The biggest surprise of all about having The Today Show film in my house for the segment on mom blogging was that they were here filming for just over FIVE HOURS! If you saw the segment you know that our portion was just a few minutes long, but in reality the sit down interview was much longer and it was a lot of work to set up all of the different shots and angles.
This might also be due to the fact that once they started filming me typing on my laptop, the cameraman stopped and then CLEANED MY LAPTOP SCREEN FOR ME. I spent so much time cleaning the walls that I totally forgot to clean the actual item in my house that they were going to be zooming in on on national television.
As he was scrubbing it (literally, scrubbing, y’all) I said to him “My husband is going to give me such grief about this because do you know what is still on his computer screen? THE PLASTIC COVER.” That’s right. The one that you are supposed to remove once you get it home from the store. Still there.
MY laptop screen, however, was covered with fingerprints and smudges of nutella because my three year old does not understand that it is not a touch screen like my cell phone.
And because I really love Nutella.
Scarlette loved having a house full of people and kept trying to follow everyone around and ask questions like “HEY WHAT ARE DOSE FINGS? ARE DOSE SOME LIGHTS? I HAB SOME LIGHTS IN MY ROOM. WANT TO SEE HOW I FROW DIS BASEBALL?!”
My father came over to help out so several times he whisked her away outside to occupy her with some sidewalk chalk so that she didn’t break Very Important Equipment and stuff. In the tv biz I think they call that being someone’s “handler.”
We had to exile Lucy Dog as well because her constant whimpering or growling at people who came too close to Scarlette was interfering with the sound. Plus, Lucy Dog loves photobombing.
The cameraman asked Scarlette if he could take some pictures of her and she eyed him critically and then said emphatically “NOPE. Dat man not gonna take MY picture today!” About five minutes later he asked her again and she smiled sweetly at him and said “WHY YES, YOU SURELY CAN! YOU SURELY CAN TAKE MY PICTURE!” This child, I don’t even know.
Later, they tucked a mic behind a pillow on the bed in the office and she said “HEY! WHAT YOU DOIN TO DAT BED?” and when the sound guy told her that he was putting a microphone on it she said “OH I WIKE A MICWOPHONE” and then proceeded to serenade us with a rendition of “Do You Wanna Build A Snowman.”
During one portion that was cut she was sitting in the office with me drawing on her magnadoodle while I typed and she kept looking directly into the camera and going “HEY! CAN YOU DWAW ME A SNOWMAN? I WILL TELL YOU HOW TO DWAW A SNOWMAN. YOU MAKE ONE TWO FREE CIRCLES. AND DEN YOU PUT A HAT ON HIM. AND DEN I WILL FREEZE YOU.” I’m assuming that threatening America with an eternal winter makes the cutting room floor pile. Thanks a lot, FROZEN.
(Actually, she is still pretty difficult to understand, especially so on camera. We’re toying with the idea of revisiting speech therapy in the fall.)
Prior to filming I did not ask who the correspondent was going to be because I did not want to psych myself out. I was already pretty nervous, y’all. When Stephanie Gosk walked in my front door my first thought was “This is completely surreal” and my second thought was “Oh my gosh my child just accosted Stephanie Gosk .”
Scarlette was all “HI IT’S ME, SHCARWUT BONNE. CAN YOU SHOW ME PICTURES OF ME, SHCARWUT, ON YOUR PHONE?” And Stephanie was very kind and showed Scarlette lots of photos of her new baby girl because, you know, random strangers don’t have photos of my kid on their phones, much to Scarlette’s chagrin.
It was fun to watch as they moved things around for filming, except for that one paralyzing moment in which they moved my couch as I stood by armed with a swiffer and a blowtorch, and also that one time the producer accidentally mistook my bedroom door for the bathroom and discovered where I had shoved all the things I didn’t know what to do with in my frantic attempt to clean my house for The Today Show. So that kind of blew my cover. When Stephanie walked into my office she said “Wow, you are so organized” and I was all “You might want a second opinion on that from the girl who just accidentally walked into my bedroom, actually.”
I ran to the grocery store early that morning to stock up on some snacks for the crew because I am southern and so if you come to my house I have to feed you. I can’t not offer you food. My grandmother would kill me. As we left, the girl helping us out commented on how the weather made it hard to get dressed in the morning and Scarlette said “OH WOW! YOU CAN DWESS YOUR VERY OWN SELF?!” Guess what we’re working on in my house right now?
And I also picked up a bunch of fresh flowers, because I read Emily Henderson’s blog and she says you should always have a lot of fresh flowers on hand to choose from when styling stuff. Which turned out to be a good tip because they moved all my furniture around to create a set and then piled a bunch of the flowers together. My agent sent me this beautiful bouquet the day before which made my office look extra fancy when they filmed.
The whole experience was wonderful, they were all such fun and laid back and made it so comfortable for us. I am so grateful to them for being so kind to my little family. I wish I had taken more photos while they were here but I was enjoying conversation with everyone between takes and it slipped my mind.
I was also very impressed that they chose to show video of Scarlette so early on in the NICU. Most media shies away from using any photos or videos of premature babies that are too “scary” – you’ll notice that even in the promotional materials for organizations that are focused on prematurity you never seen any pictures with tubes or lines or ventilators or of babies as small as Scarlette was at birth.
My personal feeling is that sometimes raising awareness means publishing reality and since I am so passionate about our cause I was both surprised and pleased to see that make the final cut out of all the choices they had. (And I think they used that instead of the footage where we had to stop because I started crying when we talked about Scarlette’s birth. Apparently that’s still a little raw for me to talk about.)
There were only two things cut that I wished had made it in, and one was where I mentioned how grateful I am for this community and how lucky I have been to have such supportive readers who have embraced my writing and who have championed our story. They asked how I deal with negative and hateful comments and I could honestly answer that it is so incredibly rare that I even have to, because y’all are the most kind.
Stephanie said to me “It seems like you are living the dream” and I would have to say that while my life is far from perfect and there are most assuredly struggles and hardships that I keep private for my family’s sake, I could not ask for more than a healthy little girl and the opportunity to do what I love.
And when everyone left and I was making Scarlette a snack she looked at me and said “Mommy, YOU making chicken nuggets and I gonna be on tv like Mickey Mouse.”
(I think I covered everything but let me know if you have questions!)
*When I posted teaser pictures, several people asked where my end table is from and ((affiliate link, y’all)) it is this one from World Market, it was my birthday gift from my family last year. The basket underneath is from Target and the chalkboard is from IKEA.