May 07, 2008 07:26 PM by Jennifer_Brown
It’s another week of Neat Freak Mom vs. Anarchist Mom on tonight’s Wife Swap.
Terri Tassie and her husband Tom believe in everyone operating on schedule and everything being in its place. Terri is a romance enhancement saleswoman and Tom owns a car dealership and together they believe that hard work and a rigorous schedule will make for happy kids and healthy adults.
Michelle Tyson, on the other hand, doesn’t do discipline. Her husband Todd is a bail bondsman and works until all hours of the night chasing down bad guys who break the rules. An odd choice of career for Todd, given that he doesn’t enforce any rules in his household. There are no chores for the kids, dinners are fast food, food-fighting monstrosities, and the kids openly curse with no reprimand from Mom and Dad.
The wives swap lives and right away there is drama when Michelle has to dump the children’s clothes on the floor because their dresser drawers aren’t neat enough. Michelle doesn’t like this punishment for the boys, nor does she care for Tom, with his “disturbingly flashy” clothes and his wild hand gestures. Her solution? Dump Tom’s clothes on the floor so he can see how it feels. “I’m done! You’re a dictator!” she says, and storms out of the room. Her plan doesn’t workÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬”Tom just makes the boys clean it up anyway.
At the Tyson house, Terri struggles with the profane language of the girls, who are very in-your-face about their right to drop f-bombs whenever they feel like it. When Terri catches 10-year old Autumn in a lie about leaving her backpack at home and confronts Autumn about it, the girl calls Terri a b*tch. When Terri appeals for Todd’s help in the matter, he says he has no problem with Autumn using “the B word” on Terri and Terri is further disturbed, worried that some day Todd will be arresting his own children.
After week one, it’s time for the new wives to change the house rules. “All work and no play make you a dull family!” Michelle says to the Tassies. “Todd, you’re asleep at the wheel when it comes to being a parent,” Terri accuses.
At first the ultra-respectful Tassie kids get rankled by Michelle’s new rules and refuse to participate. “Right now these kids are really making me miss my kids,” Michelle sobs in her bedroom. Eventually, however, the kids relent and follow Michelle’s first rule: to mess up the house and have fun. They write loving messages on the bathroom mirror in shaving cream for Tom, and then adorn the living room with streamers and balloons. The kids have fun, but Tom isn’t feeling the love. “If they wrote, ‘I love you’ in somebody’s blood that they just murdered, it doesn’t make the murder okay,” he says. Later, the Tassie family gathers together to try to get Tom to follow Michelle’s rules. But, once again, he refuses and Michelle storms out, crying, and stays in a motel room. The Tassie kids miss her terribly and she decides to come back for them the next day. Once back, she makes Tom listen to a lecture about how controlling your kids is bad (it’s just a video of Michelle telling Tom that controlling your kids is bad), and he decides not to make waves. Going along with the flow, Tom decides to relax and join the family in building a tent out of sheets in the living room and then eating a fast food dinner inside it.
At the Tyson house, Terri has set a timer on the family: Have the whole house cleaned up in 77 minutes. Anything left on the floor after 77 minutes must be thrown away. Autumn doesn’t care for that rule and says to Terri, “Bite me!” When Terri takes down Mia’s rude posters, Mia too gets huffy and drops a curse word. Terri’s rule about that: if you cuss, you must clean the potty with a toothbrush. But Mia won’t do that, either, so Terri responds by tossing every stitch of clothing out of Mia’s closet and onto the floor. Mia doesn’t plan on cleaning up that, either. Terri appeals to Todd once again for help and once again he won’t do it. “I’ve lived your boring lifestyle and it sucks and you suck,” he says. Defeated by the strong-headed girls, Terri decides to try to reach Autumn through calm, rational cleaning, and tries the same approach with Todd, who gets so touched by Terri’s thoughtfulness in setting up a shopping date at the pet shop with him and his son Michael, he has to leave the room in tears. Finally working together, Todd gathers the family together and gets them all to clean the house and makeover a salon in the basement for Michelle before she gets home.
After two weeks, the families reunite. Michelle tells Terri, “I don’t feel like your kids feel free to express anything.” “I never heard the f-word more in my entire life,” Terri counters. But Michelle can’t really get in a word edge-wise over Tom, who wants to argue every point that comes out of her mouth. Finally, Michelle admits that she could be a little firmer with the kids and could use more “me-time.”
Since the Swap, nothing has changed in the Tassie house. But in the Tyson house, Todd has been working less and hanging out with son Michael more. Michelle feels much more appreciated.
Photo Courtesy: ABC