A story of old-fashioned domestic discipline is told by the son of a very strict mother in the Deep South back in the day.
I was raised by a strict mom who did not believe in “spare rod and spoil the child.” I was subject to many old fashioned lickings growing up in the Deep South. If I was sent to my room it meant I was going to get switched, being sent to her room meant the belt. I was usually switched for making failing grades in school, fighting, telling lies and infractions in general.
I still can see her going to the Peach or Hickory bush to break off a switch. It would be at least five feet or longer with a very heavy bottom and thin at the tip end. She would walk toward house peeling off the smaller branches waving it in the air. Waiting in my room, my stomach churning, weak in the knees, sobbing softly with tears running down my cheek. I would already be undressed from the waist down. I usually kept on a tee shirt but it wasn’t long enough to interfere with the switch. She would enter the room, shut the door behind her, and give a scolding to me asking me why I was getting the switch. I would reply stating whatever I had done adding that I was very sorry and please don’t switch me. But this was all to no avail. She would then take my left arm with her left hand and turn me around with my naked bottom facing her.
She would then take my left arm with her left hand and turn me around, naked bottom facing her. She would begin with five slow taps switch just to line things up. After that, the switching began in earnest. She would start at top of hips and work all way down above my knees. The first couple of licks saw the keen switch wrap all way around my thighs. After that, it would start a downward trek to my knees. I mastered the “Hopi” rain dance method while this was in progress. I’d be jumping up and down and around the room begging her to please stop but it fell on deaf ears.
I would put my right hand behind me to ward off licks but was told to move it because welts would be left on my arm. Midway she would stop and ask me if I were learning anything from this. My reply was, “Yes, ma’am, I have.” A two or three-minute talk would follow about my transgressions after which she would resume ordeal all over again saying, “We will see.” I don’t know how long my switchings lasted as there was no clock in my room nor do I know how many licks I got. At times I would be weak and would hold my breath, she would pause long enough for me to restore my breathing and then continue.
When she was finished she would tell me to get my clothes back on and finish my chores. I’d be rubbing my bare buttocks and jumping up and down in one place, crying my eyes out, trying to stop the hurting. I would be black and blue from hips to above my knees for several days and would eat either standing or sitting on a cushion. It was very hard to slide into my desk at school the next day. I had one strict mom.