Susannah was on the stairs because the upper gate had been left open. She walked all the way down to the landing and then I told her, “Susannah, come back upstairs.”
“What?” she hollers over her shoulder.
“Susannah.” I make eye contact, and I pat the carpet beside me (I’m sitting at the top of the steps). “Come back up the stairs.”
She takes ONE small step backwards, a bit closer to me. “WHAT you said?” She feigns misunderstanding or deafness.
I pat the carpet beside me again. “Get up here, Susannah. If you don’t come up the stairs, I will spank your bu+t.”
A teeny smile, a squint. “No, you won’t!” she lilts.
[At this point in the retelling, Chris bursts into laughter and interjects, “WHAT did you do!?” Well, I’ll tell ya. I took a giant step down about 3 stairs, grabbed her under her armpits, hauled her to the top floor, and spanked her little butt one time. She started crying and yelled, “HEY, that hurt my bu+t!” I hugged her and told her, “I know it did. You disobeyed Mama, and if you disobey I will spank your bu+t and it will hurt. When I say come up the stairs, you come up to me right away.” She kissed my cheek and said, “Okay, Mama, I’m sorry.”]
My sassy, opinionated, passionate, strong girl. I pray for fortitude for the days ahead of us, and I pray that you learn how to focus your dogged independence and perseverance into healthy, appropriate channels.