My mother had been a keen equestrian.
However, when I was barely in my formative years she was thrown from her horse.
This, unfortunately, left her in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down.
On reflection, I feel at this time I was lucky enough to have my father still around.
If I had done something to warrant discipline it would now normally be a case of being sent to my bedroom, with the classic words
‘Wait till your father gets home’.
On the occasions that this happened, my father would come to my bedroom, put me over his knee, and smack me over the seats of my trousers.
In all honestly, for a father, he was fairly gentle with me, thus the discipline he met out did not really do me much good.
One day, I was out playing in the garden.
Mother was there too and talking over the fence to our left-hand neighbor, who I called Auntie Deirdre.
Auntie Deirdre was in her late fifties and had two grown-up children.
Mother was moaning about my lack of discipline when I heard Auntie Deirdre say:
“Geoff needs a much harder spanking.”
As you may be able to imagine I certainly cocked up my ears at that remark.
Mother then said something to the effect that my father did not much like having to discipline me.
Auntie Deirdre went on the reply
“Well if you really want him to be smacked properly, I will happily come round and do it. I can tell you, it certainly kept my two on the straight and narrow.”
By now I was really getting very embarrassed.
So much so that I decided that it would be in my best interest if I moved myself further up the garden to avoid hearing the rest of the conversation,
It was at that moment my mother shouted at me.
“Simon! Come here!”
Reluctantly and slowly I went back up the garden to where my mother and Auntie Deirdre were standing.
Auntie Deirdre looked at me appraisingly, almost as if she was already sizing me up.
Then to my horror mother came out with the following:
“Auntie Deirdre and I have been talking.
Your general behavior has been becoming quite unacceptable in recent times, and it is not going to be tolerated.
So in the future, if you misbehave, Auntie Dierdre will be coming round to deal with you and will be giving you the smacked bottom you deserve.
Do you understand?”
I blushed deeply at the mention of something so embarrassing as corporal punishment but managed a nod. “
Have you been a good boy for your mother today, Simon?” Auntie Deirdre demanded.
Fortunately, Mother answered for me.
“Yes, he got a bit of a smacked bottom off his father last night so he’s behaving himself for now.”
“At his age, his father should be taking the belt to his bottom,” Auntie Deirdre shot back.
“Well, see you behave yourself from now on, Simon – you won’t like my medicine, believe me!”
For a few weeks, I was the best-behaved son in town.
Just the threat of Auntie Dierdre coming round to smack me appalled me.
The thought of having my bottom smacked by a woman who wasn’t my mother was mortifying.
I thought about it a lot.
Would Auntie Deirdre use the belt she said my father should employ?
As I say, I was well behaved for a long time,
but such was the nature of me at that time that they can’t be good for too long.
I forget exactly what I had done naughty, but one afternoon, soon after I got home from school,
Mother exploded on me and said:
“Right – I’m ringing Auntie Deirdre!”
I begged her not to but she was having none of it.
She scooted her wheelchair over to the telephone and made the call.
It was a relatively short one.
“Right, young man, sit on the sofa, and we’ll wait for Auntie Deirdre to come.”
I sat there, misery personified.
I remember listening to the lounge clock ticking for what seemed like hours but of course, it was only a few minutes.
Before too long, we heard the back door open (this was in the days when doors were rarely locked, except at night) and Auntie Deirdre calling out.
“We’re in the lounge!” Mother shouted back.
Our neighbor came through the door.
In her right hand was a wooden hairbrush.
She sat down on the sofa next to me.
“Well, Simon, what have you been up to?” she asked.
Before I could open my mouth, it became clear that this was a question not really aimed at me, as Mother described my misbehavior, adding to the list one or two little sins I thought had been ignored or forgotten.
“Well,” Auntie Deirdre, now looking me right in the eye.
“It sounds to me like somebody needs his bottom smacked.”
My mouth opened in protest but no words would come.
“Yes, he does,” Mother confirmed behind me to my horror.
The room was a combined lounge-diner.
Auntie Deirdre got up, took a chair from under the dining table, and placed it in the center of the room, facing Mum’s wheelchair.
Auntie Deirdre sat down on it, put the hairbrush down on her lap, and called me to her side – which I did very reluctantly.
“A good smacked bottom !” Auntie Deirdre said, looking me straight in the eye again.
“This is what naughty boys need, isn’t it?”
That was another one that didn’t need an answer from me.
She picked up the hairbrush.
“Lie over my knee!” I did as I was told, being familiar with the position from my father’s spankings.
Auntie Deirdre pulled my shirt back a bit to expose my bottom properly and put an arm around my waist.
It was a grip of iron, and I was about to discover why it was necessary.
The smacked bottom with the hairbrush that followed was the worst smacking I had ever had in my young life.
Mother’s own hand smackings had been quite sharp and definitely to be avoided, especially compared with father’s fairly innocuous spankings, but this was in a different league.
She aimed most of the strokes hard and low, I guess so that I would really feel the chastisement for a while when I sat down – which I certainly did.
I was finally let up, a blubbering wreck.
Auntie Deirdre took me by the hand and steered me over to an empty corner of the room.
I was ordered to put my hands on my head and was left there, crying and newly smacked bare bottom on show.
When father got home, Mother delighted in regaling him with all the intimate details of my punishment.
To say that the results on my behavior were spectacular would be an understatement.
Even father stopped smacking me when he saw how much better the results were when I was turned over Auntie Deirdre’s knee.