Friday, May 24, 2013
Fantasy Boot Camp Part 1
I have been curious. When I first heard about boot camp, I thought it was pretty brutal (by the descriptions I read) and that Hubby would never go for it. And then, on a whim, I bought a Domestic Discipline Boot Camp for Beginners guide by Clint and Chelsea from Learning Domestic Discipline mostly because there was a promo wherein I was able to get the book, the workbook to go with it, and Consistently Inconsistent. The price couldn't be beat. Plus, the boot camp book was for beginners and promised to be easier to do, maybe even something I could get Hubby to agree to. Maybe...
I printed out every page and put them in plastic sleeves in a binder. I highlighted some important notes I wanted to make sure to tell Hubby as I explained what it was and why it would be good for us. And I also told him not to answer me right away, because I wanted him to think about it. There is a lot of work involved, including finding someone to watch the kids for 2 days, and homework aplenty.
Now, before you get all riled up, know that I've read the naysayers points of view. I've researched. But after reading what Clint and Chelsea wrote, I can honestly say that this approach just might work, and for all the right reasons. I really don't care how long they have been in DD or how little experience people seem to think they have. DD and Ttwd is not for everyone and if there is one thing I've learned over the past 11 months is that everyone does it differently. So, if you don't agree with it, I would suggest that you don't read any further.
This is a fantasy post. This has not happened yet. I do have high hopes that it will happen though. I believe it would make all the difference in getting our lives on track; chores, budget, schedules will all be regimented. Boundaries set. Expectations in line with reality. Consequences.
Woke up to the freedom of no kids. Ahhh...wonderful! Of course I was nervous as all get out. I had some idea of what was going to happen, but not everything. And really, Hubby's words always had a tendency to surprise me, so my expectations were that he would catch me off guard more than once during the experience. We had decided ahead of time what homework and punishment exercises we were going to do. Hubby didn't like the word "punishment" so we called it "corrective action".
First thing in the morning, Hubby sat with me and prayed. He wanted to make sure we were addressing our spiritual needs before anything else was to take place. Then, we set out to do our first homework assignment. It took some convincing that a rules list was needed, but Hubby finally acquiesced. We spent quite a bit of time deciding which rules had what consequence. Hubby isn't one to like to spank for every offense. He would much rather get creative. I had some trouble convincing him that a lot of the rules required, at the very least, a spanking. He could add all the creative corrective actions he wanted, but the spanking would get through to me the best.
When breakfast came, I found myself hungry and yet not wanting to eat. I toyed with my english muffin and sipped at my coffee. I almost felt as if I were in a daze. Could this really be happening? We will see...
The lecturing corrective action exercise was next. Boy could that man talk when he had a mind to do it. He had prepared in advance the issues he wished to address. He had a lot of practice with our TnT sessions, so this was a breeze for him. As he escorted me to our room, he told me what we were going to talk about; my projects. Ugh! I knew this would come up sooner or later, I was just hoping it would be later. I have a tendency to start projects and not finish them, or decide on a new project during a time crunch. He hates that. We talked long and hard about it. In the end, I understood his points and promised to do better. He in turn said that he was not done addressing the issue and that it would be the main topic for our journey through boot camp. I was less than thrilled.
We were on to our next homework assignment: the chores list. This one was a long time coming. He had his chores. I had mine but only got them done if absolutely necessary. We divided up the work and outlined the chores to the nth degree. The what, where, when, and how for each chore was charted, graphed, and in all other ways defined. I didn't realize how painful this assignment could be until I put it in the hands of my capable HoH. He was taking this whole thing quite seriously because he realized that if we wanted to live our lives as he imagined, we needed to get the nitty gritty details hammered out. No questions. No wiggle room. Of course, the most hated chores were the meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. I knew that was the one set of chores that would get me in trouble the most.
After lunch, we did another corrective action exercise; corner time. Hubby didn't like the idea of it because he thought that it was something reserved for children. I told him we should rename it then, because I thought that we should at least try it to see if it had any effect on me. We agreed that it would be called "quiet time" instead. I was still to stand in the corner behind our bedroom door, but it was quiet and I could spend time reflecting on whatever we needed to address. This corrective action would be especially handy if Hubby were ever too emotional (angry, frustrated, irritated) to deal with my behavior right away. I would be given instructions on what to think about during my quiet time. Of course, we again focused on my unfinished projects. I was pretty sure I would hate the idea of new projects by the time this was all over. Immediately upon arriving to the corner, I felt an attitude shift. My heart sank to my stomach. I thought about what was said during the lecture. My instructions were to tell him 3 reasons why I needed to finish the projects that I started. While the reasons were easy enough to come up with, I was full of conviction, to the point of tears. The punishment was more effective than either of us imagined. Hubby decided it was a keeper. I really wasn't sure I wanted to do this anymore.
Since this was day one, and so far the hardest and most exhausting thing I had ever done, it was time for more homework. We were about to tackle the thing I hated most; the budget. Hubby had already prepared most of the charts and graphs, he's a geek like that. As he started describing all the aspects of the budget, my eyes glazed over. He saw it happen and decided to put a stop to it immediately. He had me kneel on the floor, took both of my hands in his, and insisted that I look him in the eyes as he began to lecture me on the importance of how we spend our money. I was to fill out the homework while he poured over our financials. He made sure I had the app of his choosing on my phone so that I could keep good record of the ins and outs of our money. He wasn't going to let the topic go until I could answer all of his questions without hesitation. He needed to make sure I got it, because I wouldn't want to face the consequences if I didn't.
By the time dinner rolled around I was famished. Talking about our budget crises really made me hungry. But after dinner all I wanted to do was relax and watch some tube. Hubby did too, but being former military, he took the whole boot camp idea to heart. There was no time for tv. More work was to be done before we could call it a night. Time for another corrective action exercise; line writing. I hated it before it even started. My hand started to cramp up just thinking about it. He wanted 2 pages; I will not start a new project without permission. "Can't I just promise and call it good?" I pleaded. He just smiled and said no. He took away my phone to insure I wouldn't be distracted. I finished in good time and ruefully handed him the papers. I kept my hand out to let him know I wanted my phone back. He gave it back with the caveat that if he ever had to address this same issue in the future, I would have more than a cramped hand.
With that over, we went on to the next homework exercise; Pros and Cons to DD. This exercise was mostly for Hubby. I needed him to understand why this would work for us. He had always struggled with the discipline aspect in Domestic Discipline. I assured him that once he saw how well it worked, he would never want to go back. After all, this wasn't about breaking me, it was about breaking my bad habits and building new ones. This was going to be hard for both of us. But anything worthwhile isn't easy to attain. Together, we could conquer anything.
We had one last corrective action to get through before we could relax for the night. Hubby decided that I should do a chore. I was to clean all the mirrors and windows (ones I could reach). It would be finished completely before the night was over. It wasn't normally something I would think to do, so it made a perfect extra chore. My arms were tired afterward. I was ready to sit down and relax next to Hubby and watch something, anything. I was exhausted. No sooner did I flip up the recliner on the couch than my eyes closed and (according to Hubby) a rhythmic snoring escaped me. He woke me up later to help me stumble into bed. He stroked my cheek and said wonderful things about how proud he was of me and I fell back into a deep, peaceful slumber.
Coming soon: Fantasy Boot Camp Part 2
There is so much more to the Domestic Discipline Boot Camp for Beginners guide by Clint and Chelsea at Learning Domestic Discipline than I "experienced" here. I encourage you to get a copy for your own. You will see that along with an outline of how it should go, there are several more punishment choices and dozens of exercises to chose from. Buy the book and the accompanying workbook if you are at all interested in this. It's not for everyone, but they really did do a good job with this book. I'm glad I bought it!
PS. No, I did not receive any sort of compensation for my endorsement. I wrote this solely because I believe it would work for me.