Have you had your sprinkle today?

We held a shower for my great nephew, aka the world’s most adorable baby, last weekend.

At least I think we did.

At this point, you might be saying to yourself, “Self, what kind of idiot doesn’t know if she helped throw a shower?”

Well, obviously, I know I helped with the shower. After all, I served on the all-important soda and ice duty. What’s more, I took a small portion of my pen and pencil stash to the event so guests could play the games. Don’t you worry, though, I returned home with the same amount – if not more – of pens and pencils I took with me.

My confusion concerns the nature of the event. Specifically, did we have a shower or a sprinkle?

If you’re like me, you had probably never heard tell of a sprinkle until a few years ago. Again, if you’re like me, upon hearing of a sprinkle, you probably asked, “What the expletive is a sprinkle?”

Someone answered my question by explaining that a sprinkle is like a shower, but for a second (or third or fourth or so on) child. That satisfied my curiosity, and I posed no further questions.

So, when my family and I began discussing the etiquette of throwing a shower for a second baby (you know, because my family and I are known for adhering to etiquette), I pointed out that that’s the purpose of a sprinkle.

My niece told me I was wrong. According to her, a sprinkle is for a second (or third or fourth or so on) child of a different gender.

I turned to the Internet for guidance, but that great beacon of knowledge finally failed me. Indeed, some sites I visited backed up my claim while others confirmed my niece’s assertion. Still other sites maintained that a sprinkle is actually a low key shower attended by only a few people, regardless of the baby’s birth order or gender.

Nevertheless, showers and/or sprinkles have changed over the years. Take the games, for example. Nowadays, we play games that demand us to match the names of adult animals to their babies. Back in the day, we tried to see how many clothespins we could drop into a jar.

I also remember a shower game that consisted of putting balloons in a clothes basket using nothing but a yard stick and persistence. Then again, maybe I didn’t play that at a shower. Maybe I played that in the living room with my cousin. But I guess that’s another column for another day.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.

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