Baby Sitters Club #3- The Truth About Stacey

First of all, I wanted you all to know that I am switching the the order of future posts a bit. Before the end of the year I definitely hope to review Sweet Valley Twins’ book 17 ” Boys Against Girls” and I also have some more BSC books to review before year’s end such as ” Dawn on the Coast” and ” Mary Anne Misses Logan.” I will give you upcoming books I will be posting on at the end of this blog!

Also, I will be 31 years of age tomorrow and fuck yeah I still read these YA novels for my pleasure  ( and to snark on them) and for your enjoyment! So here we go- I will be recapping my favorite BSC book at age 14 or so ( I didn’t read this until I was 14 and yeah I read BSC in 9th grade before school would start- screw you, OK? 😉 In fact, I read Sweet Valley Twins and High books regularly until my junior year of high school- then I discovered John Grisham and Danielle Steel- OK time to recap!

What is the Truth about Stacey? Ah, we all know by now that she’s not sexually active, and yes as far as we know Mr. McGill is her real daddy. The truth about Stacey is that she has diabetes- I don’t remember people with diabetes being, like, stigmatized or whatever in the 1980’s, but remember I recall incorrectly. Today, the children have Bret Michaels and his Rock of Love antics to look up to.  Anyway, Mr. and Mrs. McGill are wicked overprotective of Stacey due to her diabetes, and make her life shit. But more on that later.

Kristy feels that the BSC should have a game plan for when Mrs. Newton ( Jamie’s mama) has the new baby. Kristy feels that one sitter should be free each afternoon until Mrs. N has the kid- and Claudia says that seems like a waste because babies could be born in the middle of the night, or while Mary Anne, Stace, Claud and Kristy are at school or whatever- yeah Kristy DUH- not one of your better ideas.  Then the girls all talk about what time they were born- and all were born  in the middle of night, but Mary Anne does not know what time she was born because her mother is dead- which frankly I find odd because my father sure knows what time all of us kids were born! But no matter- Mimi knocks on the door to ask the girls if they want a snack ( LOVED Mimi- I cried when she passed- and to review Mimi was Claud’s grammie) and Mimi tells Mary Anne what time she was born, and that was also in the middle of the night.

Janine comes running into Claud’s room waving a flyer around. The flyer is advertising the Baby Sitters Agency, which is run by two girls named Liz Lewis and Michelle Patterson. The sitters are all 13 and up and can sit until 11 pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends. The girls all sense trouble a brewin’ because these gals are older and can sit for later hours than the BSC all can.  Claudia says that Liz and Michelle are eighth graders who cuss out teachers and hang at the mall- and umm babysit? Odd combo there.  The club members then wonder how the flyer can say that parents can reach ” a whole network of responsible baby sitters” when only two names are on the flyer. Mary Anne suggests that one of the girls can call the Agency pretending to need a sitter, and they can then find out how the agency operates.

So Kristy calls pretending to be ” Candy Kane” needing a sitter for her little brother. Kristy says she has a date with a high school boy named ” Winston Churchill” and yes the girl who answers the phone buys this! Kristy says it seems that the girls will call other sitters for the parents to see who is available to sit for the family ( or ” clients” as the BSC says- which I also find odd) The girls then keep a part of the salary that each of the Agency’s sitters make.  Liz then calls Kristy ( or Candy back) and Liz offers three sitters who are available and Kristy would choose one- and they employ 15 year olds and even some boys and Kristy is very discouraged at this point.  Stacey then thinks in her head that she hopes the Baby Sitters Club isn’t destroyed, because the BSC is the only good thing that has happened to Stacey in this past crap year of hers.

Stacey then talks about how she found out she had diabetes- long story short, she was always hungry and thirsty, urinating a lot, she once peed in the bed when slept over her best friend Laine’s house in NYC, and she was not gaining weight- she was losing weight despite all the eating. So Stacey’s mom had Stace go to some psychiatrist and based on the symptoms, the psychiatrist sent Stace to another doc who diagnosed her with diabetes.   Of course, Stacey freaked out upon learning of her illness, but she found out she could control it with daily insulin shots and a proper diet ( and umm hell0 – CHECK YOUR BLOOD SUGAR AND CHECK IT OFTEN- ask that diabetic testing supply commercial!) We then learn that shortly before Stacey’s diagnosis, Mr. and Mrs. McGill found out that they couldn’t have more kids. This is devestating to them, of course, and then when they learn of Stacey’s diabetes they become all overprotective. Stace’s ‘rents are also convinced they can find a cure for diabetes, and Stacey didn’t tell her friends about her disease, and her parents didn’t tell THEIR friends which is sooo god darn odd- why couldn’t anyone know that Stace had diabetes? It’s not catching or anything and it’s a common disease. So instead,  Laine dumps Stacey because she peed in her bed and they aren’t friends anymore. Stacey had also missed a lot of school due to diabetes, and even fainted in school a couple of times, and Laine was jealous that Stacey was missing school- well maybe if Laine knew WHY…ugh I just don’t get why Stacey couldn’t tell others! So only Stacey’s BSC buds, that understanding bunch who even allow black folks in the club, ( later on of course) know about Stacey’s illness.

Stacey then talks about how she likes two boys- Sam Thomas, Kristy’s bro ( yeah that crush lasts FOREVER) and Pete Black is her sort of boyfriend. Stacey, you HO!!! I was always very loyal to my middle school crushes- one boy at a time 😉 Stacey’s mom then walks in and says that at the beginning of December, Stacey is scheduled for a series of tests with a new doctor in New York City that Stacey’s uncle Eric about from watching some TV program- I bet Stacey’s uncle Eric would LOVE Kevin Trudeau and Klee Irwin- because this doctor is holistic which means that he treats mind, body and soul which should be a good things, but supposedly he’s ” worked miracles” with diabetes- so basically this dude sounds like a wacko.  Stacey is upset because she has two perfectly good doctors ( one in NY, one in CT) and doesn’t get why she has to go to ANOTHER doctor, and she doesn’t want to miss school for three days, but her mom doesn’t really want to hear Stacey out.  I do feel bad for Stacey that her parents just aren’t listening to her or the doctors she has, apparently. Kristy then calls and says that  the next day, the BSC is having a special planning meeting to save the club.

So Kristy comes up with ideas like being ” mother’s helpers” at baby sitter prices- basically the girls would do housework in addition to sit for the kids- but Claud nixes that idea right away. Kristy also suggests the ” Kid- Kit” – you know that box the girls all decorate and fill with stickers, old books, and coloring books and stuff that the kids love? YEAH KID KIT! Kristy also wants to lower rates, and offer late sitting jobs to Sam, Charlie or Janine because they are older. Stacey will do anything Kristy suggest to save the club, but Mary Anne and Claudia aren’t quite that eager. The club members all agree that Kid Kits are a great idea, but feel the other suggestions should only be tried as a last resort. So the Kid Kit is born!

Stacey has a job sitting for Charlotte. Stacey shows Charlotte the Kid Kit and she adores it.  Stacey says that the girls can either stay in and play with the Kid Kit, or walk around town and look in the store windows, and maybe even play on the playground. Char votes to walk around outside.  Charlotte then tells Stacey that no one in school likes her- awwww- but she won’t say hi. Well the ladies then look at the windows in Polly’s Fine Candy, and they have a chocolate cornucopia and turkey in the window display, and it smells heavenly from outside. Yum, chocolate…  Charlotte and Stacey then walk in, and Char says they should buy a candy each but Stacey says no because it’s too close to dinner- but of course really it’s because she couldn’t tell little Charlotte about her diabetes.  Then Charlotte and Stacey go to the playground, and some kids call Charlotte a teacher’s pet and she gets upset, so they leave to go home, and a ” very pretty girl” gives Stacey a balloon advertising the Baby Sitter’s Agency- wow these gals are some great marketers!

Kristy and Stacey hang out after school at Kristy’s. They see Kristy’s mom with Jamie Newton, and it turns out that Mr. and Mrs. Newton arranged to call Kristy’s ma if the baby came during the day.  Then Kristy’s ma goes to leave to go back to work because Jamie spent the day with Ma Thomas, and Stacey then asks Kristy where Sam is- and Kristy says that Sam, David Michael and Charlie are probably all watching cheerleader practice- interesting for sure.  Kristy and Stacey then plan a ” Big Brother Party” for Jamie which involves musical rugs, making masks and what not which is a nice thing, really, because older  ones do feel ignored when a baby comes.  After the Big Bro party, Jamie ( who is THREE so how he’d remember this I have no clue) says that Kristy, who is his favorite babysitter, can’t sit for him anymore because Jamie heard his mommy make a call to a person saying that Jamie’s ma and daddy need a new sitter for the new baby- how are Mr. and Mrs. Newton ALREADY planning baby sitters when they JUST had the baby?? Does Mrs. N think she will want to attend library and junior women’s club meetings as soon as she poops out the kid? Well she is a Stoneybrook parent… so Stace tells Kristy and Kristy says ” this means war!”

The next day, the BSC see that Liz and Michelle are handing out fliers at school ( that’s allowed?) advertising the Baby Sitter’s Agency. Mary Anne says that it seems that Liz and Michelle don’t really care who signs up to baby sit as long as they get a cut of the cash, but Kristy argues that the parents will love that these sitters can stay out longer- of course- that means more time away from their offspring- any Stoneybrook parent wants that! Kristy then calls another emergency meeting of the BSC at her house to launch a counter-attack against the Agency. Kristy says they should recruit 8th graders to join the club, and the other members agree.

Stacey and her parents are at the mall, and Stacey’s mom says that they have to go to New York later in the month than was planned, from Dec 12th to the 17th. The tests will take longer than the McGill parents imagined, so they will be in NYC for five days. Stacey and her parents argue over how Ma and Pop McGill are making all of these decisions about her body without her consent. ( good point!) But Ma and Pop will not budge- Stacey must see Kevin T- I mean Dr. Barnes- in NYC for him to do his fancy tests.

Stacey has another sitting job with Charlotte, and she tells Dr. Johannsen ( Char’s momma) that her ‘rents want her to see this Dr. Barnes, and Dr J pretty much tells Stacey that the dude is a quack. Dr J says that from what she has heard, Dr Barnes will want Stacey to see all kinds of therapists, go on a new exercise program, and maybe even change schools, all to get rid of Stacey’s illness. Stacey balks at the idea.  Stacey asks Dr. J to intervene on her behalf, and the doc says she will think about it.

Next, Kristy makes sandwich boards for all of the gals to wear to school that advertise the BSC- mortifying, much? None of the girls find any new members this way- except Kristy, who has apparently found two 8th graders who used to work for the agency, but didn’t like having to give Liz and Mich a cut of the profits. Stacey also gets asked to the Snowflake Dance by Pete Black- HAWT!

Mary Anne, Claud, Stacey and Kristy go to the Newton home to give both Jamie and the new baby, Lucy, presents.  Kristy asks Mrs. N if what Jamie said is true about Mrs. N no longer using the BSC and Mrs Newton says that she feels much more comfy leaving baby Lucy alone with an older sitter, but when Mrs N takes Lucy places, the BSC can sit for Jamie alone. God you suck Mrs. Newton- again why would you leave your NEWBORN alone with any teens in the first place? Eh, whatever. Another strike against the BSC.

So these two new awesome sitters that Kristy hired, Janet Gates and Leslie Howard, attend the next BSC meeting. Janet and Leslie look bored, chew a lot of gum and wear tons of makeup. Kristy asks about 2 questions of each girl, then adds their names to the BSC flier along with how late Janet and Leslie can stay out. ( at age 14, Les can be out as late as she wants if she tells her ma first- shit I didn’t have that privilege until I was what 20??) Janet and Leslie each get booked for a late night job, and Stacey can’t wait to hear how the jobs went- oh Stacey….

Neither Janet nor Leslie show to the next meeting. And- neither Janet nor Leslie showed up to sit for the families they were booked to sit for!!!!! Kristy decides she wants to confront Janet and Leslie about this first thing the next day at school. Well- the BSC learns that Janet and Leslie were ” moles” for the agency and they were sent to sabotage the Baby Sitters Club- bitches.  Kristy starts to cry. Claudia tries to stay positive and says that there are families who like the BSC a lot and will continue to use their services, and not to despair.

Stace has a sitting job with Jamie Newton by himself. Jamie says that ” baby sitters used to be fun” and now all they do is watch TV. One of the gals who Mrs. N hired from the lovely Agency burned a hole in the couch with her cig and brought her boyfriend over. Stacey says if Jamie doesn’t like his new sitters, he should tell his mom- because he is 3 and will remember to do so. Why didn’t Stacey tell Mrs N- or ask her parents what to do? Oh yeah because Baby Sitters Club members can NEVER go to their ‘rents for anything or confront their ” clients.”  When Stacey arrives home, Dr Johannsen calls and says she wants Stacey to sit for Charlotte because Charlotte has been asking for Stacey.   Charlotte is all snippy with Stacey, and Stacey asks her what is wrong. Char says she thought her baby sitters were her friends, until Ellie Morris, the sister of Cathy, ( Cathy is a baby sitter agency member) tells Char that Cathy only baby sits for the money so Charlotte is crushed.  Charlotte also tells Stacey how the Agency sitters ignore her, watch TV the whole time, and bring their men over for tete a tets while they are sitting for Charlotte. Stacey asks Char what Stacey and Charlotte do together, and Charlotte says they read together, take walks and do fun stuff, so Charlotte is now satisfied that Stacey and Charlotte are friends and not just sitter/ sittee.  In other news, Dr J has found a great diabetes specialist for Stacey to see in New York City while the McGill family is off to see Dr Barnes, and the Doc will try to see if the doctor in NY will see Stacey while she’s in New York. Doc J also gives Stacey a note from her to the McGills explaining everything.

Now one day- the Baby Sitters Club are all walking home from school, and they see 3 year old Jamie playing in the sidewalk right near the street with no gloves on or anything so of course he is not safe! Turns out that Cathy Morris let Jamie go outside to play alone unsupervised. The girls tell Jamie to never go outside in the cold without a hat and mittens, and to only play in the backyard and never near the street- love how the mittens seemed more important than  the don’t play near the street rule. FINALLY- the BSC all agree that they should ask their parents for advice- and of course Mrs. Thomas, Mimi, and Stacey’s mommy all tell them to tell Mrs. Newton about what happened. Mrs N is PISSED, and she is going to call Cathy and tell her she no longer wants her services, and will call other parents and tell them not to ever use the Baby Sitter’s Agency. But Kristy tells Mrs N that she and the other BSC members would like to confront Liz and Michelle alone.  So the next day at school, the BSC wins the ” war” by asking Liz and Michelle abou the kids they have sat for, like Char and Jamie, and they know shit- so Liz and Michelle admit that they got OWNED and agree to let the BSC be the only baby sitting game in town.

So Stacey and Ma and Dad McGill are off to NYC and they are staying with Laine and her parents- Mr and Mrs McGill FINALLY told Mr. and Mrs. Cummings, Laine’s ‘rents, that Stace has the diabetes. Stacey is just pissy that she’s gotta spend 5 days with Laine, and Laine is no happier about the situation.  The next morning, Stacey and her parents are off to see Doc Barnes the Kevin Trudeau dude.  Before they meet with Barnes, Stacey goes to get a beverage with her parents and tells them that she and Dr J found Dr. Graham, who is an expert on childhood diseases and an overall kick ass doctor.  Then the McGills read the note from Charlotte’s ma about how she didn’t tell Stacey’s ‘rents personally due to confidentiality ( but Stace isn’t really her patient- does that apply? ah whatever) and how Dr. Graham is highly recommended.  And they are seeing Dr Graham that afternoon! Well, the visit with Graham goes well- he agrees that Barnes would not do anything for Stacey that would be helpful, that her diabetes is well under control, and her current doctors are just fine.  So Stacey doesn’t have to see Dr Barnes after all.

At the movies that night, Stacey marvels over how NYC is more pricey than CT, and in CT one could get a soda and popcorn for ninety nine cents- the fuck? Well, this was written in 1986, but I know in 1990 my cuz and I used to go to the movies all the time and snacks cost at least 5 bucks by then so I doubt it was 95 cents in 86! Does anyone know for sure what the snacks at the movie theatres in CT cost in 1986? Anyhoo, Laine and Stacey finally make up at the movies, and that night they see the show Paris Magic.  Stacey then returns home, and gets a sitting job sitting for Baby Lucy and Jamie for a couple hours while Mrs N is at home having some hokey group meeting.  Now, Stacey took that job and didn’t offer it to the other sitters, which I thought was VERBOTEN but Claud was cool with it because she’s done that plenty of times herself- oh you girls!

So in the last chapter, Stacey tells Laine that she sat for Lucy Newton and it was wonderful. Liz and Michelle now have a makeover business- wait did Liz grow up to be Stacy London from What not to Wear? 😉 Turns out that Charlotte was not challenged enough academically in 2nd grade so she will be moving up to third grade at the beginning of January- great success!  Stacey then says that Laine has to come to CT and meet the other girls sometime and Laine agrees- ah remember the book where Laine DID come to visit??? And all’s well that ends well in this particular tale.

 

Sooo… coming up- I will TRY to blog this week ( though with my birthday and Christmas that is not guaranteed) about Sweet Valley Twins Book 17, Boys Against Girls. Next I have  a LOT of Baby Sitters Club to snark on- starting with #2, Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls, then there will be reviews on BSC #46, Mary Anne Misses Logan, and #23 Dawn on the Coast- even though Dawn sucks turds. Next, there will be a break in the BSC action with Sweet Valley High #43, Hard Choices, which is about ENID ROLLINS- soooo- boring- but it will be reviewed anyway!

Following ” Hard Choices”- a review of Sweet Valley Twins #54- The Big Party Weekend- in which Steven looks about 10 and well- not into girls- on the cover of the book, BSC #6 Kristy’s Big Day ( a favorite of mine at the age of 11) and then Gymnasts #2 The First Meet- I can’t WAIT to recap a Gymnasts book and I have a few more! Freshman Dorm will also be recapped and snarked on, and I may try to get books from the Fabulous Five series!!

Sooo in case I do not post before then- MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANNUKAH, HAPPY KWANZAA ( is it Kwanzaa? ) and all that! I do hope to post before 2008 is over- stay tuned!

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One Response to “Baby Sitters Club #3- The Truth About Stacey”

  1. Klee Irwin and Kevin Trudeau! Cracks me up :p

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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