While his wife was out of town one weekend, a dedicated dad spent three days creating a memorable “gender reveal” for their second child.
Actor and comedian Taylor Calmus made a Rube Goldberg machine, a contraption known for its domino effects created by various smaller setups, to announce to friends, family and fans the sex of their second child. Calmus, who is also behind the Dude Dad Vlog, told The Huffington Post he spent so much time on the announcement because he knew the reveal had to be one to remember.
“When my wife, [Heidi], was pregnant with our son, Theo, we weren’t going to find out the gender until he was born,” he said. “But the doctor slipped up and told us two weeks before he was born and ruined the surprise. So this time when she got pregnant I was like, ‘No way are we waiting again!’ But anyone that watches our vlog knows I like to go all out!”
With help from friends, Calmus used household items, baby toys and “lots of duct tape” to put together the Rube Goldberg machine throughout the three floors of Calmus’ home. When asked how many times he attempted the Rube Goldberg machine before it finally worked, Calmus said, “Too many.”
“One piece would fail over and over and over again and once we’d finally get it working something else that had been working the entire time would fail,” he told HuffPost. “Rube Goldberg machines are equally satisfying and frustrating! If I had to guess I’d say we tried it around 50 times once it was all set up.”
To film the contraption from start to finish, Calmus had help from three friends: Aaron Huisman, Doug Oliphant and Jush Allen. They made sure three cameras captured every angle of the reveal. Toward the end of the video, which has been viewed more than 7 million times as of Monday, Calmus’ parents can be seen on Skype watching the big reveal from South Dakota.
Both Calmus and Heidi didn’t know the sex of their baby before the final stage of the project. Calmus’ friend was in charge of the end of the video, which shows that the couple will be having a girl. She’s due in August.
Calmus told HuffPost that based on how popular the video has become, the work he did for the announcement “has paid off.” If it hadn’t gotten as many views as it did, though, his excitement couldn’t possibly be ruined.
“To be honest, I would have been happy we did it even if nobody else saw it,” he said. “Our little girl is about to come into our lives and change our entire world. It’s such a huge event I felt it could not be summed up in a mere cupcake.”
Since the video has gone viral, many people have asked about the mess after the contraption completed its run. Calmus said his wife loves his “wacky ideas” and didn’t give him a hard time about the mess. He also thinks the clean-up is a bit of a nod to what’s about to come.
“Yes, building a Rube Goldberg machine through your entire house is very messy, but so is parenting!” he told HuffPost. “What better way to prepare for the chaos of two babies under two years old than purposely putting your entire house into disarray?”