Jimmy Kimmel isn’t new to fatherhood, but it’s been a while since he’s had a toddler running around the house — until now.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host sat down with Jess Cagle, Editorial Director of PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly, to talk about a milestone he and his wife Molly McNearney are working on with their 2-year-old daughter Jane.
“We’re potty training her right now. And maybe this is some kind of karmic punishment for my time on The Man Show, but she wants to take her potty on the trampoline,” says Kimmel, whose early-2000s Comedy Central series costarring Adam Carolla featured a slow-motion segment of women in revealing clothing jumping on trampolines.
“And she’ll only go to the potty on the trampoline, which is insane,” Kimmel, 48, adds through laughter. “But that’s her. She’s a weird kid.”
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Cagle asks Kimmel what the best and worst things about parenting a 2-year-old are, and the proud dad can’t help but focus on the positive.
“Everything’s great about it — even the bad things are great,” he admits. “When I come home, the level of excitement is something that you really can only get from a pet. She goes crazy.”
But of course, there are slight drawbacks to having a little person who loves you with every emotion she has.
“She screams when I leave for work every day — that’s the worst part of it,” he says. ” ‘Daddy, please!’ It’s just like, ‘I have to go to work!’ She doesn’t understand this.”
Kimmel is also dad to son Kevin, 22, and daughter Katie, 25, from a previous marriage. He shares that his grown children both live in Los Angeles, with Kevin working in television and Katherine as an artist.
“I’m more patient, I’m more confident,” he says of how his parenting experiences are different now than they were over 20 years ago. “I didn’t make any money when I was in radio and I got fired a lot.”
He adds, “It’s stressful enough to get fired and have to move to another town, but when you have little kids, it’s even more stressful. So it’s easier this time around, and I’m glad because I’m busy.”
Kimmel also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday and shared more details about his current life as a potty-training dad.
“There’s a new thing where you just let ’em run around the house with no pants on for a week,” he joked to Ellen DeGeneres, clarifying that the point is to encourage her toward the potty.
“We have this Elmo potty — it’s like pooping on a slot machine,” he adds. “All sorts of noises are happening.”
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Kimmel shares that Jane has an affinity for a certain drink she’s a little young for yet, but is still curious about.
“She also likes coffee,” he jokes. “Not real coffee. She sees my wife, Molly, and I drinking coffee in the morning. And so I’ll make her, like, a foamed milk and I’ll put it in a coffee cup and then she has her pinky out.
“But now, when we go to get coffee at a coffee shop, she wants to get something,” he continues. “We’re driving, and I hear her whining in the backseat. And I say, ‘What’s wrong?’ And she says, ‘I just want a vanilla yatte.’ “
— Jen Juneau