When my generation were busy having their babies there was no such thing as a Baby Shower. I don’t remember having the disposable income in those years as they were the days of 17 and 18 per cent interest rates, which made mortgage repayments a priority.
There wasn’t a need for many gadgets to help raise a newborn back then. A plastic bath, a cot and a stroller and car seat. These days babies seem to require just so many more bit and pieces, many thermatically sealed and sanitised. My rather stoic mother-in-law used to say that “ women have been having babies since the dinosaurs and they( babies) have survived”.
There was also an element of “bad luck” associated with Baby Showers and celebrating a new born before its actual arrival. However, the “wetting the head” celebrations were extensive once Junior made an appearance all safe and sound.
Baby showers seemed to have evolved since then, as social gatherings for womenfolk with sandwiches and scones and dirty nappy party games, to dinners for mixed company, and to the current trend of the Reveal Party. This is when a group of friends gather socially to learn the sex of the expected child. Yes, I am shaking my head in wonder too, though I am putting this down to becoming crantakerous as I slide into old age……….
Several acquaintances are expecting in the New Year. For all my curmudgeonly ways, a new life still excites me, although babies, per se are a bore. It is the prospect of new beginnings, of the hope that an innocent offers. Sounds like a Hallmark Greeting Card, doesn’t it?
I have been invited to a social function with a request to bring a book with a note inscribed on the inside from myself, for the imminent eminent.
This is such a delightful notion that I am loving revisiting the Children’s Section in bookstores.
Australian Author, Mem Fox, has been busy creating awareness that reading to our Little People helps their growth, education, and love of learning. These are Mem’s Top Ten Reading Commandments.
0. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud. From birth!
0. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read. Or the same story a thousand times!
0. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.
0. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners
0. Read the stories that your child loves, over and over, and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book: i.e. with the same intonations and volume and speed, on each page, each time.
0. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games
0. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.
0. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.
0. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.
0. Please read aloud every day because you just adore being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do.