I was brought up in the late 70s/early 80s, and in many ways my family life was something of a contradiction. Dad was basically an unreconstructed hippy, with a laid-back and fairly lax approach to family discipline. My mum was also in some respects the classical ‘earth mother’ type – but being from a Jamaican background, her approach to bringing up children was also a lot stricter.
This contradiction manifested itself in many ways during my childhood, but the two most memorable polar opposites are the issues of breastfeeding and spanking. The ‘earth mother’ side of my mum meant she was heavily into extended nursing of her children – she held that kids should basically be allowed to wean themselves. So it was that myself and my two sisters were breastfed regularly up until the age of around six, and even later on when we were particularly upset. I can remember being put on my mother’s breast at eight years old, for example.
During our first couple of years in primary school, we would be nursed first thing before school and last thing at night before bedtime. We would, as I’ve already said, often also be put on the breast if we were particularly upset about something, right from a skinned knee up to a well-spanked bottom.
Because yes, my mother absolutely believed in spanking naughty children. She kept a little wooden spatula for the job, referred to as ‘Mr Naughty’ and it was applied liberally to our bare bottoms over her knee when she thought we deserved it. ‘Mr Naughty’ entered our lives as young as two years old – I can remember seeing my youngest sister having her nappy taken down for a dose when she was in her ‘terrible twos’. And he made a good job of keeping us kids in line.
But after the punishment, at least up to a certain age, there was also the comfort of Mum’s breast for the offender. After leaving us crying face down over her lap for a few minutes, Mum would unbutton her blouse, drop the flap of her nursing bra and put us on the breast. She had generous, coffee-coloured boobs with large, dark areola. Even with a stinging red bottom, the world would soon feel a much better place close to that warm bosom and drinking her warm, sweet milk.
During the feed following a spanking, your pants or knickers would invariably still be around your knees and ankles, and Mum would give our bare bums a comforting cuddle as she fed us.
We were all very familiar with the sight and feel of our mother’s breasts, as even when I got bigger there were still children feeding off them regularly, and she was very comfortable with her nudity, although I can’t ever remember seeing her bottom or genitals.
Some will no doubt say that my mum must have got off on feeding us at such advanced ages, and I daresay they might be right. In retrospect, she sometimes gave a little grunt or sighs as you suckled, particularly after a visit from ‘Mr Naughty’. Perhaps Dad was the beneficiary of all that later! But having said that, we never got a sore bottom we didn’t thoroughly deserve.