My mom has a sweet heart. She was an awesome mom growing up with a ready ear and an open mind, strict rules and a damn heavy hand. That woman could whoop your ass faster than George Clooney can fuck a waitress. She didn’t mess around either. She gave you a warning if you sassed her, told you to cool off but if you hadn’t shut the hell up by warning number three she would smack you with a wooden spoon hard enough to leave that imprint on your ass.
The thing is there wasn’t one time she hit me that I didn’t deserve it. From the time I went to a concert when I was 15 without permission (until 2 am) to the time I muttered “What do you know, stupid?” and got hit with my dad’s evil belt that hurt like a bitch. Thankfully I was a good child and didn’t give her any headaches, never did drugs, or got drunk before I was allowed to drink, of was bad at school (aside from talking back to teachers) or stole things, or was boy crazy, or anything. Thankfully also by the time I was old enough to misbehave my brother was two years older and my mom’s hitting arm had grown tired from smacking him around.
I don’t get parents here. I don’t get when media and authorities tell parents they can’t hit their children and they can discipline without hitting. I understand there is a fine line between abusing and hitting, but there is also a fine line when authority shifts and your kids start believing they're the boss. Believe you me, I am thankful for every ass whopping I ever got because I deserved every single one of them and I wouldn’t be the woman I am today if my mother hadn’t smacked when I was begging for it. Sometimes you cannot rationalize with children. Sometimes (especially with teenagers) you can’t sit there and pretend to have a conversation when first they don’t want to listen and second everything you say in their heads is wrong. People, regardless of their age, are always pushing boundaries, always testing the lines, seeing how far past it they can get. And sometimes seating down to have a conversation with the line pusher does absolutely nothing. I saw my mom trying the conversation thing with my brother and it didn’t work. He kept pushing and pushing and pushing until only punishing (and not necessarily corporeal) was the way to go.
I can’t go to a supermarket without seeing at least 3 to 4 kids that deserve to be smacked in the mouth (my hands itch!) One time I was in the supermarket with my mom and this lady was hauling this eight-year old who was screaming to the top of his lungs because he wanted some candy or whatever and when his mom threatened with “pow-pow” like she put it, he screamed even louder than before and said: “If you hit me I’ll report you” I had to haul my own mother away because she told the lady “If you don’t want to hit him I’ll hit him for you”. Thankfully the lady didn’t speak any Spanish. How do you react to that? Do you kneel over and tell the kid “Baby you can’t do that do mommy”? My mom would’ve slapped me hard enough to lose some brain cells and said “NOW you have a reason to report me, go ahead!” Some mothers say to me that it hurts them to hurt their child, that the love they feel for that little person is so big it doesn’t allow them to cause them harm. No mother could’ve loved their children better and more than my mom. That didn’t stop her from pulling out the belt when we were being impossible to reason with.
The thing is when you have tasted the sting of real leather you learn to measure your words, because when scolding is the only thing you are going to get then as a rebel teenagers it is not enough incentive to not be a smart ass. I am not talking of abusing or breaking bones, or bruising. I never had a bruise because of my mother and neither did any of my siblings who got hit a lot more than I did. I was an angel 0:-)
My mom’s friend told her the other day that children are for rent and that they do not belong to their parents so they cannot be hit, or mistreated or even scolded because they are individuals and they have to be allowed to make their own decisions. My mom promptly told her that we are all hers because we were her parasites for 9 months each and that makes us hers and that she will forever have the right to smack us if we get stupid. It’s part of being a parent.
I have never felt traumatized, humiliated, abused, ridiculed or anything when my mom hit me in the past. All that bullshit about the damage to the child’s mind happens when ABUSE is going on. Is not the same as smacking, or hitting with a belt twice (believe me; with my dad’s belt twice was all it took!)
I am sure that screaming child was screaming in the supermarket not because he wasn’t hit but because his mom never told him to shut the fuck up, so maybe hitting is not necessary when you actually teach your children to behave. I think the first time my mom hit me for real I was in my teenage years already. Before that she had very unorthodox methods of child rearing.
My brother and I used to HATE each other. Well let me rephrase that, he used to love to tease me to death and I used to hate his guts. My mom always took his side because he is her favorite child and we would fight and fight, and argue and drive my mother up the wall. I was probably 7 to 8 years old when my mom got fed up and she warned us that if we kept fighting she would tie us belly to belly so we had to spend every waking minute together and would HAVE to get along. My brother and I didn’t believe her and before the end of that day my mom had gotten so fed up she tied us together by the hand in a knot no 8 year could ever undo! We had to go pee together, eat in sync and went through hours of “STOP PULLING, YOU STOP PULLING, NO YOU STOP PULLING”
I lost count of the many times my brother busted my lip open. My dad (back when he was still playing at being a daddy) told my brother never ever to hit a woman. He did again and another time and then one last time when he threw a shoe at me and once more busted my lip open and my dad grabbed the same shoe and hit him with it and told him that was the LAST time he ever put his hand on a woman to hurt her. My brother had a psycho girlfriend who attacked him a couple of years ago and he didn’t lift a finger to hurt her. Sometimes lessons are learned the hard way and conversations don’t work the same way as a good spank in the butt.
My mom never raised her hand or her voice when a good conversation was good enough to solve an issue, she would sit us down and tell us if she was disappointed and expected more, she talked to us like adults and said she expected us to use the brains God gave us to stop acting like dumbasses and behave like the incredible people she knew we were. She raised the bar; she challenged us to want to be better, to act better to be good. When that didn’t work and we still acted like fools then nothing like a good smack in the head to unscramble our brains.
If I am ever a mother I hope my kids come out smart enough to know when not to fuck with me. Smart enough to know how far to push me. I hope I never have to hit them but I am sure sometime I’ll have to. And I think the fact that I pushed a cantaloupe out of a hole the size of a cherry gives me the right to decide when and how to discipline them. Sometimes a smack is the difference between a lesson learned and a lesson easily forgotten. Sometimes the memory of that stinging belt is what keeps you from doing something that you know you shouldn’t be doing. Sometimes knowing you will disappoint someone who loves you also helps.
Children learned fast, sometimes all it takes is a narrowed look before you move away from the flying spatula.