So a political boffin was doing a live TV interview, when his small children crashed the scene. Boffin remains remarkably composed, meanwhile said children are extracted from the room by their mother. Hilarious viral video ensues. Children videobomb South Korea expert’s live BBC interview! When the Kids Crash Your BBC Interview! Professor Robert E. Kelly’s live BBC interview interrupted by children!
Anyone who is remotely familiar with kids has been wetting their pants. Poor guy, all he was trying to do was work from home. Let this be a lesson to all: once children can reach the door handle, chaos cannot be contained.
The comedy gold of this video is the juxtaposition of the domestic and the professional. These are serious men, talking serious topics, wearing serious suits. And then suddenly, a dancing preschooler… now wait for it, here comes the baby! The kicker is the woman scrambling back in to shut the door. It’s better than the circus. But it’s only funny because they don’t belong. The children and their mother were meant to stay on the other side of the door, being very quiet. We were never meant to know they were there.
This is not funny at all. Because this is how the world is run – men closing the door on the feminine domestic to do Serious And Important Things – things which they are enabled to do because tending to children and home is someone else’s responsibility. Now I don’t know this guy, he could be a very hands on father (he quite obviously does at least some of his work from home). For all I know, the reason he doesn’t get up and deal with the children himself is that he is not wearing any pants.
But pants or not, in the majority of family units, workplaces, and halls of power, this is exactly how it goes. Fathers rarely have to juggle childcare arrangements to stay back late, go on a work trip, or do a live BBC interview. Parenthood is not a barrier to workforce, social or political participation for fathers to nearly the same extent it is for mothers.
What’s that you say? Mothers work too? Of course we do. So now imagine this video featuring a female boffin being crashed by her adorable children. Would we be laughing? Or would we be criticising her? Couldn’t she keep her kids out of there even for two minutes? Completely and utterly unprofessional. And they’re so young, clearly missing their mother, why is she back at work so soon anyway? Not to mention that baby walker, everyone knows they’re dangerous. Why do women even have kids if they’re just going to put them in those things instead of paying them proper attention? Tut tut.
I have written this with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest, and in the three separate attempts it’s taken, my older children have busted in to the room a bunch of times. Could I have written more coherently without the distraction (actually don’t answer that)? I could certainly fulfil more of my potential if I had more time or was actually paid to use my brain. But as tedious and frustrating as getting stuff done with children underfoot can be, I’m thankful for it. It keeps me grounded. I am never able to get so caught up in Important Things that I can forget that vulnerable people have immediate needs. Imagine how different the world could be if fathers had to work around those needs more often.