I remember reading once an interview with super-glamorous Angelina Jolie in which she said that one of the great things about kids is that they remind you that you’re just the person who takes them to go poop. It’s true; kids have a way of bringing you down to earth — and fast. You could be dressed up to go out, and a grubby-handed kid will come at you for a hug, reminding you that no matter what you’re wearing, you’re Mom. You could be celebrating landing a book deal, and your kids will look at you strangely, and then demand a snack. Said book could be featured on The Today Show, and those kids will be talking over Savannah Guthrie, asking you to turn on Disney Junior instead.
If you didn’t see us mention it over on FBG (or any of the social media rooftops) our book was featured on a segment on The Today Show last week. Jenn and I were super excited. We’d heard the Friday before that it was going to be in a diet book round-up that following Monday morning, but we were bracing ourselves for breaking news or a Polar Vortex getting the segment bumped. But it didn’t get bumped! And we even got “cute title” props from Savannah! It was surreal, and very cool. Check it out:
Can’t see the video? Click here for The Today Show clip!
So it was super exciting for us as an FBG team. And as much as I wanted to take a moment to enjoy such an occasion, I really couldn’t. Because here’s what my day looked like on Today Show Day.
My son, who had had a fever for two days, had been up since the crack of dawn. Scratch that: he’d been up since 3 a.m. or so and had fallen asleep near the crack of dawn, with me, on the couch, watching some Disney Junior. So when I woke up when my daughter came downstairs, I hastily cobbled together breakfast and got my coffee together so I could tune into the 8 o’clock hour and catch our segment. Because of said fever, I wanted to try to get Owen to the pediatrician’s office for their morning walk-in hours — between 8 and 9 a.m. Let me note here that there is no DVR in the house. So recording it wasn’t an option, and while I knew I’d likely be able to catch it online, I wanted to watch it live, on the big screen TV, so help me God!
So during commercials, I’m running upstairs to grab kids’ clothes and to throw on clothes myself and get ready, all the while listening for the voices of Matt Lauer and Savannah to come back on. As the minutes tick by, we all become fully clothed and ready to go. I even had coats and shoes on them, ready to sprint out the door. I’ll admit that in the hubbub I totally forgot to brush my teeth. (Being a writer mom is so glam!) So at roughly a quarter ’til 9 — with the doctor’s office about 10 minutes away, plus loading and unloading two kids time — our segment came on.
Me: You guys! You guys! It’s on! Please be quiet! Please! I beg you! Silence!
Kids: Fevered moaning and groaning, crying, whining for no reason (the well child).
Me: Seriously! I will ask nothing of you for the rest of your lives! If you’re not quiet — no Disney Junior, ever!
Somehow, miraculously, they quiet down and I’m able to hear the segment. There was no pause for celebration save for a quick “yay” text to Jenn. The sprint to the doctor was ON. We hauled it out the door. I broke speed records getting the kids in their carseats. I tried not to break any laws or slide on any patches of snow as we high-tailed it to the doctor’s office. As I pull into the parking lot — which is tiny and always full — I see a mom with a 4-year-old-ish girl, lugging an infant carseat at a sprint trying to get in on time just as I am. Of course, there are no spots available, but there is one non-spot big enough for a mini van, and so I take it. I dash in, breathe a massive sigh of relief that the walk-in sign-in sheet is still on the counter (I mean, it would have been so embarrassing had I had to have been like, “Sorry I’m late! My book was featured on The Today Show and I just had to see it!”*) and plop down to spend the next half an hour trying to entertain both kids with no supplies, while I internally celebrate.
Kids, with their not-so-subtle in-your-face methods, remind you of what’s important — them. From their 3-foot-tall perspective, your life revolves around them. Your life doesn’t exist for them on the other side of bedtime. They know you work, but they don’t grasp your work successes or failures. We may have gotten a super-cool mention on TV, but to my kids, I’m the person who gets them cheddar bunnies, tucks them in at night, builds semi-elaborate Lego towers and replaces the batteries in Thomas the Train when he starts chugging too slowly. I’m the person who takes them to poop.
There are numerous ways to measure success. I may have mustard caked on my sweater at the moment (see aforementioned grubby hands) but the fever broke, we got a big mention, and I’m feeling like a success in more ways than one. —Erin
(*Seriously, just kidding! I wouldn’t have invoked the name of The Today Show. I would have just begged and pleaded and probably cried because of the whole no sleep thing.)