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Welcome back to another recap of Sister Wives!
Last week, Kody’s Lady Posse decided it’s time to get fit and dealt with the Episcopalian Inquisition . I was so inspired that I joined the gym and I’m eating a salad as I write this. I wish I was eating a grilled cheese and french fries, but Baldy has a closet full of clothes that don’t fit and refuses to spend another penny on fat pants, so no dice. Also, I went to the gym on Monday and had to run out of aerobics class to avoid throwing up on the tiny 20-somethings that were barely breaking a sweat. BOOOOO.
Enough already – this isn’t the life of LadyBaldy recap. Let’s get to it!
This episode is set in the middle of summer! How do I know? SUMMER LAYERING!
Janelle, it’s JULY! We’re supposed to be wearing WHITE shirts under our tank tops! Are you feeling ok?
After all the fun of Mustang Days and the gym, it’s disappointing to be re-immersed in the depressing world of dysfunctional family relations. You know that feeling you get when you are in a public place and witnessing kids acting like demonic little assholes while their parents dispense half-hearted and ineffective discipline? Well buckle up and get ready for twenty-odd minutes of that feeling! Between Ysabel and Hunter, this episode had me screaming at my TV hoping that the parents could hear me. Nothing bugs Baldy more than minors with attitude problems.
This kid better get it together or he’s going to living in a VAN down by the RIVER!
Brianna (Robyn’s daughter) and Ysabel (Christine’s daughter) are moving into Meri’s house Ysabel is moving because she and Christine fight all the time. As for Brianna, she heard about Ysabel’s plan and got on board too. I wish I had a sister mom to run with when I was growing up! I bet Mama Baldy would not have minded either. Mama Baldy has a sister, but she spent most of her time getting arrested, so that was out.
Before the move, Christine and the fam decided to try and fry an egg on the sidewalk becaue it’s so hot in Vegas! I hear that – I spend 16 years living in the desert and the summer heat is unbearable. If you’ve never been to the desert in the summer, go into your kitchen, crank up your oven to 120 degress and crawl inside. You should probably also have someone shine a mag light in your face for the full effect.
This thermostat could represent many things: the weather in vegas, Hunter’s meltdown, or my temper while watching this episode.
Christine places a pan on the sidewalk and cracks an egg into it aaand….NOTHING. Oh, Christine, Christine, Christine! You would have to put the egg on the actual ground for this experiment to be remotely worth it. The sidewalk is not going to heat up a frying pan to the right temperature in a matter of minutes. Maybe they were planning to eat the egg so she thought it would be necessary to use a pan? Either way, it’s clear that Christine should not be allowed to work in the kitchen Kody gets his way and they open a restaurant.
You kids better hope this works because you’re looking at breakfast
After the egg fiasco, Christine and Ysabel start packing for Ysabel’s big move. If you have a problem with this plan, don’t blame Christine; it was Kody’s ideal. Why talk it out or serve up effective discipline when you could just move the problem into another house? Christine asks Ysabel if she will visit and she says maybe. Ysabel then says that she doesn’t get along with her mom as much as she gets along with Meri and then IMMEDIATELY LOOKS AT CHRISTINE to see how that remark landed. Teenage Ysabel is going to be loads of fun for Christine.
SUCK IT, MOM!
Christine says that she knows Ysabel respects Meri and that there will be rules at Meri’s so it’s okay, and that Meri can give Ysabel things that she cannot. Like effective discipline and attention. Meri is apparently supernanny.
Christine shares the other reason she is on board. When she was growing up in a poly family, her mom’s sister wife was able to talk to her about being nicer to her mom. In all honesty, that makes a lot of sense to me. I was a complete whiny smart ass to my mother when I was around Ysabel’s age. And during junior high. And high school. Oh, and the first two years of college. Mama Baldy, I’m sorry that I probably made you go gray prematurely. On the other hand, Mama Baldy did not tolerate disrespect and would laugh hysterically at the thought of any of her children speaking to her in the way Ysabel talks to her mom.
While Ysabel and Christine pack, Meri and Mariah are getting the house ready for their two new roomies. After 16 years of being virtually an only child, Mariah is going to see how much fun it is to have younger siblings. This is perfect for Meri – Mariah is a teenager now who has more independence, so she’ll have some little ones in the house again. Christine is probably not putting up much of a fight because it means she will have some space to deal with her other emotional issues.
Sidenote – I am getting old because the idea of redecorating a little girls room looks like fun. I’ve traded my smokes and cocktails for knitting needles and craft glue. What has happened to me?
Kody explains that there is no official term for Sister Wives’ children, and Robyn (a.k.a. Lady Hallmark) has come up with a term: BONUS CHILDREN! The others really like it, and I have to admit, it’s pretty cute. Too bad Robyn hadn’t come up with this before she traumatized the ultrasound tech and her birthing class peers. That’s probably what got her brainstorming in the first place.
The committee recognizes wife #4
Meri shuts down the discussion by saying she just always refers to all the kids as her kids. Meri has more experience dealing with awkward questions about their family than Robin – two decades’ worth – so it’s understandable. Meri would never go on and on about their family to an ultrasound tech when it was clearly freaking out said tech. I think my favorite this week is Meri.
What is motivating Lady Hallmark to encourage Briana’s move to Meri’s house? She doesn’t want Meri to have empty nest syndrome! AWWWW! What a kind soul!
You’re running out of kids, here take one of mine! No, it’s cool, I’ve got another one on the way. No biggie!
Just kidding! She doesn’t want Meri to discover how rad it is to have all your kids out of the house so you can have a life! Robin wants this poly family, dammit, and she will do whatever it takes to keep it together. Meri lives a mile away from the other wives, she wants to work with at-risk-youth instead of working on a family business, and she spends a lot of time will Bill the trainer. Lady Hallmark reading the writing on the wall; Meri’s a flight risk.
Bitch ain’t leaving on my watch!
Brianna is not as excited to leave the house because she has Lady Hallmark for a mom and it’s always princesses and unicorns and cookies at the Hallmark Manor! Meri and Mariah did a great job on the room and the little girls are sooooo excited! Ysabel is actually nice when she says goodbye to her Mom. Christine knows a lot of people will think she’s a bad parent because she’s pawning her kid off to Meri, but Robin jumps to her defense to point out that it’s a benefit of polygamy! Christine concurs and says maybe Ysabel is supposed to be with Meri! Like there was a mixup somewhere and Ysabel was sent to the wrong uterus. Whatever helps you sleep at night.
Meri wastes no time showing that she is the cool mom and breaks out the popsicles and ice cream sandwiches! The evening is pretty taxing for Meri because the girls have so much energy. She went from having one quiet teenager to having one quiet teen and two balls of loud and crazy energy. Meri jokes that she doesn’t know if she can deal with two little girls in the house, but you know she loves it.
Now that everyone is settled with the new living arrangements, It’s time to celebrate the Fourth of July! Vegas is way too hot to be enjoyable so the family has planned to go camping at Big Bear! If you’ve ever seen an episode of this show, you know that getting this family on the road takes forever, so they’re up pretty early.
Christine tells us that when the kids were little, people would tell her that they would regret having so many children once the kids were teenagers. Christine shrugged it off at the time but now she realizes that those people were ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I cannot imagine having that many teenagers and preteens around at all times, especially ones who are angst-ridden over moving. They need to go Tiger Mom on these kids and get them involved in every free extracurricular activity ever so that the teens are too exhausted to bitch about everything under the sun.
The teenagers are as excited as you would imagine about having to spend a weekend getting up super early to go spend time in the woods with 19 other people that are not their friends:
What’s missing from this picture? Enthusiasm. There are no shits to be given in this bunch.
Kody explains that they’’re good kids, but they have minds of their own and hormonal issues that cause them to get angry for no reason at all. Oh, Kody. I know that you were the most positive teenager on the planet (as evidenced by photos in previous episodes) but your kids put up with a lot of shit that you never had to deal with, like sharing a dad with 15 other kids, living in Vegas and having your lives broadcast to the world. That shit will get to you. Moving teenagers away from their friends and lives is plenty of reason to torture your parents by getting angry and upset and the drop of a hat. Just ask every parent who has had to live with teenagers. They can be really fun and they can also be the most annoying people on the planet. At least these kids are self-aware enough to understand the source of their angst; Madison wisely points out that being unhappy in their new hometown taints everything in their day to day lives.
It’s also good to see that the parents recognize their kids’ anger instead of just trying to sweep it under the rug. Janelle sees that her kids struggle with their anger, especially Hunter. Hunter and his sister have no problems expressing their hatred and discontent. Being a teenager sucks when you like where you live – it’s nightmarish when you hate it.
Giving the teens screen time to express their anger sets the stage for the crappiest camping trip ever. For some of us, any camping trip is the crappiest camping trip ever, but these kids love the outdoors and they can’t even pretend they’re having a good time. On the way to the campgrounds, the family comes upon a creek and has to make the decision we’ve all had to make at least once in our lives – for most of us, this dilemma involved the game Oregon Trail, but that’s besides the point – do you cross the creek or not? It really depends on where they are; if there’s a fort up ahead where they can trade some buffalo meat for wagon wheels, I say go for it. If not, someone is going to die of dysentery and it won’t be pretty.
DAMMIT JANELLE! WE’RE NEVER GOING TO GET THERE!
Kody has to decide if he is going to try to cross the creek in his Lexus, a.k.a., his fifth wife (VOMIT). There are so many things about these people that are unfair, but the fact that he gets the fifth wife car and the ladies get crappy cars just pisses me off. He gets EVERYTHING – he should ride around on a scooter and the ladies should get the sweet rides.
The family is tired, hungry, hot and clearly short tempered about having to wait forever while Kody weighs the pros and cons of leaving the Lexus versus trying to cross the creek. Christine gets tired of the debate over what to do with the Lexus, so she says fuck it and takes off in her car alone! YOU GO GIRL! I hear that.
Christine has had enough of your bullshit. Also, if this doesn’t work, NEW CAR!!!
She made it to the other side just fine in her Camry, and it turns out that it was like, four inches of water and the Lexus makes it just fine. That’s a lot of to do for not a big deal, which leads to Hunter’s latest meltdown. Hunter is whining about how they took forever to get to the campsite and Janelle shuts him down. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! Janelle is reading from the Book of Mama Baldy – she does not have time for your whining or your bullshit. Make yourself useful or go home.
I will show you where you can put those fishing poles if you don’t zip it.
Meanwhile, Madison is camping the way Baldy camps:
If anyone needs me, I will be enjoying nature from the safety of the air conditioned car.
Kody thinks the whining is over because they’re camping! Marshmallows and hot dogs cure everything! As if. Everyone is exhausted from the trip to the campsite; there is no energy left for bitching and moaning.
The next day, the fam decides to split into two groups: one group will go fishing, the other will go hiking and check out the town, then everyone will rendezvous at the lake for jetskiing. This leads to the second Hunter meltdown that should have ended with him getting smacked.
Hunter cannot stand waiting around to go fishing, nor can he stop talking about the fact that he cannot stand waiting around to go fishing. Janelle once again reads from the Book of Baldy and tells him quit bitching and start doing some damn work if sitting and waiting is too hard, and that his attitude needs a serious adjustment. The only problem is that she sounds like she is pleading with him instead of telling him. Hunter gets practically apoplectic when they are still waiting because Meri and Robyn are putting on their makeup. To be fair, fishes and townies do not care if you have mascara on. On the other hand, these ladies are being filmed all day and they don’t want to look toe up.
With each stroke of the brush, Hunter dies inside a little more
Kody recognizes that Hunter thinks that his parents are idiots. Lots of people think you are an idiot Kody, it’s not just Hunter.
I can’t imagine why anyone thinks you’re an idiot. LOLZ – just kidding!
Hunter continues whining and says that if Robyn and Meri would get off of their lazy butts, they could go. Lazy? Bitch, they are putting on their face – that is completely UN-lazy! Lazy is not wearing makeup ever because it involves effort. Get your facts straight! Janelle cuts him off to tell him that he’s being disrespectful. Now she’s deviating from the Mama Baldy guide to parenting. Mama Baldy would have reduced Hunter to a shaking mass of fear and shame with her Rage Stare seasoned with undertones of disappointment and before he even knew what happened, his ass would be in a car getting yelled at in a manner that would make a Drill Sergeant proud.
Hunter’s attitude towards Robin and Meri reveals another drama in the Brown family: Hunter has not accepted Robin as a real mom / wife. The adults don’t know what to do with him. I have a few ideas, but no one at TLC will return my calls. Janelle is trying to be reasonable with him; the time for reasoning is OVER.
Madison says the adults think that they (the teens) are disrespectful and selfish, and Logan cannot take it anymore and yells at them – They ARE disrespectful and selfish. Normally Logan bugs, but I love him right now for being the only person to actually yell at Hunter:
“You, sir, are a total chode. A disrespectful, arrogant, faux-hawked chode”
“How dare you! I implore you to produce an example of my alleged chodery!”
“I’m Hunter, I smell like sweaty cheese and failure! All I do is bitch and moan about everything ever!”
“HAHAHAH that’s HILARIOUS, Logan! You do the best Hunter EVER!”
“Oh, you think you’re funny? How funny will it be when I lodge my boot in your ass?”
“Touché. I shall cease taunting you further in order to maintain the integrity of my anus.”
Logan finally drops it because he is the bigger person. That, and Hunter can kick his ass with minimal effort. Also, what is up with Hunter calling Logan “Johnny Appleseed”? Hunter is starting remind me of Biff from Back to the Future:
“McFLY! That’s about as funny as a screen door on a battleship.”
Sick of all the bitching and moaning, Janelle decides to leave with Hunter and the kids who are ready to go fishing. MAJOR MAJOR FAILl. I’m sorry, but in the Baldy family, if you act the way Hunter is acting, fishing is fucking CANCELLED. She just taught Hunter that if he acts like an ass without letting up, he gets what he wants. On the bright side, this fishing outing will give Janelle the opportunity to spend time with her newest bonus children, Dayton and Brianna. These kids are from the Hallmark house and don’t act like assholes, so I’m sure Janelle is looking forward to it.
The rest of the family went on a hike by the lake. No one dies, gets hurt or cries during hiking or jet skiing, so that’s about five seconds of footage. Back to the dysfunction! The family goes out for pizza – wait, pizza outing? I thought they were camping? I didn’t know you could go get pizza when you were camping. I would have been more keen to go when people invited me in the past. Everyone I know that camps is all survivor style, eating nuts and berries, no showers / electronics / anything fun, “let’s scale the face of this cliff and hope no one dies!”
They’ve only just arrived when Robyn hears Brianna sobbing because Hayden hit her in the eye, and we learn about even MORE drama. Apparently Hayden and Garrison have been picking on Robyn’s kids. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. That’s no bueno. At this point, Meri has HAD IT. She tears the kids a new one in the parking lot – she’s tired of the older kids treating each other like crap and worse, the little ones pick it up and start treating each other like crap in one big vicious crap cycle.
FINALLY. Can I get an AMEN?!
Meri probably gets mad once a year so the kids all look properly shamed.
Today’s special is a thin crust pizza topped with guilt and self-loathing
Christine is not happy with the way Meri handled it – she would have rather talked to Hayden herself, 1:1. Not to be a judgmental bitch, but Christine, honey? If your method of discipline was effective, Meri would not be taking over the responsibility of keeping Ysabel in line. Meri was totally in the right here as far as Kody is concerned. Iif she hadn’t lost it, he would have dragged them all back to the campsite and it would have been over. Christine doesn’t think Meri’s outburst did any good. I don’t see any bitching in the pizza parlor, Christine. How do you explain that?
The teens break it down for us: the bottom line is that the family was chased out of their home in Utah and they are now in a situation that they all hate. They miss their family, friends, the big house, their lives. Furthermore, this change came on top of another massive change – adding another wife and her kids to the family. Just as everyone was trying to adjust to the first change, a second, larger change was added to the mix and that would stress anyone out. They’re tired of getting told they need to be flexible and adapt because they’re trying and they clearly don’t feel that they are getting any support.
Robyn sees the difference in how the kids treat her kids versus each other. She had hoped it would get better, but it’s not; in some cases, it’s getting worse. We don’t get to see the kids interact enough to see what all the drama is, but I feel for all the kids involved. The other kids have known each other their whole lives; now these new random kids are there getting attention, and I cannot imagine that original bonus kids don’t already feel attention starved in some ways, especially from their dad. Robyn is worried that if her kids don’t feel like they are a part of the family, they will choose to go live with their biological father. Dayton will be 13 soon, so it’s a race against time to keep Dayton in the family.
Kody is very concerned about bullying in his family, but he doesn’t know what to do. He figures there are millions of other parents in his shoes, and he’s right. There are a lot of families composed of kids from previous marriages, and it’s not always the Brady Bunch. I still think a healthy dose of “Shut the fuck up” is in order, but I have two cats and zero children, so my opinion probably doesn’t count. I do have teens in the family, however, and when the attitude starts I shut it down. As it says in the Book of Mama Baldy, when you have a job and pay the bills, you can bitch all you want, but until then you best keep that hole in your face closed unless you have something relevant coming out if it.
The day ends with the family having to watch fireworks from the car because of the rain. It makes a nice metaphor for Kody to end with – there will be hard days and disappointments, but you have to keep trudging along.
This episode was pretty depressing. At the end of the day, this show is about real people and I feel for all of those kids – they all seem so miserable! What did you think? How long before someone besides Meri explodes? Will someone actually discipline Hunter for his attitude? Will Robyn’s kids ever fit in? What would you have done in Janelle and Meri’s shoes if you had to deal with these kids?