Jessi goes to visit Mallory the next day. Mallory is in better spirits because she now has a legitimate excuse to take it easy. There is no such thing as a legitimate excuse to take it easy in Ann’s world. I also love how the doctor told Mallory to take it easy when I’m quite sure that the BSC would ignore the doctor’s orders and make Mallory do slave labor. Mallory also doesn’t feel guilty about being too tired to do things because she’s really sick. Before Mallory had to force herself to try to do things because she wasn’t really sick. There are times when I’ve just been so tired that I can’t do anything. I’ve managed to deal with the guilt of not washing the towels because I’m too tired to even move. I also think Mallory may have been feeling guilty because her best friend was acting like she was being a lazy bum for being tired, despite busting her ass on all other babysitting jobs before.
They discuss Dawn’s video. Mallory hopes that the video will make Dawn homesick enough for her to come home. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kristy decided to hold Dawn prisoner when she came to visit Stoneybrook. Jessi misses how Dawn always gave her opinion at the meetings and how she could be so passionate about things she felt were right. I don’t remember Dawn offering too many suggestions regarding the BSC. As far as I can recall, the only things she was passionate about was food and the environment, and that wasn’t passionate but rather obnoxious. How could anyone miss Dawn screeching at them that eating a cow is murder and don’t they feel bad that a little calf doesn’t have a mom anymore? How could they miss Dawn lecturing them about how disgusting junk food is and trying to force them to eat her health food and describing the health food in the most unappealing way possible? I guess they mean that Dawn is passionate because she shoves her opinions and lifestyle choices down other people’s throats and gets offended when someone does things differently than she does.
This conversation about Dawn always standing up for what she believes in inspires Jessi to tell Mallory about Margo shoplifting. Mallory is shocked. She thinks that she’d have noticed if something unusual was going on. I think Mallory’s been too tired to notice anything. She probably wouldn’t even notice her siblings drawing on her face or dragging her body into a lake. Mallory goes to get Margo and is actually authoritative with her. Jessi says that Mallory is beginning to sound more like her old self. I don’t remember Mallory taking too much authority with her siblings before, and if she did, I doubt they would listen to her. Mallory wonders why Margo would steal from a store when she knows it’s wrong. People do things that they know are wrong all the time. I’ve done things that I know are wrong. Mallory asks Margo if she stole a ring and she confesses right away. Mallory says Margo has to tell their mother, but offers to go with her. Margo tells her mother that she stole two packs of gum and a rubber dinosaur in addition to the ring. Margo wanted to see if she could do it. Sometimes I wonder if I could get away with shoplifting something or stealing someone’s wallet. I wouldn’t actually do it, of course, but it amuses me to imagine the scenario.
Margo and her mom go to the store so Margo can return the things she stole and pay for the gum she ate. Jessi goes with them for moral support. Mallory needs another sitter, so she tries Stacey because Stacey lives the closest. So the Pikes need a sitter on a short notice? Mallory did the logical thing- she called the closet person to come sit. The whole rule about offering jobs around is bullshit. It’s quite okay if Mrs. Newton calls for a sitter and doesn’t ask for anyone in particular. It’s fair to offer the job around then. But it’s stupid to get upset because a BSC member has rapport with some of the charges. It’s also stupid to expect people to offer jobs around in an emergency. If I need to get the kids a sitter on short notice, I’m calling the person that lives closest to me because it’s the most convenient. I don’t have time to call all the members of the BSC.
Margo goes to the store and returns the stuff she stole.
It’s time for filming to begin. I really like how the film is going. I think it’s funny and cute. I’ve noticed that when the kids play their own games, they tend to be funnier and more entertaining than anything the BSC or Karen could come up with. I think it would be nice if the BSC let the kids play what they wanted instead of trying to force them to play something they liked. Vanessa’s axe isn’t sticking together, but Jessi solves that by using the elastic in her hair to hold it together. Would elastic damage hair? I know rubber bands are supposed to cut hair, but I’m not sure about elastic.
Vanessa goes to kill Snow White with her axe but it flies apart and hits Buddy on the head. Vanessa improvises by saying that her axe broke and pushing Snow White in the swamp. The Swamp Thing saves Snow White. I get kind of bored, so I start to skim. Marilyn as Snow White kisses Buddy on the cheek and he wipes it off and calls it cheek pollution. The kids then call out hi to Dawn and say that they miss her.
Dawn writes a letter to Jessi. I never thought that Jessi and Dawn were particularly close, but I guess this will have to do as exposition. Dawn made a video with the kids she babysits for. According to Dawn, kids on the West coast are the same as kids on the East Coast. I would have thought that kids on the West coast would only eat tofu and soybeans and get raisins and apples on Halloween, since Dawn always acts like everyone in California eats nothing but health food and California equals the entire coast. Jessi takes a moment to tell us about the We Love Kids Club. Seeing as there are only two more chapters to go, I don’t really care.
Dawn joined the We Love Kids so she wouldn’t be out of practice with babysitting. I’m also sure that BSC members would get a little twitchy if they aren’t babysitting. They could be going on a fabulous vacation and they would still find kids to babysit. They could probably go to an isolated cabin and still find kids to babysit. If they couldn’t, they’d probably count down the days until they could babysit again. The We Love Kids club is much less strict than the BSC. They don’t have a notebook or officers. I don’t see why a notebook is needed. Unless something major happens at a job, mandatory notebook writing is pretty much useless. I would laugh so hard if Kristy saw that a club could be successful without her acting like a dictator.
Dawn is babysitting the Clune kids, Sally, Jenny, and Jeanette. They have a pool and have been going in it every day. They’re bored with the pool today and ask Dawn to think up something for them to do. I know that sometimes people need suggestions for things to do, but the BSC always has to suggest something for the kids to do. I get the feeling that the BSC disapproves of kids coming up with their own activities. Dawn had a major advantage when she and the BSC visited California- Carol drove them around. Dawn has no transportation.
Dawn decides to do a video tour of the neighborhood. She videotapes two wild boys, Erick and Ryan. I want to read the book they appear in so I can see if they really behaved wildly or if they just didn’t listen to the BSC right away. Kristy was able to manage the kids at the end, but they gave her a hard time in the beginning. God forbid Kristy Thomas not be able to handle a child. I would love it if Kristy had to deal with difficult children or children who aren’t impressed with her. I think it would be good for her to encounter children that don’t worship the BSC. Of course these kids would be dismissed as brats. Erick and Ryan nail Dawn with Nerf guns. Dawn doesn’t even like Nerf guns and tells them to put the guns away. I’m pretty sure that in a world where kids don’t immediately listen to the BSC, the kids would have just shot Dawn and laughed. I wonder if this means Dawn doesn’t like kids playing with water guns, either. I wonder if she’ll see kids playing with water guns in their own backyard and tell them to stop because she doesn’t like guns. It wouldn’t surprise me if she did.
They also go to visit a little girl named Stephie, who is apparently a mini Mary Anne with asthma that’s set off by emotional stress. They visit Dawn’s house last.
Jessi is worried that Wendy won’t show up to the Monday BSC meeting. Mallory still feels crummy and says it’s kind of depressing to feel crummy all the time. You haven’t felt crummy as yet, Mallory, trust me. Wendy is at the meeting on time but looks upset. She was having fun with friends playing Super Mario, but she had to leave to attend the meeting. Jessi says it’s important that Wendy is here. Club meetings are more important than video games. Club meetings are more important than breathing. I seriously would not put it past Kristy to throw a tantrum if someone had to miss a club meeting, despite a relative dying or their grandparents celebrating their 50th anniversary. I love how Wendy has other interests outside the club and resents that she has to be at all the meetings because of some jumped up little brat. I think it would be much better if they just had more associate members. Associate members don’t have to attend meetings and are basically the back up. It would just be easier just to have a bunch of associate members instead of adding a new main member. That way they wouldn’t have to worry about firing a new main member when Dawn comes back. Anyway, Jessi refuses to believe that people can find things more important than a BSC meeting. Then again, Jessi doesn’t like video games, and if the BSC doesn’t like something, they refuse to believe that anyone could get enjoyment out of it. I would be pretty irritated if I was having a good time with my friends and had to leave because some thirteen year old was going to throw a tantrum if I wasn’t at her meeting. I’d also be annoyed if Mary Anne could just look in the notebook and see when I’m available. I figure Wendy would be bored at a BSC meeting, since the BSC just gossips about kids. I bet Wendy would sit there wondering why they were discussing that a kid liked to pretend she was a kitten.
Kristy comes in and said she heard Wendy was late at the Pike job. Mary Anne ratted her out because she thought it was something Kristy should know. If Mary Anne went on a survivor show, she would sabotage the competition and then cry crocodile tears when they confronted her. Or she might form an alliance with someone and spy on others for the person. Now I’m imagining Mary Anne kneeling at Kristy’s feet while Kristy is stroking her hair and calling her a good girl. I wouldn’t put it past Kristy to use Mary Anne to spy on other members of the BSC. I also think the notebook is supposed to be used as some sort of confessional.
Kristy gets up her own ass about how important the club is and how reliable it is and how it’s a godsend to parents everywhere because it’s run in a professional manner. Kristy is also being snippy. Jessi said it, not me. I wonder if someone will ever tell Kristy that she’s just a kid who likes to babysit with her friends and to get the fuck over herself. Wendy decides that the club isn’t working out for her. Stacey asks why. I wonder if it’s because Wendy isn’t happy being bossed around by Kristy all the time. Just because the BSC has no problem with Kristy being bossier and more controlling than their own parents doesn’t mean everyone else is going to take Kristy’s crap. Wendy says that the club has too many rules and Wendy likes to do things her own way. Claudia asks if that’s all. Maybe she thinks that Wendy can be convinced that doing things Kristy’s way is better for everyone.
Wendy has some very reasonable complaints, like she has to give up her jobs to the BSC and has to be here every meeting. Yeah, having to give up your jobs to girls you don’t even know is bullshit. Didn’t it ever occur to the BSC that Wendy would have rapport with her regular clients? Did the BSC seriously think they would be entitled to babysit every kid, despite them not knowing the kids and the kids already having a good relationship with Wendy? And maybe Wendy has a life outside the BSC and doesn’t see why she should have to give it up. I bet Wendy’s friends also have lives outside babysitting and are able to do things without inviting kids all the time.
Kristy says that Wendy knew the rules when she joined the club. No, she didn’t. Kristy did this whole pompous and theatrical bit about how they accepted jobs, but she didn’t bother explaining things to Wendy because Kristy won’t pass up an opportunity to show off. Kristy never said that the BSC had to be at all meetings and that the club offered jobs around no matter what. I like to think if Wendy knew those rules she’d have said that they were stupid. The meeting got too chaotic and no one had time to explain the rules to Wendy.
Wendy points this out and says that all she knew was that Jessi loved the club, so it must be great. Wendy says the club is great for the BSC, but it’s not working out for her. I think Wendy is being rather polite. She calmly pointed out why the BSC isn’t working for her, and her reasons are legitimate. I bet Kristy would just be throwing a tantrum and Wendy could calmly refute each of Kristy’s points. Mary Anne suggests that this has just been an adjustment period for Wendy, but Wendy says no. She says that she has parents and teachers bossing her around and she doesn’t need a club bossing her around as well. She looks Kristy in the eye and says that’s just one too many people bossing her around. I love it when people call Kristy out on being a bossy brat. I think people should do it more often. I still think Wendy is being really polite. She could have called Kristy a bossy, controlling little brat who has an overinflated ego and she wouldn’t be lying. Instead she just said she didn’t like Kristy bossing her around, apologized for the club not working out for her, and left. She didn’t insult the BSC or anything.
Kristy can’t handle people calling her out for being a bossy jerk and snaps goodbye at Wendy. She’s like a child who will throw a tantrum if everyone isn’t playing what she wants or kissing her ass. Kristy can’t believe that Jessi is friends with Wendy. Wendy is a nice person. She just doesn’t take Kristy’s bullshit. The world isn’t divided into people who kiss Kristy’s ass and are good people and people who don’t kiss Kristy’s ass and are bad people. Oh, who am I kidding- of course it is. Stacey says that Kristy might have finally met her match. Yes, I think it would be wonderful for Kristy if people would call her out on her bossiness more often. It’s like she just expects everyone to just jump when she says jump. I wish people would tell Kristy that she treats people like crap. I also wish people would question Kristy’s ideas more often.
Kristy dismisses Wendy because Wendy doesn’t kiss her ass. Jessi agrees with Kristy because Kristy is the ultimate judge of character. At the same time, she can see why Kristy and Wendy would clash. They’re both headstrong and like to do things their own way. The only thing is that Kristy is a leader and Wendy is a loner. What does being a loner have to do with anything? I never got the impression that Wendy was a loner. Maybe Jessi meant that Wendy isn’t the type to follow others. And I don’t think that Kristy is a leader, but rather a girl who bullies people into doing what she wants.
Mary Anne had a nightmare about having to fire Wendy, despite her ratting her out to Kristy. I think Wendy’s better off without the BSC. I’m sure she’ll keep a healthy balance between babysitting and other activities. Shannon comes over and tells them that one of her extracurricular activities is over. Of course Shannon has a bunch of activities, but only when it would affect the plot. She volunteers to be the alternate officer until Dawn gets back, then she’ll step down. What a perfectly logical solution. It’s too bad no one thought of that. Of course, idiot plots require everyone to have no common sense whatsoever. Shannon won’t mind stepping down. She might also away for the summer, so she might not be around. Kristy says that Shannon can’t go away because the BSC needs her. Kristy, people have lives outside the BSC. Deal with it. Also, why is it horrible for Shannon to go to camp and for Dawn to go to California, but it’s fine for all the BSC to go on a trip at the same time? The BSC is finally back to normal and the problem of the BSC being too busy is magically solved.
On the way home, Jessi thinks about Wendy. She misses her, but Wendy let her down. Wendy was also unreliable because she was late. Jessi realizes that Wendy didn’t do anything mean to her. She also realizes that Kristy treated Wendy in her usual forthright way, which is a polite way of saying Kristy was a rude jerk to Wendy and expected her to just take it. Jessi has already had some Kool-Aid so she’s used to Kristy being a jerk and likes it. She forgot that not everyone worships the ground Kristy walks on and that they’re willing to call her out for her behavior. She also realizes that having a friend that isn’t punctual isn’t the worst thing in the world. Yeah, it can be annoying, but no more annoying than putting up with your friends being bossier than your parents or lecturing you when you’re trying to eat your chips in peace.
Jessi still wants to be friends with Wendy but isn’t sure if Wendy will be friends with her. So you want to be friends with Wendy despite the fact that she rejected the BSC? You rebel, Jessi. Too bad Wendy vanishes after this book. I would have liked if she stuck around to be the only sane man. Jessi calls Wendy. Wendy isn’t mad at Jessi. She doesn’t hate the BSC or Kristy. She just doesn’t consider Kristy to be at the top of her favorite people list. Wendy is way more polite than Kristy deserves. Wendy says the BSC works for them, but it’s not for her. Jessi tells Wendy that she probably would have enjoyed the We Love Kids club because they’re more relaxed than the BSC.
The BSC goes roller skating. There’s some mention about how Mallory didn’t finish her pizza slice and is feeling dizzy. Dawn gets the video and loves it. The BSC gets Dawn’s video. Nothing of importance happens in this chapter expect Mallory says Dawn has to come home because how can she leavefriends like the BSC behind. I find this amusing because Mallory goes to boarding school. I like to think that she made better friends about the BSC and wrote stories about their cultish ways.