Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bathing in Something

Yesterday, my colleagues threw P and I a surprise baby shower (we don't work together -- they invited him to come over from his office, so it wasn't a surprise for him). It was our first shower, and their generosity was truly amazing. We got so much stuff -- they all chipped in and got us our Pack N Play (and a sheet for it), our infant car seat, an extra car seat base, a Snuzzler, a play mat, a few toys, and a bunch of books. We had to use two mail carts to get it all to the car. They made chocolate chip cookies as well as frosted cookies in baby shapes (feet and ducks and letters spelling BABY) and had an ice cream cake. Mmmm...ice cream cake. I wish I had pictures! The whole thing was truly unreal. And, again, their generosity was beyond compare.

Between the gifts and the stuff we bought for ourselves used (bouncy seat, swing, and high chair), it looks like we live in a combo Graco-Fisher Price factory. Oddly, though, none of it seems real yet. It feels a bit like we're acting as if, going about our business as though we really and truly believe there will be a baby in the end, which I'm not sure I've truly integrated into my world view yet. The crib and dresser are being delivered this weekend, and we'll probably start to set up the small room at that point (since right now it only has a valance and a hamper and a closet filled with junk, which was apparently Ps idea of "cleaning out the room" -- that said, I'm really glad he did it, since clearly I hadn't done it and we really needed to paint). I suspect this all will only exacerbate this suspension of disbelief sensation.

Speaking of showers, our "big" shower (i.e. the friends and family one) isn't until August, by which point I'll be at 35 weeks. I have some serious concerns about this shower, but there isn't much I can do. My mother wanted to plan it, which seemed like the worst possible idea, given her alcoholism and narcissism and whatall. (As a couple of examples from the day she asked to plan it: She suggested doing it at the old folks home my grandmother lives in (because it would be convenient for her, even though it would be inconvenient for us and for all our friends and for all our other relatives, none of whom live near there) -- the same place she said was "too depressing" to spend Mother's Day. She also gave me two dates all summer that she was free -- both while we were on vacation. She had concert tickets for the dates that were best for us and was unwilling to miss one.) So, when she asked if she could plan it, I told her that others had also asked to be involved in planning, then I asked those others to please pretend they had asked to be involved in planning, so as to avoid certain disaster. Thankfully, my MIL and two SILs are wonderful people and are willing to take one for the team (though I think planning something with my mother -- or having to spend more than five minutes with her for any reason -- is my MILs idea of hell, and I can't say I blame her for feeling that way).

In the end, it's unclear who, if anyone, is doing what. I had to find a location and set a time myself, since no one else would. The shower is in 4.5 weeks, but no one has sent invites yet. My MIL seems to have gotten stuck doing them but no one will send her needed addresses (I sent the address list to the four of them four weeks ago, noting that I didn't have a current mailing addresses for a few folks and assigning others to find them -- relatives to the moms and friends to my SIL, since she and my brother got married last year and had to send invites to those folks then. I know they didn't send them since my MIL called me to ask for them and because I had asked them to send them to me too so we would have them as well). My mother keeps calling me with questions (like "what time is the shower" and "has someone sent invitations"). Why is she calling me? Shouldn't she know these things since she is, she claims, PLANNING THE SHOWER? And, if not, why not call my SIL? Or my MIL? Or ANYONE OTHER THAN ME? If my mother was planning it alone, it just wouldn't happen (or would happen on three days notice and no one would come), which makes me incredibly sad. Even with three other people helping, I'm still a little concerned. I should not be filled with dread about this, but it fills me with much angst these days.

I also hate that the stress I feel about it makes me feel like a spoiled brat for thinking I deserve a shower at all, much less a properly-planned and -executed one. I really am thrilled that someone wanted to throw us a shower, and I know our friends are excited to get to be there, since many of them have asked about it (since, you know, they haven't received invites yet). I constantly feel torn between this sense that the whole situation seems sucktastically ridiculous and this sense that I really need to GET OVER MYSELF. Ugh. Poop. And all other expressions that convey my desire to crawl under my desk, curl into a ball, and knock my head lightly against the wall.

7 comments:

Ms. Infertile said...

"It feels a bit like we're acting as if, going about our business as though we really and truly believe there will be a baby in the end, which I'm not sure I've truly integrated into my world view yet." - you've captured my exact feelings.
Sorry about the confusion with the family/friend shower. Hoping it all works out in time for it to happen. You absolutely do deserve a nice shower, without the added stress of having to worry about it.
Nice of your co-workers to plan something too. Sounds like you got some great gifts from them!

mo*reezy said...

Wow, your co-workers are awesome! And don't feel bad about wishing the drama away - if there's one time in your life where the drama needs to be reduced in any way possible, it's now. I hope it all works out, and it sounds like your MIL is wonderful for handling things not normally in her territory.

Jen said...

Awesome work shower!

If I were you, I'd just start by expecting the "big" shower to have major problems. Perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised, but this way you won't be disappointed.

And, yes, you absolutely deserve a shower and a properly planned one!

Nicky said...

Heh. My "shower situation" isn't quite as bad, but it was causing me stress. It's being thrown by my cousin (my only relative living in a 6-hour driving radius around us). I'm grateful that she offered to do it, but became worried when she set the date, then asked if 2:00 to 3:00 would work for me. (Seriously? One hour?) She sent the invitations a little over 2 weeks ahead of time, and by invitations, I mean that she emailed people, so there's nothing for me to put in a scrapbook. And that included adding a few people who weren't on my invite list, people I barely know, that SHE decided she wanted to have there.

I spent a few days moping about the apparent half-assed planning, before deciding, as you put it, to get over myself. I slapped myself around a bit, reminded myself that my friends were going to be happy to celebrate with me even if my cousin puts in minimal effort, and in the end, being with my friends to celebrate the baby is what is really important to me. I've been much calmer and going with the flow ever since. La di da.

Meghan said...

How sweet of them! And yes, you deserve a wonderful shower..hope everyone else can take care of you mom so you don't have to deal with it

docgrumbles said...

Glad you had a good work shower!

Danifred said...

Please don't feel like you are being bratty (or any other word you may have used) in wanting a well executed baby shower. I, too, have a mother who is... well, difficult (to say the least). I totally feel your pain and hopefully your in-laws will go to bat for you and make sure your day is very, very special!