I spend a lot of time with kids for someone who does not have them. My husband, on the other hand, rarely interacts with children, so when we're out in public and there are tons of children around (like airports and parks), he tends to notice things that I don't. Recently, he asked me what had happened to kids' clothes, noting that the seven-year-olds around are all dressed like mini-adults. I brushed it off, chalking it up to the fact that the specific children he was mentioning might have trendy parents or something. Well, I checked out Target the other day, and was shocked - there are no "kids' clothes" as we knew them in the 1980s. Sure, there were tees with cartoon characters on them, but no duckie-printed sweatshirts or adorable dresses with tons of buttons and bows. I thought maybe it was the time of year... so I went online and browsed. Nope, the major retailers seem to be designing outfits for everyone over age 4 to look like small adults rather than adorable youngsters. I brought this up again, and he said he had also noticed that no children are wearing the puffy choo-choo trains or the circus-themed ensembles. But, somehow, Sue Heck manages to base her wardrobe on these ideas, even finding the items in the Juniors department! Anyone who regularly watches this series has probably noticed Sue's "interesting" fashion sense, but if you think about it, she is always channeling her inner six-year-old... but how is she fulfilling those visions??
The Glossners wanders into the Heck home when Sue leaves the door open, so when they have a minute, they leave a pop-tart trail to lead them out of the house... only for it to backfire when a third Glossner enters the house via the trail. [this really made me laugh.] Then, they flip off the power, but that somehow draws a fourth... a girl Glossner. The duo decide to pretend there's a fire, but the Glossners aren't afraid and stay inside, locking out Sue and Brick. [seriously??] They have no choice but to actually ask them to leave, and because one of the kids likes Sue, they do... and he kisses her on the way out. [whaaaaat?!?!?]
Axl's friends come to visit him at school, and they try to convince him to take a ten-hour road trip to see Cassidy. [I had forgotten about her!] They head toward New York, but Axl worries that she'll be with a new boyfriend when he arrives, so they turn around. On the way home, his friend suggests that it would still be romantic of Axl to appear, so they pull another 180. But, this makes Axl feel like a stalker... then miss her. Each of his friends is on a different side, so they stop at a diner to make a decision, where they get kicked out for stealing another table's onion rings. [who does that??!?] In the end, Axl heads back to campus. [awww.]
The Middle "The Christmas Tree" (S05E09): Axl is home for Christmas and promptly runs off to see his friends and play the new XBOX. Frankie wants Axl to do holiday activities with the family, like decorate the tree, but he only wants to spend about 2 hours with the group, so extreme bargaining needs to happen. [I remember what that was like the first few Christmases I came home from college!] The Hecks even get a huge tree, only to learn that Sue is allergic, so she wears a diving mask in the house. [hahaha!] When her arms are covered in hives, however, Mike kicks the tree to the curb, causing Sue to think that she has ruined Christmas. Sue insists the tree return, even if it means she has to stay in a separate room that is plastic-wrapped. Axl is invited to a bonfire on Christmas Eve, but he has to stay home and watch White Christmas... the German edition that Frankie accidentally purchased. [that's really funny! you gotta read the fine print on ebay!] Frankie explains what's going on to the family, but when she's not doing a good job, she decides to let Axl head out to see his friends. [I was really hoping that Cassidy would make a surprise appearance!] Mike quotes part of "Cat's in the Cradle" to explain what it's like for parents to have children grow up, and nearly tears up as Axl prepares to leave. [I've heard that song before but never thought about the message... sad but true!] Axl decides to stay and admire the tree from the front yard, which is the only place Sue can enjoy it. [but so very Heck!]
Brick got a booklight from selling wrapping paper... but he didn't actually sell it, he just brought home 20 rolls and will deal with paying the $97 later. [they give that stuff on credit now? It used to work the other way around... you had to take orders, collect the money, and then deliver the goods a month later!] Frankie has already used the paper, so she asks Brick to unwrap the gifts and put the paper back on the rolls. The quality isn't great, so he has to raise the money himself... but he takes on church popcorn in order to pay it back. [but if it's not returnable, why even bother unwrapping everything?] He then starts selling Boy Scout peppermint bark, getting himself in even deeper. Crockpot Cozies for the women's club solidify his Ponzi Scheme, but he thinks he has an out when he starts selling poinsettias that he took from the cemetery, as he doesn't owe anyone money for those. [first, I'd like to know how he sold more than one of those cozies! second, how did none of these organizations require a parent's signature to allow the child to participate?? also, I think there was a missed opportunity... with Brick having seen all of the presents, he could have been making multiple jokes about items that would be received shortly, and he never does.]