Confessions of a baby shower newbie
An awkward start plus a gulp of bubbly leaves this guest broody, with expected baby-showers.
(Getty Images)

It was for good reason I chose not to have a baby shower. I mean, using your preggie belly as an excuse for your friends (and most times aquaintances) to shower you with gifts, seemed like a bit of a cheap trick.  But spending time at a friend's shower recently, has (all too late) inspired me to change my mind...

It started off feeling just as awkward as I'd imagined. A bunch of women, mainly strangers, gathered somewhat sheephishly in wait of an unsuspecting friend. A welcome glass of bubbly soon took the edge off though- and the stories started coming out...

One grandmother described the birth of her 'laat lammetjie'  as a great novelty in her household. On the first day home, the entire family spent the day at her bed-side, marvelling at their latest member. So great was their excitement, they then gathered round all night long, ooh-ing and aah-ing each and every time Mom got up to feed her.

Spurred on by the team-spirit she was sensing, Mom resolved to make the second night extra special. She even prepared a thermos of tea, a batch of biscuits and some board games in honour of this new 'family bonding time'. Needless to say, at the first cry of the evening, she found her guard of honour had abandoned her for a sensible eight hours sleep.

Along with anecdotes and advice from seasoned moms, I definitely scored big-time on the free food front. As I guzzled down gooey chocolate cake, pizza and other non-healthy options banished from my home kitchen, I revelled in how good it was not have hubby in the background: ‘you know you're not eating for two anymore!’

‘Ooh, little turds!’

At times though, it became blatantly clear I'm not a regular on the baby shower-scene. Like when my friend held up a baby grow decorated with cinnamon buns, for instance. You see, to my mind, these little 'buns' bore a distinct resemblance to what might emerge from my baby's bottom. ‘Ooh, little turds - how funny!’ I blurted out. Of course that met with a wall of shocked silence. Turns out my friend's MOTHER IN LAW had given her the outfit... the same mother in law who was hosting the party.

Having remedied my embarrassment with another gulp of bubbly, I turned my attention to the multitude of gifts my friend was receiving. Anything from baby garment hangers (incidentally of no use in my house where baby's clothes get unceremoniously chucked into the cupboard), through to those adorable little outfits that help see you through the first trying weeks. Why is it that baby outfits seem less inspiring a few months down the line?

Strangely enough, I was the only one who included nappies in my gift, which - along with a truckload of baby wipes and maybe some Valium for those noisy nights, would have gone down a treat at my own baby shower.

Perhaps the biggest luxury about the whole experience was being at a social occasion, baby free, for the first time in months. There were a few moms who'd brought their kids along: and what very well behaved little girls they were. I soon discovered my fellow 'mothers-of-boys' had also left their charges in Dad's capable hands.

Granted, a baby shower doesn't exactly qualify as 'painting the town red',  but there's nothing like a good chinwag with other mothers who get where you're coming from. Which begs the question: would asking my buddies for a 'baby no.2 shower' constitute pushing my luck?

Ever had an awkward moment at a baby shower? Confess below!

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