By The Wiz
This weekend I am venturing off to one of those most unique of cultural experiences: The Baby Shower. I have my gift all ready, complete with slippers that the baby will never wear, simply because they were too stinkin’ cute to pass up. I also have Infant’s Tylenol (grape flavor - very important. All babies spit out the nasty cherry kind), a thermometer, and lanolin, all of which I hope will get used. I hate to think I’m giving a gift that will just sit on a shelf and rot. With the exception, of course, of the pink fuzzy slippers. I know those are totally useless, being a mom, that they’ll fall off the baby, and then they’ll be too big, or the baby will simply pull them off, but the first-time mother doesn’t know that yet, and Tylenol doesn’t look as cute in a gift bag.
But it got me thinking back to my first baby, and my first baby shower. I opened gift after gift of outfits I was sure my baby would never fit into (compare a newborn to a 12 month outfit, and you’ll swear your baby will never be that big). I got bottles, burp rags, and bibs. I got sippy cups and spoons. And I got scared. It was the first time I really switched modes from ‘pregnant person’ to ‘baby-take-care-of-person.’ I was so wrapped up in all my pregnancy books, I forgot to read infant books. And it all became very real in a very scary way. Suddenly I found myself listening to all the advice instead of looking at the various binkies, wondering why all of them were different, and what possible difference it could make.
Shortly after her birth, I sent DH to the store to buy burp cloths that weren’t hand-sewn and beautifully lined. Those I had received at the shower were surely too nice to wipe up puke with. Also, nobody had warned me that I would need major nursing pads (apparently some women DON’T need them, of those women, I am totally jealous) I was using little nursing pads when I was pregnant, due to major colostrum leakage, (but that’s probably a little TMI) and was not prepared for the onslaught of liquid and pain that accompanied mommyhood. I needed some serious reinforcement if I was ever to appear in public again. But then, I wasn’t sure that I ever WOULD appear in public again.
So as I head to this shower tomorrow, and look at the excitement and anticipation my cousin is feeling for her venture into a new phase of life, I will just laugh, play the games, and ooohhh and aaahhh over all the beautiful baby things. Because she has no idea what’s coming…..and who am I to ruin it? Let her dream. Because, as all of you know, she wouldn’t believe me if I told her.
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