Remember when, in 2017, Professor Robert Kelly's kids ran into the room while he was being interviewed on the BBC? His wife bolted into the room after them and dragged them out? It was the cutest thing ever? Well, it's happened again, this time to Dr. Clare Wenham.
Dr. Wenham was recently speaking to the BBC when, all of a sudden, a yellow flash entered the screen. It was her daughter Scarlett. And while Dr. Wenham proceeded to try to speak seriously about protective coronavirus measures, her daughter stood in the background, trying to decide which shelf should house her unicorn drawing. It's an instant classic.
Clare gets in a few good words about what the idea of local lockdowns will mean for the country, but quickly, the interviewer switches gears and asks Dr. Wenham what her daughter's name is. When she replies, "She's called Scarlett," he then says, "Scarlett, I think it looks better on the lower shelf," then adds, "And it's a lovely unicorn."
He tries to get on with the interview, but Scarlett is all in now, and she walks up to her mum and repeatedly asks, "What's his name?" He introduces himself as Christian, Scarlett says, "I'm just deciding where it can go, where mummy wants it to go."
It's one of the cutest things you'll ever see, and interviewer Christian Fraser was a great instigator for the hilarious exchange. The video clip obviously went extremely viral. In addition to being adorable and funny, it highlights a real problem many parents face during the coronavirus.
People who've never had to worry before are now realizing how impossible it is to parent and work full-time. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown "the work-parent balance," as Dr. Wenham puts it, completely out of whack.
Coincidentally, Scarlett wasn't the only little kid to barge in on a television interview this week. On Sky News, Deborah Haynes, the channel's foreign affairs editor, was being interviewed when her young son entered the room asking for biscuits. It's an urgent matter if I ever heard one.
She can be heard telling him he could have two before attempting to return to the interview, but it gets cut short, a move which netted some negative criticism.
"She was multi-tasking just fine and had resolved the whole thing. Did he really cut off the interview at the point when the biscuit negotiation had already been concluded?" writes Samira Ahmed.
"This mum had it under control, very poor she was cut short," someone else wrote. "Embarrassing for the mum and very short-sighted of the news presenter. It's stressful enough working from home with children. The new normal means we should embrace these types of moments."
There's no arguing that Christian Fraser was much more delighted than the Sky News anchor to have a child interrupt the interview. Some suggested that the interview may have cut off due to legal reasons — perhaps it wasn't cleared for Deborah's son to be on camera.
However, she could have continued just with audio, and the interviewer didn't seem to want to do that. The pandemic is an absolutely impossible time for parents, and interviews like Dr. Clare Wenham's and Deborah Haynes's are simply widely broadcasted examples of what so many are dealing with on a daily basis. A little understanding and kindness in situations like this would go a long way.