Baby Showers

So, this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I will be attending my good friend Paula's baby shower. And love Paula (and all of my friends) as I may, I have to admit that baby showers are not my favorite event.

Apparently, baby showers are held throughout the world. Many cultures don't hold the baby showers until after the baby is born. Even in the U.S., babies were "showered" with gifts from families and friends after their birth until the late 1800's. It was at that time that baby showers began to be held as a female-only tea party, usually only held for the first child born in a family. Baby showers as we know them today really became prevalent in the U.S. following the baby boom after World War II.

And baby showers are fine. I'm excited to give little Ella gifts that hopefully she and her parents will be able to use and enjoy. I guess what bothers me about baby showers is the strange traditions that go along them....

Sample Itinerary of Events for Hypothetical Baby Shower

1:00 - Arrive at baby shower. A baby shower is the one type of event where showing up "fashionably late" isn't really acceptable. Any other type of party is more of a "come whenever you can make it" type of mentality. Not a baby shower - we've got a schedule to follow here, people!

1:05 - Squish grandmother, aunts, sisters, cousins, and female friends into a room that no matter what will be too small and not have enough seats. Doesn't matter. If you have a room big enough for ten people, twenty will show up. A room big enough for fifty? Seventy-six.

1:15 - Begin the first game: "Don't Say Baby." Every woman is given a safety pin with a ribbon or something similar to that to wear. How do you win this game? The name of the game says it all. You are not allowed to say the word "baby." If you say the word baby and somebody else catches you, they get to take your pin. The person with the most pins at the end of the game wins. My personal strategy for this game is to immediately say "baby" so I can give away my pin and I don't have to worry about it the rest of the afternoon.

1:20 - Second game: "How Big is Mommy's Belly?" Everybody is given a piece of yarn or string and they have to cut it to the size they think it should be to fit perfectly around the mother's pregnant tummy. I will admit that this game is more difficult than one would think. And Lord knows, you don't want to offend the pregnant woman. My advice: Go out to the garage and slam a beer. Don't go back in until the game is over.

1:35 - Third game: "Dirty Diapers." Yes, this game really is as bad as it sounds. For this game, the party organizers get a bunch of different types of candy bars, smush them up, put them in diapers and into the microwave. Then, the party guests pass around a bunch of diapers that look like they are filled with diaper shit and examine it, holding it up to their faces to get a really good sniff, in order to try to guess what type of candy it is. You think you see peanuts in there? Probably a Payday.* You get the idea. **

2:00 - Begin opening gifts. Watch the mother open ten million "oh-so-cute" onsies, twosies, sleepers, etc., etc. Hint: Try to get your gift towards the top of the pile so that as soon as it is opened you can make a quick escape to wherever it is that you have the alcohol. (Sidenote: My problem with shopping for baby showers - if you want to buy clothes, there is a whole hell of a lot of math that goes along with it. Okay, I want to buy something for the baby that she can wear when she's a little older. Like 3-6 months. So, the baby will be born at the end of July, so I need to buy something that she'll be able to wear in.... November? Well, fuck! It's May! The stores don't have anything out right now for a baby to wear in November! However, the child will have a different outfit to wear every one of the ninety days until she is 3 months old.)

2:30 - Continue opening gifts. Continue "aaaawww"-ing. At everything. Realize that baby stuff all kind of ends up looking the same.

2:55 - Finish opening gifts. Time for refreshments. Check out what's available... Vegetable tray, fruit tray, cake, maybe some of those little chicken salad sandwiches on those tiny rolls. Realize that this food really isn't worth losing your buzz.

3:30 - Time to go. Call the guys to find out where they're drinking and playing pool and get there as quick as possible.

Now, please nobody take offense to this. I am writing it before I go to the shower this afternoon. Knowing the people who will be involved, this truly could be the shower to break all stereotypes of baby showers that I have. But, if it doesn't, it doesn't mean I don't love all of you anyway!

* I will admit that this is the only game I've ever won at a baby shower. I'm not good at guessing the baby item in the bag, but I can seriously tell you what type of candy is melted in a diaper. And, another admission - - I was kind of proud when I won!
** Dave's suggestions for a possible game for an all female baby showers: "Pin the tongue on the Pussy." Hey, I'm only reporting. Hold it against him!


Dave Morris said...

I never said that about 'pinning the tongue.' I don't know what you are talking about.

Violet said...


CP said...

Violet. I believe you.

*glares at Dave*