A girl’s experience of staying with her grandparents
By Joanna Jones
My father worked in the oil industry, and for basically six years our family was seconded to Norway. We went to school there and it was a great experience, although the rota with my father, often spending up to two weeks at a time on the rigs in the North Sea troubleshooting some problem or another, led to a rather disrupted family routine.
However, the secondment was going to come to an end and we were going to return to Texas. For me that was complicated as I was nearly finished school. Do I stay in Norway and probably go to a Norwegian University, or do I return to the US, complete school there and attend a state university at home?
My parents were not keen on me studying half way round the world, so I found myself, along with my little sister, moving to a private school near where my father’s parents lived. We were going to spend nearly a year living with them, until mum and dad moved back the following summer.
To give them a break, the idea was that we would spend every alternate weekend with my mother’s mother who lived about sixty miles north in a small country town.
During the summer we moved across and settled in. I was taught to drive and got a fairly run down car of my own to get me around, and take my sister and I to school.
Before my parents left to return to Norway, a week or so before school started, my mother warned us to behave and that the three grandparents would have discretion to apply any discipline they felt necessary. Originally I assumed that would mean groundings or deductions in my allowance, as had been the norm in Norway, so both my sister and I looked wide eyed in shock when my mother reminded us of both her and my father’s stories of discipline as a child. In her case it was a trip to the parental bedroom for a dose of the hairbrush. For my father, and his little sister, it was a strap, or a switch, literally administered in the woodshed at the back of the yard!
Neither my sister Lisa nor I could believe that, as our grandparents tended to let us off with things and, other than the odd light hearted threat had never raised their hand to us. However, we knew that living with them for a period of eight months or so was going to be different to the short breaks we had had before. Both of us had a strong desire to keep our butts intact and determined that we better be reasonably careful.
My mother had clearly seen our reaction and there was a family discussion a couple of days later. In it, it was made clear that my grandparents had no desire to punish us, but we had to abide by the rules of their houses. Main ones were don’t miss curfew, don’t sass them, and don’t get into trouble at school (that is let the family down). It was not made clear what the exact consequences might be, other than getting one’s butt tanned was certainly an option.
Lisa and I did not have much option but to accept.
As it turned out there was little more than the odd warning for the first few months. My sister and I had a fair idea of the boundaries, and we accepted that none of our grandparents were getting any younger. They seemed to be more flexible also than they had been reputed to be with our parents. The only real punishment was to Lisa who forgot her chore and was not as apologetic as she could have been. However, the result was a grounding for a week rather than the woodshed option.
It was late November when ‘disaster’ finally struck. There was a boy, Kevin, I found very attractive, and I started hanging out with him, and a few others. Most of the clique smoked. Initially I passed, but the temptation to be part of the club was strong.
It was in a corner of the school yard that I finally succumbed. The offer of a cigarette from the handsome Kevin, and for him to light it for me while it was in my mouth was too much for me to resist.
A minute later I was having my first puff.
A minute after that Mr Kennedy came round the corner.
“What are you doing!?” He demanded. “You know smoking is strictly forbidden on the grounds.”
Our attempts to apologise and pass it off were futile. All too soon we were in the Deputy Principal’s office. His lecture was short and to the point. Students at our age should know the rules well enough. He then came to the punishment.
“Right!” He drawled in his Texan accent. “Four of the paddle or all day detention Saturday!”
I could not believe what I’d heard. I was being offered the paddle. Of course I knew the school had the option but it never occurred to me that I could be on the receiving end.
I started to panic. After all I could not recall the last time I’d been spanked. As a young child, before we went to Norway, yes it had occurred. However since then it had not, and in Norway of course it did not happen to any friends either.
My panic rose further as the other four made their choices; two of the boys and the other girl all elected to take the paddle. The final boy in effect had no choice, as his parents had refused to sign the waiver giving permission. That left me.
I suspect Mr Willis knew my background as he did not rush me.
I was totally caught in two minds. I was scared to the point of panic about the prospect of being paddled, but on the other hand I was supposed to drive upstate with my sister on Friday evening to my grandmother on my mother’s side for the weekend, and I knew there would be trouble if I didn’t make it.
What swung my mind, and in retrospect I was not thinking straight, was the certainty that spanked at school would be spanked at home too. I knew from dad that it was the most definite way to end up in the woodshed when he’d been a child. Further, I could hardly argue against it at home if I elected to take it at school!
Thus after a long pause I took detention. Mr Willis raised his eyebrow, and after filling in the forms, Dirk and I left, leaving the others in the outer office to arrange themselves to shortly re-enter the Deputy Principal’s office individually for their paddlings.
Seeing Caitlyn return red eyed to our class a few minutes later and squirm through the rest of the lesson confirmed to me that I had (I thought) made the right choice, although how to explain what had happened to my grandparents was definitely beginning to nag at me.
Lisa knew there was something wrong as I drove the car home, but I could not discuss it with her.
Once home I wondered how to address the issue, and eventually chose to speak to my grandmother, who usually was less strict, as she was preparing the dinner.
I realised very quickly how badly I’d misjudged the situation. She looked at me with a view that was somewhere between anger at the smoking and clear incredulity that I’d (in her view) ducked my punishment. I found my grandfather called in and a long lecture ensued.
While there was an element of why I needed at my age to feel pressured to follow the crowd and that I was never to smoke again while living in their house, it was clear the ducking the punishment was the more serious sin in their eyes. A long lecture on the lack of respect for Martha (my mother’s mother) in messing up her plans, as well as affecting their own time ensued.
All my ideas of how to negotiate my way out of this went out the window under the verbal onslaught. I had never seen my grandparents so upset and angry. I found myself unable to stop my reduction to a child, rather than the young adult I considered myself to be.
Eventually it was my grandmother who pronounced my fate: “Go to your bedroom, get your jeans off and get your sorry butt out to the woodshed.” She declared. “Your grandfather will be out shortly when we have decided how to deal with you.”
I could not believe what I had heard, I tried to beg my way out of it, but eventually, having been warned I was only making it worse for myself, I disconsolately made my way to the bedroom, very consciously unbuckled and slid my jeans down before slipping out the back door.
I am sure my face was beet red with embarrassment as I quickly made my way across to the shed. It was not yet completely dark and while the yard was large and not overlooked I did not want to be seen parading about in a semi-dressed state, with my top acting as a rather inadequate mini-dress.
The November woodshed was not especially warm and I paced nervously in my sneakers as I waited. The old leather strap was hanging on a hook – the one I knew grandfather had used on both my father’s and aunt’s rear when required. I hoped it was not as sore as it looked. I also was praying that he would let me keep my panties on. If my parents were to be believed, both of their sets of parents insisted administering domestic discipline to a bare butt.
It must have been quarter of an hour before my grandfather came out. I felt tears welling up in my eyes as he came in to deal with me.
However my bottom was not yet to be whacked. No, it was worse than I thought.
He showed me the work table. On it were two lines about, or just over, two and a half feet apart. There was also a small hole drilled in the corner. Giving me the cutters he pointed me to the three hickory trees that grew along the back of the yard, and ordered me to cut and make a switch that must be both longer than the two marks, and neither end thin enough to go through the hole. Before leaving me to it I was told briefly how to strip off the foliage. Once made I was to bend over the end of work bench not against the shed wall (along its length) with both the strap and newly made switch in front of my nose, and consider ‘how I had let both them and myself down’.
With that he left me to it. Despite the fear in me I did not dare argue, as I knew whatever I said would probably lead to worse.
It is difficult to describe my feelings as I went over in the deepening twilight and started examining the branches, trying to find one that was acceptably straight and not too thick. I knew after all I could cut it to length afterwards. Eventually I chose and cut one. Getting it back I stripped it first before trying to guess where to cut to comply with the rules about the diameter. With a bit of trial and error (by snipping pieces off the thin end until the rod was wide enough) I soon had a switch made, ever so slightly longer than the two marks allowed.
I could not resist swishing it sickly before unhooking the leather strap and placing it with ‘my’ switch on the desk. Bending over to wait was the final submission. The butterflies in my stomach were terrible as I stared at the two implements in front of my nose on the table, wondering exactly how he was going to use them on me and how sore they would actually be.
One thing I determined was that I was going to avoid smoking again.
Finally after another seeming age my grandfather appeared. There was a grunt of approval as he noted my position.
However, instead of starting to whack me, he told me that they had decided to not spank me ‘properly’ there and then. Instead I was given a ‘choice': He had managed to speak to the Deputy Principal before he had gone home and explained the situation. It was my decision but I could elect to have five licks tomorrow (Friday) rather than Saturday detention. The one extra was for not taking my punishment at the time, and apparently was my grandfather’s suggestion. As I was driving up to ‘Martha’s’ in the evening in that case I would not need to visit the woodshed after.
However, if I elected to stay with the detention then he promised me I would be back in the woodshed tomorrow night and Saturday night, and would find out what a real spanking was like, with a strapping on Friday and the switch on Saturday. As I said, it was not much of a ‘choice’, though I did not need to decide until my meeting with the Mr Willis, arranged for quarter past ten the following morning, which was homeroom time.
He then picked up the strap and switch from in front of me. “I am not going to strap you tonight, but…”
With a mighty swish he brought it down on the workbench a couple of feet from my nose. The noise as it slapped into the wood was shocking.
“…I do want you to think about how that impact might feel on your behind!”
I was still shaking as he put the strap back in the bench. I could not imagine the leather hitting me with that much force. Then I felt sick as the switch touched my panties.
“One only.” He said. “A reminder to take your punishment at school; a something to help you make the right choice tomorrow.”
I but my lip and gripped harder as there were a two more ominous taps before… SWISH and thwack.
A briefest pause before I gave a wail as the pain of the impact registered and tears fell at the shock of being punished. Standing, my hands went straight to massage the line of pain. My tears were more of humiliation at what had happened, and perhaps of anticipation, as I suspected that was mild compared to the licks I was going to have to request tomorrow if I was to avoid a fuller understanding of what a strapping and switching was really like.
With that over he left the switch on the bench next to the strap, “in case they were needed over the weekend,” and I followed him miserably back to the house for our dinner.
Putting my jeans on before the meal allowed a chance to examine the single livid stripe adorning my buttocks. The ridge was definitely painful to touch!
After dinner I was sent to my room to do my study and get an early night. With difficulty concentrating I gave up the former fairly quickly, only to find that sleeping was also hard to come by, as the prospect of tomorrow weighed on my mind.
The alarm clock signalled that I should get up. Getting dressed showed that the mark from my grandfather had bruised. I wondered what would be visible by tomorrow. There was a temptation to put on some extra clothes. I was glad I did not succumb as my grandmother came in to ensure I was up and encourage me to be brave, while still taking the opportunity to check I was abiding by the rules.
I was not hungry at breakfast, but no one made an issue of it. Indeed my grandmother put an extra snack in my bag, in case I felt hungry after.
So time wheeled on to my appointment. The drive to school, the clock ticking through the first lessons, trying to concentrate with limited success.
Finally the bell went for homeroom. I told a friend to tell Mrs Toms I had an appointment at the school office, leading to her giving me a raised eyebrow. However, there was fortunately no time for her to enquire about the reason.
To say I knocked on the Deputy Principal’s door with trepidation would be an understatement. By the time I was turning the knob after hearing his call I felt a surge of panic.
All too soon I was standing in front of his desk.
“Ah, Holly.” He stated. “Your grandfather said you wished to reconsider your detention tomorrow?”
“Errr…yes, sir. I, I am supposed to be going upstate to my grandma on my mother’s side, and on consideration I think I really should have chosen the paddling.”
“You know it will now be five licks? And this is your final choice?” He asked.
I took a deep breath, before formally accepting my fate. “Yes, sir.” I replied.
“Okay then, I want you to empty your jean pockets and bend over my desk.”
My pockets were empty anyway, but I gave them a quick pat and plonked myself across the desk, propping my upper body with my elbows.
Meanwhile Mr Willis called his secretary in as a witness before pulling a thick slab of wood out of his lowest drawer. Looking at it I was surprised it fitted in the drawer at all. The paddle would certainly have no problem in impacting both butt cheeks simultaneously…
“Dip your back and hold still.” He ordered as he took position behind me.
There was a faint touch as he lined up the blow then…
I gasped as the effect of the blow engulfed my senses. One stroke had put my bum on fire.
A few seconds later BAM!
The pain increased and I let out a yelp as I felt my body lifted as the blade whacked into the under-curves of my rear again.
I screamed and just about stayed in position.
The tears started as I screamed. I had resolved not to cry, but it was too much. My butt felt as if it could not get any sorer than this.
Of course it could as the final BAM! proved.
With a final shout of pain I stood gripping and rubbing my rear end desperately trying anything to reduce the burn in my butt.
I can’t remember the final admonishment, other than he gave me a hall pass for ten minutes to clean myself up before returning for the final few minutes of homeroom.
A few minutes was hardly enough but at least I had stopped crying by the time I returned to class. Mrs Toms did not make an issue of it, although I could see the looks of my friends as I staggered to my seat.
I found with a shock that sitting was a little sharp, getting a wry look from a few mates.
The rest if the school day was an odd mix of emotions. There was embarrassment at what had happened, relief I’d survived and of course the distraction of reliving events that I’d rather forget for others’ benefit.
I was very happy to leave at around half past two and head home, only to have to relive the whole experience of the woodshed and the paddling with Lisa in the car. I had been reluctant, but as she pointed out, if I got it, then chances were high enough she could at some point, especially from my grandfather now the issue had happened once.
My grandparents were mollified that I had taken my butt whooping and soon we were driving upstate to ‘Grandma Martha’. Though I could sit comfortably enough I suppose, I still could feel the effects. At least I thought the whole thing was over and I now could enjoy the weekend.
So I thought. My grandmother, however, had other ideas!
None of that was apparent when we first arrived. It was only as I helped prepare for the tea she started asking questions about school, and it soon was apparent that my father’s parents had given her a detailed account of my run-in with the school.
Thus eventually she said: “So, rather than taking your paddling, you thought it would be okay to skip the weekend up with me. How am I supposed to feel about that?”
There was a disappointment and hardness in her voice that unsettled me. If I knew what she was planning I would have been more than just unsettled though. All I could say in reply was that I was panicking about the paddling and not thinking straight, and how sorry I was.
Her reply was that she was very disappointed that I had got into trouble at school and further had not considered the impact on both her and my father’s parents in trying to opt for a detention.
She then dropped her bombshell. She had decided to treat me exactly as she would my mother and spank me, not for the school paddling (which she was going to let me off with) but for being so inconsiderate about potentially messing up the weekend for everyone else.
I looked at her, shocked, then started to splutter my pleas. However, after being warned not to make it worse for myself, I was escorted upstairs to her bedroom. Lisa looked very shocked at this turn of events as we left her in the kitchen to watch the stove. However she was not the one getting a spanking on an already bruised butt!
Once in her room, she ordered me to take my jeans down to my ankles. Nervously I undid the top button and the zip, and with a wriggle and a push they were below my knees. I was glad I was wearing my lowest cut panties.
That was until she ordered them down too!
What ensued next was a lot of begging, pleading and tears on my part. My grandmother on the other hand went from ‘firm and implacable’ to ‘cross and threatening’. It was only after she suggested the deployment of her much larger, heavier clothes brush that I finally succumbed and the stripy cotton underwear I had on joined my jeans around my ankles.
She already had the dark mahogany brush in her hand as she sat on her dressing table chair and pulled me (already sobbing) over her knee.
My sobs were soon mixed with screams and wails as the brush started cracking down on my already sore rear. I begged and squirmed but it made no difference as the wood landed again and again, rapid fire on one then the other side of my rear. With her other hand holding me firmly, I was unable to escape, and if I squirmed too much then each time she gave two extra very painful whacks on my thigh tops to remind me to keep still. Throughout she scolded me about how selfish I’d been, asking questions like would I ever do it again.
Every “no, never” or “yes, I understand” that I bawled out was the answer she wanted. In between I lost count of how many times I said sorry and begged her to stop. I just desperately wanted the agony to stop as quickly as possible.
Finally it was over. After a final scolding still over her knee I was allowed to stand and get dressed.
She then gave me a hug and told me it was over and she hoped never to have to do it to me again.
After having half an hour to recover it was dinner. I was surprised but she ensured she acted as if I knew it was completely over as far as she was concerned. Now it really was over it was clear I was free to enjoy the rest of the weekend as originally envisaged.
Other than, of course, for my rear end. It took a couple if days for the pain to no longer bother me and both nights I found it easier to sleep on my stomach. For the following week or two the marks were visible and it was clear to all in sport that I had had a thorough going over. However, as I was far from the only one to have ever had a bruised bottom there was little more than the odd sympathetic comment in the changing room.
As for my grandparents I was that bit more careful after that, though it did not stop me (nor Lisa) finding out what the woodshed treatment was really like on more than one occasion over the succeeding months, nor finding out that my parents, when they returned, took a very different view to CP once back on American soil despite my age.