Episode Recap - "Babies and Bedrooms, Part 1" - 11/26/2007

On this episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8! Jon and Kate get more free stuff, in the form of a bunch of free cute little kid beds, and Kate berates Jon as they buy the beds.

The credits roll. I like how as each season progresses Kate gets more and more defensive when she says the line, "but it's OUR life." Heh.

One year ago…in an oddly black-and-white look back to yester-year that kind of seems like the beginning of a horror movie, which, maybe it is? Jon and Kate are being ungrateful as usual and complaining about how their new house isn't big enough. So wow, they were insinuating they wanted a bigger, freer house even back then. They've really been tenacious in pursuit of that particular freebie. They call the move to their current house "temporary." As in, until they can find the right donor of a better house, like Lowes or Home Depot or Figure 8 or somebody. It's kind of sad this show has been going on so long that they can even do a "back in the day" type segment.

Present day. Jon and Kate have decided the little kids are getting too old to sleep in the same room, and they must separate the girls from the boys. It's June, so they just turned three last month. Three. They can barely talk at this point. They are still in diapers. I want to know what they imagine could happen between these three-year-olds. Do they expect to one day walk in on naptime to discover what exactly? They decided a long time ago Joel is gay so they're not worried about him around the girls. More on this later. But that being said, I guess it would be nice to give them their own rooms and space if enough sheeple can afford to make it happen.

Some guy named Bob we've never seen before who claims to be a contractor and "neighbor" of Jon and Kate's shows up in his truck at the house with a bunch of tools. You might think for a moment he's Beth's husband Bob, but I guess not. No, just some random guy also named Bob.

Kate looks like she just woke up and has a cow lick about three inches tall. The kids are wide awake, probably have been for some time, and completely unsupervised upstairs behind a baby gate. They say hi to Bob like they know him, which is reassuring. Because I would be scared at that age to have some strange man with a power saw walk by me early in the morning and my mommy is nowhere to be found. I guess there are advantages to exposing your kids to a multiple of strangers day after day. They certainly don't fear anyone. Kate talks downstairs about how there's a bunch of people coming in and out to do the construction work and complains about how she'll have to orchestrate it all because Jon is at work. But, I just see Bob. Not a bunch of people traipsing in and out. Bob is all by himself up there, out of the way, getting the job done.

The kids are still locked behind the baby gate in their room as Bob starts hammering, sawing, tearing things down and so on. Kate finally comes up to take the little kids downstairs. I wonder if they've even had breakfast yet.

So I guess the kids are unsupervised downstairs now? Because Kate is back upstairs. Predictably, she is micromanaging Bob, stringing up unnecessary tarps and overall freaking out as he just kind of ignores her and keeps working. She is overly concerned about a little sawdust, yet seemed to have left the little kids up there, some of whom use nebulizers, for quite awhile while Bob got started. Of course it was a choice between exposing them to a little sawdust and actually having to do work by getting them up and changed and breakfast for them, so.

Kate continues to refer to Bob as "them." But I still see just Bob. Maybe he has multiple personalities? His gender is unclear? He feels like a hoard of people to Kate? I don't know.

Kate has also covered Mady and Cara's room in tarps. I'm confused, where is their room in relationship to the construction in the attic? Are they really getting that much dust floating into their room? Wouldn't most of it settle in the attic, where the work is taking place? But oh well, Mady and Cara are happy to sleep in the basement while the construction work goes on and their mother drapes their room in plastic like it was exposed to Bubonic plague recently. The twins are excited about their new room, which is cute. So are they home from school today? Why is Jon at work? Is it a Saturday and he's working overtime? Obviously this was filmed over several days, and the cameras intruded on the family for many, many days, to make an episode to encompass "one days." Sigh.

Oh, there's Carla, Kate's babysitter/nanny/bitch, but that could change at any moment. She's in the garage looking after the children. I wonder what Kate is doing. Maybe bracing for an outbreak of E. coli? Kate pretty much admits Carla is there whenever Jon is working, then she backtracks and says, well, she's here "some days." So, which is? And she tells the camera she's grateful for her help, in response to all the forums in which everyone complains she doesn't appreciate her helpers. Kate shows up for a bit, and the kids start freaking out and howling. Kate leaves, and they're calmer again.

Aww, the kids call Bob, "Bob the Builder." So they do watch T.V. We check in with Bob, and it's going well. If you can find it in you to just ignore Kate, I bet you could really get things done quite quickly and efficiently at that house and that things would indeed go well. Bob seems like the type that knows he's good at what he does, knows how to get the job done correctly, and doesn't give a damn about some overbearing know-it-all housewife or her camera crew. Good for him.

Kate insists that she's not really worried about whether people are doing a good job on this project, but whether it will be done on time. (Incidentally, what's the rush? I suppose they want it done before the twins start school, which is legitimate. Or perhaps they want it done before they get a bigger freer house.) But I think if Kate's really honest with herself, she's worried about both. But mostly worried about whether they will do a good enough job. And with Kate at the helm, no one will ever be able to do a good enough job. So she could save herself the suspense and just decide right then Bob won't do a good job. The nice thing for Bob, he won't care what she thinks. So all this is truly wasted energy. Kate's energy, and mine. But not Bob's, because he just doesn't care. I wish I didn't care about this show and those poor exploited children.

Commercials, which I don't watch anymore. The which in that sentence is a homage to Kate's command of the English language, only I used it correctly there. And she uses it incorrectly. All the time.

We're back. Bob is still working. Only now there's another guy with him, maybe two guys. Huh, Jon is home. I thought he was at work. So I guess this is a new day. Kate is in a bathrobe, but that's no indication of whether it's morning or not. But I guess it is indeed morning, as Mady comes up from the basement after just waking up. She is covering her eyes and seems kind of upset. She doesn't make that big a deal, but kind of just sadly hugs Kate and buries her eyes against Mommy's tummy-tucked belly. I think Mady actually handled her discontent pretty calmly. She didn't throw a fit like Kate likes to insist she does. I guess production flipped on the set lights early since they were filming. So Mady was sleeping in the basement and the guys came down and turned on all the lights? Real considerate. The lights are specially installed in the house for the show and extremely bright. Mady has complained about those lights before. Poor kid. Jen the producer for some reason thinks this is hysterically funny. That's not really nice, Jen. And you shouldn't be on camera in the first place. You're not supposed to actually be there. Hey, we see a sound guy, too! This family is just so natural and day-in-the-life.

Oh, wow, so we seemed to have done a dramatic time leap because now Kate is saying they couldn't get the project done before the twins started school. So I guess we're maybe in September now. Wonder what happened to the summer? Well, we get about a dozen more episodes catching us all up on summer antics that aired after this particular episode. Never fear, this family didn't go very long without cameras in their children's faces. Not even during the summer vacation.

Jon says they sold the children's cribs at a yard sale. We know the cribs were originally donated to the Gosselins, so this contradicts statements Jon had made earlier about how all their donations would be re-donated. Unless they donated the yard sale money to charity, which they don't say.

Kate is making waffles with a waffle maker. They look good. But then she's putting them in the stove, too, which is weird. Were they not fully cooked in the waffle maker? Was she trying to crisp them up. Hmm, I think she is trying to keep them warm. I have to give her credit for that, because a cold waffle is yucky. In a rare moment, Kate shows a little excitement about the fact that the kids are growing up and getting big beds. Usually she wants them to stay perpetually fourteen months old and doesn't want to talk about any milestones. In fact, she thwarts milestones, or tries to. You will NOT potty train, you are a BABY! She explains for a really long time about how they're getting big beds and different rooms. We already know all this since she just explained it earlier. Kate loves repeating herself. I have a hunch Jon thinks Kate is a nag. I take a cat nap.

In the kitchen, Mady goes over and gives Collin a hug. She loves her little brothers and sisters despite the fact that they have basically ruined her life. Her hug is perfectly appropriate and gentle. But for some reason Collin wasn't feeling it, and runs away. He runs into the cabinet from his own momentum and hits it kind of hard. Before Mady can even manage to get out an apology or go see if he's okay, Kate is all over her, "Why must you knock them over all the time?!" When Mady tries to explain what really happened, Kate abruptly cuts her off. See at this point, if Kate were to really listen to Mady, she might have to admit she misjudged the situation, which she never will do. So Mady is basically screwed two seconds into this incident. I think Mady kind of knows it, too. She doesn't really fight this one very hard. Mady, we love you. Hang in there, kiddo. Incidentally, Collin seems fine. Besides, he has bigger problems coming up.

The kids are howling about something. Kate is screaming for Jon. Screaming. Kate and Jon fight over something ridiculous. Typical morning.

On the couch, Kate insists that some days Jon just doesn't care to help her. Which I'm sure is how she perceives it. Meanwhile the guy is shown hither and yon getting the kids ready for the morning, breaking up fights, running up and down stairs. All Kate has to do is add waffle mix to the waffle maker.

Kate and Jon are still fighting. Kate sets it all up perfectly for herself by accusing Jon of getting the day started off on the wrong foot. That way when the day does go wrong, she can just blame it all on Jon. Brilliant!

Kate and Jon say they noticed at this point that Collin was constipated. Ew, but aww. Of course that won't stop their mission to get more freebies. And production ain't stepping up anytime soon to suggest maybe they postpone all of this or leave Collin behind with a sitter. It is Jon and Kate Plus Eight, not Jon and Kate Plus Seven. Collin better suck it up and quick.

At breakfast, Kate and Jon both freak out when Joel, who is three, says he is "Daddy's girl." He's totally joking and giggling, but this is no joke to Kate and Jon. They firmly tell him no he is not! Then Jon makes fun of his lisp. Joel is three, if I didn't mention it before. I'm pretty sure most kids lisp at that age. Also, I'm no child development expert, but I'm not sure newly turned three-year-olds are even beginning to understand the concept of gender. This seems to egg Joel on, and he just starts disagreeing with everything his parents tell him. Heh, quiet, sweet little Joel is gonna be a good one when he's older, too. Kate and Jon make fun of him some more on the interview couch. Kate suggests that because he has sisters he thinks he's a girl. Um, well, he has two brothers, too, so that makes sense. Not! I can tell they're going to be those parents who are totally accepting and supportive and loving if any of their children someday announce they are gay. They totally won't say, "Honey, you're not gay, you're just confused!!!"

The clan arrives at the bed store. The bed store gets a nice promotion, including their sign, a "sale" sign, and even their hours. Not everyone will get this special treatment in the future. In the parking lot, most of the kids are crying and howling, even Princess Cara the perfect twin. God knows what she's bawling about this time, I don't care. But she bawls and throws fits a heck of a lot more than Kate wants us to believe. Jon scolds Cara and tells her she's "six!" Absolutely. And she's being ridiculous. Some of the kids have to go to the bathroom. Didn't they go before they left? How far away is this place? And I thought they have potties in the van for that. And the kids were just in diapers earlier in this episode. This was not filmed in one day. I feel like we're being had! Imagine that!

Incidentally, Mady seems calm and relaxed and his happily blowing bubblegum bubbles. I hope Collin's bear stayed at home. Because constipation and a gummy bear all in the same day would be truly horrible. Of course no one praises Mady for her good behavior amidst all the chaos. Good behavior is a peg that does not fit Mady's hole, so it tends to just get ignored.

I don't know why the kids were ever brought along on this trip. Jon doesn't know either. Well, he knows it's because production arranged it, but he can't exactly say that. The guy at the bed store, Tom, is nice and good with kids. Tom shows them some potential beds. Kate takes us through her thought process about the beds, which is completely boring. But it's funny how interesting she thinks her thoughts are. The kids are crawling all over the beds and being loud. They obviously shut down the whole store for them. Of course. And by the hours sign we were shown earlier, this store is open every single day. So unless Tom opened it after hours or before, he may very well have lost business on this production day. I suppose production convinced him it would be worth it for having his store exposed on national TV and connected to such a lovely family. I wonder if those kids even realize that other people go to stores, and sometimes at the same time you do!

Kate and Jon continue to discuss potential beds. They remark how the little kids are really good at destroying stuff, but instead of addressing the problem directly, something they never do, they try to find a way around it. Such as better, sturdier beds that can withstand the destruction. Problem solved. Sort of.

They start fighting again because now Kate is taking too long to decide. And she is. I don't know why she didn't have this all picked out before they even went. I don't know why they went in the first place when they could easily order from a catalogue or online. And I still don't know why they took the kids. I feel like half of this is scripted and staged, because an episode in which they walk into a store, select beds right away, and walk out, I guess is not all that interesting. But maybe they would have been home before Collin started having his little bathroom issues.

Kate insists on a trundle, which I think is a funny word and very 19th century sounding, but Jon isn't sure why they need that because they aren't having more kids. He sounds kind of bitter. We know he got roped into having the sextuplets, and I think he still has a lot of pent up aggression about that, as well he should. It's both sad and funny at the same time. Kate makes a face at her husband, and it's totally uncalled for. Tom the bed guy kind of stands there awkwardly watching the whole thing. He feels obligated to smile at Kate when she huffs, "Men!" to him. The situation is so completely awkward for Tom, but Kate doesn't realize it for a second. Not that she would care anyway.

Now Jon is super annoyed and snapping at the kids kind of unfairly. The music gets a little depressing as Jon and Kate talk about how much Kate changed her mind and how long it took and how irritated they were. And then the situation gets even worse as Collin's constipation catches up with him and he cries to Kate that his hiney hurts. She passes him off to Jon and tells him that Daddy will rub his belly. When Collin goes to Jon, Jon snaps at him that Mommy can't help him, she's picking beds. I know Jon is fed up with Kate at the moment, but it's too bad he has to take it out on Collin.


We're back, and poor Collin is still very upset. Kate cuddles him for a moment, then complains he's like an antelope. An antelope? What does that mean? I thought antelopes sort of prance up mountains typically, and Collin is certainly in no condition to do that. Kate keeps her store catalogue in one hand as she rubs his back with the other and looks over beds. She's multitasking, which every mother of sextuplets must learn how to do to get through.

Collin finally asks to be changed. I don't think he's pooped yet, but Kate assumes he has and claps for him like he's a puppy who just did a good trick. Poor Collin.

In one of the most miserable, depressing, inappropriate moments in this entire series, the camera zooms in on Collin's tooshie as he waddles off to the van with Jon to be changed.

At the van, it's clear Collin has not yet pooped indeed, and Jon has to encourage him to push and apparently had to help remove his troubles with a plastic bag. Poor little guy. And good for Jon for stepping up here. This is not pleasant, I can imagine. It looks like Joel is standing there watching in the van. I find that amusing, I don't know why. It's like Joel was his quiet rock of support there. Cute. On the couch, Kate congratulates Jon for helping his son. No one talks about how they never should have gone to the bed store in the first place with Collin this constipated. Why couldn't Carla look after him that day? Maybe Carla was no longer their babysitter by now.

Kate discusses pricing with Tom. Tom is a pretty good actor, but we all know this is all for show and that TLC is footing the bill. TLC even does a little list on our screen of all the stuff they bought and the price, $2935. Wow, sextuplets are expensive! Yawn, not falling for it. We never actually see her paying for it, by the way. Jon does the right thing and just gives up and lets Kate decide what beds she wants. Because he knew it was time to get those kids out of there and back home and that they were more important than the beds. Took him awhile, but he got there. Anyway, that was Kate's plan all along, to wear Jon down until she ended up getting to pick the beds herself. It worked.

Kate shows the kids their beds, except the girls' beds are from a catalogue so she has to show them a picture. And she couldn't do this online from home because? Aaden wanders over to see the picture, and one of the girls, either Alexis or Leah, pushes him away by backing up against him and shoving her butt in his face. With her little pixie voice, she announces, "Aaden's not a girl!" Why do I get the feeling every morning Kate goes around telling each of them, "you're a girl!" or "you're a boy!" as they're eating their organic granola? These kids are overly preoccupied with gender.

Kate unequivocally decides the kids are happy. Collin, too? Hmm. Okay. We made it through an entire episode without Kate mentioning how exhausted she is, which is quite an accomplishment.

On the next Jon and Kate Plus 8, Kate hates when Jon has to spend time doing projects around the house that really need to be done.

Reprinted with permission from Dew.

Body Language is 70% of the Message

Where I work, and this is with folks who have limited speech ability – BODY LANGUAGE is 70% of the message. So let’s look at Kate and Jon’s body language (I’ve watched some episodes with the sound off):

Kate – besides her snappish attitude verbally, what are you noticing? Besides that she is always “exhausted”.

When she was at the now-infamous Cupcake Gate bakery – her body posture was slouching, with her arms crossed the entire time. This is considered a very negative message from her – she is disinterested in what her children are doing – and only speaks to tell them not to be messy. Not to encourage any of their creativity – but to sit and complain at all. Her lips continued to purse together in disapproval, rolling her eyes, and sullen face – not counting the laziness of not picking up a chair to move across the room to another table. Basically she came off as a petulant brat. Maybe they asked them to pay for the cupcakes.

Jon would have been better off to bring all 8 kids there by himself. The bakery staff were kind, courteous and giving the kids a fun time. They could have easily handled the kids and Jon could have been the supportive parent – AND the kids would have gotten their cupcakes. I’m sure the 75 minute ride home would have worked most of the sugar out of their systems. The aprons were the right idea – bringing Kate along: the wrong idea. Leave her home to sleep.

Usually when Kate is doing activities such as cooking, she continues to whip her body around, slouching while speaking, constantly wiping her forehead like she has toiled mightily at the riverbed with her rocks to launder the kids’ clothes. When she speaks to the children her hands are either at her hips (Judgmental/Bossy) or crossed at her chest (Disinterest/Blocking). When she speaks to the camera or Jon, she has one hand on her hip (or both – again back to Judgmental/Bossy) and she rolls her eyes and grimaces at some of Jon’s replies. These are histrionic actions on her part to garner attention. Additionally, when she is sitting with the children she usually doesn’t always allow one in her lap – they will grow so fast and miss so much of their physical love – she isolates herself away from them and Jon. Sometimes it looks like the only time she sits with Jon is when they are on camera in the basement for the show.

Now let’s look at Jon’s body language: in non-professional terms, he is “whipped”. He is very passive in his stance, hangs his head a lot and now we are seeing more and more on camera (and past the editing process) that verbally he is starting to stand up for himself – and sometimes the kids – more. He usually does not come down to the kids’ level to speak with them, but it is good that he is on the floor when he is dressing them.

By the way, at age 4 these kids should have more skills than we are seeing. ESPECIALLY if both parents are home. They should be able to sit in real chairs, use real glasses and no bibs at the table. Kate’s OCD issues should not cause these children to not gain the real world skills they need. The younger children will be heading to pre-kinder soon, and the more skills they have the better. They can’t use sippy cups all their lives. Ever heard of straws? If they were so worried about stains they should have waited until AFTER the children learned how to drink in normal glasses before changing out the carpeting.

In my opinion, the Gosselins should slow down the shooting schedule, let the family members that have been cut out of the kids’ lives back in, and be a real family again that just happens to have a camera crew following them. Rather than a TV show that happens to have your kids in it.

I would think that each generation tries to redeem itself and not make the same mistakes unto their kids. I will use myself as an example, my parents were not “huggers” or demonstrative to my younger sibling or myself – so I tend to overcompensate on that with my child and spouse. Plus we work on talking things out, not yelling as may have occurred. Jon and Kate’s children are learning so far: Time Out, go away from me and play I’m busy, hug when you hit, cameras in face all the time, and Mommy yells at Daddy and us a lot. All of us have memories of our parents doing something /promising something that never happened. I promised myself I would not ever lie or break a promise to my child. I’ve succeeded thus far.

How many of you have noticed the body language changes of the older girls? Cara is very withdrawn, purposely avoiding the camera - only being in shots when she is forced to. The recent "official jumping the shark" music video being a prime example. She was slouching and going away from the camera, and in the "end" shot, she was sitting on the end with her head in her hands, very negative body language. Basically, she didn’t want to be there and she seems to be avoiding the cameras more and more.

Cara could well be the nicer of the two older girls, but since Mady always performs for the camera like a canned ham no matter what - she gets the "face time" and I think nothing Cara can do will elicit praise or positive actions from her parents.

I fear that Aaden, Collin, Joel, Hannah, Leah, Alexis, Cara and Mady will be working hard to wrestle the demons of their childhood and I hope they have supportive professional people in the days and years to come. Even “SURVIVOR” makes sure there are mental health professionals to monitor the people on their reality show – where are the people to protect and advocate for the Gosselin children? I know we have our band of folks, but TLC needs to be looking at the long-term situation for these children not just their ratings.

Submitted for publication by Beejcctx.