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S11.E05: I Want To Be President

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7 minutes ago, floridamom said:

Though, Bill shared it in a book evidently, that I haven't read, I feel that story isn't really any of my business.

I think that once family members appear on the TV show, it is fair to discuss them in this forum. If they didn't want to be discussed, they wouldn't put themselves out there.

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Pure speculation here, but could Bill be modeling his own parenting based on the way his father parented? Maybe with the divorce and all, Bill's dad tended to be the "fun time Dad" and didn't do much in the way of discipline?

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8 minutes ago, Sasha888 said:

Pure speculation here, but could Bill be modeling his own parenting based on the way his father parented? Maybe with the divorce and all, Bill's dad tended to be the "fun time Dad" and didn't do much in the way of discipline?

Not from what Bill says. Quote from the book:

"My brothers and I lived pretty much the same lives at both houses, but we did have a list of pros and cons for each. At Dad’s, we had our stepbrothers. They had some newer toys, a computer, more games for the Nintendo, and so on. But the rules were a bit stricter. Our chores were more regular and playtime was predicated on our willingness to do our chores."

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Thanks Libby. I don't have the book, so I appreciate when you all tell us what's said in the book. That's an interesting look into how Bill was disciplined.

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Regarding the cupcake food fight...I noticed a teachable moment that was lost early on. Will took the entire cup of sprinkles and dumped it all on one cupcake - at that point, someone could have gently explained that you just sprinkle a few on each cupcake. Instead, they all laughed, which led to Will dumping another full cup of toppings onto one cupcake (and why wouldn't he? He got a great reaction the first time he did it!). And then it descended into a full-on food fight. It is very hard not to laugh when kids do something that's hilarious, but if you want to be in control of the situation, sometimes you have to not laugh and gently correct instead. The sad part is, as someone else mentioned, Will is getting ripped on FB for his behavior. But how was Will to know what to do when all the adults at the table were encouraging him? So, in my opinion, the blame is on the adults, not Will. Will is a bit of a bull in a china shop, IMO, and Bill should know that by now. He could've nipped things in the bud when Will was dumping all the sprinkles, or when someone started putting icing on each other's faces. (I could not clearly see from the show who was the first to start the icing on the face stuff.)

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Sasha888- 

thank you. It was a long long time  ago, and I did have a stepfather after a couple years. 

I didn’t realize Bill has step- brothers, so that means that there were at least 5 boys in that 4 bedroom house at times.  5 boys between 3 bedrooms. Not seeing that this was an outlandish home  for Bill’s Dad and step mom.     

 

Did Bills step-Mom work? Did she get child support for her kids? Because that means there was more money to buy that home than if she didn’t. 

Edited by mythoughtis
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Bill and his brothers had a room. The stepbrothers had a room. Bill said that the rooms were equal. As I've said earlier, Bill and his brothers stayed with the dad on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other weekend.

As far as how much money was the new wife's, I don't know. It is not addressed in the book. At least that I could find.

My opinion is still that Bill's dad's obligation was to his own children. To me, he and the new wife had to be very callous to let Bill and his brothers live so poorly when they were with their mom.

ETA: To me, Bill and his brothers were the poor stepkids. They were so grateful to have a room and to get to play with their stepbother's toys. Then add to it that Bill had medical needs that the mom had to deal with. Bill didn't bring that up. It seemed that he wanted to portray himself as the oldest, his mom's helper. Bill's father should be ashamed. All of this ETA is just my opinion.

Edited by Libby
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I found it - some people complain about the behavior of the kids and then other people defend them and say "if you don't like it don't watch" ad nauseum! Bill and Jen do film their family and put themselves on TV so they open themselves up to scrutiny.

100% agree...especially the "ad nauseum" part! :-) Some of the "super fans" on the show's FB site are downright scary. One woman got blasted just for saying she thought their behavior in the cupcake shop was disrespectful. That's not a terribly mean thing to say, IMO. Someone even replied "I LOVE this family! Those of you who are making negative comments, I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!" You won't "tolerate" it? It's Facebook! Facebook is kind of a free-for-all, people can say whatever they want! People who get so up in arms about it kinda freak me out. That's why I'm glad I found this forum, where there are rules of civility, you can express differing opinions, but not attack each other. I agree with you, they did put themselves on TV and that opens you up to scrutiny. But I'd never say that on Facebook! Someone would jump down my throat about it...it's a blood bath over there.

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3 minutes ago, Sasha888 said:

100% agree...especially the "ad nauseum" part! :-) Some of the "super fans" on the show's FB site are downright scary. One woman got blasted just for saying she thought their behavior in the cupcake shop was disrespectful. That's not a terribly mean thing to say, IMO. Someone even replied "I LOVE this family! Those of you who are making negative comments, I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!" You won't "tolerate" it? It's Facebook! Facebook is kind of a free-for-all, people can say whatever they want! People who get so up in arms about it kinda freak me out. That's why I'm glad I found this forum, where there are rules of civility, you can express differing opinions, but not attack each other. I agree with you, they did put themselves on TV and that opens you up to scrutiny. But I'd never say that on Facebook! Someone would jump down my throat about it...it's a blood bath over there.

I know what you mean. I am no Kate fan, but her bodyguard Steve Neeld said that he was more worried about the super fans than he was about the haters. Interesting...

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A very good point Libby. I have often thought myself that if I were Bill & Jen, I'd be very concerned about the super fans (and they probably are...they are intelligent people. They've mentioned on the show that it was a little scary to find a fan on their front porch!). One woman posted "Oh, you were at Mount Vernon? OMG, I was five minutes away! If I'd known you were there I could have come to see you!" I found that to be beyond weird. People like that don't seem to understand that Bill & Jen purposely don't tell you where they are going to be because they don't need some super fan showing up, and probably running over and grabbing their kids and hugging them, scaring the crap out of the kids in the process. Sheesh.

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Thank you @Libby for posting excerpts from the book. Bill’s mom did work, and they ran out of food. Bill Sr. comes across as a big ass in this. His step children had nicer things than his children, and no food shortages. 

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4 hours ago, SMama said:

Thank you @Libby for posting excerpts from the book. Bill’s mom did work, and they ran out of food. Bill Sr. comes across as a big ass in this. His step children had nicer things than his children, and no food shortages. 

I wonder if part of the reason for getting government assistance was Bill's medical care. As a cop Bills dad would have had insurance but it might not have covered everything. Going on social assistance means all the kids could get medicare. I wonder if the Klein's might have been one of those cases where it wasn't so much about the parents not being able to work but even with 3 working parents they couldn't keep up with medical bils so the family was better off on assistance. 

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Maybe the second wife got the family home in a divorce settlement, maybe the step brothers dad bought the toys. We don't know. My late husband paid child support, we did not live lavishly....and, yes the support was supplemented by assistance to the kids mom. When the youngest was 18 what we paid did not stop...what their mom recieved from the state had to be paid back to the state.

 

There were no other kids involved, I had none, we had none together. The simple fact is that supporting two households is not cheap, and the non-custodial person has to have a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food in their belly too.

 

I didn't read the book so don't know if Bill said anything about why the marriage broke up. In our case I met my husband several years after his divorce.  People get divorced, some just realize they are not good together and the unhappiness and tension is not pleasant for the kids to live with. Every divorced non custodial parent is not a dead beat by simple fact of the other parent applying for and recieving assistance.

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Just jumping in on the conversation and haven't read all of the comments just yet.  I do want to say has anybody else noticed Bill does like to give Jen the jab every once in a while.  Telling her 'your not very good at Geography' was unnecessary.  I find men married to very successful and well educated women tend to do that.  Bill doesn't have to do that.  He pretty much runs that show and so far is doing a good job of it.  I'm sure he has secured their finances for years to come.  They both can rest on their laurals without putting the other one down.  Jen NEVER does that to Bill.  To me she is just lovely.

The kids are getting better.  They came from terrible situations into the loving arms of a couple that understood their needs and is prepared to meet all of them in the years to come. 

I think Will is going to face some bad surgeries and maybe Bill just wants him to have fun.  Zoe is just cute and a lot like Jen.  She is her mother's daughter and Will is surely Bill's son.

I like watching them and I too loved Jen's dress.  I'm anxious to see her in the other one she bought and tried on too.

I think the whole family, kids included, were at the dinner because the couple were the keynote speakers and showing off their family and how well it all works for them.  I thought it was nice and the kids seemed in awe of the parents up on state.  It was quite a moment for me.  I liked it.

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From reading the book, I didn’t get the impression that Bill’s father was a callous or deadbeat dad. Bill mentions that the 4-bedroom home was purchased specifically so that there would be comfortable space for the five boys, all of whom were close in age, and that his father had made sure the home was in his sons’ own school district so that there would be as much continuity as possible in their lives. He explained that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he and his brothers would go directly from school to their father’s house, hang out and play with their stepbrothers, have dinner with the family, and then be driven home by 9 pm. He said that his father never missed a designated visit unless it was absolutely unavoidable, such as his unexpectedly having to work extra hours at one of his three jobs. Even though the stepbrothers may have had better or newer toys, I don’t think Bill or his brothers felt they were less important than the other two boys in the home, as he states: “Nobody was given preferential treatment even though Jonathan and James lived with my father and Debbie full-time.” Bill’s mother definitely struggled, as her husband had left her and she carried the major load of caring for her three sons and for Bill’s medical issues, but in the book, Bill states that after the divorce, his parents alternated in accompanying him for his hospital stays, and at times both parents and his brothers arrived in two separate cars to be with him as a family. This had to have been a tough time for all of them, but I believe that both parents did the best they could for their children under the circumstances, financially and otherwise. And in the end, adult Bill still seems to have a good relationship with all of his family, including his father, stepmother and stepbrothers.

Sorry for straying OT; just wanted to add a bit more background.

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6 hours ago, Veronique Bette said:

Sorry for straying OT; just wanted to add a bit more background.

Not having read the book, this really gives us more insight into the overall picture.  Thanks for posting.

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45 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Not having read the book, this really gives us more insight into the overall picture.  Thanks for posting.

There's a thread about the book here (the first 1, anyway; they wrote a 2nd which I don't think did as well).

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Back to George Washington's home, and time, I have a pet peeve about Princess Culture. When I was working in a preschool during the last decade, most of the preschool girls always wanted to dress up as princesses. I would ask them what a princess does - and none of them had any idea. Now here is Jen in George Washington's house - you know, the General during that little revolt against the crown - trying in vain to convince Zoey that George Washington's daughter was a Princess. 

It was so unnecessary. Easy enough to say: "We don't have princesses in America. George Washington's daughter was a girl like you who liked to wear pretty clothes, read her school books and play with her brother." 

Maybe if she had personalized the history it would have made more sense to a 5-year-old. 

Know your audience!

(I know George and Martha didn't have children together; but they raised her boy and girl together.)

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I agree CousinAmy, it's a pet peeve of mine, too. Like anything else, it's fine in moderation, but IMO it's a bit much at this point. If she wanted to wear the tiara for her birthday party, I understand that. Or dress that way for Halloween. But the full princess get up at the Scottish castle was OTT, to me. And from the previews for next week, it looks like Zoey's wearing her tiara at the seafood restaurant, so get ready for more! :-) 

ETA: I'm always interested to hear things from the point of view of our educators. You see them interacting with a group of their peers - the rest of us mostly see how they interact at home with their siblings.

Edited by Sasha888
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Our daughter prefers male super heroes. She is very petite, but will tell off anyone who calls her a princess. When she started preschool the staff would take away the trucks she preferred and replace them with girl toys. We didn’t have to get involved, our daughter would raise hell. At ten she is still all boy. 

I really wish Bill took his mother to Scotland and England. She was his main caretaker during his surgeries and recovery. It looks to me like she is not treated well. She and her husband took care of Bill and the kids after his back surgery. Didn’t see the father and stepmom helping him at home.

Edited by SMama
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In my opinion, Bill wanted to talk about how poorly him and his brother's lived, without putting his father down. He honestly doesn't seem angry at his dad at all.

The bottom line to me is that Bill and his brothers and his mother were eating expired food and were happy to have it. In the meantime the dad, his wife, and the stepbrothers were living large. Then we are supposed to think, YAY for Bill and his brothers, they lived there 2 days in 14. What a great dad. Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Bill didn't explicitly say that the free food that she got was the expired food that she took off the shelves,  but that is how I interpreted it.

ETA: Sorry, I want to be fair, they went there 2 days a week after school and it seems that they had dinner there. I guess the dad only let them eat expired food 5 days one week and 3 days the other week. What a guy...

Just my opinion. 

One more thing. Here is how dear old dad left his wife and children. Quote from the book:

"I found out that my parents were getting divorced by accident. There wasn’t one of those joint parent “we love you three boys, just not each other” conversations. Instead, one night, I woke up to discover my mother crying into her hands at the kitchen table, alone, angry, and abandoned. I didn’t even know what to do or how to respond. I stayed with Mom a few minutes, but she wanted me to go back to bed, and I did."

Edited by Libby
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4 hours ago, SMama said:

Our daughter prefers male super heroes. She is very petite, but will tell off anyone who calls her a princess. When she started preschool the staff would take away the trucks she preferred and replace them with girl toys.

BOO to anyone who takes so-called "boy" toys away from a girl, and vice-versa! My parents were pretty enlightened about that, especially considering they graduated HS and married in the 1950's. My brothers found a doll one time, and my parents cleaned it all up and Mom sewed some pj's for the boys' doll. They didn't take the doll away from them. When I finally came along, they made sure I had the toys I wanted (I preferred Barbies, etc) but I also spent a lot of hours playing with my brothers' matchbox cars. And playing football. :-) Makes for well-rounded kids, IMO. 

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22 hours ago, SMama said:

Darn, Bill Sr. is an ass wipe.

I find all of this interesting. I did not know this background but I never liked Bill’s father. Obviously, I do not know the guy I just see him on TV, but I was always sensed a real difference between him and Jen’s father. I was drawn to Jen’s parents and always found her dad to be very likable.  So, who knows what the truth was.  I was going on a feeling.  Of course, when you are a survivor of child abuse you tend to size people up immediately and my initial impression is rarely wrong. 

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I finally watched it.  So filmed sometime around Zoey's fifth birthday.  No, her speech is nowhere near a five year old pattern, but speech therapy is helping.  She's not even up to many/most three year olds.  She is adorable, but quite behind in development and behavior.  So is Will and perhaps to a greater degree.  The behavior, Bill and Jen could definitely work on.  I think both grandmothers could give them some pointers and probably have.  I think at this point Bill and Jen have settled on their decisions and unless something shakes them loose they aren't going to push the kids.  It may be that they've been told one or both of them may never catch up and thus have settled on happy.  That I've seen from quite a few parents.  

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I think Bill and Jen are just so happy they have their little family.  The doctor said they and their tv show have done great things for people understanding the disabilities they face.  I see they are now explaining through a book that they are 'a little person'. 

I'm sure they are full of energy and it's hard for them to be reigned in but look at what love and patience has done for these two so far.

I'm delighted for all four of them.  It's surely a struggle. 

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I've watched several episodes of the series over the years, have never read any of the books -- and I'm pretty sure even reading the books wouldn't give me enough evidence to declare Bill's dad a deadbeat or a bad father.  I have no clue, but I'm glad they seem to be content in their relationship now. 

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6 hours ago, Absolom said:

I think at this point Bill and Jen have settled on their decisions and unless something shakes them loose they aren't going to push the kids.  It may be that they've been told one or both of them may never catch up and thus have settled on happy.  That I've seen from quite a few parents.  

I think Zoey still can catch up but I am not sure about Will. He really seems to have serious developmental delays based on what we see. It seems that his birth parents in China tragically left him to die after he was born and thanks to the orphanage and eventually New Day, brought back to some semblance of life. Enter Bill and Jen who are probably still learning how to cope with Will's  problems. Both Jen and Bill say they want to see the kids happy, so maybe it is what it is.  At least they have enough money to help the kids if in fact it turns out that one or both is not capable of living on their own down the road.

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I think Will is a bright little boy. He has an unbridled curiosity and loves asking questions, teasing his sister, and running. If they can harness those impulses and teach him manners - basically how to interact with other people - I hold out a lot of hope for him. What's the rush? Either he's mature enough to move onto the next stage, or he's not, and then they can get extra help for him.

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On 10/18/2017 at 7:17 PM, BitterApple said:

So basically Bill's Mom got the shaft. She must not have been getting much of anything in terms of alimony and child support if her income was so low she qualified for public assistance. 

Did Bill's Dad leave his wife for another woman? His current wife?

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I am finding it a bit annoying that Bill's stepmother is carrying and cuddling Zoey like she's an infant. Why is she doing that? Why aren't Jen and Bill saying something to her about it? I also think she favors Zoey a bit more than Will.

I noticed Zoey quite interested in those x-rays at the doctor's visit. I bet she will be like Jen and have an aptitude for medicine when she grows up. She is very focused for her age and circumstances. She has a lot of potential, IMO.

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I understand grandparents wanting to get cuddly with their grandchildren, but treating Zoey like an infant is not OK. My mother in law's wife liked to play peek a boo with our daughter and we shut that down fast. SDaughter came home at 16 months, and we were teaching her sign language, to help her get adapt and tell us her needs. We also talked to her of course, my husband in English, and I got Spanish. We were doing all this, and she kept treating an almost toddler like an infant. Also, after letting EVERYONE know why only husband and I could meet her basic needs, hold her, feed her, etc., she would barrel down and try to feed her. We redirected her and would say, these are the signs your granddaughter knows, these are the Spanish/English words she knows. Let's just work on those, and on her body parts. Nope, deaf tone, and I think a tad malicious. Thankfully we had a lot of distance between us, and just resorted to avoiding contact. There is no way we could travel for all holidays like they wanted. I know it comes across as cruel, but bonding with post institutionalized children is not for the weak. It takes consistency, and a lot of patience. TBH maybe Jen doesn't say anything, especially on camera, because of what happened to us. The backlash we got was brutal. We were accused of lording our child over the family. That was not it at all. My MIL, sweet person that she was retaliated by not opening an education fund for our daughter. It is a tradition in the family, and she did it for her other four grandchildren. The money was left in a trust fund by husband's grandparents. Fuck them, I'm was not about to sell my daughter's well being for money. Yes, that makes me stupid, but I guess I am. Perhaps Jen and Bill feel bad that the step grandma traveled with them to help and can't just say no. One of those times when doing the right thing blows up on your face big time.

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8 minutes ago, SMama said:

Yes, that makes me stupid, but I guess I am.

Not stupid at all, it was putting your child first in all things.  A grandmother that punishes a grandchild because she is angry at the parent is not deserving of the title.  That's appalling. Shame on her.

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I honestly don't understand - how was playing peekaboo occasionally with grandma severely damaging?

I'm not trying to be snide, I just don't understand how it could cause harm. 

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2 hours ago, ZoloftBlob said:

I honestly don't understand - how was playing peekaboo occasionally with grandma severely damaging?

I'm not trying to be snide, I just don't understand how it could cause harm. 

I'm thinking that's a thing to do with a baby/toddler, and her child was older?

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BINGO!

ETA: It was not only the damn peekaboo, but feeding our daughter (due to bonding only to be done the parents), picking her up, when my husband and I were the only ones that could due to bonding. Also, boo is no in Chinese, and our daughter reacted negatively to it. We even tried to redirect to peek at you, to avoid the word boo. We wish we knew exactly what happened those sixteen months, but have enough behavioral cues to have an idea. Bottom line is that it upset our child. And also our daughter was 16 months, not six. Whether you meant to be snide or not it's irrelevant to my existence. My point is that bonding period is emotionally fragile, and anyone interfering is damaging. One of those you had to be there. I hope Jen and Bill have been able to go through their bonding periods without interference, whether ignorance or otherwise.

Edited by SMama
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On 18 October, 2017 at 6:37 AM, Bellalisa said:

  Everyone is different but she was already fed up and didn't want to be a part of the food fight and possibly she thought the icing was he beginning of more of it. I have never once in my life been in a food fight. I find throwing food NOT funny, not amusing, stupid. I hate when they smear cake at weddings. I am by no means a neat nick myself. 

Zoey is very independent and very particular. She wants things her way, and lets people know it. Did the men act silly and get out of control - definitely. But who on earth put them into teams of "boys versus girls"? I am female, but that is the last thing I would want to do (decorate cupcakes?), Yuck. And have you seen poor Will's fine motor skills? He is always impulsive in the kitchen, and always taking/ using too much. How was this NOT going to end up a fiasco? I do feel bad for Zoey as it won't be a good memory. However, Zoey is Zoey and I have seen her equally mad if someone doesn't wear a hat the way she wants, or touches whatever toy she's using. She is her mother when it comes to doing things in a specific way, lol.

Edited by Chalby · Reason: forgot punctuation
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On 18 October, 2017 at 8:31 AM, BitterApple said:

I did think Jen looked lovely at the adoption event. Chloe did a great job with the dress.

Jen has amazing style sense. If she's stops being a Dr. maybe she could be stylist to the stars? (I am trying to think of a fashion type career that would pay her as much as being a Dr. Pretty hard.)

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Just now, Chalby said:

Jen has amazing style sense. If she's stops being a Dr. maybe she could be stylist to the stars? (I am trying to think of a fashion type career that would pay her as much as being a Dr. Pretty hard.)

I agree. Considering the challenges Jen must have finding age appropriate clothing, she really does dress beautifully. 

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On 18 October, 2017 at 5:19 PM, Libby said:

In my opinion, he shouldn't have taken on a second family if he couldn't afford his first. His first obligation was to his own children. Did he and the second wife and her kids have to go on welfare? Bill would have told us if they did. He obviously put himself ahead of his kids.

Aww, Libby, do you really believe that? It's not like he didn't support both families. He just didn't make a lot of money so he worked two jobs. He wasn't a deadbeat dad. Clearly, if they just didn't feel the marriage was working, why should he (or she) be denied a 2nd chance? His stepfather seems great, so I am sure she's better off, as well.

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On 22 October, 2017 at 8:56 AM, Veronique Bette said:

Sorry for straying OT; just wanted to add a bit more background.

Thanks for the extra information. I do know that Bill always felt accepted and loved by his dad. When he re-tells the story of his mom and dad discussing whether Bill should carry the William Klein name (given his precarious health and disability), his dad was adamant that Bill WAS William Kline II. I cannot diss a man I know nothing about, especially if his own son doesn't criticize his choices either.

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Giving birth to a little person 40+ years ago was a much serious situation. For whatever reason I can't recall, Bill's mother gave his father the choice to opt out of the family tradition. Perhaps there was a fear Bill would not make it.

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Whether you meant to be snide or not it's irrelevant to my existence.

Its relevant to me, since my intent was not to insult you with the question. I asked, because in your original post you said a large family rift that you seem to regret occurred because a grandparent was unwilling to not play peekaboo with a child that as described - a 16 month old - wasn't so old that the activity sounded abusive so I assumed there had to be more to the story for it to cause such a rift. The clarification you provided is very help, particularly that the word boo was upsetting the child. 

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On 11/1/2017 at 7:03 PM, Chalby said:

Jen has amazing style sense. If she's stops being a Dr. maybe she could be stylist to the stars? (I am trying to think of a fashion type career that would pay her as much as being a Dr. Pretty hard.)

Her home in TX was stunning (even if there were a few too many starfish around for my taste, but I know she loves them). She could probably work as an interior designer/decorator or work with major retail clothing lines (Ann Taylor, LOFT, Banana Republic) to tailor/design pieces of clothing for Little People who cannot afford bespoke dresses and don't want to shop exclusively in children's departments, but who want/need/deserve to look as good as Jen does for their own daily lives.

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8 hours ago, Bridget said:

Her home in TX was stunning (even if there were a few too many starfish around for my taste, but I know she loves them). She could probably work as an interior designer/decorator or work with major retail clothing lines (Ann Taylor, LOFT, Banana Republic) to tailor/design pieces of clothing for Little People who cannot afford bespoke dresses and don't want to shop exclusively in children's departments, but who want/need/deserve to look as good as Jen does for their own daily lives.

Jen had an interior designer do her home in Texas, she and Judy oversaw it.   We only see Jen pick out clothes when it is for an event and Chloe is involved.  She may have a stylist on board too with all their money, after all why not when you live in a mansion you have to have a staff!!  LOL

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