June 30, 2008

Wag of the finger for Aunt Jodi

Aunt Jodi, what the hell were you thinking? Jodi is Kate Gosselin's sister-in-law. Kate is the "Kate" of Jon & Kate Plus 8. The Eight refers to her brood of a set of TWINS and a set of SEXTUPLETS. I am not a regular watcher of the show. For me, it's a bit like watching a train wreck in slow motion, but that may be the occasional appeal. The Gosselins have our family well out-numbered, but in terms of volume and mischief, Hart and Jeff could easily give that family a run for the money.

Watching the show, I am amazed and impressed by Kate's organization and her energy. Then I remind myself that she is nearly two decades younger than I am. She is also infuriating*, but she does have sextuplets, SEXTUPLETS, and I cut her some slack.

On a recent episode, Aunt Jodi had the three-year-old sextuplets at her house and she offered them bubble gum. Offered! Hey, kids, who wants to smoke? Anyone want a beer before naptime? Kate is very health-conscious, so it would not have been a great leap to guess her feelings on the issue of gum. When the kids got home, Kate was beside herself. She could not throw out five sets of clothes and all the toys ruined by gum. She did not relish a few hours scraping gum out either.

It made me think of all the trusted caregivers I have had over the years who have shown such utter lack of judgement that I have wanted to scream at them,"YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP ME, NOT MAKE ADDITIONAL WORK AND AGGRAVATION!" I refer to the trusted ongoing sitters, not the one-time dilettantes who were never asked back or joined the Federal Witness Protection program after a few hours with Hart or Jeff. I carefully vet out anyone who will care for the boys and, unlike Kate, since 1996 I have never left more than one kid in the care of anyone. Still, things have occurred that have left me speechless with anger and incredulity.

While my mother was visiting, I made an appointment with the boys' therapist for a half-hour after the boys were in bed. When we returned, we could hear them screaming from blocks away. They had cranked open their bedroom window on the second floor, knocked out the screens and were poised on the window sill for flight. Later, I asked Mom if she had heard them. She had, "but the bedroom door was closed." Note to self: Fire mom.

Mother-in-law was not much better. I came to pick up Jeff, and since Grandpa had a tech question, I asked her if she would watch Hart, who was in the car. She did indeed watch Hart, as he released Jeff from inside the house and they both disappeared down the street. I should have been more specific. Note to self: Remind grandparents to both watch children AND intervene.

I came to long-time adult sitter's house to find her 14-year-old daughter caring for her younger brother, two toddler cousins, an infant and my kid. Note to self: Ratio of sitters to sittees equals 1:1.

Regular college-aged sitter agrees to take Hart shopping for toys with $30 he "found." Note to self: Remind adults that Hart is unemployed and has no legitimate income.

Arrive home to empty house. Front door is wide open. Sitter explains that she pulled up in driveway to collect her charge. Note to self: If 14-year-old boy had the sense to close the front door behind him, he would not need a babysitter.

Aunt Jodi, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. It was, I hope, a momentary lapse. But for the sake of my own sanity, I had to turn the TV off.

*Kate has very rigid, traditional ideas about gender roles, which I find astonishing in someone her age. We went through a Barbie-Boy phase at his house. With eight small children, I would find other issues to occupy me, but then I don't have my own reality show.

Kate is anal-retentive. She is self-deprecating about this onscreen which is charming, but I get frustrated watching the show because she makes lots of extra work for herself because of it. For example, she has five little girls with long hair, which requires lots of time shampooing, de-tangling, brushing, styling, braiding and decorating. Why? See above about gender roles?

I know that some parents enjoy dressing their multiples alike occasionally,but the Gosselin kids are always dressed alike, which strikes me as very expensive (no hand-me-downs) and a logistical nightmare.


Anonymous said...

OMG I loved this post! I have a lot of the same reactions watching that show, but I love it anyway. What I like the most about the show is the pretty straightforward look at what having eight children does to a married couple. They don't hide their bickering, which I appreciate.

If my babysitter gave my son gum, I would go crazy. Aunt Jodi must have had temporary insanity!

Good help is hard to find...

runciblespn said...

Author's note: I had no idea this post would a firestorm of pro-Gosselin/anti-Gosselin commentary!

For a very funny parody on the show, and in particular, this episode: check out:

To join in or read the comments, please see the post on Chicago Moms Blog:

beachluvin said...

First of all, Jodi did not watch only 5 of the tups she also watched the twins so she had 7 plus her own 4 kids. She had 12 kids to watch that day. Jodi gave them gum because she has on many occasion seen Kate give them gum, granted it was on an airplane. Jodi cared for Kate's 7 children while her and Jon took Mady to the mall to have her ears pierced and out to lunch. This one of of many one on one dates that Jon and Kate had with the kids. Jodi not only watched the kids during the other outings but at that time watched all the tups each Friday. Since Kate didn't accompany the boys on their outings, I assume she stayed home with the girls. What I am trying to say here is that Jodi watches the kids on many occasions which is much more than Kate has ever done for Jodi. Kate's over reaction over a silly sock and a tiny piece of gum on Colin's toy was ridiculous. She tried to make Jodi look foolish on tv but Kate only made herself look like a raging maniac. You mention that Jodi is her sister in law, she should have shown her more respect than she did. She should go over to Aunt Jodi's house and apologize but the words "I'm sorry" do not belong in her vocabulary. You talk about how she dresses her kids all alike and how expensive that must be. I guess you are unaware that all the kids clothes are free! Yes, free. Kate gets an allowance from Gymboree and from The Gap. The funny thing is, she doesn't want the clothes stained because she sells them at a consignment shop. The do not give or donate any items to others that may need it. Jon was quoted in a newspaper stating that they were going to donate all the items donated to them to other families of multiples. Well, in fact they sold everything either on their website or at a garage sale. Even going so far as to mention the amount the "paid" for the item. These two are unbelievable!
I don't pretend to like this woman, she is frankly - unlikeable, imo. She makes it very easy to unlike her. I think the children are adorable but I also think it's time they grow up in private and without the same scrutiny celebrities are under. Jon and Kate remain unemployed but take 5 star vacations, enjoy personal chefs, gardeners, housekeepers, nannies, personal assistants, publicists, personal laundry service and all of the backs of their 8 working children. Do you think this is right? I vote for taking the show off the air but revisiting the family once a year for an update. Someone needs to watch over these poor children since their parents aren't.

On a different note, for a good laugh watch this:
Even teenagers see how ridiculous Kate Gosselin is:

Anonymous said...

I watch the show on a regular basis and I really enjoy it. Just like most everyone who posts on these blogs, I think Kate is VERY high-strung, most of the time ungreatful, down right rude to her husband and very self centered. On the other hand however, I also think she is a very intellegent and beautiful woman who is extremely neat and organized. I find the children adorable and pretty well behaved with the exception of Mady whom (I'm no trained professional) but I think she needs counseling and a good old fashoned whipping once and awhile! My point being no matter who you are, if you step into the entertainment industry you are immediatly opening yourself up to public criticism. That being said, I would never want to walk a day in Jon or Kates shoes! I have only two kids and I can't imagine multiplying that by four. I am however thankful for they're show and I very much enjoy it. I feel that for those who label themselves "Kate Haters" try not tuning in and you won't have to worry about it! I think for the most part they are good parents. All the money and freebies do come at a price however, just like they do for every other celebrity out there. Thank You TLC for all the great shows like Little People Big World, Jon and Kate and 18 kids and counting I enjoy them all!