Greek Life

In college I was not in a sorority. Not because I all out revolted against them, but because my university did not have them. Well there was the academic fraternities, but they don't count in the slightest. I am talking about all girls, all together, typically for social interaction, sometimes even living together. You know, Elle Woods, in Legally Blonde? Typically this is the image of a college sorority, and I really don't think it is all that bad. Then lightening struck me. But no, I really don't. Had a been at a college that had sororities, you probably would have seen me during rush week, and I am pretty certain that everyone who knew me in college would whole heartedly agree.

I was told by someone during my exit interview from college that I was, 'essentially the queen of the mall, that I led the way through this social circle that dictated appearance, gatherings, and nuances. That I lived in this building and walked around hand in hand with my star soccer player boyfriend, where others wanted to come in but could only window shop.' Hello Elle Woods. Snob? Imagine my rage at the time. How dare someone say that to me, right? What would you have done? But essentially that person was telling me I had created some sort of sorority, i.e. 'mall,' and in all honesty, looking back on it, I don't really think that it was that wrong of me to do, I was 21 years old. Sure, this person totally misunderstood my heart, but I was loud, I was rowdy, and I had fun, and I am sure that is the way I came across until you got to know me, because malls have automatic doors you know, you can come and go as you please, I never felt bad or apologized for being me. I said my, 'hi, how are you's,' to every single solitary person I passed in a hall, but more on the fun nuances of christian schools at another time.

There are tons of sororities throughout life if you think about it. Right now, I am a lifelong member in Delta Mama Kappa Nu. The sorority of motherhood. Why don't you come to our mall, window shopping is definitely recommended. Membership is quite easy, by accepting a bid ,all you have to do is become completely responsible for a tiny person's life. That's it. Do you sometimes look at your kids and are taken a little off guard? I mean really look at them, typically when they all are having a meltdown at the same time, and just you just sit there staring, mind wandering, thinking, 'who decided this was ok for me to partake in?' In essence, who let me join this sorority? Rush week was fun and all, with my significant, but wowee, the hazing never stops once you are a Mama Nu.

Girls in a sorority usually have things in common, something that unifies them, a reason they chose that particular sorority over another. Other normal standards are the following: Most sororities have a color or two that represents them, and some greek letters. They volunteer and fund raise, they have social events. They have rituals and symbols and structure and organization. They have membership protocol. They have houses that are home base. They are also surrounded by criticism.

So it's quite simple. As you have seen above, being a mom puts you right into a sorority whether you want to be or not. Let me break it down real simple.

*Our greek letters are pretty self-explanatory, although they aren't greek, but they should be; MOM

* Our colors do not require us to go out to the store and buy something new, how cost efficient, right? It's homemade. It's our children's bodily fluid. That yummy greenish brownish shade that comes only from poop, snot, vomit, spit up, dried urine, slobber.

*Volunteer, Fundraising, Planning and Attending Social Events.
Is this not a given? Seriously. As a mom, I tell you, I end up volunteering for more then I should be with three kids, but you just do it because you do it. Not even because it is the thing to do per se, you do it because the preschool kids need one large can of pumpkin to make their pumpkin bread. You can't make pumpkin bread without the pumpkin!

And sometimes don't you just wish the fundraising was for you ,and for a sponsored day at the spa? Right. We fund raise for kids teams, their class, their friends mothers brothers sister who needs new teeth. We do it with such fervor that is almost is overwhelming. I mean once you start getting a positive response, you just go with it, like its a game or a challenge. I will sell the most wrapping paper!

And social events. I am not complaining or saying that all social events are just terrible. But the number of parties that your children will attend in a year is just obscene when you think about it. And you go and they go because they are your children's friends, and sometimes even your friends, and they came to your kids party. It's cyclical like that. In the previous case, you attend to provide moral support for your friend, to help set up and clean up, to play bouncer, because let's face it, 20 four year olds wreaking havoc can make your hair stand on end if you had to forgo it alone. But the kids love it all, and that, in the end is why we do it.

My favorite social events in this sorority are get togethers that we say are play dates for the kids, but they are really for us. And when you have kids the same age it is great. You open the playroom door, proclaim, 'have at it, and don't tattle tale unless someone is being physically harmed by someone else to the point that there might be blood on the carpet or a broken bone.'

And then we get to to sit and drink our coffee and eat something that consists of more than a handful of dry cereal for breakfast. It's lovely.

*Rituals. Really every member of the Mama Nu have their own entity in their own clan. But when you really compare, almost every Mom is doing the same thing as you are in those high traffic times, as I like to refer to them as. We get up in the morning, there is diaper change, peeing, telling them to get their pajamas off 68 times, peeking at where the shirt tag is to make sure the shirt is on the right way before they stick their arms in because god forbid they get in on backwards and have to take it off and put it on again, this is just not feasible. There is the search for a hair brush, a little girl whining about knots, toothpaste on shirts to have to go and find another one or pretend you just don't see it. There is another diaper change thanks to the morning poop, daily, talk about rituals. There is breakfast, and milk and cereal rings on left on the table. All of this and more are typically go on at other high traffic times of the day that being dinner time, and bed time. We are all performing our rituals at the same time, becoming very ritualistic. You follow?

* Symbols. The ultimate symbol of Mama Nu is of course the mini van. You see a mini van nine times out of 10, there is a Mama Nu driving it. I cannot clearly fathom why on earth anyone other than a Mama Nu might need to be cruising around in one, well I am sure there are exceptions, but you know. Another is a home that is cluttered with laundry, small toys, juice boxes, and fruit snack wrappers.

* Structure and Organization. These are the two words we are constantly chasing after as Mama Nu's. Who doesn't want a set bed time, who doesn't want their closets cleaned? Who doesn't want a kid who always remembers to say please and thank you, and puts the toilet seat down gently and not slamming it down with all his might? There are moments of shining glory where you get to the bottom of that dirty laundry pile, but quickly someone spills a whole glass of chocolate milk down the front of them. There are those moments when you are yelling, 'Where are you, we have to go!' And they answer, 'Waiting for you!' And there they are by the front door, smiling, with their coats on, and shoes on the right feet. It is amazing what they can achieve when a Mama Nu keeps her eyes set on the prize, and that being raising functional human beings.

* And as a Mama Nu, we don't have a set house to gather, every one's house is the sorority house. And they all look the similar. Sticky floors, finger prints on windows, cats walking across the kitchen table, that might just be my home, whoops, a toilet unflushed, and a pile of little kid clothes set in such a way that it looks as though they just stepped right out, that's weird right? Shoes, socks, pants, underwear, one on top of the other, like the child evaporated. But they all look busy, right? That is a Mama Nu house. There is always something to watch to entertain you, or do to entertain you. Most importantly in a Mama Nu house you feel comfortable, not like a toddler in a china store.

*And Mama Nu's are typically always surrounded by some one's criticism. How we discipline, when we discipline, when we don't. What school our kids go to and where they don't go. What we feed our children and what we don't. And how many glasses of wine we drink at the end of a hard day. It could be rough if you let it.

And that is where another experienced Mama Nu steps in and says, 'there is no right or wrong way, what works for you is what works for your family, if your heart is in the right place, it will all come together.' There is no set feeding time, napping time, bed time, play time, silly time, learning time, and that is what is awesome about being in this sorority. You can stay in your comfy clothes all day long, and it's ok, this sorority is also a tough one, filled with responsibilities, if you didn't get your mascara on today, we forgive you. But isn't it fun to have the camaraderie?

Most recently I have seen a bunch of brand new Mama Nu's join the sorority and have loved to watch other members huddle around them and make sure their hazing is a little bit easier then their own. That's sisterhood.

And to my darling husband...if you are wondering why the socks aren't organized, it's not because I don't love you, it's because I am part of a sorority with a lot of expectations, wiggle your toes a little and be thankful that even if it took me 30 minutes to find a matching pair, at least I did it, and found outfits for all my kids for the day, at the same time. Yeah Mama Nu!


Because I drank too much coffee today.

So wow. It's been awhile since I blogged. I am going to fully admit that three kids will do that to a girl, and I am losing my mojo when it comes to super multitasking anything other then wiping a runny nose and remembering not to use it right after on the baby's butt, or vice versa. Right now the babe is asleep. So I have a moment to ramble. And it is just that a moment, because this kids snoozes are completely unpredictable. That's fun,right?I am also waiting presently for the stain on the carpet that I sprayed cleaner into to be evaporated. Seems kind of crazy to me. But the stain is from Stanley, who must have gotten into something that he wasn't supposed to, and decided it might be nice to barf on my floor. How about the hardwood pal, the bathroom tile? Nope, as is such with my chaotic life, right on track, he barfed on the carpet, and that is no surprise to me. So I suppose we will be investing in some carpet cleaner today. That's fun.

To sum it up real quick, you haven't really been missing much. My house is pretty messy these days. I again, fully admit, I cannot keep up, so if anyone wants to invest in a cleaning lady and a home organizer for me for my upcoming birthday, that would be great,I mean, I wouldn't even try to stop you. I just cannot promise you that it will look the same 6 months later. I'm busy, man. And I really want my carpets cleaned. I am staring at them right now, the juice box stains...ugh. Maybe the next house I live in will have all hardwood floors. Then you could really see the animal hair, I don't know.

I was entranced with those miners in Chile. I seriously cried when the first one was coming up and they did that shot of his kid? I waited up to see that, paralyzed with fear that something bad was going to happen on live television and they would be stuck down there forever, with this video camera. That would have been terrible, so I peered at the television gripping my blanket praying for everything to go right, and it did, and they all came out, alive and well. Could you just imagine? I put myself right down in that hole with them and was panicking. I can't even stay in my house for one full day let alone three months underground with a bunch of smelly men. I continued to watch on mute each time Jacob woke up throughout the night counting down the numbers, engrossed in each of their stories. I could spew out at any given moment to anyone the reason for the order, how many capsules were made; 3 by the way, how big they were; a man's shoulder width wide, and how they survived down there, what they ate, etc. And I was filled with so much respect for the rescue men who volunteered to go down there to be in charge in this hole, and be the last one's up. Could you imagine if this was your husband? I would have committed him the psych ward at the mere suggestion, so there wouldn't have been even a chance of him going down there anyway.

My children are obsessed with these small 'guys,' as Ethan calls them. They are those action sized figurines, and you can get them anywhere, the Disney Princesses at the Disney Store, the Toy Story little plastic figurines, sometimes little people are included, and most definitely the characters you would get in a Happy Meal. Anything really, as long as they are typical not taller then let's say 3 inches. They play with them for hours. No joke. You would think that I could get rid of all of their other toys and let them have only these, but the clever little nuggets they are, they incorporate them into everything. The kitchen set? They refer to it as Giant Kitchen Land, and the people live in the microwave, oven, the sink is the pool. Ethan, however, in a thing that boys do twist, obsesses with lining them up. Wants them to have order. And this organization can happen anywhere, kitchen table, edge of bathtub, arm rest in the van, window sill,it happens everywhere. And the voices he makes them all talk in? I sit on the steps and listen to them play. I can't let them see me because then it would stop because of embarrassment, but none the less, it is very entertaining to me. I asked them yesterday when they were in the basement playing, 'guys,' if they wanted to come up and play with me, and they responded, 'nah, maybe later!' What!?!? Ethan now wants Santa to bring him, 'superhero guys,' since we are beginning to enter into this fascination with superheroes. And the best part about these guys is stepping on them. Nothing like muffling obscenities under your breathe as you attempt to get Buzz Lightyear's wing out from under your big toe nail.

I don't know, should I be concerned? Have I passed on my obsessive gene? The one where I take all my pretty things for a given season and arrange them just so? Speaking of. I have this little half wall that divides my main floor into two, and I want to clutter it with some fancy phrases or something of the sort....like this one...I love it.

From Etsy of course, it's a good thing I am on the tightest of budgets because I could go crazy on that site. Oh, I think that print would look just perfect in my house.

And then there is the chunkiest nugget of the three, our little plump raisinet. I could call him names like this all day, because all he does is smile at me. I race around at close to 100 miles an hour each day to make members of this troop content, and I turn and look at him and he looks at me with this huge grin, and the grin says, 'you are the most amazing person in the whole world!' Sure he is probably just thinking, 'hey look, there goes that crazed woman again, let's see how many times she has to tell Kendall to find her shoes today, I got my bet in at 52.' But regardless, I pretend he says the former, and scoop him up and thank him with kisses. Because babies can't talk, and some days, that is just awesome.

So there you have it, nothing much going on. We now go to like 48 birthday parties for children a week. School is cool like that, and so therefore I have even less time, but wait until you see what I came up with for an idea for Kendall's birthday party! See this is my problem, random thoughts at inappropriate times, I should be doing laundry, not dreaming of a birthday party in February!

Have a great fall weekend. I will surely blog tomorrow. I stored up a lot to say. Imagine what all the wives of those miners had to say to their husbands. That is like 3 whole months to fill someone in on, I would be talking for 8 days straight...'And then on Monday, the 18th of August, the baby took a 4 hour nap, and I wondered, should I wake him...'because I am that girl.