The series explored the trials of well-to-do civil engineer and bachelor Bill Davis (Brian Keith), as he attempted to raise his brother's orphaned children in his luxury New York City apartment. Davis's stuffy English butler Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot), also had adjustments to make as he was usually saddled with the responsibility of caring for 15-year-old Cissy (Kathy Garver) and the 6-year-old twins, Jody (Johnny Whitaker) and Buffy (Anissa Jones).
Love Me, Love Me Not (1966)
In this episode, first aired in 1966, Jody (Johnny Whitaker) watches how the Italian shop owner Umberto Cardi (Romo Vincent) reacts when his son Pepino (Ricky Cordell) breaks a window with his baseball: he summons him, grabs his ear, gives him a brief scolding ("Pepino, you're a very badde boy!") and sends him with a smack on his bottom to stay in the storeroom.
The moment Pepino's out, Mr. Cardi starts to laugh and tells how proud of his son he actually is. Jody asks, "Mr. Cardi, can I ask you something? If you like Pepino, then how can you sock him?" He replies, "Because I want him to grow up to respect others. He will not have respect if he goes around breaking things. I love my boy. So I punish him." After this, he calls Pepino, asks if he has thought about breaking things, and when Pepino respectfully says "Yes, papa", he smiles, declares "Punishment over!", laughs and hugs him.
Jody and Pepino talk about the matter in Pepino's "clubhouse" in the storeroom. Jody tells that his uncle Bill never punishes him when he does something bad and that's why he thinks his uncle doesn't love him. Jody leaves saying "I wish I could get my uncle Bill to love me enough to sock me."
Cut. Evening. Jody is in his room, clad in pajamas, ready for bed. His uncle Bill (Brian Keith) enters the room. Jody asks "Will you spank me?" and Bill says no: he only wants to talk, and in fact to apologize to his nephew for losing his temper and being a little rough on him. Jody, disappointed, asks "Don't you care what I grow up into?" Bill replies, "What to you mean 'Don't you care what I grow up into?'" — "It's about all those bad things I did, and you didn't sock me." — "Of course I didn't sock you, that's not the way we settle things around here." — "Pepino's father socks him. He wants Pepino to grow up to have respect. And that's how Pepino knows he loves him." — "He does?"
Uncle Bill thinks for a while. "If I understand you correctly, you want that kind of reassurance from me so you know that I love you?" The two recapitulate the list of Jody's offenses and agree on the punishments for them: various removals of privileges, e.g. for running away the air will be let out of Jody's football. Finally Bill summons Jody to his side ("Come here"). He demonstratively rolls up his sleeve and shows his raised hand. "Now this is gonna be for thinking for one minute that I don't love you."
"Are you ready?" Jody grins, nods and turns sideways, with a very cute facial expression. With a big symbolic gesture, Bill gives him a single light smack on his pajamas-clad bottom, and Jody says gratefully "Gee, thanks uncle Bill!" Both smile and hug. Jody goes to bed, now happy because he knows he is being loved.
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