YUH GAWH BE KIDDIN’: Spare the rod, spoil the child
AS A CHILD I was obedient-ish, ish meaning I was mannerly but had a tendency to get up to mischief and would often pay the price in tears as a result of pressure being applied repeatedly in short bursts to my rear.
My mother had a particular walk, that was heavy and steady and when yuh hear this walk yuh know blows coming.
I remember one incident clearly; I couldn’t be nuh more than five I had an ice lolly and I wanted to go on the back step to eat it. As I ease to go to the back my mother shouted “Don’t go out there cause I don’t want you falling down,” to which I responded, “I don’t want the ice cream drop in the house.”
Even at that age I knew that what I said made sense so when she responded with “alright” I felt like I won the lotto. Little did I know that “alright” meant “if you go out dey you gine see who God you serving.”
I gone out on de back step now playing I humming and eating my white lolly when suddenly de rock that was always stable start to shake and I lost my footing an began to fall in slow motion. I kid you not, by the time the last of my body hit the ground my mother was over me standing and what I thought was a look of concern and worry, was instead the fury of God.
My mother start to beat me so bad, all I coulda do was shut my eyes and dance away from the blows. In the back I could hear my grandmother shouting “Fena, yuh ginekill de child? Oh gosh Fena!”
Then suddenly the licks stop and this woman who now offload in my backside, had the audacity to pick me up and hold me with the most gentle touch and say with the sincerity of an angel, “you hurt anything?”
All I coulda do was look at her in shock and ask myself is she mad, shrug my shoulders and held onto her crying as if it was somebody else who just beat me and she was my saviour. If you doubt me ask me.
But guess what, I was not a victim, I did not resent her and I never went back on that back step without permission. Nothing is wrong with flogging your child. The child just needs to know why it has happened and it must be done within reason.
Spare the rod and spoil the child.
I am Toni-Ann “Acka” Johnson. Love, peace and Mazola Corn Oil.
• ToniAnn Johnson is an actress versed in the area of comedy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org