Behind the Scenes With My ‘Wild Turkeys’


Happy Almost Thanksgiving Everyone!  Ready for the big Thanksgiving dinner? So it’s a very big day here at CloudMom because we are so excited to have our video “How to Tame your Wild Turkeys at Thanksgiving” appear on the New York Times Motherlode blog.

Behind the Scenes With My 'Wild Turkeys'

We filmed this several Fridays ago in my apartment, and God was looking down on me and the kids – including Marielle – that day.  They all sat at the kitchen table for nearly two hours practicing their bad and their good manners!  I did get a few “MOOOOM, I’m really tired of eating these carrots” comments, but by and large, they hung in there and had decent dining etiquette.  We finished at 5 p.m. and all the kids were so full from nibbling that I didn’t even have to serve them dinner that night! You can watch the video below:

We had five “directors” on site: the two amazing professionals who shot the video, royal expert Victoria Arbiter and yours truly, and my three boys Hedley (8), Lachlan (7) and Beckett (5).  Every time I made a suggestion, one of them would pipe up with some other idea of how to have bad manners – “Guys, let’s hide under the table!” or “Guys, let’s just throw the carrots at Mommy!” or “Let’s eat each roll in one bite.”

So I felt very proud to have these little actors so full of wonderful ideas of how to behave poorly at the dinner table.  For that, I am truly thankful this year.

Since the shoot day, my three boys have been having fun spiting me and exercising the bad manners on purpose – namely, the “cave man grip” and “chicken wings.”  Give a bad behavior a name in my house and you give it nine lives!

Anyway, it was a blast and I hope it will be useful to any of you CloudMoms who stress out over the holidays trying to keep the little ones in check. Here is the list of rules we came up with for the video in case it’s helpful to you.  Don’t hand this to the kids because if they’re anything like mine, they’ll use it as a guide for what naughty things to do!!!

6 Rules of Table Manners from “Taming the Wild Turkeys at Thanksgiving”

1. Don’t Eat with Your Fingers.  Use Utensils.
2. No Elbows on Table. No Lying on Table.  No Chicken Wings.
3. No Talking with your Mouth Full.
4. Offer Food to Others First.
5. Eat Slowly, Talk and Listen.
6. Say Please and thank you, and ask to be excused.

As soon as we finished filming, Victoria and I realized we had left out putting your napkin in your lap. What else did we forget?  If you think of anything, put it in the comments below so that we all can keep our kids in line at this year’s Thanksgiving table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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