Jake Tapper Interviews His Kids About How He's Doing as a Dad

I believe it was Ovid who once said that fatherhood is . . . Wait a minute! Who am I kidding? I’m not particularly skilled at writing about myself.

So why not try what I know best and inter-view my son, 9, and daughter, 11, about how I’m doing as a dad? The shocking results, after a short break.

JAKE: I want to talk to you about what it’s like with me being your dad.

SON: I’m kind of doing something.

JAKE: What are you doing?

SON: I’m writing my Lego police movie. [Later]

JAKE: What could I be better at as a dad?

SON: Not yelling.

JAKE: You really think I yell a lot?

SON: Your voice is too loud.

MOM: That’s just his voice. But he needs to learn to make it softer.

SON: I don’t like your angry eyebrow.

Getty ImagesNBC

JAKE: What is my best thing as a dad?

SON: [Makes fart sounds with mouth, then pauses to think] I don’t know.

MOM: What’s something you enjoy doing with Dad?

SON: Nothing.

MOM: I know something: art!

SON: Okay, fine. Art. [Bangs elbow on table] Ow, my arm! Out of nowhere I banged my elbow on the table! [Pauses] Liam is hoping his parents will buy some items from the Lego police website. Two police cars and two police officers.

JAKE: What do you—

SON: Shhh! Be quiet, Mr. Yell!

JAKE: The news is my job. How much do you pay attention to it?

SON: Not at all. I don’t care about the news. The only news I watch is Lego news.

MOM: That’s so true. [Laughs]

SON: LNN. Lego News Network. Next question.

Getty ImagesKirk Irwin

JAKE: Does it annoy you that some of your friends sometimes see me on TV?

SON: Yes.

JAKE: Why?

SON: ’Cause they always say stuff like [makes weird noise that sounds like “unyaunya unya”. They bug me about how they saw you on TV.

JAKE: Okay, we can end it here. Thanks for your time.

[JAKE gets up for a glass of water. SON sneaks onto the computer and types “hi butt man.” An hour later, DAUGHTER comes home from her friend’s house].

JAKE: Can I ask you a couple questions?

DAUGHTER: About what?

JAKE: I have to write an article about me as a dad. So I’m asking you and your brother a few questions.

DAUGHTER: Okay. Go on.

JAKE: What do I need to work on as a dad?

DAUGHTER: Being off your phone [pauses to think] and not worrying about the world around us and just spending some quality time with us.

JAKE: I spend quality time with you!

DAUGHTER: Yeah, I know. But sometimes you’re talking to Mom about whatever’s happening.

JAKE: What am I good at as a dad?

DAUGHTER: Everything. And giving us a lot of attention and making sure that we’re healthy and helping us with our homework and with issues that we have.

Getty ImagesScott Eisen

JAKE: Do you pay attention to the news?

DAUGHTER: I listen to whatever you and Mom say, and when something big happens I either get mad or happy or sad. Like with the shootings, I got mad. And sad.

JAKE: Is it weird that I report the news?

DAUGHTER: No. People do tease me about you. Like when I think I’m saying something about you, they think I’m bragging, even if it’s just like, “My dad and I went to see Ralph Breaks the Internet.”

JAKE: Do you wish I had a different job?

DAUGHTER: No.

JAKE: Does it annoy you when your friends see me on TV?

DAUGHTER: Sometimes when they do and say they saw you, I’m just like [noncha­lantly], “Oh, cool.” Because however they see you, I only see you as my dad.

Jake Tapper is CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and the host of The Lead. He’s also the author of the novel The Hellfire Club.

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