22:00: I’m faithfully working. Focused. Accomplishing tasks. Have just started a complex report to be made to my overseers and peers. I have the presence of mind to ask Chris to, well, remind me to retrieve the laundry from the dryer before going to bed.
22:30: Chris asks me, perfectly unruffled, when I will be ready for bed. Distracted by my project, I give the misguided answer of “in a few minutes.” Still tranquil, Chris reminds me that I need to unload the dryer. I immediately fall back into my impressive balance sheet and let the rest of the world drift away.
23:00: I glance at the clock. “I’m almost ready, really,” I assure him. I realized my voice sounds rattled, a little rushed. “Uh-huh,” he grunts, in the middle of a web game. I feel a little relief.
23:20: I groan, looking at the clock as I address the e-mail and attach the document that is my pride and joy for the night. “I’m sending the e-mail now,” I tell him, and get a grunt in return.
I quickly add his e-mail address to the bcc line, so he knows how wonderful I am.
23:30: “I’m shutting off the computer,” I add, trying hurriedly to get one last glance at my sparkle-inbox. Nothing new. This time he doesn’t answer.
23:32: I’m standing behind his chair. “I’m going in the bedroom,” I assure him. “I’ll get ready for bed now.”
“Okay,” he says tiredly. He’s frowning.
I suddenly feel a little nervous. “Am I in trouble?” I blurt out, then giggle nervously when he shakes his head. “You’re too tired, huh?” Inwardly, I wonder how the sentence Am I in trouble now? became second-nature to anxiety. I blame blogging.
“I’m too tired,” he agrees. I escape while running away is still prudent.
23:50: I’m in bed, reading a trade paperback historical romance that I’ve read twenty times before. (That’s perhaps why I go to sleep reading them – I read the same ones over and over.) I hear a few bumps as Chris traverses the living room and furrow my brows. The furniture wasn’t that out of place, after all. And then he appears in the doorway – carrying the biggest, most awkward laundry basket we own. Of course, it is piled high with towels, bathroom rugs, and my new panties. All I can say is, quite obviously, “Oh, I forgot!”
“Now you’re in trouble,” he returns. “You even asked me to remind you.” My throat is suddenly tight.
The book – no longer interesting – falls to the side as I watch him methodically rearrange the lighting, check that the bedroom doors are closed, settle the basket into a conveniently-sized space on the floor, and put away his pagers on the nightstand chargers. And then he comes to my side, takes my hand, and pulls me up off the bed and I’m sure my eyes are too wide and what possessed him to spank me for forgetting about laundry, of all things, and oh my dear angels in heaven, this spanking is hard and it wasn’t fun and I didn’t like it and please make it stop…
00:05: I’m whimpering and a little whiny about the unnecessary hurting. Chris is equally unrepentant. I climb under the covers while he goes to brush his teeth and such.
00:15: My bottom still hurts. Throbs, actually. Chris returns to the bedroom, takes one look at me and pronounces, “If you can lie on your back, then it must not have hurt too much. You should want to sleep on your stomach.” I humph, roll over, and cuddle with my pillow. Chris sneaks up behind me and holds me and says how happy he is to be in bed at the same time, since the two evenings prior he’d been to bed hours before me for various reasons. I am equally happy and we snuggle down to sleep.
02:30: A squeak from our bedroom door wakes me. Two little feet pound their way around the bed and a little hand reaches inside the duvet to latch onto my arm.
“Get up, Mama. Get up!”
Life is back to normal.
14:00: We’re in Chris’ car, driving to his sister’s for a party. In the back, the princess is sound asleep. I reach over, hold his hand, and offer tentatively, “Thank you for spanking me last night. I think.” I bite my lower lip. “But it hurt a lot.”
He glances at me but pays attention to the freeway, like any sensible man. “You weren’t supposed to enjoy it,” he reminds me. “You’re not thanking me because you liked the spanking?”
I consider. “No,” I agree. “I didn’t like the spanking.” Reluctantly, I add, “But I probably deserved it.”