Those Were the Days

"Tell Momma the Truth" Acrylic on paper. Copyright 2013 Totsymae

“Tell Momma the Truth” Acrylic on paper. Copyright 2013 Totsymae

When I was in elementary, I used to spend a good portion of my time in the principal’s office. I don’t rightly know why. I was so cute. In addition to that, when I was in primary school, teachers were allowed to spank. Thus, also, a good deal of my time was spent lying over my teacher’s lap with a paddle to my bottom or my hand burning from the sting of rulers that had been taped together. I wasn’t what you’d call a bad child. It was just that then, folk whipped us younguns for the slightest misbehavior. I always say, if you can’t be a kid getting into a little mischief, then what’s the point of being at kid at all. I had some devilish fun back then.

There used to be a game called Hide and Go Get, the dirty version of Hide and Seek. It was supposed to be that the guy who found the girl who was hiding would end up getting a kiss but me? I was never found by the guy I wanted to get the kiss from. In my hiding spot, I’d look up and some ole mojo face looking fella would find me and I’d run like the deacons so I’d not have to kiss him. As you can see, that game didn’t work out too well for me.

Another game we’d play, which did work out pretty good, was opening a big box on both ends and rolling down a hill inside of it with a fella. Ooooh, how I loved that game! Just a fresh little thing, I was. When I look back, they seem like innocent games.

My, how times have changed. Now, folk can’t spank their kids, which is probably not the worst thing. Folk spank ’cause it’s the only way they know how to discipline. I remember my great-grandmother could talk to me in the most sweetest tone and whip me with a dose of common sense that I wasn’t displaying at the time of trouble and it would make me feel worse than any whipping I could’ve gotten. I did the right thing for longer periods of time than when I got a switch laid across me. But again, I wasn’t a bad child, just a little mischievous on occasion.

And since I brought it up, do you think there’s sucha thing as bad children? If not, what do you call  them?


19 thoughts on “Those Were the Days

  1. I remember those days with great fondness. Sadly, there is such a thing as bad children, those kids that even the best parents just can’t straighten out; otherwise, they’re little heathens and demons (according to my late grandmothers).


  2. My grandmother had a look that could make you shrink into yourself and wish she would whip you instead. Our teachers, all the way up into middle school paddled us for the very slightest of infractions.

    No I don’t think there is anything such thing as a child born bad, though I know there are those who strong disagree with me. I do think there are children born with something inside of them that lead to trouble, that even with the best opportunity will cause them to walk the dark edge of life. Even these children though I believe can be brought around. I don’t know what that answer is, how it is done but I continue to believe it is possible.


  3. I only remember spanking my kids once. They and some other hooligans had vandalized a synagog. I think my son was about 9, and my daugher was about 6. (All she did was eat some cookies.) My kids honestly were with much older kids and did very little as far as participation goes. I did spank their butts and then took them to the Rabbi’s door and made them apologize and offer to help clean up any damage done. The Rabbi was delightful and thanked us. I was the only parent who came forward to apolgize and try and make things right. The kids helped one of the guys from the synagog do a clean up and he took them out for ice cream afterwards. My kids learned that you can’t “go along” with companions if you knew they are doing the wrong thing. That lesson remained with them I’m glad to say. They learned to respect the house of God in any of its forms. It had more to do with interacting with the Rabbi than it did with the spanking though.


  4. I don’t remember getting spanked, although I am sure I did. I was, however, a compulsive liar and very believable. If I got caught I invented a story and was believed. I don’t really know how I came to be a law-abiding adult.

    I did smack my son once. We were on vacation and he was being a total jerk. He was on my case the whole entire time and being incredibly disrespectful to everyone. He answered me back in the snottiest tone I had ever heard. And I said “Jacob, if you speak to me like that again, I swear I will slap you.”

    He responded: “Well, what if I duck?” in the very same tone.

    I smacked him. If he ever speaks to me like that again, I will smack him again (he is now almost 22). Everybody has their limits. That was mine.

    But I haven’t met an evil child. Even my brother and I, who were trouble makers, weren’t evil. My eldest brother, though, that might have been a different story.


      • That is a good question — nature or nurture, in fact. Jacob was adopted. His sense of humor is quite amazing, actually. Based on that, if one gets their sense of humor from nature then Jacob is Robin Williams’ love child. If it’s nurture, then I am one of several culprits.


  5. You are still dang, cute Tots! And I don’t think there is a bad child. Have taken “bad children” and “bad dogs” on to find they were nothing of the sort. What goes into the child or dog is what you get back. Easy. Why do so many out there get this so wrong… and then say they have a “bad” child which makes it all the worse especially if the child is within earshot. Why try to improve behavior if you are already cancelled out… anyway, you asked, lol JMO 😀


  6. Tough question. For the most part no, it’s not “bad” kids it’s “bad” parenting. On the other hand there is psychopathology that won’t respond to the best parenting possible. It doesn’t help that kids aren’t something that can be “mechanized”. They each need what they need and it’s not the same for every kid or every situation. I was a good kid, but my sister got paddled pretty regular. She had a bit of a sassy mouth. Can’t imagine where that came from.


    • You know, I took on a sassy mouth around the age of 12 on account of needing to defend myself against my own family. Heck, I was tired of being talked about in my own face and started shooting back. Of course, I was called disrespectful but they were no more right for causing me to do it. Anyhow, they’d never claim they did now. So like grown folk to deny. Wonder what prompted that in your sister.


  7. i strongly disagree with hitting a child, yes i do believe you need to be firm with them, but that can be done with having a good firm talk and being strict.. you don’t need to involve spanking!


  8. All children are being born the same, then the outside and the parents infuences mould them. If they do not receive love, they don’t know how to give it, If they grow up in a shouty family they think it is ok to shout etc. I work in a Primary school and I can say that the most which is missing in those “bad” kids is love and recognition. No child is bad!


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