When I was growing up in the 50s, spankings were common and my siblings and I knew that if we disobeyed, we were spanked. I remember one spanking very well. It involved me and my 13-year-old brother, Matt. I was 10 at the time.
My brother and I were very close since we were the oldest. My other siblings were my eight-year-old sister Rebecka, seven-year-old Megan, five-year-old Ben, three-year-old Mary and Heather, who was just 12 months. Heather had her own bedroom since she was only a baby. Matt, Rebecka and I shared one room and Megan, Ben and Mary the other.
In our house, when we were finished supper we waited until the rest of us were done, then my father excused us. Then we spent the rest of the night in the two rooms. My three younger siblings – Megan, Ben and Mary – were to be in bed a half an hour later or we would all get spanked, since it was the older three’s responsibility to put them to bed. The older ones went to bed 15 minutes later, at 8.30. I went to sleep at the same time every night until I started dating at 18, when I was allowed to go to bed no later than 11pm.
If we made any noise that my father could hear – he had a hearing aid and had trouble hearing – my mother would come upstairs and give us a warning. Typically, it would be something like: “If I hear another sound, there will be some sound spankings given, understood?” You had to answer ‘yes ma’am’ or you could expect to get a spanking then and there.
The warning usually worked and we were quiet. However, one night Matt and I were louder than normal. Mother had already given us a warning earlier. Everyone was supposed to be asleep aº nd everyone but Matt and I was. Matt and I had bunk beds, and my brother had his head over the side of his and we were talking.
We never heard mother come down the hall but when she yanked the door open, we knew we were in deep trouble. Mother quietly asked my sister Rebecka to go into the other room.
Once Mother heard the other door close, she told Matt to get on my bed. “What do you think you were doing talking at this hour of the night?” she scolded. “It’s 11 pm.”
We both looked down to the floor. “Stand up.” We obeyed. “I’m going to get the belt. When I come back, you know what I expect.” She left. We quickly took off our pants and turned toward the bed.
“I’m sorry, Samantha,” my brother apologised. I replied: “It’s my fault as much as it is yours. I deserve the punishment as much as you do.” Matt reached over and put his hand on mine – I loved him for that. I know he felt guilty that his little sister was going to get her bottom tanned because he was talking. But I was also talking, so I deserved it too.
About 10 minutes later, mother came in. She always made us wait – she thought it did us a lot of good.
“You two have been very naughty. My two oldest should know the rules the best and here I am getting ready to tan your hides. Do you have anything to say for yourselves?” We shook our heads.
My mother but the belt down and put her hands on our bottoms. She always did this, she said, to feel how cold they were to see how much work she would have to do. This part of the punishment always made me tense. I looked at Matt and I could tell by his eyes that he wanted to tell me to obey mother and not to cry.
Mom picked the belt up and started to spank Matt. She spanked slowly and silently – she never scolded us while spanking us. Since we were the oldest, we were forbidden to cry or move. Matt had the comforter in his mouth, trying desperately not to cry. I’m guessing mom belted him 30 to 40 times.
“Get in the corner, Matthew! And don’t you dare touch your bottom, and stay completely still. And don’t cry!”
Then she started on me. Slap, slap, slap – I thought I was going to die. She belted me about the same as Matt, 30 to 40 times. “Get in the corner, Samantha,” she scolded, with an extra smack of the belt to my bottom.
Mom stayed in our room for 10 minutes while we faced the wall. Before she left, she called us to stand in front of her.
“I don’t want to do this again. I love you and your siblings very much. But with seven kids, I need to discipline everyone and especially you two, being the oldest. You set the younger ones examples, and they need to know that I will do the same to them as I do to you.
“I’m going to let Rebecka sleep in the other room tonight so you can be alone without constant questions about what happened. Good night.” She gave us both a kiss on the forehead, then left.
Matt and I put our pants and underwear back on and we both climbed into Matt’s bed – something I always did when I was scared or sad, or had just gotten punished. Matt turned to face me and held me in a hug.
“Are you OK, Sam?” He was the only one who called me Sam. Mother and Father did not appreciate it but he did it anyway. I liked it. “I’m OK – are you?” I asked. “Yeah, I’ll live, but it hurt like hell.”
“Don’t let me ever hear you say that, Matthew. I’ll take that belt to you if I ever hear you say any type of profanity, understand me?” I scolded him – but then I smiled. I didn’t like profanity, and he knew it – but he also knew I’d never ever hurt him.
“Yeah. I’m sorry,” Matt said. “Apology accepted,” I replied. “You’re right – it did hurt a lot, but Mother was right to take the belt to us. We weren’t supposed to be talking.” “I know – I’m sorry. It’s my fault you got punished.” “It takes two to talk. I deserved the spanking as much as you did.” Matt replied: “We’d better be quiet now or will get it again.” “You’re right – good night.”
I turned on my side, then looked back at Matt. “Matt?” “Yeah?” “I love you,” I said. “I know – I love you, too. Now, go to sleep.”
The next morning, our siblings all wanted to know what happened. “Did it hurt?” Megan asked. I replied: “Yeah, it did. Which is why you must be on your best behaviour, or you will get the same.”
Matt added: “It hurt because it’s supposed to. When you are bad – like we were last night by talking – you must be punished to make sure you don’t do it again. It hurt so Samantha and I remembered it all night and through today.
“Mother and Father spank us not because they want to be mean, but because they love us very much. They don’t like punishing us but when we are bad, we must be punished so we become good citizens and learn right from wrong.”
“Oh – so all we have to do to not get spanked is be good?” Mary asked. “That’s right,” I replied. “Last night Matt and I were bad, so we got what we deserved – a spanking.”
“Children! Breakfast is ready!” Mother called from the kitchen. “Come on,” Matt said.
He and I squirmed throughout breakfast, since our bottoms still hurt, and we got some stern stares and admonishments from Mother and Father to stay still or get it again.
We both got many more spankings together and many more alone – and we comforted each other each time.