The kids and I are continuing our nightly reading of Little House in the Big Woods. Fortunately we are past Butchering Time and the lengthy description of the loading, reloading, unloading, oiling, and cleaning of Pa's gun. This means the "What the H-E-double hockey sticks is this?" look is finally off my daughter's face. We've read about the Christmas when Laura finally got a rag doll and the girls played in the snow with their cousins.
The book also sparked a great discussion of corporal punishment. Pa recounts a story from his own childhood which ends with his father thrashing him with a "stout switch" for misbehaving. Having never received more than a slap on the hand themselves, my children were horrified. One of my sons even asked if the father was put in jail. I explained to them the old adage of spare the rod and spoil the child. Not surprisingly, they don't agree with that one.