Baby Sitters #49- Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street

Chapter 1:  Claudia is watching a commercial where this little girl spills chocolate milk on the rug. The mom sprays carpet cleaner on the stain, and these gremlins eat up the stain and the mom is all happy and hugs the little girl, who smiles.  Claudia is getting ready to watch a documentary on the artist Andy Warhol ( the guy who painted the Campbell’s soup can, I believe).  After Claudia finishes watching the documentary, she gets an idea for her next art project- she will make a series of pop art pieces having to do with junk food- like drawing a Twinkie wrapper, a box of Ring Dings, what have you.  As Claudia finishes drawing  a Chunky Bar trio, she realizes it’s almost 5:30 and time for a BSC meeting.

Chapter 2:  Claudia talks a little bit about her love of art- like how do you draw the cream in the center of a Twinkie, how do you distinguish the difference of a center of a Milky Way bar from a 3 Musketeers bar in painting- and Claudia says most people may find art terribly boring, but Claudia finds it totally fascinating. ( by the way I don’t think MOST people find art terribly boring, but maybe I am wrong) We then hear the whole spiel ( or speil??) about how Kristy started the club because her mom went crazy trying to find a sitter for David Michael and called all of these people, and how Jessi is black, and  Mal loves horses and has seven siblings, and apparently we also hear that when it comes to knowledge of math, Stacey ranks right up there with Janine.

Chapter 3:  Claudia gets a phone call from Ginger Wilder and Ginger first says ” Ginger Wilder here” when Claudia answers the phone.  Ginger got the phone number from Mrs. Barrett, and Ginger says she has heard wonderful things about the club, and wants to know if she can hire someone to be a regular sitter.  Ginger Wilder explains that her mother broke her ankle and got shingles  recently and she needs someone to help care for her, and Mrs. Wilder and her sister are each going to care for Mrs. Wilder’s ma at different points.  Mrs. Wilder needs someone to sit for three evenings a week.  She then goes on to say it will be FRIGHTFULLY easy because Rosie Wilder ( the child that needs sitting) is a seven year old ” wunder kid”  who is busy with many things after school.  Claudia is the only one who can take the job, and when she calls Mrs. Wilder back to say so, Mrs. W asks if Claudia has any interest in dancing, music, science or math and Claudia says no.  Claudia says she likes art, and that is good enough for Mrs. Wilder- she calls Claudia a ” budding Georgia O’Keefe.”  Mrs. Wilder also says Rosie likes to draw a bit when she has a few moments.  Claudia then remarks she is a little nervous because she can’t picture at all what Rosie is like.

Chapter 4:   It’s the first day of Claudia’s new sitting job with Rosie Wilder. Claudia  is a little nervous but is instantly ” put at ease” because Mrs. Wilder is wearing a Laura Ashley dress and pearls??? Umm I do love my pearl necklace ( from JC Penney, bitches) but I can’t say that someone in pearls and a flowered dress puts me ” at ease.”  Claudia hears music, and realizes that it’s someone playing the piano- ROSIE is playing the piano and concentrating very hard.  Mrs. Wilder starts to explain Rosie’s schedule- besides piano lessons, Rosie has a tap instructor and a voice instructor who come on Thursdays to help Rosie rehearse a song and dance number as Rosie’s ” agent!!” feels that Rosie needs a ” song and dance number” under her belt. Rosie has science club after school on Fridays.  Rosie also takes ballet and violin lessons.  Claudia remarks that Rosie has a ton of talents and Rosie gives Claud a tight smile. Then Mrs. Wilder says ” that’s not even the half of it!!” Nope Rosie is not done.  She’s in math club, an advanced readers’ group,  and trips to New York for auditions for modeling and acting.. and it’s a full time job! GROAN.  This is already reminding me of that show ” Showbiz Moms and Dads.”  Rosie is a little snarky- Claudia says that if Rosie needs her for anything she’ll be in the living room, and Rosie asks if Claud knows Mozart, Claudia says no, and Rosie says ” then why would I need you?”  Claudia leaves Rosie to her piano practice, and Claudia notices all of these books on the bookshelf like ” preparing your preschooler for success” and Gifted Children: A Parents Guide.”  Claudia takes out a box of Milk Duds and starts drawing it. A few roll onto the floor,  and Rosie notices that and asks Claudia why she didn’t pick up the Milk Duds. Claud says she was drawing them and Rosie gives her a weird look. Then as Rosie is eating her snack of grapes, she asks Claud if she wants to see the musical number she is preparing for some dinner theatre. Claudia says yes, and Claudia and Rosie go the basement which per Claudia looks like a dance studio.  Claudia watches Rosie’s act and she is very talented. Claudia says her smile is the only thing about the act that irritates her- HEH. Then Claudia says that Rosie corrects Claud’s spelling on a note that Rosie and Claudia leave for Mrs. W when they go for a walk and Claudia is all ” a THIRD grader corrected my spelling!!” Claudia, potbellied pigs could probably correct your spelling because you spell, like, beyond retarded.

Chapter 5:  Claudia is preparing for her next sitting job at the Wilders’. Claudia decides that if Rosie needs help with homework she will call Janine, and Janine already said that would be fine.  Claudia and Rosie have tuna salad for a snack, and Rosie remarks that she prefers chicken salad, but tuna salad helps lower cholesterol. OK that is mad weird that a 7 year old would know about, and worry about it.  Claudia tells Rosie before she starts to practice piano that she can’t imagine why Rosie needs to practice piano, or do a lot of rehearsing as she’s so talented. Rosie starts saying how you go up against so many talented kids in rehearsals and you have to practice constantly to hope to compete. Claudia remarks that art is the same way.  Then Claudia realizes that she knows where she has seen Rosie’s gap toothed smile before- in that ad for carpet cleaner!  Claudia remarks on this, and Rosie says she was in the commercial and her dad said it’s Rosie’s college tuition.  Claudia starts feeling rather inferior to Rosie- she’s famous, rich and talented, and smart and has money saved for college.  Rosie has to do science homework, and Claud calls Janine for her to come and help Rosie.  Janine helps Rosie for a bit, and Claudia is sitting there eating a Twinkie and feeling useless ( Claudia says she is feeling useless BTW). Janine remarks that Rosie is very bright when they are done with their homework.  Then Rosie’s dance teacher and voice coach come over and Claudia listens to them yell them about the soft palate and FALUP ball change and Rosie looks wiped out when they are done. Then Rosie asks to see Claud’s sketches and remarks that she hates Twinkies. Rosie then asks why Claudia has so many erasures on the paper.  Claudia remarks they are sketches and she will paint them later. Rosie looks at all the sketches with interest, and says she likes to draw sometimes.  Rosie then says she has a project to do and Claud asks if Rosie wants to do the project with Claud in the living room as Claudia draws and Rosie just goes upstairs. Claudia says that at least she tried.

Chapter 6:  Claudia can’t sit for Rosie one Thursday, so Stacey has to take that job.  Stacey hears some children at Stoneybrook Elementary talk about Disney World and Rosie comments on how she was in a cat food commercial there. The other kids say they bet Rosie has never even been to Disneyworld, and Rosie says she has to but she has a career and doesn’t have time to play around.  Stacey goes up to Rosie and interrupts all this.  Rosie tells Stacey that she’s a finalist for the school wide crossword puzzle competition- she is the third grade finalist.  Rosie then says that Uncle Dandy ( he’s the host of some TV show that airs all over Central CT) is coming over to pick out which of Rosie’s talents will be featured on his show.  Rosie’s agent and Uncle Dandy arrive to watch Rosie perform.  Rosie plays the piano for Uncle Dandy and Sandra ( Sandra is Rosie’s agent, and also a beautiful Asian woman) and then plays the violin.  Rosie will be performing a scene from the ” Brash and the Beautiful.”  Rosie needs someone to play the father in the scene, so Stacey is suck reading for that scene.  Stacey reads her part of the scene horribly, but despite that Uncle Dandy says Rosie is very talented and will definitely be in his show.  Stacey then sees Rosie’s eyes fill with tears, and  then Rosie just grabs a tissue and says she has to do something upstairs.  Stacey feels about two inches tall.

Chapter 7:  Claudia is working on her Milk Dud painting but the BSC meeting is starting. Stacey remarks that Rosie seems like a machine and always looks so grim- like she is not really enjoying what she is doing.   Mary Anne says her parents may be pushing her, and Mallory suggests taking Rosie to fun kids’ places like the zoo.  Mrs. Wilder needs a sitter for at least another week and Claud can take two of the days, and Jessi volunteers to take another day as Rosie and Jessi both are into dance.  Kristy then gets a GREAT IDEA- that Claudia can have an art show!  Kristy then says Claudia can have the show in her garage and set it up like an art gallery and of course they can invite all the k ids.  They will even serve junk food as refreshments. Claudia loves the idea of her first art show.  As Claudia gets back to her painting, ROSIE calls. Rosie says Claudia doesn’t have to go there the next day because Rosie is going to NYC for an audition for a long distance phone company commercial. Rosie says she will see Claudia next time and Claud says that Jessi will actually be going to the Wilder home. Rosie says ” ok ” in a very soft voice.

Chapter 8:  It’s Jessi’s turn to baby sit for Rosie.  Jessi writes in the notebook that she feels she did a bad job at Rosie’s, but Claudia says that Rosie never really gave Jessi a chance.  Jessi says to Rosie how she heard that Rosie was in commercials and Rosie remarks she has already done five. Jessi asks if they can watch them and Rosie says she has to do homework, but maybe if Rosie eats snack very quickly they will get to the video.  After snack they do get to watch Rosie’s commercials and Rosie has to keep pausing the tape and explaining every detail of her fuckin acting technique. Sheesh. Then Rosie tells Jessi how she took a commercial acting class and it gave Rosie ” a lot of practice and exposure.” Ohhh…kay…..  Then Rosie remarks how she took a dance class with a guy from the American Ballet and Jessi tries to get her to discuss dance but Rosie just says she has to practice vocab for the crossword puzzle competition. Jessi doesn’t understand why Rosie does not want to discuss dance if she has an interest in it- but in the last chapter didn’t Stacey say that she is not sure that Rosie enjoys all of this stuff she did? So to moi, it’s  rather odd that Jessi assumed Rosie loved dance after that last BSC convo- it may stand to reason that Rosie is being pushed into a lot of this and may or may not like all of it.  As Jessi and Rosie go to study Rosie’s vocab, Jessi realizes she has no clue what any of the words Rosie wants to study are, so she calls Janine for help. Boy, Janine is really generous with her time in this book.  Jessi hears Rosie snap at Janine if she doesn’t know an answer right away and says to Janine ” you are in HIGH SCHOOL?” because Janine didn’t know some weird South American instrument.  After Janine leaves, Rosie yells at Jessi, ” From now on, I only want CLAUDIA to baby sit for me!!” Jessi asks why, and  Rosie screams ” BECAUSE I LIKE HER THE BEST!” I am shocked that Jessi thought Rosie didn’t like her because she was black.

Chapter 9:  The BSC are all working on invitations to send for Claudia’s art show.  The show will be called ” Claudia’s Junk Food Fantasy”- for now.  All  of the girls then help Claudia clean out the Kishi garage for her show, which is a big job. Stacey even gets grease in her outfit- oh noes!  Everyone is complaining about the cleaning and Claud says if they don’t like doing the job why are they, as it should be fun. Stacey says that they are all helping Claud because they want to and sometimes fun has to start with dirty work.  Stacey says ” there’s no law you have to like everything you do” and it gets Claud to thinking about Rosie- Claudia has the feeling Rosie definitely doesn’t like everything she does.  Claud also thinks that maybe none of them know Rosie at all.

Chapter 10:  Rosie is having Claudia help her with vocab again, and is sniping at Claud. Claud is tired of it and tells Rosie she is not going to help Rosie anymore as Rosie seems to know a lot more than Claud does and Claudia is tired of being sniped at.   Claud observes that the entire BSC is always kissing Rosie’s behind and Claud for one will not anymore. Claudia decides to work on art for her show.  As Claud is working, she notices that Rosie has stopped working and is watching Claudia intently. Rosie then grabs a sketch pad and rips a page from it.  Claudia soon realizes that Rosie is drawing the Mounds bar!  Claudia sees the sketch and Rosie is really talented!  And furthermore as Rosie draws she looks relaxed and happy!  Claud remarks to Rosie that Rosie is really good.  Rosie says to Claud it’s what she REALLY likes to do.  Claud realizes that Rosie wanted Claudia to sit for her so Rosie can watch Claudia draw.  Claud also learns that Rosie was running upstairs to draw. But then Mr. Wilder comes home.  Rosie then hides her picture when her dad gets home… Claudia wonders what is going on with that.

Chapter 11:  Claud is going to be seeing Rosie in ” Uncle Dandy’s Star Machine” to see Rosie perform. Claudia is honored that Rosie only asked Claudia to be her guest, but Claudia is also still wondering why Rosie has to hide her artistic talent from her mom and dad.  I myself am all giddy because the show tapes in Hartford- I live, like, not even 10 minutes from Hartford, CT- REPRESENT!!!  Claudia is surprised that Rosie is so calm about performing.  A girl is smiling at Rosie and asks what her talent is and Rosie says singing and the girl says dance, but then Rosie is all staring straight ahead and doesn’t seem to talk further to the other girl, whose name is Crystal.  Claud says to Rosie that Crystal seems nice and Rosie says you are not to engage in small talk backstage because it ruins your concentration. SHEESH- this poor kid!  Rosie performs and does an excellent job, and Claud is super proud. After the show, a Raymond Mendez of Mendez ” teen and tiny talent” ( DUMB ASS NAME) goes to talk to Mr. and Mrs. Wilder about representing Rosie.  Rosie starts protesting that she has a contract with Sandra,  and Mr. Wilder replies that this move could be great for Rosie’s career and ” rules are made to be broken.”  Claud tries to get Rosie to talk about the show and Rosie expresses no interest in doing so.  Then Rosie remarks that she wants ice cream and her parents say no.  Rosie starts screaming that she doesn’t want to rehearse and she wants ice cream.  Mr. Wilder tells Rosie to behave herself because she ought not strain her voice and Rosie is all ” I don’t want to behave myself!!”  Rosie also says she wants to get ice cream like a normal kid. Seriously, I am feeling bad for Rosie.

Chapter 12:  Mary Anne and Claudia go to the Stoneybrook Elementary Crossword Puzzle Competition.  Before the competition, some kids start going ” oh it’s Rosie the brain she can’t talk to us” and really teasing her and what not.  When Rosie’s name is called as third grade finalist, hardly anyone cheers the way they do for the fourth and fifth grade finalists.  Pretty much only Claudia and Mary Anne cheer.  Rosie wins the competition, naturally.  Then Rosie says she wants to leave and Rosie says she doesn’t get why the other kids gang up on her – she is just doing her best, and everyone teases her and she doesn’t know why.  Rosie starts crying and Mary Anne remarks that Rosie isn’t the only one with problems. Claudia says how she always feels inferior because she’s the only one in her family who is not a brain.  Rosie and Claudia then begin to draw and are being sort of silly, and then Mr. and Mrs. Wilder walk in and witness all this- ART!

Chapter 13:  Mr. Wilder asks Rosie why she was drawing, and wonders if Rosie has nothing better to do with her time. What a dick.  Rosie starts yelling at her parents and saying she has no life and is only happy when she is drawing with Claud.  Rosie says she is tired of work and more work, and runs upstairs, leaving Claud alone with the Wilders.  Claud then tells Mr. and Mrs. Wilder that Rosie is very talented at art, and looks so happy doing it.  Claud then suggests that Rosie can put some of her art in Claudia’s art show and the Wilders agree. Claud is trying to find a way for the Wilders not to suck the fun out of art.  Claud asks Rosie about the show, and she says she’d love to have her art displayed!  Claudia also tells Rosie she should talk to her parents someday about how she feels and what her real interests are, and Rosie says she will.

Chapter 14:  Claud’s ” Disposable Comestibles” show is about to commence. Comestibles is another word for food that Claudia got from some book of Janine’s.  Alan Gray comes by during the show and attempts to ruin Claudia’s show but Claudia makes him leave.  After Claudia’s show which is a real success, ( and after the Wilders remark on how great Rosie’s art looks) Claud asks Rosie if she’s talked to her parents yet and Rosie says no. Claudia is not sure that Rosie will have the courage to do so- well yeah Claudia she’s 7!

Chapter 15:  It’s Claudia’s last job with Rosie. Rosie actually DID talk to the Wilders- on her own! Claudia wasn’t the one who had to tell Mr. and Mrs. Wilder how to  parent- though if Claud did I wouldn’t blame her because the Wilders sucked. Rosie says she told her parents she was starting to hate all the activities because she was way too overscheduled and she said she wanted to do one school thing, one performance thing and one creative thing- and Rosie picked math club, violin, and ART CLASSES- and the Wilders agreed!  Rosie then says if the Wilders agree that she can take art classes, she wants Claudia to be her art teacher!! Claudia says she would be happy to do that- now do we ever hear that Claudia is teaching Rosie art after this? Is Rosie even mentioned after this? Not much,from what I recall.

Let me just say I had never read this book as a kid as I felt it looked rather boring, but I really liked this one- just because I did feel sort of bad for Rosie, and with all these shows like Toddlers and Tiaras on now, the topic is sort of timely.  Well, I will probably not be back recapping until umm I will say Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. I have a lot of shit to do this week, and then this weekend I will be in Lake George for me and my man’s 1 year anniversary!!! I can’t WAIT!! The book I will recap is ” Kate’s Camp Out” a Sleepover Friends book that was one of my favorites as a child. I am looking forward to recapping this for ya all though admittedly I didn’t much like it when I read it again! After that, I will be recapping a Frosh Dorm book, ( I am hoping in the same week) followed by Sweet Valley Twins #18 Center of Attention. And after that I want to recap the pick for what you readers want me to review next- I have narrowed it down to the 2 books that got nominations- ” Karen’s Doll” a Little Sister book and ” Claudia and the Sad Goodbye” which is the baby sitters club book where poor Mimi dies. Polls will close Monday August 31 so PLEASE let me know what book you want me to read and recap after ” Center of Attention!!” My ” Very Special Series” will also be starting very soon with ” Kristy and the Secret of Susan.”


7 Responses to “Baby Sitters #49- Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street”

  1. Potbellied Pigs correcting Claudia’s spelling made me laugh.

  2. Me too, Caroline!

    Man, Rosie’s dad is an asshole. I don’t remember him being that much of a jerk, but wow.

  3. I know I read this book as a kid. But the only part that sounds remotely familiar is the Disposable Comestibles art show. Probably mostly because Alan Gray was there and I have a crush on him. As much as someone can have a crush on a fictional character.

    But dear god, do those parents SUCK ASS!

  4. Love the recap as usual! Rosie Wilder’s parents were the worst… right up there with Mrs. Barrett in her most disorganized days.

    Also, my vote is for Karen’s Doll

  5. Honestly, these recaps make my day.

    Why are parents in the YA world so freaking horrid?

  6. girltalkread Says:

    Lindsay thanks is that really the case? Glad u enjoy them!! 🙂 🙂 Anyway yeah YA parents SUCK ASS- though the Wakefields really take the cake in soo many ways if you ask me- oooohh oooh guys- any more noms for worst YA parents ever???

  7. The Wakefields are horrible! They’re such absentee parents and when they are around, they do the stupidest things. And I imagine there is a smug cloud (like in South Park) hovering over the split level, Spanish tiled home every time Alice is chilling inside.

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