I’ve been a big fan of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, the reality show about the couple who couldn’t have kids, so they went through fertility treatment and had twins and then went through fertility treatment again, stronger this time and with more feeling, and had six babies at once.
Being a fan of Jon & Kate Plus Eight is not really my style. I’m not into reality TV shows, unless they’re Super Nanny and the focus is on bad parents and bad kids, or any show about that hugely obese guy in Mexico. I rarely even put on TLC, because it seems that 40 out of every 48 hours, there’s a show on about midgets or conjoined twins and I don’t do them. Once there was a show on TLC called The Woman With Giant Legs. Right after that there was a show about a tiny little girl who didn’t grow. That was the day we sat around and guessed what TLC stood for. I guessed The Love Channel. Turns out it was The Learning Channel. But it should be Turn the Lights off to watch this freak show or you’ll Cry your eyes out and hate your cynical self for it.
Yet, I was flipping through the channels one night and onto my screen came a picture of a kitchen with the counters relatively cleared off and six adorable little kids running around and I was immediately hooked. These kids are as cute as non-red-haired kids can be. I jumped onto the Jon & Kate Plus Eight bandwagon with wild and reckless abandon. After nine or ten episodes I actually let myself believe that living in Pennsylvania with eight kids, six of which were popped out within 45-minutes, could be fun for the whole family. Theirs and mine.
I don’t know what I was thinking. Deep down I had to know that you can’t get eight children dressed in color coordinated outfits and go to Chuck E Cheese on a regular basis (not to mention finding Aaden’s glasses and figuring out which one is Aaden so you can put them on him) without a) the mother being a controlling bitch and b) the father looking for any opportunity to have an affair with a teacher. Any teacher. Anywhere. Anything in a skirt will do. A skirt alone, even. A picture of a skirt from a catalog.
I may have become a fan because the Jon and Kate story fed into my longstanding fantasy to have 2,679 kids, a game my friend Nancy and I used to play when we were little and about which I wrote in my blog My Conversation With Davy Jones. “Multiple birth” is on my bucket list, although I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed, along with “Be the First Lady” and “Watch all the Star Trek movies without falling asleep even for a little bit.”
OK, so I’ve been watching the show and waxing philosophical about Kate’s maternal instincts and her ability to see the individuals in each member of her litter, Jon’s laid-back view on life, and how cool their marriage is. Sure, she was a little bit bossy. She yells sometimes, and once she got a little bit testy about how the frosting should be put on the cupcakes. And during the part of the show where she and Jon sit and talk directly into the camera, she dominated most of the conversation. But it wasn’t his uterus that percolated those babies, was it? For the most part Jon and Kate were cute, cute with the kids, and cute with each other.
And then Jon got caught with the teacher, out clubbing late at night, and because it’s human nature to take the side of the guy, instead of asking ourselves, “How can a guy with eight kids still be awake at 1 o’clock in the morning?” we turned on Kate, who as it turns out is A MOM FROM HELL, a MONSTER MOM, could be having an affair with her bodyguard, has a made-up spiky hairdo that we used to think was funky and cool but now we hate like poison, wears makeup in public more than people with fewer than three kids, and is not very friendly to her neighbors.
Let’s kill her.
And if we do, or even if she and Jon break up and a court rules that they’re unfit parents for allowing the family to become another freak show on TLC, I think I should get the kids. I promise I’ll be nice to everybody, have limp hair, and let the kids frost the cupcakes however they damn well please.