Face Time: An Interview with my Kids

Summer’s perfect for quality time with kids, but I’ve got to say, sometimes I think I’m getting a little more quantity than quality. We eat three meals a day together, but the current favorite meal-time discussion topic for my kids? “Tooting.” That’s edgy language to my two-year-old, and when she says it she always gets big laughs from her siblings, so it’s her favorite word these days.

In a quest for a little different line of discussion, my mind drifted to the set of interview questions I’d asked my kids in the previous summers. Looking back, I realized I haven’t done this interview in three years.

That makes enough time for my little #5 to have been born and then develop enough language skills as a two-year-old to participate in this interview. As for our baby, I’ll just have to wait on hearing his words.

In previous years I asked the last questions with Mom as the subject, but since Father’s Day is upon us, it seemed appropriate to switch the subject to Dad this year. I’m not sure how many more years my oldest kids will be willing to do these interview questions, but I do enjoy seeing the personality snapshot of each child right now. My oldest daughter cracks jokes about politics, and my youngest daughter cracks jokes about, well…cracks.

I sat down with each child individually, and they each had my full attention for about ten minutes. So much of the time, life around here runs en masse. Sitting with my kids one on one and talking to them was a great reminder of how much I enjoy each of my kids’ individuality.

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Happy Father’s Day to that big guy in the middle from the whole crew. (Photo taken at a lovely rest stop with “Poisonous Snakes,” somewhere in South Dakota.) 

If you have a few minutes and you can find a willing (or at least semi-willing) child, give them an interview! If you have a toddler handy, definitely do this. Little toddler minds are just the best. You never know what you’ll get…

Here are the questions I used and the answers I got from my kids, with each child labelled by age.

What was the happiest day of your life?
11: Having a sleepover with my friends.
10: There are a lot of good days, but probably when I rode on Thomas the train the day Thor was born and coming home to see a new brother.
7: Probably when I met Isabelle (his friend).
6: Me being born. Because otherwise I wouldn’t exist.
2: My mom got me a sweatshirt.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
11: Either world peace or not have Donald Trump be the president. Either one would result in world peace. (laughter)
10: Instead of running things on coal, oil…things that emit pollution, change things to running on solar, wind, use energy like that.
7: It can be anything? Oooh. Shelby.
6: I would change that in our house, even if someone made a mess, it would just go right away.
2: My dress.

When were you most afraid?
11: When Donald Trump became president (cracks up laughing).
10: There haven’t really been many instances where I was really afraid.
7: When I went rock climbing at Eagle Bluff, 30 feet high.
6: I was the most afraid of that “America’s Got Talent” video where they were doing dangerous things.
2: Bad animals, that bad dog eat me all up. And my doll has eyeballs and makeup.

What do you want to do for a job?
11: Be an elementary teacher.
10: Be a computer technician.
7: Do the Mosdal Scale System business.
6: Two things: I want to be a mom and a masseuse.
2: I want to do this much and be taller (stretches her arms big).

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
11: Any other president. Mom and Dad.
10: Water, or food. Computers.
7: Hooks.
6: Food. Because of course you can’t live without food. And you can’t live without a mother.
2: I can’t live with no shirt on. (Actually, she often does.)

Describe your perfect day.
11: A day where I could do anything I wanted and have lots of slushies and ice cream and stuff.
10: I would get a Nintendo Switch, there are a lot of things, but not enough time for a day. Wisconsin Dells, pancakes for breakfast, pizza for lunch, supper would be salmon.
7: If Shelby diappeared.
6: Go to a castle.
2: Silverware. I farted.

Who are your friends?
11: Lauren, Lindsey, Sophie, Indy
10: Grant, Kyle, Holdyn, Rowan, Ryan and Daniel
7: Isabelle. That’s it. She’s my best friend ’cause she’s my only friend.
6: Eliza, Elin, Ellie, Isabelle, Cassie
2: Tillie and Mom.

What was Dad like as a child?
11: He was probably a little stinker.
10: Reckless.
7: I don’t know.
6: I think he had lots of friends.
2: He was like this tall (holds hands close together), and he was a baby.

What does Dad do when you’re not around?
11: Watch TV.
10: Pretty much the same things he’d do when I am around.
7: Makes oatmeal cookies for himself.
6: Normally in the shop.
2: Dad is supposed to not have me wash windows. Just Isaac.

What’s Dad’s favorite food?
11: Steak.
10: Steak, a T-bone.
7: Oatmeal cookies.
6: Spaghetti.
2: He loves to eat his food.

What’s Dad really good at?
11: He’s really good with tools and stuff.
10: His job.
7: Making scales.
6: Working with metal.
2: He’s good at doing work in the shop.

What’s Dad really bad at doing?
11: Hmm…putting us to bed.
10: I’ve haven’t really witnessed him doing things badly.
7: Not getting work done.
6: Doing his homework, because he doesn’t have any. (giggles)
2: He’s supposed to not go to hospital. That’s why my dad’s not sick.

What’s Dad’s favorite place?
11: His shop.
10: Oshkosh.
7: On the couch watching TV while eating oatmeal cookies.
6: His shop.
2: He likes to live in a house by me and you and everyone else.

How do you know your dad loves you?
11: He hugs me, because that’s what dads do.
10: Because he has me come out and help him with his work.
7: By saying thank you for coming out and helping him.
6: Because he has said it multiple times.
2: He loves me and you and…(lists all family members multiple times)…and I love him.

Go find a willing kid, and take a few minutes and ask a few questions. Their responses become like a little time capsule into their personalities if you repeat the questions over the course of a few years. Maybe it could be a Father’s Day tradition…

Wishing a happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there, the ones here on earth and the ones we miss up in heaven.

Written June 12, 2017

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