Pitchers for mixing solution
Our town had a town-wide garage sale last week. Lots of people buying lots of stuff that caught their fancy from folks who no longer wanted the stuff. We were no different. At one house an aluminum pitcher caught my eye and for a buck I bought it. It looked like the pitcher from the old 'Kool-Aid' advertisements - a fat round body and black handle. It was exactly what my aunt used to mix up a batch of soapsuds when preparing an enema.
I had two aunts who were RN's - both sister-in-laws of my mother. Both were office nurses for different doctors that our family used. I was seen and occasionally treated by one or the other all during my youth. My Aunt Liz was unmarried and shared a house with her also unmarried sister who was a high school teacher. They always spent the month of August at a rental house on Cape Cod and myself and my brothers were generally packed off to spend at least a couple of weeks there with them. They spoiled us unmercifully with comfort food, ice cream, and trips to local attractions and the beach. It was usually a great vacation. USUALLY.
My Aunt Liz believed that boys were generally unhygienic and would live like savages if left unsupervised. OK - I generally disliked showers and was known to duck in and duck out of the water pretending to wash all of the pits and parts. More than once she ordered me back and then supervised the event to see I didn't skip on the shower. Fairly embarrassing for a pre-teen boy. Hygiene also applied to bowel movements. If you appeared sluggish or, god forbid, complained of not feeling well, you got an appointment with her Davol Comfy open-top enema bag.
Since this house only had a shower and not a tub, Aunt Liz would get out the aluminum pitcher and mix up a couple of quarts of Ivory soapsuds at the kitchen sink. There was no doubt in that house where that was going! She'd then fetch her Davol from the hall closet and, bag and pitcher in hand, lead the victim to the bathroom. With no tub, you had to kneel bottom's up while she sat on the closed toilet and administered the enema. With her it was always 'good to the last drop' and rarely did that mean much less than a full bag.
Once filled, she left you to empty, but soon returned from the kitchen with that same fat pitcher full of warm water for the rinse. She was always very matter-of-fact about the enemas. Nothing to be ashamed about - boys were dirty little creatures and needed an occasional cleanout. It stopped the summer I was 15 when both aunts retired and moved to Florida.
The pitcher from the garage sale holds just one cup shy of 2 quarts, so I would guess the enemas we got were at least three pints at a time. At the time I did not find them pleasurable, but now I recall the memory fondly. Amazing what feelings an old pitcher can bring back.