Of all the composite words that have come into fashion lately, I think "dadchelor" may be my least favourite. But hideously named or not, "dadchelor parties" are apparently the latest thing... in Hollywood, if not over here.
Unlike the increasingly popular - for women - baby shower, which is focused on the forthcoming arrival, dadchelor parties are a last hurrah before parental responsibility kicks in, with activities including drinking, golf, and shooting apparently being popular ways to kiss pre-parental life goodbye.
My friend Gabrielle hit the nail on the head when she said, "Funny, isn't it, how baby showers are about greeting a new life while these dadchelor parties are about losing their 'freedom'. Something makes me think those boys aren't ready to be dads."
Mum of two Katy Moran agrees: "It's not like these dadchelor parties are all about men sitting around in a pub drinking ale and their friends bringing along the latest baby carrier or pram. It's a bit crap that the accepted model for mums is friends bringing gifts for the baby, and this suggested idea for dads is all about Farewell to Freedom!"
I asked my husband if he would have been interested in a dadchelor party and his reply was unprintable, but can basically be summed up as a categorical no. I asked some other friends who are fathers and none of them were keen either.
Ashley Goldstein, father of two-year-old Ramona, says: "I think the term is awful and cringeworthy. As for the parties themselves, I don't judge those who attend them, but I myself have never really been a hard-drinking, partying kinda guy so don't miss what I never really had. And more to the point, I was FAR more focused on what was to come than what had passed."
Dad of two Philip Walters said, "It sounds pretty pointless to me -its not like your life ends when you have a baby. Perhaps though baby showers should stop being the preserve of women and include men?"
I think Philip is onto something there. The dadchelor parties sound exclusionary to me - I certainly wouldn't want to go shooting - and even the more traditional wetting the baby's head is more about a man drinking with his mates than it is about the baby, no? But baby showers don't seem particularly father-friendly either. Many of my female friends rejected them as too twee with their themed cupcakes and 'guess the baby food' party games, so I doubt many dads would be up for them.
I do like the idea of a celebration to welcome the baby, but don't understand why the parents can't do this together - presumably they made the baby together, after all. As mum of two Michelle said "We had a little party before first child was born. No hideous baby games and with male and female friends. We called it a baby shower, but it was like any of our other parties, really..."
Sounds much better than a dadchelor party to me. How about you?