Back in June, I was on CBSNews.com to talk about the after-school special that is Tom Brady, Roger Goodell and the (still) never-ending Deflategate melodrama. This isn't about that. This is about how I had to bribe my then-three-year-old for 15 minutes' peace to do the interview in the first place.
With preschool over, weekdays consist of me and the little guy finding ways to amuse ourselves until 3:30pm. Most days, it's easy. Writing from home means I can dress like a hobo while my kid runs around the house pretending to be Darth Vader. Yes, it involves me answering some form of the same question roughly 200 times, but it could be worse.
But when I'm forced to talk to folks outside my house, whether on the radio or through Skype or whatever, thing things become slightly more complicated.
Usually, I'll prep the three-year-old with some version of, "Okay, here's the deal: Daddy has to make an important phone call so I need you to sit on the couch and watch Backyardigans. And unless it's an emergency, YOU CAN NOT GET UP. Got it? Great!"
Invariably, my son will sashay into the room where I'm talking on the phone and proceed to have a conversation with me about LEGOs, our dog, cheese -- no topic is too obscure. And there really is no rhyme or reason to it other than, like clockwork, he'll show up to interrupt me minutes after agreeing to, you know, not interrupt me.
So when CBSNews.com called to set up the interview, it pretty much meant that I'd need to incarcerate the little guy.
And that's exactly what I did.
Fifteen minutes before CBS called, I had him use the bathroom (this is the oldest trick in the book -- put him somewhere only to have him yell, 'I NEED TO GO POTTIES!' seconds later), then I put him in his bed, gave him the iPad, fired up Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and told him to enjoy the show while giving him the same old "Daddy has to make an important phone call" speech.
But this time, I also put up a baby gate outside his bedroom, essentially locking him in. Because we all know he'd end up downstairs to see what I was up too, and nothing classes up a pretending-to-be-serious interview like a three-year-old walking through the shot asking you for a refill on his chocolate milk.
Miraculously, everything went off without a hitch. The interview wasn't a complete disaster, and the little man seemed to thoroughly enjoy that 15-minute break from his old man.