Raising six children would be a challenge for many, but raising them before the prying eyes of the paparazzi is unquestionably tough. In the effort to "keep as much normalcy" as they can for Maddox Chivan, 7, Pax Thien, turning 5 this month, Zahara Marley, 3 ½, Shiloh Nouvel, 2, and twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline, 4 months, Brad Pitt said today on The Oprah Winfrey Show that he and partner Angelina Jolie have at least one rule that is almost always adhered to.
"We do things as a family, and we keep everyone together."
That sense of unity is on full display during the kids’ weekly "inadvertent" slumber party, hosted by their sleepy parents. "They have it set up where we’ll put them to bed, read the stories, and one will show up about a half hour later and can’t sleep, and want to read more books," Brad explains. "We’ll do that for about an hour and a half, then they’ll go to sleep, and we’ll just be fading off when someone else [gets up]." He jokes,
"I know they’ve got shifts. They’ve got it worked out where it’s like, ‘At 2:30, you pee the bed, and then you go crawl in their bed.’ So, yeah. We do [slumber parties] once a week."
Telling host Oprah Winfrey that he "can’t imagine life" without his family of eight, Brad — like Angelina before him — sounds eager to expand their brood. "We really enjoy it," he says. "It’s the thing I’m most proud of, the greatest endeavor we’ve ever taken on and the most interesting, most fulfilling, most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced." He asks,
"Why should I stop?"
Click ‘more’ to read about the Jolie-Pitt’s plans for the holiday and Christmas traditions.
Despite their best efforts, Brad admits that it’s unlikely that the kids will ever get used to the photographers who document their every move. "Their idea of the world is, we get in the car and we’re going out, and there’s 20-30 people standing there that want to take their pictures," he explains. "This is their idea of the world at large." While the couple have tried to explain the paparazzi presence in child-friendly terms, reassuring them that the photographers are "a little weird, but alright," at least one of their children was not easily persuaded. "Our little one Zahara said, ‘Actually Daddy, it’s not alright,’" Brad revealed. Asked by a viewer what he would envision for his family if they could be guaranteed at least one day out of the spotlight, Brad’s answer was telling.
"I would like to tear down my fences. I’d like to tear down my gates. I’d like to be able to see my neighbors, and my kids to be able to run in … their yards, and our yard, and wave at every car that went by. I’d like to have a big barbecue, and see the ice cream truck."
Calling the twins "lovely," Brad said that Knox resembles him, while Vivienne takes after Angelina. Her hospitalization in France in the weeks leading up to the birth was simply a precaution because of her previous C-section with Shiloh, Brad revealed. After welcoming their two newest additions, the couple had occasional help at night because they "wanted to be there" for the older children during the day; They opted against full-time help at night, however, because they wanted to "be part of that experience" as well. "In the beginning, it was mainly us, trying to do both shifts," Brad said. When asked how they managed, Brad shrugged and replied "mothers do it…hats off to all the parents out there." As for the older children, they have embraced their newest siblings with ease.
"We made sure … they know that just because the babies have arrived it doesn’t mean that they’re any less important. It’s worked out really well. They’re really sweet with [the twins], and loving. They take care of them. They have a real pride in it. It’s really nice to see."
When it comes to discipline, Brad said that he’sin charge of the boys, noting sarcastically that "the girls do no wrong." While the family does have a ‘time out’ chair, Brad joked that he spent more time in it than anyone else! As for whether he’s ever been truly on his own with all the kids at once, Brad admitted that four appears to be his limit — "so far." He added with a laugh,
"I hope to advance to six."
Next month the Jolie-Pitts will travel to one of the kids’ birth countries for the holidays, for the family has an annual tradition of alternating Christmases spent at home in New Orleans with Christmases spent overseas. While the locale might change, some things do not. "One gift on Christmas Eve, and the next morning we go wild," Brad revealed. Teaching the children about their origins remains a priority for the couple, who consider themselves "nomadic" in nature.
"It’s very important to us that they understand where they came from and have pride in where they came from, and that that’s shared amongst everyone."
To read more excerpts from the interview, click here.
Brad’s newest film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, opens Christmas Day.
Source: The Oprah Winfrey Show