We’ve all seen the toddler and baby sibling duo hijacking their work-at-home dad’s live interview on BBC, right? As a fellow work-at-home parent, I am declaring that video one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. Hilarious. Accurate. A moment that family will never forget.
Unfortunately, it only takes the general Internet populace about 30 seconds to ruin something fantastic. I casually skimmed through the comments as the video went viral. Some of the comments were witty—written in solidarity or observing tiny details that make the segment even more perfect on the second or third (or twelfth) view.
But some took on a tone of condescension or superiority. Plenty of armchair quarterbacks seemed at the ready to weigh in. “He should have,” they said. “A mother would have,” they chided. “Why didn’t he just” insert-your-favorite ending-here (pulled them into his lap, walked them to the door, blah, blah, blah, blah).
For. The. Love.
I am a part-time, work-at-home mom of a three-year-old and one-year-old. In my career, I’ve had a little bit of live on-air experience (thankfully in a studio and not my guest room)! And you know what this “super-mom” would have done if my kids crashed an important live interview? Complete Inner Panic.
Because in that moment? WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?!
My inner dialogue would have gone something like this:
“Ohhhhhhhhh, DANG IT. Okay. What do I do? How did the toddler get in here? Okay. Be calm. Keep talking. Slowly push him toward the door. Take a hint, son. Go on. Wait. What in the — IS THAT THE BABY?
Okay. Code Red. This is a Code Red situation. We need another parent in here stat. I am outnumbered. This ship is going down.
Okay. Focus. Keep talking. Apologize. Apologize, like, a lot. I am so never getting invited back on this network.
OH THANK THE HEAVENS MY HUSBAND HAS ARRIVED. Sweet paternal partner, here to save my booty, Tom-Cruise-in-Risky-Business style. I thought he had these little Houdinis under control. But when nature calls? You must answer. So go do the dad thing that you do so well while I try to salvage this son-of-a-gun interview.”
Dads are not incompetent. Moms are not genetically predisposed to know what to do every time a child behaves unpredictably.
And that tiny little nudge toward the door? Certainly not abuse (and to imply it was abuse, as some commenters did, completely disrespects the very real trauma that domestic violence causes).
So, Skype-dad? You did the best you could. And most of the world laughed and stood by you in spirit. Thank your darling children for making the world a more hilarious and authentic place. Maybe we will see you on the news again soon. (Or maybe at least America’s Funniest Videos!)