A young friend of mine recently had a new baby, and I was reminded if the age old tradition of the shower. Women through the years have helped brides-to-be and soon to be moms prepare for the upcoming event for some time now. The bridal shower got it’s start in 1890, and is mostly a tradition held in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The baby shower was one that transitioned from the purification rituals that used to occur back when women had to remain in seclusion for 14 days after giving birth, to the naming and baptismal ceremonies, and finally to what they are today, which is more of a way to welcome the new baby with gifts that are necessary for caring for the child. Personally, I like them more for what they are today, as I’m sure most people would agree. These days, the showers just as often include the husband-to-be or the new daddy, in what used to be a pretty much exclusively female party.
One tradition, when it comes to showers, that people either like a lot, or completely dislike is the traditional shower games. We have all been to showers where you tried to name the new baby, diaper a balloon, remember the kitchen utensils on a tray, or give marriage advise to the young couple. Not everyone likes to play these things, and having been to showers of both types, I really have to say that I like both. I think it is simply a matter of taste…and maybe of well thought out games. In the years that I have been attending showers, I have played just about every possible game, and I must say that there have been a few that were great. I personally liked the diapering the balloon, the name game, and the balloon under the shirt game. That one was actually played for the first time…by me anyway, at my niece, Ashley Parmely’s baby shower, and it was hilarious. Of course, as the mother-to-be, Ashley won. The point was to see who could have the biggest belly. Technically, Ashley had a distinct advantage over the rest of us…she had the balloon belly, and the Reagan belly. The rest of us didn’t stand a chance, but it was fun to try to get a belly that was bigger than hers.
Some of the funniest shower games are those played with a blindfold on…like the one above, in which my sister-in-law Jennifer Parmely was trying to scoop all the cotton balls into a bowl, without being able to see them. They are so light that you really don’t know if you have anything on there or not, and since you can’t use your other hand to assist in the process, you find yourself being less than successful. And since it seems that there are always a few little ones in the group, the laughter can get going pretty easily. My brother-in-law, Ron Schulenberg found his sister’s attempts quite hilarious indeed. It’s all intended to break the ice among friends of the honoree, who may not know each other, as well as adding a little bit of laughter and fun to the whole occasion. So the next time you go to a shower, and find that games will be played, try taking a lighter view of it. You might find yourself having a great time, even if you don’t usually like to play those silly shower games.
There are times when my grandson can be the funniest guy around!! He isn’t always the comedian, but sometimes out of the blue, Josh pulls something like cutting a Jellyfish Ball in half and putting it on his head. Then putting on a goofy grin for the picture that you can’t help but take. And then you feel like you got a pretty good laugh out of it, but Josh got an even bigger kick out of it, because he loves to be funny.
Making funny faces is one of his favorite things to do, in fact, he is so good at it that it is sometimes hard to get a normal smiling picture of him. Most of them are a smirk, or a big toothy grin, or he might make a monster face. You just never know what to expect out of him. I think he has a combination of traites from his dad and his Aunt Amy. His dad in that he can keep a straight face in the middle of a joke, and his Aunt Amy in that you never know exactly what he will pull for a laugh…like the half a Jellyfish Ball on his head.
Being the youngest child and grandchild, Josh was usually the one who had tricks pulled on him, so he had to work his way up the ladder when it came to the practical jokes, but he is pretty observant, and like most kids, picks up on stuff quickly. He loves to tell me that his mom is sleeping, or not home when I call, and he can do it without laughing. After a while, I begin to wonder if he is telling me the truth, and she is asleep. So when I ask, “Why is she sleeping this early?”, then he hands her the phone and walks away satisfied that he won…and he did, because he convinced me that she really was sleeping…the little pest!!
Sometimes, things backfire on him though, and that can be pretty funny too. Friday, he was at his brothers football game. He was playing with a balloon and when it popped, it managed to be the only really quiet moment in the game, so everyone heard it. I thought it was going to snap the man in front of him, but it went right over his head. Josh tried not to show it, but he was very embarrassed. Not that his embarrassment lasted long. He quickly recovered when the people in front of him started laughing and joking about the whole thing too. That helped Josh recover his funnybone!