Jessica has an unfortunate experience with their neighbor Mrs. Wolsky. The woman is driving down the road while Jessica is roller blading. When the neighbor makes a turn into her driveway, Jess loses her balance and falls down. Mrs. Wolsky climbs out of her car, takes one look at her, and snaps at her about how she needs to be more responsible and pay attention to stuff.
When Jessica gets home, Steven reminds her and Elizabeth that their friends are coming cover. Apparently, they and Alice decided to have a party for Mother's Day for all the twins' friends and their moms. Both girls forgot to pick up the stuff they were supposed to, but they assume Alice took care of everything. When Alice gets home, it turns out that she forgot too. She's been so busy designing a sun porch for Mrs. Wolsky that she barely remembers her own name. She snaps at the girls about how she can't trust them to do anything and they'll have to just make the best of it.
Since they have basically no food in the house or time to go to the store, they serve bologna sandwiches with lots of tomatoes. They also have mustard and some pickle slices. They don't have enough lemonade, so Jessica adds three pitchers of water to one packet of drink mix. Their friends all laugh at them and leave early. Jessica says she's mortified, and Alice says that kids have no clue how hard things are for adults. They decide to switch places for the week. Alice gets to act like a kid, while the twins get put in charge of the adult stuff.
Alice actually does pretty well at first. She eats powdered sugar doughnuts for breakfast, goofs off with Ned, and does a lot of lounging around the house. She also throws the twins' words back at them a few times. She claims she needs her beauty sleep so she doesn't have to clean the house and kind of turns into Jessica.
Elizabeth had a school assignment where she needed to watch three television shows and write a paper about them. Super hard, right? Alice can't figure out how to work the VCR. She ends up recording a lot of static and destroying a bunch of tapes. Steven tries to explain to her how to do it, but she gets confused and messes up again.
The Unicorns planned a fundraising project where all the girls get donations and rollerblade. Jessica got $75 in donations but she wants more, and Alice agrees to help. She runs around town asking all the neighbors, but no one wants to donate. She ends up writing down names anyway and donating the money herself. When she tries to blade though, she keeps falling down and hurting herself.
The twins have to do the cooking and cleaning. They keep screwing up dinner and everyone complains all the time. Jessica takes her money and buys Dairi Burger for dinner. They cut the burgers in half, add tomatoes and mustard, and serve them with potato salad that they doctored up with pepper and more tomatoes. Everyone loves dinner, and Alice even asks for the recipe for the potato salad. Apparently Ned and Alice don't like eating fast food for dinner so the twins need to hide it. Steven finds the wrapper from the potato salad and outs them to everyone.
The big thing is that Mrs. Wakefield was doing a sun porch for their neighbor. The twins go shopping for furniture and find that everything is outrageously expensive. They try to figure out what to do, but since they have no clue what their mom actually does, they freak out. They go to Alice and ask her to switch back, but she turns them down.
They finally come up with an idea to take all their sun porch furniture and move it to Mrs. Wolsky's house. Steven catches it and agrees not to tell on them if they let him film them and dress them up like robbers. When they get home, Ned talks to them and they find a picture that Alice made for them. It has poems made out of their names. He says that she made it for them and planned to give it to them at the party before things got screwed up.
They feel so bad that they rush to the fundraising thing and come up with a new plan. Alice finishes the event hours after everyone else and runs into Amy who asks for a ride back to the Wakefield house. When they get there, the twins shout surprise. They planned a brand new party in her honor. Everything goes well, everyone has a good time, and the twins manage to keep everyone off the patio.
The next day, they come home to find the sun porch completely redecorated. Turns out that Alice bought everything for the Wolsky porch as a back up plan in case the twins failed. Mrs. Wolsky ended up loving their furniture so much that she paid her for the job, and Alice redecorated their porch with the new furniture. I guess that's all well that ends well?
*Alice really is a bad parent. She tells the twins after the party that they can't expect her to buy everything and plan the party too. Really? She wants two sixth grade girls to plan a party, shop for everything, send out the invites, and clean the house too?
*One of their neighbors calls Ned and warns him about thieves he saw in the area. Yeah, I'm sure someone would see two blonde 11 year olds, one who has a mustache and fake goatee drawn on her face and the other in a skull cap, and think they're actually robbers.
*Alice pretty much puts her job on the line here. She promised to have the porch done by Sunday night, but the twins run the stuff over there early in the morning. She never even bothers to find out what happened until the next day. It doesn't matter if she's teaching them a lesson, it's a shitty way to run a business.
*Steven plans on being a director in this book, which is really just an excuse for him to run around and film people. It really doesn't serve any purpose except for them to always have tomatoes around. He wants to use them to mimic blood or something.
*I love that in this book, the twins suddenly can't cook. In all the other books, they share cooking duties to help Alice.
*The funniest moment comes when Alice gets tired of eating doughnuts and wants to make an omelet. Jessica tells her that she's not responsible enough to cook her own food, which is something she told Jessica after she almost "burned down the house" while making an omelet.
*Ned and Alice also play loud rock music late at night, which pisses off the twins. They go in to tell them to be quiet and find them slow dancing to the song "Lyin' Eyes". I don't know about you, but that's not the kind of romantic song I want to dance to!