Not another effing baby shower, says single lawyer Rebecca Wint
When my friend told me she was having a baby, I wasn’t shocked, because she’d desperately wanted one. We had talked about her coming off the pill, forcing herself to have sex when really she just wanted to be watching The Mindy Project in a onesie. She had also given me plenty of notice to adjust because I’m terrible with change. (My mum lives in Liverpool and I live in London and when she got a new couch in our family home I felt very, very disorientated.)
So, as much as I could be, I was ready. When she found out, we joked about how weird it was, and she made as many putridly filthy jokes as she could to show she still could, and still would; she was the same. But we both knew things would be different.
Firstly, there was going to be a fucking baby shower. I know a lot of people reading this will have had a baby shower and loved it, or gone to a baby shower and loved it, so I am going to sound like a joyless brat. But, they are really not very me. Like hen dos, I find a lot of them contrived. Just as I don’t feel like paying £40 to make ribbons after eating an overpriced scone (while the bride’s counterpart is shooting AK47s next to women wrestling in jelly somewhere in Eastern Europe), I feel uncomfortable sitting with grown women in a circle passing around a teddy bear and saying inane things like “aaaaaah, it’s really soft”. Because all the women attending these events are better than this! You would never find any of us trying to make a bracelet out of Alpen (or whatever the latest hen fad is), or punching out generic platitudes in ‘real life’, so I think it needs to end at baby showers.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to celebrate such an important life/game-changer, and it’s better than a ‘push present’ (which should be named ‘thanks-for-rupturing-your-bowel [or insert other horrendous birthing calamity] after-a-5-day-labour-and-agreeing-never-to-be-free-of-worry-again present’). However, I want to see a baby shower where someone cracks a Sarah Silverman joke and my 8 month pregnant friend tries to pop some obscene Nicky Minaj moves, and talks about how she was meant to buy a pram but instead she went to see the Magic Mike sequel. I hope that’s what I do. I digress.
Secondly, I was going to see her boobs more than I’ve seen my own vagina. By the end of a weekend I felt as comfortable seeing her nipples as I do seeing pictures of Seal and Heidi in the good old days. True to her pre-baby promise, we watched a lot of Ru Paul’s drag race, which is the great advantage of a long feed. Thirdly, I got to see her bloody baby! A beautiful, smiley chubbbb of a dude. A dude whose mum is a total legend, who is going to make her son understand about respecting women, about the importance of hygiene, about not putting shirtless photos on Tinder.
Fourthly, I was going to experience the warm projectile shooting of direct-to-crotch-vomit. I’m pleased to say this was the first time (my recreational activities are nowhere near that niche). I probably shouldn’t say this, but because I was in Scotland the extra warmth wasn’t unwelcome. Finally, I experienced the bonding experience of my friend at knee height scooping the projectile out of my pyjama crotch whilst I held the smiling can’t-believe-he-looks-like-this-but-just-did-that mini dude. To quote Arrested Development “it was weird”. It was also totally slapstickly hilarious. It made me realise that no matter what, there will always be ‘levelling’ experiences which we tackle together, laugh at together, regardless of our mutual experiences. I would say that I hope one day I can return the favour, but this sounds strange, and the first rule of friendship is that generally speaking, crotches are out of bounds.