Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jury's still out on this one

The other night The Boy alerted me to a program on TLC featuring a large family. He suggested that I might like it and since he hadn't watched the whole show, he presumed that perhaps some (or all) of the children were adopted.

Well, as the Captain and I (okay, so the main flipper was not so much me) flipped back and forth between sports telecasts (see, I told you I didn't have the remote...) we happened upon the show.

I'd tell you the name, but you'll just have to click on the link-because truth be told, the mother frightens me a little and I'm not sure I want to be one of her google search results.


Needless to say, I only meant to watch for a few minutes to learn more about the family but a combination of disgust, disbelief and the occasional moments of great compassion, I watched the whole entire show. And I'm still not sure what the point of it is.

It is not about an adoptive family.

It is not about the joys and sorrows of fertility drugs and multiple births.

It is also not an ode to the joys and sorrows of life with a large family (or a family of any size for that matter.)

Honestly, I'm not sure what it is about. There were moments when it seemed as though perhaps a demo tape for the Supernanny show had accidentally been aired. There were other moments when I was waiting for the camera to flashback to Oprah or Dr. Phil and their live studio audiences waiting to help this couple work out their issues on national TV. Perhaps it was a contest to see if any person in real life could possibly be more OCD than Adrian Monk (This mother of 8 children 6 and under washes her kitchen floor-on her hands and knees-three times a day.)

Their life is not for my judgement, (although I guess I've already done that, huh?), but it is just one more program under the guise of reality television that allows/requires/eggs on people to act in ways that show them at their worst, while most of the good gets left on the editing room floor. I am fairly certain that raising 8 kids is no walk in the park. I can be 100 percent sure that raising 6 is hard; and that try as we might, the Captain and I and our Ark crew get things wrong just as often as we get them right, which is why you have not and will not see us on the next big reality show. But I can assuredly say that we have more good times than bad, more happiness than sadness, and more love than we deserve on most days. And if I'm not mistaken, and we dug around on the cutting room floor, I bet we'd find that their family does too.

So, what's your take? Has anyone else seen this show? Or am I tuning into something that's now playing in repeats on Nick at Nite...

6 comments:

KELLI BELLY said...

I was watching this last night. I actually love this show LOL! For some reason it really interests me. I like to see how they deal with situations and I think the parents are pretty funny. I guess it depends on which episode you watch. Maybe I like it because I only have two kids now and one on the way but always wondered what it would be like to have a really big family. I guess we'll see what God has in store for us :O)

BTW, I made the apple crumb pie, Oh MY was it good! I actually got up in the middle of the night last night and started eating it right out of the pie dish with a fork. I'll be making that more often. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I knew exactly what the show was you were talking about before clicking on the link-you did a great job describing it! I don't understand the show myself. I have never watched an entire episode, but the bits and pieces that I've caught have left me wondering what the point is. Mom and dad are usually angry and negative and sometimes even rude.
All I know is that I am still waiting for the ark wind up on TLC b/c I want you guys to get a slide inside your house too!!!!
On a completely different note I am making your BBQ beef for sandwiches recipe for the 2nd time and can't wait to eat it again! We loved it the first time-thanks for the recipe.
Love,
CC

Eileen said...

I was just watching this show last night! I was actually very interested to know the dad's origins, since he (and their beautiful children) all look (and are!) Korean, like my two little boys! (The dad is actually half Korean, and he obviously takes a great deal of pride in his origins on that side).

That said, it's just like any other "reality" show: It's a freak show, and you're absolutely right, they want to show this family at its worst (and if they have been successful at that, I have to say that they're probably a very nice family indeed; I didn't think they looked too terrible after all, though I think the mom comes off pretty bad.)

My dh and I wondered last night if maybe they were doing it for the money. They live in a very nicely appointed house, on one income.

A lot of it made me sad, too. I don't agree with them that parents of very small children need to go away for several days to "refresh" themselves; I think tiny little kids need you at home (though I can't imagine being in their circumstances). I think it's sad that the one 6 yo twin is being encouraged to think and say negative things about how "jealous" she is of the toddlers. I was struck at the immaturity of the mom in refusing sun block, on a sunny FL beach, for no discernible reason, and then getting sun poisoning. I was struck at how many adults--outside the family--have been welcomed as "grandparent" figures...I'm sorry, in this day and age it's hard for me to trust anyone else's motivations for wanting to be close to my children, and at least one of those people didn't really strike me as "normal."

I also was struck at the sadness of the fertility drug issue. At least they didn't "select" one or two, but took responsibility for their choices in this matter--probably with a great deal of fear and trepidation, at that.

I can't imagine being in this woman's shoes. I expect she could use a few prayers; and if the show gains her that, I'm glad it's on.

(You're a trouble maker, taking on stuff like this, aren't you??!) :)

Warmly,
Eileen

Life in Fitzville said...

I've only caught one episode, and she was off at the spa leaving the 8 little ones home with a sitter. I just couldn't imagine that lifestyle I guess. A few of her comments really struck me the wrong way, and the couple seemed to argue quite a bit (kinda snidely) on camera. Haven't watched it since.

Anonymous said...

(You're a trouble maker, taking on stuff like this, aren't you??!) :)

Eileen---
You have NO idea!!!

Signed,
A dear friend of the mad-blogger

patjrsmom said...

Hello,

It's the trouble making, mad-blogger checking in here.

I couldn't possibly do justice to what Eileen said, except that there were parts where I, like her, just felt sad.

And I agree, the family (mom especially) could benefit from some serious prayer intervention.

Jane