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Mackenzie is blond, cute and perky, but from what I can see, not a Mean Girl. Her appearance and demeanor are perfect for cheerleading – you actually believe she wants the team to go, fight, win, and she can convince you that you do too. Do cheerleaders even work with sports teams anymore? Or is it just all competition and flips and four-tier towers? Mackenzie does that, too, and she does it well. She also rides horses with babydaddy Josh of the Stupid White Ballcap. I hope he knows not to wear it to Chicago at that angle. He probably wouldn’t like Chicago. Our horses are old and boring and pull carriages mostly full of old, boring couples. Josh used to be a bull-rider, but some bulls dropped him on his head a couple of times.
Shot of Mackenzie in her cheerleading uniform. Pan down to her big pregnant belly.
She never misses a rodeo. But she might start avoiding seeing Josh ride ‘cause it scares her. Here comes His Hatness now in a custom-ripped armpitless shirt. He’s all googly-eyed over her, or over being on TV.
She goes to The Flip Shop, her Casa de Tumbling. Girls flip and do those toss-and-seat-catches. Two buff guys, Coach Matt and somebody, ask Mackie about coming back to tumbling after the baby comes. Of course she will! Don’t be silly! Matt, being a grownup, asks if she’s thought about what that’s going to be like.
Well, if the baby’s top priority, then cheering will come second. Josh will have to be third. Mackenzie sticks her foot up in the air to prove she’s still flexible, which the room appreciates.
The parents-to-be go to a carnival and try to ride what I think is a Ferris wheel that has the spin-upside-down cars. No dice. “If I’m really not that far along?” she asks. No, ma’am, our insurance doesn’t cover all the things that could happen to your vena cava and whatnot. “That sucks,” says Josh. The carousel will take them, which doesn’t make him feel very manly. She plays the “I’m having your kid” card, which, use those carefully when you have a lot of household chores. It doesn’t work forever, unless you’re literally immobilized under your belly. Before that, he eventually starts to get wise. At least in my house.
She fakes like her water broke and then puts her arms up like she’s on a roller coaster. He drives her home in his pickup. She hopes she’s with him when her water breaks. They talk about the future and how they need to get jobs. He needs time to get some shirts with sides.
Family dining room. Mackie’s sisters caution her against giving the kid a stupid name like Cowbell or Spur. She tells them that Josh suggested Buckshot for a boy and Doeshot for a girl.
In her room, Mackenzie’s mom tells her the baby’s going to change everything. She’s pretty good-natured about this, all things considered. She says she thought Josh was the shy type, and then Mack drops the bomb that she didn’t get on The Pill ‘cause she didn’t want to get fat. Mom has a hearty laugh at this.
Mack calls local businesses to see if they’re hiring. Because she’s sweet and without guile, and they eventually have to meet her in person, she tells them she’s very pregnant. They tell her they don’t have anything, or that she should call back in a few months. Josh jams a wire or something into the heel of his hand while he waits.
Ultrasound. The baby squirms and sucks his thumb and kicks his feet. I love how they can see the little heart pumping. It’s undoubtedly a boy, and everyone is pleased. They agree on naming the baby Gannon, but that’s all they have planned at this point. This is par for the course with the teen parents on this show, and it makes me smile ruefully, because it seems like Mr. Tube and I, who are more than twice their age, have about everything figured out except a name for our unborn son/first child. We’re calling him Little Plankton right now. I promise that won’t go on the birth certificate.
Where’s the baby going to stay, asks Mom. Mom would prefer they not move in together if they’re not married, but Josh is welcome to stay at their house in the room with the baby and help take care of him. Josh says he can make money for day care from the bronc riding. They agree that Mackenzie will finish high school. I like the way Mom is handling this. She’s being very direct about what’s needed, but she’s not panicking or berating them. I can’t imagine that’s easy.
Mack and her sister squeeze Mack into her old cheerleading uniform (which says Planet Cheer on the front, which is not a sports team. Guess those players have to rely on the raspy yelps of their moms for motivation.)
Thirty weeks pregnant. Mackie and dad have 100-some pounds of cans to recycle for cash. Dad only half-jokingly asks her if this is going to be her job now.
Josh and friend Lane saddle up Josh’s horse. Josh tells Lane how Mackie wants him to give up bronc’ riding. He says there are plenty of bronc’ riders with babies, and he doesn’t see the big deal. Lane wouldn’t do it. You just don’t take away somebody’s rodeo, he says. Pan down to Josh’s cowboy boots. If only he could style the rest of himself so well… Mackenzie calls him and gets voice mail, ‘cause he’s ridin’.
Commercials. Could they have someone like Lady Gaga or whoever the kids care about record a disco version of that Titanic song? Seriously, I would take absolutely anything but the original.
Josh has been bringing in some money from rodeos, so it looks like he can keep doing it for now. Mackenzie tells him to be careful. She and her friends shop for school supplies. They talk about what they’re wearing the first day of school.
Now she’s home and can’t reach Josh on the phone. And I totally fall for thinking he’s just being a deadbeat dick. Nope, he’s got an excuse. A semi has hit his pickup. Yikes. She waddles as fast as she can out to the car to go to the hospital. Josh is in the ICU. Eventually they send him home with a giant neck brace. He and Mack sit on his bed. He looks pretty doped up, but sadly not blissed out. She reiterates that they have no money and no jobs.
She wants him to say that things will work out. He’s not really comfortable saying this, because he doesn’t know. He might have to get surgery, and that might paralyze him. So he gets mad. Mack tells him not to talk to her like that, which I appreciate. He backs off, and they sit there. Mack goes home and gets Matter-o-fact Mom up to speed.
The family sets up Mackenzie’s old crib in their house. The sisters throw a baby shower, and Josh shows up with his neck brace, as well as his stupid hat, which someone should have hidden from him. Gifts are squealed over, including some tiny fringed cowboy boots. The diaper cake is bandana-wrapped.
First day of school, junior year. Mackenzie is super-sized, but she manages to get into a cute outfit, including some regular-size-people’s jeans. School exhausts her and swells up her feet. A week or so and a train goes by. Late at night/early in the morning, Mackie starts having contractions and calls for her mom. Josh gets a text. “This is what time babies always show up,” remarks Mom.
She’s seven hours into labor. Josh is there, braced and hatted of course, and Dad is there with a shirt that says JESUS in giant letters, so he doesn’t have to say it out loud. The baby is too big to come out naturally, so she needs a C-section. On her behalf, I’m glad they figured this out fairly early.
They wheel her into the operating room and he puts the sterile cap on over his stupid hat. She’s used the past seven hours wisely to put on a ton of eye makeup. She can’t feel her butt. And it’s still a boy. A big’un indeed.
Josh is allowed to take his neck brace off. He changes the baby without complaining. She goes home in three days, with the baby in a John Deere blankie. He cries a lot. They zoom in on his poop to prove it’s not glamorous, because it totally was up until now. He wakes them up throughout the night, being loud and then being stinky. And he has the Target jungle blanket that’s on my registry and the Bumbo sitting thing!
Josh is finding rodeo gear to sell, and he’s also taking day care duty while Mackie’s in school. Gannon wears little striped footie PJs. Josh feeds him and smiles. Mackenzie goes back to school and back to tumbling.
Well, she goes to the tumbling facility with the tumbling people in her tumbling clothes, with a chubby-cheeked, adorable and healthy-intestined baby. Coach Matt encourages her to take it slow and ease back into it.
The kids go to see the rodeo. You can tell Josh’s mom wants to get off camera as quickly as possible when they drop the baby off. Bulls are ridden, and Josh wants to get on one. He stands up as if to go. Even Lane thinks it’s a bad idea. Mackenzie is speechless. Finally she says, “Please don’t do this.” Josh thinks it’s a waste that he came all this way to not ride a bull.
After commercials, the people have cleared out of the rodeo, and the kids have no choice but to go home. Mackenzie loses sleep over Josh’s foolishness. Shot of the breast pump, and not the motorized fun kind. She drives and calls him, and asks again if he’s gonna stop.
She gets so irritated with him that she takes both hands off the steering wheel. As she gets upset, the baby does cute things with his cheeks in the back seat.
At Josh’s house, with the little family on the bed, she asks him again. If he wants to stay with her, she says, he can’t ride anymore. He mumbles that the baby has to come first, and chokes out that he’ll stop, with such conviction that they have to caption it. Conclusion-voiceover-montage of her getting back into her cheer uniform, six-pack and all, the baby getting fed by parents, and back to the little family on the bed. He tells her she’d better be careful tumbling. He doesn’t want her to break her neck.