Thursday, December 31, 2009

In which I attempt to share the pain

Now that Christmas is over, I need to get off my ass and finish preparations for pregnant best friend's baby shower. This event is planned for January 16th, a few days after my laparoscopy. Good times! But I need some help in order to make it the best baby shower evah. And I figured: Who better to ask than a group of people for whom baby showers are incredibly fraught and painful?

I'm having trouble with my planning in part because we are not baby shower people. In fact, we've been calling it the Celebratory Pre-Birth Event because the label baby shower conjures up such disturbing images of humiliating games and mountains of fussy gifts. I've never been to an actual baby shower, so maybe the classic version is way cooler than it appears, but in any case, it's not what PBF wants. The second reason I'm having trouble is the obvious one: my mind becomes curiously fuzzy when I think about anything having to do with her baby. And when I try to imagine what I'd want in her place, I have to crawl into a hole and feel sad.

Here's as far as I've gotten. Decor: since she's having a girl, the style will be ironically exaggerated girliness. Flowers, pink ribbons--I'm gonna make it real purty. Menu: cupcakes, deviled eggs, and cucumber sandwiches. Tea. A discrete flask of vodka for me. Gifts: I've gotten a few adorable items from my favorite weird Japanese shop. But the only thing I'm sure of so far is that I'd want lovingly hand-made items at my own event. Somehow that seems most important to me: the idea of people toiling over things for my child seems so right--like a series of protective charms for a dangerous world. Luckily all my friends are capable of making cool stuff. For PBF, I've been working on a quilt featuring woodland animals. It's looking pretty damn awesome so far, if I do say so myself. Activities: since this group of people's primary form of entertainment is drinkin' and since drinkin' is out (except for me, discretely), I thought perhaps we'd make a mobile.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something important though, due to my fuzzy head and lack of experience. SO, I'd like to ask anyone who feels like engaging in this tortuous exercise to respond to the following: operating under the assumption that you will someday have an upcoming baby to celebrate, how do you want it done? What's important to you?


  1. I have only been to a few baby "showers" in my life, and I can say that I have NEVER been impressed with them or have wanted to stay past 10 minutes. That, however, doesn't help you much.

    I did help plan my SIL's baby shower and there are two things we did to make the day more meaningful.

    1) Make something for the mom to be that she will find useful or helpful or meaningful. We made my SIL a necklace that had words of encouragement written on beads made out of paper. That way, if she ever felt down or tired, she could wear a necklace that was made of love and hope. Your mobile idea sounds like a good one too.

    2) Decorate with a lot of makes parties look less cheesy and more classy (and it's sometimes cheaper than other decorations).

    That's all I got at this hour. Good luck. You are going to do just fine!!

  2. I've been to a few baby showers, and they were all horribly, excruciately, silly. The guess the belly size, guess the baby food, trivia, etc. Gag me with a spoon.
    I can't even picture what I'd want for a baby shower. But as far as games/activities go - maybe you could do a time capsule? Have everyone bring an item from 2009/2010 like current pics of the parents-to-be, or newspaper clippings, etc. Might be fun...
    I can't believe you're going to be throwing a shower right after a lap. Hopefully, you can stay off your feet as much as possible!

  3. I have actually thrown (or helped to throw) several showers. I, too, am NOT into the Typical Shower Crap, and it was a struggle to come up with some kind of entertainment/activity that didn't totally creep me out. I really enjoy the idea of a mobile because it's both sentimental and useful. I think a time capsule is a really cute idea too, especially since that can be taken in any number of directions... Some of the less daffy things I've done:

    -a birthing story Mad Lib (its success totally depends on the crowd)

    -an iPod playlist filled with 10 or so songs with the word "baby" in the title or chorus and peeps had just a few seconds to guess both the artist and the song

    -a little mat for my friend's u/s picture that everyone signed...

    Anyway, I darest not think too hard or longingly about what I'd like at my magical pre-birth celebratory event; however,I've given my sister explicit instructions that, should I ever become with child by some grand miracle, some variation of this cake MUST be present at said pre-birth celebratory event:

  4. 1) more vodka
    2) more vodka
    3) more vodka