Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus Hate

Last night, I salaciously tuned into the Season 5 opener of Jon and Kate Plus 8 on TLC. While I'd occasionally watched the show before, I never could watch an entire season just because I'm not great lately at following weekly shows. With the current tabloid frenzy over the did he/she or didn't they, I couldn't resist.

I shudder to think what people would say about me were cameras in my home to capture all my parenting moments from the fab to the flubs, but you'll note that the airwaves are void of the hit show J and Sally Plus 2, so I felt relative comfort in my urge to judge.

I expected a great show full of juicy stuff to blog about, but turns out; it was just sad. When it's a real couple, divorce is just not entertaining. We're not talking about Jerry Springer quality foibles; just a couple who've had five (well, really, almost ten counting the twins but two kids is not eight) looooong years of raising two sets of multiples.
The episode was centered around the sextuplets fifth birthday. Kate, as usual, treated Jon like a ninth child which had always really made me angry before. Unfortunately, this time it came hot on the heels of me wanting to crawl out of my skin because J was doing the kids' bath and bed routine...and he failed to do it in my order! Hmmm...multiply that annoyance by 4, and add in an even more type-A personality and I'm not so far from Kate after all.
I remember once when I was getting ready to go somewhere and I was, in detail, telling J the kids' routine. He said to me "Why don't you just type up a little folio like you would for a baby-sitter?" Totally missing the sarcasm, I brightly said "Okay!" Forgetting that each parent has their own style is just too easy.
Kate has been on the road a lot lately due to book tours and speaking engagements, which led to Jon quitting his job to stay at home with the kids full-time about two years ago. As he said in the show last night, he feels like choices were made for him. Kate has made statements that make it obvious that she feels guilt about being gone so much, which I'm sure is exacerbated by her perfectionist tendencies when she knows that things are being done just so.
She made the best statement last night that I think all working moms, or moms in general really, should take to heart; Are my kids happy, healthy, safe and loved? If all four of those are a yes, then things are good (not a direct quote, but just how I can remember her saying it.)
For a long time, Kate has sat in the love seat clutching the side away from Jon as if mass destruction would result from her falling into the center and touching him, so the tension in their marriage has obviously been a-brewin'.
Back to the crux, though. I remember watching last night and thinking...Five. Five! They'll be in Kindergarten this year, or maybe next depending on how their birthdays fall. That means half or full-days with ALL EIGHT children in school.
Surely they've got royalty money and other savings that would allow them to just use the first year to take care of themselves? I set out to write a biting post, but really it was just too sad to see these two people in such a bad place. I hope that they can seek private counseling or whatever will help take them back (or forward, since you can't really ever go back) to a place where they can love and appreciate each other. Most likely this will not happen while they are being filmed in their home. I hope that some exec at TLC sees that they're marriage is more important than ratings and they don't offer the family a Sixth Season after they fulfill their contractually obligated fifth.
One thing, though. I swear that if that smarmy-ass Dr. Phil comes onto their show to have an even more public three-ring circus of a therapy session, I will boycott TLC. Sadly, I know I'm helping to fuel the dilemma of ratings, as I'll be tuning in for sure this season. Who can turn their eyes away from a 10 person pile-up? Especially when eight of them are children?


LuLu WL said...

Can I just say also how utterly sad this whole escapade makes me. It all seems so exploitative, her going on the morning shows, him going on the morning shows and then having to watch them figure it all out during the course of the show. My husband wouldn't even let me watch the show he was so disgusted by it. I'm sorry, but if I were them I would said "Goodbye camera crew and goodbye TLC; we are breaking contract."

Amy, Bryan and Zoey said...

So totally agree with you Sally. Every time I want to get all riled up about Jon and Kate, like after reading the article entitled 'Mom to Monster' in OK! magazine at the gym, my bubble of judgment is always burst by how SAD THEY ALL ARE. Those poor kids!!