LIFE'S LESSONS: PUNISHED
by Tracy

London,
October 1, 1780

Kennedy Manor's gardens were extraordinary! It was a square mile and had ten foot stone walls surrounded the massive garden, with walk-ways that went all around the grounds. Four beautiful round cement ponds with fountains in them were centered between the walk-ways that ran beside the walls and the walk-ways that went up both sides of the ten oblong cement ponds in the center of the yard that streched from the far wall to the bottom of the grand stairs that led to the large terrece. There were all kinds of flowers planted along the walk ways, and bird baths at every corner where the walk-ways met.

Nurse Dorothy McCarter took the children on walks through the gardens every morning, and little Archie Kennedy did not miss one flower, bird, or bug along the way. He loved the garden, and was very excited every time she took him. They would spend the entire morning in the garden, finding all kinds of life. It was Archie's favorite time of the day.

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October 21, 1780

"Why 'ou goin'?" Little Archie asked his nurse as she packed her bag.

"My sister is ill." Dorothy said, "An' she wants t' see me."

" 'ou come back?" Archie looked up at her sadly.

"O' course." She leaned down and kissed his soft, cherub cheek, "I love ye, lamb. I'll be back. I just have t' take care o' my sister until she feels better."

"I hope she get bettew." Archie said.

Dorothy smiled. He was such a sweet child! "I'll tell her ye wish her well."

"When 'ou come back?" Archie cocked his head.

"I'll only be gone fer a few days." Dorothy told him.

Little Archie sat down on her bed, looking downcast, and said softly, "I miss 'ou."

"Archie," Dorothy reached down and picked up the two year old to embrace him, "I'll miss ye, too."

" 'ou come back to me." Archie kissed his nurse's cheek.

"O' course I will." Dorothy kissed Archie's cheek once more, "I love ye, Archie."

A knock came to the door, "Miss McCarter, your coach is here."

"Tell him I'm comin', please." Dorothy called.

She put Archie down on the floor and picked up her bag, "Let's go, Archie."

Archie sadly followed his nurse out the door and Dorothy picked him up to carry him down the stairs. The Kennedy family stood at the door to see her off.

"I pray your sister recovers soon, Dorothy." Elizabeth told her, "Please take all the time you need."

"Thank ye, M'lady." Dorothy curtsied to her.

"If you need anything, Dorothy," Richard said, "and I mean anything at all, just let us know."

"Thank ye, M'lord." Dorothy gave him a curtsy, "It's very kind o' ye."

"Nonesense, lass." Richard shook his head, "You are a part of this family."

"Thank ye, M'lord." Dorothy kissed Archie's cheek again, then put him down on the floor to embrace the other children, "Farewell, my lambs. I'll miss ye all."

The children all expressed how they would miss her, and Dorothy gave Richard and Elizabeth a quick curtsy, then turned and hurried to the coach, not wanting to hear what she knew was coming.

As she climbed into the coach, little Archie began to cry, wrapping his arms around his mother's skirt, and buried his face in it to cry.

Elizabeth reached down and picked her little son up, "Hush, my precious. Hush."

"I miss Nuwrse Dowfy!" Archie sobbed.

"I know, dear." Elizabeth said softly, "But she will be back in a few days."

"Who gon' a take cawre o' me?" Archie sniffed.

"We will take care of you, precious." Elizabeth told him, "Now we need to get dressed for dinner."

Elizabeth took Archie up to his room to get him.

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After dinner, Elizabeth bathed Archie, and his father dried him.

"I not wan' a go a s'eep." Archie pouted, "Nuwse Dowfy not in dewe wif me."

"But we will be right here, Archie." Richard told him as he dressed his little son, "And we will hear you if you need us."

When Richard took Archie to his bed chambers and sat down in the rocking chair, Archie began to cry.

"All right, my little laddie. All right." Richard sighed and stood, "You can sleep with us. But just tonight."

Little Archie wrapped his small arms around his father's neck, sniffed, and kissed his cheek, "T'ank 'ou, Papa."

"But," Richard carried him back to their chambers and put him down on the bed, "you are laying down right now and going to sleep."

" 'es, Papa." Archie slipped under the blanket and sadly smiled up at his father.

Richard sat down on the bed, watching his little son, and just could not resist. He pulled the blanket down and Archie's night shirt up and pressed his lips on the little boy's belly, blowing on it. Archie giggled.

"Do not do that!" Elizabeth sighed heavily, "He will not go to sleep if you do."

"I 'ike Papa a p'ay wif me!" Archie giggled.

"Well, it is time for bed." Elizabeth told him, "You can play tomorrow."

" 'ou p'ay wif me a'mowow, Papa?" Archie asked.

"Yes, my little laddie." Richard lay down next to his little son, "But only if you go to sleep right now."

"I go a s'eep, Papa." Archie closed his eyes and put his thumb in his mouth, snuggling up against his father.

Richard wrapped his arm around the small toddler, and Archie wrapped his little arm around his father's arm, squeezing against him. Smiling, Elizabeth put the lamps out and climbed into bed.

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October 11, 1780

Archie awoke the same time every morning, and this morning was no exception. He smiled at seeing his Mama and Papa next to him, then said, "I hungwy, Mama."

Elizabeth smiled, "Good morning, my precious angel." She rolled over and kissed Archie's cheek.

Archie wrapped his arms around Elizabeth's neck, "I lobe 'ou, Mama."

"I love you, Archie." Elizabeth got up and began to get dressed.

Richard pulled his son on top of himself and started pretending to bite the child's belly. Archie giggled, kicking wildly.

 

 

After Elizabeth was dressed, she took the very excited Archie to his chambers to dress him.

Archie suddenly thought of his nurse and became sad. He missed her. Then he though of something, " 'ou gon' a take me t' walk in da gawden?"

"Oh no, angel," Elizabeth said, "I have company coming over this morning. I cannot take you for a walk."

Archie lowered his head, pouting.

"I will have your grandmother take you for a walk." Elizabeth toldd him.

" 'ou will?" Archie brightened a bit.

"Yes, my love." Elizabeth kissed the soft little cheek, "Let us go have breakfast."

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After breakfast, Catherine took the children out on the terrece. Archie was not allowed to go into the garden without his nurse, but the other children, being older, were allowed to, so they hurried off to play as they always did.

" 'et's go, Gwan'muddew!" Archie pulled on her hand.

Catherine sat down in one of the chairs, "I am not your nurse, and I will not play with you."

Archie's face fell, "Nuwse Dowfy always take me in da gawden."

"I am not Nurse Dorothy." Catherine opened her book.

Archie lowered his head, pouting. Then sat down on the stone terrece and began to cry.

"Stop it!" Catherine snapped.

"I wan' a go walk in da gawden!" Archie sobbed.

"Then go!" Catherine said.

"I not 'aposed a go alone."

"Go!" Catherine said sternly.

Archie turned and slowly made his way down the steps. He started looking at the flowers, picking some beautiful flowers for his mother as he wondered through the garden.

After about ten minutes, Catherine got up and walked into the house.

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Coming down the stairs, Richard looked out of the beautiful window on the first landing, and saw little Archie alone in the garden. Letting out a huff, he hurried down the stairs and out to the terrece, "Archie!"

Archie jumped and turned to see his father coming towards him.

"Archie Nicholas Robert Kennedy, you know you are not supposed to come to the garden alone!" Richard snatched him up and carried him to one of the stone benches.

"Gwan'muddew say...."

"You are never to disobey your us." Richard said sternly as he sat down on the bench and pulled down Archie's breeches.

Archie took in a starled breath, "What 'ou do, Papa?"

"You are being punished." Richard told him as he turned Archie over his knee and bagan spanking the bare little bottom.

Archie started crying. He did not understand why his Papa was hurting him.

When he was finished with the spanking, Richard stood Archie on the ground and pulled up his breeches.

Still crying, Archie looked up at his father with his little lip quivering, and sobbed in a trembling voice, "Why 'ou huwt me, Papa?"

"I spenked you," Richard said sternly, "because you were told not to go into the garden alone, and you know that."

"But Gwan'muddew tol' me a go." Archie took a sobbing breath.

"Your grandmother told you to go into the garden alone?" Richard frowned at his son. Archie had never lied to him before.

Elizabeth came running out to the terrece and called, "Archie!"

"He is over here, Elizabeth." Richard called.

She hurried down the steps to her sobbing son and, picking him up, kissed his wet cheek, then asked, "What happened?"

"Papa huwt me." Archie sobbed.

"Richard?" Elizabeth frowned.

"He was in the garden alone."

"Where was Catherine?" Elizabeth demanded, "She was supposed to be watching hm."

"Gwanmuder tol' me a go in da gawden." Archie sobbed.

"Why would she tell you to go to the garden alone, Archie?" Richard asked.

"Gwan'muder not take me." Little Archie sniffed, "Hew say....she not my nuwse. I want Nuwse Dowfy a come home!" Archie buried his face in his mother's shoulder, crying.

Elizabeth was angry, "I asked your mother to do one thing for me - take our son for a walk through the garden - and he ends up being punished! Why did she not take him for a walk? And why did she tell him to go alone?"

"We shall ask her." Richard told her and started for the door.

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"Mother?" Richard walked into Catherine's chambers, "Why did you let Archie go into the garden alone?"

"I am not his nurse." Catherine said.

"So" Elizabeth glared at her, "you let your two year old grandson go into a garden with deep ponds? He could have fallen into one of them and drown."

"Why did you not take him?" Catherine asked.

"I had company this morning, Catherine." Elizabeth said, "I told you that when I asked you to take him."

"The other children were out in the garden alone." Catherine pointed out.

"They are old enough." Elizabeth told her, "Archie is only two and cannot be alone. You let him go to the garden alone and he was punished for it."

"Elizabeth, dear," Catherine stood and said politely, "there is a reason women cannot have children after a certain age. It is because they are unable to handle them. They just do not have the patience to deal with small children. I have not been able to have children for the last seven years, and I am satisfied with that. Now if you will excuse me, I have to tend to something private." With that, Catherine left her room.

Realizing that her mother-in-law had kindly told her she was not to be bothered with her grandchildren, Elizabeth turned on her heel and left the room without a word.

With a heavy sigh, Richard and slowly walked out of his mother's room.

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Little Archie lay on his bed, crying into his pillow. He did not understand why he had been punished. He had been told to obey the adults, and he had done what his grandmother had told him to do. But his father said he had disobeyed. How could obeying his grandmother be disobeying?

Rciarhd quietly opened the and walked in.

His little body shaking with his sobs, Archie looked up at his father with tears in his blue eyes, and his lip quivering.

It broke Richard's heart. He walked over to the bed.

"I sow...wy, Papa!" Archie spouted in shuddering sobs, "Gwan'...muddew tol' me a...go in da gaw...den. I not...mean a be...bad, Papa! I sowwy!"

"It's all right, son." Richard sat down on the bed.

" 'ou....'ou 'till lobe me, Papa?" Archie asked in a trembling voice.

"Oh, my precious little laddie!" Richard sighed as he pulled the toddler into his arms, "I will NEVER stop loving you. You are my son, Archie. And a father never stops loving his son no matter how cross he feels."

"I sowwy I make 'ou cwoss." Archie sobbed, "I not mean to."

"I know, lad." Richard said, "I did not know your grandmother told you to go into the garden alone. I should not have spanked you until I heard what you had to say."

Lowering his little head, Archie sniffed and whispered, " 'ou huwt me, Papa."

"I am so sorry I spanked you, Archie." Richard wiped his son's tears away, then kissed the boy's cheek, "It hurt me to punish you. But I had thought that you had disobeyed and, even more, I feared you would fall into one of the ponds and drown."

"What dat mean, Papa?" Archie cocked his head, frowning.

"Drown?" When Archie nodded, Richard explained, "There is no air underwater, and if you go underwater for too long, you will die."

"I not wan' a die." Archie shook his head.

"I do not want you to die, either." Richard kissed his son's forehead, "I love you far too much, son. But now do you understand why you are not allowed to go into the garden alone?"

" e's, Papa." Archie nodded.

"Good." Richard spoke seriously to his little toddler, "I am sorry I hurt you, son. I do not like to punish any of you. That is why I tell you to obey me. I do not want any of you to be hurt or die because of an accident."

"I obey, Papa." Archie promised.

"That is my good little laddie." Richard embraced his son, then kissed his forehead, both of his cherub cheeks, his little nose and chin. Then Richard tickled Archie under the chin.

Archie giggled, then turned serious, "Papa?"

"Yes, laddie?"

"It 'till huwt." Archie put his hand on his little bottom, pouting.

Richard tried not to smile at that, "I am so sorry, Archie. What will make it feel better?"

The little cherub face frowned in thought, then Archie shrugged.

"Perhaps," Richard smiled, "if I take you to the garden after breakfast until Nurse Dorothy returns? Would that make it feel better?"

Archie smiled and nodded.

That smile was so irresistible. As was that angelic little face - even when it was pouting! Richard embraced his son, "I love you more then anything, my little laddie. And I will take you for a walk in the garden right now."

The beautiful blue eyes widened with excitement, "Weally, Papa!"

"Of course, son." Richard stood and carried his son out of his room.

" 'ou wats a sunset wif me, Papa?" Archie cocked his little head.

"I would love to, Archie." Richard kissed his son's cheek once more and took him to the garden.

 

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