Episode Recap: Gosselins Go Dutch - 10/15/2007

Written by Dew:

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.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Three Nice Things About Kate Gosselin

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?

Things I've Learned from Kate Gosselin

Although I am still very young, in many ways I’ve come to learn a few things inadvertently from this show. I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years now and have noticed a lot of the same personality problems that Kate has in myself. The only difference between her and me is that I noticed them and am making a conscious effort to change myself. The following is a list of things that I have learned from Kate:

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.