Well folks, the deed has been done and I can look myself in the mirror and not feel like I was channeling Alex.
I took both of them into the den and reminded them that I loved them and this behavior needs to 1) never be repeated and 2) will be much more severely punished of it ever happens again. Lyn has been on an all day tour de nag about the dangers of alcohol use and the perils of underage drinking, etc. I had two teenagers who I think just wanted to get it over with by now!
I told Jeff to step out as I was taking Ryan first. My den is soundproofed so Jeff didn't hear what happened and Ryan would not hear what happened with Jeff. I told Ry that I was seriously considering going the max but that after thinking about it, I am settled that 8 'of the best' will suffice this
time. He apologized quite eloquently for his part in their stupidity and prepared to receive his due. I stopped at 6 of the best which he didn't take nearly as stoically as our first go. After I got him calmed down I had him get Jeff and wait outside the door until I was through with him.
Jeffy suffers from 'being the baby' and never does this very well and I got the usual begging and pleading and so forth. Once he saw that it was going to happen he finally asked "How many dad?" I told him the same thing I told Ryan and the waterworks were off to the races! Never the less, he got into position as ordered. Like his brother, he got 6 with the remaining two held "in suspense" for the next 2 months, meaning that if we are here in the den again in the next 2 months he will
get the full ration I sentence him to in addition to the remaining 2. Once I got him over his crying, I called Ryan back in.
I wanted to take a few minutes with them together to recap everything and assure both of them of my love and concern for them which is WHY I did this in the first place. We shared a group hug and before we let go, Ry whispered in my ear "I can't believe how hard you hit. It was almost as hard as my father! I guarantee there'll be no more drinking for me
! They are in the media room right now with the older kids and I'm sure there will be some ragging from them and some war stories being told. All said, good brotherly interaction and I hope we don't have any more of this drama for a while.
Thanks for your input as always! I like having the Bransom sounding board; it keeps my perspective and I really do appreciate that.