Shortly after arriving at work the other day I began to hear murmuring around me that had me thoroughly confused. I heard snippets about a “really big cake,” then the question “are you gonna do it this morning?” followed by crinkling of aluminum foil and finally a co-worker muttering “hmm..I smell a reveal.”
Now I’m at the age where my contemporaries are long past birthin’ babies and mainly celebrate the birth of grand babies, or the arrival of a new pet teacup dog, so I didn’t pick up at all what the hell was going on around me until people started to gather, looking at the cube where the young lady who is several months along, proudly lifted the foil off the big piece of cake revealing frosting with blue trim, followed by shrieks of “oh yay! A boy!”
Being a seasoned reporter I put 2 and 2 together and deduced we were being told the gender of the child yet gestating safe and warm in the impending mom’s womb. Indeed, an ultrasound photo was passed around, apparently so we could each verify what the blue icing had already heralded..that the fetus..is a he-tus.
I was later informed by my much younger colleagues I had just been a witness to what’s known as a “gender reveal.” Doing some research I discovered this is a big deal these days with all sorts of gender reveal party supplies available including a piñata you whack to get the answer,
gender-appropriate smoke bombs
and a volcano.
When my kids were born in the 1980’s this was not a “thing.” Yes, some prospective parents did choose to learn the gender of their babies in advance to assist in decorating the nursery and tossing hints to friends and family about what stuff they should buy. We opted for the mystery and hedged our bets. I painted two walls of the nursery yellow and papered the other two walls with a colorful geometric pattern in primary colors. We couldn’t lose. Our son didn’t mind a bit and four years later our daughter didn’t either.
I get the practicality of knowing and the joy of sharing but I’m totally old school where my idea of a gender reveal party is taking a look to see whether or not there’s a shmecky on the infant when he/she emerges from the tunnel of love. I don’t need cake, although it’s appreciated. Don’t need to beat the crap out of a piñata to drop colored stuff to let me know or have a bogus volcano erupt in my face with the revelation. Back in the day, once the simple fact was determined by a quick look at the kid’s loins, the proud dad handed out cigars..real or bubblegum, with a pink or blue band denoting the newborn’s gender. If your friends were too stupid to figure it out, the bands helpfully were emblazed with “It’s a Boy!” “It’s a Girl!” Simple, despite your choice of cigar contributing to the contraction of cancer or tooth decay.
Look, I know things change and that’s fine. I’m all for being thrilled by impending parenthood and wanting to share the good news in fun and creative ways. Oh no..I won’t be labeled an “old fart.” Change is good…and if it involves sharing cake..reveal all you want.