from Agnes J.

Dear Miss Macdonald,

I must tell you about my marvellous neighbour Madame Peine who, having spent many years living and working in France, only returned to these shores after being widowed. It is her that I have to thank for recommending PDQ, and the excellent methods described therein, that have been so efficient in disciplining my wayward son. Because she lived next door, and her own three daughters were the victims of some stupid jokes and cat-calls from Andrew over the back garden fence, she immediately recognised the problems I was experiencing with him, and suggested that she would be willing to help implement the cure herself.

Since I worked each day, I eagerly accepted her offer and was amazed at how quickly her methods took effect, as I witnessed one afternoon.

Even though it was not quite 3.30 I could see Andrew being dressed for bed by Madame Peine. His pink gingham romper suit already lay discarded on the floor. I watched as she unfolded his winceyette, baby girl pyjamas. The cream one's with the sweet little frolicking lambs on and the darling little Peter Pan collar. Madame was having great success in fashioning a whole new baby girl wardrobe for Lambikins, his new sissy name.

Andrew had thrown a little tantrum at being dressed for bed so early in such babyish girls' pyjamas and I was amused at how quickly his demeanour had become that of a small child rather than his true age. Madame quickly stopped his nonsense by the award of one spanking ticket, her simple but effective way of maintaining discipline. Soon he was sitting cross-legged on the floor watching a 'Bananas in Pyjamas' video sucking obediently on his dummy.

"Hello Lambikins, Mummy's home." Startled at my sudden appearance he jumped to his feet, the loose-fitting pyjamas hanging baggily upon him. His dummy fell from his mouth and swung loosely from the ribbon pinned to his pyjama jacket.

"G-Good afternoon Mummy," he stuttered. I bent down toward him proffering my cheek as he reluctantly kissed me, unwilling to forgo the attraction of the Bananas video.

You may wonder why an older boy like Andrew was avidly watching a toddlers' TV programme, well it is all down to the admirable Madame Peine. She has painstakingly compiled five question on each episode of Bananas in Pyjamas, and each incorrect answer earns Andrew a spanking ticket, five tickets earns an over the knee spanking, usually administered for maximum humiliation in front of Madame's 'crème de la crème' from her lady friends, who have been especially selected to witness and enhance Andrew's humiliation at being subject to babying and pyjama punishment.

"One spanking ticket for not waving goodbye, that makes four today, Lambikins," Madame informed him with some relish. "Was Lambikins watching close enough I wonder?" Andrew sat on the floor; hands clasped together and back ramrod straight as Madame consulted her list of questions.

I sat Andrew on my lap, and admired the needlecraft of Madame Peine.

"Madame, Lambikins looks so sweet in these baby girl pyjamas I want him to wear them at his special tea party. Is everything ready?" I asked.

I had an extremely nervous Andrew on my lap. "Tea party, what tea party?" he asked, squirming in my arms anxiously.

I held him tightly as I told him about the invitations I had delivered to his friends; I showed him an invite; on it was a picture of a sweet little girl dressed in a swishy pink party dress holding a balloon, and she was saying:

Master Andrew Fairchild requests the presence of ...... at four thirty for jelly and ice cream, followed by a concert of Baby Bunting, and other nursery songs. Little Master Fairchild will then be escorted to beddy-byes at six o'clock prompt.

His face turned pale. "What's the matter?" I teased in baby talk, "Doesn't my lickle Lambikins want to see his fwends, and sing Baby, Baby Bunting for them? There are some nice girls coming, Lambikins."

Actual tears filled his eyes at the thought of singing his little song dressed in his baby girl jim-jams. "If you don't want them to come I suppose you could ring and tell them that you will be too busy being my little Lambikins to see them."

Andrew seized the opportunity and I listened with satisfaction as he effectively excommunicated his friends.

"It was just a joke by my Mother there is no party. No, I go to bed when I like. Sorry I won't have time to see you for a while. No don't ring or come round."

This was the gist of his frantic calls. Such was his relief at avoiding such a humiliating experience he almost welcomed the attentions of Madame Peine. Fortunately, he was unaware of what was to follow.

"Now then my poppet," said Madame as she hoisted him into her arms, "who is going to eat all this food now that your friends aren't coming?" The table was full of childish food, jelly, cakes, and of course ice cream. "Will the little lambs want some do you think?" She pointed to the lambs on his pyjamas as she slipped him into his high chair and lowered the food tray.

"Answer Madame Peine, Lambikins." I prompted.

"Maybe," he replied hesitantly, uncertain of how to reply.

"Don't be a silly Lambikins; the lambs on your baby jammies can't eat ice cream can they? Never mind sweet one," she laughed as she tied a pink towelling bib around his neck, "I know just the people to help you eat up all your lovely party food." She opened the window and called out, and across came her three little girls from next door, none of whom liked Andrew very much.

"Oh I like your pyjamas Lambikins, what sweet little lambs, my baby cousin has a pair just like them but she's only three," teased Melanie, "are you going to beddy-byes shortly? I do hope you are going to sing a song for us."

Andrew blushed furiously, and was helpless as I enhanced his embarrassment by pouring juice into a big sippy cup for him to use. The girls giggled at Andrew, and fed him ice cream that became smeared over his face. They messily wiped his chin with his pink bib, while he sat still in helpless embarrassment.

Quickly though they became absorbed in devouring the party food, and left poor Andrew to sit unhappily in his high chair, until Madame Peine wiped his face properly clean and lifted him down from the chair. "Come along girls, time for our baby Lambikins to prepare for beddy-byes."

A mad scramble ensued as the girls rushed to find seats. Meanwhile Andrew had begun to whimper, "Please Mummy, I don't want to go to bed yet. Please send the girls away."

"Now Lambikins, you know very well why you are being punished, so just do as you are told and concentrate on remembering your darling little song. The girls and I are looking forward to it immensely. Now off you go with Madame."

As we waited, the girls excitedly showed me the projects that Madame had set them to enhance Andrew's new wardrobe. I was overwhelmed as I examined the gorgeous bonnet that was nearly finished, save for the frill to be added. Made from the same pink gingham as his romper suit, I commented how it would protect Andrew from the sun when he began to take his naps in the garden.

The mittens and matching bootees that had been knitted in soft white wool would complement perfectly his long, white flannelette nightie. Once Madame had supplied the lace for the bodice, we could enjoy a truly babified and petticoated Lambikins, snugly dressed for beddy-byes.

Face washed, and teeth cleaned, Andrew appeared in front of us clutching his teddy bear. Madame Peine now asked him to recite his little nursey rhyme for the girls:

"Baby, baby bunting,

Daddy's gone a-hunting,

To get a little rabbit skin

To wrap our baby bunting in..."

Just as Madame had taught him, the last line was his cue to give a little curtsey. The girls broke into spontaneous applause and laughter, urging us to order an encore. Andrew's face was beetroot red with embarrassment, and I was sorely tempted to comply, but Madame was already beckoning Andrew toward her.

"Well done Sugarplum," she praised, "but next time I want to see more enthusiasm at the final flourish." Madame lowered his pyjama bottoms once again and settled him on her lap. Displaying her years of experience, she expertly powdered his bottom and pinned him snugly into his fluffy, white nighttime nappies.

"There, all ready for night-night aren't we, tuppence." She gave him a babyish wet kiss on his cheek, then lay him face down across her knees. "Did Lambikins think Madame Peine had forgotten baby's punishment?" she asked the hapless Andrew, as she gave him a few smacks on his heavily nappied bottom.

The girls were spellbound at witnessing Andrews's spanking. He cried out for Madame to stop; not because she had hurt him, but because of his utter humiliation. He felt faint, and at last he was beginning to learn his lesson.

Madame Peine effortlessly lifted Andrew into her arms. Her large frame easily allowed her to balance my diminutive son in the classic, carried-to-bed position. One arm supported his weight while the other, firmly clasped around his torso, kept him securely snuggled to her as his arm curled instinctively around her shoulders, the other hugging his beloved teddy bear.

His dummy was inserted, and the girls oohed and ahhed at baby's predicament. "Say goodnight to Sleepyhead girls, it's after six o'clock now, far to late for tired babies to be up."

They each bade poor Andrew goodnight as if he was a sweet little baby girl being put to bed, instead of a much older male.

"Come back tomorrow afternoon girls, and I will show you how I bath our little Lambikins." Andrew's eyes widened in horror as he heard Madame's words but the only reaction he could muster was to suck his dummy louder and faster.

Madame smiled as she carried the hapless pyjama-clad Andrew off to beddy byes, and I could only reflect on how lucky he and I both were to have such an expert practitioner of petticoat and bedtime discipline.

Please continue to demonstrate to other desperate mothers, wives, and aunts, how your petticoating and babying methods can result in such a brilliant success as Madame has achieved with Andrew.
Thank you very much,

Agnes Jacobson

I didn't realise that the French were so well acquainted with the benefits of baby discipline. Madame Peine is obviously an expert, and I would say that you were very lucky to live next door to her.

I am sure that St Agnes, the martyred virgin, is traditionally portrayed holding a lamb in the ikonography of the Catholic and Byzantine churches. I looked up the online Catholic Encyclopaedia, and found this interesting note:

Since the Middle Ages St. Agnes has been represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virginal innocence. On her feast day (January 21) two lambs are solemnly blessed, and from their wool are made the palliums sent by the Pope to archbishops.

st agnes
St Agnes

So it seems very appropriate that your dear Lambikins should be in your arms.

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