Million Dollar Baies 1938 and 2004

Million Dollar Baies 1938 and 2004

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Recap of "Surviving Sextuplets and Twins" Originally aired May 14, 2006

This is nice, we have a narrator to tells us who the heck these people are and why we should care. Definitely better than Kate's dull, emotionless, stunted readings during Kate Plus 8. And I guess it isn't "are life" yet.  Jon loves how people ask "was this a planned pregnancy?" Kate chuckles, "Who in their right mind would plan this?!" Well Kate, you would. You did. Then again you aren't in your right mind, so I guess your question would exclude you. Kate claims she really "wanted to give the girls a little brother or sister, that's all" Not even 2 minutes in and she's already lying.

"I bought one and got five free!" Kate cackles. Buying children. This comment may be the closest to the truth we'll ever hear from Kate on how she 'got' her sextuplets.

The narrator tells us that soon after Jon and Kate married Kate discovered she had PCOS. Yes, discovered. We can just call her Kate Kolumbus. Jon's response to learning that Kate was pregnant with 7, or actually G as doctors letter fetuses, was "What have we done to the twins? This is going to ruin their lives." A bit melodramatic, but something any parent might worry about when adding a second (or eighth) child to the family.  Though I'm guessing that right after the first ultrasound he didn't yell at the twins "YOU'RE RUINED!!"

Kate has even worse memories of that day. "Words can't describe that horrible day. It was horrible." What lovely thoughts to put on a DVD for your children to see and hear in the future. The same six you claim you never wanted and after learning of their existence were horrible. Were the next 7 years you spent making money off their existence you're way of saying, 'Hey, I guess you aren't that horrible. We do want you. You're useful.' ?  The Lady Narrator goes on to tell us that Jon and Kate are against selective reduction so they HAD to keep all of them. More like Jon and Kate are against working so they had to keep all of them.

While Jon and Kate were busy wishing their seven unborn children away, God had other plans. On Christmas Eve Kate began spotting and went to the ER thinking she had lost the babies. But no! A miracle to rival whatever it was that happened on 34th Street happens and Jon and Kate realize how much they want the babies.

Having six babies crammed into her uterus apparently ruined Kate's bladder, forcing her to stay in bed and take it easy. She laments this because she is a "get up and go kind of person".  What number lie is that? I'm quickly losing count. I guess having six premature infants, and four year old twins at home who need their mother isn't as exhausting as sitting on a white plastic chair in the garage.

Wow, none of the sextuplets came home on oxygen. That is incredibly rare. Kate does say multiple times how lucky they were that the six were so healthy. She even says "Normal, normal kids, which is probably the hugest blessing out of all of this."  Yes, they were normal, normal kids. Until you got your greedy, exploitative hands on them.

Out at the backyard swing set, Mady and Cara are asked which sextuplets they like best by A Voice Behind The Camera. After naming one or two of them, Mady says "I like all of them, they're my brothers and sisters."  AWWWWWW! So sweet. What has been done to the girl who said that to turn her into the one who said every day was the worst day of her life and that she wanted to die because her brothers and sisters were having their third 6th birthday party?

Now we are finally introduced to the sextuplets. Sitting in the kitchen, Kate gives us the Katiefied version of her sextuplets. Alexis is complacent. She was the last to crawl and the last to walk, though Kate thinks she could have done both earlier but just didn't want to.

Hannah likes to be with mommy all the time, and is Kate's personal lady's maid from the sounds of it. She picks up toys, puts laundry in the hamper, and will deliver items from Kate to the other sextuplets.

Aaden has a constant studying, worried look. Well Kate, looking into my magic crystal ball I can tell you he's going to have that worried look long into the future, so get used to it. He is already nicknamed The Professor because he studies everything. At least she didn't give him the Prof personality just because he wears glasses.

Ah, Collin. I have a soft spot in my heart for the little guy. I've always thought he was one of the more interesting kids in this family. The only thing Kate can say is that he's laid back. That's it. Oh, and that he's the biggest of the six and has been since he was born. It's sad to see that a little boy who used to be laid back had to be expelled from school at age five for violence, and spent a long time covering his face every time he was in public. I guess having cameras in your face 24-7 for most of your life could even make Gandhi uptight. Though Buffy the Vampire Slayer while once describing the Indian freedom fighter said "he was really pissed off", so.....

Leah is the smallest, and a princess. She is also the biter. Though how she got saddled with this label when it was shown over and over, in episode after episode, that they all bite, I don't know. Maybe she was the original biter and all the other tups jumped on the bandwagon.

Lady Narrator tells us that Jon and Kate have very different parenting styles. Jon does all the work and Kate yells out commands and sleeps. All of these differences can be blamed on the fact that Kate is just too organized. Yes, Kate even admits this. My lie detector is going nuts over here. From now on every time I hear organized I'll just replace it with controlling. Ah, yes. That quiets my lie detector right down. Though it is giggling now.

Wait! Stop! You say there are six sextuplets, not five? Hmmm, let's see, who am I missing? Oh, Joel! Of course. Since Kate says he the forgotten child and likes to play alone in the corner, it doesn't matter that he wasn't listed. That, and because he was the last of the sextuplets to be pulled from the womb, which obviously means he will do and get everything last. Forever. Lucky number 6. Or 8. Or 10. Depending on who's making your tee shirts.

Jon is looking pretty handsome in a few of these scenes. I can see what attracted Kate, aside from the Asian sperm and his father's money, that is. Kate says they butt heads a lot (no she didn't say they ARE buttheads hee hee) but they make a good team. Either Kate is trying to be charming and personable, or she was much more self-aware in 2002 than she is in 2011. They dynamic between Jon and Kate is light years away from later couch interviews. They are laughing (not at the expense of their children), smiling, and seem to actually like each other. Kate turns to look at Jon whenever he speaks, instead of at the producer, and is really listening to him. Light, fun teasing goes on between the pair and it gives me hope that maybe they were in love when they first married. That it wasn't all about having HOM china babies.

The Lady Narrator runs us through a day in the life:

6:30am Jon prepares Kate's coffee, reading a very detailed sticky note about how much cream to put in. Then he tiptoes into the bedroom to put the coffee on a table next to the still sleeping Kate. Hmm, I guess there was no penalty of severeness for the camera guy because he follows Jon into the bedroom. Jon leaves for work at 7:30am and isn't back for 12 hours.

8am and Kate is finally getting up. What mother can sleep until 8 with six 16 month olds and two 5 year olds? Goes through the routine of clothes, hair, diapers. And speaking of diapers, it's the first product placement of the show! How exciting, and lucrative, for Huggies! Though when the Huggies execs see what's coming up in the episode, they might not be as happy with their mini-commercial as they were before. After dressing the kids downstairs it's already 10am. Kate spends a little playing with them because "I fee like I don't see them for the rest of the day because I'm busy doing stuff."  What kind of "stuff" are you so busy with that doesn't involve the six small children you are supposed to be raising? Inventing the solar powered flashlight? Working a meth lab out of your house? Running an investment advisor service, telling your clients to buy big in fireproof matches?

Nap time is 12:30 - 4:30pm

The Gosselin home can be busy but it isn't chaotic thanks to Kate's EXTREME organization skills, Lady Narrator tells us. And yes, LN actually said EXTREME just like that. Kate explains that she keeps a strict schedule so that she doesn't have to guess. "There's no guesswork." Huh? Because if you didn't draw out every second of your day on a sticky note you might end up feeding the kids lunch at 6:40 am and put them down for a nap at 5:27pm?

It's now time for the infamous "Lordy Be!" poop incident with Alexis. No, not the one with Hannah's unnerwears. Or Collin's impacted bowel. Or the first poop in a potty picture showing. But the very first feces mention in a Gosselin show. When Kate comes into the nursery to get the sextuplets up after their four hour nap, she finds that Alexis has had a poop blowout. While every parent has their diaper mishap/exploding diaper stories, even if they only have one child let alone the exulted EIGHT, this is Kate's first poop rodeo.

"I've never had this happen in my lifetime!" Kate screeches. Really Kate? You have twins who were once in diapers, and your sextuplets have been home for nearly a year, yet out of 8 kids, tens of thousands of diapers and diaper changes, you have NEVER had this happen to you?! It's a crystal ball moment that should have been a red flag then and isn't at all surprising to hear now. A lot of viewers gave her the benefit of the doubt, since they didn't know anything about her or her parenting except what they have seen for the last 40 minutes. I'm sure there must have been more than a few moms giving that comment and extra 'hmmm, never?', but dismissing their wonders and worries because she does have EIGHT. Back to Alexis and Mommie Dearest. Kate is screeching, and hand waving, and just simply freaking out. She is also scaring little Alexis, who looks very confused as to why her mom is acting like its leaking nuclear waste, not an easily cleaned up mess. The rest of the sextuplets are watching quietly and wondering what in the heck is wrong with Mom? Get used to that look, you'll see it a lot in the future.

"I'm not the bath giver, Daddy is." Mom-extraordinaire Kate tells Alexis and the camera people. Whoops, you let some truth slip out there Kate. While being scrubbed clean, Alexis looks up to Kate and gives her the biggest smile. And Kate actually returns it!

After a commercial break, Kate explains that she is scheduled to work every other Saturday 6am-10pm at a dialysis clinic just 2 miles from the house. While she is away Jon is the only adult around, "But," Lady Narrator says, "he does get a fair amount of help from Mady and Cara." Now even the narrator is throwing Jon under the bus! Mady helps out by entertaining the little ones at the table as they wait for lunch. She is playing to the camera a lot and obviously loves the attention. Cara? Not so much. She is quiet and looks very serious.

Next up is a shopping trip to Sam's Club where a personal helper helps them manage two large flat-bed carts and everything else. Kate says, "We're not only buying bulk items but a lot of times we're buying numerous things." Huh? Reminds me of some the best Bushisms. There will come a day soon when Sam's Club will be the Gosselin's everyday grocery store, Kate tells us. It will be their everyday grocery store not because they have a large family, but because TLC pays for everything they buy there. I guess by cutting out extras like milk, and serving the kids from the craft food table, along with using snack food in the form of a main meal, Kate was able to stick with normal grocery stores when this deal ended.

A few products the family bought that day: Pop Tarts, Goldfish, Egos waffles, animal crackers, Rice Crispies cereal, and Dole fruit cups. I didn't know these were organic products.

Back after a break. It's 4am and still dark at the Gosselin homestead, but Jon and the camera crew are up getting ready to travel to NYC and appear on the Martha Stewart Show. Whoa! Wait! Who is that white guy carrying stuff out of the house under the cover of darkness? A robber? Repo man? Nope, it's just friendly, helpful Uncle Kevin.

Time has passed since the last couch interview. Jon and Kate are now bundled into heavy winter sweaters, sporting different hairstyles, and in a different place. Had they moved into the Andrews Ave. house yet when they were on Martha? I wonder if Kate got any tips from Martha on how to 'invest' her money. Next up on her list was spa days with the Enron CEOs, a hunting trip with Cheney, and camping with Sarah Palin.

Kate describes the media attention as "a life experience" for her kids. After working the day before, waking up at 4 that morning to load the car and handle everything else, Jon is telling the camera that he'll just "stand around until my wife tells me what to do, so that way I won't get in trouble"  Ha, that's so sitcom husbandy. I can see that line coming from Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond. The main difference, and what makes it not funny, is that Jon is saying this as Kate sleeps and he has been working on his own initiative for at least the past hour. Past 3 years actually. And will do so for the next 6 years. Poor guy, between a rock and a lazy-bitch place.

Gosselin kid's first limo ride! 2 toddlers, in car seats, per limo, with Jodi and Kevin riding along. Did Mady and Cara not go? Are they in the trunk? Riding with the crew? Hitchhiking to get some more life experience?

Back in the PA, it's Christmas time. Time for a few of the Gosselin's all important traditions. You know, the ones that happen once or twice, only to disappear forever. One of these traditions is cutting down their own Xmas tree at a tree farm. I did this a few times as a kid. My only memory is that pine needles hurt more than one might think. Who in the heck would take 6 toddlers out into the cold, riding in three seat strollers, which need to be pushed over rough terrain? Someone who needs to film it to make money. Too bad, because it would have been a great chance for Mady and Cara to spend some much too needed quality, alone time with their parents. The sextuplets are too young to give a crap, let alone remember it later. They can't walk around because they are so bundled up, but Kate writes it off as another all important "life experience". I am really getting tired of that term. It's right up there with exhausted, organized and organic.

While searching for a tree through the forest, the parents and twins blithely walk off, leaving the sextuplets all alone. Luckily they have the crew to babysit. Frightening. Kids have been snatched with Mom and Dad only 5 feet away. And with six of them it would take longer to realize that one is really gone. Especially if it were one of the boys...

While at the tree farm, Kate and Jon are arguing, per usual. Don't worry though, the happy couple sees this as normal stress release that comes with having eight, did you hear me EIGHT, kids.

Kate: "I yell."
Jon: "I yell back."
Kate: I think I've really changed in a lot of ways. I think I'm a lot more patient than I used to be. I do bite my lip a lot of times." Um, Kate, that's bite your tongue. Were you doing that while you were serving the kids off their golden platters?

Big freak out over taking a family picture at the tree farm. Slight crystal ball moment, shudder. Though in the future getting a photo and problems with the cameras will be on a whole other level.

Gosselin First Moment: "I'm exhausted after we try to get a picture", Kate tells us.  I'm just going to take that clip and put it in my Gosselin scrapbook. First time Kate tells the cameras she is exhausted. Memories, in the corner of my mind. Misty, water colored memories...

We next get an interesting look into Jon and Kate's marriage. Kate explains, "What happens in a moment of stress is we both are leaking our stress on each other and we're barking at each other commands that need to be done, but we are communicating. It probably is not always very friendly, it isn't friendly, but it's our way of communicating and I don't mean it, and he doesn't mean it, it's stress coming out."

Jon responds, "I have selective hearing, so I can only hear what I want to hear."

I'll leave any comments about those comments to the divorce lawyers, tabloids, Jon's comments to the press, Kate's comments to the press, and more than 7 years of film.

Crystal ball moment: Mady and Cara are standing in front of their Christmas tree (Which is stacked with wrapped presents and surrounded by a small fence. I wonder if it's electric? Hmm, I don't see any collars on any of the kids....) and together recite "Don't you love our Christmas tree?" They are giving me flashbacks to the songs and skits everyone under the age of 18 was forced to perform in my family. And what makes it even scarier is that they are giving me flash forwards to Cara practically hiding from the camera and Mady turning into Mini-Kate. Mady is completely hamming it up, obviously delighted to have the attention, and camera, on her. Cara, on the other hand, looks like she wishes she could be somewhere, anywhere, else.

In an astounding, but typical, Gosselin financial choice, they put their house on the market before finding a new one. They don't think they're three bedroom, two bath house is enough. Sorry to tell you Kate, but a 10 bedroom, 21 bath house will never be enough for you. It's not the house that isn't enough...  Kate says their new house will be better because not only is it bigger, but A) we can afford it B) it's closer to Jon's work C) it's a better layout all together.

In just 5 years the Konpound will be a better house because A) we can't afford it but it keeps up with Beth  B) it's far away from everybody and everything except the paparazzi that we call  C) it's MINE MINE MINE!!!

Aw, Kate feels sorry for their "little" house because it's filled in every nook and cranny with stuff and people. So, she can feel sympathy, maybe even empathy (as she herself has been filed in every nook and cranny with stuff and people), but only for inanimate objects. Nice.

Kate is stressing over the houses. They must sell by April 8. "If we don't get that house it's not like we will fit into any old house, I mean just any house."  Huh? Kate, there are only 10 of you. 6 of which can stay in a single room at night.

The Gosselin's are friends with the Brown family. No they are aboriginals, or American Indians, their surname is Brown, not their color. The Browns have 4 year old quintuplets and live in the area. Jon says he sees Jeff Brown as his mentor. Too bad Kate couldn't see Becki Dilley as her mentor. Or even Mrs. Wilde  The 10 Gosselins and 6 Browns descend on Shady Maple to take advantage of the all you can eat buffet and the Kids Under 10 Eat Free deal. Kate explains, "We only came here to teach them that restaurants exist, cause otherwise they won't know." Now we see why Jon and Kate had to take there kids on all those outings, so that the eight would know they exist! I guess the kids are slow learners though, because it took them a long time, and a lot of visits, to realize that zoos exist.

If anyone has Jeff Brown's contact information I would like to get an update answer on the quote he gave then. "I think Jon and Kate do a really good job with the kids, and I know it's really hard being in the public's eye. They really do have in their heart what's right for the kids and they try really hard to do what's best for the kids."

The house was on the market for 36 days and it was the most stressful 36 days of their lives, says Kate. More stressful than a 30 week pregnancy with sextuplets, while your other two, young, children needed their Mom? Or the months the six were in incubators after their birth, fighting to live? I suppose this isn't a lie to Kate because those stressful events were not exactly 36 days. The old house was 2300 sq/ft, the new one is 4000 sq/ft, including the basement. Kate for some reason doesn't agree with Jon's measurements, or, I guess, the construction measurements.

It is a new beginning, the Gosselins say. They get to start from scratch, and do what they want. More like they have sucked their old neighbors dry and need new victims. Like carnies do when they pull up stakes and take the carnival to another town.

In moving it's the packing and the literal moving that is always the worst part. This is no different when you have twins and sextuplets. Jon lays out his Saturday for us: while Kate was picking up her weekly shift he had his usual full day with all eight kids. Fed them, bathed the babies, played with all of them for an hour, put them to bed, did "all of my night chores", and started packing again. Kate comes home at 10pm, and Jon is up packing and loading until 2:30am. He woke up at half past 7 the next morning to do more of the same. He seems more than a little wipped out, but we hear no complaints on how exhausted he is.

Their new neighborhood on Andrews Ave. has a caution sign. Make up your own Caution sign that either the Gosselin family or their neighbors might have made.

The kids look adorable exploring the big, empty house in their hoodies and tiny tennis shoes.

Kate ends, or begins, the next 6 years of their lives with this:

"I want the ten of us, just the ten of us too. And I don't want them to be able to say 'why in the world did you want six of us' when everyone walks away and when everyone else disappears we've go each other. God's providing for us in one way or another. They are so awesome. The smiles, the kisses, the hi mommy, the hi daddy, they're saying each others names, they're awesome. I love 'em to death. No better eight kids I don't think we could have picked."

Trying to get that quote down exactly as said reminded me of that scene in Jumpin Jack Flash where Whoopi Goldberg is trying to write down the exact lyrics to the Rolling Stone's song. But in this case I had to also handle the throw up in my mouth.


  1. OK, this was REALLY well written (except for a few misplaced apostrophes) and fun to read!

  2. I threw up in my mouth a few times remembering everything your recap tells. Thanks for taking the bullet. Are you going to do the first season recaps?

  3. Wowsers didn't know they were so bad in the start. I thought it was TLC. R u going to do the rest of the episodes?