While this new generation of parents favored play more than previous generations, Austin and Susan still expected their children to be well-behaved. With Gib, however, Susan’s discipline was well-matched by the boy’s abundant imagination. Sister Mattie recalls that,
One early punishment of Gib’s was to sit on a red hassock by the open fire and ‘think it over.’ Not much of a success, for when our mother went gently to release him, he warned her joyfully not to come any nearer or she would be drowned – the red hassock having turned into a boat and the hearth-broom a paddle with which he was punting himself all around the floor, which was now a flood.
Martha Dickinson Bianchi, “The Recollections of a Country Girl,” unpublished typescript, 66-67, Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, Brown University Library.
Courtesy of Yale University Library