I was four, and Nanny had promised to take me to Boston Common, where we could feed the pigeons. We would also ride the swan boats in the garden, for my favourite story at that time was Make Way for the Ducklings.
I got dressed for the day with my embroidered hemmed dress, dress shoes, spring coat with velvet collar and hat with long ribbons, of course. My braids hung down the back, tied with pink ribbons.
Nanny was all dressed up too, for she planned to take me to lunch in a ‘grown-up’ restaurant. We were driven from home to the station, then took the street car followed by the subway. I loved the ride.
There were other children too, but they weren’t all dressed up and I didn’t know why. Mommy said that we always dressed up to go to Boston. I saw the pigeons as soon as we got up out of Park Street Station. There they were, just waiting for me, of course. I had brought some old bread, so I began to feed them.
Nanny was hovering over me like an old hen. She said pigeons had germs. She then wandered to some bushes and began to study the leaves, I think. I ignored her admonitions, for this was just too much fun.
I sat down on the cement and put the bread on my lap, so naturally, the pigeons were all over me. I put my hands way back behind me and the pigeons climbed over my lap happily. I was in heaven! A man came by and took a picture.
Nanny was furious when she saw that. “I told you not to touch the birds! You are sitting on that dirty ground with those filthy birds on you. I will have to wash you up before we can have lunch. There will be no swan boat ride today!”
I was devastated. We left the area and crossed Fremount Street to find a restaurant. I don’t recall what one it was but as soon as nanny had checked us in, she took me to the ladies room. She ran hot water in the sink, adding soap. Then she took my coat and hat off and placed them on the settee that was in there.
She took one of the white linen towels that were stacked neatly on the counter and washed my face and hands carefully, yet with a severe touch, it seemed to me. Usually she was playful when washing me.
When I was all cleaned up, she took me to the settee and told me that I would have a spanking for disobeying her. I was very sad immediately. I found myself fondling my bottom to nurture it for what was coming.
“Come now, let’s get to it,” Nanny said, and with that, she reached down and pulled down my stockings. She placed me over her lap and slid my panties down to below my bottom.
Just as she bent me more forward, a lady came into the room. Nanny said something to her about being a nanny and having to spank me for misbehaviour. Nanny asked if she wanted her to wait until she left, but the lady said that it was OK and disappeared into the toilet. Now with her attention turned back to my bare bottom, Nanny began to spank me very hard.
She reproved me: “You deserve the stick today, because you could have become very, very sick touching those birds! I didn’t bring it because I didn’t think you would be so naughty!”
There was spank after spank, and I cried and cried. Every once in a while, Nanny would stop and tell me about things like ‘parrot fever’ (which I didn’t understand), and then she would spank me some more.
“Don’t you know that we care about you, and that is why you get spanked like this?” No child answers these kinds of questions…
After a seemingly endless time she stood me up, and pulled up my panties and stockings. She fixed my hair and took my hand to walk me out to the lunch table. I wasn’t very hungry and don’t recall what I ate.
The trip home was not as much fun. I fell asleep and when we arrived, I was in Nanny’s arms. The car drove us home, and I was put to bed for a nap.