Cleaned out

My mother was a firm believer in corporal punishment, no matter how minor the trouble might be. She also believed that children should be ‘cleaned out’ regularly. For this purpose, she either used the suppository or the enema – or, if I was not co-operating, both.

Usually, her focus on this would start when I came in the door from school. “Did you go to the bathroom at school today?” she would ask. This one afternoon, when I was about 12 and too old, I thought, for suppositories or enemas, I said I was not going to go with her to the bathroom for my daily laxative.

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