I know a thing or two about hazing.
In college I was in a Greek sorority, which in some schools would mean I spent fall evenings having my imperfections ritualistically circled by Sharpie-toting coeds or being duck taped to stop signs. But in my sorority, there was no hazing allowed. None. There were a few questionable activities, like the time I got locked on the roof in a bathing suit, and a few other times when I practiced Carmen Electra aerobics in a pair of baby-sized shorts that were considered the sorority’s worst mistake, but these activities were entirely of my own free will and therefore my own fault.
Once I graduated from college and Greek life I thought I was in the clear. Never again would I have to fear possible humiliation due to ridiculous and/or psychologically damaging “games.” And then my friends started having babies.
First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes…baby showers.
(ominous music )
I get it, I really do. You’re trying to be creative. You’re trying to entertain. You’re trying to bring together a group of people who don’t have much in common except that adorable baby bump you’re all admiring. So you turn to games. And turn away from common sense and decency.
Here are some (very popular) offenders that I have either personally experienced or heard of:
1. Chocolatey Poopy Diapers
WHO THOUGHT OF THIS? This is almost unbearable. You take several varieties of chocolate and melt them into separate diapers. Then have your guests take turns tasting the poopy diapers to guess which kind of chocolate is which. Yes, you read that correctly. You taste poopy diapers.
2. Chugging Baby Bottles
This one reeks of never having left college. You pass out baby bottles and fill everyone’s (besides Mother to Be’s) with some kind of alcoholic beverage. Then comes the long, slow chugging contest through the impossibly small baby bottle nipple. This sort of reminds me of that scene in The Prince and Me where there is a tractor race in real time. Hint: It’s slow, and very boring.
3. Measure the Belly (aka, Make an Already Self Conscious Woman Feel Horrible)
Guests are asked to cut a piece of string to the length that would fit around Mother to Be’s waist. Then she stands up and tries on the strings and everyone laughs at how fat she is. Or something like that.
4. Cotton Pickin’
What the? I’ve never seen this one in action, but its being passed around suburban America like bed bugs in NYC. Step 1: Cotton balls are strewn around the floor. Step 2: Guests are asked to slather their noses with Vaseline then crawl around the floor and pick up said cotton balls with their noses and put them in a jar. I am not a drinker but I think I would need one of those giant Long Island Ice Teas you see staggering around Las Vegas to feel okay about this one.
5. Blindfolded Baby Food
Two lucky guests are chosen from the group. Guest A is blindfolded and given a jar of baby food and a spoon. Guest B blindfolded and bibbed. You get the picture.
6. Ice Ice Baby.
Guests are each given an ice cube with a tiny frozen baby in its center. Everyone sits with their frozen baby in their hands until the ice is completely melted and someone yells “My water broke!” That guest is given a prize. And a recommendation for a good therapist.
7. Baby Stroller Olympics.
Set up an obstacle course and push a baby doll around it as fast as possible without knocking baby out of the stroller. This is excellent training for handling busy city streets and should give Mother to Be nightmares for weeks.
8. All “Co-Ed” Shower games.
The list is abundant here. Apparently “co-ed” means racy or just plain sick. How about pairing up male and females, and having the females sit their males on their laps and feed them bottles. Or have females dress up males as babies. Or blindfold both parties and have them find clothespins strategically hidden on each others’ bodies. Ugh.
Have any of you played these games?
Ladies, let’s stop the madness. Baby Showers can be simple, classy and just plain lovely. Serve lots of good girly food (colorful green salads, fruit on skewers, chicken salad on croissants, tiny éclairs and lemonade). Talk like adults to the other adults in the room. Rave about how beautiful Mother to Be looks and cluck sympathetically when she holds up her terribly swollen feet. And DO NOT tell pregnancy horror stories. I mean it. I have not had a baby yet but I’m positive that these stories are bad for morale.
And before I get crossed off every baby shower invite list for the next decade, I’m going to go ahead and admit that I’ve used a few games at my own showers. My favorite being the following ice breaker poem that got everyone talking in a nice, natural way. (Have Mother to Be read the poem and pass around an empty, wrapped present. Give the party’s centerpiece as the prize. NOTE: I wasn’t able to locate the original author of this little gem, but here is the website where I found it.)
Good luck. And I would LOVE to hear tales from the battlefield, what good or bad games have you played at a shower?
BABY SHOWER POEM
I’m just a little box
looking to belong
so pass me to the girlfriend
whose hair is the most long.
You cannot keep me
that I know for sure
I want to go to the hands
with a pretty pink manicure.
You have beautiful hands,
but don’t hold me too tight
pass me once to your left
then three times to your right.
I like all this action
I like all the moves
Now pass me to the girlfriend
who has the biggest boobs!
I know this game is a lot of fun
But eventually it must stop
But first pass me on to the girlfriend
who’s wearing the tightest top!!
I’m not yours to keep
even though of me you’re fond
I want to be in the arms
of whoever is a natural blonde.
Hold me only for a short time
yes, that is what I mean
because now I want to be passed
to the girlfriend wearing the most green
(note – if no one is wearing green… go with the shower color)
This game’s a real blast,
we’re really having a ball
now pass me to a girlfriend
who is certainly the most tall.
When (MOMMY TO BE) and (DADDY TO BE) have their baby
they join the parent group
so pass me to the mom
who has the biggest troop!
The game must come to an end
I am so sorry to say
but first pass me to the person
whose birthday is closest to the due date (BABY DUE DATE)!
Hold me for a moment
then pass me to your right
then 3 times to the left
and 4 more to the right
Now I have nothing in me
so there’s no need to open
when you leave today
the present is your token!