Saturday, December 20, 2008

And they're already thinking 'bout number 19...

Once again, Michelle Duggar has defied the feats of the human uterus and has given birth to her 18th--yes, Kittens, you've read that right, 18th--child. Read all about it at the Today Show website by clicking here.

A while back, I wrote about my dislike--hatred is too strong of a word, but I do have an intense dislike--of reality shows. However, I make an exception to the Duggars' reality show, 17 Kids and Counting, which airs on TLC Monday nights at 10. It's not the fascination of a family with so many kids that draws me in. It's how they manage having so many kids that makes me want to watch.

Consider these points:

1. They're thrifty. (Click on the preceding sentence for a link).
With a family of 20, it's easy to run up huge bills for everything from clothing to groceries to electricity. However, the Duggars claim that they live debt-free. Their credo is, "Buy used, save the difference."

That's a credo we can all live by, especially in this economy.

Maybe Obama would have done well by appointing Jim Bob as an economic adviser in his cabinet.

Anyhoo, the Duggars have always bought used vehicles, have relied on thrift shops, tag sales, and have paid cash for everything they need. They make their own clothes (especially for the girls). Their biggest expense, according to Jim Bob, is, logically, groceries and diapers, at an expense of $3,000 a month.

Groceries, however, don't have to be quite that expensive. They do their primary shopping at Aldi, and buy many of their items in bulk. They bake their own bread. They even make their own laundry detergent. The recipe seems quite simple; I may just have to investigate this myself.

2. All 17 kids seem to get along very well.
There are no fights--at least on TV.

All of the Duggar children seem to be very mild-mannered and polite. Their secret? Speak softly when disciplining, and praise more than criticize.

Sister Kitten and I fought all the time when we were growing up. But we came from a family of four! I guess when you're a family of 20 you have no choice but to get along, considering how many potential fights you can get into. I'm glad this discipline works for Jim Bob and Michelle, because if it ever backfired...whoa...

Twenty siblings getting along...seems like a dream...

Which leads me to my next point...

3. The whole family just seems too damn perfect.
I think we can use the word sheltered here quite safely, Kittens.

Eldest son Josh, 20, recently married. When he and his wife were "courting" (they don't use the word "dating" in this family), they had to have a chaperone with them every time they went out. A CHAPERONE? AT 20 YEARS OLD? Both Josh and his wife, Anna, committed not to have premarital sex. Not only that, they committed not to have their first kiss until their wedding day.


They had to have a chaperone for THAT?!?!

I respect the decision to remain celebate until the wedding night. That's a personal choice, and I guess the whole kissing thing is a personal choice, too. However, how can you not kiss your romantic partner? I mean, kisses are so romantic, they make you feel so secure, so loved, so...

Sorry, I'm digressing.

My point is this: How much of the outside world do the Duggars get exposed to outside of their Arkansas compound? It's great that the kids are so well-traveled domestically, but when it comes to day-to-day stuff, do they know how other kids act outside of their home?

And that brings me to my final consideration...

4. With a family that seems so perfect, I really want to see one of the kids rebel.
Yes, I know that is a horrible thing to write. A very horrible thing indeed. But how would the Duggars deal if one of their kids came out of the closet? How would they deal if one of them--especially one of the girls--decided to move out of the house before they got hitched? Or worse, what if one of the girls decided to move out and move in with a boyfriend?!?!

I hope to stay awake long enough to watch the latest episode of 17 Kids and Counting. It'll document the birth of the newest Duggar, Jordyn-Grace Makiya (Makiya?!). Lately I've been either too sick, too busy, or too tired to stay up till 10 PM.

I just hope that it doesn't prevent me from sleeping at 11 PM.

No, wait, that's when The Daily Show comes on.

Okay, that's more reason for me to watch!