Jon & Kate Plus 8 – Where Have all the Interesting Episodes Gone?

Posted on Tuesday 24 March 2009

I am not going to badmouth Jon & Kate. I think there are a number of issues there, just like there are in most families, but they’re going to need to work those out for themselves. So,

Dear Jon & Kate Plus 8’s PR rep and TLC,

I have been a fan of the show for quite some time. I enjoyed it because, as I raise my own little kids, it’s interesting to see how other families handle tantrums, meals, and just the day-to-day work of raising kids. While I knew it wasn’t a full snapshot of their lives, I appreciated the realism that was there.

As the show gained popularity, we began to see more and more product placements, special outings and comped vacations. Although I couldn’t necessarily relate to having VIP treatment at DisneyWorld, it was fun to see the kids enjoy the magic of the parks. The trips they took felt reasonably genuine.

This season, however, has felt like one giant ad. The kids are trotted out in their matching outfits to sporting events, theater, day trips and even full vacations. We see them less and less at home, and even when they’re there, one or both parents seems to be missing. Mady and Cara might as well have moved out on their own for as much as we see them. Instead of watching the trials and joys of a “normal” family, it now feels like we’re watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels (with Kate starring as the entrepreneurial rock god himself).

I get that it’s a lucrative proposition. Getting “real” people (rather than true celebs) to mention your product/hotel/amusement park is appealing. But here’s the thing, the fans aren’t stupid. We know when you’ve snuck in a poorly placed Allstate “ad” (that was shameless, by the way) and we know that no matter how much the family raves about this resort or that, we won’t have nearly as grand an experience. And at some point, it just gets boring. And insulting. At some point, we start to feel that, by virtue of having so many kids, Kate has reached a height of popularity such that she doesn’t actually need to spend time with them. Now she can afford her non-nanny as she jets around the country doing another book signing or speaking engagement.

It is time that all of you realize that we’re losing interest. What was compelling about the show is nearly gone and we keep watching in the hopes that it will come back. Sure, the kids are still adorable, but we barely get to see their personalities between photo opportunities. Get it together, TLC. Work on your brand image, PR Agent.  Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself without an audience.

Sincerely,

A Past Fan.

Oh, and P.S. Can somebody PLEASE get Mady some counseling? The poor girl obviously is not ideally suited to be in such a large family and acts out as a result.

Christy @ 12:45 am
Filed under: TV andVent
Sex Offender Be Gone!

Posted on Monday 16 March 2009

About two years ago, shortly after Bug was born, we received a letter from the local police. It informed us that a convicted sex offender had moved into our neighborhood. Indeed, he had moved in a block away. To be clear, I can see his house from my yard. I freaked out a little bit at the time and decided to see if there were other offenders living in the neighborhood.

There are no other offenders living in our neighborhood, but our illustrious neighbor is a Level 3 sex offender, which is classified with a high likelihood of a repeat offense. He was convicted of a number of accounts of indecent battery and assault on a child under the age of 14, as well as rape and abuse of a child. I was rather hoping for some vague offense that I could write off in my mind as perhaps an 18 year old who had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. Nope. Our neighbor is in his 40’s and there is just no justifying any of this away. My last bit of hope was that he had temporarily moved in with parents or a sibling while he got back on his feet.

Before I go on, I want to clarify something. I am not drowning in worry and stress over this situation. First of all, he has to live somewhere. And, most sex offenders have committed crimes against children they know and it would be foolish to believe my kids would be all that much safer without this guy around. Still, it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable walking by his house. What would I do if I actually SAW him?

Well, no need to wonder. Yesterday, as I was walking home with my son, he drove by us, smile and waved. I almost immediately recognized him, despite a change in hairstyle. If I had any doubts about his identity, they were quashed when I saw him pull into the familiar address. He waved to several people on the street, actually, and I thought it was a bit bold. I mean, anyone who knows his identity is probably not that thrilled that he lives in our neighborhood. We can’t do anything about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s wise to drive down the street waving and grinning like you’re in the Macy’s Day Parade. Show a little reserve or remorse or… I don’t know. But just don’t wave to me and my child.

Sex Offender be gone! At the very least, mind your business and keep your waves and grins to yourself. I am not interested in being neighborly.

Christy @ 10:44 pm
Filed under: Me
A Peaceful Walk

Posted on Sunday 15 March 2009

I took Bug for a walk to the playground at the elementary school. We were gone maybe an hour to an hour and a half. He talked the ENTIRE time. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but Bug has a tendency to narrate his life. I swear he says everything that pops into his head. Today it included worrying about stepping in a puddle,ensuring that I planned to “take care of him,” discoursing on what types of things my cause a car crash, wondering (out loud) what our neighbors were doing and on and on. The more infuriating part for me is that he asks a question and when I answer it, he says, “What?” I don’t know if he’s got some sort of auditory processing problem, or he’s just not listening, but repeating my response to a question I didn’t want to answer in the first place starts to stress me out. For example:

B: What is that? (pointing to a stone border around someone’s yard)

M: A border.

B: What?

M: A border!

B: Oh. What’s it for?

M: It just decorates the yard.

B: Huh?

M: It goes around the edge of the yard.

B: Do we eat it?

M: No!

B: We don’t eat it?

M: No. It’s made of stone.

B: Oh.

Five feet later…

B: What’s that?

M: A border.

B: What?

M: How about we walk quietly for a bit?

B: Ok, but…

You get the picture. By the time we got back, all I wanted was a nap.

Christy @ 11:17 pm
Filed under: Me
I Pretty

Posted on Monday 9 March 2009

LadyBug has wild hair. It’s not wild like my hair is wild, fortunately, but it still makes her look a bit like Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (yeah, the original with the cute Oompa Loompas and the fun songs). She managed to get Big Guy’s fine locks along with just enough of my curls to get her into trouble.

What’s a mama to do with crazy hair? Ignore it, of course. I’m sure that people have looked at my child and wondered why I haven’t cut her hair already, but those are clearly people who don’t have curly, frizzy, wild hair. Those of us who do know that you have to let it grow if you want to be able to do anything with it. You just need to deal with the string of bad hair days. On an aside, Big Guy has more than once voiced the opinion that the wild hair should stay wild. I finally vetoed him. I mean, she was starting to look like she was raised by wolves.

LadyBug’s hair is just now long enough to pull some of it into pigtails. At her age (20 months or so), my pigtails looked like Mickey Mouse ears. Hers are little wisps of curled hair. How in the world did she get such fine hair?! As it was, this was her first time really getting her hair done. Previously, we just left it. We almost never brushed it (which you can do with short, super fine hair) unless it was wet because brushing removes the curls. That is something she did get from me.

While I did her hair, she twitched and complained and said, “Ow. Hair hurt.” when I hit the total of three hardly-noticeable tangles in her hair. Yeah, whatever, kid. My hair is almost always like one big knot, so I’m hardly sympathetic. She fidgeted and whined when I put the barrettes in. I told her she looked pretty and took her to the mirror.

And, oh dear, what did my less than two-year old daughter do? She preened and smiled and said, “I pretty.” She didn’t once touch those barrettes for the rest of the day because she was so pleased with her new hairdo. That’s when I was absolutely certain that we are DOOMED to a life of makeup and clothes and bathroom hogging and boys (possibly girls, but odds are for the boys).

All I can say is this… she didn’t get it from me.

Before

Before

After

After

Christy @ 1:47 pm
Filed under: LadyBug andMe
Holy Rabbit Poop, Batman!

Posted on Sunday 8 March 2009

We took the kids into the backyard on Saturday because the snow had started to dwindle and the weather was gorgeous. Unfortunately, the yard is covered in some sort of small mammal poop. Big Guy thought rabbits, but I thought maybe skunk. What does skunk poop look like?

Anyway, Big Guy made a big deal out of not stepping in the poop and now Bug is paranoid about skunk poop. He refused to walk across the lawn and all he has been talking about for the past few days is skunk poop. He’s obsessed.

Dear Big Guy, if you know that your son is naturally cautious about just about everything, why oh why would you add poopy angst to the pile?

Two questions, friends… 1) How do you get rid of rabbit (or skunk) poop? and 2) How do you get rid of rabbit (or skunk) poop phobia?

Christy @ 10:35 pm
Filed under: Big Guy andBug (aka Little Guy) andHome
The Food Allergy Goes to Preschool

Posted on Thursday 5 March 2009

I went to pick up Bug from his preschool class the other day (he was in a much better mood, thank heavens) and found him playing two other little boys in the play house area. Each of them was toting a baby around protectively. A little girl stood by watching – she, apparently, was not allowed to join in. It was ridiculously cute and one of the kids proudly told me that he was “the daddy.” I am always thrilled to see little boys practicing being good dads, since so many dads clearly could use the role modeling.

Anyway. Bug was playing with two pieces of fake bread and a play toaster. Once the bread was toasted, he took it out and slapped a thin, brown piece of plastic on top. I eyed it suspiciously. “Is that peanut butter?” I asked.

Bug nodded with some hesitation. I think he thought I might be mad that he was playing with pretend peanut butter.

“Who is allergic to peanut butter?” I asked him. We’re still working on helping him understand what he can and cannot eat.

Before Bug had a chance to reply, one of his friends piped up, “Me! I’m allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs!”

“Oh,” I said, trying not to laugh,”Bug is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and eggs!”

The little girl who had been watching from the side perked up and said with pride, “I’m outgrowing my egg allergy. The doctor did tests and told me so.”

We hear stories of how food allergies are on the rise, but it was stunning to have such a high ratio in this little group. Even more so, it was sad that these three year olds, most of whom probably don’t know their own addresses yet, can talk with such clarity over the foods they are not allowed to have.

Christy @ 11:41 am
Filed under: Bug (aka Little Guy) andFood Allergies