April Showers

It’s been a busy week. Janelle and I have had four different baby showers this week. One was a luncheon she had with some co-workers, another was a larger-scale work shower at her office. The other two were ones for family and friends, one in Long Beach and one at our place. I was almost hoping that something would be a little off at one of the parties so that I’d be able to write up a cautionary post with clear do’s and don’ts for planning a shower. But they both went really well. There were differences, though, so I’ll break those down a bit.

Showers are pretty typically seen as ladies-only events, and the Long Beach shower was for the most part—I was only present for the very start and the last hour or so. But considering that the party is usually just people sitting around and talking, there’s no reason that a Dad can’t join in and enjoy. But, at the same time, if you’re not around it’s doubtful the Mom-to-be will feel abandoned. She’ll be busy having various attentions lavished upon her for a few hours.

The biggest different between the two showers was location. One was at a restaurant, the other a home. Both have their stresses and benefits. Hosting at a restaurant commits you to a certain cost and time frame, it also means that any decorations or plans you make must be mobile. So consider how easy it will be to take your show on the road. On the plus side, meal prep and clean up is non-existent.

At our house, it’s easier to set up what you want how you want it. There’s no need to worry about time constraints. If you’re going to cater or bring in prepared food, you still incur that cost, but if you’re prepping your own food there’s shopping and cooking and storage to worry about, not to mention clean-up. Cleaning was the largest part of the shower project for us. Our tidying needed to be a bit more intense, as we’re still partially in boxes from the move, but even for a house more or less put together there will be a heck of a lot of frantic tidying and polishing in the days before.

The decision on location really ends up hinging on the space you have available in a home (for people, food and supplies) and how willing or unwilling you are to clean and cook up a storm. If you want to have a loose and open-ended party as well, it’s something you’ll need to arrange in advance wherever you’ve booked or, most likely easier, just have at home.

There were four games played between the two main parties. One involved giving the guests a line from a nursery rhyme and having them then name the first line from that rhyme. Another involved a series of clues that hinted at specific candy names and guests had to connect the two. Gift bingo is a pretty typical game that gives everyone something to do while the bunches of gifts are being opened. Guests simply fill out a bingo-grid ahead of time with what gifts they think will be given and as those items pop up they get crossed off (pro-tip: just bring multiple small items and you have yourself an instant bingo). The last game was a “The Price is Right” style knock-off. Using gifts from the Long Beach baby shower, we looked up pricing on-line and then had guests try and guess as close to that price as they could.

I wanted to have some sort of philosophical jag to close on, but I’ve got nothing beyond making sure that you don’t stress so much about the setup for your shower that it ends up basically voiding the celebratory aspect.

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