May 14, 2008 07:44 PM by Jennifer_Brown
Get your motors runnin’, Wife Swap fans! It’s Motorcycle Mama vs. The Artiste on tonight’s episode.
Tanya Ives is a motorcycle mama, a prop in her sons’ stunt show. Raising a family whose motto is “face your fears,” Tanya is all about devoting herself to her kids, even to the tune of standing in the middle of a giant steel globe while her boys circle her head on their motorcycles. Tanya’s devotion means The Ives family spends 11 months out of the year living in hotels.
Tanya is about to swap with Pam Coste, a painter completely devoted to her art. In fact, the three Coste children all share a single bedroom to give Pam room for an in-house art studio. But the Costes are all about conservation, and follow a “living simply” plan. This means they conserve energy, have only one (hybrid) vehicle, and follow a vegetarian diet. Pam’s husband David is a music director and is all about teaching and learning when it comes to his kids.
The wives swap and right off Pam has to attend one of the Ives’ stunt shows. “If I were Tanya,” she says, “…I would be bored to tears, and scared.” She also doesn’t care for the Ives’ diet, and balks when she has to serve takeout meat and potatoes out of Styrofoam containers. In the morning, she’s upset that she’s not allowed to journal and feels like she needs to get her thoughts out of her head. Later, after Pam gets her environmentalist hackles up over the fumes in the stunt show, she confronts Shawn about his kids not being exposed to enough educational opportunities. The confrontation gets ugly. “What’re your kids learning?” she demands. “No to be around people like you,” Shawn retorts. The confrontation is more than Shawn and the Ives kids can handle. They ask Pam to stay in a hotel and not bring her negativity into their happy home.
At the Coste house, Tanya complains that Pam’s artistic lifestyle is, “definitely not me.” She’s especially frustrated when she has to spend time in the morning journaling, leaving the kids to fend for themselves. She finds out that Pam’s kids spend their free time “crystal rock smashing.” That is, beating rocks with golf clubs to find “crystals” inside. Tanya finds the pastime boring and sad. She confronts David about his kids’ recreational activities, but he’s flip about it and sees nothing wrong with it, leaving Tanya more frustrated than ever. Later, Tanya cries as daughter Mina complains that she’d like her own bedroom, but she must make the sacrifice for Pam’s art.
After a week, it’s Rule Change time. “It’s time for the family to stop living for Pam’s dream,” Tanya tells the Coste family. “You’re all a bunch of artistically-stunted wasteful thrill-seekers,” Pam gripes at the Iveses.
Pam’s rule changes include making the Ives family lock up the keys to all of their vehicles. Also, they must eat according to her vegetarian tastes. When she makes a vegetarian breakfast, however, Shawn proclaims that he won’t eat it unless the dog will eat it. The dog turns up his nose at the food, so Shawn hops on a horse and heads to the nearest fast food restaurant for a burger. Pam tries to confront him on what he’s done, but Shawn makes no bones about his unwillingness to change. Later, Pam has the Ives family journal their thoughts. But when she asks Shawn to read his to her (it’s filled with hateful stuff about her), he refuses and tosses the journal into the pond. But when Pam hits a brick wall with the kids over signing a contract that will scale down their stunt show habits, she tries instead to sing her proposition to them–an act so absurd it cracks everyone up. The Ives boys thaw a bit toward Pam and soon she has them painting pictures for their mother. “This is a sign of hope for this family,” she says.
Tanya’s rule changes include giving Mina her own room. But David’s not on board with this rule and squashes it, much to Tanya’s dismay. Tanya also instructs that Pam’s artwork will be sold at auction, the money raised to go toward something enjoyable for the kids. But Mina cries when choosing her mother’s artwork to be sold without her mother’s knowledge or permission. Tanya relents and agrees not to actually sell the work, but to hold an auction to see what the work would bring in monetarily if it did sell. Everyone’s happy until an art critic shows up at the auction with less than favorable things to say about Pam’s art. David takes the criticism personally and blames Tanya for displaying art that was not ready to be sold. Later, when Tanya takes the kids BMX bike racing for fun, David’s still hot under the collar and makes a pain of himself. But Tanya presses forward, taking the kids to all sorts of adrenaline-rush activities, including ATV-riding, and eventually David sees the fun in it all, too. “I’m thankful for Tanya’s perception,” he says. He turns the media room into a bedroom for Mina.
The two weeks are up and it’s time for the couples to reunite. Tanya is quick to tell Pam, “You have three wonderful, beautiful children.” But when Pam tells Tanya that her boys didn’t seem happy and calls her a “prop” in the boys’ show, with no ID of her own, Shawn gets hot under the collar and has to leave to cool off. Tanya follows him out and tries to get him to rejoin her at the table, but he won’t do it. Tanya comes back in by herself to finish out the task at hand.
Since the Swap, Shawn is more appreciative of all that Tanya does for the family and the boys now have more of a say in what shows they will perform in. The Costes are having once-a-month “family fun days” and are enjoying the pleasure Mina gets from having her own bedroom.
Photo Courtesy: ABC