Posted by: Diane | April 11, 2012

The Hairbrush Trilogy

Black and white bristles down, on the bare butt.

My brothers and I remember it all too well. My mother did not tolerate lying and when we got caught in the act, we got smacked with the dreaded hairbrush, where it hurt the most.

There was the time when my mother told me that I was not allowed to help myself to the candy cupboard but when no one was looking, that’s where I bolted. I most definitely got caught in the act as I dragged the chair across the kitchen floor and climbed up to reach that bowl of goodies in the corner cupboard. My mom was disappointed that I disobeyed and sternly warned me.  However, as soon as the discipline session was over, I headed right back to that cupboard… AGAIN!  This time, I accomplished the mission but when asked if I had disobeyed, I lied. That’s when I got the hairbrush, smack on the butt.

My brother humorously tells the story of when he was told not to play with the hamster that my mother (a teacher at the time) had brought home for summer vacation. Of course, Brad let the hamster out of the cage at the first opportunity he had and proceeded to allow the hamster to run through the hollow Christmas paper roll. He was very young and didn’t anticipate the fact that once the hamster got to the end of the tunnel, it would fall out of the tube, which it did, onto the ground, and died.  Brad was horrified and quickly put the dead hamster back into its cage. When questioned about rigid hamster he lied…and he got the hairbrush, smack on the butt.

Brad really made me laugh when he told me the following story.

One day, I watched the way that Nana emptied Paul’s (his older brother) dime bank that looked like a little cash register. When no one was looking, I took all the dimes, stuffed them in my pocket and headed to the local White Rose gas station to buy candy.  What I didn’t notice was that I had dropped some dimes on the way out the side door. When I got back, Nana was standing there with her arms crossed in front of her.

Bradley, you need to go into your bedroom and wait for your mom to come home. “

I knew I was in big trouble.  When mom got home, I got a big hairbrush spanking. After she was finished,  I looked at mom and said, “that didn’t hurt”…so she spanked me harder. That was the last time I was ever spanked.”

My older brother wasn’t so free with his stories about the infamous hairbrush but he certainly remembered that he got it too.  What he did remember was the fact that “mom didn’t tolerate lying. When we lied to her, we got spanked.” 

My mom was definitely onto something because there are always consequences to lying – better to learn that when we’re young, right?

The Bible says something very interesting about this issue.

There are six things that the Lord hates – no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6. 16-19 NLT

Liars are mentioned twice. Once in verse 17 then again in verse 19. I’m no bible scholar but I do understand that God hates lying and deceit.

I believe that it’s important to love what God loves and hate what He hates. It’s a high standard but a worthy pursuit because life powerfully teaches all of us that ultimately, lying results in butt-spanking-consequences – mentally, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.


  1. Thanks for such heart warming memories. I too remember my mom’s hairbrush and it was very hiney warming as I vividly recall. As for lying, that was sure to get my mouth washed out with soap – then followed by a good spanking with the hairbrush and put to bed for the rest of the night.

    • Ah….the memories, right? Thanks for commenting on my blog. Diane

  2. You have such a nice way of writing and when I think back of those spankings they seem so romantic now. Our mothers were fulfiling their maternal responsibilites to properly raise their children.

    Your writing so reminded me of my 3rd grade Sunday School teacher. She was always so nice and would give a brief sermon before we split up into smaller groups by age. I never knew if this was a coincidence but one Sunday, after having received one of those “spankings of your life” the past week, Mrs. A——- gave us a little sermon about why our parents spank us. She concluded by telling us that God loves us and our mother and father love us and that when they have to spank us it makes us a better person before God.

    My mom and Mrs. A—– were friends so it could have been very likely that during a conversation at a recent church meeting my mom could have mentioned the spanking she gave me. It was for cruelty to animals – the subject of which you triggered in my mind when you mentioned your brother and the hamster incident.

    On a visit to my uncle’s farm, we had sparklers and naturally were forbidden to go into the barn with them, as they could easily cause a fire. Well, you know how this is going already. I ignored the “dont’ go into the barn” order and burned the feathers off the side of the chicken and my brother caught me. Normally he would have told on me, but I think that he realized that an offense such as this was a “you’re going to get tthe spanking of your life” situation and didn’t want to be responsible for me getting spanked. He kept quiet about it.

    Well it didn’t take long for the chicken with burnt feathers to be discovered. My mom questioned me and my brother and I just looked down at the ground. She looked me in they eye and said “did you do burn that chicken?” Tears started to roll down my cheek and my brother said to me “you better tell mommy the truth.” So I just kind of nodded my head.

    She grabbed me by the arm and started walking me to our car, spanking me with her hand along the way. She told me to sit in the car and then announced “when we get home you’re going to get the hairbrush, I’ll show you what happens when you disobey me and are mean to animals.” I was softly crying in the car and a few mintues later the rest of the family came and we drove home.

    It was dark and late in the evening, probably past 9.00 pm. My mom sent me up to my room to get ready for bed and I remember my sister coming by while I was getting undressed and saying “you may as well leave your pj bottoms off because when mommy comes in to give you the hairbrush she’ll just take them off anyway.” My sister was 5 years older and was not at all sympathetic to my situation since she was upset about the chicken (which, I’m happy to report, went on to live a healhty life with new feathers).

    With fierce determination I put my pj bottoms on! and double snapped them at the waist. If my mother was going to take them off me, she was going to have to unsnap them twice! Only a couple of minutes passed until my mom came in with the dreaded hairbrush. In one sweeping motion, she had my PJ’s off (the double snap didn’t turn out to be much of a hindrance at all) and I was across her lap getting my hiney plastered with the hairbrush.

    It had been a quiet and peaceful evening on our street up until that first spank with the hairbrush. Then for the next minute or so I was yelling and crying during the spanking and then bawling like a baby for a few minutes beyond. I remember it feeling like my hiney was on fire.

    Since then I’m happy to report that I’ve always been very kind to animals. So it was a painful lesson, but one that I never forgot. I think that was her intention, and it worked.


    • That’s quite the story! Thanks for sharing it with me!

  3. After reading your postings and my responses I’ve been thinking about the psychology of spankings and the phrase that I sometimes heard “you’re just asking for a spanking” from my mother. Well, no I most certainly wasn’t consciously asking for a spanking! I had been there, done that. Or rather had it done to me. And I never like it. So why would I ask for a spanking?

    But then after reflecting on my behavior sometimes, and your’s also concerning the cookie jar. I was quite aware of the unpleasant consequences for disobeying, lying, etc.

    My brother and I had been clearly warned about trespassing on a construciton site on our street. “If I find out that you’ve been there again you’re going to get the hairbrush” she told us one evening. Well the very next afternoon my brother came bounding out of our house and said “let’s go up to the new house!” I responded with “NO WAY, remember what mommy said about the hairbrush?” Well he was undeterred and said that “mommy” was not home, so how would she know? And besides, all the “other kids” were up there.

    I knew I shouldn’t go. The consequences, if I got caught were clear in my mind. Nonetheless, I shrugged my shoulders and followed in my brother’s footsetps. We were having fun climibing around when someone said “your mother is calling you”. There was my mom standing across the street. It was a silent walk home other than my mom mentioning that she was disappointed that we disobeyed her.

    Upon arrival home she told us to go up to our room up and get ready for bed. It was 4.30 in the afternoon! Since it was summer, we just slept in a pair of boxer shorts. After changing into them I wondered how long I would be keeping them on, or if they would soon be removed, involuntarily.

    I was feeling so angry with myself. Why did I let my brother talk me into going in the first place? I knew if we got caught my mom would surely give us the spanking she warned us about. Deep down inside did I actually want a spanking?

    True to her word, a few mintues later my mom came in the room I shared with my brother, carrying that awful hairbrush. She gave us the usual talk about what happens when we disobey her, that we had been warned, and that we left her no choice but to give us a spanking. And then she gave it to us good! We were allowed to come down for supper, with our pillows to sit on, but then were sent to bed for the rest of the night.

    Did I ask for it?

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