An Arizona couple experienced some serious postcoital buzzkill after their 6-year-old daughter woke up sobbing.
In a now-viral TikTok video, Matt Underwood announces to his wife, Jayci Underwood, that their daughter “is crying ‘cause she heard you screaming, and she wanted to make sure you were OK.”
Matt then tells Jayci, who is in bed filming, that she should go talk to her. (Matt and Jayci, both 31, asked that their children’s names not be used).
Jayci, agrees, and with her camera still rolling, she enters the first-grader’s bedroom. The room is dark and the child’s face is never shown.
“I heard you screaming and I wanted to know what’s wrong,” a tiny voice says. “But no one was answering me.”
“Our door was closed. I’m so sorry,” Jayci replies.
Through tears, the little girl explains that she thought her mom was being “hurt or something.”
“Oh, no, I’m not hurt,” Jayci assures her. “I’m sorry that I scared you.”
And then: a moment of comic relief.
“I also heard you ordering pizza,” the 6-year-old adds.
Jayci’s TikTok, which was posted on March 1, has now been viewed more than 38 million times. The influencer’s kids are not featured prominently on her TikTok.
“Do I think that kids should be used as content? Absolutely not. And do I think that you should pick up your phone and record your child in a distressed moment? Absolutely not,” Jayci tells TODAY.com. “But the reason I decided to post this was because I knew it would be so relatable and funny to adults.”
The clip was filmed five months ago, but Jayci saved it in her drafts and forgot about it until last week.
“We did a stay-at-home date night. The kids go to bed early,” Jayci tells TODAY. “We played a couple of games, we watched a movie and then we were intimate.”
After the deed was done, Jayci says she and Matt were “laughing” and joking around. The TV was also on and Jayci says her daughter may have heard it, as she’s “not loud” in bed. But she says it’s also possible she heard them “rolling around” in the bedroom.
“I felt terrible. She’s the most sensitive, sweet angel child. If mom or dad starts crying, she’ll cry, too,” Jayci says. “I hate that she thought I was in physical pain.”
Jayci says that she and Matt are “careful” and always lock their door when they have sex.
“We think she was calling out for us and we didn’t hear her, and that’s why it escalated the way it did,” Jayci says.
Thousands of people have commented in solidarity on Jayci’s post.
“My son once came in the room as quiet as a ninja, walked around to the other side of the bed and said, ‘Daddy, get off mommy,’” one mom wrote.
Added another, “I just went through this with my 8 yr old son. same thing. he was so scared. he even made the sound so I knew what he meant 😳 😂.”
But not all the comments have been kind. As one person wrote on Twitter, “am i the only one who doesn’t find this funny in the slightest…? if you have a child in the house why would you SCREAM during intercourse with your partner? children don’t know what you’re doing, and even if they did it’s incredibly disrespectful and traumatizing for them?”
Parenting and youth development expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa says people in the United States are squeamish when it comes to intimacy.
“We have a really strong Puritan base in our country that thinks sex is horrifying,” Gilboa tells TODAY.com. “In many cultures around the world, parents and children share a room. It doesn’t lead to higher rates of incest, sexual exploitation or any of the things we would appropriately worry about.”
Gilboa says that Jayci and Matt did the right thing: They went and comforted their daughter. Later, they also apologized for “playing too loudly.”
“We were playing and we were being too noisy is the perfect thing to say to a little kid,” Gilboa says. But if your child understands the birds and the bees, you should be honest with them.
“Don’t lie. There’s nothing shameful about having sex. The trauma is thinking that something wrong is happening,” she says. “You want to give your kids that idea that sex isn’t wrong — it’s just private”