When I was a little girl, the discipline I dreaded most was a beating with the cane. My mother used a rattan cane and it never failed to leave a nasty sting. I would have red lines and raised welts decorating my bare bottom for the next two to three days, and the entire ordeal was very painful.
When Mum told me that I was going to have the cane, my buttocks would clench up, and I became nervous and afraid. Previous memories of the cane’s lasting sting would fill my thoughts and begin to haunt me, even before I had been beaten this time.
To receive my punishment, I had to bend over a wooden chair, keep my legs together and stick my bottom out nicely. With every stroke, I would flinch and squirm. Mum would take her time and pace the canings so that the sting of each stroke settled before the next was administered, and I could really appreciate the searing pain from each whack.
Mum had three distinct caning styles. In the most common method, she first held the cane firmly against my buttocks and stalled for a couple seconds. She would then pull the cane back and flick her wrist forcibly. The cane would travel parallel to the floor and end its journey across the width of my bottom.
The second style hurt more. Here, Mum would raise her hand high and bring the cane down perpendicular to the floor. The cane would come down whistling and slice through my protruding buttocks. I would flinch and grunt in pain with each impact.
The last was the most severe. In this method, similar to the previous one, Mum would raise her hand and lash the cane down swiftly on my flesh. But the swing here was at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Furthermore, the target area was the far edge of my buttock. In fact, the cane landed just below my hip and on the outer side of my thigh. These canings were always given on my right side, as Mum was right-handed.
Trust me, canings along the width of the buttocks hurt plenty, but the ones landing right below the hip, where the buttock cheek ends and the outer side of the thigh begins, are excruciatingly painful.
I lived through these canings. My mother was certainly very strict, but it helped keep me in line and mould me into the person she wanted me to be. I am a strict mother myself and use a rattan cane to discipline my son. And yes, I do cane him in all the three ways my Mum caned me.