Baby Shower Recap and Not the Daddy (31w4d)

Well, I don’t have much in the way of pictures yet (my dad, who is a fabulous photographer, took them all – but he isn’t the best at sending digital copies!) so you’ll have to make do with my recounting of events.

And by my recounting, it was magical! My mom, sister in law, and friend E put the whole thing together with only a small amount of guidance: no gift opening (I really am not good at being the center of attention in this way), co-ed/no overtly  girly heterosexist weirdness, no games that involved measuring my belly, books instead of cards. They took that and put together a really amazing event!

There was a wagon for books next to a shelf for gifts, all laid out for folks to enjoy looking through without the awkwardness of group opening. The food was all book themed – deviled eggs and ham (Green Eggs and Ham), crudite (Peter Rabbit), mini-meatballs (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Cheese Plate (Stinky Cheese Man) – you get the drift. There were two tables of activities – one to make prayer flag bunting to be hung in the nursery (folks wrote prayers/thoughts/wishes on bunting flags) and another to write a card to Seafoam for a future birthday (they chose an age from a jar, then wrote a card of advice or thoughts for him at that age – we’ll keep them and give them to him on future birthdays!) These are the kind of activities introverts like me need at showers, and it felt very sweet. A few games too, but nothing big that put anyone on the spot.

In the middle of the shower, E gathered everyone around La and I and had folks (who she’d asked before the shower) share with us words of wisdom, wishes for us as a couple, treasures or trinkets or whatever they had to fill us up as parents (vs. celebrating a baby.) It was so so lovely, and left both of us sobbing (and quite a few other folks, too!) It really affirmed for me how special a community of friends and family we are gifted with.

Of course, nothing is every completely wonderful, is it? Towards the end of the party, I was sitting with some folks at the bunting table, and behind me I heard my mom talking to someone. She was talking about her dog, Belle, a great pyranees – and happened to mention that BFF (aka: our donor) also has a great pyr, who is my mom’s dog’s litter mate. No problem, right? Until she said, “well, BFF – the DAD – has a great pyr too.” I turned around and, louder and more aggressively than I intended said, “he’s NOT THE DAD.” She asked me, “well, what is he?” (as though we haven’t had this same conversation before) and I said, “he’s the DONOR, mom. Seafoam doesn’t have a dad.” It was awkward and left me feeling uncomfortable, but I let it drop. Then I found out that she had used that language with other folks throughout the day, and as a result, so had my cousin and aunt.

I know this is part of the struggle of negotiating things with a known donor, and especially a known donor who is a close friend and actively involved in our lives. But OMFG, why is it so hard for folks to understand that this language isn’t appropriate? How hurtful it is? I think my mom ‘gets it’ in terms of seeing La as a parent, but her continued use of ‘dad’ to refer to our donor makes me question if she actually does. It enrages me to have to continue to have these conversations, and to be worried about how this might impact our kid.

I did send an e-mail, to which I received a pretty short answer. I’m trying to let go of my need to take care of my mom’s feelings, and just believe that I told her what I needed to and she appears to have heard it. Time will tell, I guess.

Shit at work is gonna be haaaaaard. February might be the end of me. Send girl scout cookies

And here are two pictures – both post-shower.

A small sampling of the books we got, on the shelves La made out of gutters, with letters from my SIL! (and my ugly foot!)

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La trying out the k’tan with little critter – you can see some of the book haul behind her

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16 thoughts on “Baby Shower Recap and Not the Daddy (31w4d)

  1. Oh man do we understand the “daddy” comment! I am sorry that it happened to you at your shower when you were so full of happiness and love. I actually just had this conversation with Corrie. I told her I wanted to write a blog on what NOT to say to a two mom family. Our first one was, “Who is the Daddy?” We are always blunt and just respond with well the DONOR.

  2. The dad stuff still happens and Wallace’s KD is not a friend like yours. My mom slips sometimes. I think worse than saying dad, at least for me, is just not even asking or acknowledging. Not one of my family members asked me how I got pregnant. Weirdness…

    I think your shower sounds awesome!

  3. Cuteness, sounds like overall it was great party! I’m glad. I’m very sad however that your mom used that language and that you had to feel that bitterness at your party. even my sister in law did that recently and quickly corrected herself when she saw my anger, and we have an anonymous donor. Hopefully you made it clear enough.

  4. If it makes you feel any better at all, my mom has our donor’s childhood pictures pinned up on her bulletin board in her office at work. I don’t think she’d go so far as to refer to him as our baby’s daddy, but still… weird.

  5. It’s nice to hear that the party went well, with one exception. I’m sorry your mom made such a hurtful comment, but I am really impressed with how you corrected her. Maybe with time she’ll start to use the more appropriate language.
    I know our circumstances are different, but we can relate as we are trying to educate our family and friends about appropriate adoption language (i.e. placing vs. giving up and unloved/unwanted vs desperately loved & wanted by all including a caring birth mother who is making the biggest sacrifice of all). I get really upset when people talk about our future children as unwanted and unloved, and I am working really hard to calmly educate.

    • I think people just don’t think through the impact of language and default to what they know. But it’s infuriating and so hurtful! I try to pay a lot of attention to language so when others don’t it feels even worse. Sorry you’re in the same boat!

  6. Glad you had a great baby shower. The comment is obnoxious. I wonder if your mom would be able to change her perception if you made it about la or babes. What if she knew it really hurt your wife’s feelings to not be recognized as the other parent. Also, I wonder if she realises how this could affect seafoam? She has to change her language now as slipping up to him could be harmful.

  7. Your shower sounds wonderful. I love the book ideas.

    Sucks about your Mother’s comment. My mum does that occasionally and we have an clinic donor (she is trying not to). Have you worked out how seafoam is going to refer to BFF? Perhaps your mum could be encouraged to use that term.

  8. I love that little book haul…what a great idea. And get it La! All ready for being a mom! She wears the hell outta that! And the dad thing i think is something almost every lesbian couple goes through. We should create some type of youtube video that we can just direct people to when they say dumn shit like that. Its not MEANT to be hurtful because well, ignorance, but it is. We get it sometimes too. But it’s awesome that you stood up for yourself (and La). Sometimes people just need to be reminded. Hopefully, it’ll fully be absorbed one day.

  9. Sounds like a great day – I love the books idea! Sorry to hear about the naming of your donor. I hope that’s something you don’t have to deal with again.

  10. Your recounting brought tears to my eyes. So much love and so much dedication to reading and kindness. Thank you for sharing that. I am sorry for the imperfections yet glad you did not let that ruin the amazing love and energy of that special day.

  11. Excited to see more photos soon. Bummer about your mum, people take a long long time to get their heada around shit eh – goodness knows what we will run into. I’m glad to see you scored a Harold & his purple crayon book – I LOVE those! Hope Seafoam does too. X

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