And Baby Takes the Prize

Posted on March 25, 2013


As someone who has been out of the loop as far as attending baby showers up until two years ago, and having recently attended another one, I observed a few interesting changes in the whole affair. While there’s nothing wrong with the traditional way of gathering women friends and relatives together to coo over the new babe, I’ve always been of the liberal mind to include and enlighten the men-folk with any new developments and products pertaining to the wee one’s daily maintenance. (Heaven knows the little bundle doesn’t come into this world with instructions.) I say better the man who queries about ointments, syringes, onesies and thermometers before he is faced with babysitting solo the first time. Besides, it took two people to get to the delivery, so two should share the celebratory event – all of it.

Noah's Ark diaper cake

I’d be thrilled to receive this Noah’s Ark made from diapers, baby items and stuffed animals.

Is it even possible to attend a baby shower without at least a few zany games? This latest shower had a twist I hadn’t encountered before. Four mystery jars of baby food were presented unlabeled, numbered #1 to #4. The object of the game was to sample each jar and write down what ingredients it contained. Since there was only one other grandmother figure present, I figured I’d “ace” the quiz. After all, I had cleaned enough baby food spills off of clothes, walls, floors, and body crevices than I could count. With some confidence, I was the first brave soul to venture forward for my samples.

I’ve heard that the human brain blocks out things that it doesn’t want to remember. That said, apparently the consistency and hue of the pureed muck did not conjure up any recognition of any food in particular. My first impression was: “And babies eat this crud?!” I was faced with guessing the mystery ingredients based primarily on smell and colour blends – a long shot at best. The only sure bet, jar #4, was a banana-apple combination I recognized as one that I had some memorable moments with cleaning out from my little grand-daughter’s locks some time ago. (At least that was a fruit combination, not like the veggie and mystery-meat varieties in jars #2 and #3 – bleck!) For my chivalry in digesting those wretched offerings and feeble guesswork, I was awarded some decadent chocolate. Chocolate is very forgiving.

I only faired slightly better at the word scramble game. I stared at “byab maluofr” on my quiz sheet for nearly five minutes and still missed the words “baby formula”. I decided that my only hope for clarity was if some sweet soul would spike the punch with some Riesling, getting my creative juices flowing – pleeese.  At least I wouldn’t mind sucking so badly at the silly game and I could continue nibbling on lovely baked treats in the kitchen. It didn’t happen.

Newborn boy

A precious gift from God.

The best part, however, of attending baby showers is that most guests get to play Pass the Baby. When it’s your turn to cradle the infant, so tiny, precious and innocent (and hopefully sleeping), all the threads of maternal nurturing weave together and cover you and the babe in a blanket of happiness. (Can’t you just hear Louis Armstrong singing “It’s a Wonderful World”?) The process of cuddling and snuggling with the new babe continues until the baby’s face makes that first contorted expression just before the cries start, and just like a game of Hot Potato, that little bundle finds a speedy way back to the new mom who was enjoying some time with her gal pals. That’s one comfort about being a grandmother – you can pass the screamin’ Munchkin, no matter how cute, back to his or her mom or dad. You’ve done the time with your own kids. Yes, time and experience do have their rewards.