Cheerleading Dad in a TVC Stole my Heart & Inspired a Scene
This is one of my favourite scenes from Unsuitable: Audrey watches as Mia and Reece dance to The Wiggles.
The inspiration came from seeing this commercial. Something random, but I remembered how committed the dad is and that’s the feeling I was after.
Here’s the scene.
She beckoned Les around the desk. “It’s a nanny cam program. I had Lin from IT install it for me, so it’s not exactly authorised as standard build, but he owed me one.”
Les peered at Audrey’s empty lounge room displayed on the screen. “You are spying. I knew it. You’re a stalking, spying, distrustful mother fusser.”
“You make that sound like a bad thing.” It was hard not to laugh, but that would only encourage Les.
“Are you going to tell?”
“If I do that, then it’s not spying, it’s a performance piece.”
Les frowned. “I guess I can get with that. So long as I can watch.”
“Don’t you have any work to do? Besides, there’s nothing to see.”
Les perched on the desk. “In this room, go to the kitchen.”
It wasn’t a phone call, but if Mia was in the kitchen in range of the camera hidden in the smoke alarm, it would be the next best thing. Audrey clicked the nanny cam program and they caught a quick glimpse of Mia running across the screen. Audrey toggled the menu and there was Mia in the lounge room in front of the TV. She fumbled for the sound and they heard Mia say. “Wiggle time.” She was already dancing. It was one of her most favourite things. She had Wiggle time before lunch most days with Cameron.
“Oh so sweet,” Les said, and then she said, “that’s very sweet too,” when Reece walked onto the screen.
He bent in front of the TV to start the video. They got arm with bulging bicep and a close up on his jaw and throat as he loomed too close to the hidden camera. He wore a blue t-shirt and faded blue jeans. He wore socks and so did Mia. Mia moved from foot to foot, fluffing the skirt on her fairy dress. She was excited and Audrey felt an immediate pang of relief. Mia wasn’t missing Cameron and she’d survived half a day with Reece. Four and a bit hours in, and she felt vindicated she’d done the right thing hiring him.
“Are we going to dance?” Reece said.
“Yes. Do the propeller,” Mia answered.
“Is that like crumping?” said Les, as the music started, a simple regular up-tempo beat, soft rock and roll toddler style.
Mia’s hips moved as if she had a hoola hoop. Her arms were out and she waved her hands. Audrey was transfixed. She knew about this, but she’d never seen it. It wasn’t part of her routine on the weekends.
Les clapped. “Shake it, Mia.”
And then Reece moved in front of the camera again. They said, “Oh my God,” together as he did the propeller too, a looser, more artful, hip shifting, knee shaking, rhythmic version. Good Lord, the man could move. He rocked side to side, arms held out elbows rotating propeller style, big gorgeous smile on his face. He was utterly in the moment.
“Oh my God,” she repeated. Her mouth was dry. Her new nanny was impossibly sexy doing a stupid kid’s dance. Not that he was playing it that way. He danced like a man who thought his only company was a delighted three year old in a fairy outfit. He danced with no self-consciousness and total joy, and he laughed and so did Mia, the two of them hip shaking, elbow twisting, and hand waving along with The Wiggles. Reece even did the, oh yeahs, in the right place.
“I think I drooled on your desk,” said Les.
They got to the part of the song where the lyrics talked about the plane going up, up, up, then down, down, down, and Reece and Mia stood side by side, the huge man and the tiny fairy girl partnering perfectly. This was death by adorable. It made Audrey’s throat go tight.