can handle it.”
‘Famous last words.’ I think to myself, but out loud, I ask, “would you like to watch a movie with me tonight?” “I think your mind could use a break.” she wrinkled her nose, so I added, “you can always go to bed early.”
“Fine, what movie?” she said, clearly not happy.
”oh, maybe a Disney movie.” I said jokingly.
“Nooo,” she began to pout, then noticed my smile. “Very funny.”
“You can pick the movie, as long as it’s not scary.” “I’m serious about giving your mind a break.” Earlier, when I caught sight of my girl’s terror and watched her run from the car to the house; well, it made me want to ban scary movies forever. Of course, that’s not how our relationship works, but I will insist she takes a break.
She chose a light-hearted comedy for us to watch. We snuggled together on the couch holding hands and giggling through the movie. Once the show ended, I would have loved to stay up longer, but I had work in the morning, and sleeping in was not an option. I untangled myself, kissed her good night, and went to bed. I knew without asking the type of movie would be on once I left the room.
At three am, when I was startled by a terrified little girl, I was unhappy. I grumbled as I felt her trying to shake me awake, “Babe, wake up. I need to pee.”
“Then go!” I demanded.
“But, well, please come with me.” she pleaded in her most pitiful voice.
As I pulled the covers back, I warned, “young lady, we are going to have a serious chat tomorrow.” I noticed her wince at my sharp tone. I then led her to the bathroom and tucked her back under the covers when she finished. The sounds of her even breathing sounded before I even found the way back to my pillow. As I lay there, my mind was now alert. All hope of quickly falling asleep was gone.
Sometime later, I did fall asleep, but when the alarm blasted, I knew I was in for a long day. I focused on getting ready for work, not the girl sleeping peacefully in bed. Vowing to wear out her bottom the minute she got home tonight. I will always be available for support, and if it is an emergency sleep or not, I’m there but a self-induced scare fest, now that has consequences.
Luckily I could get through the day without incident, and I napped for thirty minutes upon arriving home. I woke refreshed, ate dinner, then watched tv, waiting for my naughty girl to come home. When the time came, it was deja vu, with me at the door and her running from the shadows into my arms.
After a reassuring hug, I asked, “have you eaten?” she nodded; I assumed she knew what I was going to say next because she hid her face in my shirt. “Do you need to use the bathroom before our chat?”
Unable to hide the whine from her voice, she asked, “I don’t want to chat! Come on, please! I’m sorry.”
I lifted her chin with two fingers until we were eye to eye, “little girl, are you forgetting our agreement?” I added, “you may not think it’s a big deal, but I had a hard time getting back to sleep. I wasn’t very productive today because I was tired.” my grip became slightly tighter, “how about you find a corner and think about our agreement?”
Now defeated, her shoulders slumped as she walked over to the far corner. Right away, her nose faced the spot where the two walls met. But she failed to lower her pants until I made a point of clearing my throat. Only then did they slowly come down, one more throat clearing, and the panties followed. I sat in our reclining chair, which gave me a perfect view of quivering cheeks.
After ten minutes, I got up and casually retrieved the hairbrush. When I returned, I made myself comfortable on the sofa before calling, “ok, sweetheart, when you’re ready, come here.” It didn’t take long before she shuffled her way over with her head down and shoulders slumped. I know she isn’t happy, but it is only the beginning of October, and I am not planning to be woken up every night for the rest of the month.
Once she is standing in front of me, I ask, “can you please explain our October rules?”
She glanced up, then just as fast back down, “we agreed I could watch scary movies all month as long as, um, well, as long as I don’t get overwhelmed.” then she rushed to add, “I promise I won’t get too scared again. Please, I still want to watch them.”
I should have known she wasn’t as worried about a spanking as much as losing her October scare-fest. “Hmm, well, I’m not banning anything. What I am going to do, is spank you. Hopefully, you’ll remember what it feels like the next time you’re tempted to wake me in the night.” she seemed to be almost happy than the word spanking must have registered, and her smile faded. I let it sink further in before I tapped my thigh, indicating where I wanted her.
“Now, just so we are clear. If there’s an emergency or you’re sick, you are to wake me.” I began rubbing her bare cheeks as I lectured. “But if you decide to watch horror movies and become frightened,” I changed from rubbing to swatting with each word, as I continued, “You do not wake me!” “Is” swat “that” swat “understood?”
“Yes, Owie, yikes, I’m sorry.” she cried out as I turned her bottom a bright red. Then once I had a pretty even tone on both cheeks, I paused to grab the hairbrush. I let the soft bristles tease her sore bottom before flipping it over and whacking. “Nooo, please, no, it hurts.” whack, whack, whack, I watched as dark red ovals shapes appeared.
“Oh, my dear,” Whack, whack, “remember how this feels,” Whack, whack, “next time when you’re tempted to wake me up in the middle of the night.” Whack, Whack, Whack. I’m sure I will have a few more sleepless nights this month, but hopefully, not too many. I made sure to target her sit spots and the backs of her thighs before placing the hairbrush down.
She lay over my lap crying and sniffling as I waited for her to calm down. Once I felt her move, I helped her up, and before she was out of my reach, I pulled her onto my lap. She melted into my embrace, and as we cuddled, I softly whispered, “I love you.” I will never comprehend her need for scary movies, and I can live with not knowing.
Before her eyes closed, she softly whispered, “love you too.”