I grew up in South Africa during the 1970s and corporal punishment was a normal part of everyday life across the ethnicities. Us youngsters knew that spanking went on both at home and in school, and no one thought much about it, apart from the odd bit of teasing for the unlucky culprit.
I was an only child, and my mother was typically strict for a Boer. I got my first smacked bottoms when I was only little, , though I can’t really remember being over my mother’s knee for discipline until I was a little older.
From six years upward, my mother’s favored implement for spanking me was a wooden paddle of the type most often seen in the US. This was delivered over Mum’s knee in the time-honored fashion, and it stung unbelievably. After I had been given the paddle, my bottom would be stinging for hours afterwards.
The paddle was a novelty item Mum bought somewhere locally, I believe, but I’ve no real idea where it came from and I’ve never seen another like it in my life. I don’t think it was custom made, though, because it was transfer printed.
The paddle was just over a foot long and maybe four or five inches wide. It was fairly thin, maybe about a quarter of an inch. Near the handle was a cartoon-like drawing of a youngster and her mother. The mother looked stern and was wagging her finger at her daughter,
The most curious thing about it was the rhyme next to the drawing. I have seen lots of American paddles with either drawings, slogans or even little poems, but never this one. It read:
Lay the offender on her tum, Then smack her hard across the bum, She will cry and implore Not to be given anymore, But this is what you bought me for, So make that bottom red and sore.
When I had been naughty, Mum would take me to her bedroom, where the paddle was kept in a drawer. I was always spanked privately, to her credit. The paddle would come out and then Mum would get me prepared.
Then came an unusual part of the ritual. Mum would show me the paddle, and I would have to read out the rhyme, usually by now very tearfully and between sobs. Then Mum would say something like: “So that’s what’s going to have to happen, isn’t it?” Then she would pat her knee and I would have to go over.
As I say, when she thought I needed a spanking, Mum didn’t hold back at all. I always rose from her lap with a ringing, stinging behind and in floods of tears. Mum would then put the paddle away, there would be a hug of forgiveness, and then I would be sent to my own bedroom for a little while to ‘think about what I had done.
I would love to find a paddle like the one Mum had now, as I must admit growing up with spankings has left me with something of a taste for them as a woman, but I’ve never been able to find one even similar. When I cleared Mum’s house out after she went into a care home, I found quite a bit of childhood memorabilia but alas not the ‘naughty paddle’, as she sometimes called it.
Mum stopped spanking me as I got older and I daresay it went in the trash, as she had no further use for it.