November 21, 2008 09:14 PM by Lisa Stauber
WIfe Swap features a mother of one lovely girl who spends her life helping her husband breakout as a rockstar swapping places with a mother of nine children. Pete Berwick makes a living delivering singing chicken telegrams while Denise does everything around the house. Val Roachford demands that each of her nine children be obedient and helpful, and her 19 year old daughter is a surrogate mommy even though she wants to be an actress.
Denise admits that Pete doesn’t make very much money…yet. He expects her to do all the work. “What’s she going to do all day, eat cookies?” he says. Daughter Faith doesn’t have many rules or responsibilities, and she’s mouthy and spoiled. “I want her to be free to express herself,” Denise says. She encourages Faith to follow her dreams, even though Denise has buried hers in order to support Pete. Pete works most nights and every holiday entertaining.
Val and Greg Roachford have nine children age 19 to 6, with no twins or multiples. “It’s my job to manage whatever goes on in the house,” she says. She’s organized and in control. The children are not allowed to talk back and must do all of their chores correctly. Greg works full time and comes home and helps out in the house. Ray would love to play the drums, but he puts his family first. Brianna is expected to help out, and is a second mother to the brood.
Meeting The New Family
Denise wants to show her new family fun and a love of the arts. Val wants to show her new family discipline and self control.
Val doesn’t think Pete’s that funny. He has to leave for a gig, but leaves instructions for Val to wash the dishes and vacuum the floor. Faith is lonely for her dad, and Val decides to go see Pete perform. Pete refuses to come home and put Faith to bed, and Val gets mad. Pete sleeps in the next morning while Val tries to find an outfit that Faith will wear. Faith whines about everything and has a tantrum, and after she heads to school Val has to dress up in a chicken suit to deliver a telegram. Next Val’s performing at a child’s birthday party.
Breanna shows Denise the ropes around the house. “I think Breanna has too much responsibility for a child,” Denise says. The next day she has to get everybody awake and dressed. Denise is amazed that the Roachford’s home is very quiet. She thinks the kids are afraid to talk or give their opinion. Denise tells Breanna not to make the same mistake she did, and give up her dreams to take care of other people.
Denise tells the Roachfords that they need to chase their dreams. Greg is angry. He says his children are his passion. Breanna is released from duty around the house. “It’s time for you kids to vent your frustration towards Val,” Denise says. She thinks the kids’ creativity is squashed and wants them to dress up like chickens.
Faith gets a chore wheel and Pete is in charge of all the women’s work. She calls Faith a baby and tells her to grow up. Val locks up the costumes and requires Pete to have a holiday day, taking an entire day to spend with Faith to make up for all of the times he wasn’t there for family time.
Denise encourages the kids to make noise and breaks out crepe paper to have a celebration. Greg is worried that there will be a big mess. She has the children make a dream wheel to replace the chore wheel. One of the older boys doesn’t want to write it down. “I already know my dream, in my head,” he says. The children won’t speak out against their mother, but do have fun making noise. Denise and Greg have a fight, and Breanna’s had enough and takes a walk. She doesn’t think either of them are listening to each other.
Pete is trying to get directions for his next gig, but Val is nagging him to get to work in the kitchen. Pete finally gives up and hires a maid to do his chores, because he is refusing to do women’s work. She is mean to Faith, calling her names. “I’m done with you,” she tells the Berwicks. Val swipes the keyboard to the computer, and Pete and Faith have decided they want Val out of the house. “Val is the most unreasonable person I’ve ever known,” Pete says.
Breanna talks to the whole family, and Greg is proud of her for being the mediator. He agrees to take some percussion lessons, and Breanna takes a theater class. Pete surrenders to Val’s wishes and makes some crafty decorations with Faith. He gets a voicemail, though, and takes off in the middle of their special day. “I do wish we could spend more time together,” Faith says. He promises to keep Holiday day free just for them, though.
The Roachfords get into the chicken suits and head to a nursing home. Some of the kids enjoy it. Pete makes good on his promise to celebrate holidays with the family. They have famiy over for a big meal. “I really have become closer to Faith,” he says, and decides to plan his tours around the holidays, not in the middle of them. Greg and the children decide to encourage Denise to chase her dreams and make a card for her.
Pete and Val argue. “Pete’s passion for music overshadows all of his responsibility in the house,” she says. Pete agrees that Denise is too giving, to a fault. Denise tells Val the chore wheel takes away from their creativity. Greg tells Pete it’s time for Denise to chase her dreams, too. “You know anything you want to do, you have my blessing,” Pete says. They’re going to work out how each of them can pursue their dreams, with no one left out.
Photos courtesy ABC.