More: Tell me about fatherhood.
COD: It is great. It is something I always wanted and something that was always important to me. My parents were very family oriented and always made it about the family. They were the type of parents who stayed home with the kids, had fun and kept track of where we all were. I love being a dad because it tests your endurance and strength every day. I spend my days juggling work, my children, keeping a career and my marriage in a good place. There is a lot going on, but I am working hard at it all.
More: Have the children ever done anything that made you blow your top?
COD: Sure. There are varying degrees of that. I can tell their moods just by the type of cry they are giving off and they can tell when I am not screwing around by the way I reprimand them. There are certain things kids will do at different stages, and they get your point just by your tone. As my kids get older, they all do different things.
More: Such as?
COD: Right after we moved into our new house a year ago, our six-year-old disappeared at night and was gone for, like, four hours. We had the cops here, neighbors looking for him, the whole thing. Turned out he climbed into a cabinet at the house next door. At one point he thought it was funny. When he realized the police were looking for him, he got scared and hid because he was frightened. Look, he was six, and I am not sure he understood at first he was doing anything wrong, but it was a very serious thing.
More: What did you do?
COD: You don’t know what to do. You are scared, yet you also need to parent. The worst part was, when you look around you learn there is no parent manual to walk you through a situation like this. I will say this: my wife, Caroline, is much more level headed when it comes to this stuff than I am. I tend to freak out a bit more than she does. That is where the good cop/bad cop comes in. We really pull together as a team.
More: If my child was missing, I would go into cardiac arrest.
COD: It was pretty scary, and I have never seen my wife get the way she did. She really thought someone took our child. Here we were in a new neighborhood, it was dark, and our child was just gone. I mean, we scoured every inch of the neighborhood looking for him—so, yes, it was scary.
More: Will you follow in your parents' footsteps and have two more?
COD: No. We closed up shop around here. We are good right where we are.
More: Another admirable quality of yours—you are putting your celebrity to good use by trying to keep people healthy. Tell me why you chose to get involved.
COD: Yes, I am really passionate about this. The Fluzone Intradermal (fluzone.com) is an alternative to the flu vaccine adults have been getting for years. Doctors are now using a much smaller needle, 90 percent smaller to be exact, so all you feel is a tiny prick for a second. As a father of five, I am very concerned about getting my flu shot because I don’t know what the kids are dragging in the door.
More: You play a real tough guy on TV, so getting a needle once a year must be a piece of cake.
COD: I hate getting shots and am always the last to get one. However, when my doctor showed me the size of this needle and why this would be painless, I decided to partner up with Sanofi Pasteur to help raise awareness about the importance of staying healthy. Two thirds of the population between the ages of 18 and 64 don’t get the flu shot, and I am hoping that people will change their minds and take the time to get vaccinated, because the flu can be especially harmful to infants and the elderly.
NCIS: Los Angeles airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
Click here to read Jami Gertz’s Second Act and What Led to Her Reinvention.