Parenting

Motherhood: The Ultimate Sorority (Complete With Hazing)

Exhausted MomI was in a frat that went co-ed, and existed solely to fly in the face of the weird rituals of the more traditional fraternities. So my “hazing” wasn’t like what you see in Animal House – we built art projects instead.
 
But I vividly remember seeing the poor unfortunate pledges of the “real” fraternities and sororities performing strange and humiliating tasks, like having water dumped on their underwear-clad bodies. And I didn’t even go to a particularly Greek-friendly college!
 
I was glad to avoid this treatment … except like Melissa at Raising Kvell, I just realized: now that I’ve had my babies, I’m basically a neophyte in the greatest sorority of them all: The sisterhood of Momma Gotta Diapa.
 
No need for the paddle. Here’s what I’ve been through so far:

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  • I’ve been barfed on. The spitup was cute, truth be told, and I didn’t mind the telltale winks I’d get from other moms when I’d think my outfit was all cute and suddenly realized I had an epaulette of regurgitated milk. But when we hit our first real stomach virus, I learned that barf comes in an amazing variety of colors, and is actually quite pleasant and warm … at first.
  • I’ve leapt into freezing water. If a kid’s fever won’t go down, some doctors recommend a dunk in cool water (it also helps keep them hydrated). But who the hell wants a bath when she’s feverish and freaked-out? I literally didn’t think twice about hopping in the bath with the babe, but uuughghg, not pleasant.
  • I’ve been doused with more freezing water. Abby can’t seem to figure out sippy cups, bottles, or cups. Or straws. Or any other liquid delivery that isn’t my bazooms. Just yesterday, I held her in my lap and gritted my teeth as she bravely attempted to feed herself cool water via a little thermos. (I did try to take it away. And nearly lost my arm in the process.)
  • I’ve eaten pre-chewed everything. Off the ground. This isn’t heroic. It’s just gross. But I hate to waste food, and sometimes I’ve fed the kids and forgotten to feed myself. Sometimes you just – don’t think.
  • I’ve been whacked in the face so hard, I saw stars. And worried I would pass out! When a toddler has a flailing tantrum, beware. And I didn’t even get the worst of it: I know a kid whose mom was knocked unconscious by a block wielded by his chubby little hands, and another friend who self-consciously assured everyone her black eye came from her daughter, not her husband!
  • I’ve been sleep-deprived. Do I even need to explain the utter horror of finally getting to sleep only to be woken by the wailing of a newborn experiencing a poop blowout?

And those aren't the only ways in which having a baby has brought back my early adulthood. When I was still working in an office, I arrived one morning and realized I hadn’t showered, my shoes weren’t fastened, and my unkempt hair was twisted up on top of my hair in a plastic alligator clip I had dug out of the bottom of my purse. I instantly realized why it all felt so familiar: in my checkered youth, I had much the same experience on my “walk of shame” after an ... er ... unexpected sleepover.
 
At least I’m not the only parent who makes this entirely unsavory connection. Simon Pegg earned my eternal adoration when he tweeted:

Simon Pegg Baby TweetDoes having a baby remind you of your checkered past? What unsavory experiences are brought back by motherhood for you?


Image via Susan Simon/Flickr

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