"What are you doing?" he bellows. Jason scares the hell out of me. He is not a bellower, so I just about jump out of my skin.
"What?" I say, giving him the deer-in-the-headlights stare. With that tone of voice and that look he's giving me, I know if we were alone right now, he'd probably be tipping me over his knee right then and there.
"Don't you ever let me see you do that again! Do you have any idea how dangerous that is? I mean never ever ever again!"
I nod, chastened and embarrassed and humbled. I thought I was being careful. I, um, do it all the time. Okay, okay.
So I make myself stop this habit pronto.
But, about a week later, I catch myself doing it again. Shoot. Uh-oh. I feel guilty.
We have a "fess up" rule. He always checks in with me in the evening, so we are snuggling on the couch and he asks me if I've been a good girl.
"I...um. Caught myself doing it again," I say sheepishly. I tell him what happened. He gives me the raised eyebrow look. I try to be scrupulously honest with him, even if it's embarrassing.
"Yes! But I, um, caught myself right away! And I stopped!" I look at him, mustering up all the cuteness I possibly can. "That counts for something, right?" I ask in a teeny tiny voice.
He smiles and squeezes his arm around my shoulder. "It does," he admits with a narrowed-eye smile. Then he sobers. "But, I think a good ten should remind you not to do it again." I blink.
"Just as a reminder," he says.
I nod. He raises his eyes again.
"Yes, sir," I say quietly. He smiles his approval.
I do love that he's so
But at bedtime, I am utterly, completely bone-tired. The kids are asleep and I crawl into bed and completely zonk out, dead to the world, with my book falling by my side.
He comes to bed and wakes me gently.
"Time to get ready for bed, baby girl," he whispers. I stumble out of bed, barely able to keep my eyes open, but I obey him. He leads me to the bathroom, practically holding me I'm so exhausted.
"I was in trouble," I mumble. "Right?" I can't even open my eyes completely.
He is smiling at me, like he wants to pick me up and stick me in his pocket.
"You're such a good girl," he says softly, reaching over and tucking my hair behind my ear. "Just a little bit of trouble," he murmurs. He pinches his thumb and index finger together. "Just a tiny bit."
"Yes, sir," I whisper, my words barely coherent. I'm so tired I feel like I'm sleep walking, as I go back to our bedroom.
He comes in. There's an unmistakable look of pride on his face. I'm not sure why. His look is so tender. I'm so tired, and I don't know exactly why he's being so gentle, so patient, and why he is looking at me that way.
I feel somehow that I am absolutely precious to him. He comes over to my side of the bed where I'm laying down.
"You're such a good girl," he whispers. "Do you know that? You make me so proud. Just look at how hard you're trying. My good girl," he says.
He is standing next to me and he rolls me over to my side, lifts his hand and swat! He gives me the lightest, gentlest swat possible.
"One," he says, as he proceeds to deliver and count out ten tiny swats.
"See? Just a little trouble," he chuckles, tucking the blanket over me. He puts his hand on my head, as is his custom, wishing me sweet dreams.
"Go to sleep, baby. Such a good girl," he says, so softly it's as if he's talking to himself.
I remember a time when I would've been confused about the gentle spanking. But now I just roll over on my side, determined to continue to do my very best to be his good girl.