Val Reads Baby-Sitters Club #2: Boys, Brains, and Bad-Behavior. (Or, The Baby-Sitters Club Can Sound Like Porn Out Of Context)

by Val Bromann  :::  02-10-2014  :::  Comments (6)

All the Babysitter's Club books

After a year-long hiatus, I’m back in business with my life goal of reading every Baby-Sitters Club book ever written. In order. From the start. I was stuck for a while because, while I had a few books in the series, I didn’t have number 5. And because of that, I couldn’t move on. (And, you know, there was that little fact that I was traveling most of the year and couldn’t fit an entire library of Baby-Sitters Club books in my backpack…) My sister’s friend became aware of my goal and, a few weeks ago, donated a box of her old copies to me…almost every single book in the series! I’m still missing a few of them but I can officially get back to reading. And, you know what I realized? The Baby-Sitters Club totally relates more to my life as a 33-year old than I ever would have thought…

 

 

Baby-Sitters Club 5 - Dawn and the Impossible Three

The Baby-Sitters Club #5: Dawn and the Impossible Three

When we left off, Dawn, the new girl from California, was officially asked to join the Baby-Sitters Club! And that can only mean one thing: she gets her name in a book title! I guess that just gave Kristy (the club’s president) another thing to be jealous of. Not only is Dawn helping her best friend Mary Anne redecorate her room but now she’s gone and got her name in a title? Sheesh.

But Dawn is about to get what’s coming to her with her new charges, the Barretts. The mom is unorganized, leaves the wrong contact numbers, leaves the house, and her kids, a complete mess. Dawn ends up baby-sitting them nearly every day and going above and beyond her normal duties by having to clean the house. And then…one of the children gets kidnapped! Luckily, it turns out that it was just the child’s divorced father who is angry at the mom because she forgot it was his day with the kids. In the end Dawn musters up all her twelve year old courage to tell the mom she’s being a neglectful bitch (or something to that effect…) and even Kristy seems to be warming up to the new girl in town.

(Side story: in one section a neighbor all the kids thinks is a witch comes by to ask if they have any fennel she can borrow…who the hell asks to borrow fennel???)

 

Memorable Quotes

Kristy and Mary Anne think boys are dumb. Stacey and Claudia love them. I’m deciding.

I think the barn-smell comes mostly from the hay.

One day a world leader pokes another world leader in the ribs and says, “Nyah, nyah, nyah.” The second world leader begins to cry, and suddenly their countries are fighting each other.

“Okay, everybody, why don’t you pose on the bed,” suggested Jeff.

 

Life Lesson

Don’t have kids if you can’t handle them. Seriously, if you’re just going to leave them with a baby-sitter, turn them against their father, forget everything, never clean them, leave your house in shambles, and only take care of yourself, you probably shouldn’t be having kids.

 

 

Baby-Sitters Club 6 - Kristy's Big Day

The Baby-Sitters Club #6: Kristy’s Big Day

The day is finally here: Kristy’s mom is getting married…much sooner than expected! She was planning a September wedding three months away (which, is pretty tight to plan a wedding in the first place…) but now her house has sold so she has to instead get married in just two and a half weeks because lord knows you can’t cohabitate out of wedlock. Even though Kristy is anxious over her mom getting married to some rich jerk and having to move across town, she’s also excited because she gets to be a bridesmaid and wear a nice dress and heels (even though Kristy has never cared about clothes) and, more importantly, because she gets to milk all the parents coming for her business.

Because the wedding is so soon, a lot of her relatives are coming in early to help out…relatives with small children of course. And they need taking care of while the adults get shit done. So Kristy has yet another brilliant idea, why don’t all the baby sitters take care of them at once. Because nothing says good idea like a handful of twelve year olds taking care of fourteen children for a week.

But, alas, none of the kids died and Kristy’s mom married a millionaire and Kristy got to wear high heels. Which is, really, about as much as you can hope for in life.

 

Memorable Quotes

He made a horrible Halloween face.

Planning a wedding is like having a baby.

If Claudia wasn’t Japanese, she’d look like Madonna, too.

 

Life Lesson

It’s OK to have sex before marriage. It will save you a lot of stress of planning a wedding when your house sells faster than expected and you’re forced to move in together. No one thinks you’re a virgin if you’re already divorced with three kids anyways. But use a condom because the last thing you need is to bring more kids into the world for this club to take care of. And you might have to get married sooner than you thought then anyways.

 

 

Baby-Sitters Club 7 - Claudia and Mean Janine

The Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine

Claudia is into art, fashion, mystery novels, and baby sitting. Her sister, Janine, is into school, homework, and her computer. They have nothing in common. And Claudia feels like her parents favor her sister because she is more serious. When their grandmother, Mimi, has a stroke, Claudia steps up: rearranging art classes, opting out of the Baby-Sitter’s club’s summer play group, making dinner, and spending time helping her grandmother to get better. Janine doesn’t seem to care. And that just causes more tension between the sisters. But what no one realizes is that Janine wants to help out. She doesn’t need to study all the time, she could ditch a class or two, she could help with dinner, but no one ever asks. Janine thinks Claudia is the favorite! After things escalate and a fight or two breaks out, the sisters finally sit down and talk. Maybe they can get along after all? Maybe.

 

Memorable Quotes

Janine, quite possibly, doesn’t know what boys are.

Stacey’s from New York where it’s OK to be wild.

 

Life Lesson

“Time is change.” Mimi says this to Claudia near the end of the book. Summers end. Friends move. People get sick. You change your mind about people. And you can’t expect things to stay the same forever. Good or bad.

 

 

Baby-Sitters Club 8 - Boy-Crazy Stacey

The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey

The Pikes, a family of ten and regular customers of The Baby-Sitters Club are going to the Jersey Shore for two weeks. The parents, realizing they’re about to take eight children to a playground of beaches, mini golf, arcades, and junk food decide that they should tote along two “mothers helpers” to unload the kids on so they can go have some adult fun on their own. Of course, every member of The Baby-Sitters Club wants to go, but only two are available: Stacey and Mary Anne.

While Stacey is excited for the adventure she’s also a little weary of going with Mary Anne, they don’t have much in common and Mary Anne doesn’t even like boys so they won’t have anything to talk about. But almost as soon as they arrive in Sea City Stacey forgets all about her problem with Mary Anne…and the fact that she’s supposed to be babysitting…because she is in “luv.” Scott, a blonde tanned hunk of a lifeguard who is the totally appropriate for 13-year old Stacey age of 18, is stationed right outside the beach house they’re staying at. He obviously is in “luv” with Stacey too: he asks her to bring him sodas and make him sandwiches and calls her cutie and love. All totally appropriate things for an 18 year old to say to a 13 year old.

Mary Anne is a bit pissed off at Stacey, who is completely ignoring her and her duties, leaving her to do nothing but sunburn, take care of all the kids herself, and get to know a male mothers helper who is sharing the beach. And then, one their night off, all Stacey wants to do is find a present for the lifeguard. Finally, she finds a perfect heart shaped box of chocolate, just as Mary Anne spots Scott kissing an age-appropriate girl! Stacey is crushed.

But she gets over it really quickly when she realizes that just because a boy asks her to bring him sodas she stole from her charges refrigerator it doesn’t mean he loves her. And because the mothers helper Mary Anne’s been talking with has a cute age-appropriate friend.

On their last night in Sea City, the girls go on a double date and now both of them are in love! Mary Anne likes boys? Who knew!

 

Memorable Quotes

She thinks I’m looney tunes.

I’m in luv.

It was skimpy (and we’re talking very skimpy).

They sound desperate. Off with your clothes.

The lifeguard of my dreams.

But girls aren’t supposed to ask guys out.

 

Life Lesson

Just because a boy pays attention to you doesn’t mean he likes you. Stacy, at 13, realizes that just because Scott asked her to bring him sodas it didn’t mean he was in love with her. I, at 33, still have trouble sometimes realizing that just because a guy has sex with me doesn’t mean he wants to talk to me the next day. It’s a fact of life that sometimes, even if you know, you kind of don’t.

 

 

Baby-Sitters Club 9 - The Ghost at Dawn's House

The Baby-Sitters Club #9: The Ghost at Dawn’s House

When Dawn came to Stoneybrook she moved into a super old house and, according to a Nancy Drew book she read, all super old houses come with secret passageways. The Baby-Sitters Club spends an afternoon knocking on her walls and pulling on molding trying to find one, but, alas, all they end up doing is scaring themselves.

Dawn still in convinced there is one and, one day while hanging out in the barn she falls through the floor and discovers there really is a secret passage! Not only that, but it leads directly to her bedroom! Now, if I was her, I would keep my trap shut and never tell mom because once she hits high school and she decides whether or not she likes boys, having a secret passage way out of…and in to…her bedroom would pretty much be the best thing ever. But she eventually has to tell her mom about it because she becomes pretty convinced that there is a ghost inside leaving old pennies and peanut shells and moaning all night. She’s a little scared.

She’s also a little scared while baby-sitting the Pikes. These hippy new age parents don’t believe in giving their kids rules so their children are allowed to leave the house and go wherever they please (well within a two block radius, but come on…) without telling anyone. To be clear: a child in the neighborhood recently got kidnapped and these kids are allowed to leave the house and not tell anyone where they are going. This sounds like totally legit parenting.

But anyways. When their boy Nicky keeps completely disappearing, it scares Dawn and she thinks he has to be going outside of the two block radius…or maybe he’s just found a loophole and is trespassing into a secret passageway and leaving peanut shells…

Dawn solves the mystery of where Nicky is hiding and figures out why there is fresh food and noises coming from the passageway. But that doesn’t explain why there are noises at night… But, come on, dealing with a ghost is totally worth it for the freedom of being to sneak out whenever you want to.

 

Memorable Quotes

The barf bag is now sitting on his bureau at home.

You’d think the airplane was the highlight of our trip.

I want to sleep with you tonight.

Kristy admitted (but only to herself and later to the rest of us baby-sitters) that she was glad they wanted to sleep with her.

Lucy was an angle.

She waited for Jamie to raise his arms so she could slip his shirt off.

 

Life Lesson

“Being afraid always makes things worse than they really are.” Mary Anne says that to Dawn. Because she used to be afraid of boys and found out that they aren’t so bad. Because she was afraid of making new friends and found that that was easy. I am afraid of a lot of things and sometimes I confront them. Sometimes I don’t. Usually I don’t.

 

 

Baby-Sitters Club 10 - Logan Likes Mary Anne!

The Baby-Sitters Club #10: Logan Likes Mary Anne!

If we’ve learned one thing about The Baby-Sitters Club it is that Kristy is always having ideas and they are always (at least in her mind…) brilliant. Now Kristy has decided that, even though they already seem to do nothing but baby sit, the club needs to advertise more and get more clients. So they flyer her new neighborhood and stake out a PTA meeting. The problem is, the plan works too well: Claudia is getting non-stop calls from new customers.

During an emergency meeting at lunch a new boy in school, Logan Bruno, approaches them: he was a baby sitter back in Kentucky, so maybe he could join. A boy? In The Baby-Sitters Club? The girls are nervous, especially Mary Anne. Her newfound boy-craziness has set it’s sights on his pop-star looks and his cute southern accent (let’s face it, an accent makes anyone hotter.) Despite some apprehension, they invite him to a meeting where they awkwardly have to avoid saying words like “bra strap.”

They decide to let Logan take on a job, with Mary Anne there to observe how he does. Despite it going well, he says he doesn’t want to join…but he does want to take Mary Anne to the Remember September dance (why do we need to remember September?). Mary Anne is so excited — the boy she likes likes her! But she’s also curious as to why he doesn’t want to join their club.

After the dance, things are going great for the two of them…until all her friends decide to throw a surprise birthday party for her! Mary Anne is shy. She doesn’t like being the center of attention. So, when they bring out a birthday cake and presents at what’s just supposed to be a run of the mill boy girl party, she runs all the way home…and is so embarrassed. She doesn’t think her friends, or Logan, will ever talk to her again.

The next day she works up the nerve to ask her dad for a cat (he agrees to get her one), apologizes to Logan (he accepts and knows now that she’s opening up that things can work for them), and apologizes to her friends (who were worried she hated them).

Oh, and Logan didn’t want to join the club because he never wanted to hear the words bra strap again. Sounds pretty much like a typical guy.

 

Memorable Quotes

It’s nice to know boys aren’t aliens from the planet Snorzak or something.

I, um, got a bra yesterday.

Claudia had almost said bra strap in front of a boy.

No girl has ever fooled around with me like that.

 

Life Lesson

“If you could just open up more…people would have a much easier time getting to know you.” It’s a hard thing being a shy little introvert sometimes. I can’t tell people how I feel. I’m afraid to have my own opinion. Mary Anne realized that Logan almost didn’t think it would work because she was too timid. It’s a hard life to live sometimes.

 

 

All the Babysitter's Club books

 

 

 

Why yes, “read every Babysitters Club Book” is number 154 on my life list. I’ll recap them as I read them, which may be few and far between, but you can follow the progress here.

 

This page contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission.

 

6 comments
Add Comment

  1. 02/10/2014 at 7:06 pm

    H-Bombarino says:


    Logan likes Mary Anne was totes my fave growing up. I was really upset when I didn’t meet the boy of my dreams on the first day of 8th grade.

     


    • 02/10/2014 at 8:11 pm

      Val says:


      That was such a good one! I met the boy of my dreams in like 7th grade but he did not think I was the girl of his dreams. :-( Story of my life. I am really looking forward to getting to the Super Specials! Those are the ones I remember most.

       


  2. 02/11/2014 at 9:57 am

    Priya says:


    AHHH! I remember reading these… in the 4th grade. I was obsessed. I’d read them all of the time. You make me want to read them again!
    Priya recently posted…Priya’s Travel Announcement: I’m Moving To Australia

     


    • 02/11/2014 at 11:49 am

      Val says:


      They are so much fun to read! I read them when I was young and was obsessed too. You should read them again now…some of it is a little hokey, but they stand up! :-)

       


  3. 02/16/2014 at 8:38 am

    Ali says:


    Val, this is hilarious! Totally made me laugh. I read all those books when I was a kid and LOVED them. I can only imagine how ridiculous they must sound now as an adult. I need to go back now and read your reviews of books 1-4, I must’ve missed that one.
    Ali recently posted…Scenes From Berlin

     


    • 02/16/2014 at 9:35 am

      Val says:


      The first one I did was over a year ago – so that’s why you missed it. It took forever for me to get book 5 to move on, but now I have almost ALL of them! :-) They are fun and a bit ridiculous to read now :-)

       

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