shook her head, "Nancy, I just don't know what to do with Ann.
Ever since she's become a senior, she's become unmanageable. She doesn't
listen to anything I say, and those friends she hangs out with!"
"Girls that age
think they know it all," Nancy agreed. "Sugar and spice
and a fair dose of vice. They drive boys crazy, they drive their
teachers crazy and they drive parents crazy. I know that this doesn't
help much, but they do grow out of it, and in a couple of years
you'll go from being a complete idiot in their eyes, to a 'normal'
"But what am I going
to do now! She *is* driving me crazy!"
'What have you tried
in the area of 'behavior modification?'"
Ellen looked at her sister
with a blank stare.
"Don't you do anything
to discourage her bad habits?"
"Well, I ground
her, but that doesn't do any good. She ignores me. She doesn't pay
attention to anything I say."
"She's just trying
to assert her independence," Nancy concluded. "My specialty
is child psychology. This is very typical behavior
three-year old. Adolescents have this regression phase, but don't
try to tell *them* that they are acting like a child."
Ellen actually laughed,
"I made that mistake last week. It sent Ann off on a shrieking
streak. She was slamming doors and sulking around the house for
Nancy nodded. She was
reverting into her psychiatrist mode, "Haven't you seen that
"What do you mean?
Until recently, Ann has been a good girl and a great daughter."
"I'm not talking
about recent history. Run the clock back a decade and a half. I
seem to recall a little Ann screaming and stomping her feet when
she couldn't get her way as a toddler."
Ellen put her hands to
her face to hide the sudden realization. "Oh my God. You're
right. I've forgotten what a brat she used to be."
"She grew out of
it then. She'll grow out of it now, but you'll have to provide the
right 'motivation' for her to come around.
Do you remember what you used to do to Ann when she acted out?"
"Of course I do.
I took her over my knee and gave her a good walloping. I can't do
that now. She's a high school senior. She's too big to get a spanking."
"Too big, physically,
yes. But psychologically, she's still a little girl. She has primitive
emotions, and you have to deal with them on a primitive level."
"I don't think I
can do it. She wouldn't take me seriously."
"Then let me do
"What makes you
think she'll get over your lap willingly?"
"Willingly or not,
she'll go over when she deserves it. I practice my martial arts
three times a week. I can take her down without hurting her."
Just then, a throbbing,
usually associated with the approach of a distant thunderstorm was
felt in the house. It wasn't a thunderstorm; it was too frequent.
It became louder quickly and soon centered in the driveway in front
of Ellen's house. Thus announced the arrival of her daughter and
The volume of the music,
as Ellen supposed her daughter called the cacophony blaring from
the 600-megawatt amplifier, was enough to annoy her neighbors for
a quarter mile in every direction from her house. The lyrics would
offend a longshoreman.
Ellen looked out in time
to see her scantily-clothed daughter give her boyfriend-du-jour
a goodbye kiss. She was sure her daughter knew if he ever had his
Ann, came in the house
and threw her purse on the couch. "Hi Ellen, when's supper.
I got to go out tonight." she said to her mother, and then
noticed that there was company. "Oh hi, Aunt Nancy," she
said in politer tones. "I didn't know you were over."
ANN," her aunt responded in icy tones.
"Looks like somebody
isn't getting any," Ann shot back.
Nancy merely flicked
an eyebrow and locked her gaze on her niece. It was the same kind
of gaze a cat gives a mouse when its only thought is "prey."
Ellen was more vocal,
"Ann! That was crude. Apologize to your aunt right now!"
"Lighten up, Ellen.
I didn't mean anything by it."
Nancy quietly said, "It's
OK. I don't take offense if she demonstrates the hostility she harbors
for herself against me."
"What the fuck are
you talking about?" Ann responded.
Ellen merely turned red.
Whether it was out of shame for her daughter's behavior, or out
of her anger, Nancy didn't know.
"If you had any
respect for yourself at all, you wouldn't treat yourself like this.
You wouldn't dress like this?"
"Oh," Ann said
huffily, "now you're going to get on my case like Ellen over
my clothes. I'll have you know that these are the latest, and everybody's
wearing them. I'm not going to wear that Mary Poppins shit Ellen
"And you wear them
to impress your friends and gain their acceptance. What would happen
if you wore the 'Mary Poppins shit' your mother buys for you?"
"You got to be shitting
me," was Ann's only rebuttal.
"Do your friends
like you, or do they like your clothes? Would they like you just
the same no matter what you wore, or are you forced to wear the
uniform they tell you to wear? What about you? Do they like you
for being you, or do they only like you when you sacrifice your
self worth to please them?"
"I don't have to
put up with these lectures," Ann said. She turned on her heel,
grabbed her purse, and slammed the door on her way out.
"Well, that was
certainly pleasant," Ellen intoned sarcastically.
Nancy comforted her,
"Actually, it was a hopeful sign. She is concerned about her
well-being, or she would have shrugged me off with a 'whatever.'
Your daughter's anger at me is a sign that she hasn't given up on
is some good in this for you too," Nancy laughed. "While
she's busy being angry at me, she won't have time to be angry with
you. I'll be the lightening rod and take her hits. I'll play bad
cop. You can be good cop."
Nancy was still there
at 1 AM when Ann finally returned.
Ann was startled, so
much so that she actually reverted to civility, "Oh, you guys
are still up?"
"Ann, we have to
talk," Ellen said.
Ann asked harshly, "It's been like a million years since you
were my age. You don't know nothing about me or my friends."
"Ann, I'm concerned
"Then get off my
choice of words," Nancy interjected.
"And just what the
fuck are you still doing here?" Ann demanded. "This is
none of your fucking business. Nobody invited you to this party.
I don't recall asking for comments from the cheap seats."
Nancy flickered her eyebrow
"Ann, please treat
your aunt with respect."
"Why should I? She
the one pushing her big nose into my business. I hate her. I hate
Ann turned on her heel
again to grab her purse and head for the door.
Nancy grabbed her wrist.
The next thing Ann knew, she was kneeling on the floor with it bent
back at an unnatural angle.
"OW, stop that,
you're hurting me!" Ann complained.
"No, I'm not. If
you stay still, it won't hurt at all. You are the one who is hurting
herself in more ways than one."
"Mom, make her stop!"
thought, "That's the first time she called me that in ages."
"I'm sorry, Ann.
I do love you. Your aunt and I have discussed this. You are a brilliant
girl with a lot of potential, but you're putting your energy on
the wrong path. Your aunt has offered to help me get you to apply
your talents more positively."
Ann gave her mother a
puzzled and angry stare.
was the only response Ann could think of. "Fuck the both of
you. It would do both of you bitches a lot of good."
"OW!" was her
"Come this way,"
Aunt Nancy urged, "Work with me and it won't hurt. Work against
me and it will hurt. The choice is yours."
Nancy led Ann to the
living room and the two of them flopped onto the couch in unison
with Ann landing across her aunt's lap.
"What are you going
to do," Ann asked with just a slight tremble in her voice.
deserved for quite a while," her aunt answered.
The light went on in
the girl's mind. "Oh, you have got to be shitting me. I'm too
old for a spanking."
Up went the back of her
skirt. "I can't believe you're doing this to me."
Down went her panties.
"Don't hurt me."
Up went her aunt's arm.
"No permanent damage will be done," Nancy assured.
Down went her aunt's
"I hate you,"
Ann said amidst her first tear.
"We've been there
before," her aunt said calmly.
The second spank landed,
"Don't do this.
Stop!" a fearful Ann pleaded.
Her aunt's response was
"You will behave,
or your friends will find out about this," her mother interjected.
"Owww! You wouldn't
"Do you want to
Ann was breathing heavily,
and sobbing too much to continue the conversation.
Finally, her aunt was
finished with her.
"Now, up with you.
I want you to stand in the corner with your hands on your head until
I tell you that you can come out."
Ann rose and shot her
aunt a venomous look, but meekly marched herself to the corner and
Nancy called Ellen the
next afternoon. "So how did it go last night?"
"Ann was rather
subdued. She came down this morning as if nothing had happened,
or at least she tried to act as if nothing had happened; until I
looked at her in her outfit sharply. She blushed and said, 'I think
I better get dressed for school.' I isn't much, but it's a start."
"She'll come around.
It's difficult for a young girl to admit defeat. You'll have to
let her 'save face' somehow. Give her some concessions in the small
things, but let her know that you're in charge and will step in
if she gets out of hand."
Ellen laughed, "Out
of a maternal spanking hand, you mean. I saw how gingerly she sat
at breakfast this morning. You have got to teach me that trick of
"I will, Ellen.