Val Reads (and watches) Baby-Sitters Club #4: cats, camps, and cartilage.
(Or, awkwardly referencing Stacey's diabetes has been replaced with awkwardly referencing Jessi being black)
I would say that video is pretty accurate…
Mallory gets a steady job baby-sitting for a couple of twins. And boy are they cute: they dress alike and look alike. There is no way to tell them apart!
But soon Mallory learns that just because they are cute on the outside, doesn’t mean they’re cute on the inside. They are terrors! They throw off their name bracelets so no one can tell them apart, they speak in their own special twin language, and they switch places.
Mallory is ready to give up. They are too much trouble for her to handle.
But then she discovers a secret: the twins aren’t the same person.
They want to dress differently and have different interests. But no one else sees that. So she got back on their good side by buying them crappy but unique gifts at their birthday party.
With Mallory’s help the kids confront…I mean talk to…their mom and she allows them to go to the mall and buy new outfits.
Inspired, Mallory confronts…I mean talks to…her own parents and asks for a haircut and some earrings.
So the Baby-Sitters Club makes an event of it and everyone (well, everyone except Mary Anne and Kristy) get their ears pierced together. Because those who get holes in their ear together stay togther. Or something like that.
Sometimes someone who doesn’t have kids calls up the baby sitters club because they want an 11-13 year old girl to come to their house anyways.
But don’t worry. This particular time it was just a person who owned a zoo in their house trusts an 11 year old to take care of a bazillion animals for a week. When I was 11 I don’t think my parents even trusted me to feed my hamster. Whatever.
Jessi takes the job even though it’s the one week she has totally free from Baby-Sitting and dance lessons. But she’s getting paid a lot of money. And money trumps everything. So Jessi spends the week taking care of some dogs, cats, snakes, birds, rabbits, hamsters, and probably a llama or two.
Meanwhile, the club hates each other. Kristy is being bossy. The girls are fed up with their positions. They’ve had enough and they demand democracy! So they decide to have an election to impeach Kristy.
Mallory and Jessi are new to the club so they don’t want to take sides. But they are forced to. And this all makes Jessi super scared when one of the hamsters is sick (turns out, pregnant) and she has to miss the election to go to the vet.
It’s OK though, they reschedule. (Because despite the fact that they all are always baby sitting they always all seem to be free).
At the election each girl has to vote for who they want for each position. And in the end…everyone votes for everyone into the same positions! The girls learn a valuable life lesson here: every job sucks but it’s easier to stick with a sucky job you’re somewhat good at then try to learn a new job.
p.s. I just realized that the cover shows this bright cheerful house but I spent the whole time imagining it as a dark, smelly, overrun place a la Hoarders. I am guessing the version I had in my head was probably closer to the truth.
Dawn spends spring break in California. But don’t expect this to be all girls gone wild. She’s just visiting her dad and brother, going to Disneyland, and, of course, baby-sitting. Because who can go a whole two-week vacation without baby-sitting!
On the Disneyland thing, I really want to know what magical time frame these people live in. I mean, on a normal day these kids have time for school, meetings, baby-sitting, activities, and breathing. And in BSC land this time also means you can just get in and out of Disney and hope before 5 without wanting to kill anyone. Not that I’ve been to Disneyland since I was 5. But that just seems unrealistic.
While in California, Dawn hangs out with her former BFF Sunny at their version of the BSC — the We <3 Kids Club! And she gets to baby-sit her former favorite clients — Clover and Daffodil. Apparently to live in California you need to have a flower child name.
Dawn is having so much fun that she thinks she wants to stay in California for good! But then she comes to her senses, realizes that the IHKC is no where near as profitable as the BSC and that Connecticut is the place for her.
It’s Mother’s Day in Stoneybrook and the Baby-sitters Club wants to do something extra special for the moms in town. But what? After much brainstorming they decided to do what they do best: watch some kids for an afternoon. I mean, there’s no better way to celebrate being a mother than to have someone take away your kids for an afternoon, right? Though, if I had kids I’d probably want them to take them away permanently. But that’s just me.
Anyways, amidst all this planning Kristy’s mom is hinting around that she wants to have a baby and maybe is pregnant. Kristy is excited to have a new baby in the family, even though she thinks her mom is way too old at 37 to have a kid.
Because 37 is way too old.
But surprise! They are having a baby and they don’t even have to wait nine months — she’s coming from Vietnam! Now! The Thomas/Brewers and all of the Baby Sitters Club welcome Emily Michelle to their lives. A new sister! A new client! A new opportunity to point out someone’s race in every book!
Mary Anne’s beloved cat Tigger goes missing! She’s so upset she doesn’t know what to do! Emergency meeting of The Baby-Sitters Club to the rescue! Together the girls band together and make missing signs with a picture drawn by Claudia (in which she referenced photos of Tigger…umm…why not just use a photo then?) and a whopping $30 reward taken from baby-sitting salaries and club dues.
But one person isn’t being so helpful: Logan Bruno, Mary Anne’s boyfriend. He’s being snippy, not listening, and kind of being an all around bastard.
All the kids in the neighborhood want to help look for Tigger, but no one has any luck.There’s only one lead: a mysterious ransom note in her mailbox (what’s with Mary Anne and getting mysterious notes?). But that turns out to be from some random little kid who just wants to exploit some money. What is in the Stoneybrook water that produces these children?
Mary Anne fears the worst. Her poor cat might be dead! But, while baby-sitting for Logan’s siblings she hits a breakthrough: his sister has the cat hiding in her room! While Mary Anne is beyond happy to have her cat back, she’s furious at Logan — he must have known all along! That’s why he’s been such an ass lately.
But, as it turns out, Logan had no idea. He’s just been all consumed with the fact that he’s about to get kicked off the baseball team and is thinking of quitting before it happens. Which Mary Anne had no idea about. And then she doesn’t discourage him from quitting because she’s a girl and hey he’d have so much more time for her if he didn’t have baseball. She has her cat. She has her boyfriend. She has the BSC. She has everything a tween could ask for.
Special Bonus! The Baby-Sitters Club Movie!
I cancelled my Netflix account as soon as I binge watched Season two of Orange is the New Black in one weekend, but I still had a few weeks paid for. So, when I noticed that the 1995 The Baby-Sitters Club movie was a selection there I figured I should watch it and recap it for you. It’s like a live action Super-Special, y’all.
The main plot of the movie was that it was summer vacation and so the BSC decides to open a summer camp for all the kids they baby-sit for. Because nothing says summer fun like taking care of a huge bunch of children at once.
Of course, since there seven baby sitters there were at least seven sub plots. Well, five, the junior members Malory and Jessi didn’t do much besides deliver a witty line here and there. Let’s go sitter by sitter here…
Kristy’s deadbeat dad who left her family when she was young came back. But he doesn’t want Kristy telling anyone that he’s there. Especially her mom and including her brothers who he apparently doesn’t care about seeing at all? This causes a lot of tension because Kristy spends the whole summer lying, missing meetings, cutting out early, and being an awful friend. She even plans to miss her own birthday party because her dad wants to take her to a theme park instead. But, of course, he doesn’t show up and she gets locked in the theme park in the rain. As things go. And of course her friends find her on the side of the road and they all make up. As things go.
Besides trouble caused by having to lie to everyone for Kristy, Mary Anne has boyfriend trouble. BSC arch-nemesis Cokie Mason has her eye of MA’s BF Logan Bruno and she won’t stop tormenting the club until he is hers. She does things like get her friends to to distract Mary Anne while horseback riding so she can ask Logan to a Smashing Pumpkins concert (cue music: “let’s get busy” as she takes his arm — seriously) and throw a stinkbomb into their camp. But Logan is totally loyal to Mary Anne. Even if he blushes and giggles every time Cokie is around. They’re probably sleeping together behind her back. Which Super Special is that?
Claudia flunked science and has to go to summer school to make it up. If she doesn’t at least get a C, she has to quit the Baby-Sitters Club. As with everytime this becomes a threat the BSC goes into overdrive worrying about where they will have their meetings…I mean about their friend. They are worried about their friend. It doesn’t help that Kristy had promised to tutor Claudia but flaked out the whole summer. But the BSC comes to the rescue with…a song…about the brain, the brain, the center of the chain…which somehow magically helps Claudia know science and get a B-.
Dawn’s job in this movie is to take care of the crazy neighbor who is upset that a camp full of screaming children moved in next door and she’s had to deal with flying hamburgers, stink bombs, an uprooted flower garden, and screaming children. Turns out she’s lead a full life of traveling around the world and is now living in Stoneybrook yelling at children to get off her lawn. That’s going to be me, huh?
We’re saving Stacey’s storyline until last because it’s really the plot that makes the whole movie. Stacey is all set to baby-sit little Rosie when she’s told that little Rosie’s little Swiss cousin is in town. Turns out he’s not so little: he’s 17 and his name is Luca. And he doesn’t have an accent but he says “tsuss” once so that totally makes him European.
But Stacey is worried: she hasn’t told him she has diabetes! Or, you know, that she’s only 13.
Stacey and Luca go on a hiking date where Stacey passes out because she didn’t eat a muffin and he finds out the horrible diabetes truth! And, it’s like no big deal. But then they all go to New York together and he finds out the horrible truth that she’s 13! And then he yells “She’s 13!” a lot.
But then he comes to his senses and realizes hey, younger woman, and is totally fine with it. Which leads to one of the creepiest lines in Baby-sitters Club history:
“I’m coming back next summer.”
“I’ll be 14.”
Never mind that he’ll be 18.
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