In the 1970s, when I was around eight years old, it was morning and I was supposed to be getting ready for school, but I was having a sulky week. On Monday, I had been cheeky to both my mum and dad, and surprisingly I had gotten away with it, so I had continued into greater heights of badness. On Tuesday, I stuck my tongue out at our elderly neighbour and nobody said anything.
‘Great, thought I. I can do as I please!’
On Wednesday, my elder sister gave me a pile of my ironed uniforms to put away so I stuffed the whole pile under the bed and went to throw homemade water balloons at the commuters coming home from work instead.
On Thursday morning I was still in my pyjamas long after I had been told to get dressed and ready for school. I heard my mother calling me from the downstairs bathroom. Slamming every door, I went to find out what she wanted.
I slammed open the bathroom door and shouted rudely: “What is it Mother? I’m busy getting ready for school!”
My mother was sitting, as calm as you like, on the side of the bath. Her hair was a nut brown cloud of frizz around her head, one of those bad seventies perms and she had a steaming mug of coffee in one hand and a long cigarette in the other.
“Come in here, Rosy, and shut the door. I’m going to have to have a little chat with you.”
Sulkily, I shut the bathroom door and leaned on it as my mother took a long, lazy pull on her cigarette. I scratched my hip where my pyjamas rubbed and rolled my eyes while I waited for her to continue. She blew out a plume of smoke before looking me squarely in the eye with a suddenly sharp stare that I started not to like very much.
My toes played with each other while I looked down at them as my mother spoke.
“Rosy, I had a talk with your father about you before he went to work, and we agreed that we are both very unhappy with your behaviour this week. You have a choice here, Rosy. You will go over my knee, now, and I will give you a spanking, or you can choose to wait until tonight when your father gets home, and he will spank you. Here with me, or later with your father. That’s your choice, Rosy, and I’m not going to be messed about any more. Make up your mind now, or I’ll make it up for you.”
My face flushed. I had pushed it too far, I knew I had. I knew I couldn’t possibly get away with all that badness, and now I was going to be spanked, one way or the other. I knew that steely glint in my mother’s eye. She meant business alright. I had been spanked by both my parents before. My mother tended to take us away from the rest of the family and spank us in private, but it was a longer spanking and always on a bare bottom, whereas my father would just grab the offender, sling them over his knee and wallop them without much care for who else was present. He was a big man, though, with a hard hand, and he wouldn’t be pleased to have to come home and deal with me after a hard day’s work. I made up my mind in a flash.
“You,” I said sulkily, still looking at the floor, my fingers twisting around each other behind my back.
“Right, then stop mucking about and come over her,” said my mother impatiently.
She put down her coffee mug, spilling a little coffee, and reached out for me. I let her take me by the hand and dragged my feet as she pulled me towards her. I hadn’t made up my mind whether to fight and struggle or not when I was upended. Suddenly I could see my own bare feet through my mother’s legs, and my long blonde hair swept the floor. I had to grip my mother’s ankles to stop myself falling, and I suddenly became very conscious that my pink bunny pyjama clad bottom was in the air.
I didn’t have long to take it all in. I heard my mother take another drag of her cigarette and puff out the smoke before she reached over me and dropped the end into the toilet, where it sizzled out. She put one hand on the small of my back and the other rested on my bottom.
“Rosy, you know why you’re getting this spanking, don’t you?” She asked.
“Yes, mummy,” I said from my ignominious position. I just wanted it over with, but my mother was a talker.
“You’ve been so cheeky and disobedient this week, Rosy, We haven’t known what to do with you at all! And all I’ve heard from your Nanna all week? ‘Let the girl alone, she’s just growing up, she’s a lovely girl.’
“Well, I’m here to tell you, Rosy Lee, you are most definitely NOT a lovely girl. You’re a street angel, that’s what you are. All sweetness on the outside, but behind these doors, nothing but a little devil! Well I’m going to show you what happens to little devils. They go over their mother’s knee, and they get their bottoms smacked!”
And with that she started to smack my bottom. Hard straight off, not even a warm up. Hard, and fast, her hand easily covering both my cheeks at once.
I started to kick and make a fuss. At once point I considered biting her on the leg, and maybe she read my mind because at that point, she yanked my pink bunny pyjama bottoms down, all the way to my knees, and began again.
She smacked my bottom so hard that morning. At one point she even tipped me forwards so that she could spank the underneath, where my bottom turned into my legs. I yelped and shouted and kicked, but she just spanked me harder until eventually I stopped fighting and just lay, limply, over her knee while she continued to colour my backside a bright fiery red. Tears rolled down my cheeks and were plopping onto the floor by the time she had finished.
“So now, big bad Rosy Lee, what do you think your Nanna would say if she could see you now? And your friends from school? Are you big bad Rosy Lee now?” Said my mother, a little breathlessly.
“No mummy,” I whimpered. “I’m sorry, Mummy.”
“That’s better then,” said my mother, sounding pleased with herself. She gave my roasted bottom another two smacks for luck and heaved me to my feet, leaving me to stand in front of her, struggling to pull my pyjama bottoms up my shaking legs and over my burning behind with my trembling hands.
“Now, I hope that’s a lesson for you, Rosy, and I want to see you ready for school and going out that door in five minutes flat.”
I fled the bathroom and I was ready for school in the five minutes, sobbing all the way. My friends kept asking me what was wrong, but I wouldn’t tell them.
I’d like to say that I learned my lesson and that was the last spanking I ever had from my mother, but that wouldn’t be the truth at all.