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Did you see Wheeling on Oprah?

October 19, 2009 - Betsy Bethel
It was so cool to see Wheeling on the Oprah show today, as Oprah's favorite design god Nate Berkus tooled around town in a minivan doing the job of Wheeling stay-at-home mom Dayna Baker for a day.

Dayna, who entered an Oprah-sponsored stressed-out-mom contest via e-mail, spent the day going out to lunch, shopping and getting a mani and pedi with her twin sister and her friends — on Oprah's tab — while Nate hung up his paint brush and wielded diaper wipes.

Oprah viewers today saw the results of Nate's Mr. Mom stint. After dropping Dayna and Mark Baker's kids, Brittani and Brian, off at St. Vincent's Parish School in Elm Grove, Nate took 2-year-old Braden home to do some chores. A cute scene shows Nate driving the minivan through a Bethlehem neighborhood and admitting to the camera he's totally lost. Then you see Braden in his car seat pointing and saying "That way!"

Nate's mishaps with Braden were endearing on the one hand and downright scary on the other. His first mistake: Setting Braden down on the kitchen counter while he packed Mark's lunch. Braden crawled across the counter and RIGHT ONTO THE COOKTOP! My heart stopped for a beat! The next thing you know, Nate is looking around for Braden, and the camera shows him toddling out the front door. Oops, Nate! Ya gotta keep yer eye on those young'ns! A few scenes later, Nate hasn't learned his lesson yet, as the viewing public sees Braden crawling on a bench in the Good Zoo lobby and falling FACE FIRST off of it!

Oh my. Before the first commercial break, Oprah says to Nate in the studio: "I'm amazed that she let you watch her kids." I admit I was thinking the same thing! But really, if Nate Berkus greets you in YOUR kitchen at 6 a.m., cameras rolling, and says he's going to do YOUR mommy job for the day, would you say, "No thanks"? No way!

Later, Dayna is interviewed from her kitchen via Skype and says "Uncle Nate" seemed like a natural ... and, "He wasn't nervous, so I wasn't nervous."

After picking the kids up from school, Nate takes them to the dollar store at Elm Grove Terrace, followed by a trip to the world famous Louis' Hot Dogs for a snack. Braden found every toddler's favorite spot in any restaurant -- under the table. Gotta love it. Nate already tried to feed Braden some chicken nuggets but was given the stiff lip treatment. At Louis', Braden still doesn't eat.

"Great. He's had like one vitamin the entire day," Nate quips.

Next it's home to play outside on the swing seet and trampoline. Then Nate, rather than cooking a four-course meal like Dayna usually does, orders Chinese takeout for dinner.

Back in the studio, Nate tells Oprah it was an exhausting day — and he felt bad because he didn't even get to the laundry! For being good sports, the Bakers were treated to a total closet makeover by The Container Store, for every bedroom closet in the house.

Oprah quipped at the segement's conclusion: "I think it's the hardest job in the world to do that job well. Moms, you need a wife! Moms need a wife!"

It was fun to see a local city in the national spotlight -- for something lighthearted rather than gloom-and-doom. I had heard there was going to be some footage from Tumblin' Tots and was sorry to see it didn't make it in!

All right, moms, you've had your fun for today, now back to work!!!


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