A girl muses about her much-loved hairbrush
By Louise Vancisic
At times it’s difficult for me to feel it, but I owe a debt of gratitude to my hairbrush. Since I turned eleven, my hairbrush has been my constant assistant in helping me overcome my faults and improve my behavior. In the competent and loving hands of my mother, this implement has taught me many painful but necessary lessons.
Although I have been punished with other implements, the hairbrush has a unique place. It’s a personal item that I use every day. I have inherited my mother’s thick chestnut-hued curls, which are lovely but require lots of attention. The soft bristles in the front of the brush help me keep my hair neat and pretty. I usually spend about ten minutes a day brushing my hair to get it ready for my ribbons or barrettes. This means that I also spend ten minutes a day thinking about how to behave, so I don’t have to feel the other side on my behind.
Through the years, Mommy has taught me certain rituals that help me remember the specialness of my hairbrush. It occupies a special place on my night table. Even now, sometimes before I turn out my light and say my prayers, and while Mommy looks on lovingly, I lightly kiss the back of my hairbrush and return it to its ‘throne’. Then comes the best part; Mommy puts her arms around me and holds me against her warm body. I can feel the love penetrate right through to my bones. Entranced by the intense feeling of love and security, I whisper into her ear, “I love you, Mommy.” She kisses me several times and assures me that she loves me too.
When I was still in high school, I sat at my desk and wrote on my most special stationery and in my best penmanship the following note:
Thank you so much for the beautiful dress that you let me pick out for my birthday. It’s really special and makes me feel like a princess.
But I also want to thank you for another gift. You gave it to me six years ago when I turned eleven, but I never gave you a proper thank you. I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, how I feel about this most precious gift.
The gift is my hairbrush. I have come to understand that my hairbrush is my friend and teacher because it encourages me to correct my faults and always work on improving myself. I am grateful to my hairbrush, and to you Mommy, for taking the time and trouble to give me the spankings that help me improve. If I’m spanked, I know that it’s because I deserve it. Every time I’m spanked, I learn or relearn an important lesson and become a better girl because of it.
I watched as my Mom read the note and joyfully wept. I vowed that each year I would renew and enrich the profound loving thoughts that I expressed in that note.
Another ritual is that each year, on my birthday, at bedtime, Mom would come in to my room. We’d talk about all the good things that happened that day and the cool gifts that I received. Until I was eight, I’d laughingly tell her about the ‘birthday spanking’ that I’d gotten at school. Then we’d get serious.
“Are you ready for a real birthday spanking, sweetie?” she’d ask lovingly.
“Sure Mom,” I’d respond.
With no further prompting, I’d pull up my nightie in back and snuggle right onto her lap.
“How old are you today, sweetie?” she’d say.
“I’m twelve years old, Mommy.”
“You’re getting to be such a big girl,” she’d remark, pride and love, in her voice.
Then her left arm would tighten and she’d deliver a sharp slap.
“That’s one,” she’d announce.
Eleven more would follow, but well before the final spank, I’d indulge myself with a few sniffles and at the end a soft gentle cry. Mom would let me lie there for a few minutes; then I’d feel her reaching for the hairbrush.
“And one for good luck,” she’d warmly announce and crack the brush across the summit of both buttocks. And I’d give myself up to a few more gentle sniffles as she tucked me into bed.
“Goodnight, sweetie, and happy birthday,” she’d say, bending over to give me a kiss.
“I love you, Mommy,” I’d profess. And I’d lift my face to let her kiss linger on my lips.
Then, with warmth in both my heart and my bottom, I’d kind of cry myself to sleep.
Alas, most spankings weren’t nearly so benign. I guess that I got spanked with the hairbrush about once a month. Sometimes, it was combined with a hand spanking, depending on the severity of my offense. If I have to be spanked with an implement, I’d rather get it with the hairbrush rather than the switch, cane or strap. I’d prefer it, even if I get hit harder. Then, at least, I had the comfort of lying across Mommy’s soft warm lap instead of bending across a chair.
Last year, I got myself into some serious and quite unnecessary trouble. I agreed to cover for my friend, Gina, and told her mother that she’d been with me when she’d really been with a boy. Gina’s mother didn’t believe us and finally coaxed her daughter to confess the truth. They had a long talk about telling the truth and Gina felt truly sorry. My girlfriend wisely offered to do extra chores to show her remorse. She did just that; she did them cheerfully and well, and promised she’d never lie again.
Several days later, at a PTA meeting, Gina’s mom told my mother the story. She was quite excited about how she and Gina worked it out and how it actually improved their relationship. I’m sure it never occurred to her that the main theme my mother came away with was that her daughter had told a serious lie.
When Mom returned home that night she knocked on my door and entered.
“Hi Mom,” I asked cheerfully. “How was the PTA meeting?”
Mom didn’t answer my question. Instead, she fixed me with a piercing glare and asked, “Did you lie to Gina Gallo’s mother?”
I felt my body turn to ice.
“Uh, Mom, all I said was…”
“I didn’t ask you what you said, I asked if you told a lie.”
“I, uh, well, sort of, I guess. I mean Gina…”
“I’m not interested in Gina. I’m going to ask you one last time, and I want a simple yes or no for an answer. Did you, or did you not, lie to Mrs Gallo?”
I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed a moment.
“Y-yes, Mom,” I finally sputtered. “But all I said was…”
“I know what you said. You lied so Gina could get away with disobeying her mother, didn’t you?”
“That’s all I needed to know,” said Mom.
My eyes went wide as she brought out a strap from behind her back.
“Bring that chair you’re sitting on over here and bend over the back of it.”
I stood and shuffled over, dragging the chair behind till I reached her. I tried pleading that I hadn’t lied to her and nothing bad had happened, but even as I did so, I obediently reached over and grabbed onto the chair seat.
She lifted the back of my skirt high over my back and let it fall downward to my shoulders. My slip soon followed. I felt some small relief when she didn’t pull down my panties, but in my bent-over position they were quite snug and would offer little protection. She stood over to my left and touched the leather to my right hip.
She drew the strap back and swung it down hard across the meaty middle of my thinly-sheathed bottom. It crashed across my flesh, making a loud cracking sound and drawing a deep gasp from me. I felt a burning stripe etched across both buttocks. Mom waited a bit, swung the strap back over her shoulder and, I guess, aimed for a point just below the first stripe. I was a little surprised as the leather landed parallel to the first stripe, almost directly underneath, giving me the impression of one wide stripe. I began crying as she lashed down the third blow, which fell below the other two, just above the thighs.
“Go ahead and cry,” she said. “That’s how I know I’m getting the message across.”
The next three were right by the leg holes of my panties, which brought forth more cries as I really began jumping around. Mom sternly told me to settle down and lashed the seventh down across the center of my bottom. She laid numbers eight, nine and ten progressively lower down my bottom until she once again struck the lower hem of my panties. While I’d never suggest that she was in any way being gentle, I sensed that she wasn’t thrashing me nearly as hard as she could. I even remember thinking of hairbrush spankings that had hurt more. Yet here I was, crying uncontrollably.
That I was crying noisily was, of course, to be expected. That’s what a thrashing is supposed to do to you. Some parents have a low tolerance for noise and actually whip their child harder for crying. Mom’s not like that at all. She tells me that crying is healthy and purifying; a song of repentance, if you will. I don’t force crying, but when your bottom is being roasted, it happens quite naturally. But, this was different. The volume and pitch of crying should be proportional to the pain and humiliation, and mine was way out of proportion.
Concerned, Mom stopped hitting me. It made little difference. I just stood there, my entire body shaking with the force of my large heaving sobs. Seeing no change in my demeanor, Mom could conclude that I was faking and really lay into me. Instead, she stood me up and hugged me. Instinctively, I hugged her back and, putting my face into her bosom, cried like a lost little girl.
Finally, she quieted me down and asked why I was so upset. I knew what she meant but I didn’t know why.
“Okay, dear,” she said thoughtfully. “Why don’t you lay down for a bit. I’ll come back later and see how you are.”
When she returned about an hour later, and sat down on my bed next to me, I had figured it all out. I had just started a new school and felt shy and insecure. That I wasn’t making friends any too easily was exacerbating my anxiety. Home, and Mom seemed my only refuge, and then this happened. But, I’d been punished before, harder even as I already related, and not reacted this way. It suddenly clicked. I was upset, not because I’d been hit, I knew I deserved it, but because it had been done in what seemed a cold and callous manner.
“So,” my mother articulated, unsure of what she’d just heard. “You’re saying that you’d rather get hit harder with the hairbrush then with the strap?”
“I know it sounds crazy, Mom, and it probably is, but I feel so loved and, oh Mom, it’s just, so hard to say, and you’re going to really think I’m nuts, but oh well, what I really mean is, I also feel so safe and protected. Even after you’d stopped hitting me with the strap, what I really, really wanted was for you take me over your lap and just spank me with your hand. Oh dear, what am I saying?”
I started to giggle, a bit hysterically, given my emotional state. Mom had to laugh too.
“Okay, you rascal you,” she teased. “Get over my lap right now.”
Still giggling, I turned left and threw myself across the warmth of her woolen skirt. But when I turned round to look back at her, she had her face next to mine, also shining with tears. We kissed and we laughed and we cried and I told her a thousand times how much I loved her, and she loved me back. Finally, Mom noted that it was past my bedtime.
“So, sweetie,” she asked mirthfully. “Are you feeling a bit more secure, or do you still need a spanking?”
Jumping up from the bed, I laughed out loud.
“Nope! Not any more. You already fixed the problem.”
Then I grew sober. I went over to my nightstand and picked up my hairbrush.
“But, seriously, Mom,” I began. “The next time that you need to punish me, could you, you know, put me across your lap and just spank me?”
“With your ‘special friend’?” Mom said, eyes twinkling.
“Your hand would be my first choice,” I replied. “But if I really deserve it, then,” I gently waved the hairbrush. “Let my friend help you.”
© Louise Vancisic 2020