Camille Williams and Cory Hepola shouldn’t have any problems coming up with material for their new podcast, “Hey, They Grow Up So Fast.” As the parents of Cormac, 4, and twins Senia and Sevi, 3, their daily lives give them plenty of fodder for the show.
The podcast “is all about the kids, and they are growing up so fast,” said Williams, communications director for the city of Brooklyn Park. She formerly shared a weekend anchor desk at KARE 11 with her husband before he joined WCCO-AM to anchor a morning show, “Hey, It’s Cory Hepola.”
“Lots of stories around them. Every day, like today.”
What happened today?
“I was the middle of doing my hair. I was late to work. It was just bad,” said Williams.
Yes, we’re talking about a monumental diaper disaster.
“He had a beyond poopy diaper. It was really bad,” she said.
Added Hepola (who, for the record, wasn’t home at the time and therefore couldn’t offer any help): “It’s stories like that that we really wanted to connect with others on, too. We’ll share stories and get personal in our own lives, but the goal is to connect with other local celebrities on their lives as parents.”
They hope podcast guests will include married WCCO-TV co-anchors Amelia Santaniello and Frank Vascellaro, whose three kids, who include twins, are way beyond diapers.
Q: Cory, does everything you do have to include the word “Hey”?
A: Yeah. So I’m glad you noticed. [Big smile.] That’s all kind of a part of the, if you want to say, the branding we’re doing. For me, it’s more of a conversational [device].
Q: Which one of you guys is “the enforcer,” the tough parent?
C.W.: I think it might be me. I say “might” because sometimes you [Cory] are the enforcer, but I feel like I’m more the one sticking to the schedule. We purposely do that ’cause we don’t want them to think “I can get whatever I want when I go to Dad” because they are really smart, those kids. They start to strategize.
C.H.: I’d agree with that. But I wouldn’t say she is really tough and I’m really easy. It’s not like that.
Q: I’m going to guess that you run a no-spanking household?
C.W.: That’s right. I grew up having, we used to call ’em licks [she applied air quotes]. I just didn’t want to have that for my kids. No one’s a perfect human. I’m not. I felt like there were some issues I had after that experience. I don’t want my kids to think they can’t talk to us about tough situations.
C.H.: I never got in trouble. [Camille laughs.] I didn’t grow up in a spanking household.
Q: Cory, you were never rebellious?
A: Not really. I didn’t drink till I was 21. I just never wanted to get in trouble. I never wanted to disappoint. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do things wrong. My parents got angry with me.
That seventh-, eighth-grade range I would do stupid stuff that would get my parents [asking], “What are you doin’?” I didn’t stay out late. I was late for my curfew, which was 10 p.m., by five minutes once, and I called and told my dad ahead of time, and when I walked in the door he just laced into me, verbally. “Don’t ever do that. I will get you suspended from the basketball team.” So I’m not late.
Q: How old will your child have to be for you to pay for him or her to get a tattoo?
C.W.: I would only pay for their tattoo if it was going to have, like, my name on it or my picture, “Love Mom,” which I think my youngest will do because he is just a lovey-dovey little boy.
C.H.: If they want to get a tattoo at 18 or whatever, that’s fine. At 18, [they’re] paying for it. Under 18, we’re probably not going to pay.
Q: What are you going to do if one of your kids decides he or she doesn’t want to attend church, Camille?
A: Uhm, if they are in our household, they are always going to church. Maybe they’ll say no, but then we’ll have to enact the beatings. [Uproarious laughter.] I’m just kidding.
Q: Would Cory participate in a group father-daughter dancing extravaganza with Senia, Camille?
A: Yes, definitely. He would dominate, too.
C.J. has retired. This is her last column for the Star Tribune.