Leona O'Neill on when work and 'weans' collide
It's time to shut off the internet, because one work-from-home father has just 'gone viral' in a cringe-worthy clip highlighting the perils of keeping your kids within interruption's reach of professional life – something Leona can definitely relate to
I THINK we can officially close down the internet now: a video of one father trying to work from home as a BBC expert will never, ever be beaten in terms of entertainment.
I'm sure you have seen it by now – if not it's further down this article – and cringed and laughed as poor Professor Robert Kelly, from Pusan National University, was being interviewed by BBC news about the very sombre situation in South Korea.
As Professor Kelly sat in his exceptionally tidy home office dressed in a suit and looking all professional, his little girl waltzed in behind him sporting a canary yellow jumper and a pair of cool sunglasses.
She did a comedy dance as she marched towards her father and parked herself on the edge of his desk, wondering who he was chatting to, as the scene was beamed live across the world.
walk into the club like pic.twitter.com/Dp4rcdI0pj— Valerie Loftus (@valerieloftus) March 10, 2017
As Professor Kelly tried to shoo his little girl back out, while not taking his eye off the camera, his baby boy rolls in enthusiastically in his walker, bright eyed, looking to see where the craic is.
Well, the craic was certainly in his dad's study, that was certain.
As the world looked on through their fingers and the commentator tried to keep it together without dying of 'the cringe', Professor Kelly's wife skids into the room, a look of horror on her face, and forcibly extracts the two yahoos with the skill and stealth of a ninja.
She grabs the girl by the arm with one hand and the baby walker – which suddenly wont fit through the door – with the other and crawls out into the hall, skidding back on her knees like a female James Bond to pull the door behind her.
The kids can be heard wailing in the hall as Dr Kelly apologises, composes himself and gets on with the interview 'like a boss'.
I cringed because I have been that soldier. I worked from home for years while bringing up my children. I have an office at home and my mum would mind the kids. I've been live on the radio while a child screams in another room because his brother has launched a small metal Thomas The Tank Engine across the room and hit him on the head.
I've kept my composure during important phone calls when a child has escaped the clutches of my mother and is banging and crashing just out of earshot and I have had my back against the door trying to keep a toddler out while I give my expert opinion on matters of the day.
These days I go into the studio for live interviews and I have a lock on the office door. I've been that soldier too many times and am battle scarred.
And besides, it's a lot easier to deal with unexpected visitors in your office while you're live on Radio Ulster than it would be to deal with them live on Al Jazeera TV.
Although I cringed for the man, I know that if it had happened to me, it would have been 10 times worse. The kids would have piled into the office – some of them arguing, others giggling like hyenas – the smoke alarm would be blaring, the dog barking, the husband shouting in his big booming Belfast accent at them all to 'give over, for God's sake', my Donegal mother in the middle of it all trying to calm everyone down and telling all present that there was nothing a good cup of tea wouldn't sort.
Kids don't give two hoots if you're live on TV if they want to have the craic or their brother has just hit them over the head with a yard brush, they don't want to wait until you've given your expert opinion on worldly matters to sort it.
They want it sorted, now.
But this hilarious incident just shows the human side to us all and I have no doubt that these memories will eventually, when Professor Kelly takes his head from his hands, become ones to cherish.
The fact that his daughter saunters in to the office so naturally and hilariously shows that it's a place they are comfortable in. They are used to visiting daddy at his work.
Family interruptions are normal. Life sometimes gets in the way of big, fancy important stuff you have to do. Things like this, as cute and hilarious as they are, remind us that we're doing all this stuff for our families.
I am just glad it didn't happen to me.