Man, could this episode start off more annoyingly? To be fair, I'm trying to quit smoking this week, so there are a lot -- a lot -- of things that irritate holy hell out of me right now. Still, even if I were sipping my second or third margarita and chain-smoking an entire carton of Marly Lights, there's just no way SuperMom could fail to annoy me as she tries make up for countless episodes of ignoring the twins by getting them to cheer about their upcoming birthday celebration. The closed captioner doing this episode optimistically captions one of the twins as saying, "Yay," but I think it's a stretch. Of course they're finding it hard to talk; they're a year old! One more shouted "yay" out of you, Annie, and I'll poke you till you fall off your chair. All I can say is that if I make it through this recap without buying a pack of smokes, I probably don't have to worry about being able to stay away from cigarettes for good.
While I'll admit that the women in my family are not noted for an excess of maternal spirit, my mom and sister are both good mothers, and I'd like to think I could be a good mom one day too. I'd also like to think I'd do some of the things Annie's done for her children, like defend them against nasty teachers or unfair principals. I'll tell you what I won't do, though -- I won't try to guilt people into buying gifts for my kids, even if the people I'm guilting are family members. That's in bad taste no matter what the circumstances. I've been to enough first-birthday parties to know that, generally, the best part of the gift for the recipient is the box, especially if it's colourfully wrapped and has some glittery ribbons on it that the child can play with (while supervised). I also know that the odds of the guest of honour having his feelings hurt because someone has failed to mark the occasion of his first birthday with a present are extremely slim. So if Annie's gonna openly hassle the family members about providing gifts for the twins, she might as well tell them the real reason she wants the gifts: so that she will get to open them and feel appreciated.
Ruthie is pissed because the twins' birthday falls on Valentine's Day, and she doesn't want the birthday interfering with the sanctity of VD. Whatever. Annie claims the birth of the twins was a sacred event. I think it was more of a weird, going-along-with-the-crowd decision, since apparently no television show can be considered complete these days unless there's a baby on it. Whatever to that, too. Annie chastises Ruthie for not appreciating the twins more, and Ruthie behaves insolently. Then, as Ruthie runs up the stairs, Annie calls out that she better be getting the twins a gift. Ugh -- once more, with feeling: Whatever!