Aunty’s Discipline for Swearing

My third experience of corporal punishment in my life was delivered by my aunty.

My brother, Felipe, and I were staying with her, as our parents had gone away for the weekend to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

If you can call what happened an overreaction, as I do, and did at the time, the stress of managing two unruly youngsters for my aunt, who was quite a bit older than her brother, my dad, perhaps explains it.

We had to share a room at her place, which we didn’t like at first.

But as we sat up late talking, there was a lot of giggling and laughter.

Twice, my aunt knocked on the door and told us to be quiet, which was fair enough as her room was next to ours.

At last, she commanded silence on the threat of punishment.

We made it about five minutes before the door flew open again.

“The talking is bad enough.

But the language I hear coming out of you two  is a disgrace!”

We blushed. We’d been swearing like sailors and not even realizing it.

We didn’t swear in front of our parents, but we’d let our filters down at our aunty’s place.

“Your father gave me full permission to punish you as I see fit.

You’ll be returning to bed with sore bottoms tonight.

Downstairs, both of you.”

In silence, we sloped down the stairs and followed our aunt into the living room.

“Wait there.”

She disappeared into the kitchen.

A moment later, she was back with a flat, wide wooden spoon.

Felipe’s eyes widened, and my heart began to beat against my ribs.

“Who is first?” She asked.

My brother stepped forward, and I was impressed with the dignity with which he comported himself.

There was no crying or begging.

He stepped forward with his head held high and volunteered to go first.

“I won’t humiliate you by letting you see each other chastisement.

Mireia, wait in the kitchen.”

I went to the kitchen but, of course, I kept the door open just a crack and peeked through.

I watched as my brother was told to kneel on the sofa, which my aunty had aligned with another chair.

The sofa arm and the chair arm were together and, draped over the arms, your bottom would be pushed up.

I watched through the crack of the door as Felipe obeyed, again with impressive calm and dignity.

I hoped I would keep my cool so well.

My aunty raised the spoon and began to smack Felipe’s bottom with it.

She raised her arm high and brought it down hard and fast, again and again, and he trembled on each impact.

I’d quickly seen enough, pulled the door to and sat at the kitchen table, aghast at what was to come for me.

The sound was awful.

Crack, crack, crack, so many whacks.

I began to watch the clock, and only then did I realize how late it was.

It was nearly half-past two.

No wonder our aunt had been annoyed at us for making noise.

For five long minutes, I heard my aunt belabor poor Felipe with that spoon and, his resolve broken, I heard him cry out,

“Ow! Ow! Ow!” near the end.

At last, the sound stopped, and I heard my aunt say, “Fetch your sister.”

Felipe came in, limping, his eyes wet with tears and clutching his rear end.

“Go on,” was all he managed to say.

I entered the living room, my heart about to burst.

There was a lump in my throat and I willed myself not to cry.

“Right, there is no favoritism in this house.

You will be treated the same as your brother.

I want you bent over these arms on your knees.” And she tapped the chair arms with the spoon.

I did as aunty told me, praying Felipe was not doing as I had done and watching me in my humiliation.

I felt sick with nerves, as I climbed onto the sofa and lowered my stomach onto the chair arms.

I noted that this position was, at least, more comfortable than standing on my feet, bent over the kitchen table.

“Five minutes of this should clean out your mouth,” she said grimly.

The spoon stuck my left side, then my right.

The first blows were not really painful.

But after about 90 seconds, every inch of my bottom had been smacked and the blows continued to rain down.

The spanks of the spoon that had already been hit hurt a lot, yet still, they continued.

At last, I cried out in pain, something I’d never done while being slippered.

The blows on already bruised flesh were just too much.

Tears welled up and I remember saying, “Please, enough.”

There was to be no mercy.

I guess it was five minutes she beat me for, but I was in too much pain to really think by the end.

It was agonizing.

At last, it was over.

Aunty called Felipe in.

My brother entered, and now I was the emotional one and he had time to calm down.

He was, however, still clutching his bottom.

“Back to bed.

Not one word out of you til morning,” said my aunty.

As soon as I was in bed, I burst into tears.

The punishment, I felt, had been excessive for the crime.

A few smacks for swearing might have been in order, but this was a serious beating.

Felipe agreed for he was not tearful but angry.

I heard him muttering curses under his breath, and he later furiously complained to dad.

Of course, father took his sister’s side.

It was the last time we ever swore at our aunt’s house, but not the last time we were to be punished.