Most of us may be nearing our one year anniversary of working from home, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve gotten any better at keeping our kids busy during those very important video calls. Trivago CEO Axel Hefer is just the latest parent to have his call crashed by a tiny guest. Hefer was just moments from weighing in on the European travel ban announcement with CNN’s Richard Quest, when his pajama-clad 7-year-old son made his not-so-subtle entrance. The sleepy boy named Victor came into the room to ask his dad to tuck him in for the night. As a parent who is perpetually waiting for others (mainly my children) to finish their business so that I can get ready for bed, I felt Victor’s pain.
— Quest Means Business (@questCNN) January 25, 2021
For those watching at home, the scene was similar to one that unfolded back in 2017, when Professor Robert Kelly (now forever known as “BBC Dad”), was being interviewed about the impeachment of South Korean president Park Geun-hye. During his interview a brightly clad toddler marched into the background, quickly followed by her much younger brother in a walker, and then mom bringing up the rear a moment later. With more grace and speed than I would’ve had, Kelly’s wife Kim Jung-A dropped down to the ground to pull the noisy kids out of frame so her husband could get back to discussing the very serious business of the world. The clip spawned memes, gifs, and discourse aplenty (especially when the original discussions around the moment incorrectly referred to his wife as the nanny, yikes).
Although Quest offered Hefer an out to step away from the interview, they ended up welcoming a sleepy Victor into the conversation. It wasn’t long before the familiar head-nodding began and, while viewers at home eagerly watched to find out what their summer vacation prospects were going to look like, Victor drifted off to sleep in his dad’s lap.
But these two dads are hardly the only ones to be upstaged by their children during live interviews. In July 2020, Dr. Clare Wenham was joined by her daughter Scarlett during a BBC interview with Christian Fraser, and singer Alanis Morissette debuted her new single for Jimmy Fallon while her daughter sat giggling on her lap.
This past year has created a lot of logistical challenges for parents working from home, and although we’ve had some time to learn how to work alongside our kids, it doesn’t look like we’ve quite mastered the art of interviewing while parenting yet. That being said, we admire a parent who can speak confidently about their complex speciality while simultaneously cradling their child’s sleepy head or fielding off-screen questions on live TV. As for Hefer’s interview, he was able to finish up before stepping away for what we assume was a bedtime story and maybe a gentle reminder that when Daddy’s on with CNN, bedtime will have to wait for the commercial break.
Try some of these ways to keep your kids busy while you’re all working from home.