My mom’s mother was a short little lady of about 5′ (in her tall days), but she was as feisty as she could be, and definitely the boss of her nine children. She never had a drivers license, and never wanted to. She simply wanted to be wife to my grandpa and mama to her kids. I remember spending time at her house. There was always something to do. I suppose that was because with nine children there were a lot of grandchildren…30 to be exact. We had a wonderful time.
My story is not really about the grandchildren, however. As I said, Grandma was small, but mighty, and her kids knew who ruled the roost. If you chose to get out of line, it didn’t matter if you towered over her or not, you were in trouble!! Such was the case one day when my mom was 8 years old or so. My grandmother was in the middle of giving my Uncle Larry a spanking for something he did. My mother doesn’t even remember what he had done, and that isn’t surprising. Mom decided that Grandma was completely in the wrong for spanking Uncle Larry, and she proceeded to let her know it…in no uncertain terms. The spanking continued for a minute or so, with my mom just telling Grandma off. Grandma never said a word. She just finished my uncle’s punishment, and turned him loose. He headed out the door as fast as he could go, just in case she changed her mind. My mom started out the door after him with the intention of offering consolation, but Grandma had other plans. She reached out and grabbed my mom by the hair and turned her over her knee and gave her a good spanking. When she was done, she simply said, “There…how do you like that?” Well, I’m sure you can guess the answer to that question. My aunts and uncles were, from that day forward, on their own when it came to punishment, because my mom was no longer the defender of her siblings, when it came to their mom.
As the years go by and children grow, those spankings get fewer and farther in between, until you no longer need that form of discipline with your kids. They can look back on those days in their youth and laugh, since the sting on those spankings is only a memory. One day, some of the kids and Grandma were talking and laughing about those old memories. My Aunt Bonnie, who was standing beside my grandmother, and still laughing about those old days, said to Grandma, “Well, those days are gone forever, because you couldn’t take us now.” And in true Grandma Style, my grandmother didn’t say a word…she simply reached out and grabbed my Aunt Bonnie around the ankles and swept her off her feet and onto the floor. To a very shocked Aunt Bonnie, she said “There…how do you like that?”