Mum had been on my case all morning before she went to work. Tidy your room, wash your breakfast things, comb your hair. I am sure you remember being 16 and in the school holidays. The last thing you wanted to do was, well, anything really. It was the Easter break and after school went back it would be solid exam work so I wanted down time. Fortunately, my pesky sister, April, was away on a girl guides camp or something, so once mum had gone to work I could just chill and do nothing.

I did venture out for a game of football in the early afternoon, having ignored mum’s request before she left to empty the dishwasher and hang the clothes out to dry. They still sat creased and soggy in the washing machine. I walked home from the park, getting home only about 15 minutes before mum was due home. I suddenly remembered the clothes and hurriedly threw them on the washing line. They looked like a real mess. Oh well, what’s done is done.

Mum came in and immediately saw the dishwasher door was still firmly closed, but the washing machine was open. One out of two, she thought to herself, and it was the least important. She then looked out at the washing line.

“Tom!” she shrieked. “Get down here, now!”

I was up in my room dressed in jogging bottoms and a tee shirt, listening to some rock music with my headphones on, so of course I couldn’t hear a thing. The next thing I knew, the door flew open and mum stood there, her face red with rage. I took my headphones off as she turned off my CD player.

“I asked you to put the bloody washing out, didn’t I?”

“I have,” I replied.

“It’s been a warm sunny and breezy day. The washing is all creased to high heaven and still wet. How long has it been out? An hour, half an hour? Less?” she shouted.

“You only said to put it out, so what’s the problem?” I said sarcastically.

“Get your backside down stairs and get the dishwasher emptied, like I asked. Now!” she barked.

“What’s the rush?” I foolishly responded.

She grabbed me and pushed me towards the stairs, and for a second I feared her foot up my backside to push me down more quickly, but I managed to keep just ahead of her. I opened the dishwasher and started to put bowls and plates away.

“You’ll need to dry those now as you didn’t open the washer,” she instructed.

“What did your last servant die of?” I retorted.

This was the last of a series of mistakes that day, and the one that crossed a red line. I knew from mum’s expression I had pushed her too far this time.

“That’s it! I have had enough of your attitude and lip for one day!” she said, surprisingly calmly. “If you want to behave like a brattish child, I’ll treat you like one!”

With that, she pulled my jogging trousers down to my knees and yanked me across her knee as she sat on a chair and immediately started to spank me hard and quickly over my boxers. I struggled and squirmed as my backside started to burn and sting badly. It was almost 12 months since she had punished me and I had sort of forgotten how hard she could do it. Must be all the tennis she plays at weekends.

“I think I had better stop there,” she said. “Now, sort the pots out. Get them dried and put away and I will get on with dinner.”

“Yes, mum. I am sorry,” I said, still very red in the face.

I quickly dried the pots and got out of the kitchen as quickly as I could.