Before I had kids, in what I like to affectionately refer to as “The Before Time,” I had my very own life, with my very own interests, hobbies, and leisure time to spend as I wished. A great majority of that leisure time was spent cutting out Greek letters, ironing them onto things, and then tracing the letters in color-coordinated puffy paint, because I was a sorority girl, and that’s what good sorority girls did during The Before Time.
It’s worth noting that during The Before Time, I spent my fair share of time with other members of the Greek community, namely, fellow sorority girls and fraternity guys. Equipped with the knowledge I have on this matter, I have come to a very interesting conclusion:
Living with small children is like living in a fraternity house.
When I had kids, I never would’ve thought that they would remind me so much of crazy, wild, immature young college guys, but they do. Only instead of doing keg stands, they’re trying to sip from their juice boxes while they’re dangling upside down off the couch, while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and daring one another to stick a marble up their nose.
- The noise level. As you can probably imagine, a bustling fraternity house filled with guys coming and going can get pretty noisy. Multiply the decibels by about 3405983495834985 and you’ll get something close to the decibel levels here at any given time. When my kids play together, they look sweet and darling, but they sound like they’re remodeling the house. What looks like a box of Legos sounds like a jackhammer.
- There’s always something dangerous and/or questionable happening. When you fill a house with young, immature guys who are looking to do something crazy to impress their friends, there is often something going on that probably shouldn’t be going on. I’ve seen guys jump from roofs into pools, engage in DIY pyrotechnics, and dare each other to do a plethora of other ridiculous things. Here, there are three miniature Evel Knievels, ready and willing to end up in a full body cast if they’re able to pull off a backflip in the bouncehouse.
- Sticky substances of unknown origins abound. This is actually pretty gross, but it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of one’s imagination to stumble upon a sticky substance of unknown origin in a fraternity house. I touched the doorknob on the garage door the other day, and my fingers stuck right to it. In what I can only describe as divine providence, I didn’t throw up all over everything within a ten foot radius. After I got done submerging my whole sticky hand in a vat of Lysol, I cleaned the doorknob thoroughly with Clorox wipes. I suspect it was one of my kids with a lollipop, but I’m not 100% clear on that. Something tells me the source of the sticky doorknob will remain a mystery, and that the memory of touching a sticky doorknob will haunt me for the rest of my days.
- Bodily functions. Need I say more? A house full of guys probably produces enough gas to run an entire fleet of jet liners. Much like a house full of small children; very often, we are simply a parade of bodily functions, just putting it all out there for the world to see and smell. It’s like a full-on sensory experience, designed to clear any given room we walk into.
- Streaking. Periodically, young, impressionable guys who lack appropriate decision-making skills find it humorous to run around the campus or across a football field, naked as a jaybird. Like those guys, many children are known to strip down to their birthday suit and grace the world with that poignant visual. Not mine, though. Mine are far too civilized for that. Clearly.
One thing is for certain, though: despite the fact that it’s sometimes crazy, sometimes gross, and sometimes wild, it is a lot of times very fun. Now somebody pass the puffy paint.