I left the front door unlocked twice last week.
Chris has a habit of asking, on his way out the door, if I’ll lock it behind him so he doesn’t have to pause and do it himself. Now, to be fair, he usually has his hands full or is in a ‘9-1-1’ rush, and he always asks and doesn’t tell, but I generally feel obliged to say yes.
Sometimes, however, ‘right now’ isn’t convenient. I’m in the bathroom with the baby, getting dressed, feel lazy, have something on a hot stove, am in the middle of Civ IV, trying to change a diaper, etc. So I’ll answer with perfectly good intentions, “I will in a few minutes.” And generally I do.
In addition, the princess and I leave the house through the garage generally (where my car is), so we don’t use that same door when we leave. And, as unbelievable as it may be, when it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave. The princess isn’t patient. Each thirty-five wiggling pound wants to be carried at the same time as the diaper backpack, Mama’s purse, the mail for the post office, her favorite toy, her juice cup, and every other item that needs to leave the house.
It’s all I can do to either have a verbal dialogue with her as I convince her to walk the thirty feet from the kitchen to the garage, or to struggle along like a 5-year-old staggering as he carries a chimpanzee. Checking all four (yes, four) doors that lead out of the house is not on the agenda, and won’t be. Chris prefers that they be locked all the time, anyway, when we’re not outside, and rightly so. Besides the security issues, the princess is about ready to be able to open them herself (one she already can, to the backyard), and we don’t want her leaving the house unsupervised for a variety of neighborhood and backyard reasons.
(Yes, I realize I can’t justify something that isn’t justifiable. I’m just explaining…)
Anyway, I forgot twice last week. Honestly, I don’t remember the first time, but Chris came home after I had left the house and the front door was unlocked. Then, again, on Sunday morning, he left in a 9-1-1 rush while I was dressing in the bedroom. He asked if I could lock the door. I said, “After I’m dressed!” and had perfectly good intentions of doing so.
Except I didn’t. The princess, the enthusiastic angel dog, and any number of other immediate demands on my time intruded and I simply forgot. And then twenty minutes had passed and I was the 5-year old with the squirming chimpanzee trying to get everything in the car, and we left.
So Chris came home to an empty, unlocked house.
(Another justification I feel obliged to put forth: We live in a relatively safe neighborhood. Nowhere is crime-less, I know, but the people on our street our fairly observant, and this is not a neighborhood that empties out during the day. There are always people around. To be frank, it’s more likely one of the neighbors would try the front door than a stranger. And the dog would probably terrorize anyone who tried, anyway. She’s a combination doorbell, security alarm and warning system. She even barks at Chris and I occasionally if she sees us coming before she recognizes us.)
Very wisely, he said nothing to me when we first saw each other at church later. But after we got home, he said, “You’re getting a spanking later.”
“Why?” I asked, still having no idea I had forgotten to lock the door.
“Because you didn’t lock the door when I left this morning.”
And then I remembered. Eep. “Should I be worried?”
(This question is sparkle-speak that can be translated as, “Are you really mad at me or is it that you're just being sweet and strict?” Fortunately, Chris is fluent in sparkle-speak.)
“Not too much,” he answered, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Now, my strange propensities for leaving doors unlocked or keys in the locks have been noted before (mostly before the advent of Punishment Book). My excuse then was that pregnant women were distracted by natural design (really, even the doctor warned me about it) and I shouldn’t be spanked for it. (Of course I was, anyway, in a second-trimester gentle kind of way.) I don’t have that excuse now.
So there I was, eight hours later (when the princess finally couldn’t fight off sleep anymore), with my panties around my thighs and a very hard hand smacking my bottom. Harder than usual, particularly at the beginning. I hate to complain, but I really do like a gentle warm-up first, and there was absolutely none. Just hard hand spanking. After he was finished smacking and I was finished yelping, he said, “We’ve talked about this before, you know.”
I know. I know. Of course, I don't say this out loud.
“But you haven’t done it in awhile.”
I nodded. Dutifully. I didn’t think I had. “So this was a warning?”
“Discipline,” he answered. (Hmmm…. Note to self, perhaps it’s time to muse on my personal definitions of punishment and discipline and maintenance and see if they are in line with his again.) Then he said, “If you do it again, I’m going to paddle you.”