Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Baby Shower Wars

Last week I received an invitation to a baby shower in honor of someone's second child. The invite asked me to bring a dessert item and included a link to a registry involving organic cotton bibs. Or, if one did not wish to buy from the registry, one could consult an attached wish list for gift pointers. There is so much wrong with this picture that I hardly know where to begin. But I do know that this makes an excellent topic for this my new monthly mini-column, Rude Mommy!
Read it allllllll here.

And just to say I brought up this topic in "The Playground" at Offsprung, my new fave spot, and HOOOOO did I ever get some lip back. Maybe they're right--I'm too crabby for my socks. Then again, I never promised anyone a rose garden...


Anonymous said...

I get both sides of this issue, I really do. But since a lot of people think I'm a bitch, I'm not sure that does either side any good.

I hate showers - but being in no financial position to turn down free gifts, I let people throw them for me - I had two for each kid. The only one I like was the one my best friend through, which was actually a gathering to watch a football game that happened to include a pink cake. I registered for stuff both times because I am an Amazon wishlist addict, but I only told people who asked (and it was forbidden on invites) about my registry.

Of course I got a bunch of things I didn't need, but I just exchanged or donated them.

tonypark said...

Re rudeness, one of my current pet peeves is mothers who allow their tiny tots to interrupt grown-up(ish) conversations.

One friend is a serial offender. I'll be talking - work stuff - to her on the phone and she'll break off the conversation with me in mid sentence to begin one with her two-year-old, which usually starts with a screeched; "(Name deleted) WANT peanut BUTTERRRRRRRR!"

Bring back seen-and-not-heard, and don't-speak-until-spoken-to, brat.

Ok, maybe that's a bit harsh, but do manners not exist in 21st Century parenting textbooks?

Laura said...

I think showers for a 2nd child are a bit much to ask of people. The thing is, most close friends and family are going to send a gift when the baby is born anyway, so I think it's rude to ask them to. One trend that I've heard of recently is the "sip and see" which is a party/reception in honor of the new baby so that friends and family can meet the new baby. Gifts are completely optional. My mom is thinking of hosting one for my sister a month or so after her 2nd child is born.

Crabmommy said...

Laura, sip and see--so much more civilized. Jerseygirl, I think if one is registering BUT only telling people about registries when asked, that's not so bad.
Tony, I get you. Rudenss abounds in tots and their permissive parents. but I also get the other side of this--when I became a mom I had to eat some of my own words on this issue. Thing is, little kids are like pets: they circle back to you and need affirmation/attention every so often no matter what. I think they should be taught at the earliest age not to interrupt--or at least to say 'excuse me" when grownups are talking...BUT in the end you have to strike a middle ground with the wee ones. But those folks who always let their kids command the attention wayyyy past toddlerhood? No friend of Crabmommy, these peeps! Not to mention that they are harming their kids. Cuz one day little Quinn will hit the big wide world and it won't stop and look at her every time she wants it to.

LizLSB said...

I think registries are rude in general, but I suppose people do them because a) some folks have no taste and b) a registry ensures you get what you want. I didn't have a shower with my second child and wouldn't have had one the first time if my in-laws hadn't thrown one for me.

Another thing I find rude? Birthday parties for 1 year olds or anyone under the age of maybe 3 or 4 who doesn't really have friends are rude. Inviting a bunch of grown-ups to your one-year-old's "birthday party" so they will bring presents to your child is beyond tacky to me.

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

re: the rudeness thing, i so get that. and i am the first to admit that i am the most annoying person to speak with on the phone - the reason i have lost many friends having two babes. my 4yo consistently interrupts while i'm on the phone. the only person who stays on the phone with me is my mom. that's not to say that she agrees with the fact that 4yo interrupts, but she loves her grandson. i think it's a generational thing. the parenting theories these days are all focused on letting our children be themselves and timeouts and allowing them their independence to make good choices, etc. ugh, sometimes all children need a good scolding and to be told, "NO!"

jeezus, i've gone on and on.

re: the two shower thing. gimme a break. i got two showers for my son - a work one and a "friend" one. both showers had booze and good food and were without those dumb games.

i'm stopping now...

Crabmommy said...

I quite agree w/ your point about the 1-yr-old b'day parties. Next thing you know they're gonna start registering for them. Matter of fact a friend of mine sent me an email that had been forwarded to her on the occasion of some acquaintance's 1-yr-old's bday. It had a list of all the things he "needs" as regards bday presents!!!

LizLSB said...

It had a list of all the things he "needs" as regards bday presents!

That's horrifying!

tonypark said...

Gotcha CM, and I can respect all that.

I've just spent the weekend with two Zimbabwean couples with four kids between them (ages... I don't know... 8-12ish?) and whatever they did, or whatever (used) to be in the water over there in Zim, these were the best behaved, most polite, most self-reliant kids I've seen since... well, since I was in Africa.

But I'm the first to admit "what would I know", not having any little tikes of my own.

As an independent observer, however, one of the key differences I noted between the 'African' parents and the Aussies I know was a willingness to let the kids head off and do kid things by themselves, without molly coddling them. I'm not saying that's a low-risk or even good thing ('specially not for little kids) but I know that my Aussie friends would have been supervising their kids of the same age by the minute, if not the second.

I should butt-outsky right now, but I may take this up on my own blog and THAT (given that all my friends over here have kids) is a very high risk strategy.