My friend John and I worked together. We went to the pub, watched the football, and chatted up women, even though we were both married. Things changed when John got caught cheating. He was the picked up in their car every night by his wife Marion.. At the weekend I never saw him, and whenever I phoned, she would answer and always say that he was not able to come to the phone.
One Friday, I decided to try once more and so, at 5:30, I rang to invite John out for a drink at 7:30. As usual his wife answered, however this time, instead of abruptly fobbing me off she started telling me a most extraordinary tale. She told me that John wasn't able to go out any longer because at this precise moment she was getting him ready for bed. His bedtime was 6pm she told me. By 7.30, she said, he would be in bed, fast asleep. If I wanted to, she added, I could quickly wish him night- night as he had just brushed his teeth and was coming back from the bathroom as she spoke.
At the other end of the line I could hear a conversation. "Come and say night-night to your friend like a good little boy." I heard Marion say. Then John's voice, "no, no, Marion. Please don't make me talk to Mike. I'll die of shame."
"I know you'll be getting a smacked botty and spend all day tomorrow in beddy-byes if you don't do as you are told." She ordered, before I heard John's trembling voice at the end of the line.
"Hello, Mike, sorry but I can't talk ... er ... I'm feeling a bit poorly so I'm going to bed. Have a nice weekend. Bye." His wife again took the receiver and told me "Goodbye, Michael, John has to go to sleepy-byes now," then she hung up.
It was all very puzzling. Mike avoided me all week at work, so I was surprised the next Friday when I came home and my wife Susan, told me Marion had invited us around for a chat. So, at 4.30 we drove to his house. Marion asked us in. She was forty one, a good few years older than Mike and about seven inches taller. In fact, now that I thought about it, the similarities between Johns wife and my own were remarkable. They were both older and somewhat taller than us and, although we pretended otherwise when we were chatting up other women, they both wore the trousers in our homes.
John and Marion had been married for eighteen months, it was John's first marriage and I remember thinking at the time how she had pursued him like a lioness stalks her prey. She was attractive, but to me she always unflattering clothes and never any makeup. That afternoon, as she answered the door she was wearing a plain, black skirt and a white, long sleeved blouse, buttoned at the neck. She looked like a strict school ma'am I thought as we followed her in.
She led us into the living room. John sat on the sofa looking extremely nervous, Marion offered us tea. "Tea?" I said laughing, don't be daft, let's have a beer together. He just shook his head. This wasn't the John I knew, then Marion said, "John doesn’t drink alcohol any longer do you John?" He shook his head in half-hearted agreement. "Those days are over, when he drank, it only led to bad behaviour, as you know all about Michael." She said pointedly.
We drank our tea in a rather awkward atmosphere, at least it was between me and John. Marion and my wife chatted happily away until Marion suddenly said, "John, isn't it time for you to go and get ready for beddy-byes?"
John flushed bright red, but rose to his feet and answered, "Yes mu… Marion." And disappeared upstairs. I was astonished, and although I had overheard the strange exchange they had had last week, I had dismissed it from my mind.
I was even more astonished when, five minutes later, John re-entered the room wearing the kind of nightgown that an eleven year old girl would have refused to put on. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The nightie was made from soft flannelette material and was full length. To make matters worse it was pink and covered with a blue floral motif. John like me, wasn't a particularly tall guy, so the hem of his nightie brushed the carpet. Just peeking out from beneath the hem I could see that we was also wearing pink, fur lined slippers. He hurried past me, unable to look me in the eye and stood in front of Marion, who was calmly sipping her tea.
"Please Marion," he began, "would you please button up my nightie for me?" His nightie had a frilled bodice and a frilly neckline that buttoned at the back. Obviously he was unable to fasten the buttons himself.
"Now, now John, you know the rule. You wouldn't want to go across mummy's lap for a smacked botty in front of our guests would you? What must you call me when you are dressed, ready for beddy-byes?" I could see his face brighten a deep red once again and he swallowed deeply, his lips moved, but at first no sound came from then until his voice croaked into life.
"Would you please button up my nightie for me mummy" he said, in a weak, pathetic voice. Marion laughed delightedly and duly took his shoulders, then turned him around to button up his nightie for him. "There now, mummy's little angel is all ready for beddy-byes isn't he," she asked in a sing-song voice as though she was talking to a toddler. Now, be mummy's good little helper and pour our guests some more tea before you toddle of to sleepy-byes, it's almost six o'clock and time for beddies."
John's hands trembled as he filled our cups. Once he had finished, Marion prompted him, "say goodnight to your friends and I will take you up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire my angel."
He still couldn't look at me and kept his eyes firmly on the floor as he bid us goodnight and they left the room. Marion towered above him as John clutched her hand as if he were a toddler.
We could hear his plodding footsteps on the stairs as he made his way up, and we could hear Marion scolding him as she followed him. "I didn't like your attitude one little bit John. I may have to consider an earlier bedtime for you if you don't buck your ideas up."
I was stunned by what I had just witnessed, although strangely Susan had been curiously quiet, and appeared to be much more accepting of the whole incident than I was. But before I could challenge her Marion reappeared and I cleared my throat, nervously I plucked up the courage to ask why my friend was being humiliated by her in such a manner.
Marion calmly put her cup down, placed her hands in her lap and smiled sweetly at me. "This all started," she began, "when I hired an investigator to follow the pair of you and found out what you got up to on your "boys" nights out. That was when I decided John should be punished for cheating on me with early bedtimes. I decided I would keep him here at home, where I knew where he would be safely tucked up in bed like the naughty little boy he was."
She took another sip of her tea before continuing. "I found that putting him across my lap and smacking his bottom as if he was a naughty child, which in my eyes, he is, as well as putting him to bed early, worked very well. John became more obedient and well mannered, so I decided he would have a regular, permanent early bedtime from then on. On work days I drive him home because I want him ready for beddies as soon as possible. He showers and puts on either, a long nightgown as you have seen him wearing, or, a pair of little boy pyjamas that I have had especially sewn for him. Then he goes to bed at six o'clock on the dot every night, seven days a week, with lights out and straight to sleep. It means I can relax here at home in the knowledge that John is safely tucked into bed upstairs."
She paused for a moment to brush non-existent crumbs from her lap then went on explaining his new early bedtime regime.
"On weekends, he is not allowed out of the house unless I accompany him. Although his bedtime remains at six, I put him into his nightclothes when I deem it suitable. On Saturday mornings he has housework to do. I make him do his chores dressed in his childish pyjamas, so that, if it suits me, I can put him to bed with a sore bottom after lunch if he has not worked well enough."
She paused, as though waiting for me to say something, but I was too shocked at what I was hearing to say a word.
"I have control of all the finances. I have told him that if he wants a divorce, he can have one. But with my evidence of his infidelity, I will walk away with the house and all the money Alternatively, we can remain married, but he must obey me and live the lifestyle of a naughty little boy who will be permanently punished for his past failings, that, as you have witnessed, is the decision he has made."
What an evil bitch, I thought as I excused myself. I went upstairs, intending to take the opportunity to see John. I tried his door, but it was locked. The key was in the lock so I turned it. His room was in the dark, but I could just see John lying in bed. I also heard him crying on his pillow so I silently closed and locked the door again to avoid embarrassing him further.
Back downstairs, I mentioned that I had heard John sobbing in his bed. Marion burst out laughing and said John was merely proving what a wimp and a baby he was. His early bedtime, she said, was very fitting. I also mentioned that John appeared to be locked in his bedroom. "Yes he is," she answered, "that is so he can't get up and sneak out without my permission, although, apart from his nightgowns and pyjamas there are no normal clothes in his bedroom so he would be a sight to see dressed so childishly." Again laughed, this time uproariously at her own comment.
I asked what happened if John needed to use the bathroom, after all, I said, he is tucked up in bed for a long time each night. Her reply amazed me further. She told us that John had a potty beside his bed, so he had no need to visit the bathroom, but instead would use the potty like a small child. I was shocked, but my wife surprised me by actually appearing amused by it all.
Coming back home, my wife insisted on driving. She was silent with a face that told me she was annoyed. I wanted to discuss what we had witnessed and tried to start a conversation. I obviously took John's side and was saying how awful it was and that he should not put up with being treated like a small child by Marion. Immediately Susan became angry and replied that John was, "a bad little boy who deserves to be punished for his womanising and a baby‘s bedtime and wearing nighties is an appropriate punishment in my opinion."
Once we were indoors Susan removed her coat and quickly grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back. "Oww, stop you are hurting me." I cried surprised by this sudden attack. Susan had never been afraid to overpower me to show who was the boss. She had been a junior champion at one of the martial arts, but this time I detected a real sense of menace behind her actions. Susan led me upstairs to the spare bedroom. "Darling, what…what are you doing?" I asked, in an attempt to pacify her.
"Did you think Marion hadn't told me what she discovered you fool," she spat. I know full well that you were just as bad as John and I knew and approved of her plan to punish John the way we saw earlier. And now, my little cheating bunny rabbit it's your turn, start getting undressed now!" It was my turn to swallow hard. "You can’t really be serious, " I asked, fearful of her intentions.
"On the contrary, I never have been more serious, clothes off now!. At that moment, my guilty conscience left me unable to argue with my angry wife. I only could pitifully stutter, "Er… w…well, darling. If you think it's for the best… I… I’ll get into bed…"
She curtly added, "hurry up!"
As I prepared to undress she turned down the bedclothes, but as she face me she became angry at my slowness and she yanked down my trousers and underpants, thrust my arms upward and ripped off my tee-shirt then shoved me onto the bed where she pulled my socks off. Now totally naked, I suddenly felt embarrassed and went to pull the bedclothes over me. My wife stopped me.
"Oh no my little bunny rabbit, did you think you were going to escape that easily. Up you get, that's it stand up." She opened the dresser drawer and took out a pair of yellow pyjamas. They were made from soft brushed cotton and had pictures of blue bunny rabbits emblazoned upon them. "No, no please Susan, not that I don't want to wear those pyjamas," I pleaded. However she just ignored me and I sobbed as she stepped me into the pyjama bottoms and buttoned me into the pyjama jacket. It buttoned all the way to the neck and she turned me around to look at myself in the wardrobe mirror.
"Well now, who's a cute little babykins in his bunny wabbit jim-jams," she gloated as though she was talking to a toddler. I stared at my reflection, I was a toddler, wearing my fully buttoned, yellow, bunny rabbit pyjamas that were at least a size too big. Susan was crouched behind me grinning triumphantly.
"Don't you look sweet my little Bunny Wunny," she continued to tease. "I asked Marion's friend to make you these humiliating pyjamas as a special surprise for you and tomorrow we will visit her again and you will pick out your fabric for three more pairs of little boy pyjamas and three nighties just like John's so that you can be tucked into beddy-byes wearing different jammies and nighties every day of the week, aren't you a lucky wittle bunny wabbit?"
By now I was sobbing uncontrollably as I realised I was going to have to endure the same punishment as John. "Your womanising days are over. You are now permanently under my control and as such will have early bedtimes and wear your nightclothes for the foreseeable future. Now, snuggle down. " Susan ordered, "and mummykins will tuck you into sleepy-byes!"
Her statement about making my bedtime punishment permanent was shocking enough, but now I looked at her wide eyed, surely she didn't mean….
"Yes that's right, you are now my ickle Bunny Wunny and you will call me mummykins." She confirmed, then added ."Unlike John, who only has to call Marion mummy when he is dressed for beddy-byes, you will call me mummykins at all times, regardless of who is present. I don't care if a room is full of your friends from work, mummykins is my name, understand Bunny Wunny?"
Still sobbing, I nodded tearfully as she put me to bed with a smack on my pyjama clad bottom. She pulled the blankets up and turned on the bedside lamp then leant out of the window to close the shutters. Our neighbour must have been at her window opposite as I heard my wife call across to her. "I just put my hubby Bunny Wunny to beddy-byes … Oh no, he isn’t ill, he is quite well, only today is the start of his new early bedtime regime … Thanks, I‘ll tell him … OK, bye."
She closed the shutters and the window, then drew the curtains. "Jocelyn told me to wish you nite-nite. It’s sleepy-byes time for you. Straight to sleep now and don’t dare get up, else… I’ll check on you later."
She gathered my clothes up and opened the door, ready to leave. "But what if I need the bathroom?" I asked despairingly, fearful of her answer.
Susan laughed and smirked as she spoke. "Don't worry about that little Bunny Wunny, I’ll borrow a child's potty from mum, you can use that if you need to." I started to sob again.