How It Began…
“Want to go to a Mexican baby shower?” asked Jeanne, a woman I’d just met hours before. We were at a bar in La Paz, Baja Sur, and she was a friend of a friend–someone I’d met randomly on a shuttle bus (click here for that story). The mother-to-be was her (Jeanne’s) friend.
Of course, I said yes. I couldn’t turn down a chance to meet the locals. Also, I was curious about what Mexican baby showers are like compared to those in the States.
Turns out I had mucho fun! But little did I know that I’d see grown-ups drinking out of baby bottles and that I’d soon be blindfolded and force-fed baby food…as part of one of many Mexican baby shower traditions. (If you only want to read about that, scroll down a bit.)
When we first arrived at the party–in La Paz, Baja Sur–we were greeted by a well-dressed woman whose makeup was flawless and looked professionally done. She took charge right away, handed us pink nametags and led us to our seats.
I put my nametag on, then read the name on it To my surprise, it said ‘Dana.’ I thought it was a mistake. I almost removed it.
But then, I looked at Jeanne’s and hers also said. ‘Dana.’ So did everyone else’s. Sure enough, Dana was the name of the unborn baby and at Mexican baby showers, people wear nametags with the baby’s name on them!
‘Marisol Mary Kay’ Running the Show…
Back to the well-dressed woman…
Her name is ‘Marisol’ and she’s the mom-to-be’s (Anahí’s) sister. She sells Mary Kay and on Facebook is known as Marisol Mary Kay.
I was intrigued by her since she took her job—running the baby shower events—so seriously. Like a professional baby shower planner! I later came up with a theory why this was the case (keep reading to find out.)
Within minutes, the fun began.
First, there was Bingo. Instead of numbers, there were baby items on the cards. (Great Spanish lesson for beginners, by the way—although one item was a somewhat obsolete cloth diaper, which made others chuckle.)
Guessing Stomach Girth w/Toilet Paper
Next came the ‘Abdominal Girth Guessing Game.’ In this, a roll of toilet paper was passed around and we pulled off as much paper as we thought would fit around the pregnant woman’s waist. I estimated at lot, then back-pedaled at the last minute and removed a quarter of it.
Then, Marisol called for volunteers. I raised my hand. A few minutes later, I wondered what the hell I’d gotten myself into. I felt a twinge of volunteer’s remorse. Here’s why…
Blindfolded and Force-fed Baby Food by a Woman I Didn’t Know
There were two teams of two people each, and I was on one of them. We all had to wear blindfolds, then feed our teammate baby food. An entire jar of it. That’s right. With a baby spoon. The kind with the rubber tip.
(You might think this is easy and that there isn’t much in one of those jars. Well, you’re wrong. There’s plenty inside and with that darn spoon, it feels like an endless amount of food. )
What a bizarre feeling to be feeding someone else—without seeing anything—and to have food being shoved into my mouth! I could barely find the woman’s face. Somehow, she found mine and I had to eat the food. It got a bit messy.
Unfortunately, it was ‘mixed fruit’ and tasted like baby food. I would have preferred straight banana, which I’ve eaten on occasion,which tastes pretty good. (Yeah, I know—I’m a bit strange.)
Still, it was fun. I laughed hard and spoke a lot of Spanish. More than a few times, I said, ‘¡Ayúdame!…Help!
Sadly, we lost that game. My bad. I was way too slow!
Crawling Like a Baby
Then, other volunteers (in this case, Jeanne stepped up to the plate) had to sit on (burst) balloons that had messages inside with a task that needed to be performed. Jeanne’s task: to crawl on the floor like a baby. This was quite entertaining!
Adults Drinking Out of Baby Bottles
At one point, one person had to feed a bottle to someone else. Then, a few had to drink out of bottles on their own–to beat the clock. This was quite entertaining!
Putting a Diaper On
The highlight of it all, I think, was when the mother-to-be had to put a cloth diaper on her sister, Dulce—as if she were a baby. Everyone roared with laughter when this happened.
My Theory Re: Marisol Mary Kay
After the games ended, I came up with a theory re: why MaryKay Marisol had taken her job as ‘party organizer’ so seriously and was so amazing at it.
Obviously she’s got a ton of experience from running Mary Kay parties. But I think another reason she took it on was that it was a great way to avoid having to play the games!
She never got on the ground or got baby food on her face. Muy inteligente, no?
PS: quite a few people were very dressed up for this event. Check out the shoes!
Men Were There, Too
By the way, there were men at this baby shower. Not just one or two, but quite a few. Various friends and relatives, including the father-to-be. Most of the men arrived later than the women and hung out and had a few beers. At one point, there was salsa dancing. I joined in briefly, which was fun.
It was touching watching the dad-to-be hug his wife and pose for photos.
Why I’d Go Again
I must say that the baby shower was a truly wonderful event. It was fun to see the Mexican traditions and to get to know some locals. The food—tacos and other goodies—was yummy, too.
And the hospitality was just what you’d imagine. I was told more than once that their ‘casa’ was my ‘casa’–and I had no doubt that they meant it. That made me feel warm and fuzzy.
So did feeling the family’s excitement and joy about the new addition. I recall the three sisters (Dulce, Marisol and Anahi) smiling and radiating happiness. They were truly overjoyed that there’d soon be a baby girl in the family.
Special thanks to Jeannie for inviting me (check out her story about the baby shower–great photos!) and to the family for having me! If I’m ever back in La Paz and get invited to another such event, I’m quite sure I’ll go. And if there’s a chance to see these folks again, I’d love to.
Have you ever attended a baby shower in another country? If so, where and what was it like? Have you ever gone to one in Mexico? If so, where and was it similar to what I described above?
While traveling, would you accept an invitation such as I did–not knowing anyone there and barely knowing the person who invited you? Why/why not?
Does what I’ve described look like fun to you? And how does it compare to baby showers in your country?
Like This Post? Then Check Out My Book!
If you enjoy reading about random encounters with the locals, then check out my recently published book, ‘Magic Carpet Seduction.’ There are many stories about going off the beaten path, being in the moment and going with the flow—and the cool stuff that happens along the way.
And, if you’d like, check out some more ‘random travel moments‘ from ChickyBus.