Bedtime Blues

For the first time in our four and half year relationship, A. is enforcing a bedtime for me.

Both he and I have generally been night owls, appreciating a certain level of creative energy that comes in the wee hours. Long ago I used to be a morning person, but since my illness has reeked havoc with my circadian rhythm, I’ve been a I’ll-go-to-sleep-whenever-I’m-damn-well-tired-enough-to-and-
wake-up-whenever-I-damn-well-wake-up sort of person.

However, since being diagnosed with and beginning treatment for hypothyroidism at the end of August, my circadian rhythm has settled down into some regularity. By midnight I start getting pretty sleepy and if I stay up much later, I’m barely able to drag myself into the bathroom to brush my teeth, floss, pee, etc. And for the next two days I’ll be groggy regardless of how late I slept in.

But, well, despite how much sense it makes to go to bed at midnight, I’d never quite make it there before 1 or 2 or even 3 am. I mean, I’ve been going to bed in the am for years now, so I just don’t think about getting ready for bed at, say, 11 pm.

Well, I do now.

After my year long internal struggle with my punishment kink (a post about which is forthcoming in the next week or so, I swear!), I finally asked A. this last Sunday for his assistance with making sure I get to bed by midnight as well as say my morning prayers (something that is just helpful for my overall mental health). And I did fine on Monday. 

But then Tuesday was the election and I was watching the returns while talking to my godfather on the phone and wasn’t quite paying attention to the time during all my pointing at my television screen and laughing at how soundly the Republicans lost. By the time I got off the phone it was 11:53. Plenty of time, I thought, to shut down the laptop, do my asthma inhaler, brush my teeth (I skipped flossing), rinse with mouthwash, use the toilet, wash my face, pour a glass of water, take my bedtime meds, climb into bed, and shut the light out.

Er…well, I was off by five minutes.

The next afternoon when A. called (he’s in the UK), he asked if I’d said my prayers (which one, totally makes me feel like a little child more than anything I can think of, and two, is so damn freeking HOT – oh, and yes I had), then asked if I got to bed on time.

"Um, well, I was tiny bit late. But it was the election…and –"

"How late?"

"Five minutes. But I was talking to T. and the Democrats won and –"

"I’m supposed to give you a special dispensation because of that?" We both laughed.

"Well, yeah. I mean, if the Republicans had won that would be different…" (Actually, to be fair, I would have thought I should get a special dispensation for that too but out of sympathy.)

There were several seconds of silence.

"I think you better fetch the hairbrush," he said quietly. I made my pouty "please don’t spank me" face, which, of course, he couldn’t see because he’s five thousand miles away. Then took a big breath. Gulped.

"Okay." I got up slowly from my bed and fetched the hairbrush.

"Right. Two strokes for each minute you were late. On your thighs, please."

My thighs? Ick. My pouty face got poutier.

I started to lay down on the bed, waiting for him to tell me to take my jammie bottoms down. When he didn’t say anything, I asked to clarify. Of course, it was most certainly jammie bottoms down.

Self-spanking is something a lot of spankos have done at some point and so most of you probably know it’s difficult for a number of reasons. My right thigh got five strokes as solid as I could make them considering the angle and natural hesitancy that accompanies deliberately hurting oneself. The left sorta got the very tip of the brush, which was a bit of thud and less sting.

"Now, five more strokes for not calling me ‘Sir’"

"Oh!" I blushed and bit my lower lip. "I’m sorry, Sir." Another three decent whacks and two rather ambiguous ones.

"After this, it will be three strokes for each minute you’re late."

"Yes, Sir."

It was a fairly mild punishment, especially considering that in the past he himself had given me six strokes with the clothes brush for every minute I was late for appointments. But then, it had been a fairly mild infraction. A part of me thought maybe there should be some sort of grace period. But then, I knew me. I’d have just been five minutes past the grace period.

Wednesday night I started getting ready at 11:45. I thought I’d be just right on the dot until I was brushing my teeth and remembered that was the night I needed to fill my weekly pill box with all eight of my bedtime medications. I considered simply filling it for that night and filling the rest the next day, but knew it really wouldn’t make much difference either way. It’s the opening and closing eight bottles, and cutting two pills in half that takes all the time. Remarkably, I was only five minutes late. Again.

I was so very annoyed with myself as I lay in bed Wednesday night that I don’t think I fell asleep before 1 am.

"Did you get to bed on time?" A. asked the next afternoon.

"I…" I let out a frustrated sigh. "I was going to be but I forgot that was the night I needed to fill my pill box."

"How late were you?"

"Five minutes again." I swallowed hard.

"Right. Well, go get the hairbrush."

"I already have it," I said. "I mean, I already knew I was going to be in trouble."

"Jammie bottoms down, then, please. Fifteen strokes, on the tops of your thighs this time."

I winced and pressed my lips together. And made the "please, please, pleeeease don’t spank me" look, which was, again, completely irrelevant.

"Yes, Sir."

Needless to say, whacking the front of my thighs was a lot easier to do from a logistical standpoint. And hurt a lot more.

"Now, eight more for this being the second day on the trot."

Between the pain and being so annoyed with myself, I almost started crying.

"Right. So at 11:40 tonight you are going sit in the corner for 10 minutes. Then tomorrow you will send me an email letting me know you’ve done so. And make sure you have a watch or whatever with you to keep track of the time."

I swallowed hard again. This was the first time he had ever given me corner time.

"Yes, Sir."

"So, what are you going to do?" A. asked.

I repeated back his instructions.

"Good. And if this happens again, you’ll also get lines."

"Yes, Sir." Lines would be another first.

[Amusing note: A. was a prefect in secondary school, which included the power to hand out lines to other students, except the first time he did, the teacher overruled him so he never bothered after that. I always tease him that he’s secretly been thinking since then, "just wait until I get a girlfriend…"]

I made sure I was pretty much ready for bed by 11:40 Thursday night. It’s funny because throughout the evening I’d remember that I still had corner time ahead and get that familiar feeling of dread along with a naughty excited feeling. And once I finally set the timer, dragged the chair to the corner, and sat down, I definitely felt like a very naughty child indeed.

Well, first I got a bit distracted when I noticed that the carpet was rough around the edges in the corner.

Then upon realizing I was going to be spending time just sitting there, started to retreat into my habit of meditating whenever I have to spend a lot of time waiting for the doctor or medical transportation (I waited 40 minutes after my acupuncture appointment just a few days earlier) and I’m too weak to hold a book or magazine (which has been most of the time the last few months).

But then I decided that was probably cheating and that I should be spending time thinking about how I was naughty and how I’m going to keep from being naughty in the future, especially as I had to have something to write about in my email the next day.

So far, I’m pleased to say, I’ve made it to bed by midnight since. Though I did get a special dispensation to watch Saturday Night Live tonight, provided that I’m all ready for bed and physically under the covers by midnight.

I mean, it is the weekend after all. ::smile::

10 thoughts on “Bedtime Blues

  1. Megs

    I can relate with election distraction… the same thing kept me from getting any of my work done, as I was busy listening to radio updates and hitting the refresh button on npr’s map every twenty seconds to see if Virginia would turn red or blue. Fortunately I was given a reprieve, I’m sorry you were not.

  2. Natty

    Yes, it was hard not to get distracted by the glorious day that was Tuesday, November 8, 2006 (at least in the US if not in other places throughout the world) wasn’t it? 😀
    I think had I asked for a reprieve stating specifically why and for how long, I probably would have gotten it (as seen by my being allowed to watch SNL). But I didn’t and the disregard I showed regarding the commitment I had just made merited some sort of consequence – albeit a relatively minor one – to remind me that it was a serious commitment.
    And, well, the sting wore off pretty quickly. But my relief that the Democrats now control both houses of Congress is still here. 😀

  3. sparkle

    I definitely think the lasting joy of Election Night outlasts any momentary pain. That said, however, I wouldn’t encourage A. to try and make the punishment last, say, as long as your joy :).

  4. Mija

    I have a bedtime during the week of 11pm (though it sometimes moves back a bit if I don’t need to be at work in the morning). Once in bed we tend to watch or listen to BBC programs on Pab’s computer.
    I find the more of a routine I get into with bedtime, the easier it is to be in bed at the right time and the easier it is to fall asleep. I seem to have fewer episodes of insomnia these days. But it is hard to remember not to start things after 10:30 pm or so.
    As to the long distance / self spanking? Ouch! Those are so not happy memories, though I generally had to reach around so it was on my bottom — thankfully I don’t think he’d fully considered that he could use the fronts of my thighs. Ironically though, Pab’s nightly call to me at 12 AM (Pacific time) / 8 am (UK time) was a sort of bedtime of its own. It was when we started living together that it got hard for me to settle down to sleep at a reasonable hour.
    Speaking of long distance, I’m headed up to Portland at the end of the week for 10 days at my parents’ house. As with last year, my no sugar rule is going to be enforced with a bar of soap P’s promised will be packed with my luggage.
    Anyone know the FAA rules on Ivory in carry ons?

  5. Natty

    sparkle —
    “I wouldn’t encourage A. to try and make the punishment last, say, as long as your joy :).”
    LOL! Nah, I don’t think his sadism has anywhere near *that* longevity. 😉
    And one more added benefit of this election: Harry Reid has been a big supporter of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome community and we’re hoping now that will translate into some added research $$$ and maybe even some pressure on the Centers for Disease Control.
    Mija —
    Yeah, now that I’m sorta getting into the habit, it’s getting a lot easier. And without A.’s er…um…giving me a hand this week, I’m not sure I’d be able to make it a habit.
    And the long distance discipline is very hard. This was actually the first time we’ve done it (punishment that is, play’s another thing) and it brought it out a whole load of insecurities for me that I wasn’t expecting — something I’ll write about as part of a separate post.
    Oh, and if you have any time to get together when you come up, let me know!

  6. Timmers

    Hi, coming out of lurkdom to tell you all I really enjoy this blog, you all seem like such nice people!
    As far as bedtime goes, if my husband decided to institue one, it would have to be to keep me up past 10:00. By the end of the day, I can’t wait to crawl under the covers!
    Thanks again for all your work on this blog, it’s really a great idea.

  7. Natty

    Oh, it’s so great to see you Timmers! And we’re so nice because we have such nice readers. 🙂
    “As far as bedtime goes, if my husband decided to institue one, it would have to be to keep me up past 10:00. By the end of the day, I can’t wait to crawl under the covers!”
    LOL! See, you’d think I’d be like that when I get so tired, but for some reason, I don’t really think about it until I can barely crawl to the bathroom. Though, I spend most of my days under the covers so that might have something to do with it.
    Heya persephone!
    “you really have a lot of resolve to be good! i was impressed”
    Er…um…my resolve sorta melted away last night I’m afraid… 🙁

  8. Dyke Grrl

    Oh, Natty. There’s resolve, and then there’s FOLLOW THROUGH. You have the resolve, but in the moment, you may lack follow through. (Hope the punishment isn’t TOO bad… or, wait, would that help with follow through?)

  9. Natty

    Sigh…he still hasn’t told me what the punishment is going to be yet. 🙁 Not sure if the punishment being really bad is helpful with follow through or not. A lot of times I find that just having to have been punished at all — and my distinct distaste for being in trouble — are enough to make sure I follow through. Other times when I’m feeling particularly willful, I do sit and calculate what the punishment might be versus how much I really want to do something. In those cases, a really bad past punishment can keep me from doing something I shouldn’t.
    I doubt A. is reading this, but lemme just say, I think a mild punishment in this case will suffice! ::angelic smile::


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