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February 22, 2019

FELGONAH OYUGA: Baby showers now daylight robbery

 Baby showers now daylight robbery
Baby showers now daylight robbery

Listen, I am happy you are having a baby, really I am. But let us get one thing clear, it’s your baby, not ours! When did all this madness start?

In my day, which was not too long ago for your information, one of the ladies would volunteer to bake a cake. We had to eat cake. Another would make snacks, and it would all be washed down with tea. The venue would be someone’s house, which meant it would be free.

No one was given a colour scheme, nor were we given a list or gift registry. Anything you brought was appreciated. This is because it came from love. It was also widely expected that since it was your baby, you had been making arrangements and preparing. After all, you had at least 40 weeks! So whatever we were bringing you was to complement what you had.

We would sit around giggling and sharing horror stories of the labour ward and theatre. We would tell you what to expect after the baby came. What hospital you should book. How soon the rest of us had sex again (if you were a first-time mum). Then we ate, and ate some more. And the laughs, those were some great laughs. Then we gave you what we each brought, and promised to come see you and your new addition in hospital. We ate more and went back to our homes.

I don’t know when the craziness started. These days you just find yourself added to some WhatsApp group, by a stranger, of course. The introduction usually goes something like, “Welcome to Min Baby’s baby shower group. Please add anyone we have not added. Let us make this a success for her! She deserves it.”

First, I am not in the habit of just adding people to groups, even if they know Min Baby. Second, what’s with the emotional blackmail? We all deserve success, do we always get it? No. Then it is usually followed by preliminary instructions. “We shall hold the shower at Bla Bla Gardens. Each guest to confirm attendance by sending [to] M-Pesa three thousand shillings. This will cover the venue, snacks, decoration and photography. Drinks will be sold separately. Please remember to include withdrawing fee as you M-Pesa. (This is just bad manners) Colour scheme is Catalina and Chestnut.” These are supposed to be colours. Why are people so extra? How about green and brown?

You would think the admin would be done. She then comes back the next morning with more instructions. “Dear all, entrance (Entrance? To what? The venue we are already paying for?) is a pack of diapers each. (I was planning to bring just the diapers!) I will post a list of the things we need to buy so that we each do not buy the same things.”

Later that day she posts the list. I swear it is everything apart from the hospital fee. From feeding bibs to buckets for diapers to a rocking chair. Seems people stopped tying babies on their backs to get them to sleep. What were these people doing for nine months? Childbirth is not an emergency. You have had all of nine months to prepare. So now we have this list, these jokers even want a car seat and breast pads. Do not get me wrong, get whatever gadget you want for your baby. You.

This is where I draw the line, folks, you will not steal from me in broad daylight. There are already other institutions harassing me without lube. I cannot do much about them, but I can do something about these modern-day baby showers. I am resisting and lefting. Please do not invite me or put me in the groups. I will come to see you in hospital, with my packet of diapers.

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