I walked home glumly on a cold, windy January Friday afternoon. I had an envelope for my mother in my school bag. It had the ‘official’ results from the mock exams I had taken two weeks ago. My mother, who happened to be a teacher at another school, had been warning me through the Christmas holidays that I needed to get my head down and study, but that, as usual with a teenager, fell very much on deaf ears. Even the threat of being punished at home if my grades were poor did little to galvanise my attitude and work ethic.

Needless to say, I had struggled on some questions and not performed to my best ability. Today had been the day we had all been dreading. During the form period this morning, Mrs Bennett handed out the results in unsealed envelopes, which also had enclosed a reply slip which was to be signed and returned the following day to show they had been read by our parents. I had been offered a place at university next autumn, but I would need 2 B grades and at least a D to get into my first choice university. My grades, based on the mocks were C, E and E. I knew mum was right about studying and I would no doubt pay for it that night when mum had read the report.

When I got home, I changed out of my uniform and into my pyjamas. Expecting the worst, I also removed my panties to avoid having to take them off later. Mum had a parent’s evening so would not be home until about 7.30 pm, so I knew I would have a long wait. Thankfully, my sister was away on a field trip to London that weekend.

I got dinner ready, and the smell was wonderful. I hoped it may put her in a better mood when she read the report. I got on with some homework but the evening dragged terribly. Finally, at about 7.45 I saw headlights on the driveway. Expecting the worst, I put the envelope on the table, propped up by a steaming cup of tea. I knew she’d be gasping for one. The key turned in the lock and the door swung open.

“Hi love, I’m home!” she chimed, glad to be finally home. “Oh, something smells good. What have you done wrong?” she joked. She took off her shoes and put on her carpet slippers from the rack by the front door and came into the kitchen. “Hi love, why the long face?”

I said nothing, but just pointed to the envelope on the table. She sat down at the table, took the envelope and before opening it held the cup of tea as if warming her hands and took a welcome drink.

“It is the report from school. We got the mock results back today,” I said weakly.

“And?” she asked, almost with a knowing tone.

“I have done your favourite for dinner, pasta bake,” I replied, which I think probably told her everything she needed to know.

“Well, let me have a little look,” Mum said, opening the envelope and putting the report on the table.

Her eyes scanned the sheet, her forehead wrinkled and her expression dropped. She appeared to be reading it again, before taking a pen, signing the note and handing it back to me. All this was done in an eerie silence. She looked at me and sighed.

“I am sorry, mum. I thought I would do much better than that. I don’t know what went wrong. Just the wrong questions, I suppose,” I said lamely.

“Were the questions based on the materials you had been taught, so far, in the course work?” she asked.

“Yes, I suppose so, just not the bits I had a good handle on,” I replied.

“Or, in other words, not the bits you had chosen to revise, but the bits you chose not to revise,” she said, raising her voice slightly. “You cannot say you were not warned over the break. You are just lucky you got your university application in with predicted grades before this debacle.”

I could see she was quite cross, especially as this came at the end of a long day and a parent’s evening to boot. I suspect the pasta bake was not going to swing this in my favour.

“I have plenty of time until the summer, I will get there. I promise, mum,” I said.

“So what will change between now and then, I ask myself?” mum asked.

“I will knuckle down, really I will,” I told her.

“What did I say would happen if your mocks were below par? Do you remember we sat at this very table the weekend before you went back after New Year. What did I warn you would happen?” she pressed, knowing full well what the answer was.

“I’d be punished,” I said quietly.

“Yes, you would be punished. And how do you think I propose to punish you for these dreadful grades?” She asked with a knowing look on her face.

I paused my response for a moment, almost as though actually weighing up the situation, but I knew roughly what to expect, which is why I had put my pyjamas on before she came home.

“I presume you will be spanking my bottom, mum,” I said.

Mum invariably spanked my sister and me across her lap, and if it was in the evening she made us get ready for bed and spanked us over our pyjamas with nothing underneath.  My pyjamas were thin cotton so the only protection they gave was our modesty since we became teenagers. Before then, she would spank our bare bottoms.

“Well, you presume correctly. And you can’t say that you don’t have this coming. Come here!” She ordered as she pushed her chair clear of the table so she could put me into the required position.

Worryingly, as I walked around the table to her side, I saw her reaching down. As I rounded the table, my fears were justified. She had removed one of her carpet slippers and was holding it in her hand.

“Bend over my lap and we will get this done and dusted before dinner,” she instructed.

Without undue hesitation, I did as I was told and bent over, leaving my bottom, aside from one thin layer of cotton, completely unprotected for a jolly good slippering. Mum pulled my pyjamas tightly up against my bottom and pressed her left hand into the base of my back to hold me in position. Without warning, her slipper smacked against my bottom, which I could feel squash and quiver under the impact. Mum’s slippers had a thin wooden under-sole with a thin rubber covering, so it hurt like mad when it made forceful contact with your bottom.

I yelped with both the surprise of the un-warned start of the slippering as well as the sharp pain it yielded. The slipper rose and fell, rose and fell in a familiar way. My bottom bounced and wobbled with each impact, and my head followed suit with my hair rubbing on the kitchen floor as it did so. With each successive blow, the pain grew more and more intense. Tears soon flowed and I sobbed quietly and gave the occasional yelp of pain as the slipper’s work took effect. Eventually, after fifteen or twenty whacks, the slipper remained on my bottom after it struck.

“I hope that wasn’t a waste of time on my part,” mum cautioned. “I don’t particularly enjoy having to spank you at your age. You should be able to handle your own affairs and organise what you need to do, especially when you have been warned again and again. However, I will repeat the exercise if I feel it is needed. Now, stop your crying, get up and dry your eyes,” she urged.

I pushed myself up and dried my eyes without giving mum the satisfaction of seeing me rubbing my bottom.

“I’m sorry, mum. You were right. I will double down and get back on track, I promise.”

“Well, it’s your future not mine, but if you need another incentive,” she waved her slipper at me before slipping it back on her foot. “Then this is what you should expect.”

The following days, I spent most of them in my room working. At least I achieved higher grades than I really needed. I guess the spanking worked.

Sheila (as told to JG)