The next stage in your baby's evolution (or your evolution as to-be parents) is the shower... No, not that kind that you take in a bathroom, standing under a stream of hot water, but the kind that is a party... a celebration... the kind that others are supposed to throw for your wife before she pops out that little one! Like the babymoon, the concept of the shower is very unique to me. First of all, why do we call it a shower... there is not an ounce of water involved. If there is any form of liquid flowing at these parties, it is the alcohol that is provided to incentivize the dads and gents to make the trip across. I can totally imagine a conversation such as the following unfolding at a household one afternoon:
Wife: We are going to Gaile and Tarun's baby shower this evening. You remember right? Wear something nice; there will be a lot of people there
Husband: It's today! Really? Ahh, I was hoping to just stay at home and catch up on the football this afternoon.
Wife: What! How can you? I've put this in your calendar for about a month. Do you know how bad they would feel if you didn't go. Besides, how do you expect me to go by myself?
Husband: Just take an Uber. I can come pick you up later. As for me not being there, they won't even notice. There's so many people coming.
Wife: I specifically told them you are coming. You have to come for a bit, otherwise I will have to rethink my going as well. Besides, they will have a lot of good food there... not to mention all the alcohol. You know they are good about the food and booze they put out... Come have a few, chat with the guys and we can leave soon.
Husband (rolling his eyes, knowing he doesn't have muc of a say here): Ok, fine. I guess we can go for a bit. The booze is indeed good. Do your thing and then we can leave shortly after.
Having been party to a couple of these conversations in the past, I could just sit there and imagine this conversation playing out in the households of all our invitees.
And so, at these showers, rather than the hot models you see on TV and in the music videos, you have happy mummies and wives, tons of kids shouting, screaming and creating havoc, and dads who already don't want to be there running behind these kids to make sure no damage is done. It's manic! It's crazy! But hey, isn't that what parties are supposed to be about!
At least this was always my impression of baby showers, until we hosted ours a couple of weeks back. In a land where we know few people and where it is every man for himself, or rather every woman for herself, my wife decided to take it on herself to plan her own baby shower. A website was created, a gift registry built, invites sent... A week or two before the event, the house started to resemble a baby's birthday party (Aha! So that's what it is... a birthday celebration, even before the baby is here)... balloons, decoration and streamers started popping up all over the house. Games were being planned. I found myself helping with organizing the food and drinks... on the day of sandwiches I was even preparing the sandwiches... I wanted to help out and so even ordered a cake designed for the shower! (Who knew there are chefs who cater to and make cakes especially for baby showers... there's a whole industry based on this!) We were in our element... we wanted this to be THE baby shower of the year... the party of all parties... for whom?
For the baby (who wasn't even here)... for us (of course)... but also for all those dads who didn't want to be here. Ha!
There were games, there was drinking, there were gifts... tons and tons of them. And if you have generous friends like we do, the gifts didn't stop. It got to a point where we didn't know where to put the stuff anymore. And that's when you realize that another stage has been completed... the baby is definitely on its way and there is a sense of finality to it. If you didn't believe it until then, when you see the pampers, the pillows, the blankets, the baby clothes all over your place, you know that there is going to be a new addition to your family soon... and you know that as a dad, you are going to be running around behind the little one at someone else's baby shower soon!