The world’s most famous fetus (sorry Baby Kimye), probably isn’t going to have a shower held in his or her honour, but don’t feel bad. Wills and Kate’s regal progeny will inherit the throne of England, and will have the thrill of seeing his or her face printed on real money and stamps. The little snapper can probably do without another Sophie the giraffe teether.
Or at least, that’s what Victoria Arbiter, ABC News’ Royal Expert, thinks:
“(Kate won’t have a baby shower because) there’s the added pressure that they are clearly very wealthy, and a lavish baby shower would be seen as highly inappropriate … There’s nothing they can’t go out and buy themselves.” [The Inquisitor, via Mommyish]
Thank goodness, because I really had no idea what I was going to get them.
Seriously though, I can’t be the only one who finds showers awkward, right? It’s weird when grownups ask for gifts. And yes, I did it myself, but it never felt comfortable.
At seven months pregnant I was still putting stock in the baby “experts”. I had a pile of books and a folder full of lists, and was overwhelmed by my little peanut’s future needs. And a consumerist society has clever ways of convincing us that we need muslin microfibre receiving blankets and electric baby nail files.
But I also wanted to believe that it’s not all about the presents. Showers help friends bid adieu to their freewheeling non-parent party compadres, and confirm that they’ll still be around when baby pops. And in my case, it was a great excuse to enjoy a BBQ and watch my pals get buzzed on my behalf.
Plus, I’ve always enjoyed shopping for baby presents. There’s a reason showers net too many onesies – those things are freaking adorable and people love buying them. But even though I found plenty of reasons to do it, I still felt weird asking for specific gifts.
Daddydude and I didn’t register for our wedding – we married as grownups, and already had our kitchen in order – but we did create a half-assed online guide for our baby shower, one that reflected our ambivalence with the whole process. Yes, said the list: we need burp cloths and receiving blankets; no, we don’t feel comfortable dictating the exact brand. Yes, we appreciate you buying us things; no, they don’t have to be new.
Of course, in the end it was a great party, simply because we have great friends. Those who go in for the cutesy stuff ooowed and awwwwed while we opened their little animal hats and knitted booties; those who don’t dropped off bags of diapers and wipes and caught up over burgers and beer.
I probably spent more time than necessary fretting over how best to ask for presents without really asking for presents: it’s just one of the reasons I want to get pregnant again. The first time around was a minefield of social, medical and emotional Dos and Don’ts. But the next time I know I’ll be a) too busy with Babydude to consult the experts or worry about etiquette and b) over it. I’m not going to fuss about hosting the perfect baby shower, or having a zen home birth, and I’m definitely not going to stop eating brie (especially when it’s virtually impossible to find unpasteurized stuff outside of Quebec anyway).
So if Duchess Kate wants to have a baby shower with close friends and family, I think that’s fine. It’s up to her to determine what’s appropriate in her circle, and roll with it. Pregnancy is fraught with as many rules as royalty, so wherever she has the chance to relax and enjoy the process, she should. As should we all.