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.
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?
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: ’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?
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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