8 Simple Rules for Throwing A Baby Hot Tub Party
Well. Obviously, I used up what little defensive ammo I had against this cold on Saturday during the baby party. Cooking for 30+ people is not a simple task, and now I have no energy, no appetite, and, worst of all, no voice.
And me with no voice is like a dog without a wag. A mime without a beret. Carrot Top without his… top.
You pickin’ up what I’m dropping?
At least I have a voice here, where I can talk without actually talking, and you can listen while typing up emails, perusing Facebook, or answering important phone calls and I won’t even care.
But if you’re a man, and you happen to be reading this, you might want to set your distractions aside for a second and really pay attention, because I have a tasty tidbit of information you probably didn’t know. This is top-secret girl stuff that Women’s Leagues across the nation would have me killed for spilling in a public forum.
So the 12 of you (women included) who read this need to keep this morsel of intel on the down-low.
Men, you might be surprised — shocked, even — but I’m just going to say it.
Here it comes.
Women don’t like baby showers.
At least, most of us don’t.
I mean, even women who have babies don’t generally like to sit around in a setting of forced mingling with people they don’t know discussing different swaddling methods and breast pump boob deflation while tasting candy bars melted into diapers.
As far as I can tell, baby showers are a torturous tradition handed down through the generations as a result of it being forced on a small group of women 100 years ago when one woman came up with the brilliant plan of throwing a party to acquire more crap for her baby. (And let’s face it, babies need a lot of crap.) Then the women who were guilted into attending decided if they had to go through it, then they certainly could reap the benefits when they became pregnant, and so on.
And the candy bars melted in diapers, the blind tasting of baby food, the consumption of only non-alcoholic beverages as a sign of camaraderie to the impregnated woman — all of it conjured, undoubtedly, by some evil troll of a woman as her idea of some hysterical practical joke that, for some reason, stuck.
*Really, no offense intended towards any of you who happen to like these kinds of games. With people you don’t know. Completely sober. But if you do, there might be something wrong with you and you should probably start a club or something so you’re all corralled into one safe place.
So. Like I mentioned before, I’m fortunate enough to have a preggo friend who didn’t want to inflict these activities on her girlfriends and female co-workers. She figured, what better way to celebrate her, her husband (because let’s face it — he played a part in this too), and the little bugger they’re bringing into the world than by actually making the party fun? For real.
So here are my tips for creating a fun baby shower. Except it’s not a shower — it’s more like a baby pool party, or giant hot tub, or at least a bubble bath with those foam blocks and rubber ducks and stuff:
1) Invite women and men. Men play a part in the creation of babies, so it’s only fair that they
have get to celebrate their impending arrival as well.
Hint: Given enough alcohol, you might even be able to get the most anti baby party goers among them to participate — albeit grudgingly — in some of the events.
2) Serve alcoholic beverages. This plays a huge role in determining the success of Tip #1. When people who don’t necessarily know each other are forced to mingle, this really loosens them up. Plus, they’re more willing to sport silly headgear and participate in any planned activities you might choose to have.
Hint: Party hosts should only minimally partake in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The worst thing you could do, as a friend and a host, is to leave the guest of honor — who, if you remember, is pregnant so she has to be sober — high and dry because you couldn’t keep your mitts out of the booze. And let’s face it — her husband likely (and understandably) abandoned her long ago to the frosty beverage, somewhere around the time he realized he’s — ohmygod — actually at a baby shower, but the bright side is he now has the excuse of drinking for 3.
3) Serve non-alcoholic beverages. People get thirsty at parties, and not everyone likes to drink alcohol. So even though the concept of serving alcohol at a baby shower is new and exciting, don’t get so bogged down in that fact that you forget to service the sober people. After all, you will eventually want guests to leave this party, and the sober people are their rides.
Hint: Even so, buy extra alcoholic beverages. If your party is anything like mine, the alcoholic stuff goes fast.
4) Serve plenty of food. Since people will be drinking, they won’t be able to survive on mixed greens and crustless sandwiches alone.
Bacon Tomato Tartlets. Recipe HERE.
Mozzarella Caprese Appetizer. Recipe HERE.
Not pictured: Sausage cheddar meatballs, cheese fondue, assorted chips and dip.
5) If you must have a theme, make it low-key. Where the Wild Things Are has been a favorite book of Alaina’s since she was a kid herself. Since she and her super talented mother already painted a mural in the nursery reflecting this theme, it served as a natural backdrop for our guest book photos:
It worked well with the invitations:
And worked for the game prizes:
I ended up filling these mugs — $1 each from the Dollar Store — with tissue paper and candy.
But that’s really about as far as we carried the theme.
6) Keep at least one traditional shower activity. In this case, we kept the part where the gifts are opened in front of the guests. At some modern parties, gifts are actually opened as guests arrive, which can cut that hour where everyone has to gather in one room and watch as the pregnant lady lays onesies over her belly and discusses bottle nipple flow. It also spares the non-mother gift recorder the embarrassment of having to clarify exactly what each item is in front of the entire room of guests.
However, in this case, we opted for the gift event, only at turbo speed. The whole thing took 15 minutes, tops. It helped the party planners stay organized by keeping the gifts in one place, it allowed us to announce the upcoming relay race to everyone at once, and it was the one event that focused the attention on the parents-to-be.
Plus, it was fun watching “Dad” trying to figure out what various items were for:
7) Nix the ridiculous games. Then replace them with other ridiculous games.
Like a relay:
Race starts by chugging a White Russian from a baby bottle.
Racers then push over-sized “Amurican” babies to the bathing station.
Using a baby bottle, racers must fill a bucket with enough water to float the rubber ducky to a predetermined line. Please excuse my boobage in this picture, but I was taking my role of line judge very seriously.
Then the baby gets pushed to the changing station.
And finally, on to the swaddling station.
Once swaddled, racers should run with the baby around to the finish line. Though I feel it’s important to note that you should never run with a real baby.
Let the winners celebrate their victory:
And let the losers be good sports.
(That means you shouldn’t hit people holding babies, and you shouldn’t use babies to hit people.)
8) Have fun with it. If you have fun with it, everyone else will, too. And the ones who don’t, probably shouldn’t get invited to parties anymore.
Thanks for helping, Candice and Rachel, and congratulations, Dirk and Alaina!
Pulled. It. Off.