Zoom school, bad haircuts, cocktail hour: Hear how the Today anchor and her family are surviving quarantine and how they plan to celebrate this season.
Q: How have you divided and conquered as a couple during the quarantine?
SAVANNAH: Mike is chief technology officer and chief grilling officer. He sets the alarm and gets up early every day to help me get ready for the Today show. And he sets up the kids for Zoom school. Then, about mid-morning, it’s my turn to take over for a little while so he can do his actual job, as founder of a strategic consulting company.
MICHAEL: A fair amount of Savannah’s workday is while the kids are still sleeping. And that’s good on one hand, but then she has to roll right into Mommy mode, still fully made up, while I disappear for conference calls. So she’s “on” from when she wakes up at 4 A.M. until the kids go to bed at night. I’m in awe of her ability to create structure. I’m trying to figure out an acceptable time to have a cocktail, and she’s like, “OK, arts and crafts hour!”
Q: How did you explain COVID to the kids?
M: I want Vale (6) and Charley (3) to be aware of what’s going on in the world, but they don’t need to be that aware. But we can’t sneak much past Vale. She picks up everything, so we decided early on to have an open conversation.
S: Charles did wish, when he was blowing a dandelion the other day, for the coronavirus to go away. Now they call it the “poopy” coronavirus. That’s their worst curse word.
Q: How do you handle screen time, as someone who’s on TV?
S: That’s one thing we’re working so hard at. We’ve managed to not plant them in front of a screen all day during quarantine, which is tempting. They get 20 minutes as a treat at the end of the day, and that’s when Mike and I eat dinner.
Q: Did you take on any home-improvement projects in lockdown?
M: I’ve explored my DIY limits. I do like to tinker, and there‘s plenty to tinker with. But I’m on the brink of taking on things that could result in injury or death.
S: Mike is extremely handy, which is one of the things I liked about him when I first met him. I thought, “Wow, here’s a sophisticated guy who grew up in the city but who can actually do things.” My dad fixed our cars, which were old and broke down every other week, and I loved that Mike could do that, too. When we first started dating, he came over and fixed my toilet, which I found to be very attractive.
M: Definitely a keeper.
S: Exactly. Drew and Jonathan would be very proud. In fact, our kids have a catch phrase, which is “Daddy can fix it.” And it’s true. Daddy can fix almost anything.
“I love their approach to celebrating different faiths. It’s so important to find the common ground that’s at the core of it all, no matter your religion: sharing love and being together.”—Drew
Q: You’re Christian and Michael is Jewish. How do you celebrate the holidays?
S: We celebrate all the holidays! We light the Hanukkah candles and Mike is teaching our kids the prayers. They love Christmas—the presents and Santa Claus. We know that difficult questions may be coming, but we’re committed to raising them with full knowledge of their backgrounds. We hope as they get older, the kids will be inquisitive people of faith who find their own path.
Q: Do they have favorite traditions from each side?
S: We always go to Christmas Eve service, and the kids take part in the Christmas play at church. Oh, and we had an incredible dreidel last year.
M: Disco Dreidel!
S: It was like a spinning top that played electronic dance music. It was awesome.
“We celebrate all the holidays! We hope as they get older, the kids will be inquisitive people of faith who find their own path.”—Savannah
Q: How would your kids describe each of you?
[Charley wanders into the room]
S: What is Daddy like?
S: What is mommy like?
C: You like bracelets.
S: I do like bracelets.
M: That’s a three-year-old for you.
Q: Savannah, your favorite interview tactic is to ask the one question your subject would rather not be asked. What should we ask both of you?
M: “What happened to your hair?”
S: Mike did his own haircut and I cut the back. After that, he wore a hat for several weeks, even at home. He practically slept in it. For me, maybe it’s, “How many cookies did you eat last night?”
Q: Give us your best parenting advice.
S: Enjoy every moment. It goes way too fast. Also, don’t rush potty training!
By Laura Morgan | Opening photograph by Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; All others courtesy of Savannah Guthrie.