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‘Kate Plus 8’ Recap: Kate Gosselin Is Hurt That Son Collin Isn’t Home to Celebrate His Birthday

Kate Gosselin‘s fears have come true! On Kate Plus 8‘s Tuesday, November 29, episode, the (rather bedraggled) mom reflected on the fact that the sextuplets were turning 12. “The last year before the year of eight teenagers,” Kate mused somewhat to herself, but in front of a camera. “The year I’ve been dreading since they were all born.”

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As if this time weren’t challenging enough for the single mom, the family had just acquired two new puppies, Nanook and Mack. Nanook’s name had something to do with Eskimos, and Mack … Well, no one seemed to know where Mack’s name came from, but it hardly mattered (because, in case you forgot, the sextuplets were turning 12!).

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Determined to outdo herself, as she did every year, Kate set about planning an elaborate birthday party that included a scavenger hunt, a piñata, a terrifying clown (who was apparently a friend of a friend) and a money booth.

The Update on Collin

As Kate got busy planning the events of the day, she couldn’t help but feel a bit sad that Collin wasn’t there to enjoy the festivities. “I was not able with my own resources here to meet his needs,” she explained. “He needs to be in an environment to help him learn the skills and gain the insight to be the best Collin that he can be.” (ICYMI, Collin is seeking treatment away from home for behavioral issues.)

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Though she was insistent that she’d made the right decision, she admitted that a birthday party without Collin was “tough” for the kids and “tough for mom.” Still, however, the party must go on.

The Day Before

Kate’s master plan involved splitting the girls and boys into separate teams for the scavenger hunt. The clues would ultimate lead them to the event space where the main party would occur. Kate recruited Cara and Mady to help her decorate. They (begrudgingly) complied, but not without a few eye rolls and deep sighs. “I didn’t even know I was supposed to decorate until I got there,” Cara sulked. “Nobody tells me anything.”

After arguing with Kate briefly about whether the beleaguered mom was technically yelling at them or not (she wasn’t yelling, but she definitely had a displeased tone to her voice), the two older girls got with the program and somehow the decorating was behind them. Ultimately, Mady announced they “slayed” the decorating. This was the most enthusiasm she showed for anything related to the party.

A Bunch of Scavengers

The morning of the party, Kate gave rather detailed instructions to a group of tweens who were barely listening. They got the general idea, however, and set out on the hunt. Kate had forgotten to hide the second clue, but managed to get it in place at the 11th hour by sending all of the kids around the back of the house for a minute with Andrea, the poor woman who drove the other “BBB” (big black bus).

The hunt mainly consisted of stopping off at local businesses owned by parents of the kids’ friends. There was some beef jerky involved, and a nail salon and one lone clown standing on a street corner. The person in the clown suit was also a friend of a friend (or something) — it wasn’t entirely clear how that poor soul had gotten roped into this job.

There were more girls than boys, so Kate gave the boys a head start (plus, she clearly had more confidence in the girls’ reasoning abilities), which ended up backfiring because the girls lost. As they headed inside the party venue, Kate gave some sage advice to the disappointed ladies. “Inside, you can think the most horrible things you want … but outside you say, ‘Good game,'” she explained.

Kate, Cara and Mady, Collin, Hannah, Joel, Aaden, Leah, and Alexis Gosselin

You’re Never Too Young to Love a Money Booth

The actual event took place at Goggle Works. The kids enjoyed beating a piñata to death, snapping pics in a photo booth with their friends and grabbing up dollar bills in a money booth. The money booth was, by far, the biggest hit at the soiree.

Mady helped the kids exchange their bills for prizes and was (as usual) unimpressed. “I ran the prize table,” she explained. “They all did really well, especially when they cheated. They all wanted to count their money on the prize table, so it turned into me counting money because 12-year-olds can’t count.”

Then they sang “Happy Birthday,” and Kate got sad thinking about Collin again. “Singing to everyone as a group, and Collin wasn’t there — it grabbed me,” she reflected. “But overall I was comforted knowing that each of my children are receiving what they need.”

Tell Us: Are you surprised that Kate opened up about Collin missing his birthday?

Kate Plus 8 airs on TLC Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

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