Class is now in session! The January 12 episode of Kate Plus 8, "School Prep," started out at the end of summer, which meant it was time for Kate Gosselin and her brood to go school shopping!
The 40-year-old mother of eight hates shopping, but Hannah seemed the most put out this time, getting one of her terrible stress headaches before the family departed and sitting listlessly in the back of the van on the way to the mall.
"It’s just a Hannah thing," Kate sighed.
Life in Sexto-Color
Because the younger kids were getting ready to start middle school, the shopping was tougher than ever. Kate needed to get six industrial-strength backpacks to accommodate the six new sets of books and binders they would be holding. Of course, these kids couldn’t make picking out backpacks too easy for her. They didn’t want to match because they refused to go back to the days when they were all dressed alike, so they needed to find six different patterns!
“She’s not my twin,” pointed out Alexis, referring to one of her sisters, with whom she was determined not to match. OK, technically, she’s not wrong!
While eating a snack at the food court, Kate shared childhood memories of shopping at the same mall where they were picking out school clothes.
Turning the (Picnic) Tables
The family went from food court table to picnic table, moving on to refurbish an old piece of lawn furniture. Kate and the little ones headed to the hardware store while Mady and Cara did “what teenagers do best,” according to their mother: They slept.
“I knew that if I could get them on board, we could get this done in one day,” Kate said of her effort to make the sanding and staining fun for everyone.
“How long is this going to take?” asked Aaden. So much for having fun!
Eventually, Kate realized that the kids weren't going to get into the labor, relented on the manual sander and whipped out the electric one, and though it initially scared her, she soon got the hang of it. At least she had the kids’ attention for a minute, finally!
Ultimately, the only child left helping was Collin, who genuinely seemed to enjoy himself. The kids all came back around when it was time to stain, though, always ready to get into something messy. Even the ever-pouty Mady had some fun!
“Isn’t it funny that they all seemed to reappear when it was time to do something fun?” asked Kate dryly.
No one fought, and the table ended up looking beautiful. All the kids agreed they did a good job and were happy to have helped in the end.
Growing Up Is Hard to Do
Mady and Cara were next to go shopping and, just like the little kids, they were having a milestone first day of school: high school! Finally, able to wear "real clothes" and not uniforms, they were ready to find some grown-up attire.
Unfortunately, the girls had so little experience shopping that they had no idea what to look for, let alone what to buy. It didn’t take Mady long to get the hang of it once she learned that jeans come in short sizes that would finally fit her, though!
While the twins struggled, Kate did a little shopping for herself, picking clothes that the twins approved of, which had never happened before. They expressed surprise that she was buying outfits outside of her usual styles. Could Kate be getting ready for something big? (Well, next week’s episode is called "Blind Date," so …)
"Cara is hard to impress, so when you get that smile, you know you did something good," Kate said in her confessional.
At the second store, the twins reverted to their naturally sullen state, rolling their eyes at Kate’s suggestions and even the saleswoman’s. A third store brought them back around, at least, and they ended the day having fun with their long-suffering mother, even though Mady and Kate fought over a pair of sweater pants.
"There is a reason she is my mother," Mady said. "I don’t share clothing with her."
Tell Us: Was Mady too hard on her mother this episode?
Kate Plus 8 airs on TLC Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST.
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