OK. So Lion and I sometimes talk a good game. We say we’ll lose weight. We say we’ll save money. We say we’ll clean the gutters. We say we’ll play more. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. We’ve been tired and yesterday both of us had stomach issues. We were just out of sorts. I did give Lion his punishment swats, but things ended there. He wasn’t up for anything else. We’ll try again tonight, but we’ve got a lot of running around to do to get ready for our trip and to get Lion ready for his first day of work. And then tomorrow is travel day. Blah, blah, blah. The point is, life is getting in the way a lot at the moment.
However, I have given Lion his marching orders for this weekend. We’re meeting a group of people at a rally. For the past two years we’ve gone to rallies and each time there’s been a problem. The first year the directions to the campground were wrong. The second year our site got changed and the itinerary got changed and we were not informed. Lion was upset and let people know about it. Maybe a little too much. Anyway, last year I made him apologize for lashing out about the change in itinerary. In the overall scheme of things it was small potatoes. This year I told him I want him to practice for his new job which requires friendliness by schmoozing with people at the rally. If there is a problem, and life always throws a monkey wrench in plans, he can complain about it without going all road rage on people. For example, if he doesn’t like our campsite, he shouldn’t say, “Our site sucks!” He can say something like, “From the satellite pictures, I expected the site to be bigger (sunnier, shadier, etc.).” See? It’s all in how you say things.
I don’t normally give Lion assignments. He doesn’t like when I give him a list of things to do and I feel guilty asking him to do things. But every once in a while, there’s something that I want done. Maybe I want it done a certain way. Maybe I want only a specific part done. I know I can tell him to do anything. I’m in charge. Instead of my usual “If you get a chance…” I can tell him specifically, “I want you to bake me a chocolate cake with buttercream icing.” When I told Lion I had an assignment for him, he groaned. I can’t remember what the last assignment was, but it wasn’t bad enough to elicit a groan this time.
I’m trying to decide how I feel about that groan. I do allow a certain amount of grumbling. The thing is, he didn’t even wait to hear what the assignment was. He just groaned when I said I had one for him. I think a groan may require punishment. After all, he could suppress it. Especially until he finds out what it is. How many times have I groaned internally when he starts talking about going to the opera? If he just thought “oh crap” instead of groaning, I’d have no idea. At least wait until I’ve given the assignment to see if it warrants a groan. If I ask him to fawn over my sister and brother-in-law’s cooking, I would allow several groans. If I ask him to be nice to one of my coworkers, it shouldn’t require a groan.
From now on, groans and grumbles will receive punishment as I see fit. Certainly a groan before the question will be worth a punishment. I can’t have Lion talking back, can I?