My mother was an old-fashioned lady of British descent, and a strict disciplinarian. She did not take lightly her perceived obligation to see to the proper and moral upbringing of my sister and me as young ladies. And so when we misbehaved, we would unfailingly find that a cane, a strap, a tawse or my mother’s firm hand was waiting to punish us, as was called for.
Before the age of five, spankings usually consisted of several slaps to the clothed buttocks. These were for minor offences, the sorts of rude or wilful things a young child will do. As I grew older, the backside was more often bared, and mother’s spankings became harder.
I remember one spanking in particular, not for any outstanding severity but because I had never been spanked naked before. It was evening and I had been behaving badly all afternoon. I had been talking back to Mother, I had refused to eat my supper and now, by bedtime, I was putting off going to bed by staying in the tub.
My mom opened the door. “Allison? What’s going on in there?” she asked. I didn’t answer. “Come on, get out of there!” I still didn’t answer. She got impatient. “Listen – if you’re not out of the bath in two minutes, I’ll spank you.”
Had I believed her, I would have in bed right away. But I didn’t think I was doing anything so bad; she just wanted to scare me out. I was wrong. Two minutes later, the door burst open and in walked my mother. She looked angry.
“I have had enough of this, young lady!” She reached into the tub and let out the water. “Get out of that bath!” I did not comply; this was now a matter of principle. “All right, I warned you!” she said, and pulled me out. She stood me up, held me and started to slap my buttocks. Firmly in her grip, I struggled and shouted, though I did not expect her to let go.
But miraculously, she stopped. “Stay there,” Mother said, and while I stood naked in the bathroom, wondering what was happening, she returned with a chair and her hairbrush. What was she going to do, brush my hair, I thought? But she was serious.
“Allison, you know you’ve been a bad girl today. Now, if you struggle and don’t take your spankings like a big girl, this is what’s going to happen.” Mom then sat in the chair and put me over her knee, lifting my bottom toward her. Suddenly the brush hit me. I yelled ‘ow!’ and tried to rub my rear end, but my mother firmly pried my hands away.
She spanked me again, 10 times in all. Then she let me go. “I hope you won’t forget this one too quickly,” she said. I told her I would be good next time. I didn’t forget it too quickly, either – I felt the reminder every time I sat down for the next few days.