The Baby-Sitters Club were really at their best when they were on holidays, particularly when it was a Super Special. The books were fatter, the covers were white, and everybody got a say.
Their experiences were very different from my summer holidays as a kid. It was like glimpsing a different and slightly anxiety provoking world. They called it a ‘vacation’, kissed boys, and sun baked without getting a lecture on skin cancer.
This is how I imagine their group holidays might be now that they’re parents.
Baby-sitters on Board!
Kristy organises a Caribbean cruise for all the ex-BSC members and their families. No-one except for Kristy and Mary Anne can afford it. Rather than admit this to Kristy they all pretend to have scheduled surgery. Kristy sends lots of postcards telling them about the fun they’re missing. Mary Anne writes a postcard to her husband that she will never send. Little Logan splashes in the pool and she thinks of what might have been. Kristy’s son harpoons a dolphin.
Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation
Kristy organises a fun camping trip for all the ex-BSC members and their families. Only Dawn wants to come. The others all claim to have whooping cough, which is weird because Dawn’s kids are the only ones who haven’t been fully vaccinated. Dawn takes this as proof that crystal inoculations really do work. On the first night Kristy and Dawn have a massive fight about raccoon behaviour but it’s really about Mary Anne. Dawn’s daughter gets gastro in the night and shits in the sleeping bag they have borrowed from Kristy. Dawn and her family leave at daybreak. Kristy and her family can then fish and trap food like normal people.
Baby-sitters’ Winter Vacation
Kristy invites a all the ex-BSC members and their families to her ski lodge in Vermont. Everyone says yes because it’s free and there’s a spa. Claudia’s daughter is a very light sleeper so no-one is allowed to flush the toilet at night unless it’s a poo. Mallory’s children pretend they have done poo when they really haven’t. The next morning at breakfast, Claudia yells at them for flushing too often. Mallory and Claudia have a big fight. The baby-sitters take sides roughly based on whether their children can sleep well through noise. None of their partners say anything and retreat to the rumpus room (whatever that is). Kristy puts on a visor and tries to mediate but no-one listens.
They hit the ski slopes. Stacey brings five hat changes. Her son refuses to talk to her when she is looking ridiculous, which is always.
In the evening Jessi’s son eats a battery, nearly dies and everyone gets a sense of perspective.
Anne is my favourite member of the Famous Five because she gets to make all the sandwiches.
If I could be anyone in Little Women, I’d be Meg because she gets married really young and has twins.
Everyone in the Secret Seven has a really important role in solving the mysteries; nobody is there just to make up the numbers.
I completely understand why the Malory Towers girls are always sneaking out to cook sausages, I’d be the same.
The first two chapters of the Baby-Sitters Club books are the best bits and I learn something new about the club and characters every time.
Black Beauty: what a whinger.
I hope Roald Dahl is right about the witches and I get to meet one.
Aslan is not my real Dad.
I wish Anne of Green Gables had fewer bits with Gilbert in it.
This is a follow up to my post last week about what the Baby-Sitters Club members would be like as parents. I’ve written this follow up partly because I couldn’t stop. Actually, that’s the full reason (thinking while typing).
In the second set of ten Baby-Sitters Club books we are introduced to two new baby-sitters, Jessi and Mallory, who are only eleven years old. This means it is even more illegal to leave your children alone with them but no-one in Stoneybrook seems to give a fat rats.
This is how I imagine things might have turned out for them.
#11 Kristy and the Snobs
Kristy meets some parents at the park who are using a different pram to her. She decides they are stuck up and won’t talk to them.
#12 Claudia and the New Girl
Claudia doesn’t love her second baby until she gets its ears pierced then they start bonding and everything’s fine.
#13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye
Stacey keeps trying to leave the house but forgets her wallet, her beret, her son’s gym clothes. Eventually she thinks she’s remembered everything and goes to work but she leaves the iron on and burns her apartment building down.
#14 Hello, Mallory
When her youngest child starts school Mallory needs to find herself again so she writes and performs a one-woman cabaret show about her life entitled, ‘Hello, Mallory’. All her friends and family come to see the show and clap a lot, but nothing comes of it and she goes back to her former hobbies, scrapbooking and crying.
#15 Little Miss Stoneybrook…and Dawn
Dawn stages a protest outside a toddler beauty pageant. Some people don’t understand that dressing up her four-year-old in fish-net tights and making her dance around a street sign is protest art. Dawn gets investigated by family services when they should be investigated the REAL CRIMINALS.
#16 Jessi’s Secret Language
Jessi is black. She teaches her child baby sign language and feels really good about herself. Six months later all her friend’s babies learn to talk anyway so she starts taking her child to a French Playgroup.
#17 Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery
Mary Anne can’t understand why she never gets a car park close to the supermarket. She starts an on-line petition for more parent parking spots but only 23 people sign it.
#18 Stacey’s Mistake
Stacey thinks her son’s softball practise is on Wednesday night, but it isn’t, it’s on Tuesday. Luckily her son finds his own way home and he already hated her anyway.
#19 Claudia and the Bad Joke
Claudia has had a gutful of people comparing owning a dog with being a parent, even if they’re only joking. She fires up in the comments on a friend’s post and has to apologise for dropping the c-bomb.
#20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster
Kristy decides to walk to swimming lessons with her three boys. Unfortunately, half way there, her youngest sits in the middle of the footpath and won’t move. Kristy tries all of her tricks but can’t persuade him to get up. Kristy can’t carry him because of her lumbar surgery. Then her son wets his pants and it starts to rain. Her two older boys chase a raccoon and beat it. They miss the lessons and the swim coach questions whether they are a family committed to excellence even though they are.
The other day I was thinking that Claudia Kishi probably has Type 2 diabetes by now due to all the Twinkies and Hershey bars that she secreted from her room and then consumed. This is nice because it will really help her relate to her best friend Stacey.
That got me thinking that the Baby-Sitters Club members are also probably parents by now (assuming that time applies to them in the usual way, although it doesn’t. I do understand that they’ll be in eighth grade forever).
But let’s say they did grow up and reproduce this is what I imagine:
#1 Kristy’s Big Idea
Kristy creates a colour chart to map the activities of her high achieving children. This improves the efficiency of her household (although it’s really more of a business) by 92%.
#2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls
Claudia’s toddler, who has almond shaped eyes, keeps making ghost phone calls to people in her address book. This is hilarious! until he calls her new boyfriend from the bathroom while Claudia is doing a poo. Can a pair of fluorescent leggings and some wild earrings win back Claudia’s dignity?
#3 The Truth about Stacey
She has not done a sneeze without weeing for a decade.
#4 Mary Anne Saves the Day
A strange man is taking photos of children in the playground. Mary Anne films him at it and then posts the video on Facebook. The man is hounded out of Stoneybrook by an angry mob and dies alone. It turns out he was taking a photo of a park bench where he met his late wife. Still. Mary Anne is allowed to wear hair however she wants but she still prefers a manageable bob.
#5 Dawn and the Impossible Three
Dawn can’t flipping stand her mother’s group because they use controlled crying and feed their children non-organic food. Dawn cuts them with a knife.
#6 Kristy’s Big Day
Kristy’s son is headlining at his piano recital. Kristy wears a dress instead of a turtle neck and hates herself.
#7 Claudia and Mean Janine
Claudia’s sister Janine is always comparing their children and criticising Claudia’s parenting. Then Janine’s son is diagnosed with childhood depression and Claudia feels smug about it and keeps sending Janine links to mindfulness articles.
#8 Boy-Crazy Stacey
Stacey has an affair with her teenaged son’s friend. Some people are really judgey about it and she has to go to jail.
#9 The Ghost at Dawn’s House
Dawn wakes up in the night and can feel a ghostly presence at the end of her bed. It turns out to be her son holding a dead rabbit. This is not the first time Dawn has suspected he’s evil.
#10 Logan Likes Mary Anne
Mary Anne calls her first born son Logan. Will her husband Derek find out the truth behind why she chose that name? Probably not because he’s always ‘working late’ and never speaks to her. Oh well. At least someone called Logan still likes her.