Playful, Pius or Remembered Stuff

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Negative Reinforcements

When I was a kid a good spanking did me a lot of good. My parents got good mileage from them. Dad even did the old hack of having me go out in the yard and cut a switch for him to use on my legs and behind. And of course he had to re-send me on the errand because of the inadequacy of the switch I had picked.

In our house there was a board of education that I applied to the seat of learning for our kids. No, no, it's not dangerous or abusive when done properly. I told the kids to grab their ankles and then--timing is very important here--just before they reached the ankle I applied the 1/4 inch plywood board, imaging myself lifting the child off the floor with one wallop. I never lifted them, but once I did break the board on Paul's derriere. Oh, they tried things like delaying things for a chance to pray. Or they would wear 6 or 8 pair of underwear for the occasion. Come to think of it, I believe it was our Paul who took all these inventive approaches.

Contrary to stereotypical images, Barbara the piano teacher has never cracked the knuckles of a student with a ruler. Today she would be jailed for such a thing anyway.

My mother used to use a wooden clothes hanger for a spanker. Women are not usually the best executioners, however. Once when Barbara did her best in my absence, Bobby came back and said, "Mom, you'd better spank me again. The first one didn't hurt."

In my latchkey days as a kid, my mother caught me out after dark (a cardinal sin), and needed to apply negative reinforcement. She screwed up her brow, glared at me and threatened to spank me with a clothespin. There was a pregnant silence as we stared at each other. Then we both broke out laughing. She said, "Well, I guess that wouldn't hurt very much, would it?"

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