Thanks to legendary beauty reporter (and mom) Kym Douglas, a recent segment on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” had the
guts crazy absolutely risky fabulous idea to use a few of us regular personalities’ real-life toddlers on-camera. With us. Modeling Christmastime PJs. Shooting right during our regular naptime.
IT TURNED INTO WHAT MAY BE THE BEST MEMORY WITH MY GIRLS (to date). Maybe I need to get to the zoo more? Based on their smiles, 3-year-old LadyP and 1.5-year-old LilMiss had a ring-a-ding-ding of a time too. And you have no idea how relieved I am. R-E-L-I-E-V-E-D. (Some of you might remember our experience with Marie Osmond last season?) I’m not gonna lie: This time I kinda felt like my professional reputation was riding on my girls’ behavior. Thank goodness TV host and mom (and fellow H+F castmate) Tanya Memme is a freakin’ genius: She suggested that our savvy producer provide our munchkins with big giant lollipops the size of their heads. You bet those kept them busy and entertained. What a hit. And you thought kids don’t do well with sugar before 11am?
The day was a success.. and also a total surprise for me personally. In one swift 6-minute segment, my past, present and future smashed together like one big wonderful holiday casserole.
I’ll start with the PAST: You might recognize the guy who played my matching-PJs ‘husband’ on camera: TV host & Entertainment Journalist Jeremy Parsons. As in, my former co-host from ReelzChannel’s “The Big Tease” years ago (I believe our marketing tagline was “Real life best friends who give you the scoop about upcoming releases!” when really we’d just been cast together and just had this fun on-camera rapport). Jeremy is married (and now has a beautiful little toddler girl) and was also a guest at my wedding that I remember sooooo clearly, like it was yesterday. I also feel like we co-hosted our show together just yesterday. Watching him carry my LilMiss around made me well up a bit in the “Wow, life sure continues faster than you can keep track of” way.
Someone that I essentially started my TV-career with (when kids were the furthest thing from my mind) was now touting around my youngest child on a different TV show’s set. He and I are now ADULTS. Crash! The Past.
On to the PRESENT: For my girls’ big day on set, I nervously prepared to deal with cranky meltdowns (by stuffing our pink-and-purple Minnie Mouse rolling suitcase with crayons, books, stuffed animals and other effective time-killers)…. but I was NOT prepared for the rush of emotions of having my mommy-world and work-world collide right there in front of my boss, colleagues and cameras. Having my girls with me at work me feel inexplicably complete. There’s something humanizing that happens when colleagues share their ‘real family’ life with one another. It seems to bring everyone to ground zero, you know?
I’ve gone on the record countless times about how I felt this overwhelming surge of freakish confidence after LadyP was born (a deeper confidence that I couldn’t quite grasp before I became a mom), and how that inner sense of self seemed to grow even more after LilMiss came along. (Don’t laugh, I know that’s corny.) But it’s true: Having my girls barge into my workplace made me feel more comfortable, more secure and more all-around-happy (and Home & Family is already a nice place to work). But I was genuinely surprised how much more present I felt in my own skin. Yesterday it became official: My girls center me (as they crazy as they are). I think I might need them more than they need me.
And it even went beyond myself: Watching Tanya prop her little girl on her shoulders made me instantly feel like I’ve known Tanya forever (we just met a few months ago, working on the show). I’ve always liked her, but seeing her with her gorgeous little girly made me like her more. (If you read this, Tanya, don’t think I’m a weirdo!) It was that “we are going through the exact same things” thing and don’t even have to say a word about it to each other to understand. Damn you Motherhood, you strike again!
As for the FUTURE: I’m making a mental note to remember that liberating feeling of having my girls on set with me for those work days (that we all have every now and then) that don’t quite hit the mark. I also think I might need to nab some more of these comfy and adorable Pajamagrams for my real-life hubby… and also try to get LilMiss and LadyP involved in some of my own segments on-air. Gotta start putting these lollipop ladies to good use, right?
HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN YOUR KIDS TO WORK WITH YOU? HOW DID YOU FEEL?