Family Movie Night and Girls Day Out

TLC is airing a new Jon & Kate Plus 8 episode tonight -- a one-hour feature starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern titled Family Movie Night.

This was originally scheduled to air tomorrow night (Monday June 30) as the Season Four premiere, but was pushed back to tonight.

There will be another new one-hour episode airing tomorrow night, titled Girls Day Out. I don't believe this is a new Season Four episode, but a leftover from Season Three.

Aunt Jodi: The Tribe Has Spoken

While the Gosselin children may have many material "blessings", thanks to being exploited by their parents and complicit others, nothing can compare to their Aunt Jodi.

Jodi is married to Kevin Kreider -- Kate Gosselin's brother. Jodi and Kevin have four children of their own, but live near Jon and Kate and have been relied upon heavily to babysit the Gosselin children while Jon and Kate tend to the heavy demands on their time that frequently take them away from some or all of their children.

We have seen quite a bit of Jodi and her interaction with the Gosselin children, and although she is wonderful to behold on her own merits, when contrasted with her shrew of a sister-in-law, she seems even better. We've seen Jodi play with the children -- actually play with them in a natural, spontaneous way, with no tension about grass stains or melted ice cream. We've enjoyed the children cooking with her in the kitchen, playing dress-up, chilling in front of a video, going for walks around the neighborhood, etc.

Jodi seems to have this refreshing mixture of humor, grace, patience, gentleness, and above all an essential maternal nurturing that we feel starved for when watching the children under Kate's jurisdiction. But we've seen her ability to be stern, too, when Mady needed it, although even that situation she approached (physically) on Mady's level, on her knees and locking eyes with her niece and speaking firmly and directly.

Not only is Jodi a joy to watch, but when the children are in her care, they are like different people… we don't see the tension, the pathologies, the whining, the overall desperation displayed so often when it is only Kate herding them through the day. Many of us will never forget how relieved we felt when we saw sick little Joel finally getting a kind word, a rub on his back, a hug and some reassurance when he was feeling so ill... it helped remove the sting we felt at seeing that same little feverish boy berated for vomiting on his comforter and banished to the laundry room floor lest he add any more to Kate's laundry.

Now for the pale underbelly of this scenario. Before filming began for the Jon & Kate Plus 8 second season, Figure 8 Films wanted to pay Jodi for her role in the series. Not only for her babysitting time, of course, but also for the intrusion of the camera crew and equipment into her home... the disruption to her own home and family.

This never reached Jodi's awareness at the time because of Kate's response -- an adamant NO. Her reasoning? In summary and to paraphrase, 'No way! No one gets paid but us!'. The issue of remuneration for the Kreiders was dropped, with Jodi never being aware of it and continuing to help out with the children as she had been doing even back when Jon and Kate were nobodies and the children weren't the nationwide stars they have become; they were simply the nieces and nephews Jodi and Kevin adored.

Fast forward to Season 3, and this time Jodi was approached directly with the offer of a paying contract for continuing to do the show. By now Jodi had seen the scenes in which she was filmed aired on various episodes -- footage that included both Jon and Kate badmouthing her to the camera, characterizing her as an irresponsible ditz, saying condescending things about her way of handling the Gosselin children -- "She tries, bless her heart!".

To her credit, Jodi cared more about her relationship with her nieces and nephews than she did about what Jon and Kate had to say about her and, even though Kate AGAIN vetoed the idea of compensating Jodi, Jodi said that she loved her nieces and nephews and wanted to be in their lives regardless. She said that it wasn't about the money; as long as she could maintain a relationship with the Gosselin children she wanted to keep doing so.

This wasn't good enough for Kate, who was also suffering from the nagging realization that Jodi made Kate look pretty bad by comparison, so a third party was hired to provide the babysitting (and other) services and Jodi is seemingly no longer of use to Jon and Kate.

You know how they do that little ceremony at the end of each season of Survivor, where the remaining two or three players reminisce about all the players who are no longer in the picture? The list of players voted off of Jon and Kate's island continues to grow, with Jodi being only the most recent fatality.

I hope Jodi's replacement doesn't make Kate look bad or her days may already be numbered. I am 48 years old and I wish I had an Aunt Jodi. As much as I am going to miss seeing her on the show, I'm sure it can't compare to how much the children will miss having her in their lives.

Posted by Serena based upon information granted with permission by Jodi's sister, Julie.