The eldest of the eight children of exes Jon and Kate Gosselin, who have been famous for most of their lives thanks to Jon & Kate Plus 8, celebrated their milestone birthday on Saturday. While the twins probably spent the day eating cake and plotting out when they’ll go to the DMV for their learner’s permits, their parents took to Instagram — separately, of course, because they hate each other — to post birthday wishes.
Kate Gosselin, who still appears with the girls and the 12-year-old sextuplets in Kate Plus 8 on TLC, posted a cute throwback of the girls as chubby-cheeked, 5-month-old babies. Describing them as “two perfectly amazing girls,” she said she is “so thankful for them each and every day” and said she couldn’t “wait to celebrate” them.
It wasn’t until two days after their birthday — on Monday — that Jon posted his own message on Instagram. Along with a photo of himself with the smiley girls, who were about 4 or 5 at the time, he wrote, “Happy 16th Bday to Mady and Cara!!! … October 8, 2000 seems forever ago.”
Fans called out that the girls’ birthday was two days earlier, to which the reality-TV dad turned DJ (and part-time TGI Friday’s cook) replied, “Yes I didn’t want to have controversy.”
The controversy stems from the fact that Jon is estranged from the twins, who felt compelled to share that — and details of the dysfunction — in a recent People magazine cover story. (In the same article, Kate revealed that Collin, one of the sextuplets, is living in a residential facility to address his special needs.)
Mady, the more vocal of the sisters, said that it’s not that they’re not being kept from Jon — the explanation is that they don’t want to see him. “Here’s how I feel about this,” she said. “This year I’m going to turn 16. I’m going to be learning to drive, taking the PSATs, thinking about college… so much is going on in my life. And the last thing I have time for is a toxic relationship.”
She continued, “He makes it seem like we’re being kept from him, which is insane. He should maybe spend some time thinking about why we don’t want to see him, and maybe realize that if he ever does want a relationship with us, talking about us on TV is not the way to make that happen.”
In an interview with Yahoo in June, Jon told a different story. He said then that his ex-wife controls all the visits between him and his kids, that he only gets four at a time, and that he has no say over who comes to visit.
“Whoever comes through that gate… is who I get,” he said. “If the kids want to come, they come. I love them all, but I am going to focus on the ones that want to come. My hands are tied.”
Come January, we will get more insight into the family drama, when Kate and company return to the small screen for a fifth season of Kate Plus 8. Maybe by then these big kids will also be behind the wheel.