I originally posted this on the Blogfathers last week. I did not post anything on Father's Day for my dad due to Wyatt's arrival. Happy Father's Day Dad.
My father was the disciplinarian in our household when I was a kid. Sure my Mom would occasionally ground us, or wash our mouths out with soap but the penalties for the major infractions to the family rules were left up to my father to dish out. The worst punishment to get, besides the “I’m disappointed in you” speech and look, was the Belt. The Belt was an important tool when disciplining 9 kids.
I can only remember being punished with the Belt twice. One time, when I was about 8, I told my brother to “suck my *#$@”. I was 8 and I did not know what the phrase meant, but I did know it was an insult. After the three cracks of the Belt on my ass I knew that I would not say it again.
The other time that I was on the receiving end of the Belt was when the entire family, all 9 of us, were going to be punished for not eating our dinner. You see my Mom cooked dinner every night for 11 people. She tried real hard to make meals that were healthy and that we would all like, or at least eat, and that were within the food expense for the week. One time she decided she was going to be creative and make us a Chinese meal. Chicken Chow Mein I believe it was.
None of us would eat it. It tasted awful. My mom is a good cook but for some reason this recipe did not pan out. My 7 brothers, my sister and I sat at the dinner table for an hour without anyone touching their meal. We complained the entire time about how disgusting it was. It was gross. I think at one point one of my brothers threw the contents of their plate on the floor. When this happened my mother said to my dad, “I want them all punished.” She then placed her head in her hands and yelled at us to “go to your rooms.”
There were 5 bedrooms upstairs. My sister had her own room and all of the boys shared a room with another brother, 2 to a room. My room was in the middle of the 5. I heard my dad climbing the stairs snapping the Belt. I could hear him enter the first room. There was a pause. Then I heard the crack of the belt against their backsides. –Crack- “Ow” –Crack- “Ouch”, -Crack- “Owww!” –Crack- “Ooh!” The first two brothers got theirs.
My father entered the second room, the one right next to mine where the LawnWhisperer shared a room with Dan. I could hear him say something but it was muffled. There was a pause.
-Crack- “Ouch. Dad?” –Crack- Ow!”
-Crack- “OOOH.” , -Crack- “Arrrh.”
That was two more brothers were punished. It was my turn next. I sat on my bed as far away from the door as possible thinking that that would save me. The bedroom door flew open. I could tell from the look on my father’s face that he was not happy. He started to speak in a low, barely audible voice.
“Okay guys,” he whispered. “I want you to hold up your pillows. When I hit them with the Belt you scream like it hurts. Do you got that?”
My brother and I exchanged glances of disbelief. We were shocked and could not quite understand what was going on.
“I said, hold up your pillows. Do you got that?” He repeated as he nodded his head.
My brother and I shook our heads and held our pillows up. –Crack- went the Belt across the pillow. “Ouch” my brother yelled through a smile. –Crack- “OW!”- Crack- the belt popped against my pillow. “OOW!” I yelped. –Crack- “Aww Ouch.” I hollered.
My dad turned to leave the room, he turned back and said “I didn’t like dinner either, don’t tell your mother.” And he left.