Early in her pregnancy, when Ianqui was thinking about a nom-de-blog for her baby, she saw a news item about yo evolving as a gender-neutral pronoun. It became the perfect blogname for the baby, and when she announced it, I thought, a) “how cool! bookmark that news item for future teaching use” and b) “Yo, Yo!” would be a great name for a blog post. Great title, but what to follow it? Recommendations for good children’s music (starting with Dan Zanes’ Family Dance, which contains “Yo Yo, Sweet Yo Yo”) or good books (starting with Chris Raschka’s Yo! Yes! and Ring! Yo! leading into Irene Smalls' Don’t Say Ain’t, the beginning of a list of kids’ books that are about language)? I couldn’t get those ideas to go anywhere…but I realized that the best baby shower game I’ve ever played is a great way to welcome Yo, and it’s in keeping with the title-in-search-of-content and Ianqui's carbon-footprint-reducing ethos (a game that generates no stuff!). Now that Yo has arrived, it’s a fine day to teach you all the best baby shower game ever—and Ianqui and Super G can pass the results on to Yo whenever they want. There are already tons of happy comments over at Ianqui's own posts on the subject, and I suppose Ianqui won't be blog-reading quite so frequently. But some of you might want to play along here, and I trust Ianqui won't mind an uninvited burst of bloggy enthusiasm for her wee one.
I learned this game when Uncle Quiet and Tante Mississippi were expecting Curly Haired Cousin, and their department threw a shower, so it has especially sweet memories for me. We also played it at Historian Friend’s shower. In real life, you’d use index cards, one for each guest, numbered 1 to however many you need for everyone present. On this post, we can just use the order of comments. All you have to do is tell a memory from your life from the age on your card/comment position (or something about what your world was like, if you don't remember anything from that year) and then make a wish for Yo for when Yo turns that age (so if you have card #7, or are commenter #7 on this post, you’d tell a memory from when you were 7, and offer a wish for Yo for when Yo is 7). I’ll do age one in the first comment, and anyone else who wants to join in can just do two, three, four, whatever. This is a cool way to learn a little more about other people; it’s interesting to see what different childhoods were like and what kinds of different wishes people offer, corresponding to different ages.
So Yo, Yo! Some wishes for you to soak up are in the comments. Welcome to the world.