Growing up there was an unspoken but known rule in the house.
Dad worked, a lot. He would be at work by 7:30 am., usually before Bobbi and I left for school. He got home between 6 and 7 at night, unless it was Xmas time then it was always later.
Bobbi and I were typical kids, rowdy, fun loving, doing things to annoy our parents. If we were particularly being a handful Mom would often tell us the age old “Wait till your Father gets home.”
Bobbi and I learned something though. Dad’s heart was never into punishing the two of us. Talking to him as an adult he told me he hated that role and even at the time we knew it. How? Well a punishment in our house went like this.
Bobbi and I would be standing side by side along the wall next to Dad’s chair. Dad would lecture about what we had done and why we were to be punished. We’d nod and agree it was terrible (whatever we’d done). Then Dad would say, okay, who’s first?
This is the unspoken rule of the house. I went first. Always. Dad would bend me over his lap and I’d get the belt. Then, that done, Dad would look at me with my tears in my eyes, look at Bobbi, and tell us to go to bed.
See the magic? He could never make it past the first of us. I knew this, Bobbi knew this, it was the unspoken rule. He didn’t have the heart for it. So I’d go first, get that out of the way, then we’d go to bed and start over the next day.
Also – Dad wasn’t very good with the belt. It never hurt very much.