Thursday, May 15, 2008
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Part 3
Either my folks became tired of buying wooden spoons or they decided that their children’s little hiney’s had grown calloused and the spankings didn’t have the same effect. So a new punishment was in order. This new punishment became the “end all” of punishments because it could be used for any reason and it never left a mark. A spanking on the other hand could leave a handprint; therefore proof… The new punishment was; writing. Now you’re thinking to yourself “What’s so hard about a little writing?”
You wouldn’t be so coy if you had to write “I will not hit my brother,” 100 times. Actually, I would have been grateful if I just had to write what I had done wrong 100 times. Usually, it was 500. I would like to put into perspective how much 500 times is; the average page of lined paper has 28 lines, to write 500 times would use up almost 18 pages of paper but being earth friendly, we would write front and back with made it 9 pages. That’s the size of a good college paper.
Let me try to remember all the things I had to write:
I will pick up my coat
I will not swear (I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve written this on more than one occasion)
I will not talk back
I will do my chores
I will clean my room (I never got my room cleaned because I was too busy writing)
I will not laugh when I’m being spanked (This is in transition from one punishment to the next)
I will listen to my parents
I will do my homework on Saturday, not Sunday
I will not yell
I will keep my guinea pig in its cage (I ended up not doing my writing for this one and as a consequence my sweet little Licorice was given away)
I will practice the piano every day
I will feed the animals
I won’t bore you with more, but now you can see what kind of person I really am by all the naughty things I was punished for. And it’s not like we were told we needed to write 500 times “I will not sneak mom’s whoppers” and then my folks would forgot about it, no, no, no. In addition to the writing, we were grounded from just about everything but breathing and pooping until the writing was finish to mom’s satisfaction. We were always given the choice of when we wanted to do our writing, but our choice greatly affected our happiness and if our day consisted of anything more than lines blurring together.
You would think with all this writing, I would have beautiful handwriting. Not so much, in fact, my husband says that I have boy handwriting (I think he’s jealous because he writes like a little girl). None of my siblings have good handwriting now that I think about it. Perhaps it’s because of the torture we were forced to endure that was our punishment; it broke our little spirits, and fingers.
Lesson Learned: Don’t swear, talk back, hit my brother, laugh when being spanked, yell….oh hell, I don’t know if I learned anything.