Timing is one of irony's wickedest weapons.
A mere couple of days ago I was thinking about how my Little Monster was going to finally be home from her Amazon excursion, and in thinking about her and the upcoming Father's Day, I had one of those playful thoughts that we enjoy here in addition to our more serious DD. I told her I would be willing to accept a Discipline Slip from her upon her return as a sort of "Father's Day Reminder to Behave", and said even though there wasn't any punishment due me, she could use a slip anyway and I'd go along with it. It was a sort of 'Welcome Home' & 'Happy Father's Day' combo for people who like to play with power and authority. I sent her the idea in an email so she could see it when she got back.
Later that same day, Rosa and I were discussing our DD program when she admitted that she is still having difficulty being as strict as she used to be due to her feeling that I am still putting up a resistance that erodes her confidence to take action. I thought about this and realized she was right. The long period of crippling stress described in other posts has left some scars that are blocking my past openness to her authority. But I don't really like it either. So I told Rosa that she was correct, but that I hoped she could accept my word that despite how I may be acting in the moment, deep down I DO want her to take charge when necessary.
I reminded her of how she used to take me in hand to the room for discipline when she felt it was called for, even as I blubbered excuses. Still, I never really refused a punishment unless it was a very traumatic and complex issue...........and even then, after some talk and cooling down, most of the time the punishment still took place eventually. She knew that was true and so I assured her she could go back to that. The stress period is over so it's time to return to 'our normal'. She agreed.
The next day I shared these serious thoughts with Ana (who had just returned from her Amazon trip) via a second email following the 'fun one' and asked if she thought she'd want to also ramp things up from her end to help expedite my transition from being resistant to being more vulnerable.....and subsequently more cautious. She already has the authority to issue "Discipline Slips" but does so judiciously and infrequently. My proposal to her was the same as the one to Rosa: when it comes to impatient snipping, there'd be no leeway............zero tolerance.
My thought at the time was that if both Rosa AND Ana felt free to deal with things decisively, each would bolster the confidence of the other. Ana told me she had not opened the emails yet but would do so later in the evening. She had no idea what they said and I only told her that one was something 'fun' and the other more along the serious aspect of our respective roles and that I would be waiting for her response to each.
Then last night happened. Without going into a lot of boring detail, all I can say is that a mix of unrelated but irritating events leading up to the late part of the evening put me in a less than mellow state of mind. Then, just as I wanted to go to the bathroom to get ready for bed, Ana popped in just ahead of me. I knocked and said I needed the room and she said she'd be out shortly. So I sat and waited in the adjoining room.
Now in my mind I'm thinking about how a couple months ago I spent time, money, and a lot of work to renovate what is considered 'the kids' bathroom' (since it's next to their rooms) into a genuine thing of beauty. It's ten times as nice as ours. And yet, here I was waiting to use the one Rosa and I use. In a short time Ana emerged and announced the room was now free and like something out of a comic movie, AS I'm getting up to go in, my stepson comes bounding up the stairs, pops open the door and starts to dive into the open bathroom ahead of me! And? I lost it!
I yelled at the confused kid, who had no idea I was waiting......because (as it turns out) my youngest stepson was showering in their bathroom and taking forever. So Ana and her brother were just using what they thought was the open one to do the same thing I was waiting to do. Rosa heard me and was upset. Ana heard me and said it wasn't fair because her brother had no way of knowing I was waiting, and he was hurt that he got yelled at for just trying to go to the bathroom.
I went to bed upset as well, still wondering why no one was using the newly renovated bathroom and how all of a sudden I was the bad guy, and was just seconds away from sending a follow-up email to Ana retracting my offer in the previous email. But I decided to sleep on it. And I did decide that I would apologize to my stepson today since I did realize he got caught unaware.
So here I am this morning. Rosa has already called me from work to tell me how upset she is and that she wants me to definitely apologize to her son. (Which I told her I had already planned to do.) And I explained what exactly happened that made me flip out, and that's when I found out about the downstairs bathroom having been locked and in use when Ana and her brother came to use ours. She didn't say anything about consequences at first but texted me later saying I am to wear a particularly nasty punishment plug for the whole day and I would be definitely spanked later as well. She also said I would be taking over my stepson's table-setting chores for one week and I should tell him that.
I also saw a reply from Ana which briefly stated that she liked the idea of both the Father's Day Slip and a 'zero tolerance' approach and that we would discuss that in more detail tomorrow morning during her weekly pedicure. I also texted with her briefly, since she is out at a museum today, mostly about when she'd be back, but I mentioned the email and she reaffirmed her wish to proceed with such a policy after more discussion tomorrow. So there's no backing out of that.
Now, I don't know for sure what WILL happen as a result of all this. There is definitely a strong likelihood that I could end up with not only the proscribed punishment from Rosa, and the Welcome Home/Father's Day slip, but maybe even another punishment one from Ana, but I'll probably only know for sure as things develop. For now, it's time to start my uncomfortable day.
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