They're Just Not That Into Us

Guys? Some of you are posting comments that appeal directly to Jon and Kate by name, as if you're writing a public letter to them. I have this feeling that they're just not that into us, and we're not going to be publishing them any more.

So even if the rest of your post is really great, if you stick in something like, "Jon, I know you're reading this, so..." or "Hey Kate, let me tell you something...", it's going to go into a black hole.

Oh, and same goes for posting questions to Julie and/or Jodi... the input and information they want to get out will be posted when they want it posted, so no more bugging them via this blog.

Episode Recap - "Sextuplets Turn 4" - 07/07/2008

Authors Note: Writing this recap for that show has been EXHAUSTING for me. I mean, really. I am trying to bring the funny, because that is just the general tone I like to do and I think its good to keep some things light on the blog - show another side rather than just the 'issues' but I gotta tell ya - this one is painful to watch in slo-mo and pause and relive those awful moments. Some of the little stuff in that episode, things I haven’t seen really discussed at length that I think people may have missed I have picked up on and it really is painful. I would pause to write and every time, whether at the bakery or on the couch, and especially that family dinner table, the tape was stopped and just about every frozen expression from Jon, Kate or the kids were painful, heart wrenching, angry faces. I’m sorry it took so long, but it was hard and I did the best I could do. So, with no further delay…

Tups Turn Four, aka WTF???

Well, it’s that time again; the Gosselin kids are turning 4! We’ve witnessed many milestones in their short little lives and now we’ve all been given a personal invitation to come join the festivities, courtesy of TLC.

We start this journey with Kate telling us the kids decided “they wanted a family day” this go round, and who is Kate to say no? Actually, it’s pretty evident this celebration was separate, in addition to a bigger, more celebratory event that had perhaps taken place earlier in private, but J&K+8 wouldn’t be a show without those kids and a birthday episode for the ‘peeps’ is certainly in order.

So let’s get this party started – up in here, up in here.

The Gosselins are on their way to church this day, packing this and that, cute little brightly colored aprons for the kids. Wonder whose idea that was and where were they during the Crayola visit? Gosh, to think 8 little rags of cloth and some trim and ties here and there could have made such a difference way back then. Anyway, good idea and planning there, Kate. After church they are going to decorate cupcakes for the kids at a bakery. Such fun. Such hopes. Such dreams.

Kids run this way and that way, getting dressed in the nice bright yellow Sunday Best. Mady has on her new ‘bellydancerish’ (don’t let Kate hear you say that Jon.) skirt. Joel is adorable this day and honestly maybe speaking a little better than ever. He says he’s “going to make a cupcake myself.” Yes you are little man. So excited. It’s a mad dash and frenzy for the gang to get out the door. Kate states, “It’s more annoying than I can say.” To which I say, oh Katie, you little minx, yes you can; you’ve never let us down before. Mady’s struggling with her little pink shoes in the garage and they hurt her feet. Kate reminds Mady it’s not about HER but about Kate as she chides, “My feet hurt all the time in my shoes. Always! …Jooooooon. Would you call your daughters who are acting stupid about shoes again?”

Did I mention they’re on their way to church?

Jon, on the couch, explains exactly what Mady has said, to clear any confusion any of his peeps may have had about what we had just witnessed, “They didn’t fit. It was a size problem – unbeknownst to us.” Yeah, that’s exactly what Mady had said, pretty much, which Kate characterized as stupid. Back in the car, Kate gives Mady a perfectly acceptable explanation for her problems, “You have two different size feet.”

Well, yes, this has been known to happen, but come on, Mady has both shoes in her hands, exclaiming they hurt. This isn’t her first trip to Disney, yet I guess Kate thinks telling her she has two different size feet will just “WOW!” Mady into submission. Give her that to chew on a while and maybe she’ll quit bugging out loud about it.

Still, in the van, there’s much agony and pained faces, screeching, crying and whatnot.

Kate: “Why is this taking so long today?”
Jon: “Because we have annoying children!”
Kate: (narration) “It’s not just wailing, it’s a lot of words and you can’t hear anything anyway….
Jon: (narration) “Yeah, it’s not moaning and groaning; it’s actual conversation.
Kate: (narration) “It’s just white noise to us.”

But…but…Kate? Didn’t she recently say SHE is the one who listens to what they are saying; she’s the parent who is that adept during these times? Which is it – white noise that’s blocked out by her or she’s the parent who actually stops to hear them out and listen to what they are saying?

Kate can tune it out. Jon wears earplugs, we are reminded. On the couch Jon pulls a funny. “We’re gonna be helicopter pilots with our own headsets so we can talk to each other then and have actual conversations.” Please, the peeps beg of you, get to work on that. Plus, Kate thinks this is one of Jon’s rare but fabulous ideas.

Back to the van and loading up after what parallels Job and his struggles and suffering, Kate chuckles “Oh my word, we’re earlier than normal. That’s scary.” Onward rolls the Big Old Bus o’ Unhappy.

Return from commercial shows the Gosselins leaving church this time, with Mady limping out the door. No shots of the kids being dropped off at class, Jon and Kate singing and praising, and you know, being left alone. They talk about their love of yellow and how easy it is to spot the kids in yellow. Kate grabs Joel, who’s so excited to be heading to make that promised cupcake, and lifts him into the van, but before he settles she spins his head around and plants a big old genuine smoocharoo on his face. He may need that neck looked at.

Turns out, it was quite a haul to make the cupcakes, but Jon seems excited the bakery was willing to open on Sunday just for them. I’m a little amazed myself Jon can still be shocked at the lengths people will go for ultimate monetary gain, but anyhow…it looks as though everyone must put on those fancyass new aprons before anyone can set a foot inside the door of the place. Poor Mady – the shoes don’t fit and now the apron is weird, “weirdest apron ever!”, and it smells weird. All the kids settle in and Kate finds herself a chair and slides up to the cool kids’ table – Hannah, Leah and Aaden, as she questions Jon, “Are you manning them?”, motioning to the table where Collin, Joel and that wild woman Alexis are. Jon mans up; “I’m manning both.”

Mady finally has a wardrobe victory when she gets her big chef hat! Yay, Mady! She’s excited. They’re all excited, no doubt. Big, huge grins all around. The bakery owner explains the plan to Kate: they’re going to make fondant decorations to go on top of the cupcakes, if that’s OK with her. Kate lets her know she’s safe – “as long as it doesn’t get messy.”

You know, if Kate promptly stood up and exited the bakery at that exact moment, I could almost guarantee things wouldn’t get “messy”.

But she didn’t. And so the story goes…

Lauren, the owner of Velvet Sky Bakery, who opened her doors on Sunday just for the Gosselin 10 and appears to be more than likely paying at least two employees to help with the endeavor, who granted, is hoping for a little exposure here for her business through this process, has a one-on-one with the camera and says, to paraphrase, “WTF? Cupcakes are messy.” On the couch, Kate reminds us she’s always concerned about the mess. Jon states he wants them to have fun. So Kate has to go all “LAUNDRY-YOU DIPSHIT-REMEMBER THE LAUNDRY” on his ass. Yada, yada…church clothes…she didn’t feel like changing them from their church clothes because ‘that would be a hassle’…so it’s just easier to hassle the cake lady.

So, the little kids are starting to work on their cupcake with the fondant cutouts. Kate reprimands Jon about which table he’s supposed to be at. Kids….phhhffpt.. you know how they’re always roaming the room. Jon actually firmly tells Kate “No. I’m helping Hannah. I promised her.” So Kate scoots off to the other table, although I rather suspect she’d prefer her foot up his ass, but there she is with Joel, Collin and Alexis to spread more cheer their way. Kate wasn’t happy. She didn’t want to be in the middle of the room. “He took my kids.”

Jon: “Party pooper.”

The kids all cut shapes for their cupcakes as one of the employees explain fondant is like edible play dough. Ohhhh, why did she ever say that? Kate only heard ‘edible food coloring’ and adds this “That’s what I was concerned about.” Again, to which I say, WTF? The kids weren’t dying the fondant – it was pre-colored.

Kate: (narration) “We’re not really into that.”

Me: WTF?

Kate: (narration) “Mr. Ahemahem over here was encouraging them to eat it.”

Kate: (at the bakery) “Hannah, Hannah. No more. You’re gonna get a belly ache.”

Aaden sniffs! Joel makes a STAR! The big girls are excited to do what they wanted with the individual cakes they had been given. Next step for the little kids is to ice their cupcake. Nice cake lady offers to let them do one to eat at the bakery and one to take home. Kate thinks just one to take home will suffice. This isn’t their real birthday after all, just a little extra something like they had said. At this point I’m getting a funny feeling Kate is so OVER this cupcake business. What makes me think such?

Kate: (narration) “I thought they were going to put a vat of icing on the table and let them bathe in it.”

Again, me…with the WTF? Now really, one doesn’t have to have eight kids, two sets of multiples, 7 year old twins and 4 year old sextuplets, to know that doesn’t even come close to anything the gracious owner of the bakery who opened their doors on Sunday just to accommodate your family would ever consider doing. Especially, if she ever got wind of the Crayola Factory fiasco, and it’s just a hunch I have, but I’m betting this lady had heard a thing or two from a little birdie before the big day arrived.

Kate’s sitting in the bakery and she admits she’s a little nervous. She says “it’s out of character for them. They would not normally be in the kitchen making messes at this age.”

Monkey Munch, anyone? Three little girls…powdered sugar..peanut butter…chocolate…bowls…bag…shake…Ring any bells?

Kate shrugs on the heels of the incessant complaining, “But, it’s alright. It’s fun.” As if that can erase every negative nanosecond since walking through the door she has scrutinized. Messy, indeed.

Jon again calls her a party pooper and asks her to just enjoy it. Maybe in the first redeeming moment I personally have witnessed from Jon in a long time he says “You’re going to be kicking yourself in the future.”

Kate: “He does not do the laundry. It’s obvious.”

Maybe the future for Kate doesn’t mean the same as it does to others. For her it may go no farther than Monday’s wash load. But perhaps, just maybe Jon does have a vision of the future after all; one he hopes and dreams and prays for that will include eight children and possibly some grandchildren coming back home to visit on holidays and birthdays and other special occasions for no other reason than they want to. So, as not to belittle what I once again see as a monumental moment in the life of Jon and Kate – the life they invite us into – I will not say “WTF?” I will only say: Listen carefully, Kate, to those words your husband tried to squeeze in in that moment.

Their examination of the incident continues on the couch with Jon asking “Why not enjoy yourself?”

Kate: “Because you don’t enjoy yourself in the laundry room.”

Jon tries the change of clothes approach again, but that’s not going to fly. Didn’t then; won’t now. Kate says, “You would get annoyed with me if you had to change a hundred kids.” Now, despite what Kate would have people believe, and I know her math is sketchy, 8 kids does not equal 100. And here’s a thought: Since the big girls seemed fine and dandy in their own cake bliss, SHE could have changed 3 and Jon could have changed 3.

Three = Far cry from 100.

Shall we move on now that is has been well established cupcake making is messy? Good. I need some happy.

"Ohhhhh, myyyyy!" Never have sweeter words been uttered. Little Joel with a big grin on his face and the nice cake lady who came in to work on her day off so the kids could have a special moment, helps him pipe green icing on his cupcake. What a sweet moment.

But, Hark! “Don’t touch!” bellows from the beast. Damn, I knew it couldn’t last too long.

We interrupt this descent to cupcake hell to insert a personal message. Everyone else can busy themselves with a drink or a smoke, perhaps a snack. I need a second. I know, it’s been a long one. If you think it’s rough on you, imagine what I have gone through the last four days trying to write this crap.

Hey—pssst – Jon. Buddy, you may need to hire a professional “stick extractor” as opposed to Fuzzy Bunny – and hint, they can usually be found in the yellow pages with words like “M.D.” and “Psych.” following their names….just sayin’

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Oh hell. Sorry folks, it wasn’t over. Not even close. The Velvet Sky Bitchfest continues:

Kate: “…not eating them here…”
Jon: “Kate….”
Kate: "No. Not in these dresses. No. Sorry."

Kate: (narrating) “I didn’t want them to eat them because it would be messy.”

Well, you don’t say!

Thank God, someone in the editing room is clairvoyant and sensed me sitting over here hyperventilating over what I was witnessing, because FINALLY, someone gave me a little Collin-Love. He delights in decorating his “uwrange” cupcake, with the help of a bakery employee. Come to think of it, I never saw Kate actually help any of the kids at her table with the decorating. But, surely, that’s a good thing. I’m not complaining. Mady and Cara are over in their secure corner, given permission to eat the cupcakes they had made. Mady sneaks a bite and whispers to the camera. “Don’t let the little kids see.”

Jon does make an attempt to humor his children and for all the grief ::coughcoughfacebookasscoughcough:: I give him, I have to admit, at least in the bakery he seems to try to make the best of what should only be one of the best situations, but unfortunately, just isn’t. How many children would jump for joy at the thought of a cake store opening just for them to nibble, play, decorate, and cut out fun stuff for their very own cupcake? At least Jon acknowledged that fact and genuinely seemed to want them to enjoy this moment. He tells them if they can lick their elbow they can eat their cupcake there. Yeah, we know it isn’t likely to happen, but a least he gave them hope, something to laugh at and a quick distraction from the forbidden fruit of the cupcakey-goodness sitting before them.

All the kids finished off their cupcakes with sprinkles and toppings. The kids sang a cute rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Last thing was a cake they all got to decorate with their names on it. Kate finally acknowledges on behalf of the bakery staff, “The ladies were kind to think up that idea for them (the cake with all their names on it, I assume) and they did a good job controlling the mess. Generally, everyone had fun.” Kate seemed to strain to find these words. Jon says, “No one killed each other.” Kudos to YOU, Jon. “We spent a lot of time together – that’s probably the most important thing.” And Kate agrees, “Yeah….Agreed! Good one.” Score one for Jon for coming up with a non-forced, positive thing to say about his family. Kate seemed amazed at the progress he is making.

So, as we leave Velvet Sky Bakery, Kate says it’s “time to head home and eat dinner and dessert…but THIS DAY is nooooo different than any other day.” Yeah, we picked up on that.

Back home the kids are playing outside and Kate tells us it’s “Dinner, dessert, bath and bed.” She was thinking on the way home “It’s a lot of hours til bedtime. I’m exhausted.” Kate asks Jon how much she’d have to pay him to eat one of the kids’ creations and so, back on the couch we revisit their general rule of not eating anything prepared by juvenile hands and they both descend into some pig-face, slurpy, sloppy faced mockery of their children.

Kate’s in the kitchen milling around preparing dinner as the kids play outside and she notes “They’re crying, which means they haven’t been abducted and they’re not dead, so that’s a good thing right?” Kate eventually has the kids change from their Sunday Best yellow outfits they were playing outside and in the driveway in into some play clothes they can find in their drawer. Next thing you know, the time has come and Jon is passing out cupcakes! Oh boy! There’s Leah’s…Alexis’…but then Jon reminds us of THE RULE: No dinner. No dessert. And that sticks, so some didn’t get their cupcake. Collin and Aaden are getting fruit cups, however, instead of dessert. Aaden peers happily into the camera, eating away at his fruit cup. At this point, I don’t think it has quite dawned on him, this is as good as it gets, little buddy, and the Cupcake Train has rolled right on out of this station, leaving him far, far behind.

Kate imparts some of her parenting wisdom unto us; it’s fine if they don’t eat their dinner – it’s not the era of the ‘Clean Plate Club’. But in the end, some of them aren’t getting their treats this night. Shots of them at the table show Joel with his head buried in his hands, Collin crying, Hannah’s hair being brushed back by Mady’s hands while she and Kate feed Hannah the required bites needed in exchange for the cupcake. Kate has Hannah’s fork in her hand, now sitting beside Hannah, but quickly gives it up herself and leaves the job of feeding Hannah to Mady. Mady lovingly explains what Hannah needs to do and scoops up a fork full for Hannah who purses her lips and doesn’t actually take the full bite – at best, she did what could be characterized as licking the tip of the fork. Cara tells her ONE bite is everything on her fork, but her plate is still full, and Kate leans over the table to intently hear Hannah’s question before she clears the still obviously full plate, “Do I get my cupcake?” Meanwhile, Joel has his eyes on Kate just as intently waiting to hear the answer she gives Hannah. He looks so hopeful there is still a chance he may get his. In narration, Kate justifies, “She did make a good dent.” The plate as Kate cleared it, from my perspective, appeared just as full as it was in the first shot, but I digress. Simply because it is too painful to linger on too long. Those of you with DVR feel free to closely review this entire scene, pausing as necessary as I did to soak it all in and draw your own conclusions.

Alternatively, the boys “just weren’t even trying”.

God, how I wish those boys would have just. licked. a. fork.

“Collin didn’t try. Aaden barely tried. Joel certainly didn’t try.”

Joel: “Yes I did! I ate chicken.”
Jon: “You ate nothing.”

The boys did not get a cupcake. Aaden realizes this is really going down like that, and it is absolutely pitiful. He’s sitting there with his fork in his hand, eating his fruit, which, incidentally, a fruit cup was also in place on the table in front of either Leah or Alexis, and by Kate’s own admission, he had ‘barely tried’. What? Did he LOOK at the fork as opposed to LICKING it? He wails, “I don’t get my cupcake? Aaawwwwwww….”

Jon: “You don’t get your cupcake.”

Interrupting this episode again for another personal message: Jon, make that a table for two at the Stick Extractor. Or, at the very least, the Re-Nutter Factory for you. I get that eight kids is a lot, but come on, that tells me you had them once, right? Surely there's a little sumpin-sumpin left down there to work with.

All of the boys are crying. Not freaking out, screaming, but with just truly broken hearts. After the build up and excitement of the whole day centered around one fucking cupcake – just hold out until after dinner boys – such disappointment. Collin quietly begs, “I want my cupcake.” Truly some of the saddest faces I have ever witnessed. After ‘working for a living’ all day, cameras in their faces, putting on the Gosselin Gang Show, with the payout of one fucking cupcake, and it is denied.

In the interview, Jen, the producer says, “The boys were really sad….”. Jon shakes his head, “Yeah…yeah…Guess what?! They had no clue the next day. They didn’t even ask for them. They never even missed them.” Somehow I can’t believe but that when those little boys laid their heads down that night and thoughts of the day ran through their heads and they remembered everything, they missed it.

But I’d love to know; did Jon and Kate OFFER it to them the next day? Talk about a cliffhanger! I haven’t been this hyped up since somebody popped a cap in J.R.’s ass.

Then, the icing on the cake (pun intended) is the shot we get of Jon passing out the cupcakes to all of the girls as the boys, who lets face it, are DONE WITH DINNER, I’d say, are forced to remain in their high chairs and watch the girls eat their cupcakes. There’s Hannah gently ushering her pink confectionary delight to her lips while Joel looks longingly at her. Aaden whimpers at the injustice even this recently turned four year old no doubt senses going on around him.

Kate narrates: “Now that they are four, they talk, they have attitudes, they have memories…”

Yes, they do, Kate. Yes, they do.

Kate is relieved she’s survived another year. Wow! It’s been four years already! Kate, again with the sketchy math, looks forward to 14 years from now when it’s all said and done, but Jon reminds her and all of us – no, it’s 18 years. Don’t forget about college. No let’s not ever do that.

Finally, the last scene in this excruciatingly painful display is Jon at the kitchen counter eating HIS cupcake, red velvet it appears and Kate sweeping around the table. She says, “I’m a little worried about your work out situation as you’re shoving all the baked goods in your mouth. You’ve ate constantly for five or six years.”. A couple of the kids are still at the table, Hannie licking the last bits of icing from her cupcake wrapper. Jon responds, “I’m working on it. You can insult me all you want. You’ve called me fat for the last three seasons.”

Kate is extremely upset that Jon references their life in terms of seasons and the issue is no longer his weight, diet and most assuredly not her criticism of those things. Noooooo. Quickly, those core issues are deflected onto his use of the term “seasons’. There’s a smooth little hand-broom clap combo from Kate as she voices her disgust at the word “seasons” and says to the camera, all of us, “He is just so…so…so…I don’t know what the word is but that is just tacky.” On the couch, with time to reflect, Kate explains, “Your life is not in terms of seasons. I’m sorry. THAT was the issue. Did you miss it?” Well, again, in defense of Jon, that was quite a quick switcharoo on issues she pulled on him with the “You’re shoving food in your mouth for 5 or 6 years.” to the semantics lesson the grammar police pulled over one word, “seasons” instead of “years”.

Jon attempts to get his point across as Kate buries her head in her hands, “Oh, my.” He begins, “My point being – all she does is make fun of my weight and now I’m doing something about it.”

Kate: “I could care less. It’s past the weight. We don’t live in terms of seasons. I could care less what they call us. We don’t live in terms of seasons. You could say ‘the last three years’.”

So Jon tries to end it with “the last nine years.”

How long have they been married?

Kate doesn’t hear the nine years’ reference and just says “Don’t use seasons in terms of time for me anymore because you lose right there.”

Jon: “Yep..Ok…I’m sorry. I’m sorry to offend you.”

Kate laughs it off as if it was all no big issue anyway, “I’m sure you’re sorry.”

Jon: “Deep down, I am.”

Yes, I bet he is.

Reprinted with permission from Manda.