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So I was really going into this episode on a happy note and an open mind. I usually watch all of the J&K+8 episodes with an open mind actually, giving J&K the benefit of the doubt that they will smarten up and make life better for those children. I kind of wipe the slate clean when 9PM Monday evening rolls around.
Starts out with Jon saying they decided to take the kids to Sesame Place. Not really sure it was their idea or not, but that really doesn't matter, they were going. It was a hot day, Kate said it was "beastly hot". I guess I can give her a pass on that, even though her usage of the language has convinced me she isn't related to Daniel Webster. Jon later said it was 113 at the park, that the attendant told him that. I don't live too far from there, and it never gets that hot. Maybe the real feel, maybe the heat bouncing off the asphalt, but thermometer temperature didn't go over 99 degrees. That link is the maximum temperature for Langhorne PA on 6/10/08 when the Gosselins were there. The difference between 99 and 113 is HUGE. The average temp that day was 86.
Getting ready for the trip, Joel comes to Jon and reports that somebody pooped in the little potty, and that it was Aaden. Apparently, the tups need to do pee in the little potties and poops in the big potties. WTF? The reasoning is, four kids go on the same potty and dropping a load in there can make it overflow and splash. HUH? How disgusting is THAT? If they can manage to get on the big toilet to go poops without falling in and flushing themselves, then they can do pee while they are up there too. Sometimes when even adults go in there, we aren't sure what you are going to do. If I had to change pots between #1 and #2, someone would be sorry. I can go into the bathroom, clearly believing I just have to do a bladder splatter, and suddenly without warning, I'm launching a couple of torpedoes. It happens. Sh*t happens. Literally.
So Jon starts to grill Aaden to get him to admit it was him who pooped in the little potty. He never fessed up, but Jon kept saying how guilty he looked. From where I was sitting that wasn't a look of guilt on his face, it was a look of FEAR. Next time I hope he pees and drops the load right in his unawears. He got in trouble for pooping in the little potty, how much worse trouble could he have gotten in pooping in his pants?
The kids were running around the house, getting excited about the trip. They talked about going to see Elmo, which Kate said Alexis will love because Alexis "Lives in the world of TV." HUH? Thought these kids didn't watch TV and anyone who dared LET them watch anything except J&K+8 or LPBW would feel the wrath of Kate. In fact, all the kids were pretty well versed on the characters. Mind you, I have nothing against kids watching Sesame Street. It's a great show, with great messages and learning. It's that Kate gets up on that soapbox proclaiming her kids don't watch TV.
Jon came out ready to go, wearing a red T shirt with an American flag on it with "America" over it. Kate said "Oh no, it's not exactly the 4th of July" (you can only be patriotic one day a year?). Wuss that he is, he goes and changes into another T shirt, which Kate says "No, off, not allowed", and he goes to change again, and comes out in a nice pink polo shirt. Kate says "That is pink. It is ugly, it's worn out and it's old." He goes and changes again, now back into the original America shirt.
Kate fixes Alexis and Leah's hair, putting them in cool pony tails for the hot day. She even threatened to cut Alexis' hair like the boys. We see Hannah crying in Kate's lap, a fool can figure out Hannah didn't want her hair done, and we know Hannah gets to choose her hair fashion. So Hannah leaves with long, stringy hair in her eyes. It's time to leave, and Queen Bee Kate is sitting in the living room on her throne barking orders, the same place we saw her when the show opened. Jon is taking the kids outside through the garage, and he apparently can't even do that right. The kids are excited and they are noisy exiting the house. Kate barks "Just stand and cause noise and confusion in the dining room. Everything is a process, but not to you [Jon]." If he's not processing correctly, get off your lazy butt and go and help. She just doesn't know how to help. We now see Hannah in the garage trying to put on shoes. Oh no, I think, not another shoegate, I can't take it. Jon threatens to leave her home if she doesn't get her shoes on (yeah, good one, Jon, that would really happen), then Collin echos Jon's words and Hannah gets upset. I guess she got them on at some point off camera.
Cara and Collin find a small spider in the garage. Collin wants to put it in Cara's bed. Cara said to put it in Mady's bed. My vote is for Kate's bed. Cara and Collin seem happy playing with the small spider, then comes Leah and smashes it dead with the end of a flag stick. Cara starts to cry, Collin gets mad, Jon says "Good job" to Leah and tells Cara and Collin they can find more spiders.
The kids are finally herded into the assault vehicle and Jon starts to back up when we hear Kate screaming "NO STOP, you can't back up, you'll back up into the white van." He complains that she parked too close, why would she do that. He gets out, moves the white van, then pulls out in the blue one. The gas tank is on empty, so they have to go for gas. He says Kate ran it down. And of course, Kate doesn't do gas (or kids, or laundry, or cooking, or cleaning....etc., etc).
First thing they do is go on the carousel. Pretty nice. Everyone seemed happy. Kate tells us she told the twins to see the fun through the tups eyes and try to enjoy themselves. Great advice Kate, why don't you do that yourself at Crayola, or WDW, or at the pottery place, or cupcake place, or Gymboree, or Bounce U....or anyplace you take them. See the fun through THEIR eyes, be more concerned about them having fun. Screw the stains and the "hours and hours of stain removal." That's all BS anyway.
It's horribly hot there, finally we see Hannah's hair in a pony tail. Guess Hannah finally gave her OK. Kate has brought drinks along and she starts handing them out. Jon was right behind her, but apparently didn't jump at the chance to help Kate hand out eight drinks, so she shrieks "Jon you need to help, stop looking at your physique so much." He was standing there talking to a crew member, not flexing and not doing his muscle beach imitation or anything.
They went on the slide and they seemed to be having a pretty good time. They went for lunch and ate hot dogs, french fries and pickles. And the "O" word was never mentioned (organic, not Oprah). They kids didn't seem to be strangers to french fries, they weren't looking at them funny, or making any comments. Jon called it "healthy food", which made me laugh. Maybe Ronald McDonald has met them more times then they care to say. Again, I have nothing against fast food, as I have nothing against TV. Just don't put yourself on this "Holier than thou" pedestal when you aren't walking the walk. Kate tells Mady to find a table to sit with Cara. Mady tells her the only place she wants to sit is in the car for two hours, then go home. Wow. There is a kid with issues. Kate's reply: "You need sugar." Oh God, that's another whole eight paragraphs. Don't get me started.
Kate took the opportunity to mock Joel's lisp again. She imitated Joel meeting Zoe, saying "Oh Zoey, you are tho beautiful". Then he says "We watch you on TV." More TV that they never watch.
The kids meet the other characters in a private setting, and seemed to know them all. Knew a lot about them as well. After Kate hugged Big Bird, she said "Oh, he is so featherated, flust....flusterated." Like I said, no relation to Daniel Webster. Kate says they went home and watched Elmo's world videos, which they apparently owned and watched often. OK.
Kate complained that it took 2 hours to change the tups from their clothes to their bathing suits. OK, 3 adults, 6 kids equals 2 kids each, equals one hour each to change clothes? When I took my kids, they wore their bathing suits with an oversized T shirt over top to protect from the sun. Just took the T shirt off when they went in the water, put it back on when they came out. No need for street clothes at an amusement/water park. No need to change back into street clothes even for the ride home. They dried off in a snap in that sun, plus they stayed cool with the wet clothes on until they dried.
Jenny took the twins on the water raft 4 times and they had a blast! Sad to see the girls have that much fun with a caregiver and not their parents. Mady then said that was the best day of her life, which Kate points out is in stark contrast to Mady saying every single day that it is the worst day of her life. So sad.
They were putting the tups back into the strollers. Kate put two in with a towel under them, then Jon starts doing the same. Kate yells "STOP, take her out, there is a good way to do this and a bad way." Kate had to put the towel how SHE wanted it. Jon said "Why are you spazzing out?" LOVE IT.
Kate Webster announced it was "blazingly naptime." I'll try to translate. Either she was saving time saying "It is blazingly hot out, the kids are tired, and they will nap on the way home", or she really screwed up trying to say "It is blatantly obvious it is naptime". Who knows? The tups held out very well for the heat and activity.
Then everyone, kids, parents, Jenny, crew members and some Sesame Place crew went on the roller coaster three times (would not want to be standing in line in that heat behind them). Those kids are not going to know what it is like to wait in line, share with others and take turns. They are totally being raised in an immediate gratification environment. Even Kate said when they got to the park that "Oh, it's crowded." Not everyplace closes for you and your kids, Kate. It was obvious they had private parking, private dining room (it was empty and I can't imagine on a hot day people weren't in there at least for cover and cool), they had private showings with all of the characters, and a private "tour" of the Elmo's world set. They also did not wait in line for rides, were able to go multiple times without getting off. I'd say that's pretty damn good. You want everyone to vacate for you too?
Kate got in her usual quota of digs for Jon, having a large tummy, losing his hair, not having a clue, not helping, etc. She boasted that they must have been good and well behaved, as they were invited back. Gee when I left there, they would always say "Come back soon", and I really didn't take it as a personal invitation. But I'm not Kate.
On the interview couch, Kate did not look well. Her faced was puffed, her eyes didn't seem to be going in the same directions, she seemed tired and dazed and just not with it. Her mouth seemed wrong and her body language was horrid. I'm wondering if this is some cosmetic stuff gone wrong, or if she was ill... it certainly can't be from exhaustion -- one has to actually move and do things to get exhausted. She also looked like maybe she had just gotten up. She was leaning far away from Jon, and seemed to be almost dozing off a couple of times. What the heck is going on?
It was a cute episode, but I would have loved to see more of the kids playing in the water, and going on rides. Too much blapping from J&K. Aaden gave me my worst and best moment from the show. The worst was when Jon was grilling him about the poops, he looked so sad, and so scared. I could have just hugged him. And the best moment was Aaden saying "Where's Grover? I want to see Grover" and Grover was standing right there. Kate says he's right there. And without moving from where he was standing, just did a casual "Hi Grover" and that was it, that's all he wanted to do. It was amazingly cute!
I'm sorry for the rambling recap. Or, as Kate would say "ramblicating" or "rambulating", but she wouldn't say "I'm sorry." That's just not in Kate's dictionary.
Reprinted with permission by NancyAnne
Jon mocks Kate: "I'm following the most directionally challenged person on the planet."
Kate mocks Jon: "My husband used to have hair like you, Ernie," she says as she runs her hands through life-sized muppet hair.
Kate complains about the heat. "It was so beastly hot."
And a pretty dark-haired young woman rides down a water slide with the twins. I wonder to myself, "Who is that?" The usual introduction to "are" life with multiples rolls.
Welcome to Sunny Day! It's seven-thirty in the morning and Jon and Kate are getting the eight ready to travel to a Sesame Street themed amusement and water park. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I'm old enough to remember when Cookie Monster ate cookies, not vegetables. And Oscar was a trashcan-dwelling grouch. It's weird to have Oscar now a warm and fuzzy reader of bedtime stories who tucks little ones into bed. But I suppose it should give me hope. If Oscar can do it, maybe Katie the grouch can do it someday, too.
Alexis is the child who knows the Sesame Street characters best. "She lives in the world of TV." Guess she gets to watch a lot of TV down in the basement when she's awake in the middle of the night. Hide those credit cards, Jon and Kate. I see trouble ahead with Alexis and infomercials. The Jack LaLane juicer in my closet mockingly reminds me how enticing some of that TV crap can be at 3 AM.
The episode proper opens with Jon dressing boys in the living room. The outfits of choice are cute orange shirts paired with blue shorts. We get to hear (again) about how dressing the kids in bright colors makes it easy to keep track of them. I'm so damned dumb I need to be reminded of this prior to every Gosselin outing. As I ponder my denseness, I note that Jon's sideburns are eating his face and wonder if maybe some of those hair plugs slid down his cheeks.
Joel asks his father if Cookie Monster will be nice to him. Jon teases him that Cookie Monster might think Joel is a cookie, then acts out the eating of "cookie-Joel." Joel giggles, and it's a cute moment.
Next, we're treated to what I imagine is post-pottygate-damage-control. Some viewers were grossed out upon learning that the Gosselin home is strewn with toddler potties that sit throughout the day filled with urine and feces. Potties that are dumped, but apparently not washed, at the end of the day. On this episode, we learn that there's actually a rule that the little potties are only for "pee overflow," which apparently is the Katism for four or more people needing to go to the bathroom at once. But one of the 'tups has done a poop in a "yiddle potty." Aaden is fingered by a brother as the culprit and is confronted by Jon. Aaden says nothing, but Jon tells us that's the norm. Aaden won't confess, but "the guilt is written all over his face." Nice try on the potty explanation, but I don’t buy it. I grew up in a household with seven people and one bathroom, and there was no need for "overflow" potties. That's just gross.
Moving on, Kate dresses Alexis and fixes her hair while Jon tries to gain Kate's approval on a shirt for him to wear to the park. His first attempt is shot down. It's a red shirt that has a small flag centered in the word "America." "It's not exactly Fourth of July," Kate tells Jon. Jon decides to change out of that shirt, while Kate calls after him, "It's fine!" She doesn't want to waste an hour while Jon tries on shirts. Newsflash, Kate. If you don't want him to change, then don't criticize what he's wearing. Duh.
Jon appears in shirt number two. I barely get a glance at it before Kate declares, "Uh-huh. No. Not allowed." I have no idea what's wrong with it. Then we come to shirt number three. "That is pink!" God forbid. And technically, Kate, it's salmon so it's orange enough to fit the theme color of the day. But the salmon shirt is also deemed by Kate to be old and ugly, so it's out. Eventually, Jon ends up back in the first shirt he modeled for her. I swear, these people go all the way around the block to get next door.
Now that Jon has his wardrobe in order and the children are dressed, Kate -- in a yellow top that violates the color theme, I might add -- bellows from her reclining throne for Jon to get the kids outside into the garage. Jon asks where her keys are, and she doesn't know. "Look for them." Yeah, dummy. Next thing, kids are running around and screaming and Kate's yelling again for Jon to get the kids out of the house. Jon appears to be looking down the staircase into the basement, and Kate mockingly screams, "Let's stand and cause noise and confusion in the dining room. Everything's a process, but not to you." Whatever that means.
Jon gets the kids into the garage and starts getting shoes onto the girls. Hannah has a fit about her shoes being tight. Jon walks away, leaving her with only one shoe on, and tells her that they'll leave without her. I see that horrible door in the background with the peeling paint and wonder why they don't get a sound guy or production assistant to sand and repaint that thing while Jon's on the golf course.
In the garage, Collin plays with an ant before finding a tiny spider on the exercise trampoline. Cara and Collin are watching the spider, and Collin asks, "Do you want this spider to go in your bed?" Cara replies, "No," then suggests, "You could put it in Mady's bed." Shut up, Cara. Leah then approaches and uses the staff of a little American flag to kill the spider. Apparently Kate hasn't yet told her that it isn't exactly the Fourth of July. Collin is crushed over the death of the spider, and Cara tattles to dad. Jon thinks killing the spider is a good thing. Leah is proud of herself. And Cara offers a sarcastic, "Thanks for killing our spider, Leah!" Shut up again, Cara. In the confession chair, Mady defends Leah, saying that she thinks Leah believed Cara and Collin were trying to kill the spider. There's more sensitivity to Mady than some give her credit for having.
Back in the driveway, Jon is loading kids into the car and fastening car seat closures. When all the work is done, Kate appears and takes her seat in her 10-passenger chariot. All hail the queen. Jon gets into the driver's seat, complaining about the long drive ahead. He starts to back the van up and Kate screeches. It seems she parked the white van directly behind the family van the day before, and Jon almost hit it. While Jon grouses about Kate's parking choices, I wonder why he didn't notice the white van while he was out there loading kids into the big van. Jon moves the white van, backs out the big van, and then complains that they have to get gas "since mommy emptied the tank…she doesn't think." Way for parents to model respect and teach their children to respect them! Only, not.
Pre-commercial previews play and we hear that the park is "beastly hot" and "113 degrees." We see the pretty, dark-haired girl pushing a stroller with little Gosselins in it and I wonder again who she is. Kate barks, "Jon, you have to help me out…don't look at your physique so much!" Commercials play and I check the weather history of Langhorne, PA. Just as I suspected. Not a single triple-digit day so far this year. A hundred and thirteen my patooty.
After the commercial break, we learn that the pretty dark-haired young woman is the new assistant, Jenny. She's met them at the park to be an extra set of hands. I'm thinking that the last time we saw Jenny she was a blonde. Maybe the Gosselin home is only big enough for one set of bleached follicles. That's okay, Jenny. Your new chestnut locks with auburn highlights are gorgeous! As a lifelong blonde, I envy them.
So the whole crew is at Sesame Place, which earns the KateKlean seal of approval. It's a clean, clean, clean park, apparently. After a potty pit stop, it's off and about with each adult pushing two 'tups in a Disney-like stroller. Kate leads the way and wants to run. Jon tells her that they can't run because Mady and Cara are on foot. "Oh," Kate says. Guess she forgot about them. Get used to it, girls. As Jon pushes his stroller, I notice that he's lost a lot of weight. Good for, you. Guess fuzzy bunnies are more motivating than haranguing hags. Sorry, Kate.
The first ride the family takes on is the carousel, since they can all ride at once. Jon stands between two tups perched on painted ponies. Kate stands between Hannah (of course) and Alexis as they rode painted ponies. And Cara and Mady are seated on benches watching over two other 'tups. I wonder why Jenny isn't watching those two 'tups so Cara and Mady can ride the ponies. They're only seven, eight, right? At that age I would have wanted to ride the ponies. My kids would have wanted to ride the ponies. Sometimes I think those girls have grown up too fast. Perhaps that's a pitfall of being on TV for half of one's young life. Anyway, Kate explains that she "implored" Cara and Mady to be "big sisters" and helpers (what's Jenny there to do?), and to see fun through the little kids' eyes. Then, as she does at least once an episode, the grammar queen uses the word "which" completely inappropriately. "That was my conversation with them, which it worked." Nails, meet chalkboard.
After the carousel, the crew heads underneath a huge slide, seeking shade and an opportunity to hydrate from huge sippee-cups carried in a big cooler. Guess one of the crew is toting that, since it wasn't on any of the strollers. Don't I just love watching how two normal people deal with parenting multiples, with no outside intervention or "TV magic"? Right. That shark got jumped long, long ago. Why not just show the whole entourage and stop pretending.
As the family heads for the slides, we hear again that it was 113 degrees in the park that day, according to a security guard (says Jon). That security guard must have been looking at a thermometer that was baking out on concrete in full sun, to get that kind of reading. Nevertheless, it was obviously hot as hades in the park that day. The poor little kids were wilting, so red in the face and wet, sweaty hair plastered to the girls' heads. It was a sad sight. I was thinking about how, if this really was a normal family being filmed as they went about their own daily routines, they could have stayed home given the high temperatures and done something else with the children. But since the show is now an enterprise built upon putting the children through paces like so many show ponies, nothing can interfere with the production schedule. Not even potential heat stroke.
Kate starts handing out sippee-cups and immediately yells for Jon's help. Again we hear, "Jon, you have to help me out…don't look at your physique so much!" I marvel at how Jon does so many things with no help from Kate, but everything she does with the kids requires Jon to help her. This is the most useless, helpless, waste of space female I've seen on TV since Denise Richards. Geeze. Almost makes me embarrassed enough to want to trade in my estrogen.
After hydrating, they all climb the steps to the top and slide down. Kate announces that she and Jon did something illegal. "Not the first time," I mutter. This time, though, no pinecones or ear plugs are involved. Just parents sliding on equipment meant for children only. After the slide, they ride some caterpillar thing that runs forward and backward on tracks the shape of a half pipe. Cara declines to ride, and Kate declares that Cara knew what she was doing since the ride made Kate ill. Jon notes that Kate has gone from riding Disneyland rides on their honeymoon to, nine years later, not being able to handle riding the teacups. There's got to be some snark in there somewhere, but I'm too bored to look for it.
Next, the family heads inside for some lunch and to cool down. Kate tells Mady that she and Cara can sit at a table off to themselves if they want. Mady, my spunky little miss, informs her mother, "I don't want to sit with her. Know where I want to sit? In the car. For two hours. And drive home." Kate, out of tune with her daughter's emotional being, invalidates Mady's feelings with her pronouncement that, "I think you need some sugar." That's right, mom. She never has legitimate feelings. Just low blood sugar.
The kids are thrilled when some character I don't know comes into the lunch room. Then we get a pre-commercial preview of the whole family in Elmo's world. Great. I hate Elmo. The commercials play and I flip through the ti-faux lineup. Not much variety. Just Jon & Kate on TLC, man-eating sharks on Discovery Chanel, and a Jean Claude Van Dam movie entitled "Hell." No thanks, Jean Claude, I'm already there.
After the commercials, we get to see the Gosselins meeting life-sized Elmo in Elmo's world. That bright red, squeaky voiced, baby-talking bed-slipper-on-crack who has taken over Sesame Street delights the little ones. Especially Alexis. We're told that later in the evening, upon returning home, Alexis insisted on watching Elmo's World videos. You poor, sweet thing. You don't know any better.
Next it's on to the water park! Time to cool off and get wet! But first, Kate has to tell us that they're "not water park people." All of that changing of clothes, you know, is such a burden when one has eight children. Did you know she has eight children? And no help? Ever? From anyone? Kate goes on to tell us that it took two hours…TWO HOURS…to change the kids into swimsuits. Three adults, each taking care of two four-year olds. That's one hour per child to take off a shirt, shorts, and underwear and put on either swim trunks or a two-piece swimsuit. An hour per child. Kate, I get the feeling that this is somewhat like the "two thousand people" standing between you and Jon in the Crayola Factory. Life just isn't dramatic enough on its own. It has to be embellished with exaggerKations. Kate? Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!
So after "two hours" changing the kids into swimsuits, they took a break from the "113 degree" heat by getting wet. The little kids played under a sprinkler thing, watched over by Jon and Kate, while Jenny rode a water slide with Cara and Mady. As I'm watching Cara, Mady, and Jenny in a huge round raft, spinning and splashing their way down the water slide, I'm thinking, "Wow, that looks fun." But I'm hearing Jon and Kate talking over the scene, saying, "Poor, Jenny. Poor, Jenny." Yes, poor Jenny. Riding a really cool, wet, fun ride with two laughing, happy young girls. What torture. I shake my head and feel sorry for those girls, given the way their parents think. How sad that something so many parents would enjoy with their children is, to Jon and Kate, a distasteful task that the "poor" paid assistant has to perform under duress. Won't that feel good for Mady and Cara to hear over and over again when they watch this episode on DVD? I guess the bright spot is that they'll have video evidence for their therapists to review when they reach adulthood.
Mady, Cara, and "poor Jenny" ride the water slide four times, while Jon and Kate supervise the little ones in a wading pool. Mady declares this one of the best days of her life. This is a big departure, Kate tells us, from Mady's daily proclamations that each day is the worst day of her life. I tell you, I worry about that child. I wish someone would listen to her instead of dismissing everything she says as mere drama - or low blood sugar.
The pre-commercial previews run. I don't care to recap them at this point.
After the commercial, the kids, still clad in swimsuits, leave the water park area to greet all of the Sesame Street characters. Kate announces that it was "blazingly naptime." This woman has such a way with words.
As the clan meets the characters, this is when Kate runs her hands through giant Ernie's hair and says, "My husband used to have hair like you, Ernie." Kate. Let. It. Go. Sweet baby Jeebus, woman. At least put some variety into your nagging and belittlements.
Along about here, there's a shot of Jon and Kate in the confessional chair, blathering some crap I don't care about. And I realize that Kate's hair looks really bad tonight. It's all poofy on the right side, like she took an extra-long nap on it while it was wet or something. Makes her head look lopsided. Maybe Jon gave her a "love tap" while the cameras weren't rolling, and she's got a lump on her head that rivals the size of her ego. Or perhaps she's now hiding Jon cajones under that bird's nest of a hairdo. Whatever. It just looks funky.
Back at Sesame Place, the family decides to ride one more ride before heading home. Because they can all ride the roller coaster at once, they pile onto it. But, because each child must be seated next to an adult, production crew members and park personnel are drafted into riding the roller coaster -- three times. Again I am reminded that this is no longer a show that chronicles the everyday challenges of living with multiples. The kiddos are cute cast members in a manufactured for TV mocu-dramedy. At about this point, as I ponder this anew, I think about how Cara and Mady's room is the only one off-limits to the cameras. I think about what it must be like to have to confine oneself to one's room if one wants to avoid cameras, and I think it must feel like being a prisoner in one's own home. At this point, I feel especially sad for Cara, who seems more camera shy than her twin. And I wonder if the 'tups rooms will be put off-limits as they get older. Somehow I doubt it, since the show depends on having 'tups on tape.
With the roller coaster ride over, the family heads for the van in the parking lot. Kate talks about everything they had to do over a forty-five minute period in order to get loaded up in the van for the drive home. She lists several things, including changing kids' outfits. Only the video shows us all of the kids still in swimsuits as they are seated in the van. Kate must wear asbestos granny panties.
As the show wraps up, Jon and Kate announce -- with apparent surprise -- that they were actually invited back to Sesame Place. Ha. Bet THAT doesn't happen often -- and from what I've heard on the radio lately, I don't think the kids are the ones to blame for that, either!
Reprinted with permission by nanasez.
Some weeks what I see on the show seems to be better than others, some weeks Kate seems so stressed and out of alert reality that I really wonder what may be going on with her. Are we going to see an ever-diminishing relationship between Jon and Kate, week after week? What will we see when Jon and Kate renew vows in Hawaii? Do these two we see on the show lately seem like a couple that are close and loving enough to think about renewing vows, or are we being fed a Figure 8 scripted hook, line, and sinker, once again? Anything to get a trip to Hawaii, as Kate spoke about wanting to do while being filmed in Utah. Will we see things go so far that something like what was filmed with the Loud family happens on television with the Gosselins, or would cameras be shut off before getting this far, if things were to go this way for Jon & Kate?
Loud family excerpt from Wikipedia here:
Most notable was when Pat Loud asked her husband for a divorce and to leave the house on camera. Pat famously saying to her husband "you know there's a problem" and Bill Loud responding "What's your problem?". The moment was later chosen as one of the Top 100 Television Moments by TV Guide.
I hope for the best for this family. It looks to me like the best for this family right now may be some help and harmony to get back to how they felt about each other in the early days of filming, or before filming. If you tell me that what I see on television is only a small portion of their lives, and I don't know what goes on when cameras are off, then I want to know why we are shown such awful interaction between these two. Interaction that seems to create much speculation as to where their marriage is heading. Am I going to be told that it's all scripted and Jon and Kate really don't harbor disrespect and disdain for each other? Perhaps the best thing for the children right now is to hope and pray that their parents can get back to the basics of their relationship, those things that brought them together in the first place, with love and respect for each other, back in the days before fame and shame.
In this episode of Jon & Kate, the Gosselins family makes a visit to Sesame Street! There they meet Big Bird and Elmo and get to tour the set of Elmo's World where Elmo plays with them and gives them lots of hugs and kisses..
SmartyQ: "If you're going to combine the Gosselin's first names, I think 'Kon' is better than 'Jate'."
Manda: "She kind of looks like your local Mall Santa Claus when his shift is about to be over waiting for the last few brats to sit on his lap so he can go hit his cigarettes and whiskey flask."
Maggie: "This is confusing. The sign says STOP! Who am I not to obey a sign? So to read my further instructions I am told Not to stop (in fine print). But they told me to stop.
I can't wave? Was I supposed to? I can't talk? Isn't that part of the rights that the founding fathers of this country gave me?
What is this, a crime scene? Ok, never mind."
On this episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8! More screaming, crying, shrieking, and overall unhappiness as the kids are dragged to yet another planned production event, some small-time, yet admittedly adorable, amusement park called Dutch Wonderland. Credits! What's funny is until now for some reason I never, ever noticed one of the tups crashing into the wall while Kate changes Collin's diaper. Ha. I think I was always too distracted by the idea that they felt it necessary to film Collin's diaper being changed and, moreover, stick it in the credits so we can relive that particular dump of Collin's every single week, to notice another kid crashing into the wall. Well, at least Collin wasn't constipated that time.
Jon has apparently finally got fed up with Kate calling him a big tub of lard on national TV every week, so he set up an elliptical machine in the basement. This looks to be a whole separate section from the children's basement playroom. And it's a pretty big room, with ample space for storage. Most East Coast basements are pretty big, and will sometimes almost double your square footage, even though I don't think it tends to count in computing square footage. But it should, because farther west, where they don't build basements, you have to use every available closet and corner in your house for storage or sacrifice your garage or just throw things out. So basements are really nice actually. Anyway... in addition to making Kate's coffee and getting the children up, dressed, fed, and off to school every day, Fatty here also now exercises for one to two hours beforehand. Then goes off to work. He really doesn't pull his weight in the family at all, does he? Jon is reading You: On a Diet by Dr. Oz. That's nice. He is also reading You: On a Gravy Train, by Kate and Jon and maybe by Beth Carson (if they are still speaking to her). Jon makes excuses for why his exercising has been sporadic... he got sick one week and so on. Kate laughs hysterically. I'll give her that; it's always funny the explanations people have for not exercising. I'm guilty, too. For instance, if I also have to run my dishwasher that night, or feed my dog, I won't exercise. How often does Kate exercise, out of curiosity? I suppose she might not need to since she can always get another tummy tuck if things get out of hand. I wonder if she still sees Doctor and Mrs. Tummytuck every year like they planned, or if they're estranged now, too.
Dutch Wonderland is a park pretty much for little kids, Jon and Kate explain. But they're dragging along Mady and Cara too because it's Jon and Kate Plus EIGHT. Kate says it was on her list of things to do this summer -- after reminding Jon he is fat and before buying Collin some laxatives. Jon isn't worried about the high calorie park food because he can easily just get a salad. I wonder if he has ever heard that depending on what you dump on your salad, including dressing, bacon bits, eggs, things like that, salads can be just as bad as a Big Mac. Kate seems okay with the idea though. I'm surprised she isn't practically wheezing about the food she and the kids will all have to eat, because I don't think the Dutch care very much about organic. Cheese, maybe.
Aaden likes to pretend he is different animals. Today he's a lion. A lion that I hope mistakes Kate for Roy and bites her. Aww, he's so adorable. More Aaden please. Less of his stupid parents. Some obsessed fan named Em Tanner, with her stay-at-home clothing business, spent I don't want to know how many hours making this family "numbered t-shirts." They're cute, but I think it's creepy how much useless fonted junk this lady sends them for free. Since like, day one, she's been dressing these kids in her stuff and making them things like calendars and notepads. Maybe business is booming for her from the exposure, but I still think her fonts are really stupid. So does Jon, who refuses to wear his "Daddy" t-shirt. Heh. Another thing -- Cara is "1" and Mady is "2." I realize what's-her-name is trying to do birth order here, but I sort of have a problem with that, especially since Mady has so many "issues." More on that later. I don't like how everyone seems to love to rub it in that Mady is second, after Cara. They're twins, they were born minutes apart, who cares. I can't believe they got Mady to even put on this shirt. Give the child another six months and she will realize that no one can make her wear crap like that. So she won't. And it will be awesome to see that go down. Oh, big surprise here, Kate specifically requested that what's-her-face number them in birth order. Kate explains why they need these shirts. She thinks it will be helpful to round the kids up on the playground if they're numbered. I'm not sure I follow. Why does it matter who is who as long as you are rounding eight bodies up? But Kate shouldn't need to worry since, first of all, they don't visit playgrounds where other icky children their age are and, second, the nanny will be in charge of that anyway. Kate won't wear hers if Jon won't wear his. Hmm, that's the first and probably last time Kate will ever follow Jon's lead, so take it all in.
For some reason they start talking about how they're planning a big trip to Florida soon. I'm confused. I thought this episode was about going to Dutch Wonderland. What is the connection? Well, I guess the connection is, let's talk about free trips we're getting. Anyway, Kate has made a little countdown board for Florida where the twins tear off a number each day. They're counting down the days until Mickey Mouse. I'm counting down the days until this show is cancelled.
Back to discussing the matter at hand, Dutch Wonderland. Jon and Kate are fighting over, of all things, what Cara is going to wear on her feet. Kate wants her to wear what I assume must be buckled sandals, but Cara wants to wear thong flip flops. Typical dad, Jon says let her wear whatever. Kate has a really good point, honestly. A child that young cannot think ahead about things like how much their feet might hurt all day in those, and how thongs might easily fall off on rides. Dads don't usually think about that either, which is fine, that's what moms are for. I predict Cara will get her way though, because it's Cara. After a lot of stupid fighting, with Jon and Kate even going off camera to fight some more, while Cara cries and throws a fit and lives up to her perfect twin reputation, Cara gets her way. Of course. Of course. Part of me thinks, fine let Cara wear what she wants and suffer the consequences of sore feet or lost shoes. But Cara is six and needs to learn to obey and not throw fits. When she gets away with this shit, she knows she won’t have to listen next time either, or at least just needs to cry and she'll get her way. And the cycle of Cara pretty much getting away with murder week after week continues. Mady will try the same exact crying and throwing a fit technique later today, and she will come up with nothing. Sigh. Mady says, "No fair!" I know, totally, Mady.
Kate says she tries to "minimize our battles for later during the day when there's nothing we can do about it." What in the heck does that mean? She likes to save up all her battles for the end of the day? Like you might save your cookies for last? "When there's nothing we can do about it" Huh? What about time outs, discipline? What does this lady even mean? I think Kate is like, half drunk right now. "Bye, bye, bye, bye!" the kids say as they drive away. Who are they saying bye to, the camera crew? Maybe they don't realize they're coming along too. When have these kids gone anywhere that costs more than ten bucks without the camera crew? They are not all that bright. I think they are a little too young to be astute enough to "hint" to the camera crew not to come along on their fun outing by telling them "bye!", but I suppose anything is possible. Coming up, "Jon, help us!" Haha, this is probably gonna be good.
They stick the kids on a couple of rides, and they all really seem to like it. Then they get on something called the Turtle Whirl, which is your standard small-time amusement park ride with sort of rounded half pods that spin around and around in a tight circle, while traveling along in a bigger circle that's hilly. I've been on this ride many times; it is definitely much scarier than it looks. It feels like you're literally going to spin right off the tracks. Also, it's usually all creaky and old sounding, I think on purpose, to add to the fear. And they buckle you in so tight it feels like your ovaries are bruised afterwards. It is frequently underestimated -- probably since there is no height involved. And people always bring on little kids thinking no height, no problem. Oops. Mady doesn't want to ride on anything. Good for her, she shouldn't have to. This park is for little kids and she got dragged along on a production event clearly against her will. If Mady knew at her tender age to stick up her middle finger, I bet she would. Kate says she has "drama" and "issues." I bet Kate thinks it's because she has seven brothers and sisters, but I think it's because Kate is her mother. Oh, and because her drama and issues are being filmed -- daily. Kate barks at Jon to put his cell phone away, now is not the time for phone calls. Okay, but he wasn't holding it like he was ringing up his Fuzzy Bunny or something. He was holding it away from himself like he was taking a picture with his camera. What's the problem with that? The kids are kind of scared of the Turtle Whirl, not surprisingly to me. Kate claims Hannie is white as a sheet and about to throw up. Yikes. Kate tries to cover her mouth. Won't that just make her aspirate her own vomit though? That doesn't seem like a good idea, coming from a nurse. But a lot of stuff Kate does is stuff you wouldn't think a nurse would do. Jon tries to make the best of it with words like "Whee!" which never work. But Kate just frightens the kids more by shouting over and over, each time she comes around, "Jon, help us!" Ha! What does she want him to do? Jump out of his car and into hers? Pitch his cell phone at the lever and stop the ride? It's just so ridiculously funny that she thinks it's at all helpful to cry out for him. I just love how the ride operators flat out ignore her cries for help and keep the ride going until the bitter end. Other people may kiss her butt and bend over backwards for her, but not these Dutch Wonderland ride operators. Go Dutch! Kate asks the kids if they want to do it again. Which leads me to believe they probably got to cut all the lines and could just go on a ride two or three or four times in a row if they wanted to. Yet another thing the children will have no idea exist or how to deal with it -- lines. I predict their future adulthood, where sooner or later they must wait in line at Bank of America, could be very violent. Kate worriedly thinks her Hannie looks pale and not so hot. Hannah is kind of staring forward blankly. That is how she normally looks to me anyway, so I'm not that concerned. Commercials.
We're back, and Kate and Jon are each pushing a triple wide stroller up a hill. Why can't the kids walk a little bit, at least up the hills? And wow, a triple wide stroller. That's not impractical at all. Kate says the first trip to the bathroom was "a waste." Was that a pun? Nah, it's Kate, who's really not all that clever, so I don't think so. The reason it was a waste was because they didn't have their potty seats they are used to sitting on. I'm so confused. So they didn't go because of that? I mean at some point these children will need to realize that not every toilet in America will have their own potty seat on it, and they'll need to just go anyway. I get the feeling they've used toilets at their own house, and maybe at Aunt Jodi's, and that's about it. The kids are also afraid of the automatic flusher?! That's just sad. That's like being afraid of sunlight, or trees. These bubble boys and girls truly need to get out more, interact with the real world, with flushers, sunlight and trees. They remind me of really under-socialized puppies, who are bound to snap and bite a small child eventually and then they'll have to be put down really gruesomely. Doesn't Dutch Wonderland have hand soap in their bathrooms? It looks like a nice enough park. Instead Kate slathers their hands with a bottle of hand sanitizer. And I won't get into the extensive debate on the benefits and drawbacks of hand sanitizer, or speculate about whether Kate has read up on any of that, or even reads at all, other than reading her own passive aggressive notes/orders. Jon says he has to go to the bathroom too, and Kate throws a fit, shaking her head, making faces, and being completely immature. "Do you really have to go?" she demands. No, Kate, he's just saying that to be a pain in the ass. Kate very reluctantly allows Jon to relieve himself, pouting and shaking her head the whole time. I really want Jon to tell her sometime she can't go to the bathroom and see what happens. I have a sick mind, I know. Kate orders the little kids to sit in their strollers or they'll get lost. Lost? They're just standing there, right beside their strollers, patiently waiting. Why must they sit? For some reason I keep hearing that Rodgers and Hammerstein song "I'll Never Grow Up" playing in my head. And honestly, how hard would it be to lose a mother as loud and boisterous as Kate, and the camera crew that follows her along? Plus they're in their Em Tanner shirts and someone will just shout, "Five is over here!" if Five gets lost. I don't think this should really be a major concern for them. When Jon returns, Kate tells him his potty break was too quick and he couldn't possibly have washed his hands. Well, but Jon didn't need a special potty seat to go. And men can go a lot faster, Kate, in case you haven't heard. It's just unzip and go, you're done. Plus Kate was the one telling him he couldn't go in the first place, so he was probably hurrying to please her. Besides, there's so much hand sanitizer being squirted around I don't know if Jon even needs to bother to wash since the rest of the family couldn't possibly catch anything from him anyway.
They get on this stupid truck ride and Mady still doesn't want to join in. Kate and Jon insist she must get on, because there is no one to watch her if she doesn't ride. But Mady didn't ride the Turtle Whirl, and Kate and Jon were both on that. Weird. Mady starts crying. Poor kid, she doesn't wanna go. Leave her alone. Kate "can't quite put her finger on why Mady is being so difficult lately," as Kate sits on the couch and interviews for the family's television show, broadcast to millions on Monday nights. Hmm, hmmm, I too so wonder what on earth could be troubling Mady. What oh what could it be? Perhaps she has a little rash, or she's worried about peace in the Middle East. Kate explains that it wasn't even a "ride," it was just going around in a circle, so Mady didn't have anything to stomp her foot about. But Mady's issues have absolutely nothing to do with the rides themselves; I think that's obvious to anyone with a borderline functional understanding of one percent of what makes up the field of child psychology. Like, if you've ever read a hundred-word article online about how children's brains work, you would know that. But Kate can't even begin to grasp the situation here, and it's incredibly sad. They drag Mady on kicking and screaming. Kate once again decides how her children feel, and informs Jon and us that Mady just loves this. I would like to hear that from Mady herself, but I guess we're supposed to just trust Kate. The kids get to milk this plastic cow with rubber udders. And I don't mean for cash. For actual milk. Uh oh, but just like a real cow, the plastic cow only has four udders and there's six kids! How will they do this? The kids are starting to lose it since they can't figure it out either. But Jon and Kate insist they aren't gonna go home now, they must take in as much as they can, as it is a free trip and they don't know when they will be able to come back for free again. So they plod on through. Leah is licking her hands like she's got pica for hand sanitizer. She makes me wonder if it tastes good or something. Kind of how like glue tasted good, sort of, as a kid. But I won't buy hand sanitizer to find out since I've read the research on it. Jon roughly grabs her shoulder and tells her to stop. She does it again, and there's this weird cut between a shot of Kate lunging at her as if about to strike her, and then a sudden cut to Leah screaming. It is incredibly obvious that Leah got her arm slapped, as she is clutching it, looking shocked, and shrieking. I'm not gonna say anything, other than it's obvious that's what occurred. If Kate just let them use Dutch soap, this never would have happened.
When we return, it's going downhill faster than Kate and Jon can estrange the rest of their family members and friends. It's lunchtime, and the kids are eating a bunch of junk in the cafeteria. I am really happy for them actually. Nothing spoils a fun day at the amusement park then your mother packing a bunch of organic health food and making you eat that instead of a hot dog. Jon, like he promised, has a salad. I find it kind of odd that Kate sits at a table with a few of the kids (Hannah included of course), and Jon at another table with the rest. They couldn't push two tables together? Maybe that would have exhausted Kate. After lunch, the kids get on this green spiral slide that they love. Jon wants to build one for the backyard. So they do use the backyard. But who does he think he is, Matt Roloff? Anyway, I doubt very much he will ever get to build anything this cool at their house, since Kate will put a stop to it. I admit, Amy Roloff will roll her eyes and bitch when her husband embarks on ambitious projects, but she doesn't actually go so far as to put a stop to it. She respects the fact that he is his own man and she shouldn't always be alpha dog in a marriage that should be an equal partnership. On the other hand Alpha Kate would stop a super cool project like that dead in the water. Which is really obnoxious. Collin is without a doubt stopping in the middle of the slide and blocking the other kids from going down and overall being a little shit. But somehow, Kate blames Mady for "kicking him." Which she wasn't doing at all. At most she was gently nudging him with her feet, as she was behind him and didn't feel like sitting in the middle of a slide for the rest of the day. Who would? And Collin certainly wasn't moving when asked politely since he's like three and stubborn. Kate still wonders why oh why Mady would ever have issues. Finally, Jon removes Collin from the situation and has a stern talk with him. Good, 'bout time. I noticed this was at least the second time something was pretty much all Collin's fault, but because Mady was in the general area, she got blamed. Kate over there is still wondering why she would ever have any kind of issues. On another much bigger slide, at least a couple stories tall, Jon is taking each of the little kids on it one at a time. You know what, you have eight kids, so that's what you need to do. Because if you had two kids you would take them one at a time, too. And even though Jon admits it was a total pain, he did it anyway with a smile on his face. Good. Kate exaggerates and says they waited there for twenty-five hours for Jon to take all the kids. That's a strange number to pick out of a hat. But okay. I feel a little sick to my stomach at the idea of spending twenty-five hours with Kate anywhere, let alone sitting in a triple-wide stroller at Dutch Wonderland. In a nice gesture, Kate thanks Jon for taking them on the slide. Jon again doesn't seem to realize, probably because she so rarely appreciates him. Whoa, Mady is really throwing a fit over something. It's so bad she's like coughing and choking. I am a hundred percent positive I hear her say, "I wanna be with Daddy!" The child doesn't want to be with Kate, imagine that. I wonder if Kate smacked her for that. Jon says he's embarrassed when they throw fits like this. I would be, too. But I would do something about it, instead of just sort of talk about how embarrassing it is on national TV where all her friends can watch and laugh.
At this point they've been here a long time and it's obviously hot, why don't they just call it a day? I mean, they're not even paying for this, so it's not like they're not getting their money's worth. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. But Kate doesn't believe in that. Just like how she doesn’t know when to quit her own show, she certainly doesn't know when to quit Dutch Wonderland. They press on! So far, the children's memories of this trip will be, Mady being a spoiled brat and Sherlock has no idea why, Kate screeching for Jon to save them on the Turtle Whirl while the kids nearly puke, and Leah getting her arm smacked like a fly for licking herself. Memories, like the corners of my mind.
Finally, they're on the last ride, a nice little train that goes around the park. Aww, aww, Collin and Alexis sit together and put their arms around each other "like a little old man and a little old lady." Aww, aww, aww. Okay, that kind of makes up for how horrendous this episode was. I really want to see more of the kids and less of their stupid parents, as I stipulated to above. Kate once again, once and once again, decides the kids had fun, except for Mady. I so want someone to ask the children themselves how they feel instead of Kate being the constant mouthpiece like this is Stalingrad. I mean the kids are old enough. I get annoyed when she lumps all eight kids together and tells us they all felt this way or that way. I highly, highly doubt that eight kids ever feel the same exact way about anything, and Kate should respect that they are eight individuals like she always likes to think she does, but in fact not really. Kate in a total martyr tone says as for herself, "I had some times where there was some fun, yes." Well, sheesh, I'm glad she was able to have at least a little fun. I'm tired of this crap. I fast backward to Collin and Alexis with their arms around each other and make that the end of the episode for me, and not Kate's gloomy, ungrateful comments about how she kinda sorta managed to have a little fun despite her eight children. On the next Jon and Kate Plus Eight! Mady's first day back at school after this episode aired... wonder what the other kids will have to say.
She did a terrific job of being pregnant with six. She sacrificed a lot to be on constant bed rest, and she was blessed with six healthy children.
She dresses nicely and in an appropriate manner. She doesn't need a wardrobe makeover.
She doesn't have pets. Pets are great, but they are not for everyone. Pets don't belong in a household where messes are not permitted.
(Your randomly scheduled snark will resume after this post)
Okay, let's hear your thoughts. What do you think the Gosselins are doing right?
1) Have a bit of humility and be able to accept when you’re wrong. I admit, I’ve been known to twist the truth in my favor. I have been trying desperately to change this about myself. I really noted our similarities immediately after I started watching the show in March. I don’t think it’s healthy to feel that you are always right. No one wants to be around you. And, quite frankly, it’s not healthy to be perfect.
2) Family and closeness is very important. Kate has an apparent want for her children to grow up and have a close family and I commend her for that. I never got heart-shaped sandwiches on valentine’s day or movie nights and, although those are very sweet, they don’t compare to the everyday experience. I may have not gotten the world from my mother, but she did give me her world. She spent time with me and let me be myself. I was able to be a child and never felt uncomfortable or wrong expressing myself.
3) The size of your house doesn’t really matter. My father grew up in a family of 9 in a house smaller than the Gosselin’s. When I visit there I realize that although having more space would be nice, it’s not necessary.
4) A little kindness goes a long way. This isn’t really a lesson that I had to learn. I consider myself a friendly personality and I thrive on being around people. A wave and a grin is not very hard and it doesn’t make you seem cold.
5) You can’t control everything, although you sometimes might want to. Letting things around you happen as they will not only is a relief but it can be relaxing. I am a stickler about plans, but I have learned to let it slide and have found that my world does not come crashing down. No, it doesn’t always happen according to plan but that’s not always a bad thing.
6) The destination is not important, it’s the journey. A child’s work of art will never be perfect, their tasty treats might not be tasty -- but the effort and the love that they put into it is.
Because Kate's decisions might not be the best, she did help me to see what really did matter. Despite how interesting she is to watch and read about, I can’t help but be disheartened by her skewed priorities.
Submitted for publication by Whitney.
The Gosselin kids are most likely going have some major psychological/emotional issues. Each of those kids will have their own set of issues unique to that particular kid based on that child's own internal damage. And some of the emotional issues will overlap and be shared by all of the kids. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that, nor is it our place to do anything about that. Many, many children grow up with bad parenting. We aren't the bad parenting police. It's a shame that the Gosselin children have the parents they have. But, that's life! It will be up to each of them to overcome the bad parenting on their own, in their own way. Some will overcome and others will be unsuccessful fighting their own internal demons. Just because we get to see this bad parenting on a weekly basis on TV does not mean it is anyone's job (beyond private family members, a teacher's input, or perhaps their minister) to intervene. It's not right, it's not fair, but it is the way it is. Although my heart breaks for them, it's not my place to do anything beyond shaking my head in despair while witnessing these things and hoping and praying that each and every one of the kids will find a way to overcome and be as emotionally balanced and successful as they can be as adults.
We aren't going to be able to force an intervention. We aren't going to find the magic answer to force Kate to willingly undergo therapy and extract that very sharp organic stick from her ass.
But we're planting the seeds. Just as growing plants takes time and patience, it is the same for showing people the truth. They don't want to know the truth - -but Jon and Kate are becoming so painfully hard to watch, that the viewers can't not see that something is wrong. And instead of wondering "am I the only one who thinks something is wrong?" they're saying "Um, the people at GWoP have a point." And while we do this, we do need to remember to keep ourselves balanced with our own personal lives. The Gosselin kids have a crazy mother and a lazy father -- but they don't need us to obsess over their welfare every waking moment. So let's keep plugging on. Speak up about the nudity and lack of privacy if you choose to. But also --take care of yourself.
Is their childhood dysfunctional? Of course. Is it awful they are having every minute filmed? Absolutely. Is there a clear and present risk? No. The channel to go through here to get anything done is through Child Labor Laws, NOT CPS. (watchoverthem: The minimum standard of care for a CPS removal in this country is very low.)
Not to be sentimental, but I kind of see our blog as sort of a fine representation of why freedom of speech is such a great thing. In many countries, you're not allowed to say bad things about people in "power" even if it's true. And by not exposing anything negative about people, that's how really horrendous things happen, like genocide. In other countries, no one speaks up for the children, and they end up working in places like sweat shops. If the government is taxing the poor to give to the rich, the right to speak up about it is essential. If children are being mistreated, people must speak up. The Gosselins aren't the government, but they are in effect stealing from the poor to give to themselves, the rich, and committing a fraud on everyone. And we're exposing it, one day at a time.
Again, not to be sentimental. But we're doing a brave thing, honestly.
Jon & Kate have opened up their lives and have allowed their children to be entertainment for public consumption. We are invited to watch them grow up and are privy to their intimate moments. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nothing is too sacred that cannot be put on film for us to watch, criticize, and analyze. The children are completely open to us.
When there is nothing that is interesting to present to us, we are given a nice, tidy clip show (just like the Truman Show), hi-lighting the milestones of this family's life. They even have strategically placed product placement!
What's next? Mady's first boyfriend (sponsored by Teen Beat)? The tups meet the bully(A very special episode)? Will the children know who really are their friends, or will they always be suspicious that the people they meet are nice to them because they want to be on tv?
While the Truman Show seems to have ended on a good note (Truman freeing himself from his fake life), we aren't privy to his adjustment outside the world that is created for him. He'll have to deal with problems that aren't scripted and aren't guiding him on the producer desired path.
I wonder what's going to happen to J&K's children once the 'staged' reality of their lives end. Will they miss it? Will they know what to do with it? What will they do when their crew and producer decide that America is bored with them and up and leave without ever looking back? These are people they've bonded with. Are they going to feel that everyone abandons them?
Does Kate realize that, like the Truman Show, once they're off the air, America is just going to change the channel and forget about them? I wonder how she feels about that.
Submitted for publication by Maggy.
Hi Serena!Your blog is amazing and the first thing I found when I started "worrying" about Jon and Kate's kids.
I emailed Paul Petersen and thought you would enjoy his reply. Hopefully he will look further into the show and talk openly about it. He could definitely take it up a level.I added your blog link as well as Julie's to my email to him. I have copied his email below. Thanks so much for all you do.Sincerely
Jan [last name removed]INSERT:Hi Jan,Something must have happened on this show that has generated (let me be kind) all this concerned email. Do you have a specific concern?Just to save time, Janice, below is a copy of an email I sent out earlier this week.My Best,
Paul PetersenINSERT:Dear Lynn,Before I take my short cut and copy you with an email I sent out earlier this week, let me tell you that I am getting more and more inquiries about this so-called reality show that has been running for years now. More and more people, if my email traffic is any indication, are expressing their misgivings about this show as we now plainly see more and more altered behaviors not just with the little ones, but with the parents as well.Big trouble, I fear, is on the horizon, and I quite agree with you that contacting the sponsors is probably the best "first step" in raising the proverbial "Red Flag."I have noted that the older twins, in school and subject to the impact of their peers, are not seen as much as in previous seasons...and for a man with a keen sense of notoriety's impact on children, I am beginning to feel the awakening of that "advocate dragon" that lies coiled in my soul.Something is amiss. When I checked out the show this week I was squirming in my seat. Below is what I wrote on Sunday the 13th of July. My concerns have since been sharpened.Thanks for writing, Lynn.My best,
Dear Vicki,Thanks for making contact. You may want to watch Fox News today because they are actually interviewing a qualified (and quite knowledgeable psychologist) about 'Borrowers' that makes some good points.Now then, as to Jon and Kate...I have been tracking this show for quite a while...and like you, I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable with this show as the years roll by and the kids (all of 'em) are getting older.I initially felt okay with this show, mostly because that father-part of me recognized what an enormous expense six babies would create...What's a father to do? Mom, too, for that matter. I remember how overwhelmed they were.But now that the kids are on the brink of interacting with their peers (and like you I have no idea what the monetary compensation might be...or how it's distributed, or whether their is a Court-Approved contract...but since it's not being filmed in California it means that whatever the compensation is it belongs, absolutely and without qualifications, to the parents.The real trouble for these children, and for all eight of them, is what lies ahead. They have broken away from anything resembling normalcy...and the grinding reality of Fame is going to impact the family. There is simply no escape.If the parents recognize that notoriety has done to them, how it changed their friends' behaviors and altered their life's path, perhaps the kids will handle things okay...but if they keep doing this show it will get worse and worse as the kids ride on their different paths.
I haven't heard anything horrible...as yet...and my former kid star pals from big families (like the Corcoran clan) remind me that a large family is, in fact, a protective dynamic.So, what I'm saying is, with no evidence to the contrary, I'm okay with this show...for now.My best,
Q: Who is Paul Petersen?
A: Paul Petersen established the organization A Minor Consideration to support child stars and other child laborers through legislation, family education, and personal intervention and counseling for those in crisis.
Know anyone who might need his services? Well, how about a little more trivia?
Q: In what state is Figure 8 Films (production company for Jon & Kate Plus 8) headquartered?
A: North Carolina
Q: What state brags about its absence of child labor laws?
A: North Carolina
Q: To what state is it believed the Gosselin family will be relocating?
A: North Carolina
When you think of North Carolina, you probably think of the beautiful Outer Banks rather than something as despicable as child exploitation. Yet there it is: this otherwise charming and genteel southern state harbors a dark side -- and Mr. Petersen has been complaining about it for a long time now:
"Next we will demonstrate why Hollywood Dollars cater to the hormonally driven appetites of adolescent boys, and why the decision-makers trundle off to states like North Carolina, a Right To Work (for less) State that actually brags about its absence of child labor laws. There is a reason films like "Bastard out of Carolina," (starring Jena Malone) "Firestarter" (starring nine year-old Drew Barrymore), and most recently, "Hound Dog" (starring Dakota Fanning) choose Wilmington, NC as a production base. "
(End of Excerpt)
"So far, although Wilmington, North Carolina officials are aware of the controversial child rape scene that was filmed in their back yard, there has been no complaint and no investigation."
(End of Excerpt)
In a speech before the Canadian parliament:
"Why? Why is it that the Film Commissioner of North Carolina, in talking about putting in some basic laws for kids in the entertainment business, does not fear the States surrounding North Carolina…but Canada."
So let's see ... they're moving away from family, remaining friends, church, and community to a place where they will know no one except the film crew whose livelihood depends on how much they can milk out of those children, and where there are no child labor protections.
Yep. This sounds like a VERY GOOD idea. Mr. Petersen is already taking an interest in the Gosselin children; let's encourage him to take more.
Based upon information compiled by mswestern.
Footage of pumpkin carving, the American Girl trip, the Bounce U boxing match, the train fight at Dutch Wonderland, Jon lasciviously eyeing Kate in her towel (eww), Kate crying at the ‘tups stroller picture in front of their old house. Footage from “Games Gosselins Play” is next, I believe, complete with the screaming fight in the driveway, with Jon all “shut your mouth, stop cleaning and play with your kids.” Nice. By my count that’s many more embarrassing moments than good ones.
Jon blabs on about how it used to be weird to see himself on TV, but now after filming 60 episodes, it’s normal. Can I just insert that ever watching myself on film & knowing that it would be seen by millions would never, ever be easy for me. Does that make me weird, or them?
More strolling down dysfunctional lane: footage of Jon wiping up after “someone took a dump on the floor”, Kate’s plane meltdown…which out of context comes across as really fake, for some reason, and Jon petulantly throwing his (Valentine’s?) shirt down the hall because Kate ordered one that was too small…hee. I forgot how funny that was. “But there are some times where we’re like that was a horrible episode,” says Jon. Like all the episodes they just showed, Jon.
Jen: “Can you give us some examples?” Jon glances sideways at Kate and smirks “Well, there are…” and she interrupts, “Of you.” “Pulling the stick out was a bad one,” says Jon.
And, we’re off.
Kate: “He still regrets that. You never say that. I don’t know what made you say that.”
Jon: “You. The pressure of you.”
Kate: (talking over Jon) “You might think it but you don’t ever say it.”
Jon: “No. I don’t know why I said it.”
Kate: “By you talking about it again they’re going to air it again. Just so you know. So now it will be in two episodes. Aren’t you happy?”
Jon: “So what? That’s the whole point.”
We now cut to the incident in question. They are surrounded by what appears to be 1,000 children. Really, I have no desire for 8 children. Just saying. Anyway, Jon simply asks if the kids will wear their play shoes or good shoes. That’s seriously all the man does. Kate’s all “What did I tell you the other day? Why do you ask every time what shoes they’ll wear?”
Interviewing, Jon says admits that he’s not a good multi-tasker, to which Kate bugs out her eyes and nods up and down emphatically like, “that’s right, dumb-ass, you’re not.”
Back to the fun. After what looks like some time has elapsed, Jon zings “When are you going to pull the stick out? ‘Cause it’s getting really annoying.” Jon, extract the stick yourself & beat her soundly about the head and shoulders with it. You’ve earned the right. Plus, sticks are organic.
Jen: “Did you immediately regret it?” (Read: “Did you know how much you were gonna pay for that one?”)
Jon: “Yes, I was like, oops!” Laughs.
Kate: “I felt bad for him because he doesn’t normally say that. I haven’t heard him say it since, or before that.”
While Kate speaks, Jon is continuously mugging for the camera. Glancing sideways at Kate, glancing at the producer/cameraman/whoever, smirking, tries to cover up his smiling. She is turned to look at him, but he focuses on the others in the room & the camera. He realizes she isn’t done, and tries to pull a more serious face so mom doesn’t hand out another love tap.
Kate: “And there’s a nicer way if your spouse is being grouchy, there’s a nicer way to communicate that if you’re being mature and not immature like you’re sitting there giggling right now. There’s a nicer way to say things. You could have said in a very mature, husbandly way, ‘Kate what are you so bothered about? Can I help you with something?’ I’ve asked you our whole marriage when I’m stressed, say ‘Is there something I can help you with?’ There’s a hundred things you can help me with, but if you don’t ask, I just bark. So, he hasn’t learned that yet. Typical man. It’s alright. We have to love them despite their faults.”
Nothing like a lesson on how to communicate maturely from a woman who manipulates, condescends to, criticizes, and stereotypes her husband, while legitimizing her own bad behavior, all in the space of about 20 seconds. She continues to stare pointedly at Jon, the most awkward of silences ensues until finally Jon says, “I don’t know what to say.” Me either, buddy. I know child support for 8 kids would be tough, but maybe you could fake your own death?
Jen quickly tries to save Jon by getting Kate to describe some of her least favorite moments.
“Well, it’s the Toys R Us episode,” Kate replies.
So, you’re thinking that Kate finally grasps the fact that she showed her ass at the toy store? Not so fast, there.
“Jon was being a child, playing with toys as usual,” Kate says. Footage of day in question, Jon showing the kids animal toys, being a normal human being, etc.
Jon: “Actually I was told to watch the kids.”
Kate: “You were, but you were playing and so involved in your child play you weren’t paying attention to me trying to buy gifts.” Ummm..kay.
Jon: “I was distracting the children so they wouldn’t see what you were buying them.”
Kate: “Right, and you weren’t paying attention to when we needed to move on to the next thing. I don’t even quite remember what it was about except for some reason I needed his help or attention or we were getting ready to…I don’t even remember the details but the fact that I had to yell to get his attention, and yes, I did yell loud, and by the way it sounds louder on the show because I’m mic’ed.”
Footage of Kate’s infamous “Hel-lo!” across the Toys R Us.
Kate: “Everyone that was nearby heard me. But it’s not like anyone in the next building heard me.”
Same “Hel-lo!” footage, except now you notice people whipping around when they hear the bellow of the beast. One lady rushes her kid out of camera range. Then they play the footage again. Jen does not like Kate, y’all.
Jon: “I think I was in lane 5 and you were in 13, so that’s 8 lanes. Everyone heard you.”
Kate: “I’ve never done that since, and I don’t care what he says. We’ve never been in a store where I’ve yelled across the store, ‘Hello!’”
Jon: “Yes we have.”
Jon: “Crayola factory.”
So, it looks like Jon has quite a mental list going of all the times Kate has humiliated him in public and for the enjoyment of the viewing audience. Interesting. And here comes Jen with some more footage! We all remember Kate screaming “Jon!” across a huge room at the crayon factory.
Kate: “That was not a store.” Excellent defense, Kate.
Jon: “No, but you yelled across the whole floor.”
Kate: “Yes, because there was 2,000 people between me and you and I literally yelled to merely have you hear me. I had kids I had to take to the bathroom, kids I had to give to you, and I had to yell, you were way over there and I couldn’t get to you.”
Jon smugly nods the whole time Kate speaks, looks lost in thought for a moment, and says, “There’s three episodes. There’s one at the corn maze, one at the toy store, and one at Crayola.”
OK, I have to say…does Jon not keep track of the many off-camera humiliations I’m sure he’s subjected to? Is it OK unless it makes it to an “episode”? Sad. OK—back to the dirt.
Kate: “I don’t…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Jon: “At the corn maze in our show open, you yell ‘Hel-lo!’”
Kate: “OK, in the recent days have I done that?”
Jon: “In the recent days, no.”
Kate: “OK, there you go.”
Jon: (mumbling) “You’ve been away three days.”
At this point, Kate looks shocked, pissed, and puts her head in her hands. When you see all this dialogue between them written out, it sounds like the conversation between a 15 year-old and his castrating mother. Unpleasant to witness, and really just shoots out of the water any notion that these two are a loving couple. Business partners is a more accurate description, trying to sell their Gosselin ”brand” to the sheeple. We are treated to more Jon-emasculation via the “frickin’ dog” footage outside after the Toys R Us debacle.
Kate: “And, yes, that was a learning moment for me, how that came across. I don’t know what I would’ve done differently, but I just wish Jon…I wouldn’t have yelled, obviously, but I wish Jon would be more sensitive and pay attention to the big picture of what’s going on. Right?”
Jon: (hostile sideways glance at Kate) “Sure, I’ll try.” That dripped in all kinds of insincerity.
Kate: “Thank you.”
And for the funniest moment of the evening, Jen says, “This episode might be a most embarrassing moment.” Jen and the cameraman crack up, Kate laughs in a kind of confused way because she once again does not see that she’s the joke, and Jon just gives Kate YET ANOTHER sideways glance like, “You can’t embarrass her, trust me.”
OK—Joel footage. And as much as I love me some Joel, “Boys have wieners,” is not his greatest hit for me, and, if we’re honest, this episode is so much more about the idiotically embarrassing
parents than the cute kids. The kids are adorable, and as far as I can tell, never do a single embarrassing thing. I heart them, but won’t spend a lot of time recapping their adorable-ness. It’s a given.
After the commercial break, Kate interviews that the ‘tups 3rd birthday party “that everyone says was so over the top” was one of her favorite moments, what with the perfect weather and great memories and whatnot. Then, she explains that really what got to her about that episode is what she said at the end of it. She did some speechifying about how they were lucky to get through the pregnancy with all the babies, etc. which is all true. But the important part is that her own words in that episode still move her to tears. OK, crazy.
Footage of Collin trying to stuff a baby doll in a bike compartment & pulling kids along in the wagon. Cute, yeah, but did Collin really do nothing else in 60 episodes? Oh, wait, I remember my favorite Collin moment. Let’s use that instead. After his mom screamed at him and his brothers for removing a knob off a dresser drawer, she turned her back and he did a “Nanny, nanny boo boo” dance at her. Hee-hee.
OK, back to the “marriage slowly disintegrating” footage. Apparently “Slapping Jon” has been made into a favorite moment. For some. Guess who.
Kate: “Maybe embarrassing and funny is the episode where you have all of the clips of slaps of
Jon…it’s like ‘pow, pow, pow, pow, pow!” (as she pretends to hit Jon all over again).
Footage of 8 or 9 “love taps”. Jen really does not like Kate, y’all.
Jon: “She likes that,”
Kate: “Yeah, I do.”
Jon: “…and that’s an embarrassing episode for me.”
Kate: “Is it?”
Jon: “Yeah, it’s really strange.”
Kate: “It’s for emphasis, I’ve done that my whole life. It happens to be that you’re the one next to me most of the time, so you receive the brunt of it.”
Jon, with a look like “Yeah, go sell that crap somewhere else, lady,” merely says thank you.
Aaden footage! He is very curious about the cameras and seems to like the cameraman, Scott. I love Aaden.
OK, a bunch of blah, blah about not knowing it was illegal to take the pinecones out of the forest in California. Who cares? Some more blah, blah about storing said pinecones in the garage & the disagreement about which box to put them in. Scintillating. Kate then busts out with a compliment for Jon. I know, you’re shocked. Me too! Are you ready?
Jon is good at figuring out how to put things in boxes.
But wait, Jon, before you go and get a big head…you weren’t right about the pinecone box. Sorry. You may be good at putting things in boxes when the cameras are off, but when they’re on & the box is full of illegal pinecones, you’re still a dumb-ass. Again, sorry.
Footage of Hannah kissing her siblings goodbye as she goes for her special day. Sweet. Kate, however, has not been spoken of in the last 10 seconds, so we must get back to her. Sorry, Hannie! We’ll see you later when you’re covered in your own feces, don’t worry!.
Alexis footage. Cutie! But, wait, it’s still kind of about Kate. Footage of Kate coming home from her tummy tuck. The way she comes through the ‘tups door with a big phony “Mommy’s home!” really grates. So contrived. Anyway, Kate is very gratified that Alexis is so amazed to see her. Like she’s a burning bush or dancing elephant. Alexis says sweetly “Hi, mommy, hi!” Aaand now that we’ve portrayed Alexis in a positive way, we can show her covered in poop during the first hour-long special. Classy.
More footage of fun times, Dutch Wonderland, Disneyworld. Kate and Jon both interview, yet again, that their family wouldn’t have ever been able to go to Disney without the show and that they’re so blessed. But, now that we’ve brought up Disneyworld, Jen takes the opportunity to exhibit Kate freak show, episode 278: Vanillagate!
Jon: “Ice cream at Disneyworld.”
Jon: “I thought that would be an embarrassing moment.”
Kate: “Oh, yeah, that was embarrassing.”
Cue the Vanillagate footage, with all its attendant barked orders, mocking, shrieking children, and spousal criticism. And a very uncomfortable-looking Beth, I might add.
Kate: “He disappears, leaves me. I always beg him to protect me, he doesn’t. He’s over there chatting. Letting me freak out, and not even…again, a husband who loves his wife would have stepped forward, despite how embarrassing it appeared, if you wanted me to stop all you had to do was say ‘How can I help you?’. But part of this is you choose to ‘Oh, she’s embarrassing, good-bye! I’m just going to stand over here and chat and act like I don’t know any of them.’ That’s not a help. I just need help. When I’m freaking out it’s because I’m frustrated, can’t move fast enough, and nobody helps me. So if you can just say ‘How can I help you’ instead of mocking me, laughing at how I act, you know, whatever, it could change it.”
Jon: “OK, no one helps you.” (he left off the “whatever, bee-yotch”)
Kate: “I…did I just say that? That no one helps me?”
Jon: “Yes you did, ‘and no one helps me,’ you said.”
Kate: “Yeah, standing aside and watching it all unfold and crumble.”
Jon: “I was watching my kids enjoy the princesses. I didn’t want to go and rehash it again. Sorry for opening my mouth. Maybe I won’t suggest any more embarrassing moments because I’m getting grilled in the seat…”
Jon: “…every time I come up with an embarrassing moment. So from now on I’m not going to say anything. Hopefully this conversation is over.”
Kate: “It’s not, and that’s not communication. Good try, though. Do you under…”
Jen: (interrupting) “Let’s go back to favorite moments.”
Wow, so, literally everything is Jon’s fault. Kate’s meltdowns are because he doesn’t help her enough when she gets frustrated. He could “change it” (her behavior) if he protected her and gave her enough attention. If the man walked up to her and said “How can I help you?” she would have made him feel like an idiot for not knowing immediately what to do. Jonny-boy cannot win.
Apparently, Leah’s shining moment from 60 episodes is talking about Hannah pooping in her “unna-wears”. OK, cute. Whatever. Commercial break.
Favorite moment with Mady is when she bosses the ‘tups at their old table. Mady and Cara are cute (according to their parents) when they talk about Alexis and her disgusting poop. The whole family goes to cut down a Christmas tree. Jon swears he will never do that again, for which he is shouted down and punched in the face by Kate. Just kidding, but she hints that he will indeed be doing it again, as it is a GOSSELIN FAMILY TRADITION, and you don’t f-around with those.
Jon interviews that in one episode he wore a striped sweater that made him look like a “big, fat, dog.” The footage shows, that it is, indeed, an ugly sweater. Jon talks about how he looks fat and in the episode is at a buffet, so he mimes shoveling food in his mouth. Kate cackles, because she loves to hear Jon, herself, and anyone else refer to Jon as fat. Jon needs his “fuzzy-bunny” ASAP. He also didn’t like that producer Jen wouldn’t let him shave his “beard” for filming continuity during a few episodes.
Blah, blah Cara loves all the ‘tups, but Mady doesn’t, she just pretends to so her parents don’t sell her to the gypsies. The footage of Cara & Mady from the first special shows what we’ve all observed…there are light years between the twins at four and the ‘tups at four.
BS shots of Jon & Kate kissing culled from different episodes. Again, whatever. Ahhh…a last dose of vitriol for the road. Kate says that the episode has helped them learn some things and have some “counseling” in their “counseling chair."
Kate: (hugging Jon) “So do you love me even more?”
Jon: “I’m not saying anything.”
Submitted for publication by dubiwag.
Now they've apparently had a change of mind and have removed their letter to their "faithful fans".
But don't worry, they haven't abandoned you -- now they have this sign posted to their "faithful fans" right in their own front yard. If you click on the link and still can't read the smaller print, it says:
Do not stop in front of our house.
Do not take pictures.
Do not stop and talk to us.
I came across Jon and Kate plus 8 during a late night after studying in college. What started as mere curiosity quickly became my favorite show. I got so hooked that I started to make my roomate watch and slowly I had the entire sorority house of 35 girls tuning in.
What we saw as a nice family has quickly turned into a trainwreck. My main problem with the show is their new found love of money. While I think the lengths these two will go to to earn a dollar is disgusting, more than anything I am disgusted by the message they are sending to their children. They are teaching eight little ones that self responsibility and a strong work ethic is not important. That they are entitled and that hard working people should support them. Instead of providing for his family like most men, Jon is content to ride the gravy train.
This to me is the most disturbing because if J&K continue on this path, they will do their kids a great injustice. They are showing their kids that it is not an individual responsibilty to provide for yourself through hard work and education, but instead that others should support you. The most important message and gift my parents every gave me was to show me how hard they worked and how important education was. I really hope that instead of sending the message that we should get something for nothing because we are special, they will try to teach these kids how fortunate they are that they have the opportunities to go to private school and college -- something they could not do.
While I doubt this will be the message, I hope that when the gravy train ends the kids will realize that Daddy not having a job was a huge mistake. Maybe when they are older, the eight will become disgusted by their parents' willingness to do anything for the almighty dollar. I hope in ten years we hear that these kids are in college fighting for other exploited children. Wouldn't that be ironic? Until then I have been forced to turn all of my sorority sisters onto this blog and try to show them that are love of everything Gosselin is really just a sham.
I want to add a thank you to Jodi's sister for speaking out. I only hope that your courage will inspire others to do the same and that I love your sister and know how important aunts and extended family can be!
Blog entry created from a comment left by Sorority Sister.