Late night talk show host James Corden is father to three kids, ranging in age from six and a half months to seven years. Although he says his wife Julia Carey, is a great mother and he loves being a dad, he admits not everything with children is easy. As a matter of fact, some formerly enjoyable routines have become downright arduous. Like dining out. James calls process of preparing and going to a restaurant with his kids “a nightmare.”
James Corden is a dad, a television host and an accomplished actor and singer who can belt it out and drive at the same time, but there’s one task he has yet to master: taking his family out to eat.
In a new interview with PEOPLE Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle, the father of three — he and wife Julia Carey share daughters Charlotte, 6 months, and Carey, 3½, plus son Max, 7 — admits going to a restaurant with his entire brood is usually “not worth” all the hassle.
“It’s just a nightmare. I got back from Liverpool on Sunday, and we thought, ‘Let’s take the kids out. Let’s go for lunch.’ I mean, it’s a joke,” says Corden, 39. “We actually went to a place at the end of our road for lunch, and we looked like we were fleeing the country. We had that much stuff. It’s absurd.”
“I understand, now, why my parents just used to not do anything with us on the weekend, ’cause it’s too much hassle,” adds the star. “The bags and the stroller, and the baby here and there’s wipes everywhere, and Sudocrem, and she’s got a sore bum.”
“You’re asking for the check before you’ve sat down,” explains Corden. “You’re just shoveling pasta and butter into one of their mouths as you’re trying to eat yours. You have to leave a huge tip, because the place is covered in crayons. And it’s just not worth it.”
My gawd, but this is so true. For me, it was only slightly better at home but that’s because I gave up and allowed my children to act out at the table simply so I could sit down for a minute. I’m sure many of you mastered the art of dining with children but I co-sign everything James said from the ridiculous amount you have to pack to how much time you spend not eating your own food. And I would add that you have to endure this torment while eating at one of only three kid-approved restaurants whose menus (and food) is likely plastic.
However, it does get better as they age – phenomenally better. Meals, whether at home or out, are now some of my favorite moments of each day. Like lunch yesterday, when my kids and I discussed Malala Yousafzai (my son just read her book), how fascist regimes come to power and the current situation at the US/Mexico border. Although not a ‘fun’ lunch topic, it was a valuable discussion and one people across the world are having. People like James who, although presently filming his show in London, took a moment to address it with his audience. James, who is a Brit but works in the US, said, “I don’t think this is an American political issue. I think this is simply a human decency issue.” I agree. And I’d add that it is also not a parent vs. non-parent issue. Anyone with an ounce of compassion is horrified by this atrocity. I think many of us are looking for ways to help and nothing feels like enough. But we still have to try. The Cut provided some good options and James posted the web address for RAICES Texas who provides legal representation and the immigration bond that allows children to rejoin their parents. That website is www.raicestexas.org.
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