So, the spanking from my previous post was over, but the realcitrant chapter was still waiting to be written, and so my sweetie Abel devised a cunning plan.
On Sunday last week he put on his stern face and told me to fetch a sheet of paper and a pen. And dictated to me the following:
Until I was well on the way to being a good girl, he said, I wouldn't be working at my lovely new rosewood desk in the living-room. Instead, I would sit at a tiny school desk in the spare room, two paces away from his study, so that he could check on me any time. I would wear my school uniform until I was finished for the day. And if at any point he noticed that I wasn't doing what my timetable dictated, he would strap me with a tawse. Really hard. And if I did it again, he'd strap me even harder.
We have an authentic extra-heavy Lochgelly tawse, which I intensely dislike even to play with. Not dislike-but-crave. Just dislike; it sucks, OK?
And the strapping wouldn't happen just at our weekly review, either, he said. The supervision would be *constant*. I shouldn't think that maybe the first time I was naughty he would go easy on me, or that little things wouldn't count. Everything counted. And he really didn't want to give me that hard strapping, and he hoped I wouldn't make him.
This, I must admit, freaked me out, and not in a good way. Because, you see, it looked like I was somehow expected to reform overnight. I had to combat years of slacking off habits - and I'd been perfecting them since primary school - and just *become* this hard-working person that I wanted, but didn't know how to be.
I immediately drew a picture in my mind: the very first day I would do my best, but my best wouldn't be good enough, because I was bound to slip up, and Abel would have to strap me. And I would be really sorry, and we both would be really upset, and the next day I would try again. And maybe even make it through the day, but very soon I would slip up again. And he would have to strap me even harder. And it would be disappointing for both of us, and I would try even harder than before, but I was *guaranteed* to slip up again, and there would be a yet harder strapping.
Eventually, there would come a point where he wouldn't be capable of strapping me any harder, so he'd have to conclude I was incorigible. Which I thought I was, anyway. Alternatively, I would start to feel so uncomfortable at being bad, and so discouraged by my failures, that I would throw all my energy at avoiding being caught. I'm very good at that, believe me.
Either outcome would completely negate any disciplinary effort, and would result in disappointment and confusion for Abel and viscious attacks of self-loathing for me. I know this because, you see, it happened before, only I didn't get caught.
It took me only an instant to think all these doomed thoughts, and I opened my mouth to explain this to Abel, when he said:
"Just remember, the strapping isn't inevitable. Think about it every time you're tempted to slip off. You can do it."
This was such an unfamiliar concept - the punishment not being inevitable - that I closed my mouth with a clank, and blinked at least five times in a row as the haze of doom was dissolving in front of me.
I could do it? Ya think? Wow.
And I thought about the wonderful possibilities that *not* being strapped gave you, like actually liking yourself from time to time, not to mention being able to sit down.
So, if you're reading this just for an account of spanking, I'll spare you the rest: there was no punishment last week. Apart from the fact that I had to sit at the teeny desk, which was kinda a punishment by itself. But the week was more about discipline, and hey, that's what this blog is *for*, isn't it? Talking about discipline.
Here are some things that stand out in my mind:
Monday: Abel, a helpful lad that he is, put the Lochgelly on the desk. The screen of my laptop shields it, sort of, but it's very definitely there. I'm so tense and afraid of misstepping, I ask permission for every little thing. May I keep a bottle of water on my desk? What about some lip butter? Can I throw the cat out and close the door? Abel says: "You are not actually a schoolgirl, remember? You are a grown-up who is being treated like a schoolgirl." I relaxed a bit, just to be told off for going to the bathroom in the middle of the third period without asking permission. Insert some eye-rolling here.
Tuesday: I might have done double my comfortable word count the previous day, and it may be very incouraging, but I'm exhausted. And I haven't actually read my email since Sunday - once the "school day" ended, I couldn't bear moving a brain cell. I can't face even looking at my paper again - but it's only been one day, so I must. By lunchtime I'm ready to weep with exhaustion. You know how they tell you to work up muscle gradually, and not wear yourself out on the first day of exercise? I wish some clever academic advised to go easy on schoolwork if you haven't done it for a while. Still, I'm determined not to blow it.
Wednesday: A guy is coming 'round to check our gas boiler, and so I start the day wearing school shirt, sweater and socks with jeans. Charming. The Lochgelly is still there. "You are not inevitable", I say to it. The bloody thing wiggles its tails at me, I swear. Mental exhaustion is becoming physical, and it takes five minutes to think every thought, and another five minutes to type it. Abel gives me a generous permission to go to a dance practice in the afternoon, provided I work late into the evening. For a chance to have a two-hour break I'm ready to promise to actually take the paper into my dreams with me.
Thursday: My newly-found goodness is put to the test: Abel has to leave for a work trip in the morning. I actually have very little left to write, and only some editing to do, but it's been known to take days in the pre-school-desk days. I wonder what I can force myself to do when Abel isn't likely to come into the room any second and find me out. Not surprisingly, the morning is a struggle. Surprisingly, I manage to soldier on for long enough to finish the bloody thing. Finish! It's done! My reward is going out for lunch with Tasha. I had been dreaming of this sweet moment of freedom since Monday morning, and believe me, it was a long, long time to spend in constant cravings.
Friday: Day off! Unfortunately I've been so absolutely shattered every evening of the week, that I need to spend the day cleaning, rather than chilling out with a glass of grapefruit juice. But I've never been so happy to get out the vacuum-cleaner. And it feels so good to be out of the uniform. It's great for role-play, even extended, few-hours-long role-play, but it's incredibly uncomfortable to wear all day, every day. Unrollable long sleeves drive me batty.
On Saturday Abel is back, and we have our weekly review. He is adequately full of praise, and I feel smug beyond my modest accomplishment.
And here comes the blow.
I'm not off the punishment regime, oh no. The school desk stays up. The uniform stays out. Abel is away all week, so the daily reports are back, and last week's arrangement stands: any little slip-up, and I get thrown out of the ranks of good girls, with a massive strapping to underline my disgrace.
My newly found confidence is immediately out of the window. It was one thing to be so very good with Abel there, nudging me on. But listen, I barely made it through Thursday, and all I had to do was edit the paper. And now he expects me to be good again, all on my own, and any tiny mistake completely blows all my effort and good work?
"But it's never worked before," I whine. "How can I be honest about my misbehaviour when the consequences are so utterly dire?"
"Do you mean," he says, "that you haven't always been truthful in your reports?"
I can't believe he doesn't know it anyway. I mean, is he not telepathic? So I sigh and confess: yes, when we did the discipline thing before, telling the truth was a lower priority than being in his good books. That was why I needed such close supervision in the first place.
Girls who are dishonest aren't worthy of living under a disciplinary regime, he says. Was I going to be honest or not?
An overnights reformation, again. But I can't bear to be an unworthy bad girl. That would be the scariest punishment of all. Can you imagine being too bad to be punished?
With a sigh I say I'd be honest, and think that I hope he is ready for the truth, because when I'm bad, I'm very, very bad, and an unprepared person can be quite overwhelmed with the reality of it. But I want to be good. I do.
"How many times have you lied to me?" he asks, breathing menace.
I say, three, maybe four. I don't know.
As I hide my face in his chest, cringing, he tells me what my punishment for dishonesty is going to be. Next week, when he's back, he expects to find a cane on the living-room table. I am to have 12 hard strokes with it. And I should be grateful that he is so moderate with the number of strokes, but that's because I was brave enough to own up.
And he tells me to post about the upcoming punishment here, which I am doing, and which is also quite incredible, given that he hasn't actually read the blog in its entirety, but is doing the exact same thing as Pab did a couple of weeks ago. Is there a top telepathic network?
I don't want that caning, but I think of it as earning a permission to be a good girl: all past badness needs to be accounted for. Otherwise, how is that overnight reformation going to happen?
Anyway... It's a new week now, and I'm still here at my school desk, but I'll admit that I've rolled up my sleeves. I'm not prepared to be completely good yet.