I was five and in my first year at primary school. I noticed that there was a blue teddy in the toy box in the classroom which was the same as a pink one I had at home. I told my friend about this and she dared me to steal it so that I had a matching pair. I said ‘no’ but she said that she wouldn’t be my friend if I didn’t. So I put it in my school bag, but planned to get rid of it so I didn’t get into trouble.
When I got home, my mum opened my school bag and found the toy. I told her where it was from. I began to plead: “I’m sorry, Mummy – really sorry”, all the while flinching, expecting slaps to my legs. But they didn’t come. Instead, my mum dug her nails into my arm and dragged me into the living room. She sat on the sofa and I realised what was going to happen.
A few times before this, I had watched in horror as my older brother had his trousers and pants taken down, then was laid across Mum’s knee to have his bare bottom smacked. It would make me feel sick watching the handprints appear on his bum – but I never thought it would happen to me – I thought I just got slapped legs.
Slapped legs were bad enough – they hurt a lot and left embarrassing marks which people could see and know you had been a naughty girl. But being put over Mummy’s knee bare bottom was a whole new level of discipline for me.
“Please, no Mummy!” I continued to wail. I only stopped pleading when I noticed that my brother had rushed into the room to watch my impending punishment – he had evidently heard me begging and knew what was about to happen. He looked so happy, like he couldn’t wait to watch.
“Lie over my knee, April.” I didn’t plead any more, because I knew my brother would love hearing that – but I didn’t move either. Eventually, Mum said sternly: “Lie across my knee now, or I will call Daddy downstairs and he will put you across himself and hold your legs while I smack your bare bottom.”
A grin spread over my brother’s face at those words. I had no choice, and this time lay obediently over Mum’s waiting lap, and she lifted up my school skirt clear of my behind.
I had hoped, in the light of Mum’s remarks about enlisting dad’s help, that maybe I would just get smacked over my pants. No such luck. No sooner was my skirt turned up than I felt Mum’s fingers in the waistband of my white cotton knickers, and they were pulled down to my ankles.
Then Mum began to smack. Although it stung a great deal, I didn’t make a sound. I just lay there, listening to the sound of slapping filling the room. The smirk on my brother’s face told me how much he was enjoying seeing Mummy’s hand bouncing off his little sister’s bare bottom as she gave me my first proper spanking.
Having thoroughly tanned me, Mum pulled my knickers back up and set me on my feet. “Now,” she ordered, “put the naughty stool in the middle of the room and sit on it.” I did so, my newly-smacked seat simmering inside my pants.
Once I was in place, Mum turned to me again and told me: “Tomorrow, you will give the teddy bear back to your teacher, apologise and tell her you had your bare bottom smacked and had to sit on the naughty stool until bedtime.
“If I find out you haven’t told her, or miss out words like ‘bare’, then I will have to show her myself that you don’t get away with stealing. I will sit on the bench in the cloakroom in front of your teacher and your class and smack your bare bottom in front of everyone – understand?”