Congratulations dad, for keeping your pose and managing to continue with your interview. But the big applause goes to his wife who managed to haul their kids out of the study.
By now you would have seen this BBC video of Professor Robert Kelly trying to keep his pose while his lively toddler and baby casually take over his BBC interview – and his wife pulling moves to drag them out of his office:
To the woman who leopard-crawled out of the room on live television:
I feel you.
You turned your back to stir the pot, or answer a message. It was a minute, maybe 50 seconds. They were underfoot, and then they weren’t. You looked around frantically, knowing there was one place they weren’t to go. And you knew. It took you just a moment to realise, but it was a moment too long.
They walked and rolled into that room like they owned the place. Toddler with her swagger, baby following close behind, trying to keep up with his sister.
Some viewers thought you were the nanny and you’d lose your job because of what happened. But you’re the mom, the one who keeps it together on very little sleep, who picks up after them and catches their vomit; who sleeps with one eye open in case they need you; who cleans or showers with ears cocked in case you need to drop everything when someone spills something or hits their head. The one who keeps everyone happy, and, in the case of toddlers, and babies sliding around in walking rings, in their place.
Maybe you’re not “just” the mom, but the other breadwinner in the house. Just like your husband, you go out to work every day, but not before feeding the baby, wrestling the toddler into her clothes, choosing to turn a blind eye because she wants to wear a tutu even though it’s minus two degrees out there, because if you choose to fight it, you know there’ll be screaming and tears (maybe your own). Slapping on some eyeliner and maybe a little concealer to hide the rings under your eyes before rushing out to fight through the morning traffic, praying you gave the nanny all the instructions she needed for today.
Your husband told you he had a Very Important interview that day. That he’d be in the back room and he’d be unavailable for 20 minutes or so. You understood, because you’ve been there, trying to type up an email for work, or book a doctor’s appointment over the phone, or maybe just go to the bathroom without someone trying to climb your leg, or wail as though they’d lost a limb. You knew you had a job to do, but there were other jobs that needed your attention that day too. Maybe cooking, and picking up the zillions of Legos they’d dropped, and trying to get a baby vomit stain out of your shirt.
You thought you had it all in hand.
You raced in, well aware that this was a catastrophe. The toddler howled, of course, so you did what you had to, and dragged her protesting little body out of there, remembering to close the door behind you.
Your husband handled it graciously, pausing to laugh at the situation, waiting while you got everything under control again.
When it was over, one of his colleagues praised him, tweeting:
While another tweeted:
But I saw you – racing through the house to rescue the situation. Leopard-crawling out of the room with a wriggly toddler and a busy baby. Keeping it together so your husband could keep it together.
You were the unsung hero in this story. All credit to you.
Have you ever been fatefully interrupted by your kids while trying to keep your professional cool? Share your stories with us by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish them!