Today, we come to an implement that unlike those mentioned before was not commonly used as tool for school discipline. It is strict, traditional mothers who have used (and quite probably still use) this tool to administer quite thorouh punishments (often on the spot) to unruly boys and girls: The wooden Spoon.

There is not a kitchen that I know of which has not at least one wooden spoon. They come in various sizes and, so it seems, are not always used for cooking food. As I am told by a lot of people it was and is also used to heat up bottoms.

I did not ever get it with a wooden spoon while growing up, my mother preferred other implements. However my good friend Christina did get the spoon on more than one occaission. Here is what she can say about it:

“My mothers wooden spoon was something to fear. I tell you, she broke quite a few of those on my bottom until quite some time into my teenage years. You were one well-chastised girl after a dose of the spoon, so much for sure.”

The spoon would see its use mainly in quick, on the spot punishments, delivered over the mothers lap, or maybe curbed under her arm.

Christina describes the spoon as a hard implement that, if applied with force, left the bottom well bruised. It hurts even through thicker layers of clothing and can be almost unbearable on a bared backside. “I feared the spoon more than the beltings my father dealt out.” Christina says. “If she gave it to you good, you were sore for days:”

It can be attributed to the quick availability of the wooden spoon that it has become an implement felt and feared by many. In this, it can probably be compared with the hairbrush. Both are also alike in that they are paddle-like implements. In any way, the wooden spoon is almost a symbol for maternal discipline, especially in european countries.

Wooden Spoons still are available at most homes. It can be taken as a fact that its use as a means of correction will not vanish either.