Thursday morning Mrs. Lion caught me saying something that she didn’t like to the TV. This is a violation of her new rule about growling at the TV. I’m writing this post on Thursday afternoon. It’s punishment day. That means I get spanked for five minutes if I do nothing wrong. Since I broke my new rule, I expect a more vigorous ten-minute spanking after my shower. I know, I asked for it. Well, I asked for the punishment-day spankings.
Mrs. Lion wrote in her post yesterday (“Polishing My Paddle“), “Lion thinks I’ll feel more heard if I spank him for annoying me. I don’t know if I agree with that. It’s not that I disagree. I’m just not sure. I think yelling at him, or even a snarky remark, would make me feel better. It may not do anything for him, though. He’ll respond better to a sore bottom.”
She’s right that I will respond better to a sore bottom than I will to snarling or a snarky remark. The verbal responses are expressions of anger without any means of redress from me. Mrs. Lion communicates much more eloquently with her paddle. It isn’t that she lacks verbal skills. It’s more that a verbal response is unlikely to penetrate my mood at the moment. I’m convinced that an unmistakable message delivered outside of the heat of the moment does the most good for me. I think it does for her too. I may be wrong. There’s no harm in snarling and spanking me if that works better for her. It’s not an either/or situation. If snarling works for her and spanking works for me, why not do both?
I think there is a good reason why Mrs. Lion is unlikely to snarl. It takes her some time to process subjective offenses, and it may feel inappropriate for her to snarl if she decides to do it too far after my offense. On the other hand, she is perfectly comfortable informing me that I will be spanked hours after my infraction. Time works against snarls. Also, yelling or snarling can be interpreted as shrewish behavior instead of the act of a calm disciplinarian.
Mrs. Lion has to discover the right balance for her. She already knows the most effective way to help me change.