Dear Nanny Smackbottom
Even though I admire and enjoy your publication I must confess to having had doubts about the methods employed to discipline errant boys. Imagine my surprise when I discovered for myself that your recommendations could be deployed successfully.
My nephew is fifteen, and typically lacking in manners and respect for his elders. One evening after a heated debate about him going out and not returning until late, I decided to try a little experiment. While he was taking a bath I locked his bedroom door, then selected a pair of my pyjamas; yellow floral ones made of robust flannelette and returned to the sitting room to wait for him.
Soon he was standing in front of me holding a wet skimpy towel to cover his modesty. He demanded access to his bedroom and his clothes but I calmly told him that I had decided he was not going out tonight but instead would enjoy a quiet night in with me. I pointed to the pyjamas warming on the radiator and informed him he could wear the pyjamas or he could stay naked - the choice was his. Of course he blustered about his 'rights' and such nonsense that he had picked up at school, until I told him that he was legally still a child and under my jurisdiction and that i had the right to discipline him how I chose.
Becoming less assured now he tried to reason with me. He reminded me that I was expecting visitors, as if that would sway me. I told him it was up to him, if he wanted my guests tosee him naked he could stay as he was, or he could be seen, modestly attired in pyjamas. Much calmer now he looked at the pyjamas on the radiator then down at the useless, sopping wet towel. I watched delighted as he took the pyjama bottoms and reluctantly stepped into them. As he slipped his arms into the the pyjama jacket I could barely suppress my excitement.
The pyjamas were far too big for him, especially the pyjama top, so I helped him by turning up the sleeves of the jacket and turning over the elastic waistband of the bottoms to shorten the length of the pyjama legs. He struggled with the unfamiliar button arrangement and I happily fastened them for him. The effect on him was staggering, almost immediately after putting on my pyjamas he was a different boy. He politely requested that he be allowed to go immediately to bed, but I informed him if he did so seven o'clock would become his permanent bedtime so it would be more sensible to wait to greet and say hello to my guests, after a short period of time I would allow him to depart for bed. When he asked me how we would explain his appearance he called me 'Aunty', something he had not done for several weeks.
We would say he was recovering from flu and that he had run out of clean pyjamas, I told him reassuringly. When my guests arrived he was politeness personified, sitting quietly and speaking when spoken to. Everyone accepted without question our explanation of his unusual attire, some even commenting on how sweet he looked wearing feminine pyjamas. Only when one of them produced her phone, saying she must have a picture of such a delightfully polite little boy in his jimmy-jams, did he murmur an objection. I felt sufficiently confident to give his bottom a little smack and he posed, admittedly somewhat shyly, sitting coquettishly on my lap - a picture that stands framed on my mantelpiece as I write.
At seven thirty I encouraged him to say goodnight to everyone and after night-night kisses and hugs, I led him upstairs and tucked him into bed in my daughter's old room. He did not look out of place amongst the girlish knick-knacks that defined it as a truly feminine bedroom.
The next day I kept him dressed in my pyjamas to reinforce my newfound discipline and after school on Monday I took him shopping and bought him two pairs of female pyjamas of his very own. His pyjamas are primrose and pink; soft winceyette ones with a frilly lace Peter Pan collar, and with teddy bear and - very appropriate for winter - snowmen, motifs.
Since then, if he has misbehaved I only have to say ‘pyjama time please’ and no sooner have I spoken the words he has put on his pyjamas and is cuddled up beside me dressed for beddy-byes in his pretty girls' night attire.
Thank you for promoting this truly effective style of petticoat discipline.
Pyjama and bedtime discipline is very effective, and I get quite a few letters from women such as yourself who have discovered this for themselves. A soft toy such as a teddy bear or bunny rabbit is often added, as well as a baby's dummy at the time of actually being taken to bed and this can greatly enhance your control over him especially with guests present. Please write again Margaret, and tell us all how he is progressing.