- Family and Parenting»
"The Skirt" School and Spankings in the 1940s
Marie grew up in Sheep Creek, playing by the creek and in the forest all day in her overalls. Then she turned 6-time for school. Her school clothes came in an Eaton’s brown paper parcel. At Christmas those parcels had toys or books, but this time it brought a scratchy plaid wool skirt.
“Stay still, let me dress you.” said Mommy.
“I hate this skirt.” Marie said.
“You have to wear it to school.” Said Mommy.
Marie went to meet the teacher. She was tripping over the skirt and felt like she was choking. How could she walk to school in that terrible skirt? How could she sit on that scratchy skirt? She almost started crying. Soon as she got home she tore it off her skirt and put on her shirt and overalls. Marie felt much better. She made a plan, She knew that on the path to school past the big stump was her tree fort. It was the place to hide out. That night she shoved her pants up the sleeve of her jacket. On the way to school she crawled into the tree fort, stuffed the skirt in a hole in the trunk, and pulled on her overalls. They felt so good on her legs.
Marie sat at my desk and did all her addition.
“Very good work Marie. Here is a gold star.” said the teacher.
“Thank you Miss Cruikshank.” said Marie.
“But, Marie, why are you wearing pants? Where is your skirt?” asked the teacher.
Marie just looked down at the wooden boards on the floor.
“Take this letter home to your mother.” said the teacher.
“Yes Miss Cruikshank,
Back in her tree fort she pulled on that horrible skirt and stuffed the letter in the hole in the trunk.
The next day she did the same thing. By the end of the week she had five gold stars in her notebook, and five teacher’s notes in the tree. The teacher went to see her mom.
“Why is Marie coming to school in pants?” asked the teacher.
“No she isn’t. I dress her in her new skirt every morning.” said mother.
“Well, she is coming to school in pants.” said the teacher.
Marie’s mother was really angry.
“Marie, Marie, What the Hell were you thinking?” she asked.
“I hate that skirt. I won’t wear it.” said Marie.
“I’m going to spank you with the hairbrush.” said Mommy. “No, your dad will do it when he gets home.”
Daddy found Marie hiding behind the chesterfield.
He winked at her and said, “Scream real loud and pretend you are getting a spanking.” He pounded the chesterfield while Marie screamed. Daddy smiled at Marie.
So every morning Marie crawled into the tree fort and hid her skirt. Her teacher kept giving her notes for her mother. And Mommy kept trying to make her wear the skirt. But Marie was a good kid and Mommy didn’t want to spank her. Finally, by grade four, Mommy gave up.