I didn't have to wait long. My mother marched her, or maybe pulled her into the bathroom where she washed her mouth out with a bar of soap. I followed and watched from the hallway. My sister was in trouble. Big trouble. My mom was a kind and gentle parent. I'd never seen her do anything like this. It did the trick, though. My sister emerged apologetic and sputtering.
I, however, was curious. How bad had the punishment been? What did soap taste like, exactly? I'd never thought to taste it. And maybe, most importantly, did I dare risk it myself? (Back talking, that is). It looked empowering. It could be useful. So I went into the bathroom and put my tongue, ever so barely, on the soap bar.
Nope. I knew then, that talking back would never be worth it.