I'm totally spamming you guys with snarks. I’m a masochist, apparently, because I’m snarking a Jessi book next. I think in each of the three snarks I’ve done thus far, I’ve found her irritating even in the background. And she wasn’t even putting in “wangst.” Without further adieu, time for an odyssey!...of BSC proportions.
Um, Jessi looks like she’s about to head off to college and is debating with Aunt Cecelia about living in the dorms or something. No way does she look eleven. As for her outfit…suitably 80s . Aunt Cecilia looks a hell of a lot better than in those horrendous pictures in the new edition book where you see Jessi’s family in the back of the book. She doesn’t look like a smelly old lady. Cute earrings. Becca actually looks young, and a hell of a lot younger than THREE years less than Jessi. Looks like a ten year age difference here. Squirt looks cute in his feetie pajamas and thankfully does not suffer from age acceleration in Stoneybrook (i.e. he doesn’t look like a five-year-old in a high chair). Not much else to say except that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Aunt Cecilia’s trying to spoon-feed Jessi.
This was my favorite Jessi book growing up, for some reason. Probably because it’s slightly less boring than most of her other books. Jessi Ramsey, Pet-Sitter gets my vote as most boring book at least from my POV as a kid. Never got into it.
We begin with a HORRENDOUS phonetic rendition of Mme Noelle. “Donce” is one thing, but I studied French and majored in English so it pains me to see bastardizations of both languages such as “fifs pozeetion.” In another worthy piece ready to be submitted to the Newberry Honor Medal Commission, we continue on to “See Spot Run” style as Jessi introduces herself and her personality traits. For someone “exhausted” from her lessons, she sure asks a fuckton of enthusiastic questions when her dad picks her up. “Why are you picking me up instead of Mom?” “OMG, is everyone ok?” “Why’d you leave work early?” “Why are things different today?” “CHOCOLATE?” Then in instance #31231 of wanting to slap someone, she responds, “Goody!” because her dad bought treats for a celebration. If she hadn’t said she was a sixth-grader, I would have guessed second grader from these first few pages, sans the strenuous ballerina lessons that are already suspect for an eleven-year-old.
Jessi talks about how Oakley is mixed and Stoneybrook is pretty much white. She mentions the prejudice that occurred when she moved there. I know they got ignored and one lady didn’t want her kid hanging out with Becca, but the “hateful comments” and “teasing” directly at the family I must not remember or missed. I remember the stupid ass “Mobobwee” comment, but that was by Mallory’s friends who seemed to like shitalking behind others’ backs. Anyway, this book is better about the whole thing by going over it briefly and not making black a personality trait like most Jessi depictions.
Jessi guesses the celebration is a promotion, then goes “PREGNANT?!” She squees about maybe them having another boy to make it even. She aspires to be Mallory so much she wants her family to grow to Pike size, apparently! We get this little random gem, if you can call it that, thrown in: “We had won a trip to DisneyWorld. Or maybe Texas. I had always wanted to see Texas.” Huh? I just found that randomly amusing. Then she wonders if her dad is lying about the baby. She even tells Becca that their mother is probably pregnant. Face palm x 10000000
At dinner, shit gets real. It’s not a baby, it’s a job! Mom is going back to work. But this means…Aunt Cecilia is moving in to take care of Squirt. Reaction from the girls: “Nooooooooooooooooooo.” I love the next paragraph: “Aunt Cecilia is awful. I can’t tell you how many things are wrong with her.” Does she beat children and eat them? “She may be Daddy’s older sister, but she smells funny.” That’s right. Bad smell> family. I guess this means my uncle can’t come to visit anymore. “Bad perfume, probably.” How astute. And at least it’s better than B.O. Jessi probably doesn’t get B.O. quite yet, but she’ll learn. Huhuhu. “And she is bossy and mean and thinks Mama and Daddy don’t raise Becca and Squirt and me right.” HERE we go. These are unshallow reasons to dislike someone. I would be pissed if someone was talking shit about my parents’ skills and nosing in on our business. Besides, what does she find wrong about their upbringing? In comparison to the Pikes who starve their kids and pump out babies at lightning speed and Watson and Elizabeth not treating their children and stepchildren equally, the Ramseys don’t seem to be the crackheads, here. “She thinks they let us run wild, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.” She thinks they let Squirt run around wild? I have this hilarious image of him running around downtown smoking a cigarette.
She explains that Becca got stranded on the island in that book I haven’t read. First, she gets mad that Jessi is watching Squirt while they’re away. “She thought something was seriously wrong with our family.” That is pretty bitchy to go that far, I have to agree. Even worse, she blames Jessi for the sailing incident. Um, why? Her parents gave permission, not her. That just sounds really irrational. Damn Jessi for dating Poseidon then dumping his ass and causing him to get mad and create high winds and shit! We do learn that Aunt Cecilia is a widow who recently lost her husband, so she’s got emotional baggage. I feel bad for her when it says she had to leave her Oakley house and move somewhere else because the old house with her husband had too many memories. Jessi segways straight from this to: “Aunt Cecilia: Bossy, strict, mean.” She doesn’t seem very sympathetic to her aunt’s loss, but family drama can cause people to focus on other things. Jessi continues that she and Becca can’t stand her! (Which has been drilled into our heads repeatedly, at this point). She also balks at the idea of having a baby-sitter, saying she’s too old and responsible. As a kid, I totally sided with Jessi. “Yeah, she’s a baby-sitter! STFU, Aunt Cecilia!” But eleven is really young. As much as she can be immature, I think she doesn’t need to be baby-sat herself since she’s proven herself to be responsible with siblings. However, it sounds like a great idea to have someone watching Squirt so that her mother can go out and have a job to support the family. And let’s face it, the stay at home life is not one size fits all. I have a little over a month to go til I get to start my job and have been unemployed since graduation in early May. I am BORED OUT OF MY MIND even though I spent most of college whining about not having time to write. Staying at home all the time would bug me to no end, and I bet even more so if I had others to support. So I can’t blame the Ramseys. I do have to question how long Aunt Cecilia plans on living with them, though, because Squirt can’t start school for years. Anyway, Becca and Jessi freak out when they’re alone. Jessi, who is “a responsible baby-sitter” suggests putting a fake spider on Aunt Cecilia’s bed and putting shaving cream in her slippers. JESSI, WHAT HAPPENNED TO BEING MATURE AND TRUSTWORTHY? She just bitched that Aunt Cecilia doesn’t trust her and then suggests playing immature pranks. The shaving cream thing is RANK, too, because that sounds like a bitch to clean up. Becca suggests honey in the hairbrush, which is also terrible to do to someone. Jessi sort of had my support because of the responsibility she built up, but then ruined it right there.
She and Becca come up with a huge list of pranks to pull and admits they are “very mean.” Yes, you’re pranking a widow who is dealing with emotional trauma and loneliness, Jessi. And you know how mean you’re being. Shame on you. I would be mad at her opinions of my family, but this is a stupid way to justify yourself. Anyway, ol’ Jessi gets depressed (yes, end of the world) and then calls Mallory to chat. Nicky strings her along for a few minutes and then goes “Herp, not here after all.” Jessi says to tell her that it’s a matter of life and death so to call back ASAP. Wait until these girls get pimples. I predict very inappropriate uses of 911. “Operator- there’s something red and painful on my face…what do you mean it’s not an emergency, I’ve got a date tomorrow! You clearly don’t understand how important the Stoneybrook Sock Hop is!” Also, this is just a bigger way of showing how immature she is. Jessi then puts a sign on her door: “Keep out (please) this means you. Privacy Needed (Thank you for your Cooperation).” Time Out. Ann obviously personally selected Ellen Miles and Suzanne Weyn because of their shared love of parentheses. Second, this sign could be way more concise. Just write “please knock” or “Please Stay out, busy). It sounds like she got scared so just added please and thank you to it. “Mal thinks the sign is dumb.” Mallory deserves a cookie. “She thinks the sign should say ‘Stay out or else.’” Never mind, Mal, you only get tofu bean dip.
“One reason I think Mallory is my best friend is because of how much I like her family.” This is the weirdest thing I have ever heard. She loves how relaxed the Pikes are but still, I choose my friends for themselves, not their families. We also hear that Mallory talked Jessi into keeping a journal. I think that’s something you need to want to do to have any heart in it, but Jessi lurves Mallory and wants to be like her (which, after snarking #59, is really sad to me). Even though we already heard Jessi is black before, we still get the whole, “Mal is white, I’m black” schpeel. Why? Because we might forget Jessi is black. AND THAT’S HER PERSONALITY TRAIT, OK?!
Our excuse for a chapter 2 segway this time? Jessi is “daydreaming.” Which makes it even creepier if Kristy’s bralessness gets mentioned. Thankfully it doesn’t. We hear that she likes Bart. “He’s very nice,” Jessi adds. No, Jessi, I just assumed he was a total asshole and threw power tools at children for fun and Kristy was attracted to his rogue style. Also, may I interject and just say that I find it annoying when these books say “I’ll explain that later.” That’s insecurity showing through. “Just in case you were afraid that I won’t tell you, I will, ok?!” Oh, God, maybe I should finish this before eating dinner because this opening line of a paragraph is making me sick. “Dawn is SO cool.” More of this, Claudia and Stacey are so cool, not conceited, but it’s true BS. Snore. Jessi thinks we care that she dropped a pencil under an armchair in Claudia’s room once and discovered a candy bar.
“It’s never a good idea to be late to a BSC meeting.” Yes, I hear getting burned by a blow torch is very painful. We get a mention of the baby-sitters letting themselves into the house because the Kishis aren’t home. Sounds like some information that Cat Burglar would be very interested to hear. Maybe it’s because I grew up and still live in L.A. but I would never leave my door unlocked, ever, for long periods of time. And I find letting myself into someone else’s house rude, even if they’re my friends. Anyway, Jessi uses italics to talk about how she has her own spot in the room. We get a flashback to the BSC’s formation when Jessi was absent, Dawn was in California, and Mallory was a “lowly fifth grader. She wasn’t even a baby-sitter yet.” Want to twist that knife a little more, Jessi? (I love how she conveniently leaves out that she, too, was a fifth-grader at the time). “Claudia is vice-president because we’re always using and eating her things.” Sounds wrong. So very wrong. “I do not think Mary Anne has ever made a mistake.” Mary Sue you mean? “Stacey loves collecting money-having it- but hates parting with it, even though it isn’t her own. Nothing pleases her more than the sight of a black treasury envelope.” I think we have another disgusting fetish on our hands, guys. Mention of Dawn being alternate officer in case anyone in a higher position is missing, which rarely happens and when it does they spend the whole time BITCHING about it and she doesn’t’ seem to be filling in anyone’s position at all sans Stacey being in New York. I don’t recall her being a replacement secretary when MA missed those meetings after her makeover. Kristy snaps Jessi out of her daydreaming, and I think it’s pathetic she’d be all whimsical about information she already knows. Stacey asks about when her aunt is moving in and Jessi says the whole world knew by now. Another sign of immaturity. Jessi takes a job with Rodowskys and mentions that they love accident prone Jackie. So much so they give him cactuses to play with. Also, Kristy and Claudia sensibly mention the positives of having Aunt Cecilia around the house. Jessi refuses to listen. I can agree that only she would know her Aunt’s issues, but she still refuses to see any positives, which is annoying.
Jessi reminds us that she told her mom where she’d be after school (with the Rodowskys) and then wonders if Aunt Cecilia will let her do this. Jessi? This is exactly why you ask your parents! If you fear she’ll be controlling and don’t want to be undermined, talk to them. She then unnecessary says “Aunt Cecilia is an old prune.” She hasn’t even moved in yet! After this, Jackie trips on the rug and Jessi fears Mrs. R will think she did. Jessi, it’s her accident-prone son, I’m pretty sure she knows who made a display of clumsiness. Mrs. R takes Shea and Archie to their personality trait hobbies. Jackie gets stuck in his rain boots and Jessi has to help him out, but we hear nothing about rain. Was he trying them on for fun? Jessi does show reason and reminds him that he won’t be stuck forever while she helps him out of them. Jessi forces Jackie to enter the science fair, long story short. Ugh. To be encouraging is one thing, but he’s really reluctant. She marches him to the public library, her words and not mine. She’s even self-aware that she’s forcing him. Jackie will never answer the question “what’s going on at school” ever again when the baby-sitters ask him because if he mentions optional things, this shit will inevitably happen. Just like Charlotte should hide and fake illness whenever a play or pageant comes to town. Jessi keeps badgering him when the kid says it sounds like a lot of work and too expensive. Then says SHE has to learn about volcanoes before helping. What? The kid has to learn too! She doesn’t realize this and shoots her charge in the foot for this. She stupidly notes that she has to answer questions from judges, then doesn’t have Jackie learn anything about volcanoes. Jessi reads a book with him and says she understands. Jackie doesn’t. And Jessi does absolutely nothing about this. Jackie tries to get out of it, but Jessi’s not having it. Ugh. BSC, bullying and pushing kids around since 1986. Friends Forever! Mrs. R enlists Jessi to help him with the project.
It’s Chapter Five and still no fucking Aunt Cecilia. What gives! It’s a baby-sitting chapter at the Pikes, Mal and Dawn. We hear that the triplets and Nicky are playing a game about imaginary wandering frog people. What the HALE is that? Anyway, I would be grateful they were preoccupied. Mallory displays how even she is more mature than Jessi when she tells Margo she’ll help her with her project but won’t do it for her. The kids are completely out of character quietly looking in encyclopedias about frogs and wanting to turn the house into a library. Obviously, there are drugs in the food so Mister and Mrs. Pike can go make some lovin’. They recruit other kids to come to their library and all the kids are for it, which is the wet dream or any librarian/literacy program, etc. The Pikes are pleased, but not pleased when Buddy Barrett returns a book during dinner. Darn kids, we’re busy drugging our own children, get outta here! I don’t see why he can’t just drop it off and then leave, no big deal. Whenever I visit my parents we ALWAYS get phone calls during dinner and stuff. Anyway, Byron puts a sign that says books can’t be returned during meals and I don’t know how others would know when they eat, but I guess since Stoneybrook is 99% creeper, that’s not a problem.
Finally, Aunt Cecelia arrives. Shortly before this, we hear that a U-Haul is coming. Jessi proceeds to freak out about why she brought so much stuff. Because she’s moving in and not vacationing? And your father already said a lot of her things are in storage, so hush up. Jessi is pleased Aunt Cecelia has her own car (but probably not when she gets in an accident in book#103 and gets parking tickets for being dumb) and notes that Charlie said that “A set of wheels is like, totally necessary.” That’s because his whole life is driving Kristy and his friends around, Jessi. Mrs. Ramsey makes Jessi and Becca make a banner for Aunt Cecelia and they purposely spell her name from but their mom doesn’t notice. Ha! Aunt Cecelia shows up and immediately tells Becca to stop slouching and Jessi to fix her hair. Instead of explaining that she just got finishing practicing ballet, she gripes inwardly. The U-Haul is packed all the way and Aunt Cecelia’s room is overflowing. A table winds up in Jessi’s room, as well as two china eggs. They have a garage so I don’t see why the table can’t go in there and the eggs in a shelf somewhere. But Jessi overdoes saying that her room now screams, “Jessi and some old lady.” She’s not very compassionate when her mother reminds her that these are her aunt’s things and she misses her husband. “It’s part of her past” should get Jessi to shut up. She doesn’t. Aunt Cecelia asks Jessi and Becca if they’re ready for bed at eight-thirty. Jessi actually does tell her mother, who says they don’t have to go to bed. I would have simply told Aunt Cecelia that in our house, we were allowed to stay up til this time. Not rudely or anything. “Why weren’t they stopping Aunt Cecelia?” Because it’s not the end of the world. Besides, she’s not making you go to bed, she asked if you were ready for bed. The next day the parents go out for lunch and Aunt Cecelia baby-sits. Jessi gets mad when she tells her to clear her plate. “I can’t. I can’t be a fat ballerina.” She then dubs Aunt Cecelia “Aunt Dictator.”
Jessi almost calls her Aunt Dictator to her face “Aunt Di-“ which looks dangerously close to “Dick” which I think would be worse to call your aunt than “dictator.” Jessi says they’re taking Squirt for a walk and she says it’s too cloudy. I find that dumb. Did the weather report say rain? Why can’t they just make sure Squirt is warm and bring umbrellas? She won’t let Jessi go to Mallory’s house. Jessi, this is why you speak to your parents so they can tell Aunt Cecelia what you’re allowed to do. Instead, she stomps, recruits Becca, and they put shaving cream in her slippers, short-sheet the bed, put a fake spider and shit. If you’re scared to confront Aunt Cecelia, I sure as hell would be scared to play nasty pranks on her when they obviously have to be coming from me. This is stupid.
Jessi tells Aunt Cecelia what Squirt likes and is allowed to do while they’re off at school and Aunt Cecelia gives her the look of death and says she raised her own children. Anyway, home from school Jessi comes home and Squirt is sleeping at an abnormal time for him. Her Aunt tells her she can only have milk and cookies as a snack when she usually has a sandwich. I would be peeved if at eleven someone was telling me what to eat (I would probably have snuck it when she wasn’t looking to be honest. I snacked SO much when I got home from school). Jessi blatantly tells her she’ll eat at Jackie’s house. I don’t know if this is dumb or more of an “in your face” thing. Aunt Cecelia freaks and says it can’t be a boy. She does back down when Jessi gives a reasonable speech about responsibility.
Jessi calls the volcano “ours” and Jackie is like “What, bitch?” Then she goes, “Um, I mean yours haha, of course.” Jackie has a ton of fun using papier-mâché and that’s really touching when he says it was the best afternoon of his life. But he’s being prepped like he’s going to win while Jessi reads up on rocks without making sure Jackie is learning. I took a pedagogy course senior year of college and my favorite thing to write papers on was the “banking method” when you have kids memorize without being able to think or understand what the hell they’re learning. Jessi would benefit from learning about it and realizing how fucked up it is because by the end of this book Jackie can’t even say what happens to the lava and only knows the name of rocks. Kristy wants a kid in the competition and is happy when David Michael wants to enter. Even if it’s annoying that Kristy is getting competitive about this, she is still better than Jessi and tells DM that she won’t do the project for him but will give pointers. Kristy then pouts because Emily Michelle only speaks a few words. She’s surrounded by a new language and she’s two. We can’t all be nuclear physicists by age three, Kristy.
Charlotte is also entering the fair. I think this whole book is just an attempt to get kids to love reading and enter science fairs because only about fifteen percent of it is really devoted to Aunt Cecelia time. I don’t think they thought, “Jessi and the SES Science Fair” would sell so well though, as it lacks the drama. Foreshadowing as Stacey doesn’t feel well. Charlotte does this very creative experiment to see if music helps plants grow faster. Majors points for having Charlotte introducing one of the plants to Duran Duran instead of Ricky Ricardo. Hope it’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” hehehe. Becca comes over and complains about Aunt Dictator, but has valid things to say, like Squirt being in his playpen and not being allowed to explore so much. Becca and Charlotte plan pranks and some of them have Stacey rightfully worried, like TYING AUNT CECELIA TO A CHAIR AND PRETENDING ROBBERS DID IT. That’s kind of fucked up.
MA turns green when they discuss Guinness Book of World Records feats, such as a giant pancake that weighs five hundred pounds and being skating with butter on their feet to butter it up. May not be appetizing, but how does MA baby-sit and change diapers if comments like this make her actually physically ill? Oddly, Jessi asks Mallory what’s wrong with her and says it sounds like the Dictator’s been to her house instead when all she did was talk about the oddity of a five hundred pound pancake. I weep for the day she gets PMS symptoms.
Marilyn Arnold locked herself in the basement by accident when Logan was baby-sitting, which I find funny. Also funny is when Claudia pretends to write on her forehead when they are told to make a mental note about the basement door. Mallory talks about how Margo’s project is a Barbie project with no academia involved. Jessi frantically tells her to check out books, don’t looooose. Mallory says no that her sister needs to do this on her own, which I agree with, but I think Mallory should also encourage real science to be part of the fair. It’s elementary school for God’s sake, you don’t even need much. Kristy agrees she won’t do DM’s project either. Jessi talks about her charge’s project and they all realize she’s doing it for him. She realizes it, but then goes into denial. “You know who’s controlling, Aunt Cecelia!” Way to deflect blame. She has nothing to do with this. MA sensibly asks if she’s talked to her parents. Hurrrrrrrppppp no, says Jessi. “I can’t tell because of tehhh pranks.” Which she was so damn proud of before. Sigh. Here we get a wonderful dose of writing: “I looked miserable. I know I looked miserable . This was because Dawn said, ‘You look miserable, Jessi.’” Was this repetitive, poorly written trio of sentences necessary?
Anyway, they practice for blowing up the volcano and Jackie wants to call it “My Volcano.” Jessi shoots him down like, “No it must be catchy!” Poor kid works for fifteen minutes on a sign following her name “Welcome to the World of Volcanic Activity.” Instead of helping him spell, Jessi must be sitting there daydreaming about Aunt Cecelia’s nose hair because Jackie spelled everything wrong. Instead of helping while he makes a new one, she does with her horrendous handwriting that we all hate so much. “I’ll make the sign” she says then gripes internally “I have to do everythingggggg.” So glad she was never my baby-sitter. Jackie doesn’t want to win, but wants the best project to show off something cool to the mean guys. Jessi writes a speech about the types of rocks and the heat, but doesn’t make sure Jackie understands what he’s memorized. So when he’s asked, he won’t know what the hell to say.
Aunt Cecelia throws a bitch fit when Jessi is ten minutes late. Jessi says ten minutes are nothing to her parents and Aunt Cecelia says they are when she’s in charge. The best response would have been something like, “Ok, Aunt Cecelia. I didn’t know you felt that way. I’ll try my hardest to be on time from now on.” But Aunt Cecelia does say even two minutes is bad, which I find stupid and irrational. It’s not like class. She also throws in “two days” to make a point about the island catastrophe. She hasn’t said in this book that she directly blames Jessi, but if she does, that’s really stupid. Like “Come over here so I can give you a slap” stupid. She then says that Jessi can’t go to the BSC meeting. I would have done exactly what Jessi does next: Tell her Aunt she’s not really in charge and that it’s my parents’ choice and then go to phone my parents. Unfortunately, she can’t call her mom unless there’s an emergency (magically, she doesn’t qualify this as one) and her dad is out of the office. So she has Kristy call her house every time there’s a job offered during the meeting: Count 14. Ha! They use the Kishis’ phone to do it so they won’t disrupt the meeting. Aunt Cecelia learns not to ban meetings anymore.
But Jessi doesn’t tell her parents. She really should have. Aunt Cecelia comes to her room and bitches about Jessi’s hair. Jessi calls her an “overbearing pig” in her head, which is probably the strongest insult we ever hear again an adult in the BSC canon. She lets her style her hair as long as Mme won’t disapprove. She creates a horrible, austere style that will never get in her eyes. I don’t see why this matters since it will go back to the way it was after Jessi gets out of the shower. Aunt Cecelia then says, “Now you’re someone I can be proud of.” What. the fuck. Because of her hair? I had really frizzy, curly hard to control/brush hair when I was a kid. Do you have any idea how fucked up I would have been if my parents had told me they weren’t proud of me because of that? Neither do I and I’m glad I’ll never have to know that. Jessi says Aunt Cecelia is ruining her life which is way over exaggerating, but the old bag is weird.
About the fair: “I was so excited, you’d think I’d entered the fair.” You kind of did. When Jackie adds cute little points to his speech, Jessi shoots him down. What the fuck, Jessi. Stay away from children from now on. Charlotte’s Duran Duran plant is the biggest and healthiest. Woot woot! Jessi realizes that Jackie can’t answer questions or elaborate when two girls question him. Uh oh, too late! She must’ve forgotten about this because then she goes, “What, the judges are asking questions?! He can’t give anything outside of his speech.” You said in the very beginning they would, dumbass! She’s rivaling Claudia at this point. Or she has really bad memory. Jackie’s volcano and speech are a hit, but he can’t answer questions. Jessi then feels bad, which she should. Charlotte wins third prize, Jackie doesn’t get anything but the obligatory Honorable Mention. Jessi apologizes and Jackie is cheered up when the mean boys like his volcano. Jessi then says she better not help him last year and he’s all, “Good, I’d rather lose on my own.” I love Jackie. Abused by AMM and company for years, but always friendly. It’s here the little lightbulb goes off in Jessi’s head that she needs to talk to her parents.
She does and they go, “Oh noesss” and decide on a family conference with Aunt Cecelia. The Ramseys explain that the girls are capable and at first she’s like “Pfffft, guess you don’t need me. I’ll be going NOW” and then she says she was just trying to prove she cares. This next part confuzzles me a little “I know it’s an awful thing to say but sometimes black people have to work twice as hard to prove themselves.” This may be true outside the home, but has nothing to do with the inside of the house. Does she think her family is racist against her or something? Oh, wait, here we go. She wants the girls to be responsible because they may have to work twice has hard. That makes way more sense, good thing they clarified because that was going to put all Jessi wangst to shame, almost even the Mallory incident where she assumed she was racist for being nervous around a new family. Aunt Cecelia then confesses she was afraid she wouldn’t be as good of a sitter as Jessi, which I find totally out of character for her to admit in the face of an eleven-year-old. She does, however, apologize for the island incident which is good. They work out something and all is good. Snaps for Aunt Cecelia!
Jessi: Jackie doesn’t want me to help him with his project next year.
Kristy: I don’t blame him.
K. Ron: +1
For about the fifteenth time in this book we hear something called “SO fresh.” I think I preferred “fetch” from Mean Girls. FORESHADOWING. Mallory’s father’s company is laying off workers. Auto Correct wants me to change this to “lying off” workers which makes me think of a perverted slumber party or something. When she goes home, Jessi has Becca grab her and show her that there’s shaving cream in her slippers (Jessi’s too) and a “huge, disgusting fake fly” on her pillow. A fly, Aunt Cecelia? Really, something that couldn’t even be confused as real? They all laugh with their aunt and the ol’ Dictator laughs for the first time ever, apparently. Jessi tears up the mean pranks list. Good! I don’t recall Aunt Cecelia being really annoying again until the Kwanzaa book when she parks in the handicap spot without a placard and gets a ticket and is all like, “What the shiiiiit, I have a bad ankle and three kids.” Face palm. Anyway, nearly seventy books of decent behavior ftw!