Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My Favorite Show

I love, love, love the show "Jon & Kate Plus 8" on the Discovery channel. If you haven't heard of the Gosselins, they are a family from Pennsylvania with 7 year old twin girls and 3 year old sextuplets (3 boys, 3 girls). I love reality TV (way too much) but some shows aren't all that "real" but this one is! Mostly it is my favorite show because I can relate to it on so many levels. First the multiples thing -- of course the Gosselins have twice as many kids as we do but still multiples are multiples. It's nice to see how they handle things like going to the zoo, shopping on a budget, organization, bedroom arrangements, potty training, etc. I get a lot of ideas and tips from them. I also find it reassuring that Kate has a lot of the same concerns with their kids I have with ours. For example, there was an episode where she was concerned that she wasn't treating the sextuplets the same as she would treat one 3 year old. This is something I worry about too -- my kids hardly ever get the chance to walk in a store or when we are out. They are normally in our choo choo wagon or double stroller. It's a safety thing but if I only had one 3 year old I would probably never consider hauling that child around in a stroller everywhere we went. Sometimes I feel I am holding back their development because there are 3 of them the same age but then again there is only so much time in the day and I only have a certain amount of patience. Apparently, most 3 year olds can dress themselves. Addison can with a little help with the pants/underwear part but Caden and Ethan really can't do much in this area. I am asked about this at every appointment that tracks their development. Now it doesn't seem too big a deal right? Just let them try everyday and they will get it before long. But it is a big deal because I have to do everything times 3 and now some things times 4 if I took the time to let each one of them try to dress themselves everyday I would have to sacrifice getting other things accomplished not to mention the fact that many days we have to be somewhere by a certain time and I don't have time for them to practice themselves. I used to get upset when I was told the kids should be doing this or that by now but now I just blow it off. It will happen just not on everyone else's schedule but on ours unless those people want to come over and spend a couple days with us then they'll see it's not as easy as they think.
I get asked a lot when people find out that we have triplets if I watch "Jon & Kate Plus 8". Many people find Kate to be overly organized and obsessed about some things like cleaning. I don't find it that odd it's just a condition that goes along with having multiples. I think as soon as you are outnumbered by children the same age you MUST have certain schedules and organizational practices in place. I can't tell you the number of times I have felt like I was some sort of "wacko" because my kids followed a nap and feeding schedules that we don't like to deviate from. Seemed like sometimes people weren't that understanding about it either. We would decline invites for dinners or other events sometimes just because they would interfere with our schedule. Family and friends weren't always so understanding about it because they didn't have to deal with kids who were unbearable to be with for the next 2 days when their schedule was messed up. It is a big deal when there's 3 of them having meltdowns or grouchiness. Now that I have a singleton I can see how much easier it is to be flexible with one child but with 3 it's down right impossible when they are infants and toddlers. It's definitely getting better as they get older though.
The other part I love about Jon and Kate is that they fight in almost every episode. Now I know that everyone fights but I like that they show it. They have the exact same fights that Aaron and I have over and over. When you are trying to get a lot of little ones ready to go somewhere or supervise them when you are out in public it's downright stressful and there's arguing. We "yell" at each other when we are in public because we are trying to accomplish something and the kids are having issues. We end up barking orders at each other and then it's a fight. I have seen Kate say when they are going on family outings and Jon is losing his patience with the kids "I want to have a fun day, let's try to have a fun day" I have said this approximately one million times to Aaron. I think I know the problem too: both Aaron and Jon work and are gone the majority of the day. Kate and I stay home and deal with the kids all day everyday. I know I am used to their problems, complaints, fits. I can tune out a lot of it because they will stop and I just have built up a certain amount of patience or immunity to most of it. Aaron isn't used to dealing with them and he wants them to be little adults or something which isn't going to happen with 3 year olds. So then he yells at them and then I yell at him for yelling at them and then he gets mad at me for "bossing" him. So fun! But I think it's totally normal and it's confirmed by watching the show. Doesn't really mean anything when we do it just so hard to manage all these people.
The Gosselins are a great family and if you haven't checked out their show, you may want to.

No comments: