Nothin’ like getting schooled by a handsome actor (that you used to interview about his movies) in front of your kids. Yeah. Actor and celebrity dad Josh Duhamel (aka: Mr. Fergie) recently schooled me. He schooled me goooood. I say this with the biggest smile on my face and sincere gratitude. Way to teach a lesson, man.
Truthfully, I don’t think he meant to school me… but fly-by schoolings are the most fabulous kinds, right?
Recently, I trotted my two wild toddler gals to Los Angeles’ The Grove (one of our longtime fave spots for strolling) to take part in a special segment for The Meredith Vieira Show: Josh Duhamel was booked to read a bunch of kids a sweet and silly story called “Bunny Cakes” by children’s author and illustrator Rosemary Wells. The private storytime was a special kickoff for Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign. (Jumpstart is a national early education organization that is tirelessly committed to preparing preschool-aged children for Kindergarten through community volunteers and proven campaigns. As you know, prepping kids for Kindergarten has a special place in my heart lately…)
So there we found ourselves: In Barnes and Noble, waiting for the famous (and really hot… hey, you can’t not say it) Josh Duhamel. Ever ask a mom with two antsy toddlers to ‘hang tight’ until the famous actor shows up? Ha. That’s a goooood one. My LilMiss was climbing on a chair (that was reserved for Josh) and singing that yodeling song from The Sound of Music (when Julie Andrews and the kids do that puppet show with the goats) at the top of her lungs.
My LadyP was taking apart the Frozen section of books one by one so that she could show her Elsa doll all the books written about her.
I was in unforgiving heels and looking like a real jack-a$$… squatting down in ways that no one should ever squat down while wearing heels as I wrangled, reminded and threatened my little people to be respectful in a public place. You get the pic. All I could think was, “I used to interview this guy [Josh] on red carpets, dressed up with full hair and makeup, thinking clearly… and now I’m here, squatting in heels, wrestling (and sweating) with a two-and-a-half year old as she throws herself on the carpet in protest of me taking away a Frozen book (that I don’t intend to buy) that came *this close* to getting pages ripped out of it.” Cute, Jill. Hurry up, Josh.
Finally, Mr. Duhamel arrived. Score. Kids gathered, he read, it was sweet. LadyP listened like a good girl (after futzing with and ultimately tossing aside her fur vest while he was reading). LilMiss loudly shouted at him “Ok! I’m ready! Read!” to get the show on the road (which he playfully responded to her)… she then saw something better on the bookshelf behind her and wandered off. (RUDE?)
After the reading (which was oddly super-adorable and somewhat sexy at the same time, given the storyteller), we got our book signed. Walking up to the table, I said hi and then blurted out, “I used to interview you on red carpets… and now I’m a mom,” with a sheepish smile. He was fun and friendly: “Well that sounds like a lot more fun!” We laughed. I took my girls to lunch.
Then I realized what he said to me. “WELL-THAT-SOUNDS-LIKE-A-LOT-MORE-FUN.” ?!?!?!?
Is it more fun than red carpets, Josh?!?!?! IS IT?!?!?!? I was sweating, my hair was all over the place, I was carrying LilMiss like a sack of potatoes just to keep her contained, I had my four year old crying at me (literally, CRYING with snot and everything) because I refused to purchase the $30 My Little Pony toy that was strategically positioned next to all the Frozen books… did I mention I was sweating? I probably stunk. By now I was sitting, eating hot pasta in the hot sun and still sweating.
I mocked his words in an annoying voice – that sounded nothing like him – in my head all through our little ladies lunch. Between taking my girls to the bathroom twice in 15 minutes, I reminisced about my days working red carpets: Celebrities! Glamour! Style! Bright lights! Almost a hundred reporters smashed into each other behind a steel bar like animals, shouting at the stars (as they were being photographed) to try and get them to stop for an interview, the reporter next you sticking their microphone in your shot and stealing your previous question from your prior interview, the camera guy to your left accidentally smacking the side of your head with the heavy camera trying to get his shot, the freezing-cold weather (or, blazing-hot sun), the publicist who gets pissed off at you because you asked a question that they weren’t planning on… Wait a minute here: I did have fun with red carpets, but they were also a serious grind. Paired with the adrenal high of “I just interviewed so-and-so!” was always frustration, rudeness, periodic questioning of one’s own skills (as a reporter, if you didn’t get the interview you needed) and so many other things that don’t come close to measuring up with the perfect nostalgia I’ve created in my head since I haven’t been working like I used to.
Holy Moly: I’ve been romanticizing the hell outta red carpets when, really, they were actually a pain in the butt.
Snapping out of this a-ha moment, I looked to my left. (Yodel-ay-yodel-ay-yodel-ay-hee-hoo!)
I looked to my right. (I have no idea what this expression is about…)
Okay Josh, you have a point. This mom-thing might be more fun than sluggin’ it on a red carpet. Both thing make ya sweat, but only one of them involves people that will love you no matter what you do, say, ask or don’t ask. Thanks for schooling me right.