Although I blogged about how dated Enid Blyton was last year, my son is now finally of an age to be read those sorts of books. We started on a Roald Dahl, and today moved onto my old favourite, Dame Slap. I loved Dame Slap as a child. The adventures and hi jinks! The elves! The eponymous Dame Slap! What wasn't to like?
It was a shame that I hadn't actually re-read the book myself since the late 1980s. so had forgotten about all of the corporal punishment within the book. Which is daft, really. It's called Dame Slap, not Dame Hugs and Kisses. Or Dame Time Out. I'd forgotten that, not only did Dame Slap slap, but that she used other instruments to hit the children as well. Like a hard-soled slipper.
Cue some very awkward questions from a perplexed four year old. "Mum, do people hit children?" "Mum, do people hit children WITH STICKS?" "Why?" "Why?" "WHY?" And eventually, "I don't like that hitting book."
I suppose that served me right. I'd still like to read some other Enid Blyton book's to my kids once they are older, but might have to put Dame Slap away for another few years. Or, another thirty. And hope that in thirty years time, the idea of corporal punishment will be even more perplexing and foreign to the reader as it is now, as even more time passes from when such things were commonplace.