Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Discussion Thread: Beach Time! 12/27/2016

Beach Time!
Kate and the kids explore the Alabama beach shores during summer vacation! Kayaking, parasailing and a family Segway tour are in the mix and of course, there is always chaos! Then the Gosselins' head back home to train their adorable puppies. 60 Min. |

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Discussion Thread: Gosselins in Space 12/20/2016

Gosselins in Space
The Gosselins travel to Alabama to go to Space Camp! Kate and the kids explore all NASA has to offer and become astronauts for the day. Will the family get along long enough to complete their missions? 60 Min. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Discussion Thread: Puppies & Poconos 12/13/2016

Poconos here we come! There's plenty of competition, chaos and family fun when Kate and the kids take on archery tag, tubing and new puppies! 60 Min. | PG

Friday, December 9, 2016

Recap: Kate Plus 8 ''Sextuplets Turn 12!": Beef Mommy

Coming up on Kate Plus 8, I flat out refuse to say " the little kids." It's the sextuplets' 12th birthday and "Kate" decides to make a scavenger hunt for them and their friends. Maybe they'll finally find her soul. Is it me or is Kate speaking really slowly, with long pauses in between, as she explains soon she will have eight teenagers. Yawn, soon I will need a drink. Or maybe production slowed down her speech a little to fill up the full 45 minutes?

The girls introduce us to the new additions to the family, two gorgeous puppies. They're cute as a button of course. Aw, puppy burps! They look like cartoon characters. Let's hope they're treated well. There's some of the hired help Kate doesn't have, working there in the background doing things only Kate does all by herself. It's Andrea, I think.

Kate is in what I think is her office or possibly just a second living room, which is cluttered full of way too many pieces of furniture, papers, and other crap everywhere. There is a lot of pressure on the next birthday when your kids say that last year was the greatest birthday party ever, she explains. Oh, so this is just about her own ego.

Oh, nice, an intern came up with a cool animated graphic for us explaining how two vehicles will transport the two teams (boys vs. girls, of course) to the various clues with the final destination being the party. But for that visual I would be lost, so thank you, good intern.

Kate finally explains where the heck Collin is. Her explanation is that he is "struggling" and she is "not able ... to meet his needs." He is learning skills and insights to be the best that he can be. She's right, she can't meet his needs, she's awful with him and all her kids. Long story short, the birthday party will be "tough" without him.

So, that's it? It'll be tough? Goodness, you would think she's talking about an unfortunate bunion on her toe really putting a damper on her day, rather than her own child. They show some old clips of Collin which are slow motion and oddly really desaturated, like the kind of clips you would find in someone's funeral montage or something. Creepy. How come they can't go to his placement and have the birthday party there, at least for part of the day. The heck?! This whole thing is tragic, sad, and terribly disconnected.

Moving right along! Kate and the twins go party shopping on the company credit card again, and I smirk at Mady's comment that they should buy anything Mady finds ugly because the younger girls seem to love whatever she finds ugly. Heh! She's a brat, but she's funny at times. Mady explains that they weren't asked to help, they were ordered to. I totally understand how annoyed a teen feels when they don't have a choice in things, and it's too bad Kate can't employ better parenting techniques to help them feel like things are more collaborative in this family, instead of them just always being her slaves. At the same time, it's not unreasonable to be expected to help out with your siblings' birthday party even if you're complaining the whole way through it. You'll live. If Kate had asked them for help as Mady wanted, there's a good chance they might have said no, because she's lost their respect and good will so they're not feeling it. So then she would have had to order them anyway, which just makes anything you "ask" them to do seem like a sham. She has so much rebuilding of trust to do with these girls, who have, like Dr. Markham explained, hardened their hearts toward her. The sad thing is Kate doesn't even seem to know it.

Cara complains the whole time that this is taking forever, while Mady often finds herself going down random rabbit holes playing with irrelevant toys and decorations they're not going to buy. They finally leave the party store with an absolute motherload of crap. Apparently they're stocking up for the end times as envisioned by Alex Jones, not a simple 12th birthday party.

Kate goes on and on about how she has so much prep work to do ahead of her that day and the next. Now imagine having a job and throwing your kids a nice party, too.

Often this show goes into an incredible amount of unnecessary explanations about things that are happening, I guess to fill up the time. And once in awhile they explain nothing, leaving viewers completely confused. Suddenly Kate and the twins are at goggleWorks downtown decorating for the party. So, the party isn't at the house? It's off site? And what is this place? They never say. Cara doesn't want to be a part of this. The twins go into a rather telling explanation about why Cara was so annoyed, and that is because Kate sprung this decorating on her once she got there, and never once mentioned up until this moment she wanted Cara to stay and spend her time decorating. She does this often, explains Cara.

Kate sounds like one of those mothers who know they have no control of their kids when they just parent normally. For instance they know if they let them know in advance they'd like them to help decorate, they'll get a huge fight and maybe even a refusal to go into the car, and it might never happen. But instead of learning better parenting techniques to get more cooperation out of your teens, they resort to trickery. If Kate springs this project on Cara suddenly once she already got in the car, got to the venue, and has no way to get back home, Cara will have no choice but to help. Withholding various information from children who are plenty old enough to be kept in the loop is manipulative, pure and simple. As well as rude. More and more, I have a very clear picture of exactly why her kids don't respect her, and that was exhibit A.

Naturally the decorating comes with various degrees of bickering from Mady and Kate about differences in decorating. Who cares? At least your teen is willing to help. Does it really matter whether the prize table goes over there or over there, and whether Mady hangs streamers over the door or over the windows? Talk about learning to pick your battles.

Ha! Mady says, "Kate, please don't yell at me." Yes, Kate, please stop yelling at her.

Mady explains that Kate is trying to replace yelling with just acting disappointed in her. Ah, so, replace outright hollering with just some good ole fashioned immature passive aggressiveness. Did an online parenting class teach her that?

Mady further explains that Kate denies she yells. That's typical. Kate admits the kids have often actually asked her to stop yelling. Wow. Though, not surprised. For God sake, Kate, this should be a wake up call. Your kids are pleading with you to stop yelling at them. As I went on at length in the previous recap, yelling is as damaging to kids as physical abuse. Your kids instinctively know that, and they don't like it. They've asked you, apparently on multiple occasions, to please stop parenting them that way. Her response? "No, I wasn't yelling." Heh. And, nice to see Mady's comment verified. Kate does in fact deny she does this, even when it's right there on film that she in fact does.

The twins somehow find a bit of motivation to get back into the decorating and it's looking like a real party now, with treasure chests, maps, and balloons. Fun if you were seven years old. I hope the sextuplets enjoy this juvenile set up and don't think to themselves, wouldn't it be way less nerdy, and more grown up, to just invite some friends over for pizza and go see a movie?

Commercials. They are really stretching to fill this episode. The "coming up" segment is nearly 30 seconds long! Maybe I should just recap that, and skip the real segment, eh? There's lots of screaming and yelling, Kate messes up the scavenger hunt because for all her claims at being all about organization, she's actually just an airhead, and more yelling follows.

The party day is here, and it looks like at least a few friends are there, which makes things seem so much more normal. "Do I have to attend this party?" Kate asks. I don't find the teasing she does like this cute. It's mean. Kate begins the scavenger hunt. Kate corralled Andrea into driving one of the vans, and I guess she'll drive the other. Eh, I wouldn't want that liability as a nanny, not with a ton of other strangers' kids. Kate gives a boring lecture on safety.

Eventually Kate realizes she's a doofus and forgot to plant the second clue. After all her show over the planning she did, how the heck does that happen? This feels like a scripted plot device. I can picture the storyboard, and plot point A is uh-oh, Kate forgot a clue! Will the party be ruined? Stay tuned! Either that or she's even more disorganized that I thought. Instead of coming up with a clever way to distract the kids, she ever-so-obviously herds the kids back behind the house so she can fix her mistake. The kids know exactly why they were herded out back but to their credit they just let it go with a few snide remarks.

The kids have noooo respect for her. It's almost comical, though rather sad. She's trying to explain the scavenger directions and various kids of hers are interrupting her, jumping the gun on the next direction, asking questions before giving her a chance to explain, and being so freaking rude. None of the kiddie extras are doing that. Not interrupting people when they are talking, especially when someone is trying to give directions to a large group, couldn't be more basic.

I understand better now that the kids don't know the location of the party, and the clues will lead them there. Girls vs boys of course. It could be editing, but it seems to me the girls are figuring these clues out at lightning speed. This party could be over pretty quick for them. The girls kind of just fly through the riddles shouting out ideas left and right until they hit on the answers. Oh, and there's three more of the girls, so they have a better chance of someone figuring it out sooner. The boys in contrast are taking longer with the clues, being more diligent and careful as they work through the riddles collaboratively, and having patience with themselves, which I find very typical for boys their age. They seem more concerned about solving it correctly rather than quickly. It's just a different style of tackling a puzzle, but unfortunately this is just going to validate their inferiority. Sigh.

Kate gives the boys a head start handicap since there were more girls than boys. I count four boy friends, six girl friends. So the teams were six boys versus nine girls. Kate laments she is always getting blamed for things being unfair. Maybe because things are unfair? The girls complain about the boys' head start, explaining that even though they have more people it takes them longer to load and unload the van. Seriously? They had just three more friends! That should barely make a difference. They really are a pain, I hate to say it, and very divisive all the time. It's getting ridiculous. The boys are so awesome, laughing at themselves when they couldn't figure out this clue that said another name for cow, and a word for someone being not so nice. Hm. Beef Mommy?

I guess the clue led them to a beef jerky shop, a location Kate knows because she knows the owners. I thought she was organic and eats lettuce, and avocados. She pals around with beef jerky makers? The last place I would ever think to take a 12-year-old for his birthday is a beef jerky place, although the kids seem to think this is the coolest thing ever, so it worked out. They get to see how jerky is made and help out a little.

Do the girls have different clues or a different order? I didn't pay attention to the intern's graphic and now I'm confused. The girls end up at a food truck first instead of the beef jerky place. They know those owners too. This episode is really weak on explanations. You cannot convince me production didn't coordinate this all in exchange for free advertising on the show, this is way too involved. Kate can barely stuff nine peppers all day let alone arrange something as complicated as this. Ohhhh, Kate reveals that the couple that owns the beef jerky place? Their daughter Maggie is at the party. Well, that explains how the girls' team is flying through this. Kate, that's why you're unfair. I wonder if the sextuplets honestly know their daughter, or if that was just a perk for the jerky place participating in the show, that their daughter would be a part of the party.

For no particular reason, I'm going to show a beef jerky map, because it's just pretty cool.

The girls were just "owwn" it, says Kate, because you can't take the PA out of the girl. Well of course they were owwwn it, they had insider trading information.

The boys are pulling away from the beef jerky place just as the girls arrive. Haha, good, I hope it makes the girls panic and I'm rooting like crazy for the boys to stick it to them and win this. I wish they hadn't gotten such an obvious advantage, because even if they do win, the win will never be "real" to the petty girls. Like puppet governments.

It is getting a little more clear that the teams are pursuing these clues in different orders. Good god, the girls are unbelievably smug about the fact that they've realized the girls are actually starting their "second" clue at the beef jerky place when the boys are just finishing up their first, which was the beef jerky for them. I don't know how the boys stand it. They should have never even opened up their van door to talk to them and just gone on with their game without making contact. Even the boys are like, they're being "sassy." That's putting it kindly.

What's really telling from the boys, although I think they're just trying to be funny, is that the envision if they lose the penalty is going to be no cake. No cake?! Aww, just like when they didn't get their birthday cupcakes when they were toddlers? See, these things scar kids for life, Kate!

It's just Aaden and Joel on the couch explaining all this. It feels wrong somehow, though they're two pretty cool kids. You know what else is too bad? That Jon's not here. The kids are having fun, despite Kate. A blast, really. It would have been awesome for him to go with one team, and Kate the other. They would barely even need to see each other. Or he could at least be waiting at the final destination. Many divorced families put aside differences and spend birthdays together for the sake of the children. This one can't, and it only hurts the kids.

The next clue leads them to a salon where they have to get a red X painted on one nail and let it dry before they can leave. That's sort of neat. I like the boys' friends, too. They seem fun, chill, and game for everything. Exactly the cool friends I would expect they have. Back at the jerky place, the girls have lost interest in running around like crazy. They've calmed down a bit and are enjoying some soda and hot dogs.

Kate says that she didn't rush the girls along because she figured the boys are going to be way behind anyway this whole time. She is such an ass. She is constantly putting them down and doesn't even seem to know she is. The girls too confirm they're sure the boys are way behind. Sounds like a huge mistake to me. Never assume someone is way behind unless you know it for sure. I couldn't be rooting more strongly for the boys. 2016 is the year of the underdog, and if you happened to be rooting for one or more of them, it's been an incredible year for you. The Cubbies, Brexit, Trump, Penn State (go State, see you at the Rose Bowl!). And now, the boys, I hope!

The boys don't seem to be getting most of these clues but Andrea is giving them giant hints until they solve them. Great, another reason the girls won't legitimize their win. Andrea tells the cameras that the boys need help sometimes, and she thinks they're going to lose. The hell? Andrea always walks around with a sour expression on her face and I really don't appreciate a nanny making fun of her kids and being so negative. She must have pre-ordered Kate's book, How to be an Asshat. Aw, even Aaden and Joel know that everyone thinks they're clueless, but at least they find this amusing. Poor boys. It's not even true! They are getting painted just like she painted Jon, the clueless dolt. What a lie. She really hates men. Get therapy.

The clues look like they are on that old treasure map paper you dip in tea and burn the edges. There's no way Kate did all this set-up work herself. How would she possibly squeeze it all in between all the stuffing peppers and loads of laundry?

Oh, wow, even Mady is explaining how the girls are competitive and think the boys are dumb, but in fact the boys are quite smart. That warms my heart that Mady of all kids would give these boys some freaking credit for once. And, I've observed the same, they are quite smart, and not only that, but socially intelligent. Geez.

No, no, not a clown! No! "I'm scared of clowns!" one of the boys says. Well heck I am too after this year's most bizarre phenomenon, clown sightings. This is kind of like Amazing Race only more disorganized. They get the next clue from the clown.

Cut to the girls. Leah has their next clue. Hannah reaches for it too, but Leah snatches it away from her pretty aggressively. The girls act five years old, and oddly, no one ever calls them out on it. It is absurd, just absurd, for a 12-year-old to behave like that, even with her sister, and get away with it. I almost can't blame them for how nasty they come across, because no one is telling them to knock it off when they do immature things like that. After initially doing really well, the girls are now off track on the next clown clue, thinking it means a party store. Kate isn't helping them at all, other than to look constipated when they have the totally wrong idea about the clue. Her shutting up for once is one of the few things I like about how she's handling this. The fun, and challenge of this is figuring it out on their own. They don't need an adult's help, they're not toddlers. For that matter neither do the boys. It's good for them to be on their own in so many ways. I don't like all the big hints Andrea gave the boys, it encourages them to be brain-lazy.

The boys race to the food truck. The girls are headed, incorrectly, to the party store. Kate obliges, but purposely drives by the clown, hoping they will notice. Hannah does indeed notice somehow, and they get their clue. Can the clown go home now? She's creeping me out standing on the side of the road there like she's looking for a john. Gross.

The girls for some reason still think they've crushed the boys. It sure is annoying when people who in reality have no clue where they stand are sure they've won. Shut up. The girls are really just trashing the boys all day. They're obsessed with them, and it's weird. The boys don't talk about them nearly as much as they talk about their brothers. In a strange way, it reminds me of Kate and Jon, with Kate absolutely consumed by him, and Jon hardly ever mentioning her unless asked. I wonder if that's something the girls have subconsciously picked up from her, a preoccupation with the men in the family and all up in their business.

There goes Andrea making fun of them again for wanting to take two freaking seconds and get something to eat at the food truck after all this running around. Not everyone cares that much about winning so much as they care about enjoying the experience itself. Good grief. Andrea is as unlikable as the girls in this family. Is it an estrogen thing?

I'm getting a little lost again, but I think they're at a hair salon now. They don't seem to do anything here but get a photo of the group. The next clue involves an old school phone book. I have no idea what that's all about, it's hard to follow. The boys seemingly end up at the hair salon just seconds after the girls, but that could be clever Amazing Race style editing. I remember this one season of Amazing Race pretty early on in its tenure, where one couple was literally hours and sometimes even days ahead of all the others. They would only catch up at one of those challenges designed to throttle all the teams, then get way ahead again. There were multiple ways to tell how far ahead they were if you paid attention. But the editors tried not to let on they were that far ahead outright, and employed lots of editing techniques to make it seem like the other teams would arrive at the challenges just seconds after the first team left. Only it would be like, pouring rain one second and bright and sunny the next. It was funny.

Nail salon, hair salon, LOL, sounds like Kate couldn't get any more creative with these locations than her own little pea brain. What's next, Nobu? Joel figures out lickety split they need to look in the phone book. They seem to be grabbing an address from it and heading there.

Kate seems to have a major advantage over Andrea in that she knows all these locations and how to get back and forth easily. Andrea in contrast needs a GPS, and is getting so stressed she asks the boys to please be quiet so she can hear the GPS. Aw, Andrea is the preverbal sucky taxi driver who has never heard of a Main street in his own city, who shows up on every last episode of Amazing Race, drives around in circles all over town eventually taking them to the Bay Bridge instead of the Golden Gate and crushes the best team's dreams.


Somehow the boys arrive at Goggleworks first, they don't explain how or when they passed Kate especially with Andrea acting so confused and tight-fisted behind the wheel. Did Kate take a wrong turn she wouldn't admit to? Odd. The twins are waiting for them. The twins are happy for them and are very nice about congratulating them. That's cool. Here come the girls, and I predict an incredible amount of sour grapes about to happen.

For Kate this really is so much about the competition, about who will win and who will lose. It's bizarre, the hyper-focus on this. It's just a silly birthday party for 12 year olds. Goodness. This is practically all she's talked about this whole episode. The girls, too. In contrast, the boys talked so much more about how they figured out the clues, and the things they said and did along the way, and what they enjoyed. It's obvious they appreciated the experience itself so much more than who won or lost. Sad thing is, they would have taken a loss so much better. The win doesn't matter all that much to them. You almost want them to just give it to the girls, just so they'll shush up for once.

Yep, here we go. The boys "cheated." No one ever gets the better of a Gosselin girl without "cheating", apparently. I honestly think they believe this. If they were politicians they would still be recounting votes after all this time, refusing to believe somebody could actually have gotten the best of them fair and square. An extreme desire to win and a visceral, conspiratorial reaction toward anyone else who gets the best of you is narcissistic behavior, as painful as it is to point these things out in children, I think we have to start being honest about that. After all, a narcissist is perfect, so how could anyone get the upper hand on a narcissist unless they did so through errant means? It makes sense that a narcissist would teach narcissistic behavior in the children, and that at least some of them would pick up some of the traits even if they never end up actually developing the diagnosed personality disorder. Incidentally, how do the girls know whether the boys "cheated"? They weren't there with them and didn't see what happened along their journey, what hints they got or didn't. They have no evidence whatsoever anyone cheated, but they've immediately decided that if the boys won, they must have cheated somehow. They're so bitter, and terribly unfair. Also, so what if they had a little help? Let them have a little bit of glory once in awhile. Let them win once in awhile. The girls have the upper hand on so many things, can't they find it in their hearts to let their brothers, who by the way are a man down, to have this one? Take one for the team here and just let them have it? A pity.

Speaking of Collin, not a word mentioned of him since the start of this episode, nary a tear. No one seems the least bit upset he's missing out on all this good fun and a special birthday. It's not healthy to just cut him off like this and go on with life like nothing happened.

The boys did have a lot of help from Andrea, but the girls had their advantages too, like three more heads to mull over the clues, a better driver, and the jerky store's daughter in their group who helped them get that clue quick. Sounds like a draw to me in terms of advantages. They also chose to dilly-dally around at the jerky place eating hotdogs and drinking sodas for what seemed like a really long time, and they really struggled with the clown clue even when Kate was giving them a clear face that they were way off in their guess about the party store. Judging by the way the editing makes this seem, had those two parts of the puzzle moved along more quickly for them, they probably would have won. That's on them. The glaring lack of personal responsibility for their own shortcomings and missteps along the way, is very unhealthy.

Ha, the boys are all dressed up in various costumes and shout at the girls as they come in. Good, they deserve a chance to gloat for once.

Andrea admits she's glad the boys won and they're smarter than the girls bargained for. My only question is whoever gave the girls such a firm idea that their lovely brothers (who by the way, everybody here seems to like just fine) are complete idiots who know absolutely nothing? I can't imagine.

The party has a photo booth, and a money booth where fake money blows around and you have to grab it and then can use it to buy party favors. Ridiculously fun, and it's practically all the kids want to do. At the end of the day I have to give Kate, er, production, a solid A minus for this party. Other than a few babyish aspects of it, and the weird erasing of Collin from it all like he never existed, it's a big hit, and all in all the scavenger hunt was pretty good.

The party segment is going on much too long now. There's a tortuously long part with a piñata complete with flashbacks, which seems pretty juvenile. Anyone can find a 12-year-old's birthday party to go to at some point if that's what interests you, you freak, so I don't see a need to recap that. Piñatas are a tradition. Kate will have these kids hitting a piñata on their twenty-first birthdays, half wasted.

Cake time. Mercifully, Kate opts out of singing happy birthday to them six times. So she's finally let them grow up a little.

Can I ask again, is there a reason she can't visit Collin and bring part of this party there? Having worked in foster care for nine years and seen my fair share of children who are in facilities, I'm struggling to recall a facility, even a terribly high level of care placement, that did not permit families to see their children, especially on their birthday. Contact with your loved ones is such a fundamental component of modern treatment, it's hard to imagine why they couldn't include him in this party in some form.

Kate bookends the episode with, oh by the way I missed Collin when we sang happy birthday. Oh good I'm glad she gave him a passing thought, by the way. Sounds like they've filmed almost every single birthday. Weird, and totally Dionnes, right?

I imagine the question to Kate from the producer was, what's different then and now? Her response is, the kids are taller and older. Heh. She really is a sociopath who struggles to identify personality traits in her children, and more substantive aspects of their beings she can chat about. When all is said and done I actually know very little about her children as people because she rarely explains much about them. I can only observe their personalities directly when they're on camera, without help from Kate. I don't think she is able to see these things, really. In a strange way, she has unwittingly protected them from further violations of privacy by being unable to truly know them as people and share who they truly are with the world.

The party comes to a close and Kate says she didn't wear them out. Wear them out? Because her kids just turned three years old. It was the best party yet, the kids say, giving Kate, and production, a new one to top. Oy vey, they're eating donut-y things in New Orleans next time. Mardi gra me into a coma please so I can skip that one.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Discussion Thread: New Orleans, Here We Come! 12/6/2016

New Orleans, Here We Come!
The Gosselins take on New Orleans! They enjoy the food, culture and learn some southern etiquette along the way.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Recap: Kate Plus 8 ''10 Year Anniversary": Check!

Coming up on this God forsaken season of Kate Plus 8. Lots of normally wonderful fun things, like getting puppies, or going kaiking or doing archery, result in an incredible amount of yelling and hollering. The kids have for awhile caught on that Kate likes all the attention of making a scene, and find her yelling and stressful behavior annoying, so that's awesome. Their comments are like our comments circa eight years ago.

A word about yelling, because it feels nearly constant in that house. Children who grow up in houses where there is a lot of hollering going on can end up just as disturbed as children who grow up physically abused. Lots of experts have talked about all the negative outcomes of constantly yelling at your kids, one among them Dr. Laura Markham, who says yelling causes children to "harden their hearts" and that it makes children go into flight or "freeze" mode, making it harder to absorb what you're trying to teach them in the first place. There is one thing her yelling at them has surely done, and that is turned them into yellers themselves. They all holler and scream right back at her. Problem is, that form of communication doesn't work when you are an adult. You usually can't yell at your boss, or co-workers, or partner, or bartender, without terrible consequences. She is setting them up for disaster.

People still say happy birthday, cha-cha-cha? Ha-ha, that's awesome. That was the thing to say when I was sixteen too.

Some belly photos from Kate's sperm donor miracle pregnancy. I hope the fine gentleman donor was smart enough to sign all his rights away from the get-go. Kate explains that thanks to a Twitter user, she was reminded it's been ten years since they started filming. But did she retweet him? Doesn't count unless you do. Heh, like she needed someone to remind her of every single cha-ching that passed by each year. Bitch, please, you know darn well it's been ten years, you count the minutes, the seconds. This whole twitter thing, I swear. Doesn't life sometimes feel like an episode of Black Mirror?

Kate normally gets up at 5 a.m., and I normally don't care what time anyone gets up much less doofus here. We can tell how ancient this footage is because of all the snow on the ground. The boys usually wake her up, which I find a little unusual for almost teens. The boys are up before 5 a.m.? What time are they going to bed for goodness sakes, seven? Back in 2006, she got up at 8 a.m. She doesn't explain how she pulled this off with six babies in the house, but we all know it's because Jon and the helpers and even the twins did it all while Princess got her beauty rest. That little tidbit is mostly left out. I guess we are to assume the gremlins took care of all those babies until she finally rolled her lazy butt out of bed close to midday?

Literally the first three pages of Infinite Jest are tacked to the babies' bedroom door, directions for all the helpers she refuses to acknowledge. Now we fast forward to the sort-of present day, last year when the boys are making their own breakfast. I feel like I'm getting whiplash from all this back-and-forth. Aaden and Joel dutifully help her prepare school lunches every morning. They seem very chill and nice, but very parentified. The boys explain the reason they like to do this is the boys never get a chance to chat with Kate when the girls are around because the girls always dominate the conversations. Good grief, the girls sound like a real pain. Kate can't tell the girls to STFU and give their brothers a chance to speak during human hours?

The boys also say they enjoy packing lunches so they can be sure to get something they like in their lunches. Wait, huh? After eight years of packing lunches for them doesn't she just know by now who doesn't like what and try to accommodate it, within reason? If you're not there to police it, you're bound to get cod-liver oil and lima beans to go with your tuna? Sheesh.

The only thing more boring than a list is Kate explaining the list. For some reason Kate seems to think all her passive aggressive notes everywhere are a way for her to avoid being such a nag. She has proven though there is such a thing as being a shrew in writing.

The close-ups of the notes are interesting/funny. Some of them she attempts to be cute before ordering all her helpers about. "What stinks?" asks one before going into a litany of directions about how to properly throw out a diaper.

Another one is a laundry list of chores, errands and what sound like complex honey-do projects that might even involve having to go to Home Depot for supplies, all for none other than Jon to do, of course. The nap instructions and bed map look like blueprints to a kiddie work camp. 2006 Kate is nuts, as is the 2016 more bleached-out version. "Lunch giver"? Which church lady was that? What does that even mean, is that anything like an Indian giver, and why do only three of their cups go back in the fridge but not the others? It's a Gosselin unsolved mystery. Kate admits she puts notes everywhere, which is the first time she isn't exaggerating. I wish she would go paperless.

We whip back to sort-of present day where Kate is yelling again at the kids, who aren't doing anything wrong. They're just eating breakfast.

On the drive to school Kate makes a point to ask who is going to Jon's next week for their dinner night. The usual four, say the kids, who seem a little confused by this line of questioning. She makes up some lame excuse about how she needs to know because of some dog appointment. Sure, blame the dogs! We've discussed this a lot, but in my court, she'd be in contempt of court for not making sure all the children are attending their father's visitation. It isn't on her to put it on the kids who is going or not going. She is to transact the children to their father as instructed to in their family law order, every single time, and that's the end of it. No questioning them, no implying they have a choice, nothing. If there are any problems, she is to inform her lawyer. That's it. That little snippet was designed to show she doesn't "withhold" the children from Jon, it is their choice, but she doesn't seem to understand that's not good enough and that there are many ways to withhold a child from their parent that are much more subtle, and she is guilty of most of them. What's more, a judge decides what say a kid will or will not have in whether they go to their father's, and usually at this age, it's very little say. Most states recognize that a child their age should not have to bear the bulk of the burden of "deciding" which parent they will spend which time with, and rightly so.

They have to line up and kiss and hug Mommy Dearest when they get to the bus stop? That seems a little much at their age. It's just a few hours at school, not a week-long overnight field trip.

Once she gets back home she claims she gets Collin ready and off to his school, but we never see him on camera. Wait, who was staying with Collin when she took the rest of the kids to school?! She doesn't go into why he goes to a different school. Not that I want her to, but this is awkward, and terribly unfair to him. Poor kid.

She goes into a very long and boring explanation about how when she gets home she's under the gun to get dinner prepped. But she's only making stuffed peppers. At most, prepping that for eight or nine people should take maybe 30 minutes, 45 if you're really slow and distracted because you're chatting with producers about the fascinating topic of yourself. Doesn't she have a solid six hours without the kids every day to stuff peppers?

We made a point here on the blog that this whole thing about having a huge family is a little overblown. When you break it down, she actually just has, now without Collin, two families of four. So your expenses really shouldn't be ten times the amount of a family of four, but rather, just twice, give or take. Same for your food prep, same for your laundry, same for your time management. And it really should be less time actually, because it's certainly much easier to add people to your dinner prep and other things you are doing once you start it.

What would be slightly, ever so slightly more interesting than all this stupid drivel is to explain what exactly she is making. Looks like shredded chicken or turkey, going into halved peppers, with some spaghetti sauce. Seems like a simple, potentially tasty go-to meal kids will eat. Maybe one could find it if they pre-ordered her cookbook.

Kate laments how much easier babies are to entertain. I don't understand what she's saying, I think she says it was so easy, a dumb-dumb thrilled them. I'm too lazy to check the closed captioned to catch that comment. What dumb-dumb? Doofus?

Who's that guy in the background tending to babies? Dark haired, average build, resembles Jon Gosselin. Whooshhhhh, pass the air sickness bag because we're back to sort-of present day. Kate hates 2016 because the kids grew up and have opinions and she can't just shovel whatever food into their mouths or propaganda into their brains. Hey, Kate, you're only in January or February of 2016, just wait until you see what happened by November! Ba-bum, ching! Kate very reluctantly admits that laundry is somewhat better now that they are older but then tries to explain it's actually pretty bad still because even though it's a lot less frequent, the clothes got bigger. She actually says this. Heh. She cannot let anything go without making sure she's the martyr.

I don't think anyone needs me to recap Alexis pooping her underwears, right? Kate leaves the laundry running and runs off to pick up the kids for school. Is this really all she did in six hours, stuff peppers and stuff washer and dryers? Just a PSA here, never leave an appliance like that running when you leave the home. Appliance fires are extremely common, and thank God I was home when my dryer caught fire a few years ago or the whole house could have burned down.

The kids are back home from school and get straight to doing their homework, the boys anyway. What I observe here is the boys dutifully sitting down and trying to get their work done and move on with life, and the girls screwing around, not doing their homework, bothering their brothers, overall being a pest. Teen girls can be the most obnoxious species in the world when not properly parented, I hate to say it.

Kate has a true first world problem, in that in order to ensure everyone has a laptop and can get on the internet including herself, she had to get some more laptops and a business plan for wifi. Ohh, sounds like a business expense write off. Did Kate just say it was "hella expensive"? You are hella all of 15 years old. Nobody likes when old people try to talk like young people, not even other old people.

Some of the girls help Kate cook I guess a dessert for after dinner, and absolutely nothing happens. My god, those oven mitts are huge, and look industrial strength enough to practically remove a body from the oven. Geez!

She oh so lovingly wrestles with Aaden who is teasing her about her dumb jokes, and does anyone else get really uncomfortable when a documented child abuser "play" abuses their kid? It can't be just me.

Collin speaks on the couch! He teases Aaden about how he eats a chicken leg. Nonsense that we know nothing about this kid and his state of mind. There was a good glimpse right there at a child who can explain something clearly, understands humor and can demonstrate it, and knows how to tease without being cruel. It doesn't disprove he may have some struggles, but it is evidence of several abilities no one can deny he has.

Kate says Aaden was more of a quiet studier as a baby (he was really cute as a baby!), but now he has a hilarious sense of humor. I agree with that, I love his sense of humor. I especially love when he takes pots shots at his mother, lol.

Kate wants Mady to close the dishwasher door so Kate doesn't trip over it in her sleep. Kate watches too much T.V., that was the plot line of Garden State. Except I think the child actually pushed his mother over the dishwasher door. Heh. So wait, Kate sleepwalks in the kitchen? Do tell us more.

The day is finally over and naturally, Kate is exhausted. Now imagine doing all this stuffing and policing and having a real job, too. How does anyone do it?

Her storage room looks like an episode of Coupon Hoarders, i.e. Extreme Couponing. Absurd. She makes the kids take inventory before a shopping trip. Huge waste of time. This is one of those things where the amount of time and energy spent stockpiling is really not worth the little savings you find doing so. There is a pretty popular, and really good book about decluttering I read this year called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, based on the Japanese philosophy of decluttering your life to promote peace and tranquility overall. The author takes it to a bit of an extreme, wanting you to even throw out old family photos, letters, etc. (I don't see how it would hurt to at least scan them in and save them in Evernote or on a USB stick before tossing them), but she does have quite a bit to say about this stockpiling business. And that is that she's never seen someone's stockpile that wasn't actually a huge waste of money. Mostly because the products either expire before you use them or you forget you have them. She makes people donate their stockpiles or just trash them. Check it out, she has some good ideas even if you don't go as extreme as she did, and she gives suggestions without being judgmental or condesending.

Hannah is bossy and always has to be in charge, say the twins and Kate. Do they understand those are not nice comments to say about your sister or daughter? And, not to be an obnoxious feminist, but I do buy into the fact that few boys are ever described as bossy. In fact, boys who are like Hannah are described as leaders, decisive, future presidents. But when girls take a leadership role, they are bossy. It's hypocritical and unfair. Leadership qualities should be encouraged, and can be done so while still teaching kids how to lead in a way that is collaborative and kind, not divisive.

Kate is always making checklists. Heh, so is Pam Anderson. And, check!

Kate doesn't normally take the kids grocery shopping. Oh, I see, she's just doing it for the cameras and episode idea. It was harder to be organic ten years ago, which is true. Nowadays, that scam really has caught on, hasn't it?! Thanks in part to dopey celebs like Kate who know nothing about food.

The kids pretty much get away with piling whatever they want into the cart. Mom doesn't even look at the price, because why bother when it goes on the company credit card. Kate yells at them for being in people's way. While I agree they are plenty old enough to be aware of who they are blocking in the grocery aisle and that it is annoying when kids well old enough to be polite in grocery stores aren't, they are not in anyway's way. The aisles are huge, and nobody is around them. I think something I've learned through the years though, is don't assume a kid behaving badly in public can help it. He or she may have special needs. Don't sneer, don't judge their parents, don't let it ruin your shopping trip. Unless you have more information that suggests otherwise, it may very well have nothing to do with bad parenting.

Organic animal crackers, haha, what a dolt.

They flash back to one of the few old episodes I actually found somewhat interesting, where she took the cameras along on a grocery shopping trip. It felt so much more genuine than what's happening today, and she had a few good tips thrown in now and again.

The kids eat a lot more now. No, you're kidding! My god, they're walking away with half the store here. Even seven brides and their seven brothers can't possibly eat through all this crap. Greed.

Kate wants to know if Hannah will have stocked shelves when she's older, too.

Uh, yeah, so, not having a billion kids, Hannah says. Heh, I can't imagine.

They had a historical blizzard? Haha. I think doofus here means historic. Historical just means, like, the past, Kate.

They got two and a half feet of snow. I know that's quite a lot for the area but two or three feet was pretty routine where I grew up. It's always interesting the perspective the location and climate you're used to plays into whether you are in hysterics over stuff like this. On the flip side though, when it finally got to 90 degrees every couple years everyone faints dead away tongues hanging out weak and parched, so it goes both ways. Nonetheless the snow is very pretty. It's that still, silent look that happens when there has just been a major storm and everything is shut down, even the wildlife. All you hear is the occasional creaking of a tree and the quiet rustle of a wind. There's nothing like it.

Whether the producers thought of this, once in awhile Kate does something cool with the kids that is terribly fun and not out of reach of everyone else but the one-percenters. This time it's building an igloo, and she researches, or pretends to research, on Youtube. I'm pleasantly surprised Kate has gotten really nerdy excited and determined to do this. That's how I get about this kind of thing. I go all in once committed, like last one out there in the freezing cold finishing it up when everyone else is over it.

Everyone forgets about Joel. By everyone I guess Kate means Kate? No one else forgets about him, he's great. Ha, baby Joel had that receding hairline thing some babies temporarily develop. Adorable!

They figure out the key to making the igloo blocks is to pack the snow really tightly in the tupperware containers. Everyone is enjoying this, including Collin who is right in there making blocks. Kate is really excited this is turning out to be so fun. She had no hopes of it being fun. Oh, that's a great attitude to have going into any activity, this is gonna suck. What a putz.

Then and now, Alexis still has a twinkle in her eye. I think like most viewers I generally like her. Leave it to Kate to find something to nag and yell about. This time it's about getting snow into her nicely plowed driveway, which they were barely doing, and sliding down a little hill close to the igloo. It's hard to tell how close the hill really was to the igloo to really cause any danger to it, the shots don't make that clear.

The kids have about had enough and are ready for some food, which I expected eventually. Just Kate and Joel are left out there, packing away. Haha.

How badly do you want to succeed in life? she demands. Joel has been complacent lately, she explains, which is why she's been pushing him. Over building an igloo? It's supposed to be fun! And my god, he's twelve years old. Complacent comes with the territory. You're lucky you can get a 12-year-old boy to tie his shoes in the morning much less finish building an entire igloo. This is classic Kate. Start out with a reasonably fun activity, then suck the ever living life out of it and everyone in it until all the things you thought you love you now despise. She is something else.

I was wondering where the twins were in all this. I assumed too smug to lower themselves to playing in the snow. But turns out, Mady explains they're having a "cyber snow day," where the teachers assign homework to them to work on throughout the day so that they don't have to make up the lost day at the end of the year. That sounds genius to this adult, although as a kid I imagine that really deals a crushing blow to the two most wonderful words a northern states child has ever heard: snow day. Seems sacrilegious somehow. I wonder what the students do if they don't have the books they need for the assignments. I guess you can only assign things you can do without the books.

Hey, Kate gets some points for this. She's not letting the twins flake out on their schoolwork, and she's getting the younger kids out of the house most of the day so they won't distract them. And, I don't see her making fun of the twins for this unfortunate situation, as I would expect from a jerk like her. Don't say I never give her any credit.

All the kids were just such precious babies, including Leah. Kate is quick to point out though she was a biter. I've heard so many parents of multiples say their kids bite way more than singletons do. I wonder if that's just some kind of weird evolutionary pack instinct where children had to learn to bite each other or never get any wholly mammoth to eat.

Kate says Collin is no longer laid back. We really must not see much of this alleged behavior ever filmed, because when the cameras have been on lately, he almost always seems pretty easy going and helpful, just like his brothers. He's right there front in center making snow bricks as instructed by the commander, not causing any problems. Leah was the one crossing her arms and looking like she's about to cop an attitude.

Collin is again quite confident on the couch, making great eye contact with the producer, and explaining very clearly how they did about four layers of the blocks. We can observe plenty about this young man, come off it.

Kate really is going on and on about success here for someone who isn't going to even try to attempt a roof, which is the coolest part of the igloo. Anyone can stack blocks. But angling them up into a roof is actually interesting. They didn't build an igloo, so stop saying that. They built a circle of blocks and covered it with a tarp. A fort, really. I hate when adults feel the need to drive home life lessons instead of just letting kids absorb them on their own. They will, without your stupid help.

They head inside the structure and share some hot chocolate and high fives. Kate really liked the toddler years when she could do no wrong. Heh, I bet she did. Kate has said no less than three times now in this episode how blindsided she is to be where she is today, mostly implying the divorce. She really likes to emphasize how allegedly shocking the breakup was, like some kind of over compensation to prove she really was just minding her own business being a good wife and mother and some crazy jerk pulled up out of nowhere and divorced her. She loves to pretend she never saw this coming much less had any hand in it. This from the woman who was the one to file for the divorce in the first place. We get it, it's all Jon's fault. Can we please move on now?

I hate when she speaks for all parents. You do not speak for anybody but yourself, lady. And she's always so off the mark when she does it too. Yes it's true all parents probably have regrets, but do not say that all parents will yell at their kids, because it simply isn't true. For instance, while my mother did slip up and yell now and again, she tried not to, and my father never yelled at us at all. Not even once. When he disagreed with something we had done, we discussed it. He explained what he wanted us to do differently. And it worked. We listened to him. And I believe the reason that parenting style worked so well for him was because we developed a mutual respect where I knew I was free to make honest mistakes as kids will do, and he was free to help me correct them without anyone feeling upset or stressed out or nagged.

Going back to Markham, the doctor I mentioned at the beginning of this article, she has spoken at length about how yelling in fact is not normal, and that there are many households where yelling never occurs. Of course parents still get upset and angry and are far from perfect, but they choose to be aware enough of their own emotions to not take them out on their kids.  I would love to hear stories from posters here who had a parent, or parents, who didn't yell, or are a parent themselves who doesn't yell.

Next time on Kate Plus 8, the master of deflection brings on the ultimate distraction--puppies!