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BOTD 8/27/13 "Date Night" A Late Chat Production

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David M. Katz

A Late Chat Production

You have two sons.  Spencer is fifteen and Peter is seven.  If needed, even for Spencer, spanking works as the best punishment.

You and your spouse would like to go out for a date night.  You all feel Spencer is old enough to watch Peter and so you ask him if he would take care of Peter while you all had your date.  You offer the rate that you would have normally paid a sitter.  Spencer agrees.  You recently acquired a Great Pyrenees puppy.  Peter considers the puppy to be his dog and named it Eliot.

The evening of your date arrives and you give Spencer money for pizza.  You remind Peter to listen to Spencer and tell Spencer to call if there are any problems.  You tell the boys you will not be gone more than  five hours.  As soon as your car is out of the driveway, Spencer tells Peter to leave him alone.  He says he will order the pizza later but right now he wants some privacy.  Spencer tells Peter, "I really don't care what you do just stay out of my hair."  Spencer holes up in his room listening to music and texting his girlfriend.

Peter decides to take Eliot outside to play with him but it has recently been raining and Eliot gets very muddy.  Peter is not supposed to be outside after dark by himself.  Peter decides Eliot needs a bath.  Peter starts filling the bath tub.  Eliot has other ideas and runs off and Peter chases after him.  The water is still running.  It takes Peter a while to catch Eliot and when he returns to the bathroom the tub has overflowed and the bathroom is filled with water.  The water has flowed out on the carpet in the hall and has also started seeping into the dining room ceiling below.  Peter panics but does not think to shut off the water.  Peter climbs up the door frame to escape the "flood" and starts yelling for Spencer.  Eliot has run off again.  Spencer  cannot hear Peter because he has his earbuds in and his music is loud.

Your spouse is not feeling well so you cut your date short and come home to a wet and muddy dog running around in the house.  You find a flood and your younger son clinging to a door frame.  You get the water off and your spouse helps Peter off of the door frame.  There is water everywhere.  You knock on Spencer's door and he yells out, "I told you to leave me alone you little pest."

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How do you handle this situation?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

John Boy

I think both boys are in for a sore rear. Spencer for not watching his little brother I may take his phone away as well. Peter after he tells me he was outside after dark will get spanked for not following the rules also.


Spencer is definitely toast. He accepted the responsibility of watching Pete, took money for it, and then ignored him. Had he been doing his job, Pete wouldn't have thought to go outside by himself, and had he thought to do so, would have been stopped pre-emptively. All the other problems--muddy dog, overflowing bathtub, missing dog--all stem from the fruit of that particular poisoned tree. He's getting the strop, losing his electronics privileges, not getting paid for the evening, and probably getting 24 hours of seclusion as well.

Pete was too young to be left alone--and that's essentially what happened. He tried to be responsible (and the scenario is unclear as to whether this was a summer date night, though it's still summer, so I'm assuming mom and dad left when it was still daylight), and found himself in over his head. When he tried to make things better, a perfect storm of Murphy's Law took place instead. Had Spencer dealt with Pete's asking, then begging for, help, this wouldn't have happened.

For that reason, he OUGHT to get a pass. Though I am pretty sure that most parents coming home to that scene would "spank em all, and let God sort it out later".


Editor Extraordinaire
I wonder whatever made me think Spencer is responsible enough to watch Peter. I'm not a great fan of leaving older siblings in charge, as I learned firsthand how irresponsible older siblings can be, how they can abuse their authority, and how even well-intentioned ones can struggle with a conflict of interest between sibling loyalty and the burden of responsibility.

Spencer is in trouble. Though I'm tempted to take my belt to him, I blame myself for being so stupid. Spencer will clean up this mess under my supervision and he is grounded for the following week, including the weekend. If he feels even a portion of the disappointment in his failure that I feel in mine, he will be well punished, indeed.



No, I won't make Spencer clean up. This would probably direct his anger against his brother instead of making him see his own failure. For now he can stay in his room until tomorrow when hopefully I have calmed down enough to make fair decissions.

I am to blame to leave Spencer in charge when his relationship with Pete is obviously not the best.


First, I go to my bedroom, get a pillow, and scream into it, until I think I can move on without killing my eldest son.

Since the scenario states that spanking is still the normal punishment for Spencer, I'll take just a moment to take his iPod (or whatever the ear buds are connected to) and tell him that, once everything's under control, I'm going to wear him out.

It doesn't accomplish anything, but it'll make me feel better.

Honestly, Peter might get a mild spanking for being outside after dark, but he's only 7-years old, so I think most of what he needs is a lecture to point out what bad decisions he made, and what he should have done.

I don't even know where to begin with Spencer. I probably will wear him out, but I'm so very upset about a 15-year old who would agree to take my money for watching his little brother, then do something like this, that there's a very good chance I'll decide the boy isn't responsible enough to get a driver's license any time soon - and that's going to hurt him more than any CP would.

He and I will be having a LONG talk about his behavior tonight, but that and the disaster recovery steps can be safely skipped here, I think (unless someone wants me turning this into a novel).


I'll go with Jack's novel approach Smile

John Boy

ivor wrote:I'll go with Jack's novel approach Smile 
What a novel idea Razz


May be I should spank Eliot!

Seriously, Spencer will get my belt and will lose out on the money he would have been paid as he simply didn't do the job. Yet again there will be a lecture about accepting responsibility and how I feel let down

Peter was outside against the rules but I think he s already had enough frights for one night So it will be stingers at most

Stone Man

Peter will likely get some swats for going out after dark, but not a real spanking.

Spencer will be roasted with the strop, loose his electronics, loose the money I gave him, and likely loose some of his savings/allowance to help pay the expenses of cleanup/repair/replacement not covered by insurance.

There is no reason for a 15 year old to not be able to take care of a 7 year old, as long as he actually watches him.


And someone needs to bath Eliot! Shocked

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