Funny Friday - All Aboard Again! Our Fantasy "Jon & Kate Plus 8"

Note: some of us thought it would be fun to rewrite the "All Aboard" episode as we would have liked to have seen it. Then we realized we had a blog post! Writers include xsandlapper, SecretMonkey, Breanna, hurtinfrog, grammier, geistmadl, Ravello.

The show begins in the tups’ rooms. They're up and at 'um getting dressed and making their beds. Not perfectly but a good try. They all skip down the steps following Hannah, the leader, in anticipation of their great train ride that morning. “Woooo! Woooo”ing with Alexis sounding VERY much like the train whistle!!!!!!!

As they enter the dining room Mady and Cara are setting the table as Mom fries bacon, scrambles eggs and checks on the cheese toast in the oven. Dad is catching a few more winks as the drive home from NC last night was exhausting.

Kate says, "I've never been to Strasburg Railroad, but I'm looking forward to it! I heard there will be lots of other kids there - our children will have fun meeting new friends!"

Joel asks Collin, "Tell us about when you went there for your special day!" So Collin gives a brief recap.

"I'm sooooo excited we're going there today!" Leah exclaims, keeping her voice down so she doesn't wake the sleeping Jon.

"Mady, your earrings are so pretty", Kate says as she serves breakfast. "That orange really goes well with your shirt".

"Thanks Mom!" Mady replies, as she graciously helps Aaden onto a dining room chair. "Be careful Aaden, remember we got rid of the high chairs last week in the garage sale to help out those less fortunate than us!"

Kate turns to the camera and says, "Jon is still sleeping. He drove all night, the poor guy. He's really wonderful about helping out with the kids around here, so I'm letting him sleep in until it's time for us to leave."

Jon gets up and stumbles to the kitchen. Kate says, "Good morning honey, here is your coffee, just the way you like it."

They both sit down at the table to eat breakfast with the kids. They all have an enjoyable breakfast, and Kate compliments the ‘tups on keeping their shirts so nice since they are no longer wearing bibs. Just after she says that, Aaden drops a piece of bacon on his shirt and it leaves a grease mark. Aaden looks a little scared, but Kate assures him that it's only a shirt, and spots don't matter, and besides, he will get dirtier than that when they go to the train place.

Since the 'tups are no longer using sippy cups, all of the boys and Alexis manage to spill their non-organic Juicy-Juice all over the table, themselves, and the floor.
Kate says cheerfully, "Oh, don't worry about that! No need to cry over spilled juice!" She calmly mops up the mess. Then she cleans up the 'tups, bathing the ones that are particularly sticky, dresses them, and settles them into coloring with markers. She compliments Joel on his superb coloring ability and hangs his artwork on the refrigerator.

After cleaning up the kitchen, Kate turns to Jon and says, "What can I do to help you?"

They all go into the garage to put on their shoes, and all the shoes fit, and everyone is happy with their shoes. The boys go to the driveway and start playing with the water in the downspout. Jon comments how he used to enjoy that when he was a kid, and not to worry, it's only water, it will dry. Kate comes out, sees the boys playing in the water and throws her head back laughing. She notes how cute they are, and how they can find enjoyment in the smallest thing, like a puddle of water. Kate encourages the girls to come and join in the water play until it is time to leave.

Jon reminds everyone to go to the bathroom before they get in the van. The kids line up, half at the downstairs bathroom, half at the upstairs bathroom, and wait their turns.

Mady and Cara wait their turn at the bathrooms, too: one upstairs, one downstairs, to make sure that the little ones go and don't make a huge mess of themselves. M&C do this without screaming, yelling, crying, or descending into Instant Low Blood Sugar.

Mady does a little interview to the camera where she says that she feels a real sense of love and responsibility toward her younger siblings, and that her mother taught her to love all of the children equally for their own strengths, faults, and unique talents. When asked if this included Joel's lisp, Mady answers, "What lisp?"

Cut to a couch segment: Jon and Kate, puzzled. "What lisp?"

Out in the garage, Kate starts to laugh. “O Lordy Bee! Help, Help, Cara, Mady,” Kate laughs. “Daddy has his face all stuck in a funny look. He looks just like when we finish laughing in bed!”

Once all the children are outside, where Kate is patiently waiting for her brood, Mady and Cara report that all of the children used the bathroom, wiped if necessary, and washed their hands. Kate and Jon are delighted at the grown-up behavior of their four year olds, and give them each a thumbs up, and a "good job!"

The children climb into the van, Cara and Mady strap themselves in, and Kate and Jon each take three to strap in. Once all the children are safely in the van, Kate climbs into the passenger seat, and Jon climbs into the driver's seat. The van seems so much cleaner and smells so much better now that the potties have all been removed.

Kate puts on a CD of kid's songs, and the whole family begins to sing along. Later, they plan to play an alphabet game, because the ‘tups are beginning to recognize and be able to find both upper and lower case letters. Kate is hoping that today on the ride, after a tup finds a letter in a sign or license plate, Mady and Cara, and some of the ‘tups will be able to think of other words that begin with that letter. Lately, the children are playing many of these educational games, and having so much fun with them that they have no idea how much they are learning.

Kate's new hairdo ripples in the breeze as she rolls down her window. "Remember those spikes in the back that poked you in the eye when you hugged me?" she asks Jon. "What was I thinking?!?"

"You were thinking you had to look a certain way because you were on TV", Jon says. "And because I was unfairly asking you to be blonde like you were when we met. I'm sorry I ever did that."

"It's all right, Jon", Kate says. "After all that intensive therapy, I now know that I am responsible for my self-esteem and I can look however I want to. What happened in the past stays in the past."

When they get to the station, Kate is excited to see how many people there are. "I was hoping we wouldn't be the only ones here! It's always nice to be with family, but it's nice to meet other people too!"

Kate squats down to the tups' level and gathers them in a circle around her. The tups look so cute in their different colored shirts. “My little Rainbow Coalition,” Kate says happily. 'Now, remember,' she continues, “These people are nice enough to arrange special things for us. Let's always be polite.”

She stands and Hannah moves to her side. "Now, Hannie," Kate says, "I want my special boy, Joel, to hold my hand today. You be Mommy's big girl—and we'll discuss that when we get home—and walk with Cara."

Their designated rep greets them. The kids smile and listen attentively as he outlines the planned activities for the morning. The sextuplets wriggle with excitement, but they do not shriek because they don't want to interrupt the nice man. As pre-arranged, he escorts them to Thomas the Tank Engine. But they don't jump ahead of anyone - the show producers have carefully been managing the line-ups so that everyone will get a turn. Jon & Kate take their place in line and hold hands, like they did when they were newlyweds.

"Hey, it's Jon and Kate Plus 8", exclaims someone passing by. The Gosselins turn and wave. They smile as people take pictures of them in line, and they are careful to keep the line going at the same time.

Commercial Break!!! (Cheesy music)

Hey Kids! Now you can party like the Gosselins!

Twelve hits sure to be a classic with YOUR family! Sing along with the Gosselin 10 to the following:

You ARE the Sunshine of My Life (Stevie Wonder)
You'd Better Run (The Young Rascals)
You'd Better Sit Down Kids (Cher)
You Are The Only One (dedicated to Hannie) (Ricky Nelson)
You Can't Do That (dedicated to Collin and his bowel issues) (The Beatles)
You Can't Take It Away (dedicated to Bear-gate) (Fred Hughes)
You Could Have Been a Lady (Dedicated to Kate) (April Wine)
You Don’t Have to Be a Baby to Cry (also dedicated to Kate, in airplanes)
(The Carvelles)You don't own me (dedicated to Jon's missing balls) (Lesley Gore)
You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It) (sung by Jon to his missing balls)
(Ral Donner)You Will Cry (from Kate to Jon) (Rene Y Rene )

and that old Sinatra favorite jazzed up as only the Gosselins can, "We did it ARE way!"

(Back to the show)
On each train, the Gosselins take their seats along with other families. They listen attentively to the conductors and make a special point of thank each helper. The kids are happy and chatty, so thrilled to be on a real train!

Everyone is smiling as the van pulls into their driveway. Kate has a surprise for the boys. She has planned a make up "special day out" with them and it is this afternoon!

Kate will drive hither dither and yon with the 3 boys and each child will choose an activity. They will choose in reverse birth order, which means Joel goes first.

Cheering erupts, with broad smiles on the boys’ faces. Hannah starts to cry and grabs Kate's legs. Kate kindly byt firmly tells her this is a Boys only activity with Mom. Hannah settles down and goes into the house.

Kate and the boys get into the white van. Jon offers to load it up, Kate informs him all she needs is her purse and the three boys.

Joel chooses first. He reminisces about how wonderful the Happy Meals were in Utah. He chooses McDonalds. While in line, Kate holds him in her arms and they snuggle, hug and kiss. Kate allows him to place all the orders.

The manager sees the family and rushes out to apologize- they just ran out of plastic bibs. He offers to go next door to K Mart to buy plastic ones. Kate laughs and tells the manager not to worry, everything they wear is washable.

By coincidence, Aunt Jodi, Uncle Kevin and the kids are there. Kate moves a table and 4 chairs over, and the Gosselins join in the fun. The 2 families eat together. Everyone laughs when Aaden's ketchup packet explodes on his shirt and there are ketchup drops on his glasses. Even Aaden giggles when Kate shows him his glasses – he knows that they are laughing at the ketchup, not him.

The kids finish eating and go outside to play on the playground equipment. The parents can supervise through the window.

Kate and Jodi catch up on old times and plan their upcoming joint family vacation to North Carolina. Jodi asks what she should bring. Kate assures her no need to pack anything but their clothes. The rental house is fully furnished, they will rent bikes on site and grocery shop down there.

Next choice is Collin's and he chooses an outing at the 9 hole chip and putt course. Kate rents clubs for everyone and cheerfully assists each child with the mechanics of holding the club and aiming for the hole.

Kate is surprised at how much fun they are having. They are through 9 holes before she can blink. Since it is Collin's choice, he holds Mom's hand and goes first on every hole.

Next choice is Aaden and he chooses an outing at Jon's gym. He wants Kate to meet the nice lady who trains Daddy and he wants another strawberry smoothie. The ladies are happy to meet each other. The trainer raves about Jon's dedication to his job and family and Kate remarks how proud she is of him.

The trainer apologizes, her smoothies are not organic, Kate said not to worry. Everyone has a smoothie, even Kate. Kate assists the boys into the van. They drive home.

Some neighbor kids are out on their bikes and Kate agrees they can skip naps and join the neighbor kids. What a day, what an afternoon Kate had with her beloved sons. Kate tells Jon she cannot wait to do it again.

While the kids are playing with the neighbours, Jon prepares a Korean dinner. Kate walks through the kitchen on the way to the laundry room, and makes a big show of playfully smelling the air and making yummy noises. She then gives Jon a quick kiss before she goes into the laundry room and turns on the CD player. She sings along to her favourite music while she removes the clean clothes from the dryer and folds them. When everything is folded, she calls out for Cara and Mady, and they help her put away the clothes.

The phone rings and Kate answers. It's Beth! She's calling to confirm the slumber party tomorrow. Her daughter will be spending the night at the Gosselin's, along with the twins' special friends from school.

Supper is now ready. The twins help the ‘tups get settled in their big boy and big girl chairs. The supper is delicious and organic. After supper, Jon loads the dishes into their energy-efficient dishwasher. Kate takes the children downstairs, to their crafting table. The children make “Thank You” cards for all of the people at the Strasburg Railroad. Cara and Mady do all of the printing. Each child draws a little something on each card – Hannah draws a purple horse. Jon comes downstairs to watch and to help when needed.

After the cards are made, Jon and Kate direct the children to say “good night” to the camera. The ‘tups blow kisses and wave, and then are led upstairs.

On the couch, Jon and Kate explain their new nightly routine. The parents bathe the ‘tups, while Mady and Cara practise on their musical instruments. Then they gather for family prayers, and the ‘tups are put to bed by both of their parents. Cara and Mady take their own baths while Jon & Kate go downstairs for a couch interview.

But none of the night-time activities are filmed. Jon explains, “This is personal family time and we think it is important to have the privacy to bathe our kids and say our prayers, just the ten of us.” Kate simply smiles and nods her head in agreement, her right hand loosely intertwined with Jon’s hands.

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"I Wish Kate Could Just Lighten Up"

The Gosselin kids are adorable, all of them. I wish I could reach through the screen, and hug them all, then take them in my back yard to play. I'd let them make mud pies, wade in the creek, roll around and get grass stains on their clothes and dirt on their faces, pick up frogs, play with my dogs, dig in the dirt -- whatever. Not to freak Kate out, but just to let them be kids. I don't think Kate is evil, but she is sometimes very anal. I try to give her the benefit of the doubt. I want to root for her, and her family, because I want her to be the best mom she can be to those precious kids!

Remember the TLC show Kids by the Dozen? I wish Kate could go spend a week with Ma Winters, the one whose family opened the homemade dress store. The Winters family seemed diverse, content, thankful for their blessings, and very relaxed (in a chaotic, kooky sort of way!) and happy to be together. I wish Kate could just lighten up. I know that order is necessary in a family that big, but not to the point of constantly stressing yourself, your marriage, and your children out about it.

I also hope that Kate is more thankful for the charity and help they receive than how it comes across on TV. If I had someone that came over and folded my laundry every week out of the goodness of her heart, no matter how many kids I had, I would be showering that lady in flowers, candy and hugs on a regular basis! If you can afford a 1.7 million dollar house (the price of the one they were looking at here), maybe it's time to pass on the charity to other familes of multiples that are really struggling? I don't begrudge them the volunteers or charity they got when the 'tups were infants. I'm sure they needed it then, but it comes across as a little greedy and entitled now.

Although I like watching the kids grow up, I hope they don't do the show much longer. I worry that the kids will see themselves as having "roles", and feel like they have to live up to them. I don't think it's good for the kids, and will be worse as they get older and more self-aware. I think it's already affecting Cara and Mady greatly. If Kate wants the kids to have such a "normal" childhood, get them off TV!

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