Friday, 10 May 2013

Mother Knows Best

As tomorrow is Mother's Day for those of us in the US and Australia I've decided to post one of Esskay's creations in honour of the day, and to all of you: be good to your mother.


 It wasn’t a great arrangement, and they all knew it.

       Gloria Kelly and Michael Ross started dating during their sophomore year at the University of Illinois, and by the time they were seniors they had decided to get married immediately after graduation. Gloria had grown up in Chicago, and planned to become a teacher in the public school system. Michael hailed from a small farm town in the southern part of the state and had always wanted to live in Chicago -- he had been a finance major in college and he had lined up a starting job with one of the banks in the Windy City.

       The problem was that each of the newlyweds had massive college loans outstanding that would become payable starting six months after graduation. With those debts plus the cost of the wedding, they just wouldn’t make enough money from their combined starting salaries to rent and furnish an apartment.

       Reluctantly, they came up with a thought that was fairly common in previous generations, but much rarer lately. Gloria’s mother Barbara owned a small house in Chicago and she agreed to let the newlyweds move in with her.

       In a city known for a rough, tough working class, Barbara Kelly fit in perfectly with the stereotype of a typical Chicago resident. Shortly after graduating from high school, she had enlisted in the U.S. Army, and after a battery of aptitude tests pointed her in that direction, she took additional training to become a member of the Military Police. She finished her stint as an M.P, then returned to the city and joined the Chicago Police Department. In those days most policewomen ended up on desk duty in a station house, but Barbara fought for and won an assignment to ride on daily patrol. She did so for eight years, until an accident suffered during a pursuit made it impossible for her to continue.

       After leaving the police force, Barbara took a job in the security department at a major department store inside The Loop. She was now the manager of the security force, mostly responsible for recruiting, training, and scheduling the other guards, but when the store’s security cameras showed a group of teenagers entering the store, she would often go out on the floor to pose as a shopper while watching the teens closely. Most months she caught 2 or 3 shoplifters that way, and when the culprits were teenagers, she only wished that their parents would treat them the same way she would have treated Gloria or her brother Shaun if they had been arrested.

       She had met husband Ken Kelly while she had been on the police force; he also worked for the city, but in the less stressful position as a senior clerk in the accounting department. Ken had passed away during Gloria’s freshman year at university.

       Although Barbara was not na├»ve about sexuality, she insisted that Michael sleep in Shaun’s room until the wedding. When the couple returned from their honeymoon she vacated the master bedroom she had slept in for almost thirty years so that the newlyweds could share that room. Barbara moved into Gloria’s old bedroom.

       Within three months, none of the people in the house were happy about the arrangement.

       Michael was happy that he was married to Gloria, but not at all happy about living in her mother’s home. He felt he lacked freedom in the house and felt especially self-conscious whenever he and Gloria were making love. He was sure that Barbara could hear them through the thin walls, and he felt he was missing out on a major part of newlywed life because of diminished frequency.  He also felt very uncomfortable about Barbara herself. Her tough demeanor was very unlike any woman he had known before, and he simply didn’t know how to relate to her. He had at first tried to call her “Mom,” but the word just didn’t seem comfortable to him as she was so completely different from his own mother. She had never told him to call her by her first name, so for the last few weeks he found himself talking to her as little as possible, and trying to avoid using either her name or the word “Mom.” In fact, he was trying to spend as little time as possible at the house when he knew she would be there --he found reasons to work late and spend some evening time with co-workers rather than with his wife. If he knew, however, that Barbara would not be home, he would rush home to his wife.

       Barbara recognized that her new son-in-law wasn’t very friendly to her and sensed that he was trying to avoid her. After several years of living alone, the noise of a young couple in the house, especially in the late evening, bothered her and she had asked them on several occasions to quiet down. Most importantly, she felt that Michael was taking advantage of her daughter in several ways, such as leaving his clothes around the house for her to pick up, sitting at the table while Barbara and Gloria cleared the dishes, and, in Barbara’s eyes, generally taking advantage of the two women and doing little to nothing to help around the house.  Barbara also wished that Gloria would take action to make it clear to Michael that he needed to do more to help them around the house. In fact, Michael had grown up with a doting mother who had never asked him to help, so he had no recognition at all that his actions were out of line with Barbara’s expectations.

       Gloria also was unhappy. She was caught in the middle between her husband and her mother, and she knew it. She found herself making excuses for him to her, and for her to him. Being a first-year teacher was stressful enough, and the added pressure of being a mediator between Barbara and Michael was making her both tense and depressed. Certainly she still loved Michael, but she had started to question whether they had made the right decision to get married before they were financially capable of living in their own place.

       One evening when Michael had said he needed to work late, the two women were having dinner together. “Mom, can we talk about something?” Gloria asked.

       That was unusual. While Barbara loved her children, she was not a warm person and heart-to-heart talks with either of them were not typical. But she also knew they had much to talk about and was pleased that Gloria wanted a serious discussion. “Of course,” she said. “What do you want to talk about?”

       “I know things haven’t been good since we moved in. Do you want us to move out?”

       “If you could afford to live somewhere else you’d be doing it. I know you can’t, so no, you don’t have to leave.”

       “I’m sorry about how Michael has been, Mom. I know he’s been upsetting you leaving his stuff all over the house. It’s just that I saw the way his Mom treated him when I visited his house. He’s an only child and his mother waited on him every moment. And when he lived in an apartment at school, all the guys were slobs, so he’s just not used to living like we do.”

       “Well he doesn’t live there any more. You need to take charge of him and change him, Gloria. You married him. It’s your responsibility to make him clean up his act.”

       “I’ve tried, Mom. I really don’t know what else I can do. Do you have any ideas?”

       Barbara looked directly at Gloria. “You should spank him,” she announced.

       Gloria laughed and smiled, thinking she had just heard a joke.

       Slowly and distinctly, Barbara pressed home the point. “Gloria, I’m not kidding. You should spank him.”

       Gloria looked completely confused. “Mom, that’s crazy. He’s not a child.”

       “Gloria, remember that paddle you hated so much when you were growing up?”

       The daughter’s stomach tightened up a bit. Oh, yes, she remembered that paddle far too well. It had always been hung on a nail in the closet of her parents’ bedroom, but she had not seen it since she and Michael had taken over the room.

       “Don’t think that paddle was used just on you and your brother,” her mother told her. “I bought that paddle well before you kids came along, and I used it on your father many times before I used it on you and Shaun.”

       “You spanked Daddy?” Gloria managed to say. “I had no idea. You and he seemed to have a great marriage.”

       “We didn’t want you to know, and if he was still alive, you wouldn’t know now. Yes, I spanked him. When we first got married, he acted a lot like Michael does now. He wasn’t a bad man, and neither is Michael, but if a woman lets them, men will treat you like a maid. Cook for them, clean for them, take care of them. Until you straighten him out, your husband will take advantage of you. I warned your father he needed to change his ways, but nothing happened until he felt the paddle on his butt a few times. And yes, you’re right, we did have a good marriage. But we probably wouldn’t have had one if I didn’t take charge and put him over my knee every time he deserved it.”

       “That’s why you kept the paddle on your closet door. Daddy saw it every day and it was a warning to him.”

       “Right. Every morning when he opened the closet door he got a reminder of what could happen to him.”

       Gloria sat there having no idea what she should say next, so Barbara continued. “You need to do the same now. He’s your man. Take charge of him. The paddle is in my dresser now. Should I move it back where it used to be?”

       “No, Mom, don’t,” Gloria said. She thought for a few moments, then said, “Mom, I don’t think I could do it. I’m not you. You’re so self-assured and confident. You’re kind of intimidating, Michael once remarked that he would hate to have you mad at him. I don’t have the confidence in myself that you do.”

       “Gloria, if you do nothing, things will just get worse. He’ll just keep on taking advantage of you and it will get worse. You haven’t been married that long yet that it’s too late to take charge.”

       Gloria knew what her mother was telling her made a lot of sense, but her self doubts were strong enough that she didn’t feel capable of doing it. In a voice that almost sounded like that of a little girl she quietly asked, “Maybe you could spank him, Mom?”

       Barbara looked at her in a way that made her feel embarrassed for what she had just suggested. “Your husband. Your responsibility,” Barbara told her daughter.

       The conversation hadn’t accomplished anything that would happen immediately. But Pandora’s Box had been opened wide -- the words “spanking” and “paddle” had been spoken, and they were to remain in both women’s thoughts.

       About two weeks after that conversation, Barbara had a very bad day at work. First, the inventory shrinkage report came in, indicating that shoplifters had stolen more in the latest year than in the prior year. Then when the afternoon shift reported for work, Barbara had to fire one of the guards for having alcohol on his breath -- it was his second offense and he had been warned a repeat would result in immediate dismissal, but Barbara very much liked the man and knew he needed the job to support his family. She then needed to rearrange schedules and knew she’d be late leaving for home.

       She had called Gloria to say she’d be late and told her not to wait for her to get home for dinner; she estimated she’d be at least an hour late. As it turned out she got her work done faster than she had thought and luckily caught a train immediately, so she arrived home only about 30 minutes late. When she got there, however, the kitchen and dining area were a mess. She did not at first know why, but when Michael and Gloria were eating alone, they had jointly decided Barbara’s absence gave them a chance for privacy in the bedroom, and they took advantage of that opportunity -- but at a cost of leaving the downstairs in a complete mess.

       Barbara was furious and called out, “Gloria, where are you?” She heard the bedroom door open and Gloria responded, “Hi, Mom, we’re up here, we’ll be right down.” Barbara immediately understood all that had taken place -- she certainly did not mind what the couple had been doing upstairs, but she was still extremely angry over how they had left the kitchen and dining area.

       The couple dressed quickly and rushed downstairs, Michael wearing just a bathrobe over his undershorts, while Gloria had quickly put her bra and panties back on along with jeans and a pullover top. They were in stark contrast to Barbara, still in the business attire she had worn to work. While she was waiting for them to come downstairs, she had made a decision -- this was the final straw, and the time had come for some action to resolve what was going on in her house.

       “Sorry, Mom, thought you’d be later,” Gloria said, blushing a little.

       “I don’t care what you were doing upstairs,” Barbara told them. “But I care a lot about that,” she said, pointing towards the messy dining area. “We need to talk -- now.”

       They went into the living room, Barbara sitting on one couch and the couple together on another couch. “I’m fed up with both of you,” Barbara started.  “I didn’t mind that you moved in and live here rent-free. You need money and I was happy to help. I didn’t mind when you took over my bedroom -- you need the extra space, I understand that. I don’t even mind that I buy a lot of extra food that you don’t chip in for -- including a lot of things that only you like, Michael.

       “But you, Michael, you think women are on this planet just to wait on you and cook for you and clean up after you, and you can just sit there and watch sports while Gloria and me run around making you happy. You just take advantage of women. And you, young lady, I told you two weeks ago you needed to take charge of your husband and fix things and what did you do? -- you said, no, mommy, I can’t do it, you do it for me."

       Barbara shifted her gaze from one to the other and she saw both of them squirming as if they knew she was absolutely correct in what she was saying.

       “So here’s the way things are going to be,” she told them. “You can continue to live here, free. But this is my house, and you’re going to live here with my rules. Michael, you don’t know this, but Gloria’s father was punished for doing exactly the same kinds of things you’re guilty of. In fact, he was spanked for doing them. And Gloria, I asked you to act like a grown woman and you acted like a child instead. So you are both going to get spankings -- tonight. Gloria, go get the paddle and bring it to me.”

       “No chance, that’s not going to happen,” Michael told her. 

        Gloria took her husband's hand and said, “Michael, she’s right.” Her eyes were already starting to tear up, but she continued by saying, “We’ve really been terrible and things do need to change. I remember spankings from her and I sure don’t want one now, but I probably deserve it and you do too. She used to spank my dad, so you’re not the first grown man and maybe things will get better now. Do this for me. Please.”

       Michael was silent for a few seconds, then said quietly, “OK, Gloria, if you want me to do it, I’ll do it for you.”

       “Get the paddle, Gloria,” Barbara repeated. “It’s in my top dresser drawer.” Gloria rose, kissed Michael lightly, then headed off to Barbara’s room with some tears dripping from her eyes.

       Gloria opened the drawer of her mother’s dresser, and shuddered when she saw the paddle. It had been six years since she had last felt it on her backside. She had been a junior in high school then, and she still remembered how much it hurt. The paddle’s business end was about ten inches long and it was made of very hard but pliable leather. The handle had a hole and a thin leather strip was strung through it which allowed the paddle to be hung on the door to her parents’ closet. It was a frightening implement that had no earthly use other than to inflict a great deal of pain. Barbara’s usual spanking protocol had been for Gloria or Shaun to be sent to get the paddle from the closet and bring it to her. Whenever Gloria was about to get spanked, she started to cry as soon as she picked up the paddle, and today was not going to be an exception -- she was already crying and sniffling before she even left the bedroom to head back to her mother.

       Gloria also knew that Barbara believed in witnesses as part of the punishment -- if Shaun was to be spanked when she was home, she would be told to watch it, and if she was to be the spankee and he was home, he (and her dad) got to watch. So she knew within a few minutes she would be crying, kicking her legs, pleading for mercy and generally acting like a very small child -- and her husband would be watching all of it.

       While Barbara believed in inflicting maximum pain and embellishing the embarrassment by having witnesses, she did not believe that frontal nudity should be part of the scenario. She would allow the spankee to wear their panties or undershorts (or pajama bottoms if it was a bedtime spanking) until they were over her lap, then she would yank the garment down to the back of their knees before bringing the paddle down. When Gloria returned to the living room with the paddle, she saw her husband standing next to Barbara in just his shorts, with his robe on the other couch.

       Gloria handed the paddle to Barbara who looked at Michael. He slowly and awkwardly placed himself over her lap -- he had never in his life been spanked and he really had no idea what he was supposed to do. Gloria returned to the other couch to watch, although her eyes were already so filled with tears her view was a bit distorted.

       Michael wasn’t sure where his limbs should be. His left arm and hand rested on the couch cushion to Barbara’s left, but his right hand dangled off the couch and he grabbed onto the bottom of the couch. His toes rested on the floor, but he felt Barbara clamp her leg over the back of his ankles. He didn’t expect her to pull down his shorts, and when he felt her fingers in the waistband of them, he hollered, “No.” 

       She didn’t respond verbally and just yanked the underwear down leaving her looking at his bare butt.

       She paused a moment. Michael wasn’t a bad boy, she thought. She actually had liked him before he had moved in, and she felt he could be a good husband for her daughter and hopefully a good father to the grandchildren she would like to have in the future. But he needed to be straightened out, and in all likelihood this was going to be the only time she would ever have him in this position, so this was going to be a very, very memorable night for him.

       She lifted the paddle and brought it down with all the strength she could muster. The pain, even from the very first spank, was so much more intense than Michael could have imagined that he screamed, “Ow!” Gloria closed her eyes and her crying escalated, both from sympathy for her husband and the knowledge that she was next.

       Barbara continued spanking Michael, who quickly decided he was no longer going to cooperate. He wanted to force his way off her lap, and tried to. But with her leg over his ankles and with his right arm simply out in the air, he could only try to use his left arm. He tried pushing his way up with that arm, but Barbara, being an experienced spanker, expected that move and Michael felt her left arm push down hard on the small of his back to overpower him. To his horror, he realized he couldn’t stop Barbara, and he was going to be spanked as long as she wanted.

       His verbal outbursts were predictable. He had started by demanding that she stop, but as the pain built and he realized he had no control, he changed to asking her to stop, and then begging her to stop. He had no idea how many spanks had landed or how much longer Barbara planned to spank him, but he knew it would only stop when she decided he had had enough.  Interspersed with many “ows” and “ouches,” his pleas escalated. “Ow, please stop. Please. I’ll do better, I promise. Please, please, no more. I’ll be good. Mom. Mom. Please no more. Please, Mom, please, no more please.”

       Barbara was surprised -- and pleased -- that Michael had called her “Mom” for the first time in several months. She took it as a concession on his part that she had authority over him, at least in her own home. Just hearing the word made her feel the spanking had been successful, so she gave him a final ten spanks and stopped. She pulled his shorts back up before helping him to his feet. “Your wife’s turn,” she said to him. “Go to the couch to watch. You can sit or stand, your choice.”

       He stood, with his hands inside his shorts, trying to rub away some of the pain.

       Michael had not cried, but his wife was already crying heavily as she approached her mother. She placed herself over Barbara’s lap, and instinctively raised her hips so that Barbara could slip her panties down. As she felt the garment being lowered, she clenched her teeth awaiting the first spank.

       Gloria expected the paddle to be very painful, but in the six years since she had last felt it, she had forgotten just how painful it really was. She gasped when it landed for the first time, and by the fifth spank she was bawling loudly, squirming, and trying to verbalize apologies. Barbara knew there was no need to anchor Gloria’s legs as she had done with Michael, so the girl flailed her legs wildly, with her left leg landing on the couch cushion to Barbara’s right.

       After about a minute, Barbara knew Gloria was suffering, and she wanted to stop, but she knew she had spanked Michael much longer and she felt there had to be something approaching parity between what she gave her daughter and what she had done to her son-in-law. She slowed the pace of spanks putting several seconds between them, but felt she had to keep spanking Gloria a little longer to be fair to Michael.

       Michael, however, saw how much his wife was suffering and was moved by her heavy crying. “Please, please stop,” he said to Barbara. “She’s had enough.”

       Barbara was pleasantly surprised to hear Michael go to bat for his wife and she did stop immediately. She let Gloria lie over her lap for a few seconds, then helped her stand up. Gloria walked over to Michael and he hugged her and tried to help her calm down. “Why don’t the two of you go up to your room,” Barbara suggested. Michael nodded, picked up his robe and Gloria’s jeans, then helped Gloria up the stairs.

       Barbara sat on the couch for a few minutes, reflecting on what had just taken place. She finally got up and went to her bedroom to change into casual clothes -- she saw the door to the master bedroom was closed and could hear muffled voices inside. She assumed the couple was discussing their options and deciding if moving out was possible.

        After changing, she went down to the kitchen to have a little supper, then started to watch television. She saw the paddle still on the couch and realized she had forgotten to bring it back up to her bedroom.

       Not surprisingly, Barbara enjoyed watching police dramas, and was doing so when she heard the door to the master bedroom open. “Mom, can we come down and talk?” Gloria asked.

       “Of course,” Barbara replied. She pressed Record on the remote so she could later see the end of the program she had been watching, then turned the set off. The couple coming down the stairs was quite a sight. Both were wearing bathrobes and slippers. Gloria’s face was still quite red, and Barbara saw she was carrying a pillow down the stairs.

       Gloria placed the pillow over the couch cushion before sitting down; Michael sat directly down but winced a bit as he did so. Barbara expected Gloria to do the talking for the couple, but instead it was Michael who spoke first.

       “First,” he said, “I want to apologize for my behavior. I guess I was just living the way I was used to at my parents’ house, but you are right, I was taking advantage of you and Gloria. I’m sorry.” He tried to break the tension in the room. “I guess I was a pain in the butt and now I have a pain in the butt. I guess that’s fair.”

       “Apology accepted,” Barbara said with a slight smile.

       “And me, too, Mom,” Gloria said. “You were right. You asked me to fix the problems, and I did nothing. I’m sorry too.”

       “Apology accepted again.”

       Michael started talking again, “We also talked about it, and we’d like to start paying something for rent and our food. We can afford to give you a couple of hundred a month if that’s OK.”

       “Michael, none of this is about money,” Barbara responded. “Keep your money. Pay off your loans, save what you can, and when you can afford it you can move to your own place if you want. Stay here, you’re welcome here.”

       The couple was a bit surprised -- but relieved -- when Barbara turned down the offer of money. Michael rose and walked over to Barbara, bent down and kissed her on the cheek. “Thank you, Mom,” he said. “We really appreciate it.”

       His action and statement surprised Barbara. She was sure it was a sincere statement, and it sounded to her as the first time he had ever addressed her as “Mom” in which the word sounded natural and not strained. Se felt very good about that.

       “One more thing, Mom,” Gloria said.

       “What’s that?”

       “We were thinking maybe we could return the paddle to where it used to be, on the nail in the closet. Maybe we could use a daily reminder of it.”

       “Good idea,” Barbara said with a smile. She picked up the broad end of the paddle and reached out with it to hand it over.

       “We also decided we would use it on each other when one of us deserves it,” Gloria said. “If you don’t get us first.”

       “Now that’s a very good idea,” Barbara said with a laugh.

The formidable Barbara with paddle in hand.


  1. Wonderful, beautiful and fun wish I had a mother in law like that to show me the error of my ways, terrific.
    Thank you

  2. We need more mother-in-laws like Barbara.