My parents were diplomats from Spain who would take me all around Europe throughout my childhood before finally moving back to Spain when I was 12.
I spent the first years of my life in Paris, and I remember once attending a diplomats’ party. There was a cute girl at the other side of a nicely-dressed table with snacks on top.
For some reason, the other diplomats’ children decided to bully this little girl – myself included, I’m ashamed to say. I got down under the table with a plate of crackers and started to throw them at her legs. I was really good at it, I must say! The little girl really started to cry and looked under the table from where all us other kids were all bullying her.
Then, suddenly, my mother happened to look under the table, and saw what was happening. The other kids ran away but I wasn’t so lucky – my mother grabbed the plate off me, then led me by the arm into the kitchen.
“Ignacio, what on earth do you think you’re doing?” she demanded angrily. I didn’t know what to say. I think in my head I had just wanted to be silly rather than deliberately hurt the little girl.
I tried to explain this but my mother brought me up short and said: “Well, little boy, you chose the wrong game to have fun with. I’m going to have a bit of fun now with your bottom, and we’ll see how you enjoy that!”
My heart sank as I realised I was now in serious trouble. My mother sat down on a chair and patted her lap. ‘Come on over here – right now.” I tried saying sorry and promising to be good in an attempt to soften her heart, but it was no use. I was going to be punished.
Very reluctantly, I went over to my mother and bent over her lap, hands clasped in front of me as if in a prayer for forgiveness. I felt her position me slightly more to her satisfaction, my bottom high on her lap, and then the punishment began.
It wasn’t a very severe spanking – it was only on the seat of my pants, so it didn’t sting too much, but it was enough to feel her rebuke. To my surprise, though, the spanking wasn’t the worst part of the discipline. After she had finished smacking my bottom, my mother sat me up on her lap, my buttocks buzzing slightly, and gave me the biggest telling-off I had ever had.
She painted a terrible picture of how I and the other children had made an innocent little girl cry for no good reason, and my guilt overwhelmed me and it was this, not the spanking, which caused me to burst into tears of remorse.
Mother dried my eyes for me, then said gently: “Now, Ignacio, you are going to tell me who those other children were under the table who were being unkind.” I now had a dilemma. I wanted to be obedient – but I had also been raised not to ‘tell tales’ on other children. I chose the latter course, and pretended I didn’t know.
I was briefly brought up to my mother’s bosom and felt another sharp smack applied to my raised bottom. “I shalln’t warn you again, Ignacio – who were those children?”
I just couldn’t tell her, and I averted my gaze, my bottom lip pushed out in defiance. “Very well,” my mother said, “you’ve brought this on yourself.”
She stood me up again and this time her hands went to my pants and undid them. Then in one move she lowered both them and my underwear down to my knees. I was horribly embarrassed, and scared that someone would come in and see my bare behind. But I didn’t have much time to think of that, as before I knew it I was once again across my mother’s knee and gazing at the carpet.
She applied another spanking, and of course this time being bare it hurt a great deal more. I managed not to cry like a baby but my God, it hurt!
Afterwards, I was returned to the party with a very warm bottom. I fully intended to apologise to the little girl for my unkindness (indeed, my mother had insisted on it) but by the time I returned to the room she had left with her parents, and I never saw her again.