Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reality Sucks

Once upon a time, I had "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" listed on my blog as one of my favorite shows. And once upon a time, it was.

When I first stumbled on the show, Kate's hair was all one color and had not yet looked like two different haircuts, depending on whether she was going or coming. She bravely revealed her post-sextuplet belly, something I think we've all secretly wanted to see.

It's true that even in the early shows, she was snarky at Jon on a regular basis, but since I am a closet sarcastic myself, I didn't hold it against her. Some people have said she is amazingly Obsessive-Compulsive, but this also tended to encourage me. "If Kate can clean up around 8 little kids and not go completely bonkers, surely I can manage."

A few seasons ago, though, the show definitely lost it's appeal. It was like the wealth and fame when straight to Kate's frosted head. Suddenly, the children were always outfitted in gorgeous, matching clothes as they were flown all over the country gratis. It went from being an interesting show about the realities of raising so many toddlers and kids to Lifestyles of the Well-Endorsed. The Kids fly to Utah. The Kids go to New York. Perhaps on my part, envy was involved, but I just lost interest. When it was Jon Gets Hair Transplants and Jon Gets a Personal Trainer, I was pretty much done. Once in a while, I would wander over to TLC to watch old tapings, but pretty much done.

Now this. Ugh! What a disaster! Like so many, I tuned it to the season premier, mostly because I haven't read the tabloids. I wanted to hear from their own mouths what the status of the family had become. Only I left with more questions then I started. Could they possibly be more vague? I have no idea whether Kate does think Jon cheated or if she believes him, but is unhappy in the marriage anyway. Upon seeing snippets of previous season finales, it was obvious that Jon was done with the show, but Kate was totally blind to it. This is where I think they went far wrong. She seems to have been so caught up in the show and the book deals and the speaking engagements, she wasn't looking at her own family crumbling.

What makes me mad is to hear her whine about how it's so hard, and she's doing it all for the kids, and she's so annoyed with the paparazzi. All for the kids? That is a total crock! Kids do not need to be on a famous tv show! They need a mother and father together and paying attention to them. And the paparazzi? You invited tv crews into your lives to document your children's potty training, nap schedules, discipline issues and temper tantrums! And now you're mad that long lenses poke through the woods while you do your kids' birthday party? I mean, I'm sure it's annoying and I personally would loathe it, but that is what you sign up for when you say, "Yes! I want to show the world what it is like to live in my shoes!" When everyone now wants to see inside your shoes, how can you complain?

In the season premier, she must have said 27 times, "I'm doing this by myself." Well, buck up, honey. This is the reality for zillions of mothers who do not have nannies and helpers and book deals. I know of a homeschooling mother of six whose husband is in Iraq! She does it all by herself while her husband is in continuous imminent danger. Really. It's hard to feel sorry for Kate.

The ratings may have been sky-high for the season premier, but I am certain the show will bomb from here on out. How can it do otherwise? I don't want to watch the family who just had their vow renewal in Hawaii last year now fall apart. I don't want to peer in on scenes like the little girl hugging her dad tightly and saying, "I don't want you to go away again, Daddy." And this is The Learning Channel, people! What is there to learn in that?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For Lydia

Do they have birthday parties in Heaven?
For the little ones, at least?
So you don't miss your six-year Princess party
dressed in Barbie pink with a purple tiara?
Who is invited, I wonder?
Other children, who never knew earth?
Other littles who left here too early,
their shattered mothers left wondering?
Do you run through the spring fields in Heaven?
Chase butterflies with silk and gold nets?
Are there dandelions to blow in a wish,
fluffy heads riding the breeze?
Is there summertime in Heaven?
Catching fireflies and sipping sweet tea?
Are there porch swings where one day I'll rock you,
as I should have already so often?
How old will you be when I see you?
Or is there even such a thing as age?
Are you a peach-faced little girl now?
Or forever a baby, a little whisper?