Clara Does The Dishes
"Ann" & "MK"
A few days after my
niece Clara moved in and had
settled into her new room, I began to assign
her a few chores around the
house. Among these, was doing the
dinner dishes on alternate evenings.
On her first turn, she and I did the dishes
together, she washing, me drying.
I showed her where to put everything away,
explained why kitchen scraps
went onto the compost pile in the garden
rather than into the trash, and
so forth. She was a pleasant and
cheerful little helper throughout.
Indeed, earlier that afternoon she had
vacuumed the entire house without
being asked, and even shamed me into
straightening up my bedroom a bit
by standing in the doorway and crinkling her
nose distastefully at my mess.
Hence I was surprised when, two evenings
later, after we had just finished
dinner and I had reminded her that it was
her night to do the dishes, to
hear her whine, "Aw, Uncle Mark, I don't
"It doesn't matter
whether you 'wanna' or not,
Clara," I chided gently, "Dishes don't clean
person has to do the job for them. And
I am afraid tonight is your
turn to be that person."
She made a face and
looked down at her plate.
"Do them now,
Clara. Otherwise they will
dry out and be harder to get clean."
"Ohhh... OK," she
"Good girl, I said,
patting her on the shoulder
as I walked past her chair and into the
living room. I settled into
the big armchair to read the
newspaper. Clara must have come in and
turned on the TV at some point although I
was too engrossed at the moment
to notice. After finishing a
long feature article, I looked
up from my paper to see her stretched out on
her tummy on the living room
rug in her favorite TV viewing position:
shoes off, chin on fists, legs
from the knees down bent back again over her
thighs, ankles crossed, toes
pointing ceiling ward. I wished I'd
had a camera just then.
She looked awfully cute lying there, her
golden brown hair tied in a white
satin bow, dressed in a navy blue sweater, a
blue and white plaid pleated
skirt, and pale blue knee socks.
I have always adored my
two little nieces.
Ever since Clara and her sister Ginny were
very small I was their doting
Uncle Mark, playing with them, taking them
places, buying them gifts, and
generally spoiling them, all to their
considerable delight. Never
had I imagined that I would wind up raising
one of them someday.
The auto accident which killed my sister and
brother-in-law came as a complete
thunderbolt, of course, and having a little
girl to raise has certainly
changed my lifestyle. Not that I
object, mind you. The alternative
for Clara would have been an institution or
foster care, and I couldn't
allow that. Her only other available
relative, a paternal grandmother living
on a fixed income, could only manage one of
the girls but not both of them.
Clara's sister is quieter and would be
easier for an elderly lady to take
care of, so I agreed to take Clara.
The formal adoption process continues
with glacial slowness, but eventually the
current arrangement will become
Clara is smart, bright
as a whip, with a sunny
disposition. Her presence can brighten
up any room she sets her mind
to brightening. She is inquisitive,
loves to learn, and is an avid
reader. Her keen little mind is full
of questions about everything,
many of which send me scurrying to the
encyclopedia in refuge from my
She is very affectionate and knows how to
charm me into near helplessness
when she wants something from me. She
can be moody, though, and she
definitely has a will of her own. Put
bluntly, she can be a real
handful at times. Of course, I suppose
that is not at all uncommon
in a girl her age. At any rate, it has
taken a major effort on my
part to shift roles from indulgent Uncle to
primary parent figure, with
the increased need for authority which that
"Ummm," she replied
absently, eyes still glued
to the TV screen.
"Did you finish washing
I laid my paper
aside. "The dishes are to
be done immediately after supper,
Clara. You know that. I want
you to go into the kitchen and wash them at
She suddenly turned her
gaze from the screen for
the first time, fixing me with her most
beguiling pout, "Please Uncle Mark!
Please just let me finish watching this
show! Please? Oh ple-e-ease?!"
"Well..." I paused,
frowning. "Well... all
right. But after your show ends, no
more TV until you have finished
the dishes. Is that understood.?"
"Uh huh," she said,
staring at the screen once
I retreated behind my
paper again, a little cross
with myself for my lack of firmness. I
have a real difficulty saying
'no' to her sometimes, a habit born
from years of avuncular indulgence.
A good bit of time
passed while I read the rest
of the features, the editorials, the
funnies, and scanned the help-wanteds
for a part-time job to help meet the added
expenses of sudden step parenthood.
When I set the paper down and glanced at my
watch I knew that Clara's show
had ended 19 minutes ago and she hadn't
budged from her place.
"Clara," I said
sharply, determined to assert
myself this time, "turn off the television
and do the dishes at once."
"In a minute," she said
absently, without looking
away from the screen.
` "No. Not
'in a minute.' Right
now!" I walked over and turned off the
TV, provoking a wail of indignation
from my niece. "Do as you're told," I
commanded, pointing towards
"NO FAIR!" cried Clara
sullenly, springing to
her feet and glowering up at me, arms folded
across her chest.
"Clara," I rumbled
ominously, feeling my temper
begin to rise, "Do you want a
spanking?" I waited. I had
spanked her once before, the first night she
moved in. So she knew
I meant it. Pouting, she lowered her
gaze but said nothing.
"Answer me!" I snapped. A moment
passed. Then, sulkily, she
murmured the word "no" almost under her
breath. "Clara, I am not
going to ask you again. You have two
choices. You can do the
dishes this instant. Or if you
prefer, I can take you over
my knee right now and spank you.
then you can do
the dishes. Which would you prefer?"
With a petulant glance
over her shoulder, she
stomped off into the kitchen without a word,
slamming the door behind her.
I took a deep breath and counted to
ten. I wish it weren't necessary
to lay down the law that way, but sometimes
I just don't know what else
to do with that child. The clatter of
plates being angrily scraped
and stacked into the sink receded as I
mounted the stairs to my bedroom.
For a couple of hours,
I sat in front of the computer,
trying to make some headway with the novel,
but things just weren't coming
together. The feeling of financial
pressure, the sense that I had
to hurry up and publish the darned thing,
wasn't doing wonders for my creative
powers. Difficult though she can be on
occasions, I love Clara with
all my heart, as much as any father could
love a daughter, I think.
She is so deserving - I really want the very
best for her. But the
very best costs money. I inherited her
unpaid dental bills.
She needs a new soccer uniform, school
supplies, new shoes.
Then there's her dancing lessons; they are
expensive but I'd just hate
to have to ask her to give them up, knowing
how much they mean to her.
When I realized I had
been staring at the flashing
cursor on the screen for over ten minutes,
thinking about expenses, and
hadn't written a word, I knew it was time
for a coffee break. I hit
the 'Save' command and walked to the door as
the disk drive softly crunched
my latest efforts onto vinyl.
The hallway, like the
rest of the house, was dark
except for a flood of light across the
hallway from Clara's room.
Clara turns off lights assiduously.
She is concerned about helping
the environment by saving energy, and her
chidings have prodded me to be
a bit less careless about such things
myself. I paused by her door
and quietly looked in on her, curled up on
her bed, absorbed in her Judy
Blume novel. I felt an upwelling of
protective tenderness for my
little girl as I watched her. She
didn't notice my presence, and
I thought it best not to interrupt her with
the kiss-and-a-hug I felt like
giving all of a sudden. It was almost
her bedtime. I would
save it for when I tucked her in.
Quietly, I descended
the stairs and made my way
through the dim living room into the
kitchen. A slight movement caught
my eye as I turned on the kitchen light - a
roach scurring for cover under
the pile of unwashed dishes in the
sink. Clara still hadn't
finished the dishes, even after the scene
we'd had earlier! I was
suddenly furious and in an abrupt change of
mood, had the impulse to charge
upstairs and give her the spanking I had
promised her right then and there.
But I remembered what my dear mother, rest
her soul, used to say, "Never
spank a child in anger," and the memory of
Mom's cooler head prevailed
over my own.
So I poured myself a
cup from the coffee maker,
sat down at the table, sipped, and
thought. I was mighty steamed
at Clara. Here I was knocking myself
out to try and support her and
I couldn't even get that girl to do the
dishes once in awhile! Clara
had disobeyed me three times over those
dishes, first at the table, then
in the living room, and now this - strike
three. I took several long
sips of my coffee, which was starting to
cool off some. Clearly Clara
needed to be spanked. I wished it
weren't necessary, but the child
had, in effect, thrown down the gauntlet,
challenging my authority head-on.
She wanted to see exactly where her limits
were. Once I finished
my coffee, I would show her.
I took my time drinking
the lukewarm dregs of
my cup, steeling myself to properly
discipline my stepchild. At length,
I set down the empty cup, took a deep
breath, rose and walked into the
living room, flicking on the light as I
"Clara!?! Come down
here! Now!" I bellowed
from the foot of the stairs. I heard
her bedsprings creak and the
scampering of small, stockinged feet in the
upstairs hallway. My
tone of voice had left no doubt in her mind
that she was in trouble.
As she hurried down the
steps toward me
she said, a little too cheerily, "Hi, Uncle
Mark, I was just... uh... gonna...
um, do the dishes now!"
"Not so fast, young
lady," I replied, taking hold
of her sweatered arm as she tried to slip
past me toward the kitchen.
I turned her to face me. "Did I or did
I not tell you over two hours
ago to do the dishes right away?" I
inquired, sternly. "Clara...
look at me when I am speaking to you!"
"Yes, Uncle Mark," she
said, hesitantly, still
not quite meeting my gaze.
"And what did I say was
going to happen if you
do as you were told?"
She bit her lip and
shifted position uncomfortably,
eyes darting from side to side looking in
every direction except mine,
as she tried to think her way out of her
predicament. I repeated
the question, but Clara merely swallowed
hard and shrugged her shoulders
as if she couldn't remember.
"When I tell you to do
something, Clara, I expect
prompt obedience the first time I ask.
Not 'in a minute' or three
hours later. Dinner was over three
hours ago and the dishes still
haven't been done. You've been a very
bad girl!" Keeping a
firm hold on her arm I lead her across the
room to the sofa. She
followed reluctantly by my side, wide brown
eyes gazing up at me, face
etched with anxious concern. "Well?" I
demanded as I seated myself
on the edge of the sofa, and stood her in
front of me, "What do you
have to say for yourself, young lady?"
"I-I'm sorry, Uncle
Mark, honest I am!
I-I didn't mean to! I
just...um... forgot... I guess..."
Her voice trailed off. She looked at
me, then down at my lap, then
back at me again. Suddenly, unable to
contain herself any longer,
out popped the question foremost in her
mind. "Uncle Mark a-are you..."
she paused and swallowed, "...are you
g-gonna spank me?!?"
I allowed the question
to hang in the air for
several seconds while she fidgeted
anxiously. Then, softly but with
great finality, I answered her
question. "Yes Clara. I am going
to spank you."
Clara in alarm as I drew her
firmly down across my left leg. All at
once I had a frantically kicking
bundle of resistance on my hands as my
little girl strove to squirm into
any position except the one she knew I
intended. I made a mental
note to do something about this defiant
behavior of hers, but for the moment
I concentrated on bringing her under
control. After just a few moments
her two thighs were securely pinned between
my own and her wrists held
tightly in my left hand. Clara's feet
were touching the floor, but
her face and chest were on the sofa.
The little plaid seat of her
skirt was centered across my left thigh.
"So, you say you are
sorry and you forgot," I
intoned, lightly patting her rump as I
spoke. "Well, young lady,
I promise you will feel an awful lot sorrier
in a minute. Uncle Mark is
going to give you something you won't forget
for a very long time."
Helpless across my lap,
Clara looked back imploringly
over her right shoulder. As I tucked
her skirt and slip up above
her waist, exposing the seat of her pale
blue panties, she tried desperately
to negotiate a bargain of some sort. I
couldn't help smiling just
a bit as I noticed that her little cotton
briefs, covered with small blue
floral designs, perfectly matched her light
blue knee socks. When
Clara decides to dress in matching colors,
she goes all the way!
I paid no heed to her
pleas for second chances
or proposals for alternative
punishments. She had already had three
chances, and I was determined to give her
the spanking she deserved.
Her entreaties took on a new timbre of
urgency as I took hold of the waistband
of her panties. She frantically
offered to do the dishes
every night for a month as she felt me pull
them across the summits of
her buttocks and down, well past her little
rounded backside. I felt
a pang of regret as I tugged the small
garment as far as it would go, baring
her from her waist to the middle of her
thighs. Her soft, clear skin
looked so very sensitive, framed between her
lowered panties and the disheveled
blue and white heap of her raised
skirts. My poor dear, little
I was really and truly about to spank
her! How I wished it weren't
necessary! But unfortunately, her
conduct had left me with no alternative.
"Young lady, you were
told to do the dishes and
you disobeyed me. I am afraid I am
going to have to give you a good
old-fashioned spanking on your-" Clara, her
eyes moistening with tears,
broke in at this moment with wailing pleas
and entreaties of redoubled
urgency. "Clara, hush! And don't
interrupt when I am speaking to
you!" I admonished sharply, "As I was
saying, you are going to be spanked
on your bare bottom for not doing the
dishes. However, it was also
very naughty of you to try and resist me
just now when I took you over
my lap. From now on, when it is time
for a spanking, I expect you
to lie down over my lap like a good
girl. Do you understand?"
Miserably, she nodded assent. "For
struggling, you will receive a
separate spanking on your thighs."
Before she could
protest, I raised my hand high
and gave my stepchild a good, solid swat
squarely across the spot she sits
on. I was startled when she let out a
piercing shriek, as if she
were being murdered. I knew it must
have hurt. A faint pink
outline of my hand was already starting to
appear across the surfaces of
her two bottom cheeks. But it couldn't
have hurt that much.
Then, my hand still frozen in mid-air, I
remembered my late sister, Clara's
mother, jokingly telling me about her eldest
daughter's technique of screaming
loudly at the onset of a spanking in the
hope of earning less punishment.
Clara was up to her old tricks.
Ignoring her racket, I began to administer
steady, hard wallops with my palm, always to
the same spot, so that the
sensation she experienced would grow with
each spank. After just
a few of these, her voice cracked and the
fakey screams vanished as she
burst into tears. All at once, she no
longer sounded like a murder
victim, but like a dearly loved but rather
naughty young child, receiving
a well deserved spanking across her parent's
As each swat landed
upon the sobbing little girl's
smarting posterior, her wails of discomfort
grew in urgency, and the pink
hue of her bottom grew more
noticeable. Still, I did not ease up,
but continued spanking my child as
emphatically as before, and ignoring
the nagging unpleasant sensations from my
own palm. I didn't
want to have to do this in the future any
more often than I could avoid.
So there would be no half measures for Clara
now, only a thoroughly
sound spanking. This needed to be a
punishment which would
leave a lasting impression on my
child. I simply had to impress upon
her that in this house willful disobedience
carried a heavy price.
Perhaps in the future she would do as she
was told the first time,
and not force me to bring matters to this
juncture; but only if I steeled
my heart against her cries, poignant though
they were, and resisted the
impulse to let her off lightly.
Clara turned her head
to one side on the sofa
and continued to bawl as I continued to
smack her bottom in a steady,
measured rhythm. Moist strands of hair
which had come loose from
her hair ribbon were pasted across her
flushed, tear moistened cheeks.
I paused for a minute to give my smarting
palm a rest while Clara continued
to cry as hard as before. There was
nothing the least bit fakey about
her tears. Her bottom was by now a sore
looking shade of pink. I
decided she had been sufficiently punished
on that part of her anatomy
for not doing the dishes, and I wished my
paternal disciplinary duty were
over. But Clara had also misbehaved in
another way that evening.
So I began to give crisp, stinging slaps
across the backs of her thighs,
just below the base of her buttocks,
first one thigh, then the other,
and back again. She howled from
surprise as much as from pain as
her punishment resumed in this new and
unfamiliar way - kicking her
legs from the knees down and wriggling and
squirming over my knee from
the sting as I gave her about a dozen on
each plump little thigh.
In fact, as I administered the last half
dozen smacks, I noticed that she
had kicked one of her knee socks half
off, it's lower half flailing
up and down in the air with each kick.
At last, Clara's
punishment was truly over, although
I continued to hold her in position.
As my well spanked little niece
lay bawling across my knee, I gingerly
raised her flowery blue panties
until they were snugly in place once again
over the hot, smarting cheeks
of her bottom. Then I smoothed Clara's
slip and skirt back into place
around her legs and released her wrists,
permitting her to rub her hind
parts while her tears, sobs and sniffles
gradually diminished. But
I kept my hand resting lightly on her back
to indicate that she did not
yet have permission to get up.
When I felt that she
had regained enough
to listen to directions, I gently guided her
to her feet. A
thoroughly chastened, submissive little girl
stood before me
Red, puffy eyes downcast, still blubbering
weepily, she kept both hands
over her backside, except to briefly wipe
each side of her tear soaked
face on a fuzzy sleeve of her sweater.
"Clara, it is your turn
to do the dishes tonight,"
I said, in a soft, calm tone of voice.
"Please wash the dishes at
once. When you are finished, come tell
me and I will check to make
sure you did a good job. Is that
Meekly, she nodded her
head, stammered "Y-yes,
Uncle M-M-Mark," and walked straight to the
kitchen without another word,
stopping only to pull up her loose sock.
Standing on a small
stool, Clara promptly washed
everything in the sink, pausing at intervals
to rub the seat of her skirt
with her knuckles. When she was
finished, I praised her warmly for
the excellent job she had done. Then I
instructed her to go upstairs,
wash, brush, and get ready for bed.
After this, I added, she was
to come back downstairs to have a little
talk with me. Again, she
obeyed immediately without a hint of
Awhile later, Clara
reappeared clad in her nightie,
and sat down gingerly on the sofa beside me,
regarding me with soft brown
eyes opened wide. I spoke gently to
her, explaining that I was sorry
I'd had to give her a spanking, but that she
simply must learn to
do as she was told. Her obedience to
my word was essential if I was
to nurture her, protect her, and guide her
on the path to womanhood.
I would expect obedience from her always,
whether it meant doing the dishes
the first time she was asked, or lying down
properly across my lap when
it was time for a spanking.
And although I hoped it would never become
necessary again, she must
expect to be spanked each and every time she
disobeyed. Her eyes
moistened and her lower lip quivered as she
apologized for not doing the
dishes and for resisting her discipline, and
she promised to be a better
behaved girl from now on. Although I
had planned to lecture her further,
I could see she was on the verge of tears,
and that she had learned her
lesson. My heart melted and I put my
arms around my child and drew
her onto my lap. I rocked and cuddled
her and smoothed her hair as
I told her how much I would always treasure
her, and that she would always
be Uncle Mark's very special little
girl. Clara relaxed and
nestled her head against my chest. I
held my precious cargo closely
while she closed her eyes and drifted
contentedly towards sleep.
After a good quarter of
an hour in my arms, I
patted her bottom lightly and
whispered. "It's past your bedtime,
and it's a school night. So off
you go now."
But instead of obeying,
she just held on tighter
than before, looking up at me with a giggly
impish smile. "Carry
me!" she chirped. So I carried her in
my arms all the way up the
steps, down the hall, right up to her
bedside. After she had said
her prayers, I tenderly tucked her under the
covers and gave her a goodnight
kiss before bidding her pleasant dreams.
(c) Handprince 2001