Monday, August 8, 2016

The Baby-Sitters Club #90: Welcome to the BSC, Abby

Abby is fairly happy living in Stoneybrook. Her mom is a little less than happy though because the twins won't unpack their boxes. After stubbing her toe on one, she tells them that they must absolutely finish unpacking right away. They find some tin pans that she once used for desserts when she was a culinary expert that they put around the top of the cabinets in the kitchen. They then find a box filled with stuff of their dad's and not knowing what to do with it, decide to hide it away in the attic.

While heading to a sitting job for the Papadakis family, she starts suffering from allergies. It gets so bad by the time she gets to their house that she suggests they play outside to get some relief from the animals. Mold on tree leaves causes her to have an allergy attack. Hannie runs to get help and runs right in front of a car, which causes Abby to have a full on asthma attack. Though she gets her inhaler, she still can't breathe. Kristy, who Hannie ran and got, watches over the kids while an ambulance takes her to the hospital.

The doctor gives her some medicine and she's basically fine. Anna comes to sit with her until their mom can get in from the city. The doctor even tells her that she's fine to go back to school the next day. Kristy doesn't feel nearly as confident. She keeps pestering Abby about how often she has attacks and what she would do if one happened again while she was sitting for a baby and no one else was around to help. Kristy even stops her from taking sitting jobs.

SMS is in danger of losing all its art programs because of a lack of funding. The school board decided to hold a big carnival and let people set up to raise money for the school. Watson even rents real carnival rides and hires ride operators. Kristy decides that the BSC should have a booth of their own. They make buttons from music pictures that they sell for $1. Some buttons have a star on the back that awards free hours of babysitting, which I'm sure the parents of middle school kids will appreciate.

Abby thinks her family should have their own booth. Neither Anna nor her mom really care, so she takes over all the planning. She makes a cake shaped like a piano, puts ballet slippers on a plain cake, and sells slices. She also makes cupcakes and lets kids and their parents decorate the cupcakes on their own. The first day goes fairly well.

On the second day, Anna and Shannon actually show up to help run the booth. While checking out other booths, she hears about a train derailment, which is the same train her mom was taking. Kristy's mom drives them to the train station, someone leaves a note on their front door in case their mom goes home, and they try to find out what happened. Sadly, they get no news.

Abby and Anna go back to the carnival to shut down their booth when their mom shows up. She was on the train behind the first one and got stuck in the tunnel. Since she forgot her cell phone at home, she couldn't contact anyone. Instead of shutting down and going home, she says they should stay and finish out the day with her help.

When they get home, the twins show her the box of their dad's stuff. She completely forgot that she put all that stuff away. She gives Anna her dad's harmonica, gives Abby his favorite watch, and decides to put some other stuff on display around the house like hanging his bathrobe on the bedroom door. He even had his tickets to Woodstock, which she decides to frame and hang on the wall. Oh and seeing the way she handled the thing with her mom makes Kristy realize that Abby can handle sitting and puts her back in the rotation again.

*I love that their mom complains about their boxes and how she unpacked her weeks ago, but then they find a bunch of her cooking stuff and their dad's stuff that she basically hid away from them.

*Her getting sick in their house makes no sense. She isn't allergic to their turtle, says she's fine around poodles, and as other books told us, she's allergic to kitty litter and not actually cats.

*When Jessi makes a comment about how dance is just as important as sports, Abby kind of rolls her eyes. What, because middle school soccer is so important and such a big money maker? Hell, in my high school, most soccer games had like 50 people show up to watch.

*Their mom says that their dad went to the first Woodstock, which made me check the date to see if this came out after Woodstock '99, which it totally didn't. Not sure what she's talking about then.

*For someone super into the arts, Anna doesn't really seem to give a shit that if they lose their funding, she won't have music classes or band anymore.

*Kristy kind of has a good point though. If Abby had a serious asthma attack while sitting for a baby or toddler and couldn't get to her inhaler, something bad could happen.

*By the way, if she has such bad attacks because of mold on the leaves or whatever, how the hell does she handle all these soccer practices and playing outside?

*Mrs. Stevenson moving her kids to Stoneybrook really makes no sense. I know that I've said it before, but why would you move somewhere that requires you take a 2+ hour commute back and forth every day? For what she paid for a mansion in Stoneybrook, I'm sure she could get a place closer to NYC.

*Why the hell would Abby wear that outfit on a sitting job? Not to mention the fact that she doesn't really seem like a velvet dress kind of gal.

*The Pike family makes a booth to sell arts and crafts that people donate. During a sitting job, Claudia helps them decorate the booth to look like a carousel and Claire pitches a fit because she can't ride cardboard horses.

*Claudia says it's a classic booth with three sides and a door on one side so people can enter and exit. If it has a massive open side, why the hell does it need its own door? And also, how much money are people wasting to build these booths? You'd think they'd just set up tables like every rummage sale and flea market in the world does.

*Kristy literally stops the meeting to say she has an idea, Abby asks what it is, and Claudia just smiles as she says that she'll find out. OMG, it's so annoying and unnecessary! Kristy's brilliant idea, which occurs five seconds later, is that they should have their own booth like no one else could come up with that idea.

*Some kids set up a booth with Elvira the goat. They sell goat shaped cookies and charge a fee for people to have their pictures taken with the goat. It's just a goat.


  1. I loved Abby's idea for a booth who doesn't love cake? Especially if it looks like a piano or something.

    I agree about Mrs. Stevenson. I always wondered why Mrs. Stevenson moved her kids to Stoneybrook it never made any sense to me either. She never really acts like she wants to be there and Anna didn't really even care her school could lose its music program. If it was to get away from memories of her late husband why not just move into NYC? If they were going to move they seem like they would prefer NYC to a small town. Abby would probably love the fast pace and beat of NYC and plenty of things to do. Music options for Anna and no long commute for Mrs. Stevenson.

    1. There is just no way that she couldn't find a place anywhere near NYC for what she paid there. Considering that every book tells us about how Watson is a millionaire and has a huge mansion, she has to have cash to stay closer to home.

  2. There was a Woodstock in 1994. I guess for the 25th anniversary. Would that make sense (can't remember when this book was published)?

    1. That totally makes sense. I'm not sure when this came out, but it was later in the 90s. I actually didn't know there was one in 94 :)

    2. My family rented Woodstock 94 on Pay Per View and had people over to watch it. I thought we were pretty cool then but way.

      I do wonder why Mrs Stevenson moved the kids to CT. I want to say New Jersey would have made way more sense and been way more affordable but who wants to live in New Jersey?

  3. I have a ton of allergies, and as such would never baby-sit at a house with more than one pet, or for a house with too many small children. The youngest I'd baby-sit for was 3 years old, and that was because they had a 7 year old as a sibling, so I felt reassured knowing that if something happened to me, the 7 year old would be able to call 911.

    I always loved the idea that Abby was good enough to bake cakes shaped like pianos and draw ballet slippers. It made me sad that that never came up again.

    I want to know how much money they spent to organize this fundraiser versus how much they actually raised, because damn Watson should have just donated all that money instead of setting up rides and what not!

    1. Yeah, Watson steps up all the time in these books when he could just write a check and end it, but I guess that wouldn't make for an interesting book! As for Abby, I really don't like her. I kind of groan every time I realize I have another of her books to go through.