I was brought up in the 1960s, when smack bottoms – as they were called then, at least in Britain – were an acceptable and common form of punishment for naughty children.
In this, I was no exception. My own smackings were always administered by my mother and it was always the same procedure, whatever it was I had done naughty.
If she decided I needed it, Mum would tell me: “Go upstairs to your bedroom and get into your pyjamas ready for a smack bottom.” Any pleading or promises to be a good boy were a waste of time – you just had to do as you were told, as Mum’s word was law in our house.
After getting out of my day clothes and sitting miserably on the edge of my bed for a while, I would eventually hear those dreaded footsteps coming up the stairs. Mum would enter my bedroom and pull out the straight-back chair on which she placed my clean clothes for the morning.
Mum would sit down on this. I’m not sure why, but prior to her preparing me, she would always pull up her skirt or dress. I would then be called over to have my pyjama bottoms taken down and be put across Mum’s now bare or stockinged thighs.
After being told what you were having a smack bottom for, the punishment itself began. It would not be long before I was kicking my legs and my pyjama bottoms would fly off, leaving me near naked across my mum’s knee and bawling like a baby, but to no avail.
My mum had quite big hands and would cover every inch of my bottom and tops of thighs. Afterwards, you certainly knew you had had a smacked bum – I would have a bright red, sore bottom and be sobbing, telling Mum how sorry I was.
Once she was satisfied I had been punished sufficiently, Mum would help me back on with my pyjama bottoms and then I was put to bed for a while, no matter what time of day it was. I would get a kiss on my forehead and a cuddle of forgiveness. Finally, she would say: “Mummy will call you down for dinner in a while – now, be a good boy.”