Monday, June 19, 2006

Father's Day, um, shower

Sunday, June 18:

Happy Father’s Day, JP!

I give him a special cup for his nightly ice cream fix that will keep the warmth of his hand away from the ice cream inside. And also a marble slab with spades to do mix-ins like Cold Stone Creamery.

And also a seahorse on a stick. Well, really, it’s a seahorse shape covered in tiny white shells and seed pearls and posted on a stand -- a decoration for the baby’s room and a reminder of his love for our little person. Since our trip to the Bahamas when JP picked up the father seahorse toy, the seahorse has sort of become a symbol of fatherly love around here.

I also tell him I think he’ll be a great dad.

Later in the day, we go shopping for gifts and cards for his dad, uncle and brother-in-law because his family is getting together. It’s extremely muggy outside, we’re rushed and I’m tired.

Then we rush to the Thai restaurant where we’re meeting.

“Can we please leave early tonight?” I ask JP. “I’m tired and want to get some sleep tonight. We always seem to be the last to leave, and we have the longest drive.”

JP agrees. It’s been a busy weekend for both of us, just doing tiring everyday stuff that needs to be done.

It’s actually a nice restaurant and dinner for the nine of us. It’s small and quiet, and everyone’s food is good.

But the evening couldn’t possibly end there. We then all meet at JP’s parents’ house for dessert.

Where we find out we have been shanghaied.

It’s Father’s Day, but what’s that on the table? A cake in the shape of a baby buggy! Over there in the corner: gifts wrapped in pastel paper! JP’s parents want to take our picture by the cake. It’s a surprise baby shower.

Then the family has cake and ice cream around the dining room table. More photos! This side of the table! Then that side! How about if we stand over here? Now try some photos with the aunt’s camera. Do you know how to work it? Now let’s open some gifts. Let me tell you all about this gift. Don’t you want to take it out of the box and assemble it?

“This is supposed to be Father’s Day,” I mention a couple of times. “The dads should open their gifts.”

But of course no one listens to me. I’m pregnant.

Then JP’s aunt starts in about the high chair she still wants to give us.

Our dear widowed step-grandmother is tired and wants to go home. JP’s dad and aunt argue over who gets to take her home. JP’s sister and brother-in-law want to go home and put our adorable nephew to bed -- and watch the basketball finals.

The dads haven’t even been presented with their gifts, much less opened them.

JP’s dad leaves with our grandmother, our aunt is looking for her keys and JP’s sister and her family are out the door.

Once again, we are the last people to leave. If I weren’t so tired, I’d be fuming.

But wait, there’s more! JP’s mother MM wants to give me the maternity clothes JP’s sister wanted me to borrow. We have to load the car with all our gifts. Then we have to drive the half-hour home and unload them! And nobody cares how tired I am.

It’s not that I’m ungrateful to JP’s family for the gifts. We now have a baby car seat and a stroller frame that you strap the seat in, along with our adorable nephew’s immaculate crib mattress and some little toys and blankets. Why these gifts couldn’t have waited for the shower that my friends Roo and Star are giving, I have no idea.

Maybe I’m just tired and cranky, or maybe I’m concerned the family is going to worship our little person the way I hate they worship our adorable nephew -- turning every family get-together into an excuse to make it all about the baby instead of what it should be.

2 Comments:

Blogger Stephanie said...

Oi, it sounds like there aren't a lot of boundaries in your family. As well intentioned as they may be. Try to get some rest!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Eli's Mom said...

I understand completely. I wish for/hope holidays in my son's future are not 'free for all' gift giving events. I want my child to respect adn understand the importance of having a family event 'for the sake of being together' rather than just to get a gift.

3:31 PM  

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