Monday, 20 January 2014

Arrangements for Michael - Part 10

Tenth Letter

Edith Hudson to Olive Jefferies


My dear, dear Olive, 

I have read your detailed letters with increasing admiration. You really are an inspiration to us all. Such efforts you are making with Michael… and now with Brandon too! I am more than ever delighted with my decision to entrust you with Michael’s welfare while we are away on holiday. I can’t tell you what a relaxing time I’m having, away from the demanding responsibilities of looking after my mischievous step-son. Your letters have made such rewarding (and I might add entertaining!) reading that if I begin to worry about what trouble Michael may be causing you, I only have to open one of them and read a few lines to know that his is safe in your experienced hands. 

May I say straightaway that I think you have made the right decision with Brandon? It certainly sounds as if your older son was well overdue for a reminder that he is still only a boy and must behave as such. It really is no kindness and does a boy absolutely no good to ignore behaviour that needs correction. The moment we indulge naughty behaviour is the moment we lose all control. Boys need to know who is in charge. So well done, Olive!

I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly with your decision to remove Brandon’s silly boy-hairs; they are quite unacceptable at that age and unhealthy too to my mind. A boy looks much smarter, tidier and far neater if his pubic area is kept completely clean and free of unsightly hair. I’m sure that if you spoke to your good friend Dr Langham, she would agree with my view that pubic hair on young boys is both unnecessary and unhygienic and that that area should be kept smart, hairless and smooth. 

I would like, if I may, to make a suggestion and that is to promote Tyler to the role of ‘older brother’ if Brandon is to be kept in disgrace. Even though he is only eleven it will be valuable experience for him to have the responsibility of setting an example to the two older boys, Michael (14) and Brandon (13). I’m sure that given proper encouragement, Tyler would be more than capable of teaching the two older boys lessons in manners and good behaviour. Of course we mustn’t forget that Brenda will be on hand to help Tyler and together I’m certain they will ensure Michael and Brandon behave themselves at all times. 

A simple, straightforward and highly visible way to make sure everyone is made aware of Tyler’s new status is for him to be allowed to wear long trousers at all times and for Brandon to be immediately put back into short trousers (if you’ve not already done so!) and dressed in much the same manner as Michael. For this to be effective it is particularly important that Tyler is seen to be wearing his ‘longs’ when you are all out together in public or have visitors or are visiting. It should be made quite clear that Tyler is the youngest boy, but that despite his age he is the only boy in the family responsible enough to have earned the privilege of wearing long trousers. 

I cannot stress too highly the importance boys place on the ownership of long trousers, Olive; although I’m sure you are perfectly well aware of this fact. As mums we must remember that girls simply have no similar ‘rite of passage’ as do boys with their transition into longs. Long trousers are far more than just another item of clothing. In my experience there is nothing that boys look forward to and covet so much as the day they are allowed to put on their very first pair of ‘longs’. For when boy is allowed to wear long trousers it is a visible sign of his growing up; an acknowledgement and recognition that he is leaving behind boyhood and becoming a young man. 

Thus, for the privilege of wearing longs to be denied or, as with Brandon, withdrawn, the loss is not simply that of an item of clothing, it is a loss of status and a sign for everyone to see that the boy’s mum does not consider him mature enough or trustworthy enough to be allowed to wear long trousers. He therefore remains a boy; a boy for all to see. His bare legs will be to him a constant reminder of his juvenile status. And for Brandon the sight of his younger brother wearing long trousers will enhance his feeling of loss of status considerably. 

For Brandon to be put back into short trousers and given no hope of wearing longs in the foreseeable future will be a salutary lesson indeed. From what you have told me, Olive, both Tyler and Brandon have been allowed to wear longs for a number of years. Consequently Brandon will have been used to showing off in his long trousers for quite some time now. Putting him back into short trousers will be a bitter pill for him to swallow. You will no doubt have to put up with a lot of whining and pleading from Brandon to be allowed to wear long trousers again, but I suggest you make it clear to him that he is not to be allowed longs by the simple expedient of removing these particular items of clothing, which will no longer required, from his wardrobe and storing them for future use with Tyler’s clothes. Make sure that Brandon is aware these long trousers are his no longer, but are now ‘hand-me-downs’ for Tyler to wear when he has grown sufficiently for them to fit. 

Dear Olive, these are merely my thoughts on the matter of boys and long trousers which I hope might be of use. From the thoughtful and detailed letters you have written to me, I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that whatever you choose to do by way of the forfeiture of Brandon’s privileges, you will always have my full and unequivocal support. It will be a lesson too for Michael when he sees that no boy, no matter how old, can easily be taken down a peg or two if his mum so desires. 

As you can no doubt imagine I have had to put up with a lot of pleading and begging from Michael over the years regarding the subject of long trousers, but I have told him often enough his complaints about not being allowed to wear longs are proof (as if any were needed!) that he is simply not ready for them and must be kept in short trousers “for the time being”. I have found this to be a useful phrase to use, Olive, since it serves to keep Michael on his toes. The words “for the time being” carry with them the hope that one day Michael will be allowed to wear longs. Of course Michael has no idea of when that might be, but nevertheless he knows that if he behaves himself and is a good boy, one day he might wake up and find that longed for pair of long trousers ready for him to wear. 

I must thank you for confiding in me your decision to withdraw Brandon’s masturbation privileges. You know my views on boys and masturbation, Olive. I’m sure it will do Brandon the world of good to practice some self-restraint rather than self-abuse. Masturbation can so easily develop into a pernicious habit that leads boys to secrecy and furtive behaviour. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that it is likely Brandon will need constant supervision, though I know you have an extremely efficient helper in Brenda. 

There are of course a variety of restraints and proprietary devices available which stop boys playing with themselves. Sadly a lot of boys find great difficulty practicing self-control when they are told they have lost their masturbation privileges, so might I suggest a pair of mittens for Brandon? There are a number of different types of mitten that help to prevent a boy intent on masturbating and I have used them from time to time with Michael when he has had trouble in refraining from playing with his penis. The type of mitten that has proved most useful is tight fitting and contains the whole hand so that it is impossible to use the opposable properties of the boy’s thumb (I need not elaborate I trust!). The mitten has a highly polished, virtually frictionless surface made from a form of vinyl, so there is little chance of achieving satisfaction should the boy persist in trying to stimulate himself with the mittens. 

I have to say these mittens are simple and very effective and of course can be worn at any time. There have been occasions when it has been necessary for Michael to wear them in front of guests who have naturally enquired as to the reason he was wearing them. To say Michael was mortified would be an understatement. On one occasion, for instance, he was dressed in a pair of his yellow shortalls and a Mister Man top (Mister Naughty, if I remember and most appropriate too!). Michael hung his head in abject shame as I explained to everyone in the room that the mittens were to prevent Michael playing with his penis. 

“I do not condone the practice of self-abuse among young boys,” I told my guests, some ladies from our local bridge club as it happened, “It all too often leads boys into other wicked ways. Michael has been caught on a number of occasions in the act of self-abuse… Haven’t you Michael?” 

Michael was beside himself and just stood there in front of us waving the incriminating mittens about; hiding them behind his back then bringing them together in front of him; pressing them together which made them squeak. He was in a frightful state and clearly wanted to get rid of the horrible mittens now everyone knew what they were for and why he was wearing them. But of course Michael couldn’t remove the mittens himself; they could only be removed by a grown-up. He knew that was unlikely to happen for a while. I should really have remembered to pack Michael’s mittens as I might have known he would need them during his stay with you. 

With regard to Michael’s micro-kilt and whether he should be allowed to wear a pouch, or something similar. I have given this a great deal of thought, Olive and it is my opinion that he should only be allowed to wear anything underneath his micro-kilt if you are going somewhere that people might take exception to the occasional glimpse of his penis. Michael should really be able to control himself. But as you know only too well by now, he does get over excited very easily, so it’s really his own fault entirely if he has an erection that lifts up the front of his kilt. However, I will leave the last word and final decision with you Olive as I want you to know that you have complete control over Michael and that whatever you decide, you have my unqualified support. 

Do please do keep me informed of Brandon’s progress. By the way mittens for the control of boyhood masturbation can be found at any reputable boys’ outfitters, although you will probably have to ask for them. My advice is to take Michael and Brandon to the shop so that they can be tried on for size at the counter. It would be an informative shopping trip for Brenda and Tyler too. I’m sure they would love to go along and watch the mittens being fitted on the naughty boys. 

Well I must sign off now Olive, though I just want to add again how grateful I am to you for giving me the opportunity for this wonderful break. I’m enjoying my Scottish holiday so much, secure in the knowledge that you are looking after Michael.


With all my best wishes,




Monday, 13 January 2014

Anthony is Invited to a Party


Anthony couldn’t believe his good fortune. He had been invited to a party! What’s more mum had agreed to him going! And there were girls going too! 

True it wasn’t going to be a big party. Edward would be there and so would Sean. Another boy, Ryan who was just sixteen and the oldest of the party-goers, would be in charge. Ryan's sister Angela was one of the three girls invited. To ensure things didn’t get out of control there would be grown-ups on hand, but as long as the children behaved themselves the grown-ups would remain in another part of the house in which the party was to be held. 

Even at the outset, and unsuspected by Anthony, there was unrest among the boys and girls. It goes without saying that everyone thought they should have more freedom and Ryan thought of himself at sixteen far too worldly-wise and sophisticated to be attending a party with ‘young kids’, as he called them disparagingly. He would far rather be spending his time doing other things, but his mum insisted he help out. 

As the big day approached Anthony pleaded with his mum to be allowed to wear longs. “But, mummy I’m fourteen now… all the other boys will be in longs… please can I wear some longs to the party?” 

Mum wasn’t going to have any of this nonsense: “I’m not going to all the trouble and expense of buying you a pair of long trousers just for you to wear to the party…” 

“Oh, but mum…” Anthony persisted. 

His mum’s response was final: “If you carry on like this, Anthony, you won’t have a bedtime extension and you won’t be going to any parties…” 

“Yes, mummy…” Anthony was crestfallen, but mum had spoken. Wisely Anthony kept his mouth shut, but he was tempted to ask exactly to what other parties had he been invited? He knew the answer; none, so it was very important to keep on the right side of mum to ensure he would be allowed to attend this one. When the day of the party finally arrived, and with a sense of resignation, Anthony went upstairs to his bedroom to see what his mum had put out for him to wear to the party. 

His heart skipped a beat when he saw what had been laid out on his bed. He had been prepared for a disappointment, but not this! Not his Lederhosen! And not just any old pair of Lederhosen, but Anthony’s special junior, boy’s size Lederhosen. Anthony had last squeezed into them about 6 months ago, but as he was going through one of his growth spurts he had got noticeably taller since then. He picked up the tiny suede shorts. The thin leather felt soft in his fingers. Anthony toyed with the leather laces that held the outside seam of the legs of the shorts together and wondered whether he’d be able to loosen them a bit. Then he picked up the white frilly shirt with its brightly embroidered stitching. White ankle socks and plain black Mary-Janes completed the ensemble and it occurred to Anthony that it might possibly be a fancy-dress party. He hoped it was, otherwise he’d be a laughing-stock and no mistake! 

From his underwear drawer he selected the briefest of his brief white school regulation underpants in the hope they were small enough and wouldn’t show when he was wearing the microscopic Lederhosen and luckily for Anthony they didn’t, but they were so brief, so tight and so small that it felt to him like he was being given a permanent ‘wedgie’ by one of his cousins. 

Anthony put on the fancy shirt and school tie his mum had laid out. It felt a bit odd wearing his school tie to the party, but Anthony was all too aware that an out of place school tie would be of the least concern when the other boys and girls saw his Lederhosen outfit. Once again Anthony prayed the party would be fancy dress. 

Before putting on the little leather shorts, Anthony decided to put on the white ankle socks and his shinny black Mary-Janes. He knew it would be a lot easier to put them on first, rather than leave it until he was wearing the tight Lederhosen. He stood and looked at himself in his bedroom mirror. The shirt didn’t have much in the way of tails and only reached just below the waistband of his little schoolboy underpants. Anthony brushed his hand over the short ‘cow-lick’ fringe that stood up from his forehead. Mum had insisted on an appointment with the barber’s chair for a ‘nice trim to tidy you up for the party’, as she put it and Anthony had duly sat patiently in the barber’s chair as he submitted to yet another humiliatingly short schoolboy short-back-and-sides. The cow-lick fringe he’d been left with was barely ½ inch long and left Anthony’s forehead completely bare and free of the more usual schoolboy long, floppy fringe favoured by boys of his age. 

It was time for Anthony to pull on his Lederhosen. Anthony hated all the buttons and the front flap instead of a fly. Even more he hated the braces that attached to the back and front of the little leather shorts. Anthony first of all loosened the buckles on the braces at the front. They were positioned just above a thicker, oval-shaped cross-piece which was decorated with the image of a stag hand-tooled into the leather. Anthony made sure the braces were crossed before they were buttoned at the back of the shorts. He loosened the leather laces on each leg and then stepped into the tiny leather shorts. They were even smaller and tighter than he thought and it was a real struggle to get them on. Eventually, with much twisting and pulling, Anthony got the Lederhosen on, but when he looked at himself in the mirror he was shocked to see himself. He looked like a ten year old, squeezed as he was into the costume. It was humiliating. His long smooth legs, bare from the little white ankle-socks, seemed to go on forever, until they finally reached the severely short legs of the Lederhosen. Even then the humiliation wasn’t over as the leather shorts were now far too small for Anthony, so small in fact that the split sides didn’t quite meet and Anthony’s bare skin could been seen clearly exposed almost to his hips. Try as he might, Anthony just couldn’t get the leather laces to close the gap in the thin leather Lederhosen legs. 

Anthony sighed. It was the best he could do. He felt dreadfully nervous now. Anthony told himself it must be a fancy-dress party, but that didn’t stop him from thinking that his mum might have been mistaken. What if it wasn’t a fancy-dress party? The thought made Anthony feel sick. With a look of desperation in his eyes Anthony stared at his reflection in the bedroom mirror and at the humiliating costume he was wearing. The thought that his mum might have been wrong was simply too horrifying for him to contemplate. The all too familiar feeling of butterflies in his tummy returned. The dread of humiliation made his legs feel all wobbly. Gosh his boy’s micro-Lederhosen were so tight! 

“Anthony!” his mum called up to him from downstairs, “Anthony, hurry up… you don’t want to be late for the party!” 

Anthony went downstairs and stood in front of his mum for inspection. 

“Stand up straight…” He was. “Hands at your sides…” They were and Anthony could feel his wrists and palms of his open hands on the bare flesh of his legs below the all too brief shorts. 

“These braces are far too loose for a start…” 

“Oh, please, mum…!” Anthony knew that if the braces were any shorter his bottom would be likely to be split in half. 

“Stop making such a fuss, Anthony. Don’t you want to look nice and smart for the party?” 

With that admonishment mum loosened the buckles and shortened the braces not by just one hole, but by two holes on each side! The tiny Lederhosen were pulled up even further as Anthony found himself being hoisted up onto tip toes as mum yanked sharply on the braces before doing up the buckles once more. 

Anthony hadn’t thought it possible the Lederhosen could be made any more humiliating, but mum had succeeded and as he felt around the hem of the tiny leather shorts with his fingertips, to his horror he could feel the bare lower curves of his smooth bottom quite exposed. As he groped his own bottom he was mortified to realise how little the shorts now covered and there was simply nothing he could do! It was so unfair! 

Mum wasn’t quite finished with the inspection. She wasn’t satisfied with Anthony’s tie and to his surprise undid it and took it right off. It was replaced with a dark green bow tie that featured antler motifs. 

“There we are… that’s much nicer,” his mum said as she straightened the bow tie, “When I saw it in the shop I knew it would set off your lovely Lederhosen costume. It matches the stag on the cross-piece. Everyone will be so envious of your costume Anthony…” 

Mum seemed totally oblivious to the somewhat tight fit (to say the least!) of her fourteen year old son’s Lederhosen. Anthony squirmed as he continued to try and feel just how revealing the tiny leather shorts were now that his mum had shortened the braces. 

“Err, mum…” he said, “Um… are you sure it’s a fancy dress party?” 

“What do you mean, Anthony? I don’t think anyone’s said anything about fancy dress,” was mum’s rather startling reply. 

Anthony’s face fell. His mouth opened and closed as if to speak, but he was so horrified by his mum’s unexpected answer that he was struck dumb. 

“No, I don’t think it’s a fancy dress party, darling. Whatever made you think that?” 

“I… I… just thought… Oh please, mum, can’t I wear something else?” 

“Oh don’t be silly, Anthony, I thought you liked your Lederhosen outfit. I’m sure everyone will be thrilled to see you wearing it… You haven’t worn it for such a long time. I thought the party would be an ideal opportunity to…” 

Anthony was almost in tears as he realised the full horror of his situation. Here he was a fourteen year old boy about to go to a party with his cousins and friends; boys and girls, his first party that he knew wouldn’t be a ‘children’s party’, a party for young people, a party without grown-ups… and here he was dressed in the most humiliating costume imaginable. He knew he’d be a laughing-stock. 

“Please, mum… please can I wear something else…?” he mumbled, barely able to stop himself from crying. 

“Oh, don’t be so silly Anthony… just you wait and see… everyone will be so pleased to see you in your Lederhosen… I’m sure all the boys will be really envious… besides there’s no time to change now… If you wanted to wear something else, you should have said so…” 

It was all so unfair. Anthony felt he’d been tricked into wearing the humiliating costume. It was alright for his mum to say he should have said something… but what could he have said? He knew from experience that in the matter of clothes it was useless to argue with his mother. His boy’s Lederhosen had been laid out for him to wear to the party, so with deep reluctance that’s what he’s put on, assuming the only reason for such a choice of costume must be that it was to be a fancy-dress party. 

Anthony was distracted from his thoughts by his mum’s voice: “Now stand still while I put this on…” 

Anthony’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. 

“I bought it with the tie… Come here and let’s put it on. It’s called an Alpine Hat… isn’t it nice?” 

Anthony gawped at the dark-green felt hat. It was ridiculous. In one side of the hat was a jaunty red feather. Anthony knew he’d look completely stupid. As if it wasn’t bad enough wearing his eye-wateringly brief Lederhosen, now he had the indignity of a preposterous Alpine hat to wear to the party as well! 

“Aw, mum… Please… do I have to wear that as well?” Anthony whined. 

“Why, of course… I bought it especially for you. When your Aunty Gladys saw it in the shop, she said it was just what you needed to go with your Lederhosen costume. It was Aunty Gladys who reminded me that she hadn’t seen you wearing your Lederhosen in such a long time and I thought it would be such a nice idea to wear it to the party and then you’d have your lovely new Alpine hat to show off to everyone as well!” 

Anthony saw it all. It was his Aunty Gladys who was behind his latest humiliation and he would bet that his cousins had a hand in it too. Yes, Anthony could well imagine Sean or Edward sidling up to Aunty Gladys and reminding her about his Lederhosen and wouldn’t it be such a good idea for him to wear it to the party? Having said that, Anthony thought his mum didn’t need much encouragement from her sister to find new and ever more exquisite ways of humiliating her fourteen year old son. 

“… and I want you to thank your Aunty Gladys properly for finding your Alpine hat,” his mum continued, “Sometimes I think you can be so ungrateful, Anthony. Why, I’d quite forgotten about your Lederhosen outfit until your Aunty Gladys reminded me about it… so you’ve two reasons to thank her; for reminding me about your lovely little Lederhosen costume and for suggesting your nice new Alpine hat.” 

Anthony ran his hands over the backs of his bare legs and along the seams of the tiny leather shorts. “But mum…” he whined once more, “It’s not fair…” 

But mum was having none of it: “What’s not fair, Anthony? Honestly,” she continued before her son had time to say anything, “honestly I just don’t know what to do with you… You’ve been invited to a nice party with your cousins and their friends and all you can do is moan and whinge… what’s up with you, Anthony? Don’t you like you lovely Lederhosen costume?” 

Once more Anthony didn’t have any time to reply and had barely opened his mouth before his mum went on: “You’re the most ungrateful little boy I know. I’ve let you wear one of your favourite outfits… I’m sure Edward and Sean don’t make as much fuss as you do, Anthony…” 

Anthony’s ears burnt. He couldn’t believe what he just heard his mum say. Favourite outfit! Good heavens! Anthony thought, it was one of his most humiliating outfits and that was saying something! If he had his way he’d have thrown it out long ago. It was true he had thought his mum had forgotten about it, but he should have known otherwise. Now, courtesy of his loving Aunt Gladys, he had a stupid Alpine hat to wear as well! Anthony was dreading the party and his inevitable humiliation. 

Mum continued with her tirade: “… If it wasn’t for the fact that Sean and Edward are expecting you, Anthony, I’d have a mind not to let you go to the party…” 

Anthony could see his mum was becoming exasperated and that never boded well. He hung his head in shame and simply said: “I’m sorry, mum… I didn’t mean…” 

He knew there was no getting out of it. He’d have to go dressed as he was, a fourteen year old boy with his gangly long legs all bare, wearing Mary Janes and ankle socks together with eye-wateringly short leather shorts that were so very short they didn’t even cover his smooth boy’s bottom properly. And as if that wasn’t enough he was wearing a colourfully embroidered shirt with the whole, utterly humiliating ensemble set off by his new Alpine hat. Anthony swore he had never felt quite as miserable as he did at that moment. 

The journey to his cousin’s house, where the party was being held, was undertaken by Anthony in silence. Anthony knew better than to do any more complaining. He felt the clammy and uncomfortable faux-leather seat-covering sticking to the backs of his bare thighs as his mother drove the car. Anthony twisted in the seat in a futile attempt to get comfortable, but only succeeded in making matters worse for himself as the tiny leather shorts were pushed up further, cutting even more deeply into his crotch. This made him twist and wriggle some more and as he did so his bare legs rubbed uncomfortably on the car seat and made a squeaking noise that sounded somewhere between a frightened mouse and a muffled fart. 

“Do try and keep still, Anthony,” his mum admonished, “For heaven’s sake it’s not much to ask… All you do is fidget, fidget, fidget… I hope you’re going to behave yourself at this party, Anthony… I don’t want a repeat of your recent behaviour… put your nice hat straight… and stop wriggling about…” 

The dreaded moment arrived and Anthony having extracted himself from the sticky car-seat, found himself standing by his mother’s side in front of his Aunty Gladys’ house. 

“Ring the door-bell Anthony,” his mum said, but before Anthony could do so the door was pulled open. 

Sean did a double-take and stood open-mouthed at the sight of his older cousin’s costume. For about five long seconds he gazed at the tight-fitting and very brief Lederhosen. Sean’s eyes moved up and down taking in every shameful detail of Anthony’s party outfit. Sean’s eyes were wide open; he couldn’t believe how ridiculous his cousin looked. With difficulty he stifled his understandable desire to laugh out loud. It was quite clear to Anthony that Sean was savouring his exquisite humiliation. Sean, Anthony saw with envy, was wearing the very latest clothes which included expense-looking jeans along with a pair of bright, garish almost, trainers which were clearly so brand new they had never been worn outside. Anthony looked down at this own footwear; to his degrading, sissy Mary Janes and he wanted to run. 

Sean held the door open as a girl’s voice was heard to call out asking who it was at the door. Anthony recognised the voice as that of Angela, Ryan’s younger sister who, at fifteen was a year older than Anthony. Nevertheless, Anthony had a bit of a crush on the older girl and was even more embarrassed (and red-faced!) at the prospect of meeting her dressed in his Lederhosen. He hesitated on the door-step as Sean bade him and his mother to enter the house. 

“Go on in, Anthony, there’s no need to be shy,” his mum said as she took his hand and led him over the threshold. Sean couldn’t help himself and sniggered when he saw how Anthony was being escorted into the house. 

Anthony’s mum was still holding her son’s hand when Angela came out of the front room where the party was being held. She too was surprised to see Anthony’s exquisitely humiliating party costume, but suppressed her natural desire to burst out laughing. Instead she managed to instinctively add to Anthony’s already toe-curling shame by taking hold of his other hand and leading him toward the door of the front-room. 

“I’m afraid Anthony’s rather shy,” his mum said by way of explanation as she let go of her son’s hand. 

“Don’t worry,” Angela replied, “I’ll look after Anthony and he’ll have a lovely time…”

“That’s nice of you, but don’t let him get too over-excited… We’ll be upstairs if you need us…” 

Anthony was lead inexorably towards the room in which the party was being held. He could hear the voices of the other boys and girls who were already enjoying themselves. He felt like a little boy… a frightened little boy on his first day at school… being lead by an older pupil who appeared to know everything and everyone, which the little boy did not. He felt dreadful and as Sean closed the front door, Anthony felt himself trapped, as if about to undergo the most awful humiliation of his young life… which indeed he was! 

Angela made sure that everyone in the room was aware of Anthony’s arrival. In the split second of silence that followed Angela’s announcement which drew everyone’s attention to the profusely blushing boy, Anthony saw and realised that he was even more out of place than he imagined. While he was most assuredly the only boy in the room wearing thigh-baring short-shorts, he also saw that his mum had made him dress in the most laughable, ridiculous costume imaginable. 

Then the hoots of laughter started and the wolf-whistles and cat-calls which soon followed made Anthony’s ears burn with embarrassment. One of the girls, thirteen year old Suzy, asked whether Anthony was going to sing them all a song as it was obvious that he was dressed just like one of the boys from the Sound of Music. This was priceless. Even Angela hadn’t thought of that connection, yet it was so obvious! 

The noise continued and could be heard upstairs. 

“Anthony seems to be a very popular young boy,” Virginia Horne, Suzy’s mother, observed. 

“Oh I do hope this doesn’t all go to his head,” Anthony’s mum replied, “You know how troublesome he can be if he gets too excited Gladys…” 

“You don’t need to remind me, Hetty…” Aunt Gladys replied then added, “… but Anthony’s Lederhosen costume appears to have been quite a hit…” 

“Lederhosen…?” Mrs Horne asked, looking quite astonished that any boy would willingly dress up in such a costume. “Why, did Anthony think it was a fancy-dress party?” 

“I don’t think so…but you know how some boys do like to show off… and I must say he does look so sweet in his tiny leather shorts,” Hetty replied and added to her sister, “Thank you so much for reminding me about Anthony’s Lederhosen, Gladys. I’d quite forgotten about it. It really is such a shame Anthony’s not worn it for such a long time and I know he used to love wearing it when he was younger…” 

In saying this Anthony’s mum was being somewhat economical with the truth. The fact was that Anthony had very little say in the matter of what he was allowed to wear. His short-trousered school uniform dominated his wardrobe of course, so any change from these clothes which were worn most days, whether or not he was actually attending school, was usually felt by Anthony to be better than nothing. And it was fair to say his Lederhosen, at first, had seemed a great deal better than some of his mum’s choices of frankly juvenile and demeaning ‘play-clothes’. Anthony had thought the stag motif on the cross-brace looked pretty cool, but as he was only eleven at the time his enthusiasm for the costume might have been a little premature. Once he realised the full extent of the embarrassment the tight and very brief little leather shorts were capable of, his eagerness to wear them became somewhat muted. By the time he was thirteen, the last time he had worn his Lederhosen, Anthony was positively dreading his public exposure and the ridicule which attended his wearing of such a humiliating costume. 

Downstairs at the party Anthony found himself the centre of attention. Suzy demanded Anthony sing them all a song and soon everyone was calling out encouragement. It was Edward who came up with the idea for Anthony to stand on a chair so that everyone could see. Then Sean whispered into his older brother’s ear and it was decided that two chairs would be better and so Anthony found himself being hoisted up onto the chairs and forced to stand with a foot on each chair. 

At first the chairs were quite close together when he started to sing (well, what choice did the poor humiliated boy have?) ‘Climb Every Mountain’. Anthony didn’t have a particularly musical voice and to everyone’s amusement he would suddenly produce an off-key squeak which would add to his already high level of anguish. Then to his horror, during the second verse, he felt the chairs being moved apart so that he was forced to stretch his legs wide apart to keep his balance. His audience was unmerciful and simply adored Anthony’s wavering, squeaky singing, cheering every ridiculous false note. 

By the time he reached the end of his song Anthony’s legs were stretched so far apart that his Lederhosen felt as if they they’d fly apart at any moment. All the boys and girls in the room were laughing and enjoying Anthony’s all too evident distress. Fortunately for Anthony his costume was sturdily made and withstood the treatment it was getting, but at the expense of considerable discomfort, as the tiny leather shorts cut painfully into the tops of his bare legs. As Anthony’s singing finally squeaked and wobbled to a halt he knew he’d never live it down; that he was a complete laughing-stock; and that he never, ever, wanted to go to a party ever again. 

Angela stepped forward and helped him down from the chairs. 

“That was a lovely song, Anthony,” she said to Anthony’s utter bewilderment and disbelief, “Boys can be so shy when they’re asked to sing or perform, but you really enjoyed singing your song, didn’t you?” 

Anthony didn’t know what to say in answer and, as he tried to make his Lederhosen a bit more comfortable, merely mumbled a vague, “Err, I suppose, I… err, dunno really…” which of course Angela took to mean that Anthony positively loved singing in front of everyone. 

Angela took Anthony under her wing and as the party got into full swing he soon found himself the centre of attention once more when he was persuaded to dance. Anthony had never had the opportunity to try this before, but Angela told him how easy it was and told him the best thing to do was to close his eyes and just move to the music. Anthony wasn’t so sure, but when he closed his eyes and felt Angela’s hands take his and lift his arms about, he began to enjoy the feeling. 

Of course everyone in the room was watching Anthony’s dancing lesson and clapped in time to the music as Angela got Anthony to lift his feet and hop about. Needless to say Anthony presented a quite ludicrous sight as he jumped about and swung his arms, not quite in time to the music. It would be fair to say that Anthony did not possess any natural rhythm anymore than he could hold a tune. When the song finished Anthony opened his eyes and was amazed when everyone in the room cheered. 

But all good things must come to an end and at 7 o’clock precisely, in the middle of a dance, Anthony’s mum appeared in the doorway. Ryan stopped the music and everyone came to a halt… apart from Anthony that is who was facing away from the door and hadn’t seen what the other party-goers had seen.  Anthony, carried away with his new-found ability to ‘dance’, carried on waving his arms about and hopping from one foot to the other, oblivious to the lack of music and oblivious to the presence of his mum in the doorway. All of a sudden he realised that everyone else had stopped dancing and were all looking over his shoulder at something. By the looks on their faces, Anthony saw that it was something serious. He twisted around and suddenly froze stock still in the middle of the room. He was facing his mum. To his abject horror he could see what she held in her hand. It was a pair of his pyjamas. 

“Come along Anthony, it’s well past your pyjama-time…” she said ignoring the stunned silence. 

Anthony opened and closed his mouth, then blurted out: “No… please, mum…” 

“Anthony, you’ve already had half hour’s extension to your pyjama-time as it is,” mum said firmly, “Now I’ve brought along a nice clean pair of your favourite pyjamas… I want you to come along with me and we’ll get you changed… You can come back and play with your friends for a bit longer once you've got your pyjamas on.” 

Anthony had never felt so embarrassed in his life… and that was saying something! It was probably just as well he was so focussed on the winceyette pyjamas held in his mum’s hand that he was unaware of the stifled sniggers that came from his fellow party-goers. 

“Anthony…” mum said sternly, “I’m waiting…” 

Angela stepped forward and took Anthony by the hand: “Come on… better do what mum says…”



Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Stephen's Mum Meets Pamela’s Brother

Stephen’s mum was more than a little intrigued to hear her niece Rachel mention that her friend Pamela’s brother had to change back into short trousers the minute he came home from school. What made her even more curious was the fact that Pamela’s brother was in the Sixth Form! Stephen’s mum was determined to find out more. 

So it was that after the Family Meeting at which it was decided Stephen should continue to wear short trousers to school despite his fast approaching fourteenth birthday, Felicity took her niece to one side and asked her if she would introduce her to Pamela’s mother, Mrs Evans. 

“Do you happen to know how old the boy is?” Felicity asked. 

“Oh yes… You see Oliver… that’s his name… well, Oliver’s birthday is a couple of days before Stephen’s, which makes him the oldest boy in his class, just like Stephen. That’s why it’s always been so… maybe… well, why his mum has always been so strict with him,” Rachel said, “Making sure he sets a good example to the younger boys in his class, I suppose.” 

“Yes, I see… but do you know how old Oliver is?” Girls could be so infuriating at times, Felicity thought. See could see by the faraway look in her niece’s eye that Rachel was thinking about Pamela’s older brother dressed in his school uniform short trousers. 

“Oh… oh… sorry auntie, Oliver’s seventeen,” Rachel replied, “He’s got lovely smooth legs,” she added unprompted. 

Hmm, Felicity thought, so Rachel was dreaming of Oliver’s bare legs!


Rachel agreed to help and a few days later Stephen’s mum made contact with Oliver’s mum and the two ladies agreed to meet, “… for a nice cup of tea and a chat. If you come over about three,” Vera Evans suggested, “we’ll have plenty of time to get to know one another before Oliver gets home from school.” 

The day came and the two ladies sat down in Vera Evans’ living-room. Felicity had had a busy day, so the tea was most welcome. She made herself comfortable in the cosy armchair and the two began to talk. Felicity told Vera about the Family Meeting and how it was decided to keep Stephen in short trousers. She explained that her niece Rachel had told them about Oliver and how he was required to change into school short trousers when he arrived home from school each evening. 

“It was such a eye-opener to hear that another mum could have such firm views as to insist that her son wears short trousers that I felt I simply had to meet you,” Stephen’s mum explained. “I gather that Oliver, who I understand is seventeen, is allowed to wear longs to school, but only because his school insist on him wearing them…” 

Mrs Evans was perfectly open and more than happy to explain her views on the correct upbringing of boys. She practiced what she preached and had no qualms at recommending her “tried and trusted” methods. 

Vera Evans was a firm believer in the undoubted benefits of the short, sharp shock of the well-aimed smack to the backs of a naughty boy’s bare legs. And this was of such paramount importance that it followed quite logically, she thought, that a boy’s legs should be kept bare at all times. The only way to achieve that, she explained, was by keeping the boy permanently in short trousers. 

“Yes, Felicity, you are quite correct. Boys at St Cuthbert’s are, unfortunately in my opinion, required to wear long trousers when they move into Upper School… that’s usually when the boy finishes Prep School…” 

“… Oliver wore the standard grey schoolboy short trousers up until he finished at Prep school at the age of 13,” she explained, “He then moved into the upper school and into long trousers which were a compulsory part of the uniform worn by all the boys. Like your son Stephen, Oliver’s birthday is in early September, so he is the oldest boy in his year. I actually allowed him to put on his first ever pair of longs on his fourteenth birthday, a week before the start of term…” 

“Might I enquire as to the leg length of his Prep School shorts?” Felicity asked. 

“Certainly, Felicity, I do realise these details are very important to an interested mum such as yourself. The leg length of Oliver’s short trousers for everyday wear has not changed; it was and remains 1 ½ inches maximum. He also has some pairs of junior short trousers which have a nominal 1 inch leg length along with a half-elasticated waist, which Oliver wears for special occasions. I have also had made especially for Oliver some ‘naughty’ shorts which he simply hates to wear. These are actually based on the design of very short school trousers that are worn by young boys at infant school. I’m sure you’re familiar with the style. They have a fully elasticated waist, no fly or pockets, so that they have to be pulled on or off. Oliver’s naughty shorts are shorter still with no leg at all to speak of… but perhaps we can discuss those later.” 

“That’s most interesting, Vera. You certainly have given a lot of thought to Oliver’s clothes. His everyday short trousers are much the same length as Stephen’s. Stephen’s school insists on a maximum length leg of 1 ½ inches… but the school outfitters I take Stephen to always recommend a slightly shorter length just to be on the safe side. I’m afraid Stephen always makes such a silly fuss about that, saying why should he have to wear shorter trousers? And that it isn’t fair… So I have to explain to Stephen that the assistant is very experienced and that if she says it’s best to wear school trousers with a shorter leg then that’s what he will wear.” 

After pouring them each some more tea, Vera Evans continued: 

“In Oliver’s final year at Prep School, boys were allowed long trousers and indeed most of his classmates wore longs throughout the year, although Oliver and one or two other boys remained in shorts. But by the end of the year I believe it was only Oliver who still wore short trousers in his class. You have to remember, Felicity, that like your son Stephen, Oliver was the oldest boy in his class, so that of the boys already wearing longs some were almost a year younger than he was. Of course I would have dearly liked to have kept him in short trousers in upper school but the Headmaster made clear that this was not an option…” 

Felicity nodded in sympathy, thinking that at least her son Stephen’s school gave parents the option of keeping their boys in short trousers, as longs were only to be worn at the parent’s discretion. 

“… As a special birthday treat I took Oliver to the school outfitter to be measured for his school longs,” Vera continued, “He was so thrilled to be allowed to put on longs for the very first time and I could see that he must have felt really grown up when he was given help to put them on by the assistant. We let him walk around the shop, just to get used to wearing long trousers, but of course he was not allowed to wear them home, or indeed until he started school. I’m afraid we had a little sulk from Oliver when it came time to take off his longs and hand them back to the assistant, but as I explained to Oliver, longs were for school only…” 

“Oh, I know just what you mean, Vera. I’ve lost count of the times Stephen has pleaded with me to be allowed to wear longs… ‘Please, mum, I’m thirteen, mum…’ as if that’s got anything to do with it! But you know what boys can be like…” 

“I do indeed, Felicity, but can you imagine what I had to put up with from Oliver? Just because he had to wear longs for school, Oliver thought this automatically meant he would be allowed to wear longs when he came home! The tantrums we had when he realised he had to change back into short trousers after school…” 

“Does that mean he was only ever allowed to wear longs to school?” Felicity asked, “I mean did you keep him in short trousers at weekends and during school holidays from the time he went to upper school?” 

“I most certainly did and still do,” Vera replied emphatically, “Oliver’s long trousers are only to be worn for school and only as long as the school uniform regulations state that he must do so.” 

Felicity was impressed. If she had any doubts about keeping Stephen in short trousers, they were dispelled as she continued to listen to Vera and how she had dealt with Oliver. 

Vera went on to explain that she did at one point consider allowing Oliver to wear his school long trousers for special occasions such as a trip to the theatre, or for church on Sunday. It was the approach of her son’s fifteenth birthday and towards the end of the summer holidays during which Oliver was kept continually in short trousers. Oliver was growing and it was now perfectly clear that the boy wearing short trousers was older than one would normally expect to see a boy so dressed. To see Oliver in short trousers standing next to a couple of boys of perhaps eleven or twelve wearing longs… well it was quite obvious that Oliver was the older boy; an older boy who was kept in short trousers… extremely brief short trousers at that. No, there could never be any doubt that Oliver, even though his legs were still smooth and quite hairless, was an older boy. 

“I can’t believe it now, but I was almost ready to concede a few little special trips out in his school longs,” Vera explained, “Oliver had been such a good boy during the long vac., but I put that down to his being kept in short trousers. They seemed to keep him out of mischief…” 

“What happened to change your mind?” Felicity asked. 

Vera replied bluntly: “I caught Oliver doing something he shouldn’t.” She pursed her lips and paused for a moment, clearly wondering if there was any need to elaborate. She decided that Felicity would understand what she was talking about and continued, “To be perfectly honest with you Felicity, I’d suspected Oliver was up to no good for some time, but I was a fool and like lots of mum’s I suppose I thought that my son wouldn’t do such a thing. It just goes to show we delude ourselves…” 

“Well that little episode put paid to any thoughts I’d had about treating Oliver to some special days out in his longs. I made it quite clear to him that, but for his behaviour, he would have been allowed special dispensations to wear longs… He was most contrite and promised me he’d never do it again, but I’m afraid it made up my mind that while Oliver remained under my roof he would be kept in short trousers at all times.” 

“That must have been very upsetting for you Vera,” Felicity consoled her friend, “but we mums must remember that boys will be boys and I’m afraid Stephen is just the same. You’d think they would learn to behave, but I’ve caught Stephen doing it more than once! I can’t tell you how shocked I was when I first saw him… I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. Each time he promised not to do it again, just like Oliver, but boy’s promises are easily made and just as easily broken. As you say Vera, mums never think their boys are up to no good… until they catch them that is…” 

Vera sighed: “I told Oliver then and there that if he behaved like a little boy, then he would be treated like a little boy. As I said Oliver kept promising not to do it again, but as you’ve just said, ‘boys will be boys’ and I’m under no illusion that he’s kept his promise, just as Stephen hasn’t kept his…” 

Then the ladies both sighed. It was an expression of the weight of their responsibilities; what mums have to put up with when boys misbehave. 

Just then the back door was heard to open and the sound of someone entering the kitchen. It was Oliver returning home from school. 

“Come in here, Oliver,” his mum called out, “I’d like you to meet Mrs Wilding.” 

Felicity turned round in her chair as Oliver entered the room. He was quite tall, as his mum had described and clearly couldn’t be confused as to age. He was smooth of face; there was certainly no sign of him needing to shave anytime soon. His haircut was a very neat, almost severe schoolboy short-back-and-sides. Oliver was wearing his school longs and black lace-up shoes. He wore the blazer of a 6th Former. 

“Say ‘hello’ to Mrs Wilding, Oliver,” his mum instructed him. 

Felicity noticed a slight shy rosy-red blush suffuse the boy’s cheeks as Oliver spoke: 

“Umm… Hello, Mrs Wilding,” he glanced towards his mother very briefly before he added rather formally, “I’m pleased meet you.” 

“And I’m pleased to meet you too,” Felicity replied as she smiled and nodded to Oliver. She thought he looked somewhat nervous as he stood in front of them. Felicity thought it was because of her unexpected presence, but what she didn’t realise was that Oliver was more concerned about what he knew his mother was about to say. He didn’t know whether Mrs Wilding had been told about his upbringing and therefore waited anxiously for his mother to speak. When she did speak it made him more nervous than ever. 

“Mrs Wilding and I have been discussing school uniforms,” she said, “Her son Stephen is going to be entering the 3rd Form at his school in the autumn. He’ll be fourteen soon. His school has a different uniform policy than St Cuthbert’s in that… well, why don’t we discuss that after you’ve changed, Oliver?” 

Felicity watched as Oliver’s face fell. She almost felt sorry for the seventeen year old boy standing in the middle of the living-room. 

“I’ve laid out your clothes on your bed as usual, Oliver… Now off you go and get changed. Then I want you back down here so that Mrs Wilding can see what a smart boy you can be when you want to.” 

With a sheepish “Yes, mummy,” Oliver went upstairs to his bedroom. 

Oliver’s bedroom was best described as ‘cosy’. It was a small room, but with ample space for his hobby table, a school desk at which to sit and do his homework, his single boy’s bed with a blue candlewick bedspread , a chest of drawers, a bookshelf and a small wardrobe. All in all though, it had the air of the room of a younger boy, but perhaps that was mainly due to the school uniform Oliver’s mum had laid out on his bed for him to change into.

It was a daily ritual during term-time, but one that always caused butterflies in Oliver’s tummy as he walked into his bedroom to see what was laid out for him wear. 

Oliver stood by his bed and without thinking took off his 6th Form blazer. He opened his wardrobe, took out a hanger, put the blazer on it and put it into the wardrobe without taking his eyes off the ‘home’ school uniform laid out on his bed. More particularly his eyes were focused on the short trousers his mum had put out for him to wear. It was a pair of his junior school shorts with the half-elasticated waist. That meant he had to wear his junior school uniform underpants. Oliver found these junior underpants extremely embarrassing to wear. Not only were they best described as ‘snug’, they were of a supposedly ‘healthy’ open-mesh design with a small cotton front panel which contained the fly. These were sometimes known as boy’s ‘string’ underpants. Oliver thought they looked ludicrously childish and was certain the reason they were so snug was that they simply weren’t made for boys of his age. He was sure no boy over the age of twelve would ever been seen dead wearing them, yet here he was, a seventeen year old 6th Former about to change into them so that he could put on his junior short trousers. 

Oliver glanced at the rest of the uniform; long turnover-top school socks with their coloured hoops, grey Trutex shirt, school tie along with his junior boy’s prep school blazer and school cap. He looked down and on the floor by his bed he saw a pair of dark, cherry-red T-bar school sandals. Oliver always looked at this uniform with dread, but what he found most upsetting were the T-bar sandals. To him they emphasised the juvenile nature of the school uniform he was to wear. No single item of school uniform made him feel as uncomfortable as his T-bar sandals. 

The butterflies were swarming in Oliver’s tummy as he undressed. He wasn’t allowed to keep his school longs in his room. Those had to be handed over to his mum for safe-keeping, so he carefully folded them and put them to one side to take back downstairs. It wasn’t long before he was standing in front of his mirror making sure everything was straight and he was properly dressed. He bent down to have a final check of his knee-socks; making sure the turnovers showed the coloured hoops and were as level as he could judge. As he bent over, Oliver caught sight of his junior short trousers and saw how they had ridden up at the back. Gosh they were short! He never got used to how different it made him feel to change out of longs and into short trousers. Try as he might, Oliver could never get used to the experience. There was just something about putting a grown boy back into short trousers… 

But Oliver knew that however much he made sure his socks and tie were straight; however hard he tried to look smart for his mum, she would find something that needed to be straightened; something that needed adjustment. Or, heaven forbid, the words he dreaded most of all, “It’s about time your hair had a proper trim, Oliver. Time you had another appointment with the barber’s chair.” 

With a final look in the mirror, Oliver put on his blazer then picked up his school cap and placed it carefully on his head. He made sure that apart from the short fringe of hair which was just visible below the peak of his cap, no other hair could be seen which might prompt that visit to the school barber. 

Oliver picked up his school longs and went back downstairs. 

Felicity could hardly believe her eyes. The transformation of Oliver was quite beyond that which she had imagined. Vera was quite right; there was no mistaking the fact that Oliver was an older boy fully dressed as a junior schoolboy. Oliver was simply too tall for a start to be mistaken for anything other than a boy of seventeen dressed in short school trousers… at least she hoped he was wearing short trousers, as they weren’t to be seen. Oliver’s prep school blazer, Felicity could see, was actually longer than his short trousers! Then she looked downwards and saw Oliver’s cherry-red T-bar school sandals. My how they called attention to Oliver’s reduced juvenile status, she thought. 

Oliver stepped into the middle of the room and spoke: 

“Please, mummy, will you look after my longs until I need them for school again?” 

The term-time ritual was observed as mum replied: “Yes dear, just put them on the table and I’ll put them away somewhere safe for you later.” Vera turned, smiled at Felicity and explained, “Oliver likes me to take care of his school longs, just in case anything should happen to them. He knows that if anything should happen to them I might be forced to have a little word with his headmaster and tell him that Oliver would be wearing short trousers to school until I found time to get him another pair of longs from the school outfitter.” 

From the tone of her voice Felicity had no doubt that Vera would be as good as her word and from the rosy-red blush that darkened on Oliver’s smooth cheeks, she could see that he too believed every word his mum said. 

Oliver did as he was told and placed his neatly folded school longs on the table. He returned to stand in front of his mum and Felicity, stood at attention and raised his school cap to the ladies. As he did so his blazer lifted up slightly and Felicity could see that Oliver was indeed wearing short trousers. 

“Good afternoon, Mrs Wilding…” Oliver announced. 

“Good afternoon, Oliver,” Felicity replied, “I see you’ve changed. You look much smarter now I must say. Is this your ‘home’ school uniform? I think it suits you a lot better…” 

“Thank you, Mrs Wilding,” Oliver said as he was made to accept the compliment, “Yes; mum lets me change into this uniform when I get home from school. Then she can look after my school longs for me…” 

“There’s just one thing, Oliver. I can’t quite see your short trousers. Your mother told me they were the same length as my son Stephen’s short trousers. He wears a 1 ½ inch leg, but yours must be shorter than that…” 

Felicity saw Oliver give a quick glance towards his mum and then he explained: “Um, it’s… Mum put out my junior short trousers for me to wear this afternoon. So I’m wearing those today. That’s, um, that’s why you can’t see them… They’re a bit shorter than my standard school shorts.” 

“Take off your blazer, Oliver, so that Mrs Wilding can see the short trousers you’re wearing,” mum instructed. 

Ever the obedient schoolboy, Oliver removed his blazer and placed it over the back of a chair. He turned back to face Mrs Wilding. 

Felicity just about managed to stop herself from gasping at the sight of Oliver’s junior short trousers. As it was she was astonished by their brevity even as she recalled Vera’s description of them. It was all very well saying they had “a nominal 1 inch leg”, but to see them worn by a seventeen year old boy… it looked to Felicity as if there was barely any leg at all to the trousers they were that short! Whatever must he look like wearing his ‘naughty’ shorts, she wondered?! 

“Well I must say they are nice and short, Oliver,” Felicity said, then added, “… and very smart indeed!” 

“Thank you Mrs Wilding,” Oliver replied politely, now even more conscious of the expanse of bare leg exposed between the tops of his long grey school socks and the hem of his ridiculously short junior school shorts. It really was intimidating how those garments, school knee-socks and short trousers, were designed with the sole purpose of drawing attention to that part of a boy’s body he would least like to be seen, at least that’s what Oliver thought. Even though he was seventeen, or perhaps because he was seventeen, Oliver was extremely self-conscious. Even when he was wearing long trousers Oliver was likely to become tongue-tied and blush when he was the centre of attention, particularly in the presence of his mother’s friends. Imagine what it was like then for Oliver when he was dressed in his prep school ‘home’ uniform complete with tear-inducingly short school trousers. It wasn’t long before mum was telling him to speak up and to stop mumbling when asked a question by Felicity Wilding. 

“Really Felicity, sometimes I just don’t know what to do with him,” Vera said, clearly exasperated with one of Oliver’s barely audible replies. 

“Oh, don’t be too hard on him, Vera,” Felicity said, endeavouring to show Oliver a sympathetic side, “Can’t you see that Oliver’s just a bit shy. I think it’s very sweet of him to change into the school uniform he wears at home and to come and show me how much nicer boys look when they’re wearing proper short trousers.” 

Felicity’s sympathy was quite misguided as all it did was make Oliver feel even more embarrassed to be standing in the middle of the living-room dressed like a little boy in front of his mum and her friend. He was seventeen, he told himself, seventeen years old and in the 6th Form, yet here he was behaving like a helpless little boy. He rubbed his bare thighs together and felt the tiny string underpants as they irritated him. The underpants itched like mad and his hands began to wonder. He pushed the tips of the fingers of his right hand under the leg of his junior school shorts and was about to relieve the itching by having a good scratch when his mum saw what he was up to. 

“Oliver! Stop that at once!” she snapped, “Really you are such a fidget. Why you can’t keep still for one minute without fidgeting, I just don’t know… I think you’d better go and get your naughty stool Oliver…” 

To say Oliver’s heart sank would be an understatement. When he heard the words, ‘get your naughty stool’ Oliver very nearly fainted. His naughty stool was only used if mum thought it necessary to teach her son a lesson… whoever was present to witness his shame! 

Oliver’s naughty stool was an old foot-stool that had been found a new lease of life when Vera discovered it at the back of a second-hand shop. “Just what I needed!” she had exclaimed to the surprised proprietor who was most interested to learn of its new purpose. The naughty stool was kept in a kitchen cupboard, which meant Oliver had to suffer the further indignity of leaving the room to fetch the stool. He opened the cupboard and picked up the stool and treated it as if he was carrying valuable antique. Oliver walked back down the hall and walked into the living-room, holding the stool with his arms outstretched, back to where it was needed. 

Mum made Oliver stand while he held the naughty stool out in front of him. 

“I don’t know what’s got into today Oliver,” she berated him; “You don’t seem to be able to stop fidgeting. How many times have I had to tell you to keep your hands where I can see them? I saw you trying to sneak your naughty hands into your shorts just now. Haven’t I had to tell you a thousand times not to play with your short trousers?” 

On and on his mum went as Oliver stood still holding onto his naughty stool. His arms ached as the lecture continued. In spite of mum’s repeated questions, she was not expecting any answers from Oliver. If he did attempt to answer Oliver knew he would only be accused of trying to make excuses. 

Finally Oliver was told to put down his naughty stool right in the middle of the living-room. He did as he was told and stood to attention with his hands, palms inward, pressed against his bare legs. Oliver nervously waited the next instruction. 

“Now… onto your naughty stool, Oliver,” mum ordered, “Hands on head… that’s it, flat on top of your head, Oliver… Honestly Felicity, what a mother has to put up with!” 

If it were possible for Oliver to feel even more like a little schoolboy than he already felt, then mum ordering him onto his naughty stool and to put his hands on his head in front of Mrs Wilding achieved a level of hitherto undreamt of shame. Now Oliver was made to feel not just like a little schoolboy, but a naughty little schoolboy. 

The reason Vera was so pleased to find the foot-stool was now apparent. Oliver, so presented, found that his bare legs, and more particularly his bare thighs, were at the perfect height should it be necessary to draw his attention to his naughtiness by means of some sharp smacks to the back of his legs. 

Oliver tried so desperately to avoid the need for mum to resort to using her hand; he knew from bitter experience how much well-placed smacks could sting and even force tears from a seventeen year old boy such as himself. He pressed his hands onto the top of his head and tried hard not to give mum a reason for smacking his legs… but it would only be a matter of time, as Oliver knew full well, he had never managed to step down from the naughty stool without displaying bright red and sharply stinging thighs. 

In the meantime Felicity Wilding was looking on with approval. Her own son Stephen would be seventeen one day and she hoped that she would still have the resolve and determination in applying the same high standards to his upbringing as Vera did to her son Oliver. As it was dealing with a recalcitrant thirteen year old could be exhausting at times. But what boys, whether it was Oliver or her own son Stephen, failed to realise was that their strict upbringing was for their own good and that one day they would be grateful for the self-sacrifice of their mums.