I also had a change of plans mid-week regarding the mechanics of self-reporting I originally envisioned using a shared electronic log, using the “Collaboration” feature on our Mac computers' word processing program, which allows you to share a document with others who can then edit it in real time. But, later in the week I had an exchange with one of the commenters about an app called Wunderlist that we have used for a long time to share things like shopping lists and household to-do’s. I had thought about using it for a self-reporting tool some time ago, but I didn’t really follow up. I think I’m going to experiment with making it my primary vehicle for reporting misbehavior. It has a few advantages:
- Secure & Confidential: The app owner can create shared lists—such as “Behavior Log”—and invite only designated people to each list. So, we can have a Christmas present list or household shopping list that all family members can add items to, but I also can create a Behavior Log list and invite only Anne. Other family members will not see it on their device and they won’t get notices when an item is added.
- Instantaneous notice: Whenever I add a new item to the list, like “Lost temper at work,” Anne gets a notice on her app showing I added it. And, if she has enabled notifications for that app on her phone and computer, she will see the addition and its content right away. So, she doesn’t have to open a file periodically or login to anything to discover whether I’ve entered anything. The other thing about instantaneous updates is as soon as I write an item on the list and hit one butt, there is no taking it back. She now knows and there is no going back to delete or modify something before sending. Just doing that this morning added to a sense of “inevitability,” that I think some men who are attracted to DD really want and need.
- Archiving: An item stays on the list until it is either marked as “done” or deleted, and you can choose whether completed items are deleted completely or archived. I like that feature for two reasons. First, since an item will be marked as “completed” only after she has either spanked or otherwise punished me for it, the list just keeps accumulating until she gives me a session over the ottoman (unless she adopts the “waiver” deadline that Liz suggested – we still need to talk about that). Second, the cumulative list of “completed,” i.e. punished tasks is something we can go over periodically to see whether behavior is improving, whether she is being diligent in correcting behavior, etc.
- Deadlines: The app allows you to set deadlines and reminders, which are useful for tracking whether bad behavior is being addressed promptly. And, the app shows when each entry was made, which should help her monitor whether I am reporting things promptly.
- Comments: As Liz noted last time, the individual items on a log should probably be pretty short and to the point, like “lost temper at work.” But, the app also allows you to append a longer comment to each item.
- Encouraging FLR and bossiness: The app allows the user to assign a “task” to another user. So, if she wanted to, say, assign a chore and wasn’t there to do it in person, she could just enter a task and assign it to me along with a deadline for completing it.
Worse, I have to admit that my mouth or a display of bad attitude gets me into trouble at home as well. Like Arthur, I have a pretty sarcastic and smart-ass sense of humor, and I can sometimes take that too far. I also can sometimes have an attitude, including to my wife. I even catch myself in it sometimes. She’ll ask me a question, and if I think it’s silly or uninformed I may roll my eyes. Or, she asks me an open-ended question and I give her a one-word reply. And, every once in a great while I will display some real temper around her, like the incident I reported on last year in which she told me to turn off a movie and go to bed and I let my temper show and let her know I thought she was nagging.
Surprisingly, she hasn’t really resorted to her spanking authority to deal with those “attitude” issues. In fact, it’s kind of remarkable the extent to which Domestic Discipline in our home has focused on things I do and not so much what I say or how I communicate. In fact, I can really think of only one time that she spanked me for rudeness, when she thought something I said to the one of the kids—that I thought was a joke—crossed the line into sarcasm that left hurt feelings. There are times I catch myself doing something like an eye roll, and I myself know I probably should be paddled hard for it. Yet, I don’t think she’s ever spanked me for copping an attitude with her or for mouthing off.
I’m not really sure why, because we have flagged disrespect as a punishable offense many times. I think maybe it is because spankings in our house tend not to happen immediately after an offense, and during the time delay between an act of rudeness or attitude and the next spanking, she’s forgotten all about it. Or, it’s one of those things that doesn’t reach a certain level that seems to be required for her to remember that spanking is an option to put me in my place. I think it also may be that she has not quite made the mental leap to seeing herself not just as wife who spanks for certain offenses but as a real Head of Household and maternal figure who can and should spank simply for being disrespected.
And, if this maternal-like grant of authority we’ve talked about means anything, surely it means I can’t get away with disrespecting her. It's also one of those "broken window" things, in which punishing "small" things might have a larger impact. If she makes me more attuned to the need to watch my mouth at home, might that make me consider things more before popping off with something inappropriate at work?
For the wives, do you spank as often for things your husband says as for things he does or fails to do? Is disrespect or discourtesy something you let slide too often? If you have spanked him for such things, is there a certain special satisfaction in being able to use spanking or other punishment to take him down a peg?