Womanhood is so undignified sometimes. I mean, the guys complain about the turn and cough thing, but seriously, fingers UP your nether regions? We'll see your inguinal hernia check and raise you an annual date with a speculum. To say nothing of motherhood, which basically takes every last shred of dignity you were holding onto and forces you to watch it burn. "We'll just do a quick check of your cervix today, Mrs. Overly. If we find your dignity up there we'll let you know..."
Even after you make it through the whole nine months of pregnancy and all the embarrassments of childbirth they still want to check all of the things. "I just need to take a look at your nipples." "I'm here to check your bleeding." "Any trouble with hemorrhoids?" and one of my personal favorites, "Have you had a bowel movement yet?" which is just a "polite" way of saying, "Have you pooped today?" and we all know that that is not a polite question at all. Luckily I read Miss Manners and she says it's perfectly okay to rebuff nosy strangers, which is is why I started responding, "It's kind of you to be so concerned about my private life..." followed by a withering glare. (Miss Manners says you can always end with a withering glare, as long as you say something polite first).
Fortunately, they do let you out of the hospital eventually. Unfortunately the indignities do not end there. Soon you find yourself sitting on a couch, hooked up to a machine that literally milks you -- like, literally sucks milk from your body as if you were a Jersey cow. (Go on, try to feel dignified while doing this. I DARE YOU). Besides eating, your baby's only priority is to claim you as his mother by coating your entire wardrobe in his bodily fluids. ("She's my mom! Can't you see my vomit on her shoulder?")
Of course this is probably more dignified than when your baby hits the crawling age and decides that no matter what happens, you must never go to the bathroom alone. This phase lasts until he is at least eight, possibly longer. (I'm not sure because my oldest is eight. For all I know this phase will last until he's 25). Even when you lock yourself in he has to stand there with his toes under the door and ask for help with things that obviously can't be done while you are on the toilet. "Mom, can you make lunch?" "Will you get me a band-aid?" "Can you jump on the trampoline?"
Why yes, son, I can sit on the toilet and jump on the trampoline at the same time. I am just that amazing!
But, in spite of four kids who make it their daily mission to embarrass me, I thought I had successfully started the process of regaining my grip on dignity. Then I discovered that I had spent half the day with baby poop on the front of my pants and my shirt inside out. The next morning Leah made a valiant effort to permanently strip me of any last vestiges of dignity when she appeared with my cell phone while I was taking a shower. "What are you doing with my cell phone, Leah?" I asked.
"I'm taking pictures of you in the shower!" she answered cheerfully.
Oh GREAT. Naked pictures. Of me. One little button away from being posted to Facebook.
"PUT THE CELL PHONE DOWN RIGHT NOW AND BACK AWAY, LEAH."
Oh, I don't know. Maybe something about the fact that we don't take naked pictures of people. Or push one button and traumatize the entire internet. (I gave birth to twins, you guys. I have stretch marks that are basically canyons).
"Mom's dignity, Leah."
"What's dignity, Mom? How do you spell it?"
Seriously, it's good advice for life.