From a mother’s point of view, discipline matters. I learned early on that to be too lenient with children does not pay off. Being a stay-at-home mom with four kids , I ran a tight ship.
Once the girls were older they were generally better behaved, but the boys had to learn that Mom meant business. What is more, when they came back from visiting their father, they were particularly unruly – no wonder, as he spoiled them rotten.
I particularly remember a time when both boys were taken over my knee to have the wooden spoon. They were told repeatedly that drawing on the walls is unacceptable, no matter how artistic they might be feeling. Both boys are quite gifted and I think their high intelligence was partly the reason they were so mischievous when they were little – they got bored too easily for their own good.
Anyway, on this particular occasion, I was helping my eldest daughter Chrissie with her homework. I noticed the boys were being awfully quiet, so I asked my other daughter, Stephie, to go check on them. Presently, a gasp came from the other room and Stephie yelled: “Mom! They’re drawing on the wall – in crayon!”
I saw red and went to see what was happening. When I got there, Stephie was standing there with her hands on her hips (mimicking my own pose when the children were naughty), and two very guilty looking little boys. They had crayon all over their hands, arms, faces and white T-shirts, and they were sweaty and sorry looking.
On the wall next to them was a magical castle, horses and two knights having a sword fight. It actually didn’t look half bad, and I had to check myself to be strict with them.
“Sorry, Mommy…” Chris began, his lower lip already quivering with fear at the consequences of what he had just done. His brother Steven just stood there looking at the floor. He always took longer to become contrite, and he was also usually the mastermind behind naughtiness.
“Stephie, get the spanking spoon!” I barked. She rushed off purposefully to get it. Meanwhile, Chrissie appeared at the door, not wanting to miss the ‘fun’. Chris began to whimper, while Steven just looked down at the carpet.
I sat down on the boys’ bed. “Get over here!” I ordered. They hesitantly moved closer. They knew they had to obey Mommy, as much as they didn’t want to.
Stephie came back with the naughty spoon. After taking it from her, I grabbed Chris, pulled down his pants and undies, and over my knee he went. He was already crying before I went to work. I gave him an initial dozen and then told the girls: “Go get the chairs.”
They knew what I meant and soon returned with two wooden stools. I had learned that the most effective way to spank the twins was for them to take turns across Mommy’s lap. While one was spanked, the other sat on their freshly spanked bum. Then they’d switch. At the end, I knew I’d have two well spanked butts roasting on those chairs. Chris was done with ‘part one’ now, so I sternly took him off my lap and roughly put his rosy butt on that hard chair. He wailed but didn’t dare move – I saw the discomfort in his eyes.
Steven went over my lap next, and I started spanking his little bottom without a word. I slapped him hard from the beginning, knowing he was being defiant. Smack, smack, smack! He tried to be brave but his whimpering gave him away. After a while, he finally began crying: “Ow, Mommy, I’m sorry! No more!”
For an answer, I answered back (spanking him on each syllable): “Young man, do you decide how much more?” “No mommy!” he wailed, “I’m sorry!”
Satisfied, I lifted him off the stool and sat his sore bottom on the stool next to his brother. While they were sitting there crying, I went and got a bucket of water and two sponges. I was determined that they should clean up their own mess, little as they were.
When I thought they had sat on their sore bottoms for long enough, I pointed at the wall with the spanking spoon. “You were clever enough to draw on my wall, now be clever enough to clean up after yourselves!” Still sobbing from their spankings, they went to work. If I noticed either boy dawdling, they got a new smack on their bare bottom.
When they had done, they both got another dose of the naughty spoon, this time a smack for every year of their age. Once they had both been done, they were once again made to sit on their stools and stay there until I called them.
“Now then,” I said finally, “don’t you ever disobey Mommy again, do you understand?”