This happened when I was nine years old, back in the mid-90s. By this time in my life, I guess I was starting to assert my individuality a little bit. I had parents who were a bit staid, though not exactly overly strict.
The walls of my bedroom were plain white (as were all the others in the house). I decided that was boring and that my room needed brightening up a bit. By an unhappy coincidence, I found a load of old crayons in the bottom drawer of my homework desk.
So I went to work. I used a few old stencils I also found and created a wall full of geometric shapes, with the words ‘Caroline’s Room’ surmounting the lot. I thought it looked great, and it never occurred to me that I was doing something of which my parents might not approve. I should add that drawing on walls was a misdemeanour I’d never committed as a toddler, so I had no inkling that what I was doing might be thought of as ‘naughty’.
Needless to say, when she saw it, my mother hit the roof. She stormed into the lounge, where I was watching ‘Blue Peter’ (a long-running UK children’s TV programme – Ed) and asked me in no uncertain terms ‘what the hell’ that mess was on my wall.
Unfortunately, I took a rather high-handed attitude in the way I responded to her – I thought it looked great, and felt aggrieved that my artistic endeavours were being called into question. That attitude probably sealed my fate, flipping what might have been a good telling off (and stopped pocket money, I guess) into something altogether more serious.
Mum told me: “I’m sick of your backchat. Go to your room – I’ll be in to deal with you in a minute.”
I scurried off and surveyed my handiwork with new misgivings while I waited for her to come to me. It suddenly didn’t look quite as good as I’d imagined it at first blush.
Suddenly, I heard mum coming up the stairs and when she entered my room, to my horror she was holding the slipper with which she had regularly chastised me as a little girl. It had been several years since she had smacked my bottom and I had presumed I was now ‘too grown up’ for it – how wrong can you be?
“Mum…” I began, but she cut me short. “Be quiet – it’s quite clear you need your arse tanned, and you’re far from being too big for the slipper. After seeing that masterpiece (she pointed at the wall as I hung my head in shame), I fancy doing a bit of colouring myself – on the cheeks of your bottom!”
Without wasting any more words, she drew the chair out from my homework desk, sat down on it and beckoned me to come to her. Moments later, I felt her hands go up my dress and her deft fingers inside the waistband of my knickers, which were unceremoniously lowered to my ankles. She grabbed my closest wrist and pulled me over her knee in the traditional position for smacking children. Finally, she turned up the hem of my skirt to reveal my bare bottom.
I had remembered slipperings as being painful, and this was no less so a few years on from the last time I had been over mum’s knee. She was an experienced spanker and she brought the slipper down time and again across my bare buttocks with some force and precision. On reflection, I probably got a worse tanning than when I was smaller, which I guess was necessary and deserved. I was in tears quite quickly, but my weeping didn’t stop mother from giving me a thoroughly smacked bum. The slipper did exactly what she kept it for.
I was eventually allowed to stand up, with the curt order to pull up my pants. Mum looked me straight in the eye. “Tomorrow, you will help your father to paint this wall white again and cover up your disgrace. And there will be no more pocket money until the paint is paid for. Do you understand?” I could only nod meekly through a stream of tears.
As I had pretty much expected, bed with no supper was the other part of my punishment. As I got into my pyjamas, I looked at my bottom in my dressing table mirror and was horrified yet fascinated at the expanse of crimson across my buttocks. Mum had given me a very sound slippering and I was still tender behind the day after, as I helped dad paint the wall.
Funnily enough, a few years ago I had occasion to smack my own son’s bottom for exactly the same offence. He at least had the excuse of being only three and a half, so I only gave him a few sharp spanks on his bare behind. But as I administered his punishment, I couldn’t help thinking back to my own, all those years before.