Last night I owed Lion punishment for forgetting to thank me for the previous night’s punishment. I’ve been wondering about alternative punishments for him. There are some old standbys like washing his mouth out with soap, as well as some other ideas I have up my sleeve. While I was in the shower last night, I decided to give Lion a choice for his punishment.
In the future, he probably won’t be given a choice. I’ll just tell him what the punishment is and expect him to take it. But this is new and I am cautious about punishment in general. He’s said that standing in the corner after a spanking sends a powerful message. I’m not sure I understand why. I’d think standing in the corner is its own punishment. To that end, I decided to offer Lion the choice of a spanking or standing in the dark bathroom with the door closed for five minutes. Initially, I was thinking of ten minutes, but for the maiden voyage I limited it to five minutes.
Not surprisingly, Lion chose the dark bathroom over swats. I hadn’t specified the number of swats. It might have been four. It might have been fourteen. I guess he didn’t want to take the chance. He’d rather stand for five minutes in the dark. Fair enough. I don’t know what I would have chosen in his position.
Why the dark? Sensory deprivation. If the light was on he could have looked in the mirror or counted the tiles on the floor. He might have decided the sink is dirty and we should really clean it. He might have wondered why the towels were crooked on the towel rack. In the dark, he was left alone. I even turned the sound down on the TV so he wouldn’t have that to distract him.
This morning, I started to wonder what would happen if I tell him ahead of time what his punishment will be. For example, if he forgets about punishment night again or forgets to thank me for a punishment, he gets his mouth washed out with soap. Will that threat be enough to help him remember? On the other hand, if I tell him he’ll have to stand in the dark bathroom for ten minutes, will he be less likely to remember because he doesn’t fear that punishment? Here, in Washington state, they are going to crack down (they keep promising) on people who drive in the left lane of the highway for miles and miles for no reason. They are considering raising the fine from $48 to $70 because they don’t believe $48 is enough of a deterrent. I think the idiots who do the speed limit in the left lane are just clueless and don’t know they’re idiots despite the cars zipping past them on the right. A stronger punishment isn’t going to suddenly make them stop being idiots. And, I would imagine, Lion wouldn’t suddenly have a better memory because of a more hated punishment. Up to this point, he’s known the penalty is some very hard swats. He still forgets.
Plus, I don’t know that I should be letting my secrets out ahead of time. He should be wary of any punishment. He doesn’t know what other ideas I’ve come up with. He won’t know about those until I decide to use them. (insert evil grin here)