Growing Up With Enemas
(Hamilton, NY, USA)
I was the middle child, a boy, growing up with an older sister and a younger one. Our mother was a believer in giving enemas and we would all get one whenever we were ill, constipated, or mom just thought that one would do us good. All of us kids had different outlooks on the practice. My older sister did not like getting an enema but was good about taking one; my younger sister was an enthusiastic enema taker and would frequently ask for one; whereas I did not like getting one and would do whatever I could to talk mom out of giving me one.
The family enema bag was a red combination one that unless hanging from the towel bar in the bathroom drying after use was kept in the linen closet across the hall from the bathroom. Our house was tiny with paper thin walls and my bedroom was immediately next to the bathroom. If someone was getting an enema, I could hear the whole procedure, but the tip off that an enema was in someone's future was when mom would get the bag from the linen closet. I could hear the water running and the bag filling, but then mom would call the chosen victim to report to the bathroom.
As I have read many of the stories posted, my experience isn't that remarkable. The enemas were always the same: warm water, Ivory soap, and Vaseline for lubricant. Those enemas always seemed like they were an awful lot at the time, but I now realize that the bag was never full to capacity meaning that I likely only got between one and two pints. Nevertheless, I don't ever recall that I got an enema that mom was not happy about the results.
I know that most of my friends got enemas and that there was not much effort to keep the equipment put away. If anyone was ever home sick from school it was a surefire assumption that they got an enema that day. I'm now in my 50s and my wife and I have owned an enema bag ever since we were married. When she and I compared growing up experiences it turns out that there was more in common than not. A good enema is still faster, cheaper, and less disruptive than any other remedy for what ails you.
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