Cover your knees and throw all your responsibilities onto an older, unmarried sibling—it’s time for another episode of Counting On!
This week, the Duggars celebrate Jana and John-David’s belated 28th birthday. (Basically, they needed a storyline that didn’t somehow involve a wedding or a child shooting out of a Dug). We will also get to watch as Jinger and Jeremy tour a birthing center like the rebels they are (#NoHomeToiletBirthForJinger). Finally, we’ll see Lauren shop for the perfect wedding dress that will complement Josiah’s hand-me-down suit on their big day.
This week’s episode kicks off in Texas where Jinger and Jeremy are checking out a potential birthing center. Jinger says that, although her mom and sisters are big fans of throwing a mattress on the floor and pushing out the next generation of Duggar moochers at home, she’s not havin’ it. She actually wants to actually give birth in a place that’s equipped with more than just Jill and the baby Doppler gadget she picked up at a garage sale.
While wandering through the birthing center, Jing and Jerm check out the lux accommodations. Jinger would have the choice to plop out her kid in a large jacuzzi tub (romantical!), on a birthing stool (glamorous!) or lying down in a bed that looks like it belongs in the Laura Ashley (circa 1992) home goods showroom! (Again, anything beats Joy’s dirty closet mattress or Anna’s commode birth!)
To show Jinger (who is already squeamish about the whole birthing process) just how to use these tools, the midwife—and Jeremy— take the ol’ birthing stool for a spin, while Jinger politely looks on.
Seeing Jeremy “riding” that birthing stool like Maximo the Mechanical Bull will probably prolong Jing from procreating Baby #2 any time soon. Yikes…
Next, we head to Colorado where a literal coach-bus full of Duggars has arrived to celebrate Jana and John-David’s birthdays… after Jana tends to all of the children, unloads the luggage and bakes herself a birthday cake, of course.
Speaking of Joy, she has come along for the ski trip with Austin and the baby. She looks positively joyless as she explains that she can’t ski because she has to take care of the baby.
If only Baby Motel Bible had another parent who could take turns with Joy caring for the baby so she could take a turn skiing!
Austin, of course, gets to ski all the live-long day. He happily ditches Joy and the baby to hit the slopes. He probably figures it’s good for Joy to refrain from skiing so she can save her energy for the hardwood floor installation that he’s going to have her do when they get home.
The Dugs have rented a giant (“Duggar head-sized”) cabin to stay in. In addition to the Forsyths, Ben and Jessa (as well as Henry and The Spurge) are along for the free trip, as are some of the no-name boy Duggars and the younger kids. Jana’s trusty pal Laura, as well as a couple rando friends have also come along. And, of course, Jim Bob and Michelle are right there, with their mugs front and center.
Jill and Derick are nowhere to be seen, of course. Poor Jill is probably back in Arkansas, crying over a frying pan full of her disgusting culinary specialties, wondering what the hell happened to her life.
After settling into the lodge, the Duggars head off to enjoy some dinner (aka chicken tenders and fries.) While the Dugs are all chowing down (after all, you can’t lick the plate until you eat all of your food!) Jim Bob takes an opportunity to draw attention to himself by pretending to care about Jana and John-David.
(Was anyone else surprised that he even knew their names? I’d always assumed that he just refers to Jana as “the one that changes the diapers” and John-David as “the one with the plane.”)
Ma and Pa Duggar bring Jana and John-David up in front of the family (and the other restaurant patrons who weren’t scared off by the plate-licking Duggar herd). They bust out the speech they use any time one of the kids they don’t know much about has a birthday, talking about how “special” and “precious” Jana and John-David are.
This is the perfect time for the producers to ask random Duggars random questions about Jana and John-David.
Josiah is up first and he decides to disclose that growing up, the family had a joke that Jana and John-David were actually identical twins and Jana just grew her hair out longer. (First of all, those two look nothing alike and, second…poor Jana is still probably staring at her hairline in the mirror to this damn day, wondering if she really does look like John-David!)
Jessa says Jana was talkative when they were little, where John-David was on the quiet side. (We know now that he was probably just silently taking inventory of possible things to blow up).
After an obnoxious Duggar rendition of “Happy Birthday,” Michelle concludes with a library-voiced “and many more,” which is coincidently the same mantra she had after giving birth to these Jana and John-David.
The next day, the Duggars hit the slopes! We immediately notice that the girls are wearing snow pants without skirts over top of them! Shockingly, the bowels of hell didn’t open up right there on the bunny slope and swallow these heathens whole for going skirt-less!
Jessa explains that they’re rocking skirt-less ensembles on this outing because some activities aren’t denim-skirt friendly, with skiing being one of them.
The youngest Duggar girls are gleefully skiing down the mountain, feeling the freedom that being able to move your legs apart can bring. Josie turns out to be a really good skier, which makes us wonder what other activities she could excel at, if she weren’t damned to wear a long denim skirt for the rest of her life!
Back in Texas (and fresh off the birthing stool) Jinger and Jeremy are finding out the gender of their baby. During the ultrasound, they learn that their “little one” weighs almost a pound, and, thanks to Jeremy, may have dodged getting the Duggar big head.
They also find out that they’re having a baby girl, which they plan to reveal to their families later on—aka when they need another storyline this season.
Back on the slopes, the Duggars are showing off their ski skills. Of course, though, Ben sucks at skiing…and basically everything else. He’s falling all over the place, as Jessa stands over him, barking orders to “teach” him how to ski properly.
The producers ask who the best skier in the family is. Most people say Josie, except for Austin who, of course, deems himself the best Duggar skier.
We’re then treated to a fun compilation of Ben eating the snow over and over and over again, all while Jessa coaches him like he’s a toddler.
Despite being showed up by the little Duggars, Ben is determined to have a good time because he’s a good sport. (And also because if he cries, Jessa won’t let him stay up past 8 p.m. that night.)
Eventually, Ben is able to get himself up on the skies, all while the younger Duggar girls shade the holy hell out of him for sucking so bad at skiing.
Meanwhile, poor Joy is left alone in the cabin to care for Baby Motel Bible.
She looks miserable (and kind of like she hasn’t showered in a week). The only time she gets to be a part of the group is when the family storms the cabin for lunch, and even then, she’s still responsible for the baby as Austin slops down his feed.
The producers ask Joy and Austin what it’s like to take care of a newborn on a vacation. Austin just looks at Joy because—for the love of Jim Bob—we know that a man would never have to do that! Joy says it’s “fun”… with all the enthusiasm one would have when describing being prepped for a colonoscopy.
That night, the older Duggar kids (and the rando friends) have some good, old-fashioned fun by playing a Jana- and John-David-themed game of charades. The players will be acting out things related to either Jana or JD. (So…is it babysitting and chores for Jana, and explosives and mono-toned speaking for John David?)
Even Joy is allowed to participate in the festivities. (Apparently, though, she’s not allowed to participate in the showering because…well, she still looks like she fell off a dump truck. Hit the showers, girl!)
After poorly drawing things like renovation, constable, Jana, chicken-coop and taking flight, the game wraps up and John David’s team takes the win. For some reason, the producers try to throw him under the bus by accusing him of cheating, because even they are starting to feel bad for Jana at this point.
Who needs independence from your cult-like family when you can add the title of Birthday Charade Champ 2018 to your non-existent resumé!
We later move on to the required scene where Lauren goes wedding dress shopping. She’s brought plenty of Dugs with her to “ooh” and “aah,” as well as a whole heap of her own family members. She’s even brought her dad along. (I can’t imagine that guy wanting to be on camera! Go figure!)
Lauren is on the hunt for something beaded, crepe and most importantly: modest. Lauren vetoes the first dress she tries on because it has too much lace for her taste and is too puffy for her to give Si an appropriate first kiss/front hug.
Lauren specifically tells the bridal consultant she doesn’t want anything lace or puffy, so the bridal consultant proceeds to bring up two more dresses that are extra lacy and super puffy.
Um…? Miss Renee would have never tolerated crap like this!
Lauren ultimately goes with a beautiful yet simple dress that covers 94 percent of her entire body—just the way she and God intended—though she announces that she plans to “fix” it by adding some ill-fitting cap sleeves and some fabric to the back so that no skin is exposed.
Next time on ‘Counting On,’ Joe and Kendra do a hospital test run to ensure they don’t welcome their blessing in the front seat of Joe’s pickup truck, while Jinger and Jeremy treat everyone to a gender reveal that doesn’t require TLC to hand out safety waivers first.
To read our recap of the previous episode of ‘Counting On,’ click here!