Sunday, 26 February 2017

Baby-Shower!

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I've gone ahead and used photos of German friends and posted them online, which I seldom do because online privacy is taken more seriously here. So THANK YOU, dear German friends, whose names I protect, for your sacrifice that I could share this special evening with family, friends, and strangers.
***

As mentioned in a previous post, baby showers are not typically done in Germany. Instead, after the baby is born, one may receive some gifts. A friend and I organised a baby shower for another friend last year, just for fun, but it didn't really occur to me that they may do the same for me. 
Honestly, I was a little disappointed to be missing out on "my" stork party (as they are called in South Africa), but decided not to let it get me down - different country, different experience, different things to enjoy! 

So, when a friend came over for coffee one morning and nonchalantly mentioned that her husband had invited Malcolm over that evening to play chess, and that she was baby-sitting for a mutual friend that evening, and asked if I wanted to tag along, I thought nothing of it. The thought of being home alone on a Friday night sounded somewhat appealing, but also a bit boring. We could hang out together and watch movies (okay realistically we would probably spend the evening playing memory or eye-spy) and relax together. Malcolm said I should go have fun. I was still unsure. 
I went to KinderClub, and after it ended, realised that I had a message asking if I was going  to join her - our friend would leave us dinner and wanted to know if it would be for one or two of us. I decided I'd just do it, and said I'd be there, but since I was replying so late, it wasn't a problem if there was no dinner for me. 

So I headed into the city to meet my friend at the bus-stop where we had arranged to meet. Now when I think back on it, it was strange how she was suddenly walking up ahead of me - clearly having come out of the side-street where the house was where we'd be babysitting. 
We met up and walked the short way to our friend's house. A second clue that something was up, in hind-sight, was that when we rung the bell, my friend said her name and then hurriedly added "with Erica!"
We headed up the stairs, chatting. As we rounded the bend in the stairs, I suddenly heard footsteps - perfectly normal when 3 children stampede to come and say hello - but realised that there were way too many and way too loud to be children, as a group shouted "welcome to your baby shower!!!" 
I was stunned. There were suddenly all these friends and I was so confused and shocked and surprised and didn't quite know what to do with myself or who to say hello to first! 

As I came in, I was how much preparation had been put into the evening - the dining room was all decorated with pink and purple and laid out with food, and a small group of friends from our international group and our neighbourhood were there to celebrate the coming arrival of our daughter :) 


The evening started somewhat amusingly and somewhat tragically when the tray of pretty champagne glasses with soda water and pink juice tipped over... it would have been funny to send a photo of everybody with paper towels mopping up this pink-red fluid and send it to Malcolm, let hom draw his own conclusion, and give him a surprise too ;)


After dinner, it was time to play some games. We started off trying to guess whose baby photo is who... 


That's me! 

And then there was a quiz about me. Afterwards we had a baby-making competition, where everybody made a baby out of play-dough and I had to rank them. There were some really cute ones! And weird ones! 





Then we played a game to see who could produce the heaviest nappy without the water spilling out. I think the winner's nappy was about 800gr or so! We ate cupcakes and drank coffee, while everybody filled in a sheet guessing the weight and length of our baby, what time she'd be born and a few other details. I guess time will tell who wins that game! It was then time to play a last game - I needed to teach everybody a position or pose from ballet and then give them marks. The over-all winner was crowned princess and presented with long, blond hair and a crown, and had the honour of taking a photo with me ;)


With the games all over, my friends gathered around me and prayed for me, our family,  the baby, the birth... it was so special and so meaningful and I felt so overwhelmed that I have friends who would do this for me. Who would go to the effort of planning and preparing something as frivolous as a stork party for me, just because they love me. It absolutely was just more confirmation that having our baby here in Marburg, with friends to support and love us, was a good decision. 

The night ended with some silly photos, and being presented with a nappy-castle. Tucked away in the nappies was money - we used some of it to buy our baby's first teddy bear and an outfit to bring her home in, and rest is stashed away for a rainy day. 



I don't think my friends believe me when I say I was surprised - to them their plan was really transparent - but I still can't believe how gullible and easily caught I was! I'm very impressed with you two. 

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