I don't know if you know this or not, but Stacey is from NYC. She tells us this yet again at the beginning of the book and mentions it to Robert too. I'm pretty sure he hears this like once a day. After her dad calls to say he wants to take her to a Broadway show, she's shocked to find out that Robert never went to a show before. When Maureen tells her that tickets are pretty expensive, she decides to work overtime and take him to the city for his birthday.
It just so happens that a call comes in at the next BSC meeting from a new client. Mrs. Cheplin needs someone to watch her kids, Dana and Adam every day after school. She isn't too happy to learn that Stacey is so young and makes it clear that she needs someone with more experience. Begrudgingly, she gives Stacey the job on a one week trial basis.
The job seems pretty easy at first and pays really well. Cheplin has her pick up the kids from the bus stop – they go to some fancy private school not in Stoneybrook – at 3:15 every day. She does some light housework, makes sure they do their schoolwork, and generally just keeps an eye on them. Dana was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and while Stacey thinks this will help them bond, it really doesn't.
It doesn't help that Dana uses her diabetes to get out of things. When her friend wants to play a different game, she suddenly gets weak and tired. When the other kids want to have a snowball fight instead of doing what she wants to do, she suddenly gets weak and tired. Stacey contemplates telling Mrs. Cheplin about things, but the woman just keeps shoving money in her face.
Mrs. Cheplin is also kind of a bitch. She keeps lengthening the list of things Stacey has to do. It winds up being dinner prep, sending out the mail, calling the plumber, doing research on dance studios, doing laundry, cleaning the house, and a bunch of other things to the point where the list is two pages long. She flips out at one point because Stacey didn't make rice for her dinner and the plumber left a mess on the floor. Another time, she freaks out because Stacey left the house a mess. Stacey explains that Dana's blood sugar dropped dangerously low and she rushed her to Dr. Johansson when she couldn't get a hold of their regular doctor.
Stacey quickly becomes exhausted. She has to skip doing stuff with her mom, break a date with Robert, and cancel plans with Claudia to spend a weekend just catching up on her schoolwork. She keeps justifying it because of the money involved. Stacey even starts thinking about how much she can make in the coming months and how she can put back money for her first car. Her mom refers to her as a workaholic and complains that she's just like her dad. Mrs. Cheplin keeps extending her trial period without actually giving her the job.
Robert shows up for Valentine's Day with a gift for her, and she feels so bad for not getting him enough that she tells him her plans. That makes him feel bad enough that he tells her she can quit. After talking it over with the BSC, Stacey decides that it takes up just too much of her time. When she tells Mrs. Cheplin, the woman tells her that she knew choosing a younger kid was a bad idea and pretty much hangs up on her. Stacey doesn't really care though because now she can actually have fun again.
In other news, Logan wants to buy Mary Anne a ring for Valentine's Day. Since Stacey is too busy to help him, he goes with Kristy. Some of their charges see them and thinks they're having a scandalous affair. They leave them both nasty notes and prank call them. It all comes to a head when they invite Mary Anne over so they can confront Logan.
The truth comes out, including the fact that Kerry totally canceled his dinner reservation. The kids all come together and make them a special dinner. They invite Mary Anne and Logan over, serve them dinner, and go overboard. Mary Anne cries, naturally.
*According to Maureen, two tickets to a Broadway show are like 100 bucks. Ah, the 90s. I don't even want to guess what Hamilton tickets go for right now...
*Stacey is shocked when Maureen tells her that a lot of people other than Robert haven't been to Broadway. Um, yeah, I live in Ohio and have definitely never been.
*Kristy, who constantly flips out at the idea of turning down sitting jobs, actually tells Stacey not to take this one because it might interfere with their regular clients.
*Logan somehow has enough money for a ring and dinner at Chez Maurice, despite the fact that he never seems to sit anymore. Would you not feel awkward at a place like that at 13?
*Claudia made some sweat outfit with lace and ribbon hearts all over it to wear to some craft fair. She also made business cards in case anyone saw it and wanted one of their own. That does not sound like something I would wear.
*Stacey and Robert double with Mary Anne and Logan. They all go bowling, and Stacey tells her mom that they actually beat the other couple this time. Is it weird that I cannot picture the four of them double dating?
*Stacey thinks that telling Mrs. Cheplin that she wants her to do too much and still watch her kids will somehow make her have an epiphany and realize that Stacey was right all along. It's kind of nice that an adult actually doesn't bow down to her. At the same time though, she needs both a housekeeper and a sitter.
*Ann's notes in the back talk about how she gets letters all the time from sitters worried about parents asking them to do housework without paying them for it. I sat a lot in my younger years and somehow never had that problem.
*Maureen has a rule that Robert can come over while she's at work as long as they stay in the kitchen. Stacey's dad – and I – are both dubious of that rule.
*Stacey sits until 5:30 and can't make it to meetings until 5:45 or so. It always cracks me up that parents in Stoneybrook mysteriously never need sitters during meeting times...
*Stacey keeps thinking that she should talk to Mrs. Cheplin about Dana and how she uses her diabetes as an excuse. It's a pretty serious story line that doesn't get a resolution because she never says anything.
*As a diabetic, I hate the speech Stacey gives about how she can't have sugar while cutting up carrots for a snack. Carrots have a lot of natural sugar.
*For their double date, Stacey wears black ankle boots with blue leggings and a long, bright pink sweater. That sounds totally 90s.
*Kristy somehow does NOT freak out when Abby shows up three minutes late to a BSC meeting. Maybe she calmed down in her later years?