February 27, 2009 08:48 PM by Lisa Stauber
This week on ABC’s Wife Swap, the yoga happy Petersen family will swap with the Vaughn’s, who own a dairy farm. Susan Petersen has one son, and spoils him rotten, and Beth Vaughn has four children who all work hard helping on the farm. It’s definitely going to be a culture shock for both of them!
Susan and David Vaughn are yoga instructors – laughing yoga, that is. David loves to be different and parades around the house wearing a tiara, even though his 10 year old son is the real king of the castle. He thinks nothing of bossing his parents around, while they slavishly devote themselves to his happiness. They believe that any problem can be solved by laughing.
Beth and Justin Vaughn couldn’t be more different. Justin spoils his cows more than his children, and Beth rules with an iron fist. She drills it into her four children that hard work and sacrifice are the only way to get ahead. The kids live far away from their friends, and there’s not much to do at their home except for chores. Beth runs a tight ship and her house is spotless. “You can feel sorry for yourself, or you can get over it,” she says. Beth spends her days cleaning the house alone and doesn’t think kids should be allowed to make choices. She’s all about structure.
Meet the Families
Beth immediately thinks Victor is spoiled, just from looking in his room. “Do they tie-dye for a living?” she wonders. “Victors the king and David’s the queen,” she says, reading the family notebook. David greets Beth with a hug, wearing a tiara adn beads in his hair. “Beth seems a little nervous,” David says.
Susan thinks Beth sounds depressed and resigned. “Susan is interesting,” Justin says. He heads back out to the barns and leaves the kids to get to know Susan. The kids complain that they don’t get to see their father very much.
Bedtime at the Petersen house involves chasing each other and tickling until Victor is tired. The next morning, Beth has to make sure that Victor wakes up happy, then heads out for work as a massage therapist. She tells David that his job isn’t good enough for a man. Later, a friend comes to visit and a fight breaks out. Victor is allowed to yell, scream, snatch, and hit the other kid and David just laughs.
Susan is bored and depressed just cleaning the house all day. “I feel like a drone,” she says. Susan is saddened after talking to the kids. “These beautiful children are ignored,” she cries. She doesn’t think there is enough joy in the house. Later, she shows Justin a picture of Beth and tries to convince him that his wife’s smile is faked. She decides to solve her depression with hysterical laughter.
Susan is planning to make the Petersen house come alive with life. She pledges to make the farm fun, and everyone is going to have to participate in laugh therapy. Justin has to take his kids to football practice and Susan thinks he’s emotionally distant towards the family. He has to write a poem about his feelings for his wife and kids and read them at open mike night.
Beth wants David to face reality. “David, your a terrible example to Victor,” she says. “Wipe the smiles off your face and just suck it up.” She assigns Victor chores. David is going to have to work on a farm. “I always wanted to drive a tractor,” he says. She won’t allow them to wear tie-dye and demands David find a new job, because she doesn’t think his job at a daycare is good enough.
The Vaughn kids are loving the laughing, but Justin thinks she’s nuts. Justin can’t take time off to clean the house, and heads for the cows. Susan chases after him screaming “No, no!” He spends the day working on the farm, anyway, because the animals can’t take care of themselves. He decides to ignore Susan and go do some things with his kids without her.
Beth makes David throw his wild clothes away, but Victor sneaks outside and steals them back. “She’s trying to ruin my life!” he says. Victor has to wear a shirt he hates to school, and he locks himself in the bathroom crying. David tries to talk to him but Beth keeps butting in. David doesn’t want to scar his relationship with his son. Later, Beth oversees Victor’s chores and he reveals that he always gets his way by crying.
Susan cries again. “I’m frustrated!” she cries. Justin takes the boys to football practice and plays with them, too. He likes spending time with his boys, and wants to make time to do it again. Now it’s time to write that poem. Justin opens up after reading the poem out loud, and acknowledges that sometimes he puts his family second. The family fun continues with a whipped cream water slide.
Beth makes David take Victor to the farm with him. He thinks it was lots of fun. Beth finds out that Victor sneaked David’s clothes away, again, and Beth makes him give them back. “I don’t like to be told what to do,” Victor says. “Can’t you just stop woman?” Victor’s crying again, after Beth declares he needs to give away one of his toys to charity as punishment. David backs up Beth and tells Victor to give away the toy. Victor declares that he won’t do it. “I want you to give away that gun,” David says, and he starts crying when he realizes that Victor is terribly spoiled and won’t even give up a single toy for kids who are sick.
“I’m not going to be selfish forever. I’ll change when I’m like, 15,” Victor says. David puts his foot down and puts the toy in the car. The woman at the donation station explains to him why it’s wonderful that Victor is donating the toy, but he’s still mad.
Beth says Susan is lazy for letting Victor sleep in his clothes and then wear them to school again. She tells her Victor is spoiled and manipulative. Susan tells Beth that the kids loved the laughing yoga, and also that she felt overwhelmed at being so isolated. Justin reads his poem to Beth, and he’s had it framed. The couples seem to end as friends.
Photos courtesy ABC.