As I wrote in my first memory for Maman, my three sisters (one older, two younger) and I grew up in a loving household with frequent spankings, mainly from our mother.
However, given that spanking was on the way out nationally –even though it remained common in our area – public spankings were not something any of us saw as a sincere threat. That is not to say they were wholly unheard of, or that spankings never took place outside the home, but for the most part, my mother and my other parents in our community never spanked me, my siblings, or any other kids on a visible public place.
Bathroom stalls, changing rooms, vehicles, unoccupied back rooms and other marginal spaces were fair game, but the horror of getting a spanking in such places meant that they were an uncommon experience, especially for preteens and teens. I will save memories of such events for another day.
My home town was, however, quite rural, especially outside of the downtown area. Near the centre of town, houses were more or less a stone’s throw away from each other but the farther out you got, the more that distance grew.
An old farming town, most families lived on a fair bit of land, although most of the back acreage had long ago been consolidated into larger farms through lease or sale or left to turn into forest. This meant that many homes were a quarter, half, or full mile from each other, the intervening distance obscured by trees and hills. Outdoor spankings were, therefore, not uncommon, but they were also not quite public, and they usually took place out of sight of the road. This too is a story for another day!
While we were used to outdoor spankings, that experience was almost exclusively limited to around our home. It was unheard of for someone to get their butt whupped on a sidewalk, the town green, or any of the public recreation areas, let alone get a formal bare bum spanking.
One summer, when I was eight, we all packed into the car to head to one of a few local lakes and ponds. My older sister would have been around 10, and my younger sisters around five and two. My parents weren’t safety nuts, so I remember my older sister Clara carrying our baby sister Emily in her arms and me and my other younger sister, Leah, squishing in the back seat beside them.
The lake we visited was a bit farther out then the main place people frequented, and it was definitely more of a pond. Even that is probably a bit of an exaggeration. This wasn’t some idyllic Florida beach, but a few generations had cleared a two to three-mile path and a small beach with real sand (if a few too many pine needles).
While most ponds of this type were filled with deadwood, leaves, and other junk, this one had a surprisingly sandy bottom with only the occasional pinecone and disintegrating pine needles. The water was even pretty clear near the beach, perhaps due to a small brook that ran through the pond into a nearby river. No-one lived near the pond, and that day it was empty.
My mother and father set up our blankets and established themselves in their chairs, with Emily sitting in my father’s lap. Clara, Leah, and I stripped down to our bathing suits and went off to play in the water, screaming and splashing each other as kids are wont to do.
When we had settled down and I went my own way to play in the sand, my mother and father called Clara over to watch Emily on the blankets while they took a dip. It’s at this point that every adult (at least, former kid and possibly current parent) knows where this is going!
As my mother and father swam around the edge of the pond, Leah and I made our way over to Clara and Emily. Things had become a bit dull, so we were in search of something to do, and Emily was an opportunity we couldn’t resist.
I don’t know who had the idea to burry her up to her head in the sand, but everyone agreed this would be a worthwhile task that Mom and Dad would obviously find hilarious. We quickly convinced Emily to play along and took to poking at the ground with plastic shovels and sticks.
The hole we made was nowhere near adequate but, frustrated at the challenge of digging deeper, we deposited our dear sister in it and began to fill it in. The edge came up to around her elbows but we were only able to fill it as far as her bellybutton when she lost interest in the game, complaining of scratchy sand and pine needles. Obviously, it was too late for Emily to change her mind, so Clara directed us all to continue. This we did – despite protests, screams and, finally, tears.
Hearing the racket from Emily, Mom and Dad ran out of the water, only to find a tornado of arms and shovels and sand. With a few sharp commands and pulls at our wrists the storm subsided, leaving the three of us standing by with a mix of anger and fear as our parents calmed Emily down and led her to the edge of the pond to help her clean the sand out of her suit and off her body – which, to be fair, did look quite red and chaffed in places.
Dad came back first, his calm at first not betraying the seriousness of the situation. Mom followed him, and they turned away to exchange a few words. Turning back to us, Dad told us how disappointed he was and how irresponsible and childish our behaviour had been. Mom handed Emily to him. She in turn castigated us for torturing poor Emily, who if still uncomfortable was now witnessing this lecture with a slight smile.
With a step forward, Mom told Leah she was first, and she led her by her wrist to her beach chair. Adjusting the back to upright, Mom sat down, telling Leah that although she was the youngest of us culprits, she still expected better of her as ‘big girl’.
With that, Mom pulled the straps of Leah’s one-piece bathing suit off her shoulders, and tugged the costume down to her feet. Leah was put over her mother’s lap, her body still wet from swimming. She was already crying and sobbing out protests, to no avail.
To our horror, Mom produced the rubber-backed ping pong paddle she sometimes carried in her bag to discipline us with. Without hesitation, she brought it down firmly on Leah’s bottom, immediately leaving a faint pink hue.
As her young daughter continued to scream and sob, Mom rhythmically paddled Leah’s little bottom. My sister kicked her legs as she got her spanking, which continued until her bum was a solid shade of strawberry red and her face was a mess of tears, snot and sand.
Mom hugged Leah close to console her, then helped her back into her bathing suit one leg at a time – pulling it up, securing the straps in her shoulders, and casually adjusting the fit. Leah promptly pulled the back of her suit up to free her burning buns from the tight sandy suit then ran into the water, still crying, for some much-needed relief.
It was only then that it hit me that Mom had spanked Leah bare in public. My stomach fell in sheer terror. What if someone else came down the path to swim while I was getting spanked? I blurted this out, subconsciously holding on to my little Speedo, but Mom was not in a merciful mood. As I tiptoed over to her, she grabbed my waistband and pulled off my suit, bringing me over her lap.
Her wet swimsuit was alarming cold on my skin, and I noticed that it felt funny against my penis. That could have caused me untold additional humiliation if the realisation had not immediately been followed by a very hard smack of the paddle on my wet and sandy cheeks. The thin rubber layer of the paddle created one hell of a sting, while the weight of the wood was just enough to make the burn linger and compound the next smack.
I could tell I was getting it harder than my younger sister, which hardly seemed fair at the moment, but I was quickly left in no state to complain as the tears began to flow in earnest. I stretched and kicked a little and cried and pleaded, but the spanks kept raining down, evaporating the water left on my poor bum. Combined with how the paddle rubbed against the sand, it felt like my whole bottom was being taken off with a belt sander. After a while, my mother was satisfied with her work. Before I could clutch my burning cheeks, she yanked my Speedo back up, rather harshly.
I turned to run to the water, but I paused to turn around when I heard my sister scream in protest. Mom was standing up now, engaged in a real struggle to take Clara’s bathing suit off. My big sister was protesting, citing the same fear of someone intruding, and arguing that she was too old to be spanked in public like this.
At that point Mom stopped fighting her, and simply told Clara that if she couldn’t cooperate, she would have to go cut a switch. Clara’s jaw dropped, and as a few silent years fell from her eyes, mom peeled down her one piece, revealing a better look at my older sister than I had had in quite a while. My eyes were drawn to the little bit of fuzz that had since grown on her ‘front bottom’ – but before I could make sense of what I saw, she was over Mom’s lap, getting her own bottom paddled into the next world.
Reminded again of the fire in my swimsuit, I quickly dashed to the water to join my little sister, and I watched on as Mom turned Clara’s bottom a shade of cherry red, rapidly reducing her to tears. After the spanking, Clara quickly put her own suit back on, which judging from her face obviously caused her no small amount of pain.
Before she had chance to join her siblings in the water to cool her bottom, Dad commanded us all to dry off and help pack up. We trooped down the long trail to the car, burning bottoms rubbing against sandy suits.
The car ride home was awkward and tense, with Emily – much vindicated – sat smirking in a humiliated Clara’s lap, while all of us other children’s bottoms burned against the damp towels protecting the back seat.