Friday, January 19, 2007
Shower Me With Dumplings: The Best Baby Shower Ever
While I couldn't wait for the opportunity to hit the keyboard, BabyGeek is busy sleeping off the excitement from this morning. Two of our fabulous Tuesday Mommas are expecting in the next month, and we're all excited so we had the Best Baby Shower Ever. Since we all met after the birth of our babies, it seemed really fun to share a shower with new friends.
But what do you get for a family that already has kids? Diaper showers lack excitement ("Think of all the poo!") and second-timer (or more seasoned) parents typically already have a house full of stuff to stub their toes on.
Joy, one of the expectant moms who claims to have baby brain (but is still brilliant), mentioned that she'd heard about a "Cooking Shower"and would find one quite useful. A Google search for "cooking shower" apparently returns things like a "kitchen shower" for brides-to-be. New spatulas were definitely not what we were thinking of. So let's call it a Dinner Shower for now. If you have a better term in mind, please add it to the comments- this is a killer meme and it deserves a great and distinctive name.
The Dinner Shower (hosted at Joy's house because she has a great play area at her house for the passel of babies who accompany the Tuesday Mommas and a great kitchen) entailed everyone bringing a prepared, freezable dish. Since we had two expecting moms, we all brought enough food for two families and spent time looking like an infomercial while Cathy demonstrated her Food Saver. ("So how does it vacuum-seal soup?")
We split our prepared food into portions for both expectant moms' families (in a shower for just one mom this wouldn't be necessary). Joy's went right in the freezer while Amy's went into a cooler for the ride home.
Some people made a breakfast casserole while all this was going on (which we then divided and froze), and we all pitched in on clean up so everyone who brought food for repackaging took home clean dishes.
We had pizza and got to spend some quality time together.
The moms each received seven carefully prepared and delicious looking homemade entrees (all in portions large enough for multiple meals). What a great resource for those first tiring weeks of new baby's life.
No one needs to prepare expensive or elaborate meals, so everyone can give according to the time and funds they have available. Plus, the frozen meals mean the giver can plan ahead despite the random nature of birth and the family can control the timing of the meals.
This wonderful time together also honors community. My mom reminds me that in previous generations people always used to give prepared meals to families with new arrivals. This type of shower reinforces community in a way that shares and acknowledges the dualistic joy and difficulty of family life.
The shower's positive energy has made me realize the simple abundance in a well-timed gift of a good meal. It's enough to get me excitedly planning ahead for the hot meals I'll be dropping off after the babies are home a few weeks.
....but, if you must buy a traditional shower gift, let me suggest the Diaper Valet. It's handy.
What type of baby showers have you actually enjoyed?
How can we improve the Dinner Shower idea (including the name)?
Who has good freezable recipes? (Please share!)