Raised by my mother and grandmother, I was never able to get away with much. They both agreed on swift and immediate punishment, so the wait time between my being naughty and my punishment was almost instantaneous. My grandmother would at least ask for my side of the story before yelling at me. My mother was more the spank first, ask questions later type. She often discovered I was innocent afterwards, but that never prompted an apology.
One time I woke up from an afternoon nap being spanked. I must have been twitching in my dreams so she thought I was faking and administered the swats. When I convinced her that I had been fast asleep she said it was for all the other times I had fooled her. We went through a spell where I got one or two spankings a day, so the one day I made it until bedtime without one, I mentioned it. She grabbed me and swatted my bottom twice for sassing her. Oddly, the spankings eased up after that.
Neither one cared about my privacy or self-esteem, so if I saw them burst out of the house and march at full speed toward me while I played outside with the neighborhood kids, I would run back inside the house. I preferred the privacy of our house than being punished in front of all those witnesses. Not that it mattered; the whole neighborhood knew what was happening.
Mom blamed me for looking more like my father’s family than hers and she made it sound like a curse, but I took it as a blessing. Maybe I was adopted? I confided that to a friend’s mom one day, but she smiled at me and told me she was pretty sure I wasn’t adopted. Without taking sides, she comforted me saying some parents are just stricter than others. I would one day be too old to spank. I prayed she was right.
I decided when I grew up and I had children, I would treat them with respect. If they needed correction, I would try other means first before administering a spanking. And I certainly would never do it in public. I came up with warnings, time outs, and “trips to the bathroom” which meant the culprit and I were about to have a private “talk.” Sure, there were swats on the hands when they reached for something dangerous and swats on bottoms when they were disrespectful, but they were never spanked out of frustration or anger, and it was never without thought.