Childhood Enemas Remembered


My earliest childhood enema experiences are vividly implanted in my mind as if they had occurred yesterday, although those events happened in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. The pattern of administration was usually as follows :

The Administrators - Usually my mother and father gave them to me with my mother handling the “business end.” Occasionally a neighbor or relative would be substituted for my father when he was out of town.

The Recipient - One kicking, crying, screaming, protesting male child who could be heard over the entire neighborhood as the enema was being administered.

The Equipment - The standard closed end two quart red bag, red hosed, metal clamped, black rectal nozzeled device used in the 1950s.

Position of Administration - always given on my stomach.

Place of Administration - When younger, a towel and pillow for my head were always placed vertically across the antique bed in my bedroom. As I grew older, the pillow and towel were placed on the den floor, whereupon I was forced to lie for the procedure.

Reason for Administration - Flue like symptoms, nausea or constipation.

Chapter One - Earliest Childhood Enemas

My first enema that I recall was given at the age of two or three. I was still using the potty. My mother and father placed me sitting totally naked on the towel laying across the bed. My mother showed me the equipment and let me play with it. She said it would be merely like a train going through a tunnel. I was then placed on my stomach and saw her grease the nozzle. Not exactly being stupid, it dawned on me where the nozzle was going. As she inserted it up my butt, I kicked, cried, wiggled and screamed to no avail. I remember her turning her head to my father, the bag man, and remarking, “I was afraid of this.” Of course, the administration continued until an amount sufficient to my mother’s satisfaction was given. While sitting on the potty expelling, I remember thinking to myself, “Boy, I don’t want another one of those.” Little did I know that this was merely a foretaste of more to come.

My second enema recollection, although I might have had some in between, is also well remembered. My aunt Lester brought my cousin Lynn who by the way is five years older than I, over to the house for my parents to baby sit. I remember my mother remarking she was very busy with housework and that she had something she needed to do. After my aunt left, my mother told Lynn to go outside in the backyard and play. The next thing I know, I see my mother go to the linen closet in the bathroom, pull out the pillow, towel and the well feared device. She , immediately, announces that I was to have an enema, whereupon she removed my pajamas.

While she placed the equipment on the bed. I was thinking, “Hey, I have to get out of this, someway.” I, immediately, shot totally naked into the bathroom and sat on my potty, feigning a BM. Of course, I was locked up as if cement had firmly lodged up there. While straining to no avail, my mother came into the room and reassured me that she would stop my enema when I told her that I had had enough. The next thing that I know, I am placed spread eagled across the bed knowing that an enema was about to be given. My mother, once again, did the honors while I did the usual kicking, screaming and crying. I told her that I had to use the bathroom. To no avail, the enema continued. I finally had to get up and make a mad dash for the potty. I remember thinking that my cousin in the yard had heard it all. I wondered if she had ever received them. Probably so, because enemas were a sacred cult in our family in those days.

Chapter Two - The Flu And The Bulb Enemas

Normally, the standard bag enemas were given to me. While I was still very young, I came down with a stomach virus, commonly known as “pediatric crud”, that later contaminated the entire household. My mother dutifully carried me to my pediatrician, whose name was , of all things, Dr. Hoppi. He stated that I was dehydrated and that my mother was going to have to feed me rectally. He, further stated that if that did not work, I was to be hospitalized. I remember while riding home throwing up in the car. My favorite aunt, Nellie, was helping my mother care for me. Upon returning home, evening came; The door bell rang and a drug store employee delivered a little box and some medicine. Little did I know what was in the box.

Later that night and the following day, as prescribed, my pj bottoms were removed . I was placed on the bed on my stomach with my aunt holding my hands, so I could not reach my rear end. My mother then proceeded to administer the medicine by bulb syringe. I was even awakened in the early morning hours to have this performed. Later, my aunt left for home. Was I spared? No! The next door neighbor, Ethyl, was called in to hold me down while my mother continued to perform her duties. I remember my mother telling me during these squeezing sessions that I had to hold the retention enema or she would have to start all over again. Believe me, I retained it.

Chapter Three - Hospital Stay

When I was young, as with most kids, I was continually sick. My doctor decided that a tonsillectomy was needed. I was taken to this catholic hospital in Atlanta do have this surgery performed.

I remember being in my room with my parents in a hospital gown wearing my underwear. Later that day two nuns came into my room and told me they had a surprise for me. I saw them take the towel off the hospital tray . Immediately, I realized that I was in for it. This device was a large funnel connected to a rectal tube. I, as you might have imagined, went ballistic. As one nun removed my undershorts, the other nun hung the enema device. I yelled for help from my mother. My mother was asked to leave the room because, ”Kids behave so much better when their parents are not present.” On my stomach I went with one nun inserting the hose and releasing the clamp while the other one held me firmly down. I screamed so loud the entire hospital heard me.

I remember the two nuns staring out the window of my room as the anesthesia was beginning to take effect. Here I was watching them in a daze. The enema funnel and rectal tube remained inserted in my rear end while the medicine was doing its work. Boom, I was gone….

Chapter Four - Family Affair

This enema experience occurred when I was four, probably pushing five years of age. I had graduated from the potty to the family toilet. I remember that weekend day being cranky and fussy. My mother told me, “If you don’t quit whining, I am going to give you an enema.” That remark, of course, had its desired effect. I shut up.

There was a knock at the door. My uncle Marvin, aunt Elizabeth, and my cousin Gary, age three, had arrived for a visit. My cousin and I began to play. I remember getting upset about something and beginning to cry. “That does it,” my mother replied to all, “I am gong to give you an enema.” I kind of thought she might be bluffing with company present. She wasn’t.

She immediately went into the bathroom closet to make the necessary preparations. I began to cry, telling her that I did not want an enema. This was to no avail. Out came the familiar pillow, towel, Vaseline jar and equipment.

She placed the pillow and towel across the bed with the Vaseline jar being placed on the left hand side of the towel. I heard her begin to run the water and continued to plead for her not to do it. The enema was placed on the bed. Down went my shorts and underwear, leaving me naked from the waist down.

I told my mother that I did not want her to do it. My mother replied, “Okay, I will let your uncle Marvin do it. He was a medic in the war and he has given enemas on many occasions.” I was placed on the bed rolled over on the towel onto my stomach. My uncle , of course, declined the honors but watched as my father held the bag.

After my mother greased the syringe, my aunt Elizabeth sat down on the bed on my left hand side. She held my arms and hands while my mother went about the business of insertion. I did the usual kicking, wiggling, screaming and crying. I remember as the enema flowed in, my aunt held in her hands a toy of Santa Claus on skis which belonged to me. She showed it to me and told me to play with it to take my mind off the enema. Needless to say, I didn’t want to see Santa Claus.

The enema continued. I had settled down to just bawling. My cousin was playing at the foot of the bed watching the entire process. My mother turned to him and said, “Tell him that it doesn’t hurt.” “Bobby,” he said, “ it doesn’t hurt.” I was thinking to myself, “Oh Yea, why did you scream and go crazy when you had one recently on this very bed.”

The enema continued to flow. I began to cry out that I had to use the bathroom. No response; the enema continued. “Bathroom; Bathroom,” I shouted. “Please let me go to the bathroom!” The response from my mother was, ‘I want to give you a little bit more. I don’t want to be doing this again in a day or so. I might not have all of this good help.” Finally the water was shut off and I was allowed to make the frantic run for the toilet.

Chapter Five - Defiance

This enema experience at the age of four or five is probably, in retrospect, my favorite episode, although at the time I still thoroughly detested receiving them. It was a weekday morning. I was once again sitting in the living room floor playing with a toy car or truck. I was wearing no socks, but I had on a striped T-shirt and shorts.

While playing, I heard my mother telephone a neighbor. “Louise, What are you doing? When you get through with that, I want you to come down and help me give Bobby an enema” I, immediately, jumped up and began to cry, telling my mother “I don’t need an enema; I don’t want an enema.” My mother said, “Don’t get upset. She will not be here for awhile. If you have gone to the bathroom when she gets here, one will not be necessary.”

Plenty worried, I returned to play in the living room. I was hoping she would not come for a couple of hours. I, then, heard a knock on the door; It was neighbor Louise. She hadn’t waited any hour or two. Whatever she was doing at home before arriving had only taken her five or ten minutes to finish.

Immediately, Louise and my mother went into the bathroom to make the necessary preparations. Out once again came the traditional head pillow, towel, Vaseline jar and enema equipment. I was pleading with them that I didn’t need an enema; That I didn’t want an enema.

Once everything was prepared and placed on the bed, my mother told Louise to remove my pants and underwear. I at this stage was stomping and crying. What was I going to do? I, immediately, announced to my mother and Louise I had to use the bathroom. Jerking free , naked from the waist down, I flew into the bathroom positioning myself on the toilet. To this day I remember the two of them sticking their heads through the bathroom door watching. I remember my mother saying, “You can’t go; You are all stopped up.” I fired back, “I don’t want an enema; I am not going to have an enema.”

My mother sternly replied, “You are going to get one.”

While this verbal exchange was going on, my mother decided to try some psychology. She stated that if I would not let Louise and her give me an enema , she was going to take me to the doctor’s office to be given one. I well remember her saying, “Those nurses won’t be as easy on you as Louise and I.” My mother then pretended, I think, to call the doctor’s office reciting that she had a little boy who would not let her give him an enema. She then inquired whether they would do it and when she could bring me into the office.

Here I was on the toilet, thinking to myself, the last place I wanted to go was the doctor’s office. They might not stop with an enema. I, immediately, jumped off the toilet seat and told my mother, “Ok, but I want Louise to do it because you hurt so bad.”

I went to the bedroom where I was placed on my stomach on the towel with my head on the pillow, completely dreading what was to come. Louise greased the enema nozzle, spread my cheeks and inserted it up my rear end. I never liked an enema nozzle being shoved into my rectum. I always cried while receiving an enema; it was always a mad, angry cry. I screamed and pounded my fist vigorously up and down on the bed, kicking my feet into the air while wiggling from side to side. I then heard the bag lady, my mother, say: “Get it way up there, Louise.” As the enema continued, I settled down, resigned to my fate. I , however, continued to cry letting everyone know I was not a happy camper. I heard my mother ask Louise, ”Does Joe,” her son my age, “cry and carry on when you give him an enema?” “No,” she said. My mother replied, “That must be so nice. We have to go through this every time with him.” While my enema continued, my mother went on to recite that I had not been to the bathroom in four or five days and state how she believed that enemas were a necessary remedy for a child’s constipation.

Even though all of my uproar, except the crying, had subsided and the chit chat had ceased, my enema continued. I began to cry out to be allowed to use the bathroom. The enema continued on. Beside myself, I screamed that I needed to use the bathroom. ”Please let me use the bathroom!” Finally, they relented; the nozzle was withdrawn. I flew to the toilet. My mother thanked Louise for her help reciting she really needed it with me. She then came into the bathroom to see how I was doing.

Chapter Six - Older Childhood Enemas

When I was five or six years old we moved into a larger house with a den next to the kitchen. The den was near both bathrooms. I can only remember while living there being given two enemas. Both time they were administered at my mother’s insistence for nausea.

The first enema in the new house was given to me one evening by my parents. I had thrown up all over the bathroom. My mother, after cleaning me up, ordered me to get into my bed. Bedclothes were not to be issued to me until after I had received an enema. I, of course, protested loudly but I did go to bed naked as ordered.

After the enema was prepared, I was told to come into the den. There I saw the traditional pillow, towel and Vaseline jar lying on the den floor rather than on a bed. I was told to lie down on the floor. I cried and protested as usual. My father once again held the bag, while my mother got on her hands and knees to insert the nozzle. I must have really given them a hard time, kicking and screaming but the enema was given anyway.

My last childhood enema that I protested came as a surprise. It was Saturday morning. I had once again thrown up. I was told to take my naked self to bed until called for my enema. I started to raise hell that I didn’t want one. A next door neighbor stuck her head in the kitchen backdoor and asked what was going on.. When informed, the neighbor laughed at my predicament but agreed to go to her house and look for a smaller enema syringe. I always complained about the nozzles being too large even though they were normal in size. She did return with some kind of nozzle. I don’t know which my mother decided to use.

My mother filled the bag up in the kitchen sink. The pillow and towel were all already in place on the den floor. The next thing I remember was lying naked on the den floor as ordered by my father. Recalling my last enema episode, my father this time sat down in the floor to personally give me the enema. Knowing the routine and how I resented these affairs, he literally sat across my legs pinning me securely to the floor. He then inserted the nozzle securely up my rectum. My head and shoulders went up and down vigorously but I could not squirm away. As the enema started to flow I banged my head on the pillow with my fists pounding soundly on the floor. I remember this scene well. As I looked around, across my back, past my rear end, I remember my mother holding the bulging red enema bag. No matter how much I screamed and protested, I was definitely securely pinned to the floor for the duration of this one.

As I grew older, I outgrew my fear of enemas. knowing that they are necessary from time to time.

Times, they do change, don’t they?