Or, as I prefer to call them, “another effing baby shower”.
You see, my workplace has been a veritable font of fecundity for the past two or three years. There have been no less than ten babies born to women who teach at my school – and this is sometimes two babies in quick succession for the same woman. There have also been two male teachers whose wives have had a baby each in that time period, but we never had baby showers for them, so I’m not including them. There are also two women about my age who became first-time grandmothers (!) fairly recently, but again, I’m not going to even mention them – that’s just too creepy, to be a grandmother at my age!
There are two pregnant women currently at my school, both first-timers. The shower today was for only one of them, whose baby is scheduled to arrive sometime at the end of March or beginning of April (she was a little vague as to the due date). The next baby is supposed to make its appearance in late May, so I suppose there will be “another effing baby shower” to attend in a couple of months.
So I’m at this shower, drinking wine (Ha ha to those many women there who had to stick to juice!), eating snacks, and chatting with the mom-to-be and all the other women there. Many of the recent mothers who are currently on maternity leave from their teaching jobs at my school were also there, along with their progeny. I was wandering around, trying my best to avoid playing stupid baby shower games, when I realized just how many babies were actually there.
There were something like 20 women there.
There were 8 babies and 2 more incubating in their moms. That actually makes 10 in total.
If my math is correct, that’s a ratio of 1 baby to every 2 women! (Or, if you’re going to argue that an unborn baby, even one that is at least seven months along, shouldn’t count, that would be 1 baby to every 2.5 women. Still an astonishing statistic, I think.)
Now, I have nothing against babies. In fact, I rather like the little creatures. I actually had one of my own once upon a time. They’re nice things to have, for the most part.
But I am long past the time when I truly enjoy being at a social gathering with that many babies. It was hard to move around the living room without stepping over a little one on the floor. We couldn’t put our drinks down on the coffee table because of tiny grabby hands. We couldn’t even go into the family room, as it was so full of baby toys and paraphernalia that there simply wasn’t room (I assume that the hostess of the effing baby shower had just collected all her child’s stuff in there to keep it out of the way – or maybe it just isn’t a family room any more, but a playroom for her child.) All around the kitchen island, where the food was, women were continually making little plates for little people, or else the little people were being lifted up and shown what was on offer and they were helping themselves.
One thing I will say, though, is that the multitude of babies were all in good spirits. There was very little fussiness or crying, so it looked like everybody had had a good long nap that day.
I guess I’m just old. I just don’t want to share my social activities with that many babies. I’d rather connect with their mothers, but that’s pretty much impossible to do when their new crawlers or almost-walkers are cruising around – and maybe I don’t have a whole lot in common with those young mothers anyway (other than the fact that we are all teachers, perhaps). Maybe it was naive of me to think so, but I honestly didn’t anticipate that all those women would be bringing their babies to this effing baby shower. I actually thought that this was an outing for the women, not a playdate for their offspring. Is this a thing that women do nowadays, bring their babies to effing baby showers?
Which leaves me wondering why there has been such an epidemic of pregnancies at my school over the past two or three years. Is it the water? Are there certain chairs that should be avoided in the staff room? Is there a virus going around? Because, whatever it is, it needs to stop.
And if it doesn’t stop, well, I suppose I’ll still chip in for every baby gift, but I don’t think I’m going to attend any more effing baby showers.
It’s just too hard to find a safe place to set down my wine glass.