The following fascinating conversation, about mothers talking about how and why they spank their children, was originally an exchange on the now-defunct Maman mailing list.
Alex: It must be the spring weather or something, but I’ve been reminiscing quite a lot lately about childhood spanking experiences. Some of my very favourite experiences were hearing mothers talk about spanking, especially if they referred to bare bottom punishments.
One of the recent letters in this list referred to an incident in a grocery store in which the writer’s baby sister blurted out in front of the grocery clerk how his mother spanked him on the bare bottom.
What is it about the grocery store setting that provokes so many spankings and threats of spankings? I myself have been threatened more than once in front of the checkout register. And there was one incident in which I was assured – in very explicit terms – of what I had coming to me when I got home.
But I digress. What I really wanted to write about was the times when I was a boy, hearing a group of mothers talk about spanking. These kinds of discussions came up often from time to time in my house because my mother talked very freely about it herself. I think that my mother was the model for the term ‘no-nonsense lady’.
Just to give you an idea of what she was like, I will tell you that there were times, even in my teens and despite my protestations, when I would have to go over her knee completely naked for a very serious, very painful and tearful session with the paddle.
Not only did she have absolutely no compunction against taking me naked over her knee for a very sound spanking, she also had no qualms against warning me in public of an impending spanking or of describing, in a very matter-of-fact manner, to other mothers in my presence the methods she used to discipline me.
She would talk about it as seriously and as nonchalantly as if she were talking about how to prepare a casserole or treat a case of diaper rash.
In turn, many mothers often would open up with accounts of their own methods of disciplining their children and/or their own childhood experiences.
I remember a conversation between my mother and my cousin Tommy’s wife, Jean. I was probably about eight at the time.
I remember this conversation so well because even at that young age, it was very obvious to me that Jean loved to talk about bare-bottom spanking. She had two boys of her own – one seven, and the other five – and she was not at all unattractive.
Mom and Jean were sitting in the living room, chatting. When the conversation turned to spanking, my mother described to her how she would make me go up to my room, take all of my clothes off, and return to the living room for my spanking.
Jean’s face lit up and she said: “That’s a great idea!”. Then she turned to me with a sparkle in her eye and a very sympathetic look and said, “I bet you don’t like coming downstairs naked knowing that your mother is waiting with the paddle to give you a spanking, do you?” I confirmed that I didn’t like it, although I loved hearing Jean talk about it.
“Oh my goodness! Having to come all the way down those steps without a stitch of clothes on, thinking about that spanking? I bet you are already a very sorry little boy by the time you reach the bottom of the stairs. I’m going to have to try that with my little boy the next time he needs a good spanking.”
Mom added: “Then he gets a good scolding. That gives him some more time to think about it.” Jean looked at me, shook her head, stuck out her lower lip, and with a deeply furrowed brow said: “Ooooooooooooooo.”
Then my mother – now talking very sternly and looking at me as if I had really done something naughty – said: “Then he goes over my knee, bare as a newborn baby, bottom up for a good hard spanking.”
Jean, still looking at me, pursed her lips and whistled while inhaling. She was obviously enjoying the description.
Then, talking about her own boy, Jean said: “After Patrick gets a spanking like that, he dances a real fast jig.” My mother responded: “This little boy does, too.” They just smiled at each other delightfully.
Don: This reminds me of my mother and her telephone conversations with friends. They would go something like this…
“I had to give Donny a good spanking this morning… No, this time I decided to use the hairbrush. I think the ruler is OK when they’re younger but he’s old enough to be treated like his brother and sisters now…
“Oh no, I’m a firm believer in spanking on the bare… Well, first I grabbed him and gave him a few swats with the ruler. Then I told him to go upstairs and get ready for bed, but not to put his pyjama bottoms on…
“I waited a few minutes, then went up and got the hairbrush from my dresser and went into his room… He started crying when he saw me with the hairbrush, but I was determined to teach him a lesson – and I did!
“I don’t know… I never count the spanks I give out. I just spank until I think they’ve learned a good lesson…
“Sometimes their father uses the belt. I like the hairbrush because it’s easier for me, as I like to spank the kids when they’re over my lap, and with the strap it’s difficult to get any kind of leverage…
“Well, if he didn’t learn his lesson today, he knows that from now on he’s going to get the hairbrush – just like the rest of the kids in the family.”
Contributors: Alex and Don