Jon and Kate Plus Art

May 26, 2009

Ok, so I admit I have been watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 lately, trying to catch up before the big Season Five opener last night. Train wrecks attract viewers. Over 9 million people tuned in, they say.

But I think J&K already had a fair number of followers who watched just to see how Kate would put down Jon that week and how assertively Jon would roll his eyes. I was always amazed that she could sit and watch those episodes where she smugly criticized his inability to put a bathing suit on his daughters without the straps getting all mixed up, or not being leading the way through the airport for her, and not resolve to be a kinder gentler person.

In last night’s birthday party episode, she complained over and over again about having to plan and prepare for the fifth birthday party all by herself. Despite help from her two older daughters in putting together the goodies boxes (maybe she should have bought goodies bags), and from a staff of (at least) four at the party site, plus a hired magician and guys to install those inflatable bouncy jumper things.

Oh, well, I only have two children, so I have no idea what it is like to parent 8 so close in age, but I loved birthday party celebrations when the kids were little. Once I even sewed fabric goodie bags. And we, the kids and I, often made the pinatas, and got messier than Kate could imagine.

One of the other episodes I saw over the weekend had to do with Kate taking the kids to a children’s museum where they were instructed in creative ways to create abstract paintings. Kate picked a limited palette of paint colors, wanting the final products to “go together,” and to match the walls in the basement, where they would hang.

So much for self-expression. The colors were muted, gray, slate blue, golden yellow. The end results were lovely, but possibly not what the children would have chosen.

Perhaps the painting techniques (something involving aluminum foil, splatter painting, etc.) were not what the children might have chosen either, but at least they were experimenting in art. And, their paintings were mounted and will hang on the walls, not taped to the fridge, so I shouldn’t complain.

It was a nice change of pace from the constant trips to exotic locations, pedicures for the kids, and squabbling among the adults. And, should the marriage show end, Kate may be able to round the kids up again and produce Plus Eight Paintings to sell at exorbitant prices to people who want the paint colors to match their sofas.

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