Episode Recap - "Boys' Day Out" - 06/23/2008

“Boy’s Day Out”

We start with the previews – Jon takes all three boys out for the very first time! Kate doesn’t have all the ingredients for Monkey Munch! The horror! Screaming kids! Whee!

Then the standard opening, which I am not going to recap. Multiples, stress, blah blah blah. Yep, it’s your life, and I’m glad it’s not mine!

We start on the couch. Jon says this episode will be the first time he has taken all three of his boys out, at the same time. The editing tries very hard to make it look like this is a first, but it turns out this isn’t. Given their age, I can see that it’s hard to do lots of activities that Jon likes that the boys can do. But what about taking the boys to do something they like to do, even if Jon doesn’t particularly want to do it? Its called parenting, Jon!

Debatable Kate Moment #1: Kate mentions they don’t have a lot of room “to be boys”. Subtle hint for TLC to buy them a bigger house, or just the usual gender typing from Kate? Who knows? Also, lots of talk about the boys being outnumbered.

Debatable Kate Moment #2: She’s lying on a carpet, hugging a girl ‘tup. Alexis, I think. Joel comes up from behind, and asks “Mommy, do you miss me?” Kate replies, “I sure do”, without turning to look at her son. Joel says “Then I miss you” and walks on. Kate kisses the girl ‘tup. Do we praise her for showing affection to one of her children, or scream gender bias for brushing off her son who wants attention from her?

Back to the couch, discussing the outnumbering. Jon notes that the boys are outnumbered 5-3. Kate jumps in to say that counting the parents, the ratio is 6-4 boys, and they’re just outnumbered by one. To Kate’s credit, she does laugh when Jon points out that is the same ratio and her math kind of sucks. I like Kate when she can have a chuckle at herself.

Next sequence “Boys are just dirty”. Kate inspects Aaden’s nails at the dining table and clips them. Ewwwwwwwwwwww! Kate has a lot to say about how dirty boys are. But at least they aren’t clipping their own nails where people eat – Mommy does that for them! Kate also says “Boys are new and interesting to us – we’re just learning about them”. So does that mean that Jon doesn’t have boy parts? Is he a Ken doll beneath those khaki shorts? Or is she using the royal “we”?

More talk about the difference between boys and girls. Girls are more emotional and needy and verbal and prone to outbursts. But they listen better and take instructions better. Boys don’t listen and compute as well. Girls are more helpful. In other words, girls > boys.

Golf day! Kate tells Jon what she wants the boys to wear because she wants them to look nice. Jon wants them to be warm. Kate asks when they’re moving to warmer weather? “Soon”.

One of the boys adorably puts on Jon’s golf shoes and walks around in them. The littler girls adorably hug and kiss the boys before they go out the door (Mady and Cara were in school). Jon voice-overs that he has never taken the boys out “to do anything”. Kate hastily corrects “to do a boys day”. She states that he has taken them out shopping for guy stuff. Jon agrees, but seems to think that doesn’t count because it’s not fun. Jon clearly hasn’t been shopping in the right places then!

After the commercial break, Alexis cheerfully waves for the camera. Leah sits on the time out mat and cries that she wants her daddy. I’m a little scared that I can finally tell those two apart without subtitles. Kate “decides” they’ll do a project and make Monkey Munch. She reads the list of ingredients and “realizes” they are out of powdered sugar. She then fake-calls around and nobody has enough powdered sugar to lend her. So she decides to take all three (gasp!) to the store, seemingly shocked that such a thing is possible! How can the Queen of Organization be experiencing this phenomenon for the first time? How will she cope?

Jon takes the boys to a par 3 course. First they stop at a sporting goods store for boy-sized golf clubs. I think this is the kind of shopping that Jon enjoys. Kate comes out of the supermarket, with a refreshing lack of drama. There is some drama when she’s buckling the girls in. She notes that Alexis typically says she wants to pee so Kate threatens to not make Monkey Munch when they get home. Drama!

We’re at the golf course! They practise putting, and it’s adorable. Aw, the boys have their own couch interview! Collin says “We were pushing it”. Aaden spazzes about “going round and round”. The little boys had fun, yay!

Debatable Kate Moment #3. She asks Jon “So, do we have any Tigers in our bunch?” Mother expressing curiosity about how her sons did in golf, or mother looking to exploit the snot out of any budding golf prodigies? At least she didn’t call them “dirty” this time. Jon decidedly does not think they have any Tigers.

Jon’s right. At this age, these kids aren’t well-coordinated, and not that motivated to do well in golf. But, they are having fun! They’re even allowed to run around on grass, although Jon does warn them not to tear up the greens, like any responsible golfer would. Jon is clearly much more okay about grass stains than Kate. Kate says “I thought the greens was the grass”. Jon explains grass and greens and par 3 to Kate. She makes a face.

The boys basically run around, then eat snacks on the golf cart. Collin scolds Joel for “getting me dirty!” In a moment I wish we’d see more of, Jon tells Collin to stop freaking out, it’s okay if everyone gets dirty, and says “Your mother has got you brain-warped, thinking you have to be a clean boy all the time.” He says he doesn’t care if they get dirty! I think Jon found more than his golf balls in his golf bag, if you know what I mean.

Monkey Munch making time! Kate is using a blurred out box. Does this mean she’s using food that isn’t a product placement? Yay! The girls help her count cups of whatever she’s adding to the ingredients. They’re allowed to help her measure cereal and chocolate chips. Then they watch her add the melted chocolate and peanut butter. She has a challenge finding enough spatulas and spoons for all three to lick – I’m impressed they are even allowed to lick them. I guess Kate wasn’t clipping anyone’s nails around the spatulas.

As staged as I think this Monkey Munch shopping/making sequence was, the girls had fun. And that is what I like to see!

Back at the golf course. The 11th hole, to be exact. There are wooden stairs that the boys find more exciting than golf. So Jon played golf, and the boys ran up and down the stairs, playing. Jon wanders out around the corner where he can’t see the boys – Bad Dad alert! Always keep the boys where you can see them! He does eventually park them in the cart so he can keep an eye on them.

Kate asks dumb questions about the course, saying, “I’ve never been to a golf course”. Jon fake-mutters for the camera, then says “You’re never going to go, because that’s my safe haven”. They both laugh. Kate said that Jon said she could sit on the cart and read a magazine when they’re older. Jon wisely predicts that she’ll criticize his playing even while she’s sitting on the cart. He'll probably also be breathing too loud.

Kate picks up on that the boys weren’t playing golf with Jon on their day out together, but he says they did have fun, and admits they got into someone’s flowers and mulch. And other than some shots of them looking bored on the cart, there are great shots of them running around and playing with each other and just having fun.

Home time. Jon carries the sleeping boys in – running around wore them out! This pleases Kate. Kate previews that the next day out is a girls' day out and she has to point out that she’s taking five out to Jon’s three. Like she’s the first mother ever to go out with five children at the same time. Stay tuned for that train wreck!

Note: I don’t have a problem with Jon not playing with the boys, even if this was supposed to be a day for all of them – they really weren’t into golf, and he didn’t force them to play it if they didn’t want to. He let them do what they wanted to do, and he got to play some golf without Kate breathing down his neck. I played golf with my dad a lot and I’m not going to roll my eyes about golf being a “boys” game, Kate.