My sister Clare and I were always squabbling as children. It drove our mum to despair and two well-smacked bottoms were frequently the result.
As the elder by 18 months, I confess that I was frequently the instigator of these almost daily squabbles. But it was really six of one and half a dozen of the other and the constant refrain was ‘she started it’.
On the day I particularly recall, we had both been bought some sweets at our local corner shop. I guess we’d be about eight and nine at the time. I’d got pear drops and Clare aniseed balls. After we got home mum set about some housework while we played quietly enough to start, even exchanging sweets for the other to try.
Then a squabble erupted about who had taken what of whose sweets. I’ve no idea who was in the wrong and who in the right, but we began to squabble and to hit each other.
The noise brought mum out of the kitchen and she demanded to know what the matter was. Of course, she got two simultaneous, loud and biased analyses, both ending with the dreaded ‘she started it’.
Mum hit the roof and called us ‘ungrateful little children’. “I don’t care who started it,” she said ominously, “I’m finishing it.” She took both bags of sweets from our sticky hands and went back into the kitchen. When she came back, she was carrying her ‘bottom smacker’ – a rubber spatula that stung like hell.
Of course, this produced a fresh outcry from us, now pathetic crying and pleading not to be smacked. But mum just ignored us. Instead she took Claire by the hand, sat down on the settee, and placed her youngest daughter over her knee, expertly turning up her skirt and pulling down her knickers.
Claire was always done first when we were spanked together – I suppose mum thought it was more merciful for the younger child to get it over with. All I remember is watching my sister’s chubby bottom (we were both stocky little girls) growing redder and redder as the smacker hit her time and again. The crying and yelling was unbelievably loud.
Finally, Claire was pulled off mum’s knee and I was beckoned to the maternal lap. I was quickly reversed over it and my own skirt and pants adjusted to prepare me for the spanking.
Again, I kicked up a hell of a fuss – it must have sounded like I was being killed. But mum was an expert bottom smacker and knew the difference between ordinary yelling and that really repentant crying that comes from a child who’s been sufficiently punished. You could have fried eggs on my bare backside afterwards.
We were both sent to bed in disgrace and listened to each other sobbing quietly. We were good girls for a long time afterwards – but it wasn’t the first, or last, time that we were given a good smacked bottom by our mum.