'So when's the shower?'
I've been asked this quite a bit. If I may be so bold, I'd rather see Edward Scissorhands down at the business end when I'm in labour than attend my own baby shower. For me, a baby shower is right there in my room 101, along with vow renewals, couples who share a Facebook profile (WHY!?) and Snapchat filters. I'm well past seven months pregnant and frankly all I want to do for fun these days is sit at home by myself with a family-sized trifle on my knee and watch alternate re-runs of The Vicar of Dibley and Ab Fab.
Infuriatingly small Battenburgs are of no use to me right now and those who know me well know that I'm highly unlikely to be seen wearing bump-highlighting dress with a godawful sash saying something like 'Mummy to be!' or 'Yummy Mummy!'.
To be honest, you're more likely to see the Gruffalo at a baby shower than me; I'm not really game for spending an afternoon surrounded by a bouquet of pastel blue balloons, finger sandwiches and 'mocktails'.
On that, when did it actually become normal to put orange juice in a tiny watering can with a sprig of mint, call it a 'mocktail' and charge £6 for it?! Guys, it's glorified squash. We must not let these hipsters win.
Secondly, our baby isn't actually here yet. Who the hell invented a day to celebrate someone when they're not actually there? At no other life milestone is that deemed normal - rows of people in Debenhams hats don't gaze up towards an empty alter that's adorned with a big sign saying 'It's a husband and wife!'. If that were the case, I would be way more up for tying the knot.
To my knowledge, birthday parties seldom consist of friends and family gathered around a cake while the birthday girl is actually watching the new Fast & Furious movie at the local Odeon, nor does a 13 year old boy sit in school whilst his family celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. For that reason alone, the entire concept of a baby shower is just stupid.
Another thing I've heard is 'Oh, but people will want to get you a gift!' or 'Oh, but baby showers are such good fun!'. Forgive me, but then it's not actually a day for the baby and I, is it? It's a day for everyone to gather around talking about how wonderful babies are and fawn over my bump as though I'm not even there, whilst I secretly wish I were at home with my dog. And if I'm completely honest, at this stage in pregnancy, this far away from my family and after a tricky year, I'm going on strike from giving a hoot what other people want.
I'm notoriously crap at saying no to people; a bit of a soft touch. That's how I ended up looking after six dogs instead of going out with Sam on Valentine's Day, it's how I ended up sitting in an elderly drunken Irish man's apartment whilst his foreign friend used my phone to send an email and it's how I ended up inviting a genuine lunatic to join my friends and I for a drink when I noticed she was sitting alone.
So I'm taking a well-earned break from being my 'yes, of course!' self for a bit.
And then there are the games. Good lord, the games. You're standing there in a pastel hotbed of enforced fun, full of stupidly small snacks and virgin drinks, and then some Bucks Fizz-clasping, wretch of a woman, probably the one who arranges gift collections and team-building days in the office, will inevitably pull out a load of balloons and sing 'Time for gaaaaaames, girls!!!!!'
These aren't normal games like Scrabble or Twister or beer pong. These are games like Pin the nappy on the baby', race other women with a balloon between your legs or horrifyingly, 'Guess Mummy's Measurements' which I can only hope is for the belly and not the cervix a few weeks later... All I can say is that it doesn't matter how beautiful the Moses basket she bought is, if some Linda in a pashmina comes near my midriff with a tape measure, she's getting kicked in the tits.
And why haven't blokes been traditionally allowed to come along and experience this hell with us? It's half Sam's kid and so he too should be welcomed along to quaff mini quiches, match the baby photo to the guest and talk about labour stories. I'll tell you why - it's because men bloody well know better.
I don't know a single man who wanted to be a part of a baby shower. Even Fathers4Justice will run a mile at that shit.
I've kept Sam very much included with every element of this pregnancy and considered his feelings on all aspects, which is how it should be. I'm delivering, but we're having a baby. And yet when I mentioned that a couple of friends had talked about throwing me a shower, he scoffed and said 'That's all on you, mate - I'm not getting involved.'. Selective equality, that's what it is. They've fought against matron to be allowed into the birthing suite but even the most progressive of males will feign an excuse to get out of a baby shower.
So alas, the baby shower for my son is not to be, but I think he's cool with that tbh, what with being unborn and all. For people wanting to celebrate our new arrival with us, there is many a pub garden to be found in Surrey where we can sit with a pint in the sunshine, throw a ball for the dog, rock the baby in his pram and if you really want to, play 'Guess How Many Stitches Aimee Needed?' when I stand up to walk.