My friend Shelly is the ultimate Housewife in Training right now. She recently gave birth to this handsome little dude…
Mind you that pic was taken when he was two weeks old. He is now like 4 months old so he probably has doubled in size and if I know Shelly, he has learned how to pour Mama a glass of wine. This is the story of how I became the first person to find out Shelly was having a baby boy. Before even Shelly knew…
Shelly (center) and me (right) with our friend Heather (left) at Shelly’s shower.
To know Shelly, is to love her. To not know Shelly is to be…well its like being at the zoo and seeing a tiger on the other side of the fence. She seems loud, intimidating, and you can’t stop watching to see what she’ll do next and how loud she will roar. But at the same time you can tell she has a strong-heart, will do anything to defend her fellow feline, is gentle, beautiful, and always in control.
Shelly likes to know what is going on at all times. Which is why I found it odd when she told me that she was preggers and wasn’t going to find out the baby’s gender. Whawzt? It was shocking but I went along with it because 1. it wasn’t my baby and 2. you don’t question Shelly’s judgment. She is a tiger.
Shelly and Josh-Halloween ’07
So Shelly decided she wasn’t going to have the control of the baby but wanted control of the baby’s room. See mint green and yellow doesn’t look good on her, around her, or around her unborn baby apparently. So Shelly had a plan: she was going to have the doc write down the sex, put it in a sealed envelope and deliver that envelope to a designer who would then set up the baby’s room accordingly. The designer would paint, get the bedding, set up the room. And lock the door. No one would know the sex of the baby, except the designer! Shelly and her hubby Josh wouldn’t go in until they got home from the hospital with their new offspring. All Shelly said was she wanted pink for a girl and blue for a boy. And not a lot of patterns. At least that’s what she told me when she asked me to be the “designer”. I hesitated – I mean, I’m no Candace Olson. I’m not even Verne Yipp. But I could tell it was stressing Shelly out by having to find someone she completely trusted to have the room ready and in a style she liked. She purred at me and I said I would do it. I actually was really excited to do it. I love this kinda thing! Slice me up a piece of Control with a side of Design and I’m set!
Getting the envelope.
I don’t know if a tiger can be nonchalant, but that is Shelly’s middle name. She handed me the envelope with the sex of her first child on inside like she was handing me kleenex. NBD. If she was going to be so passive about it, I thought I better be too. As I drove home I decided I would wait a week to open it. In a week I would know exactly what I would be doing for both a girl’s room or a boy’s room and could run any last minute questions by her without being sneaky.
I had the envelope open by the time I reached my garage.
In the know.
I completely expected all of our friends to try and trick me, or uh, flat out demand, that I tell them what Shelly was having. Unlike being faced with a pan of brownies, I resisted and practiced great self-control. Carefully choosing to say “It” and choosing baby supplies instead of clothing for a shower gift.
So it was the end of May. I had recruited my amazing mother and we had worked on the room for about two months and was almost finished. Shelly wasn’t due for another like two weeks. But my mom and I wanted to get the room done. We spent almost 5 hours on Sunday finishing up. Everything was in place, the floors were vacuumed, the diapers in the drawers. The only thing left was to have an artist come in to paint the name above the crib. The name did get painted….two months after the baby was born. Yep, Shelly went into labor early Monday. Guess the kid knew his room was done and he was ready to see it!
I never did get a good shot of the bedding (gray squares with a white skirt in the same fabric as the curtains). I’ll see what I can do.
I think it turned out great and Shelly and Josh loved it. I was able to include personal elements that only a friend would know to include. A place for lots of books because mom is a big reader. A soccer ball on the shelf because dad is a player. It was so much fun! Yet I felt very relieved when I could finally speak freely to everyone. Boy, did I ever…