Monday, July 14, 2008

Jon & Kate Plus 8 and other ramblings

Haaaaaaaaa ha ha ha! THANK YOU, KATE!!!!

I Tivo Jon & Kate Plus 8.

I used to think it was way too stressful to watch.

Then I developed a morbid fascination with it.

Now I can watch it, cringe, and laugh.

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's the reality show with the parents who had a set of twins and then sextuplets. I only have one 3 year old and twin 4 year olds (newborn is not included in this since she's still in the potted plant stage). Knowing what life is like with that many children at approximately the same stage developmentally, I watch in awe as Jon and Kate handle SIX 3 year olds and twin 6 year olds--actually, they're all a year older now, but still...

I have always said I wouldn't compare my situation to having triplets because there are mothers of triplets out there who know just how untrue that statement would be. I had a whole year before I added a third to the mix, so I'm not going to insult them by suggesting we're the same because I had it MUCH easier.

But when they're all 2 and 3 years old, there doesn't feel like much of an age difference. It feels like juggling cats--very spastic, fast cats who are trying to get away from you. And there's a mob mentality involved. I felt that was true even when just the twins were conspiring to do something "interesting," "creative," or "fun." Christel, can I get an "Amen!" ????

When you have multiples, you don't always have the benefit you would if you had children of staggered ages because (hopefully) if your children are spaced apart, at least one has the ability to use self restraint, better judgement, or at least can tattle before something goes terribly wrong. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, which brings me to my next point before talking about Jon and Kate.

I never watched the nanny shows too regularly when they first came out because Ironman can't stand them. I can see his point because it's stressful to watch a house full of someone else's screaming, bratty children. This summer I have started recording them and watching all of the old episodes when Ironman is not around.

There's a distinct pattern--especially on Nanny 911. There are usually 4 or more children, and it seems that a majority of the time there are twins or triplets involved.

Another requirement seems to be getting the mother on tape screaming, "I'M DONE!" as she is on the verge of collapse.

And finally, there's always a husband who comes home from work, parks his butt in front of the t.v., and does nothing to help.

This brings me back to Jon and Kate. That man is a saint in my opinion. If he's home, he's involved. I realize there are a lot of dads like him, but according to Nanny 911 there are still a lot of dads who have a 1950's mentality. Ironman is kind of a 1950's dad. I feel it's safe to mention that because if he were embarrassed by it, he wouldn't do it. He plays with the kids and most definitely adores them, but any weekend time we get with him or help I get around the house feels like I'm having to ask him for a favor.

He works outside of the home. I work inside the home. That's where our responsibilities lie. End of story. Obviously it's that way because Ironman makes it that way. If I had any say in it, we'd do this parenting thing together on a regular basis. Ironman would defend this saying he's a manual labor worker, not some dad who sits behind a desk all day in an air-conditioned building. He doesn't have the energy to come home and help or do things on weekends because he gives 200% on the job so that (hopefully) some day he'll be promoted to a better position in the company. That last sentence is true, but I still wish he'd only give 150% at work so that he could have something left to give to his family.

I say all that because I can't believe the expectations Kate has of Jon. I think she takes him for granted. I was watching an episode today where Jon was filling sippy cups, styling the girls' hair, and keeping the kids out of his wife's way while she was trying to cook in the kitchen. And the WHOLE time she was complaining that he was having an "off day" because he wasn't helping enough. WHAT???? That man is always scrambling around dealing with kids as well as a full list of her other demands to check up on this, that, and the other. Have you ever seen an episode where he was home and not as involved in chores or taking care of children as Kate is?

Of course, he IS being filmed. And he does have an air-conditioned desk job. Also, I can't imagine many men would be horrible enough to not help their wife who is a stay at home mom of sextuplets and twins. As much as I admire the tight ship Kate runs and how organized she is, I fear that her constant criticism of a man who is definitely pulling his own weight with the kids is going to destroy their marriage. I hope not. Their lives are incredibly stressful....which finally brings me to the part of the show today that made me laugh because I could soooooooooo relate.

It was the episode where they were all in a furniture store picking out bunk beds for the sextuplets. Kate always has the desire to get her kids out of the house and involved in the world just as if there were only one of them. I'm not that way at all. I'm raising hermits because I know good and well we're not normal. I don't take my kids anywhere by myself unless I know it's a very controlled situation where I can escape quickly if things aren't going as planned. I'm not as bad as I used to be since the kids are getting older, but I would still never take them anywhere that I had to concentrate on a major decision involving thousands of dollars.

So Kate is looking for REALLY sturdy bunk beds, and the conversation arises about how destructive the sextuplets can be. Jon said the sextuplets have destroyed libraries worth of books, and Kate said, "it's not that any one of them singly would do it , its just the group of them descending upon things" and she did this gesture with her hands that I can't even described. It was kind of like monster claws grabbing something, and I COULD SOOOOOOOOOOOO RELATE!!!!

It felt SO good to hear someone else put into words what I've always felt and that I describe as mob mentality. People used to be mortified hearing the stories of my 3 toddlers and what all could go wrong in such a short period of time. They sounded like total heathens, and THANK GOD they've matured and outgrown it, but I always knew in my heart that singly, they wouldn't do the things they were doing (at least for the most part). It has to do with the sheer number of children matched with them all being developmentally at the same stage that is a recipe for disaster. I've never been successful getting that across to anyone without sounding like I'm making excuses for children who simply lack discipline. I felt so vindicated when I heard Kate express what I had always felt. It probably won't hit anyone else the way it hit me, but boy did it make my day today!!!

If you've been a reader of this blog for a couple of years, you've probably noticed I don't have a lot of kid stories left other than what can come out of their mouths. I used to have daily/weekly horror stories of how the house was destroyed within a matter of seconds thanks to toddlers who got out of their duct taped diapers, etc. My blog is not nearly as funny now, but I'm really grateful for that.

It can still be overwhelming. They still drop crumbs all over the rug. They can drag toys out of their rooms and into the living room in no time flat making it appear as if I never clean, but at least there's no poop in the toy microwave. There's no meat on the ceiling. When I walk past picture frames, I no longer find dried on apple sauce. The toilet paper no longer has to be locked up. Neither do the toilet lids for that matter. The potty chairs have been put away for a couple of years. I can understand the speech of 3 of the children (most of the time).

I continue to hear that it just gets harder when they get older, but for now it feels like a total relief to only have one child completely dependant upon me. Speaking of...she calls. Later!

18 Comments:

  • You are right-John is amazing. She puts him down so much, and he just takes it. It is a very interesting show to watch.

    I have a 5 year old and a (almost) 3 year old. I don't know how ANYONE can handle more.

    My kid story of the day? My 3 year old put a tiny lego (not the regular kind-smaller) up her nose.

    That was fun.

    By Blogger Mari, at Mon Jul 14, 07:28:00 PM  

  • AMEN!!! Having twin toddlers is like herding chickens on meth. I holding you to this post. You say it gets easier, eh?

    By Anonymous christel, at Mon Jul 14, 08:21:00 PM  

  • I can't even type coherently anymore.
    (*I'M holding you to this post*)
    Of course, the vodka could have something to do with it. "Mommy drinks because you 2 make her tired and crazy."

    By Anonymous christel, at Mon Jul 14, 08:23:00 PM  

  • By the way.... call me AUNT Christel :D Becky's little Gracie made her way into the world today! 7.5 lbs and 19 3/4 inches. They're both doing great.

    By Anonymous christel, at Mon Jul 14, 08:24:00 PM  

  • I've just started watching J&K+8. I really like it, but I don't like how b*tchy she is to him. And he just rolls his eyes at her. Oh well, I guess it works for them. But they are interesting, and I have a lot to learn from her organizatioanl skills.

    By Blogger Erin, at Mon Jul 14, 09:21:00 PM  

  • Hi

    I lurk ALL time and rarely comment - but I need your advice desperately........its about having a fourth. I have 2 boys and one girl. Twins boy/girl who are almost 3 and a little boy who is 1.5. I would love to try for a little sister for my daughter, but so many pros and cons....

    help me

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 15, 03:17:00 AM  

  • I have never seen that show...but now you have me interested!

    I only have two and they were 5 years apart.....it definitely has its pluses...but my kids will never be as bonded as yours are.

    Oh...and I am a longtime reader...those were the good ole' days...huh? :)

    By Blogger Queen of the Mayhem, at Tue Jul 15, 08:17:00 AM  

  • I love the show and I've said the same thing about Kate taking Jon for granted and her constant b**ching is going be the undoing of their marriage. However, I do get the feeling that he totally holds his own when the cameras are off. You can tell that he doesn't always take it lying down. They are both amazing and even though her attitude annoys me, I still watch every week! :) I grew up the oldest in a family of 10 kids so I have a small taste of her life, though we didn't have any multiples. They all came out one by aching one. My poor mom. ;)

    Love your blog. You are a seriously funny mom. :)

    By Blogger Adriana, at Tue Jul 15, 09:57:00 AM  

  • Dennis feels that one kitten is hard work. He doesn't know how Kate can be at home ALL DAY. Dennis says if you don't have rules and organization it all falls apart. Kate was raised in unhealthy chaos and she wants the best for her kids, she should not yell so much (she is always apologizing and praising Jon after forcing him to follow some rule) but her kids have become her #1 priority.) Dennis is glad they have a show.

    By Blogger dennis, at Tue Jul 15, 10:53:00 AM  

  • I think if Jon had popped out the 8 kids, he'd be the picky one bitching about every detail.

    By Blogger Squirrel, at Wed Jul 16, 09:36:00 AM  

  • That show has been the best birth control! I don't know how those 2 do it! Although sometimes I think Kate is a little short fused when it comes to Jon, but I guess she wears the pants.

    I've been blurking all through your last pregnancy and delivery - I'm just so happy to know you're all happy and healthy. And thanks for the C-Section details. Good info to know when we finally settle down and have kids one day.

    By Blogger Miss Got Wings, at Fri Jul 18, 10:35:00 AM  

  • At first I use to think you were crazy for having the kids so close together (my sister & I are 10 years apart) but after reading your blog for a bit I tip my hat to you!

    P.S. I hope you guys get more time with Ironman.

    By Blogger *~*Cece*~*, at Fri Jul 18, 01:31:00 PM  

  • I know!!!!! I love Jon. He has got to be husband of the year and she's always kind of passively agressively slamming him. bugs me.

    By Blogger Ann(ie), at Sat Jul 19, 11:25:00 PM  

  • Seen that show, and your right on kat nagging Jon....

    ANd yeah, whether its twins or sextuyplets or whatever, individually kids are ok, but once the pack mentality takes hold....

    By Blogger carmachu, at Sun Jul 20, 09:16:00 AM  

  • There was a j&K+8 marathon on, and my girlfriend taped a lot of episodes. watching the earlier ones, and the newest ones, I'd say Kate has gotten progressively worse at belittling Jon. She has seen herself doing it, and feels she is RIGHT so she's getting MUCH worse instead of trying to be normal. As for Jon, he seems to love playing the big dumb victim and 9th child. These people need to treat each other with respect. Ever wonder why no grandparents are involved? Huge dysfunction on both sides. (Although his dad was involved with the twins when they were babies --until he passed away) Jon's mother is a nightmare and Kate's parents are a huge double nightmare. She was raised very badly. She needs an adult to talk to (not boss around) about her feelings (which she never shows.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jul 24, 07:47:00 AM  

  • It does not get harder, it gets different -- if you survived the early part you will survive the later part... unless you totally check out and let them run amok, which I doubt you will do.

    By Blogger momumo, at Fri Jul 25, 09:54:00 AM  

  • Well I just found out this pair really are not as poor or as needy.A personal cook, housecleaner nanny etc...never shown on tv. They have money from a rich relative and the mom stated society is obligated to help them because she has 8 kids.

    I am shocked she feels entitled to free things when she chose to have children. She has more help raising her kids then anyone ..such a sham..I wont watch this tripe ever again.

    Raising kids on freebies when they can afford to raise them theirselves. I wonder what poor family could have used all this help more.

    Greed is the WORD

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Jul 26, 06:48:00 PM  

  • I agree regarding J&K, I don't have multiples, but I watch for the sheer "reality TV" trainwreck fun. Kate does belittle him way too much, but i'm impressed that he's becoming the master of the Passive-Aggressive eyeroll.

    By Blogger Juicebox Mom, at Mon Aug 04, 12:11:00 PM  

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