Saturday, March 5, 2011

Our baby un-shower

Life happens faster than I can write about it. I just realized I never told you about our baby un-shower. What’s an un-shower? It’s using your soon-to-be-born baby as an excuse to throw a party.

In lieu of a traditional, ladies-only baby shower, our good friends threw a baby celebration for us. Everyone got to see the nursery, eat appetizers, and drink adult beverages. Even the husbands/boyfriends had a good time. Of course, the keg of beer might have contributed to that.  (Just because I can't partake doesn't mean our guests can't, right?)

I was so busy chatting with everyone, I totally forgot to take pictures. I can’t believe I have no pictures of our un-shower. I know, I suck. The one photo I did manage to get is of the guys playing beer pong in the garage. Yes, beer pong. After most of the guests left to put their kids to bed, a few husbands got a hall pass to stick around, drink beer, eat pizza and play beer pong. (That orange thing in the picture is the ping pong ball in mid-flight, not a giant carrot. Sorry, that’s the best my cell phone camera can do.)

Beer pong was the biggest reason we got the keg in the first place. As Matt and his brother began to fill the red Solo cups, the keg went dry. Our party peeps were thirsty! So one of the guys stopped on the way over to pick up reinforcements. I watched the game until about 10:00, then I happily went to bed while guys stayed up, played and drank. 

Nope, not your usual baby shower at all.

I have nothing against traditional baby showers. They’re just not really … me. I think your baby shower should be like your wedding – it should fit the personalities of you and your partner. Why do showers have to be cookie-cutter? While I don’t mind participating in my friends’ baby showers, I cringe when I think of having something like that for myself. I don’t like a lot of the baby shower games. My least favorite is the one where you melt chocolate bars into diapers so they look like baby poop, and the guests have to smell them and guess the chocolate bar. I will never enjoy a Twix the same way again. So there were no games at our un-shower. Except for the beer pong.

Then there’s the opening of presents. The mom-to-be receives zillions of beautifully wrapped packages and bags at her baby shower, and she opens them all one by one. Everyone ooh’s and ahh’s as each item gets passed around the group. Not being a mommy before, I always observed these ceremonies as though they were educational presentations. I didn’t know what half that stuff was (I still don’t, to be honest), so I shifted into student mode and took mental notes. (That weird, rubber, bulbous thingy sucks out baby snot? Good to know…) But who wants to spend their Saturday afternoon at an educational presentation? Plus, since we don’t know LBK’s gender, I doubted there would be many cute baby clothes to ooh and ahh over. Everything I registered for was yellow, green and practical. So there was no opening of the presents at our un-shower.

But I think the biggest reason I didn’t want a traditional baby shower is because I really don’t like being the center of attention. I don’t want the pressure of having to be funny and entertaining while I open mountains of presents and my guests sit and watch. Oh, and the thought of people guessing how many squares of toilet paper are required to wrap around my giant belly – mortifying! Props to other moms-to-be who are gracious and poised at their baby showers, who are comfortable (or can successfully appear to be comfortable) in these situations. I just don't think I could pull it off. 

That’s why the baby un-shower was perfect for us. Matt shared in the responsibility of mingling with guests and ensuring everyone had a good time. If someone didn’t know anyone else at the party, they at least had their significant other with them, so they could approach groups as a pair and start making friends. If conversations started to falter, all the kids running around provided a great distraction from awkward silences and gave adults something to talk about. And, of course, the beer keg was a great gathering place for people to meet and talk. It was a low-key, casual, open house type of party, kind of like a barbecue ... in February. And that fits Matt and me perfectly. 

The awesome design work of Erin, our great friend and hostess.