We live in the same house where I grew up. I remember vividly my father coming slowly and quietly up the stairs while I froze: there was no way I had time to clean my room, which was just this side of verminous and would drive him positively over the edge. My only options were to throw myself out the window or face the onslaught.
Just now, EG went up the steps in the same measured, light way my father did, and I found myself experiencing flashbacks. My girls, on the other hand, were not so horrified at the past-bedtime visit: Kiki said to Nita, "Bye. Time to go to your own room."
Nita, on the other hand, tried to brazen her way out of the whole situation. She went into her room and announced she could not go to bed, as she didn't have any covers. She was informed she did, too, and they were on the floor, not on the bed. Then she said she wasn't tired. She was informed that she could listen to the radio. So she turned the radio on loudly enough to be heard out at the road. When she was told to turn it down, she said it was as low as she could get it. She then was told to close her door, but she was too scared. So, I intervened and told her that the radio could come downstairs for the night. Out of responses, she shut her door and screamed that I was mean.
I sat here and wondered what my father would have done if he had a child like her--probably tried to throw himself out of the second floor window.