Trying to arrange a date night during the growing coronavirus pandemic isn't easy for parents, so sometimes you've just got to get creative, particularly when the kids are home and needing to be entertained. What's a parent to do? Might I suggest following in the footsteps of Ben Moore, a creative dad who hosted a fancy dinner party for his kids while quarantined at home and charmed the entire internet in the process? However, I must warn you — you're going to need a tuxedo.
Moore, a reporter for the BBC, tells Romper he and his wife, former BBC News presenter Ellie Crisel, were having a bit of a hard week. "Like most families we were juggling working from home and home schooling," he says. So he thought it might be nice to try a date night on Saturday. He tells Romper his two kids, 12-year-old son Milo and 5-year-old daughter Nancy, "got wind of this and wanted to make us dinner and serve us."
Of course, that all sounds sweet in theory, but all parents know this kind of set-up can be a bit challenging. So Moore decided to switch it around and serve the kids. Perhaps because of all the time spent inside during the coronavirus outbreak, Moore tells Romper "the kids took it really seriously and went and got changed into their party outfits."
So he decided to take it seriously, too. I mean, really seriously. Like wore a tuxedo and put good flowers on the table and everything — it was magical. Even as his wife, who was filming the event to share with their grandfather, tries to cover up her giggles.
As Moore serves the kids their dinner of chicken with potatoes and vegetables, he brings his son Milo a bottle of milk and presents it like the finest of champagnes. "Sir, the March 2020 vintage, would you care to try it?" he says to his son, who, totally straight-faced, responds "Yes please" then swirls it in his glass. "It has a good nose on it," his father says.
As for his daughter, he needs to cut her chicken for her and discreetly points out, "Chicken can be difficult to eat at the best of times."
The video, which Moore tells Romper was initially shared at the prompting of his father, has been viewed more than 2.5 million times since it was posted on Saturday.
As for the kids, Moore tells Romper they "loved the dinner party and really seemed to be learning a lot — that's why they're so quiet in the video — they're not usually that well behaved! We're back to fishfingers and beans on toast now."
Now that millions of parents are home with their kids for extended periods of time, everyone is going to be looking for ways to survive and thrive during the quarantine. Being playful with your kids and throwing dinner parties like this is just one idea to help get through, but Moore has some other helpful recommendations, too.
"It's good time to try and bring your kids into your world a bit more," Moore says. "So throwing them a dinner party where perfect table manners are expected, doing some cooking with them, or teaching them some life skills like changing a bike tire... the stuff you usually do as adults alone because involving the kids would be too much hard work." Might as well make the best of a difficult time, right?
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.