In various postings I have mentioned that I grew up with two sisters: Carol who is oldest; and Emily, who is the youngest. Whenever it was determined that we needed some help bathroomwise, mom would get out the red combination syringe, mix up some warm Ivory soap solution, and administer it—it never failed either. As for enjoying an enema, I did not much care for getting one at all, Carol more or less tolerated it, and as unbelievable as it seems, Emily seemed to enjoy getting one. So I got to thinking about the various conversations and reactions that each of us had and decided to make a blog out of it.
In one memorable dinner table conversation, Mom asked Carol if she was feeling OK since she had only picked at her plate. Carol said she was OK, but didn’t have much energy. In our house this always led to more questions and the first one mom asked was whether she had a fever. After feeling her forehead, mom concluded that she didn’t so then the questions came about her bowel habits. Carol admitted that she hadn’t been to the bathroom for a few days, which prompted mom to offer the usual enema. Carol was less than thrilled, but after a little coaxing finally relented, the result being that not 15 minutes later she and mom were in the bathroom, the enema bag had been retrieved, and was in the process of being filled. Like all kids, Carol despite having agreed to the enema, still tried to negotiate for a smaller quantity. It did not matter because she got what mom made.
My younger sister, Emily, was very different than Carol, and me, for that matter. There was that time when I was sitting in my room one day after school doing homework. I might have been in junior high at the time and if given a choice I would have much rather been outside shooting hoops or messing around with some project. As I have related before my room was right next to the bathroom and across the hall from the linen closet where mom stored the enema bag. On this particular day Emily had come home from school and rather than changing out of her school clothes into jeans had put on her bathrobe. She went to the linen closet, got out the enema bag, stood right outside my room, and then called to mom, who was in the kitchen, saying “Mom, I need some help going to the bathroom,” she said taking the combination bag and its hose from the closet, “Will you please come and give me an enema?” I remember this one well because unlike Carol’s enema, Emily was insisting that mom give her a full bag.
And then there is me. In my situation I had been home sick from school one February day with a fever for which mom had given me some aspirin earlier. It must have been those memorable junior high school years because when mom had taken my temperature if I was younger it would have been rectally, but this time she had used an oral thermometer. A little while later she was back in my room and asked about my bowel habits. Even though I had told her that I had been successful the day before, she still thought that an enema sounded like a good idea. I told her that it was not necessary and that the morning was young enough that I still would have ample chance to go. But it was to no avail because she acted like she didn’t hear a word I had said, went to the linen closet, and got out the syringe. Maybe 20 minutes later I was called to the bathroom. I knew my fate, but still insisted than an enema was not necessary. Again, she acted like she didn’t hear me and told me to take off my PJ bottoms as she assumed her position sitting on the edge of the bathtub. Again, I plead my case, but again she acted like she didn’t hear me and told me to get over her lap. Soon enough I was getting an enema and pleading for it to not be too big. That was when I was told that if my younger sister could take a whole bag so could I. Gosh, but I hated enemas at that age.