Lava Soap

From: Koalabear ([email protected])

In my bedroom on one corner of the dresser is a bar of Lava soap. It is unwrapped and although it is very old, the bar is unused. It rests on an ornate blue crystal soap dish, and when I see the small gray block, my buttocks still tingle and my mouth goes dry. I remember the lesson my mother taught me and the promise I made, more than fifty years ago.

I was five, and I was now a BIG boy in Kindergarten, my very first school experience. In those long gone days just before the second world war, there was no day care, as mothers did not work. I liked my school and my new teacher, and went eagerly to my classroom as soon as Mommy released my hand.

My morning was wonderful and exciting, complete with a small triumph, and praise from a grownup who was not Mommy. I had drawn a picture of a tree with every green color I could find in the big yellow crayon box, and the teacher held it up to the class. Her smile, and their oooohhs and aahhhhs confirmed what I already knew: I just LOVED to draw and I loved Kindergarten!

Bursting with pride and bubbling with energy, I swaggered out to the slides and swings in our little playground. Swinging high and free, soaring into the brilliant blue sky, my oscillations matched my joyous mood. But the glory was fleeting, and recess would soon turn my bright elation into black gloom. Suddenly, my giddy happiness was rudely interrupted! Another boy blocked my forward swoop and pulled me off the swing. I tumbled into the scuffed dirt under the leather seat, then jumped up and pushed him away.

We tussled back and forth, entangling ourselves in the swing, until the teacher separated us and restored order. She marched us over to a bench by the fence and firmly sat us down. Frowning down at our red faces and tense little bodies, she lectured briefly, and then made us apologize and shake hands. We touched palms, and continued to glare at each other.

Momentarily distracted by another child, teacher did not see or hear the other boy say something nasty to me. She turned back to us just in time to hear me throw his words back at him, as I said quite loudly:

"YOU can eat shit and die, Bobby!"

The look on her face, as she yanked me from the bench, was one of horror mixed with utter disgust! Mrs. Walker lifted me high, then tucked me, facing rearward, under her left arm. She turned and headed for the classroom, while simultaneously swatting the seat of my brown shorts with her big right hand. Other children were climbing on the monkey bars; swooshing down the slides; bouncing on the teeter-totter; swinging on the swings and playing in the sandbox. But all activity ceased and they watched wide-eyed and open-mouthed as she strode past, still walloping my little behind. By the time we reached the room, I had received at least fifteen hard spanks and my face was red and tear streaked.

I spent the remainder of the morning with my nose to the corner near the teacher's desk. I had fallen from hero to criminal, and Mrs. Walker made sure that the class understood the awful seriousness of my crime. Without being specific about the dreadful words I had used, she very carefully explained to all the boys and girls that I had spoken words that were very, very nasty. More ooooohhhhs and aaaaahhhs followed, but they did not bring joy to me. Pride was replaced by humiliation: I had a huge hard lump in my throat, a tumbling tummy, and tears running down my cheeks.

In these days, it is hard to understand how it was in those times. Kids, especially Kindergartners, were innocent in a way that children in this omnipresent multi-media age will never be. 'Dirty' words were just not uttered in polite company, (remember polite company?), and were totally unacceptable from the lips of children. The older kids, (those 'big' kids of eight or nine), when sure that no adults were anywhere near, would sometimes dare each other to say whatever really BAD words they knew. As the particular naughty word was spoken, the sharp intake of breath by all that heard, sealed the magic power it carried. The casual unthinking use of foul language that is so prevalent today, was inconceivable then. The point is, I was in awfully big trouble, and Mommy would be along to pick me up very soon.

I stood on trembling legs, my shoulder clamped in teacher's big hand, watching the other children run to meet their Mommies. The kisses and embraces were sweet and joyous, as the happy children excitedly shared their school day with delighted and admiring mothers. But I had no happiness to share, and not even my masterpiece to show. My picture had been put into the teacher's desk drawer in disgrace, and there was nothing left that I could offer as restitution for my crime.

The wait seemed to be an eternity, but in reality was probably no more than five minutes. When Mommy finally came around the corner, I burst into tears as the teacher dragged me forward.

My ears roaring, my stomach jumping and my heart thudding in my throat, I heard only fragments of what the teacher told my mother about my day.

"......inexcusable.......fighting.........nasty.........awful....... ....disgusting.........language........had to spank him..........."

Suddenly I was thrust forward into Mommy's arms. She hugged me, quickly, and then her sweet voice penetrated my fog of misery.

"Oh Woody, how could you be such a naughty little boy?"

I could not look at Mommy's face. My eyes were everywhere but up: the dry yellowed grass at my feet; teacher's sturdy brown shoes; Mommy's black pumps. I could not bear to see my mother's beautiful eyes. She knelt down, holding me by one elbow, firmly lifted my chin and glared into my teary eyes. I could see the muscles in her jaw clench and release: there was no doubt that she was very upset. But the anger I saw in her face was overlaid with a complex of other powerful emotions. There was embarrassment, of course; and sadness, mixed with disappointment. Yet somehow, through the blur of my tears, I also saw love shining in her blue eyes.

"What do have to say for yourself, Woodrow?"

What could I say? That I loved her; that I would rather cut off my tongue than have to face the shame in her eyes; that I was sorry, oh so sorry for what I had said: but I had no words adequate to answer her unanswerable question. So I stood mute, trying to look anywhere but into those twin oceans of disappointment.

"Look at me when I talk to you, Young Man!"

It took all the courage I had to face her scrutiny. When my eyes finally met hers, I saw judgment mixed with the love, and her face had hardened with resolve. I knew that a decision had been reached and a sentence determined, and that punishment would be imposed as soon as we reached the privacy of home.

Mommy took my hand. Rising to her feet without another word, she strode homeward at a pace just fast enough that I had to run to keep my footing. Her heels clicked loudly on the pavement, and the normally innocuous sound became a frightful drum beat, escorting me to my impending doom.

She spoke not a word during our brief walk, and the cold and strange silence only deepened my dread. I knew that I was going to be soundly spanked, and that as always, it would be bare bottom! My buttocks began to tingle as I anticipated what was coming, and new tears now streaked my face.

I wasn't spanked often; perhaps once or twice a month, but when it happened, it was a solemn and serious occasion. An important lesson, carefully reasoned and fully explained, was reinforced by the firm application of Mommy's hand to my naked behind. My time over Mommy's knee never lasted more than a minute or so, but she spanked very hard and very fast, and it really burned my naughty little bottom.

When we reached home, my mother did not let go, even to open the door. Fumbling in her purse with her free hand, she pulled me tightly to her side as she inserted the key in the lock. Opening the door, she pushed me inside and closed it quickly behind us. The solid thud as the heavy portal closed, sounded unnaturally loud in the strained silence. I knew that my encounter with Mommy's stinging palm was very near. I was in emotional and physical overload: my tummy churning; my mouth dry; my buttocks clenching. Every part of my small body was remembering previous punishments, and dreading the ordeal to come.

Briefly releasing my hand, my mother threw her purse and keys on the side table, grabbed my upper arm and marched me up the stairs. When we reached the landing, she told me to go into the bathroom and wait. I was puzzled, as I had never been spanked in the bathroom; but Mommy's cold manner and angry frown made me very obedient. On rubbery legs I tottered down the hall. I went into the bathroom, sat on the edge of the tub, put my hands over my ears, my elbows on my knees, and waited.

With my head hanging down, I could only see the floor, and so while I waited, I began counting the little pink and yellow flowers on the throw rug. My count got up to twenty-something, and I noticed that the flowers seemed to be moving. I lost the count, so I started over, staring intently at the rug, a bit angry that the little flowers would not stay still. The harder I stared at the rug, the more the blossoms seemed to move. When the pink flowers began to chase the yellow ones, I gave up counting and just closed my eyes; wondering when Mommy would come back, and fervently hoping she would not.

A couple of centuries passed, and with my eyes closed I began to see pictures. Unfortunately, the images were all of me; over Mommy's knee, getting spanked for being naughty. As the memories flickered in my head, I again became very conscious of my bottom. I could feel the hard porcelain under my buttocks, and it was cold even through my clothes. I knew that my small behind wasn't going to be cool for very long, and that my brown corduroy shorts and white underpants wouldn't be covering it much longer.

Suddenly, something touched my hair! I opened my eyes and saw my mother's stockinged toes anchoring the little flowers at my feet. She ruffled my hair again, and I felt love flowing from her fingertips. She would soon be teaching me a very painful and unpleasant lesson with those fingers, but her caress was calming and soothed me somewhat.

When I looked up, she knelt, her face close, and I saw that her eyes were luminous with love. I also saw the twin frown lines between her eyebrows, and her usually smiling mouth was pursed with determination. I stood, tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat: I knew it was time for me to go over Mommy's knee.

But Mommy did not usher me down the hall to my bedroom: she did not sit on my bed; she did not take down my shorts; she did not turn me over her lap; she did not pull down my underpants; and she did not spank my bare little bottom. What she did do was a complete surprise!

She took my hand, led me over to the sink and sat on the bathroom stool. Releasing my hand, she turned on the hot and cold water. She carefully adjusted the faucets, testing the water temperature with her wrist. Maybe I was going to get an enema instead of a spanking. But Mommy did not take down the big orange rubber bag from the hook behind the door; she did not pull the coiled hose with the black nozzle from the drawer; and she did not get the small Vaseline jar from the medicine cabinet.

Instead, she took a washcloth from the towel rack, thoroughly soaked it under the running tap, then wrung out most of the water. Mommy picked up the bar of Ivory soap and then she paused, looking very grim. She put down the Ivory, opened the cupboard under the sink, reached in and brought out a bar of Lava soap on a saucer. In those days Lava soap was gray, not green. It was kept under the sink for my father's use after working on the car. The soap was coarse, gritty and mostly made from pumice. The powdered volcanic rock content was very effective for removing grease and oil.

The soap company sponsored "Gangbusters," a very popular radio show of the era. The story line was about the daring and brave exploits of G-Men, as federal agents were known in that time. I had always loved the show, and used to wander about the house loudly singing the staccato theme song: "L-A, V-A; L-A, V-A; L-A, V-A!"

"Rat-a-tat-tat-tat! Rata-tata-tata-tat! Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-TAT!" Skulking around corners and peering from behind couches and chairs, I waved my pretend Tommy Gun (a couple of pieces of nailed-together wood), spraying imaginary bullets as I mowed down the bad men! Like the Lone Ranger and the William Tell overture, the Gangbusters tune was exciting and quite memorable to impressionable small boys. Unfortunately, the soap was about to become as memorable as the music.

Mommy took the gray soap from the saucer, wet it under the faucet and quickly worked up a foamy lather on the washcloth. Now I was really confused. I had no idea what was coming next, and that was really scary!

"Woodrow, would you really want Bobby to eat...... what you said?"

"I don't know.... I guess not..... I mean, no....." I mumbled.

"Do you remember the last time you got a spanking?"

"................yes." Now things were back on a normal track, but I wondered what she was going to do with the washcloth.

"Do you remember why I spanked you?"

"For..... for.... for saying a naughty word."

"And what did you promise me after your spanking?"

"Not to do it again...... but, but, but.... I didn't mean to say it!"

"But you DID say it; didn't you?"

"But Bobby said it first!"

"And you said it second, didn't you?"

"I'm sorrrrrrrrrry, Mommmmmy. I really, really am!"

"You did not keep your promise to me, did you?"

I was whining now, and twisting back and forth, my hands spread across my bottom in defensive posture. I couldn't think of any answer that Mommy would accept, so I hung my head.

"Woodrow, you have been a VERY naughty little boy. Now Mommy is going to teach you a hard lesson. This is what happens to bad boys who use nasty, dirty words and break promises."

Holding the soapy washcloth in her right hand, Mommy swiped her left hand dry on a towel, pulled me closer and firmly grabbed my chin. She squeezed just a bit, and then told me to open my mouth.

I opened my mouth to tell her again how sorry I was..... and she shoved the gooey washcloth inside! Mommy quickly began washing out my mouth, and she was not gentle. She held me firmly by the back of the neck, and rapidly scrubbed my tongue; my teeth; the top of my mouth; my gums and even under my tongue. In her deft hand, the soapy cloth was relentless: exploring every crevice and cranny, until I began to choke and gag. It was horrible! The soap taste was ghastly, and the strange sensation of her fingers moving in my mouth was awful! Tears streamed down my cheeks, and mixed with the soap, but Mommy did not stop. The lesson continued until I was one very sorry and very thoroughly mouth-soaped five-year-old.

When she finally removed the washcloth and threw it into the sink, I did a little dance on the rug; coughing and retching and spitting. When I reached for the faucet, Mommy slapped my hand away and pulled me to her side. Her fingers quickly stripped down my shorts and pulled my underpants down to my knees. She spun me around and gave my naked behind eight ringing spanks, eliciting howls and more tears. Then she picked me up, carried me down the hall to my bedroom, and stood me in the corner. I was still gagging on the terrible soap in my mouth, and my bare bottom stung from the hard swats.

"Young man, you are to stay right there, with your nose in the corner, your hands on your head, and you are to think about how awful those nasty dirty words taste!"

I just had time for a hopeful thought that my punishment was over and that I wasn't going to get a full-fledged over-the-knee spanking: when Mommy's next words penetrated my pain and shame.

"And you can also think about how sore your bad little behind is going to be after you have had your spanking. Woodrow, you are to stand there and think about why you are being punished for the next ten minutes. When I come back, we are going to have a little talk and then you are going to get a good bottom warming!"

The minutes in the corner crept by with agonizing slowness. I was soon lost in the physical sensations: the awful soap taste in my mouth; the tingling burn of my bottom; the underpants stretched tight across my knees; the playshorts tangled and twisted around my ankles; the tears still wet on my cheeks. I squeezed my elbows together and leaned into the corner until I touched the walls. I didn't think much about how naughty I had been: my thoughts were more concerned with what was going to happen when Mommy returned and took me over her knees.

"Woodrow, it is time for your spanking. Come here to Mommy."

Although I had been expecting her return, my mother's voice was like the first thunderclap in a sudden summer storm! Startled, I lost my balance and toppled to the floor, tangled in my lowered clothing. I looked up and saw my mother: she was holding a paddle in her hand.

Three houses down the block, Donny's mother kept a small paddle hanging on a hook next to the kitchen clock. It was used on Donny's bare bottom with awesome effect, as I had observed on several scary occasions. The result: after the screams and loud whacks stopped, was a pair of very red buttocks, and a very sore and soundly chastised little boy. I knew instantly that I didn't want anything to do with that awful paddle in my mother's hand. I also knew that it was going to be used on my little behind and that what I wanted, or didn't want, wasn't going to matter one bit!

Mommy saw me staring at the paddle, as if it was some deadly poisonous snake, and answered my unspoken question.

"I think you need a stronger lesson to help you keep your promise."

She looked down at me, her usually soft and smiling face hard with resolve and intention.

"While you are down there, you might as well take off your shoes and playshorts."

I complied, crying softly as I struggled first with my tangled clothing, and then with the laces on my Keds. Mommy knelt by my side: helped me with my shoes; pulled off my socks; lifted me to my feet; and pulled up my underpants. She took my hand and led me back down the hall to the bathroom. There she gently helped me rinse out my mouth and drink a glass of water. Then we returned to my bedroom.

The window was open and the room was cool. Mommy sat me on the bed, crossed to the window, closed it, then seated herself beside me. She turned me to face her and held my hands in hers.

"Woody, do you know why Mommy washed your mouth out with soap?"

"For.... for saying the.... bad words."

"And now you are going to get a spanking. Do you know why?"

I was twisting back and forth, moaning, fearful with anticipation, and not very interested in a lecture. All I could think about was what was coming next. I blubbered out the first thing that popped into my head.

"But... But you already spanked meeeee in the b-b-b-b-baaathrooom!"

"That wasn't a spanking! That was just to get your full attention."

"But I'm sorrrrry, Mommy!"

My mother caressed my cheek, held my chin and looked deep into my eyes. Her voice was soft with concern, but firm with conviction.

"I know darling. I know you are sorry; especially now that you are going to get a spanking. But right now I need you to listen very carefully to what Mommy says. This is a very important lesson that you MUST learn. I need you to listen as hard as you can. Will you do that for Mommy?"

I nodded solemnly, caught up in the intensity of the moment.

"Woody, when you make a promise to me, or to anyone, you give a part of yourself. When you make a promise, you give your word that you will do or not do something. Your word is you, and when you make a promise to me I believe you, and I expect you to keep that promise. You promised me that you would not ever use naughty, dirty words again. I believed you then: but here it is less than a month later, and you have broken your promise. Do you know how that makes me feel?"

I wasn't quite sure about how Mommy felt, but I knew how bad I was feeling just then. I began to cry again; heaving great gulping sobs of sadness and misery.

"It makes me feel very sad." She said, almost as if she could hear my thoughts. "Because now I can't believe my little boy when he makes me a promise. I need to be able to believe in you and trust you, and this is going to become more and more important as you grow up."

"And as you grow up into a big boy and then a young man, others that you meet, will need to believe in you and trust you when you give your word. This is one of the most important lessons that I can teach you, which is why I am being so hard on you now. What you learn today will really count when you are a man."

She paused, watching to see my reaction. I had stopped crying, not completely understanding everything she had said. But the power and the truth of her words got through, and I resolved that I would never ever break a promise again. And I never have.

The spanking was almost an anticlimax: a just conclusion to confirm my naughtiness and a very unpleasant memory to serve as a reminder.

Mommy stood me on my feet and pulled my underpants down to my knees. Without a word, she turned me over her lap; carefully adjusting me to present my pink little behind at just the right angle over her right knee. When my head was low and my bottom high, she took my wrists in one hand and held them firmly behind my back. I felt the paddle lightly touch my buttocks. I held my breath and clenched my teeth. This was going to hurt so bad!

And it did. I felt the paddle lift; a slight gust of air; my mother's body moved; and my bottom exploded into fire as the paddle flattened my little cheeks. The paddle was truly horrible! Unlike my mother's hand, it covered ALL of my bottom each time it made its awful contact! The fire got hotter and I kicked and bucked with every solid swat. My whole being was filled with pain and noise. The paddle bouncing off my naked bottom was the source of my pain, and the loud whacks, smacks and thwacks were a rhythmic counterpoint to my anguished cries and loud howls.

It was not a very long spanking, not more than twenty or so very hard swats: but it was more than long enough for me. I think Mommy decided that I had already been punished pretty severely by the mouth washing and the spanks in the bathroom.

The paddle ceased its terrible work. I heard it drop to the floor and Mommy released me and sat me carefully on her lap. She patted my hot little bottom and held me tightly in her comforting arms. She kissed away my tears and let me cry away my pain and grief. A timeless interval passed as we clung together, mother and child sharing love and pain.

Mother hugged me again, kissed my wet cheek and carefully laid me down on the bed. I rolled on my side and curled into a small sad ball. She ruffled my hair and put my dear stuffed Teddy into my arms.

"When Daddy comes home you can come downstairs. Until then you are to stay in your room and in your bed."

I started to whimper: "Is.... is he.... will he... will he spank me?"

"No, darling. You've been punished enough. After supper, you will be going to bed early and Daddy will just kiss you goodnight, listen to you say your prayers and tuck you in."

I could hear the telephone ringing downstairs. Mommy stood, softly patted my bottom and went to answer. The ringing stopped and I heard her say: "Mrs. Walker, I'm so glad you called."

Her voice dropped and I could hear her talking, but I couldn't make out what she was saying. I began to worry that Mrs. Walker was going to tell her something bad and that Mommy would spank me again. Although my bedroom was not cold, I began to shiver and I carefully crawled under the blanket and pulled it over my head.

A minute or so later, the bed suddenly sagged, the blanket was pulled away and Mommy lifted me up and gently seated me on her lap. She wrapped her arms around me and cradled me to her soft breast. I was frozen with fear, expecting to be turned over any second.

"Oh Woody...... Your teacher just called and told me about the beautiful drawing that you did at school this morning. I am so proud! I can hardly wait to see it!"

I collapsed against my mother, tried to breathe and couldn't. I realized that I had been holding my breath, and as soon as I relaxed, the air whooshed noisily from my tight chest. The tension released, I began to cry. Mommy stroked my tender bottom and cooed in my ear.

"You're OK now, honey. You are Mommy's good little boy again, and I love you very much."

I sighed and snuggled closer: cleansed and safe in her sweet arms.

"Woody, Please don't forget to bring home your drawing. And I want to make a promise to YOU."

She turned me and lifted my chin, her beautiful blue eyes locking on mine, and said:

"Darling, I promise you that I will always love you. Even when you are naughty, I love you. And I love you most of all when I have to punish you: even though it hurts me too. Do you understand?"

At that moment, I didn't really comprehend: but I could feel her love surrounding me, so I nodded and said: "I love you, Mommy."

It was love that disciplined me that long ago afternoon: love that bore me through pain; love that fed me at her breast; love that soothed me and kissed away the early hurts and tears; love that nurtured and corrected me; love that applied pain to my small pale bottom, and reason to shape my eager growing mind.

It was an all encompassing love: as powerful and as tenuous as gravity. A love that held me and guided me: yet gave me freedom to fly; to fall; to fail; to soar. Her love was a force that surrounded and embraced me in my childhood days: and though she is many years gone, that love sustains and enfolds me still.

Copyright February 2000 by Koalabear ([email protected])

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