Wait Till Your Father Gets Home
From behind the barricaded door, I could hear Dad coming up the steps. With big, rough hands, he was the go-to guy if a jar had to be opened, and he could chin himself one-handed. My father was not in the habit of spanking me, especially now that I was a teenager, but I had gone over the line with Mom, and I'd heard her tell him to let me have it.
He knocked on my bedroom door and said quietly, "I'm not gonna hurt you." So I pulled the desk away, and he came in. "I'm gonna start clapping my hands, and you're gonna start crying." And I did! When he stopped, we sat down and talked. He knew why Mom was mad – I had stayed out late the night before and she had locked me out, which meant she'd had to get up to let me in when I finally got home. She didn't upbraid me then, but the next day after school said, "Next time I won't let you back in!" I'd retorted, "Great! No more of your runny scrambled eggs for breakfast!" She chased me up to my room with a broomstick in her hand. I was able to turn her around and push her out the door. And then, of course, she'd said it: "Wait till your father comes home!"
Dad listened to my version and said, "It's only a year till you're eighteen; then you're free. Can you behave till then?" I said yes. "Your mother is just doing her job." He sighed. "And I suppose you're doing yours. But you don't have to insult her." I nodded. He put his hand on my shoulder, stood up, and went back downstairs. I heard Mom say, "You didn't have to hit him so hard!