I hosted a baby shower for a dear friend's expectant daughter last weekend. Those of you familiar with my fondness for Halloween will not be surprised that I wanted to create centerpieces with disjointed doll heads, arms, and legs. I asked my son what he thought of the idea, and his response illustrates the folly of seeking counsel on a baby shower from a nineteen-year-old male. He said, "You be you, Mom. It'll be awesome."
Never fear, the doll heads remained in my basement where they sit on the shelf, staring blankly into the darkness. One dolly did make it upstairs. I painted his body to match the party invites and the cookies and then attached him to the back of April the wicker giraffe. The parents-to-be took such a shine to him, I simply didn't have the heart to point out his lazy eye.
Despite the fact that not a single guest gifted a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting", which bodes poorly for these two little lost lambs, and despite the glaring lack of games, the party was a success. The young couple received lots of new-fangled equipment, cozy blankets, and onesies decorated with witty sayings like My mommy says I can't talk to strangers or Vikings fans.
Also advice. Each gift was accompanied with a bit of wisdom. And the young couple listened so intently, I wanted to write it all down for them. But I didn't. Alas, they are on their own.
And may I digress a moment and talk about the stuffed animals? I'm not sure what's changed in synthetic fabrics, but today's plush creatures are shockingly soft. There is nothing in nature as velvety soft as the little menagerie of animals that got passed around the room on Sunday. And they're all so squashy! Which makes them much more cuddly. Who figured that out? My favorite Steiff lion was so stiff, he could prop open a window.
The best part of the shower was watching the reaction of the father-to-be as he and his wife opened their gifts. He comes from Germany and the generosity extended towards his new family just floored him, especially as some of the gifts came from people he had never met.
I was reminded of the story of my mother's baby shower. She had given birth to me in a small town in Iran, and there was very little in the way of baby supplies. When her girlfriends back in Illinois heard about the lack of cloth diapers and other essentials, they got together and mailed my mother a "shower in a box." My father, like this young German father, was floored by the generosity of people across the ocean.
It is a lovely tradition that we follow in our country, isn't it?
If you have parenting advice -- and I know you do -- feel free to leave it in the comments below.
And now I must share some photos of the floral arrangements. I took these snaps the day after the party, and the flowers look even more wild and primordial, which is what they should be for a baby shower. They are the work of Vicki Kunz of La Tulipe.
If you are local, do get in touch with Vicki for your special events. Go visit her in historic Cedarburg. She works out of the most charming white cottage tucked behind Main Street. Vicki also hosts private flower bar parties. And the pics below are from the lovely Midsummer's Night Garden Party she threw last month. More photos of that here. Click here for La Tulipe's website and here for the Facebook page.
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