Man, I hate baby showers.
I pretty much hate all showers that don’t include water. It mostly has to do with the idea of so much estrogen stuffed into a room together, and a little to do with the fact that it’s a social engagement and requires me to leave me apartment.
So I was forced into the light of day this past weekend to celebrate the inevitable arrival of my next nephew, already dubbed David. This presents an awkward problem for me, since my David is named…David. I feel very strange calling a very small human who is related to me by blood the same thing I call a very large human who I find attractive. I’m trying to come up with a nickname for the squirt, but I also call my form of the human David both “Davey” and “Dave”, so those are out as alternatives. Someone suggested “Li’l D” but that’s too mediocre-white-rapper for my taste. I could go by his middle name, but the middle name is a tribute to my brother, so that’s another hot mess.
Anyway I was at a baby shower celebrating the almost fully baked muffin and was the only female in the room who had not had a child. Or snagged a husband.
For those of you unawares, when you’ve been with someone for five years and/or you’re closing in on 30, it’s virtually impossible to attend adult social engagements without being badgered about when the big day is. And now that America is all willy-nilly about the importance of getting married before having babies, I’m not even asked when I’m getting married anymore; they just hop right to “so when do you think you’ll have kids?!”
For the record, both of these questions are rude. And annoying. Please stop it.
But that’s just the surface of why baby showers are so awful. The real reason is that when you’re trapped in a room with a bunch of moms who haven’t had a chance to get out in a while and connect with other moms, they want to talk about mom stuff. In my case, pretty much everyone was a relatively new mom and were the proud owners of wobbly toddlers. With the topic of the day being an impending birth, it was only a matter of time before conversation veered toward the inevitable: the miracle of childbirth also known as the disgusting process of labor.
I have a lot of questions about labor that I don’t really want to know the answer to. They didn’t cover the details in my health class. All I remember is a video that had absolutely no warning attached to it showing me things I never dreamed I would be shown against my will. I try to avoid discussion surrounding labor because I’m afraid that when it’s confirmed that you really do poop yourself in the process, I’m never going to allow myself to have children.
At a baby shower, labor-related discussions are inevitable. Because just when you’re ready to hunker down with a meatball sub and some cake, everyone starts talking about the pain of pushing a watermelon-sized human out their hoo-has like it’s no big deal.
It’s not their fault, really. It’s just that they’re moms; the things they’ve seen in the process of caring for a creature that is unable to eat, clean, or poop on its own has turned them into unflinching warriors of bodily functions. I admire it, really. There’s something to be said for someone who can discover a human turd on the floor and clean it up without protest or surprise. That’s the kind of warrior moms are. I’m just not there yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever be there. I find turds to be quite alarming.
In the spirit of inclusion, I should note that dads are capable of turd removal as well, but they are not emphasized in this post because I’ve never been to a baby shower that includes men. And I’ve never known one who has gone through labor and lived to talk about it.
So for lots of reasons, I would prefer to not have to attend showers ever again. Unless, that is, the nature of the shower changes. Perhaps instead of playing baby-related games and showering someone with presents, we could all go play paintball together. The expectant mother could hole up in a fort with snacks and her friends could divide up into two teams and play Capture the Expectant Mother. Or everyone could go play laser tag together and to make it fair for the soon-to-be-mom, everyone could wear fake bellies.
I’m not really sure why these haven’t already become social sensations.
So I guess I’ll throw it out there. The next shower I attend should employ these simple suggestions or something in the same spirit.
Even if I have to wait ’til my own. ♣