For someone whose youngest child is fourteen, I get invited to a lot of baby parties: showers, baptisms, first birthdays, etc. Although I love babies, and I’m genuinely excited and happy for moms-to-be, the shower is my least favorite party of all.
I am attending one this evening. I always want to decline the invitations, but I never do. I go hoping it will be different than every other shower I’ve ever attended.
Why are baby showers designed exactly like a birthday party for a five year old? Is it to give the mom a template for the next decade of children’s parties?
This is a celebration for an adult woman, becoming a mom or already a mom. Place some flowers on the table and save the crepe paper and cartoons for later. We all know how she got pregnant; the stork decorations will not fool us.
Adults do not need to be tempted to eat with cute food. Appetizing, yes; adorable, no. Does anybody really want to bite into something decorated to look like a baby? In this case, “Too cute to eat,” means I’m not comfortable eating something that looks like your child.
For the record, I don’t eat baby food blindfolded. Or not blindfolded. Or feed it to another adult. I don’t even like to watch.
Guessing the circumference of a pregnant belly is not fun for anyone. I’ve noticed most women try to underestimate, because nobody wants to suggest the mom is bigger than she is. This game is just awkward for everyone.
Prizes! I have lost count of the number of scented candles or soaps I’ve been awarded because I can remember nursery rhymes and sitcoms better than my own phone number.
Who does not love presents? I like buying or making baby gifts. I would give my friends a gift even if they did not invite me to the shower. Actually, I’d prefer that, especially when keeping the baby’s sex a surprise. However, I do not want to sit in a circle and watch anyone open 30 gifts.
At this point, I will happily wander off to another room to enjoy a conversation with anyone similarly inclined. Escape, however, is not always possible; I was called out once at a baby shower for whispering in the kitchen during the gift opening. It’s not that I was loud. The hostess wanted everyone to be present for the unwrapping of gifts.
Then, before we can leave, the hostess gives out goodie bags. I thought it was an anomaly the first time I was given a goodie bag as an adult, but it seems standard now. I’ve tried to sneak out without them, but have been chased down in driveways, so now I accept graciously and give them to my daughter when I get home.
No wonder preschoolers leave parties exhausted.