Suited Up

Question of the day: What was the naughtiest thing you ever did as a kid?

Thing 3 was caught in a failure-to-confess last week. A week ago Monday morning saw a mother stonily dragging her child onto the early morning school bus. Normally, this mother does not make an appearance at the bus stop so this, in and of itself, was rather unusual. Stormy, as I am going to call the mother, threw her fifth grader onto the bus and proceeded to recount her daughter’s sins. The daughter, it turns out, was the ring leader of a group of children who ran across the busy street outside our compound and proceeded to buy several boxes of “Safety Firecrackers”. Les petites pyrotechniques had quite a go of it, lighting them off on the playground and around the communal areas of the compound. Stormy’s daughter caved into the devil and made the mistake of throwing one at her sister who promptly ran home and told her mother. Thing 3 was not implicated. End of story.

Or so I thought. At dinner that night we had a long discussion about fireworks, how playing with firecrackers was akin to playing with fire. Thing 2, having played with fire at age nine, sat silently, recalling the smack bottom that ended his career as a hooligan. Playing with fire is a spankable offense in our family; lying about it makes it more so. Thing 3 soaked up the maternal wisdom, including the invitation to confess any participation during the event, affirming the naughtiness and dangerousness of the act.

The next morning I received the following text message, written on the bus:

Mom I was in the group with Girl XXX. Girl XXX wanted to do it and I wasn’t thinking right I regret what I did I am going to get a spanking when I get home I wasn’t there after I left im really sorry all I did was watch from far away I didn’t light any and I didn’t cross the street because I am not allowed I know I am grounded no phone no playing for 2 months im really sorry

Which was followed shortly by:

I stayed 10 meters away from the firecrakers [sic] I didn’t say anything or touch any now i realize that I should have told them to stop

Followed by:

Ok am I going to get a spanking?

Followed by:

Hello? Am I going to get a spanking?

I used an old trick of my mother’s – sweating it out. My mother used to say to me, “Go upstairs. We’ll talk about this when I am ready.” My mind, as a child, would begin to spin, devising hideous scenarios, alone in my bedroon. The outcome with my mother, while it frequently made me cringe, was always more pleasant than the punishment I was expecting.

So I did not respond to Thing 3’s frantic texts. She called in the afternoon and I was prepared with my mother’s line. She arrived home before me and was waiting for me in her bedroom.

“So am I?” she said.

“Are you what?”

“Getting a spanking?”

“Do you swear you did not touch them?”

“Nope, I did not touch them.”

“Did you cross the street?”


“But you were a bystander and you failed to tell me about this when you had an opportunity. If you are lying to me now, and I find out, the punishment will be severe.” I pressed on.


“Grounded for a week, no spanking,” I pronounced.

“WHEW! Now I can take off all these clothes!”


“I was all suited up for the spanking. I have on eight pairs of underpants and they are really uncomfortable.”

It would never have occurred to me to suit up for a spanking as a child. Do we think Bernie Madoff is prepared? I’m guessing his bank accounts, at least, are all suited up. Padding, however, can only get you so far when the fix is in.

N.B. Thing 3 would like her grandparents to know she is not a bad kid. This was published with her permission.



Filed under Family, Life, Misunderstandings

11 responses to “Suited Up

  1. Mood Ring Mama

    This is the funniest thing I have ever read!!! I love that confessions now come in the form of texts, and I love Thing 3’s preparedness. I was stressed out this a.m. until I read this – I will be giggling all day now.

  2. warrop

    Hilarious!!!!! I am so proud of Thing 3. Brilliant!!!

  3. Thing 3 is not a bad child, and I love her so much. But still I do not want her around firecrackers. Next year her brother can help her out.

    Why did I not think of extra pants in the days of real serious spanking. In those days we wore thick cotton underpants and it might have made a real difference.

  4. Mood Ring Momma

    P.S. – The naughtiest thing I ever did as a kid (well, there really were so many, so maybe not the worst) was shoplift candy from the Safeway when I was 4. The candy fell out of my pockets on the car ride home, Ex-Pat narced on me, and Mom turned the car right around and marched me up to the store’s customer service window to confess & return my loot. I still remember the shame, but it was indeed a total cure.

  5. expat:

    Did she look a bit bulbous in the panty-area with all those undies on? Sort of like a diaper?

    My parents used to make me await my punishment which was worse than the punishment. Elliott used to wear Toughskins so his mother’s spankings with a spatula only made him laugh.

  6. Winnie

    M-J can rest assured that her grandparents are aware that she is not a bad kid. Her ‘fessing up, although a bit tardy, is commendable. However, I’m very much afraid that genes will out and perhaps she cannot be blamed for the 8 layers of underwear. It seems that once upon a time, her paternal grandfather set the precedent when he inserted a hard-bound book between a targeted posterior and his father’s descending hand. The result was unhappy for both parties. He deems it an unfortunate solution and more memorable than the sin that occasioned it.

  7. The Bopper

    The naughtiest thing that The Expat Princess and Mr. Understanding ever did was not to tell Winnie and The Bopper where in the world they were going.

    The above account of corporal punishment going awry omits mention of the trangsgression which gave rise to the spanking. The youthful offender was caught picking grapes from the arbor after several warnings. Much akin to the sin of our biblical grandparents, it was more a matter of disobedience than a matter of fruit picking. Thus the account of thing three proves that the apple does not, indeed, fall far from the tree.

  8. Thanks to all for their comments and tail tales! Toughskins – now that takes me back, Lisa!

    Big Bopper: you have to be an asiduous reader of the blog to figure out our destination … and by the way, I just go where I’m told to. Feel free to have a word with your son! Happy belated birthday! We will call on the way to the airport.

  9. The Bopper

    EPP- Understood- My travels and the vagaries of travel accommodation interntet access prohibit close following of the very excellent adventures of EPP and MU.

  10. Raftbuddy

    Bless Thing 3! I once let my sister walk backwards with her eyes closed off of a diving board into a lake when she couldn’t swim and was wearing a pink fake fur coat. She was 3, I was 5. Luckily, I ran to the house to get help and my mom was able to jump in and save her. Why my mom let two non-swimming fur coated girls wander around a lake is another question. It was the 1960s, less parental hovering…..

  11. Hello this is Thing 3 other wise nown as Ms. Suited up girl. I have read all of the comments and I liked the stories of when you guys were children. I hope you guys thought of the suited up idea. It was really uncommftorble for wearing 8 pears of underwear. Though I didn’t need to wear the underwear because it would be used as if it wasn’t there. Any way have a great time looking at posts!

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