Friday, December 16, 2016

The Baby-Sitters Club #62: Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever

While sitting for her siblings, Linny and Hannie come over with some big news. They are getting a foster kid in the near future. After briefly arguing over whether it will be a boy or girl and which is better, Kristy watches as Karen, Nancy, and Hannie decide to build a playhouse out of old wooden crates. That gives her time to think about how great the family is.

Kristy is once again sitting when Linny rushes over with the news that the kid is on his way. He starts to let David Michael come over before stopping, and Kristy tells him that they need some time to bond as a family. She does watch a kid with short and spiky hair wearing old overalls get out of the car, and she isn't sure if the kid is a boy or a girl. The kid turns away from Mrs. Papadakis when she tries to hug her. She also marches off, walks across the hood of the car, over the roof, and then jumps in through the window to get her bag.

Let's stop right here and explain that this girl is literally the worst. Lou, never Louisa, lived with her dad and older brother after their mother abandoned them. When her dad died, they both ended up in foster care until social services could locate their mom. While I do feel bad for her, she does a lot of really awful things in the later chapters.

Lou starts out small. She refuses to talk to the other kids and makes fun of the girls for building a playhouse that she thinks is lame. She gets super rude about the fact that they want to paint it pink and acts like a huge bitch. When Mary Anne sits for a group of kids, Lou goes off to David Michael about how Mrs. Papadakis makes her eat vegetables and checks her homework every night. She stages a revolt after learning that they have to ask permission to walk to the school playground. Mary Anne catches her in the middle of the street and tells her that she has to go home. Lou acts super snarky about how it was just a joke and clearly doesn't want to hang out with the other kids, but she gets to go back anyway.

Dawn winds up sitting for the kids one day and decides to have them help her make carob brownies. Lou dumps a handful of raw batter on Hannie's head and taunts her for having a cow pie on her head. Hannie bursts into tears, Lou tells her right to her face that she hates her, tells Dawn she hates her too, and locks herself in her room. Dawn talks to her later and finds out that Lou really misses her dad and isn't happy living away from her brother. She apologizes to Hannie too. Dawn then calls Kristy and tells her that Lou isn't the worst kid ever, she's just the saddest kid ever.

When Kristy accepts a job sitting for them, she finds that Lou is still awful. She promises them that they can all play a game of Monopoly once they do their homework and she checks it. The other kids do it, but Lou throws a fit and won't let Kristy in her room. When Kristy talks to her later, Lou shows her homework and briefly talks about her dad, including how he was teaching her constellations and how they had this little spot by the river. Lou then demands that the other kids start a brand new game so she can play, which only gets resolved when Kristy lets Lou take her place.

The worst is after a BSC slumber party. While cleaning up the kitchen in the morning, they hear Shannon (the dog, not the sitter) barking her head off and a hissing noise. Kristy rushes into the living room and finds that Lou stuffed Boo-Boo inside a pillowcase and is holding the cat over Shannon's head to make her jump. When Kristy yells at her, Lou drops the bag and Boo-Boo claws Kristy pretty bad. She then finds that Lou tied a blindfold over the poor dog's eyes, which made her go crazy. Though Kristy kind of lectures her about it, Lou just stares at her and does nothing.

While sitting yet again, Kristy gets a call from Lou's social worker. Though Lou is sure that they found her mom, the social worker says that they actually found her dad's brother. Her aunt and uncle want to take in both her and her brother. Lou goes absolutely bat shit crazy. She throws framed pictures on the wall and breaks them, trashes her room, ruins the playhouse, and then disappears. Kristy eventually finds her crying by a stream because her mom doesn't want her.

Cut to her big going away party. Her aunt and uncle arrive with her brother in tow and seem really happen to take her home with them. They bring her a baby doll and a new football, she bonds with her brother, and she even teases her brother about wanting to hold her new toy. When he says he does, she hands over the doll. They also bring her a brand new puppy. Kristy gives her a book and asks her to write before saying good bye.

The book isn't over yet! Since SMS apparently spent all their money on work experiences for kids outside of school and dances, they have no money left to buy new computers. They ask the kids to hold an auction and donate items for the auction too. Kristy and the BSC can't figure out what to donate, but they do tear apart their houses looking for stuff. To make matters worse, Cokie's dad donated a three minute all you can grab shopping spree to the record store in her name. She literally cannot stop bragging about it.

They hit on the idea of writing to celebrities and asking them to donate things. They get Cam Geary's signed jacket from his latest movie, a signed photograph of an Olympian, a signed set of books from a famous author, the blanket belonging to the latest winner of the Kentucky Derby, autographed toe shoes, and tons of other stuff. The person in charge of the auction can't stop gushing, which causes Cokie to blow a fuse.

When the day of the auction arrives, Watson buys a huge antique bookcase thing and an antique record player. He also buys an old television that someone turned into an aquarium for Karen. Kristy wins the photograph of the Olympian, and Logan buys a pair of pearl earrings, which makes Mary Anne blush. In the end though, the highest bid of the night goes to the 24 hours of sitting that they donated. Bull shit.

*We finally get an answer to Stacey and the New Kids on the Block! The notes in the end say that Ann wanted to do a book about foster kids and decided to make it #35 (or whatever) when doing their story ideas for the year. They later switched to making that book a mystery book and saving the foster kid story line for much, much, much later.

*Why the hell did the Papadakis family even sign up to become a foster parent? Kristy sits there multiple times and so do Dawn and Mary Anne. I like to think they made a bunch of plans just to get out of the house and away from Lou.

*Claudia wears a pair of Docs, purple and white striped leggings, a purple cropped sweater with silver button covers, a black velvet hat that she pinned fake flowers on, and a ruffly short black skirt that Kristy says looks like it belongs on an ice skater.

*Stacey wears a green ribbon in her braided hair that matches her shoes, silver capri pants, a huge white shirt with a green belt, gold earrings shaped like leaves, and green checked leggings.

*Kristy says that she almost fell out of her seat when Cam's jacket hit the $100 mark. If he's a big star like they always say, it should have went for a lot more. There is also no way in hell that a few hours of sitting was worth more than ANY of those celebrity items.

*Cokie's dad threw out a bid for the shopping spree that was so high that no one else even bid on it.

*Stacey makes everyone be quiet at the end because she's calculating stuff before telling them that they had the highest donation. What the hell was she calculating? They literally tell you at the end of bidding how much each item sold for!

*While Lou clearly went through some stuff, there is NEVER an excuse for abusing animals. What she did to Boo-Boo made me see red. I would have literally dragged her home by her ear, screaming the whole way, and told the Papadakis family that she was never allowed back in my house.

*Mary Anne puts on Cam's jacket because it touched him. I can't imagine a world in which she would literally hand that jacket over to someone else.

*When sitting at the Papadakis house in this book, all four kids are there plus the Watson and Brewer clans. Isn't there some rule about how many kids they can sit for at a time?

*Dawn approves of the Fig Newtons that Claudia has but not any of her other junk food. Aw, cute, sweet, clueless Dawn. If she ever actually read the sugar and calorie count on a pack, her poor little head would explode.

*Jessi sits for the Craine kids, the ones with the “ghost cat” from Mallory's book. I totally did not remember them at all and thought there was a mistake at first.

*There's no explanation for the aunt and uncle thing. Did they just not know the kids existed, or did they just hide when they heard their relative died and left behind two kids?