Twelve year old Leah lived with her thirty year old sister Meredith and her husband John in a spacious New York apartment in an upscale neighbourhood. Leah and Meredith's parents left Leah behind when they moved to California in search of a career in television, which they successfully found, going on to star in a popular television show, and several movies. This left them little time for family, and Leah eventually stopped seeing and hearing from them, and often resorted to watching them on tv. Meredith is also on tv, but as a talkshow host, and cook. John is an attorney. Despite their high profile careers they both manage to work 9-5, and spend the rest of their time with Leah and the rest of their family and friends.
Leah came through the front door and was greeted by their German Shepherd dog Shep. She was hoping to have made a quiet entrance, but the commotion that the excited dog made made this almost impossible. Meredith noted the noise from the kitchen, put down what she was working on, and stepped out into the hallway where Leah was trying to quiet the dog.
"Hey" Leah said quietly, avoiding eye contact.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Meredith demanded. Leah didn't say anything. "Leah?"
"It's 10:30" Leah quietly replied, still looking at the floor.
"What time did I tell you to be home?" She asked calmly.
"Alright, so we're clear that there was no misunderstanding about that?"
"Yeah, we're clear."
"Okay. Come on, let's talk" Meredith held her arm out to signal Leah to go into the kitchen. She put her coat and bag down at the door, kicked off her shoes, and went into the kitchen where John was sitting on a high stool at the large island that filled the center of the kitchen.
"Leah, you're home" John said. She said nothing.
"Sit" Meredith said, pointing at a chair at the table. Leah did. Meredith didn't sit. Instead she began to pace back and forth in the kitchen. After a couple minutes she stopped, pulled out the chair next to Leah's and sat down facing her.
"Leah, this is the third time you've come home late this week. Why?"
"I don't know."
"You do know."
"I wanted to stay later, we were having fun!"
"Alright, but Leah, you're twelve years old. When John and I tell you to do something, we expect you to do it."
"So we think it would be a good idea if you stay home with us this weekend. No friends or anything like that."
"But I already have plans!"
"You didn't ask our permission to do anything."
"It's Sarah's birthday. Her party was supposed to be next weekend, but her Mom had to change it." Leah said as she pulled an invitation out of her pocket and handed it to Meredith. "Please Mere, she's my best friend."
"Okay. Here's the deal. You can go to Sarah's. But I want you home at 8. Not a second later. And for the rest of the weekend you'll be with John and I."
"Okay, I promise, thank you!"
"You're welcome sweetheart. Just please start listening to us."
"I will, I promise."
Before the party Leah promised once again, that she would be home by 8. Meredith thought that since she had been so leniant with this that Leah would be home on time, not a second later. She was wrong. She waited an hour past 8, and then another hour. She tried to call Sarah's house, but the line was busy. At 10 she finally decided to call John, who had stayed late at the office to finish up paperwork before the weekend. Meredith picked up the kitchen phone and dialed John's office.
"Hey sweetie!" John exclaimed when he saw who was calling.
"John it's 10 and Leah isn't home yet. I can't get through, the phone line is busy at Sarah's. I don't know what to do, do you think she's okay?"
"I think she's okay honey. I'm leaving now I'll stop at Sarah's at get her."
"See ya soon."
Less than a half hour later John and Leah came through the front door. Meredith had been waiting close by, and immediately ordered Leah into the kitchen. She went, and sat down in the same chair she had sat in yesterday. John and Meredith followed her in and stood in front of her.
"We are so disappointed in you Leah, you're acting incredibly irresponsibly. You've deliberately disobeyed John and I three times this week, and that's not okay."
"I just didn't want to leave! None of my friends have to be home as early as I do!" Leah cried.
"I don't care what time your friends have to be home. We're in charge of YOU, and what we say goes. Got it?" Meredith sternly said.
"No! It isn't fair!"
"Look, Leah. We want what's best for you. You're too young to be out late at night. You're lucky we let you go out at all after what you've been doing all week!" John said.
"I don't care, it isn't fair!"
"That's fine Leah. You're grounded until you can see that what you're doing is wrong." Meredith said.
"Yes Leah." John said sternly but calmly.
"Leah, go to your room, now. Otherwise you'll be losing your priveledges, starting with your phone access."
"Fine, whatever." Leah stomed upstairs, slammed her door and turned up her music as high as it would go. John immediately got up from his chair, barged into Leah's room, unplugged her CD player and took it downstairs with him, and sat back down.
"What's with her?" Meredith asked.
"I don't know."
"She's usually such a sweet kid...but the last couple weeks have been ridiculous. What am I supposed to do? I ground her, she doesn't care. I take things away from her, she still doesn't care. What else can I do?"
"There is one thing we haven't thought of."
"Did your parents ever spank Leah?"
"Not that I know of."
"Did they spank you?"
"They did, but we're a lot older, it was a lot more common then."
"I think it's a lot more common now that you think."
"Are you saying that I should spank Leah?" Meredith asked.
"I think it would be worth considering."
" She's 12, she's never been spanked before. I don't know. Do you think it would hurt her more than it would help her?"
"It didn't do us any grave damage. Explain to her what's happening, and help her through it. But she has to know that she can't act this way and get away with it. It'll only get worse. If she blantly disobeys us at 12, what's it going to be like when she's 16?"
"You might be right. Maybe I will. She needs to know that her actions have consequences."
"It's up to you sweetie. Just think about it, that's all I'm saying."
"I'm gonna let her calm down for the night, and I'll talk to her in the morning."
The next morning Leah was up early. She couldn't sleep. She was so conflicted by feelings of both guilt and anger. She felt bad for treating her sister and brother in-law so badly when they did so much for her, yet she was angry that her friends were allowed to do things that she wasn't. She was also feeling particularily badly because her birthday had just passed and her parents hadn't bothered to call or send a card. She knew that her anger was actually directed toward her parents, but it was so much easier to take it out on John and Meredith. She made herself a bowl of oatmeal, sat down at the table, and ate in silence. Meredith entered soon after.
"Morning sweetie" Leah didn't look up, or respond. She just continued eating."Leah we need to talk. We need to work through this. Okay?" Leah finally looked up.
"When you're done eating I'd like you to go to your room, and I'll be up to talk to you."
"Fine." She slammed down her spoon and went upstairs without saying a word. Meredith took a deep breath and followed her. She opened Leah's door and found her sitting in her big cushioned chair by the window staring out.
"Ever hear of knocking?"
"Leah. Stop okay? We need to talk."
"Okay." Meredith reached over to the computer desk and pulled out the chair, wheeling it close to Leah, and sat down."So."
"Is something wrong? Is there something you want to talk about?"
"Why have you been deliberately disobeying John and I?"
"I don't know."
"You do know, otherwise you wouldn't be doing it."
"I'm doing it because I want to stay out later."
"I understand that. But you have to understand that you're only 12. When John and I ask you to do something, we expect you to do it."
"Well, that's not okay with me." Leah said defiantly.
"That's too bad."
"All my friends get to do whatever they want!"
"I seriously doubt that."
"You're not your friends Leah. Your actions are going to have consequences, and you have to understand that."
"I'm not doing anything wrong!"
"Please tell me you don't honestly believe that. I would be very worried if you did." Leah didn't respond to this comment, but merely looked at the floor. "That's what I thought. Look. You have disobeyed John and I three times this week, and I think that we've been pretty lenient. The first time you didn't get in trouble at all. The second time we grounded you, but you still were allowed to go to Sarah's. And you STILL didn't come home on time! Clearly our methods of discipline aren't working. You have to be punished for what you did Leah, you're a smart kid, I'm sure you understand that. We've always thought that you're a really responsible, sweet and honest kid. But you haven't been acting that way lately. We're both really disappointed in you Leah."
"I'm sorry" Leah said sincerely, beginning to feel even more guilty about how she had been acting.
"John and I have discussed the matter and I've decided that a new form of discipline is needed."
"What's that mean?"
"From now on when you break a rule, you're going to be spanked." Leah rolled her eyes, and responded with a sarcastic "Right."
"Leah, I'm serious" Meredith said without smiling or even flinching. She didn't break eye contact the entire time.
"You're not kidding."
"No, I'm not."
"You can't, Mom and Dad never did!"
"I know. But Leah, you aren't listening to John and I. When we discipline you, you don't care. We take things away, you don't care. I'm not going to let you do whatever you want and ruin your life. It starts with you not listening now, and where does it end? Sweetie, John and I love you, and we care about you. You're the most important thing in the world to us, and we can't handle you being out at night and us not knowing where you are. You scared me to death the other night when you didn't come home on time, I thought something had happened."
"I'm sorry Mere."
"I know you are honey, but from now on, there are going to be new, much more strict rules and consequences. We've always been very close, you and I. I want you to feel like you can tell me anything. If something is bothering you, then I want you to talk to me about it. I can guarentee that talking about it will make you feel better, and I might even be able to help."
"Okay" Leah said, with tears rolling down her cheeks. "Can I talk to you about something now?"
"Yes, of course honey, what is it?"
"Mom and Dad didn't call my on my birthday. They didn't send a card or anything. They forgot."
Meredith's heart melted at this. She knew that Leah didn't mention anything about their parents calling or sending something, but had hoped against odds that Leah had received something and kept it to herself. She went over to Leah, sat down beside her in the big chair and wrapped her arms around her.
"They are selfish people sweetie. It's who they are. It has nothing to do with you not being good enough, or disappointing them, or anything like that. They were too busy to think about it, that's all. It's not your fault that they left you here, and it's certainly not your fault that they're too selfish to think about you on your birthday."
"I know, but it's just...it's not fair that they don't even care about me enough to put a card in the mail" Leah said between sniffling and wiping her face.
"I know it isn't fair. But sweetheart, John and I love you so much. We love you more than we can express with words. We'll both be here on every birthday, every Christmas, every Thanksgiving....and every other day with you."
"Thank you Mere."
"You're welcome honey" she said smoothing Leah's blond hair. They sat in silence for a few minutes as Leah sniffled, and Meredith tried to gain back the confidence to spank Leah. After listening to her little sister cry because their parents don't want her, she really didn't have it in her to spank Leah. But she had to, and she knew that.
"Meredith, I'm really sorry for everything I did this week. I was just so upset about Mom and Dad, I didn't know what else to do but take it out on you and John."
"I know honey. But your punishment stands. I'm going to take you over my knee, and spank your bare bottom with my hand. I know this isn't going to be easy for you, but grounding you hasn't been working, so this is just something that has to happen. But Leah, I want you to understand that I'm doing this because I love you, and because I need you to obey John and I. Okay sweetie?"
"Okay" Leah said, already crying.
"So here's what's going to happen. We're going to take care of your behaviour this week right now, and then I'll give you some time to yourself, then I'm going to come get you, you're going to apologize to John, and we're all going to sit down and discuss rules and consequences. Do you understand?" Leah nodded her head yes.
With that nod, Meredith got up out of the big chair, and helped Leah out of it as well. Leah's small framed, thin and short body was easily controlled by Meredith as she took Leah's hand and led her over to the bed where she sat down. She pulled Leah forward, and as she reached out to undo Leah's drawstring linen pants, Leah's small hands instinctively went to Meredith's to try to stop her. Meredith immediately stopped.
"Put your hands by your side Leah, right now" She said this kindly but sternly. Leah hung her head, and did as she was told. Meredith continued to undo the knot in the pants, and once it was free she let them fall to the floor, pulled Leah up and over her lap, and wrapped her arm around her small body pulling her closer. Although she had nearly lost her nerve, she saw Leah's white panties covered with little hearts and realized that she was a twelve year old acting like she was thirty. She had been manipulating and controlling her and John and it had to stop now. The childish panties made this clear; she was in fact, only a child.
"From now on I want you to listen to John and I. When we tell you to do something, we expect you to do it. Do you understand?" She said more firmly. Leah nodded her head. "I'd like a real answer please."
"Yes, I understand" Leah sniffled through her tears.
"Good. I don't enjoy doing this, and I don't want to have to do it again. I love you sweetie." And with that Meredith lifted her hand and brought it down with a resounding SLAP on Leah's right cheek, and then left. She continued with this hard and steady rhythm, and before long Leah was verbally expressing her pain.
"Ow! Please, stop, I promise, I'll be good!" Leah cried as Meredith continued to redden her bottom. Although she didn't enjoy what she was doing, and hearing the cries of her sister broke her heart, she knew that in order for this to be effective it had to be painful enough to make a point. She stopped spanking, and Leah, thinking it was over, tried to get up. Meredith only tightened her grip around Leah's tiny waist.
"We're not finished yet" Meredith said quietly, and Leah covered her face with her hands and broke into sobs. Meredith hooked her fingers into the elastic waistband of Leah's panties and pulled them down to her knees. This action made Leah cry even harder. Her shaking scared Meredith, and although she was definately having second thoughts, she knew she had to keep going. With each SLAP Leah seemed to cry and yell harder and louder.
"Mere, PLEASE stop!! It hurts too much! OW!!" Leah cried. Meredith continued to spank her with sharp slaps to the red cheeks that the panties had previously been hugging. Then she moved to her little sister's upper thighs, which caused Leah to cry out even louder. She spanked each thigh over and over until they were a deep shade of purple. By this point Leah had stopped struggling to get away and was just crying. Meredith stopped, pulled her panties back up, and let her cry until she calmed down a bit. Then she helped her to her feet, helped her back into her pants, and pulled her into a big hug and held her there while she cried. After a few minutes Meredith held Leah back and wiped the tears away from her eyes.
"I'm so sorry Meredith" Leah said, still crying.
"It's okay sweetie. No more okay?"
"Okay" As Leah was trying to rub the sting out of her bottom, Meredith gently led her by her upper arm over to the corner, and placed her in it.
"I want you to stay here. You're in time out until I get back. Alright?"
Meredith left Leah's room shaking over what she had just done. She felt horrible, but also felt like she was finally in control of Leah. She went downstairs into the kitchen where John was reading the paper. When he saw her come in he got up and wrapped his strong arms around her and she cried into his loving chest.