Thursday, October 4, 2012

"They had dinner. Chee-tos and popsicles." BSC #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom (1995)

AKA Watson Has a Heart Attack and Nannie Moves Out

I went into this one thinking I had read it before. Now that I'm finished, I'm pretty sure I haven't. I think I've just seen it blogged a few times.

This isn't really a Kristy story. It's a Watson and Nannie story. Watson has a heart attack shoveling snow and when he comes back home, he decides to quit working and be a stay at home dad. Nannie feels he's taken over her role in the family and moves out. Of course, things quickly fall back apart after she's gone. She moves back in and Watson starts working part time from home.

In the subplot, Mrs. Marshall is taking an exercise class with a friend. She leaves her two children and her friend's three children in the care of one sitter. The girls are pretty passive-aggressive about dealing with it. They never tell Mrs. Marshall they have a rule about how many children one sitter can care for. Mrs. Marshall has a cow when Stacey refuses to sit for the five children alone. Eventually, they tell her the situation and she realizes they have a point. Yay, happy ending.

Interesting Tidbits

Why is Watson trying to push the car free? Didn't he shovel away some snow first and put traction down under the wheels (boards or kitty litter)? The book makes it sound like he found his car buried in snow and thought, "Gee, I think I'll push it free." Besides, if I were a millionaire with two able bodied teenage stepsons, I'd make *them* push while I drove.

Watson is CEO of Unity Insurance. Other than Mrs. Kishi being head librarian, we don't usually get such detailed information about what any of the parents in these books do.

Kristy finds Emily plopped in front of the TV eating Cocoa Puffs. If the Brewers are going to neglect their two year old, couldn't they at least give her something nutritious to eat? Most toddlers love Cheerios. It's not until they're closer to Andrew's age that they want to eat only garbage.

DM is in a play and has one line, so he's been "rehearsing" all week. Sounds like enough to drive you insane.

Sure enough, it's not until Elizabeth insists that Kristy and Sam help that Kristy puts down gravel for traction. Sam tells Charlie to put the car in neutral and he and Kristy will shift it to a less slick spot. If Sam and Kristy, who aren't old enough to drive, can figure this out, what the hell is Watson's problem?

AMM must know someone named Sabrina Bouvier. Not only did a character with that name win the Little Miss Stoneybrook contest, but she's also the queen bitch in the middle school, starting when MA gets her makeover (#60). This Sabrina must have been someone she didn't like.

Sort of off topic. Spell check suggests “Boozier” instead of Bouvier.

Why must we sit through the explanation of the how the club started in every book? If someone doesn't know, they should just go read #1. I can't imagine picking up a series like this in the middle, anyway.

Kristy says MA cries over kittens in cat food commercials. Sounds like she's got PMS.

Bowl of granola with yogurt and banana? Yum! Stop trying to make it sound gross, Kristy.

Wow, chapter two is long and full of summarizing other books. It mentions the normal, like how Richard and Sharon got married and Stacey's parents got divorced. But it also has more details than normal on the events of #4 (how Jenny got a fever); #72 (when Dawn's dad got engaged and she stole his credit card) and SS #12 (when Dawn's dad and Mrs. Barrett got married.*) Later, when Dawn sits for the Marshalls, they review the subplot from an earlier book (I want to say #54) when Dawn helped solve a problem for Nina Marshall.

*not to each other!

Kristy says she has to take a deep breath to say all the names of the Pikes at once. There are only eight of them...and there are seven kids in Kristy's family. Does she take a big breath to say them all, too?

How in hell does Watson not have a service to plow his driveway and clear his walkways? He lives in Connecticut, not California where snow would take you by surprise.

After Watson's heart attack, Nannie tells Kristy to call Karen and Andrew's mom, Lisa. She offers to come by and stay with Kristy and the kids. Even for someone who had a friendly divorce, that seems just a little too nice. Of course, she also lets Kristy babysit in her house. Either she's a really big person who wants what's best for her kids, or she's just a littttttttle too close to Watson and his family.

Kristy suggests DM and EM put together a basket to take to the hospital. EM seems like she's a little more "with it" than normal. She wants to put her teddy bear and Booboo (the cat) in the basket. And later, when Kristy says they should add some photos, she grabs every picture in the room, including the ones on top of the grand piano. Not even going to guess how she reached those.

DM holds the bus up while he goes inside to look for his script. It takes them several minutes to find it. In real life, there's no way that bus would have still been waiting for him when he got back outside. The second he ran back in the house, it would have left.

Why does Mrs. Marshall think it's a good idea to leave 5 children with a thirteen year old anyway? Of course, I can't imagine leaving 2 children alone with a thirteen year old either. But she never mentions to the BSC that there will be extra children involved in the sitting jobs, and she pays them the same amount she would for just her two children. Does the BSC not have a per-child rate? I know when I babysat (just a few years after this book was published) I didn't have a set rate I charged, but I did expect that babysitting 3 children would pay better than babysitting 1. And one family I sat for a lot required two sitters because they had five children under the age of 10.

Dawn tells Moira that she will put her in the Pit of Despair for ten minutes. Even when you know the Pit of Despair is the laundry room, that seems wrong. Especially because the BSC doesn't usually threaten their charges.

Dawn sets up a treasure hunt for the kids, who completely destroy the den searching for treasure. When Mrs. Marshall comes home early, Dawn just leaves, without cleaning up. Again, it doesn't seem normal for the BSC, but it's pretty realistic. I imagine that the place would have been just as messy if Mrs. Marshall and Mrs. Phillips had been home with the kids.

When Kristy tells DM about seeing Watson in the hospital, he surprises her by knowing some medical terminology he learned from watching TV.

Kristy makes fun of a banner (yes, another banner) that Karen and Andrew make. They use neon colors and Kristy says it looks like it was made with rainbow sherbet.

Charlie actually installs an intercom for Watson to use.

Karen is acting all sulky and brooding. I almost like it better, because it means she's actually quieter. She is upset because she wants to stay with Watson for the month and it's her mother's month. (I don't remember exactly when that became the arrangement for Karen and Andrew. It seems a little complicated.) Lisa (Karen's mom) and Kristy both say they can't change months because schedules are already set and it's just not a good idea to change them. But really, I just think that Karen and Andrew would be in the way.

That said, though, couldn't Lisa bring Karen and Andrew over at say, 9am on a Saturday and pick them up at 6pm, without it interrupting the schedule too much? Karen complains she only got to see her dad for a few minutes since he's been home. That doesn't seem right (and you know it's taking a lot for me to agree with Karen.)

You'd think that the second time Mrs. Marshall called, wanting a sitter for the same time frame, the BSC would have double checked to make sure they would be sitting just for the Marshalls and not for the Phillipses as well, but they don't. And then Mallory acts shocked when she shows up and there are five children there. Mallory is eleven years old, for crying out loud! These days, you can't even legally leave an eleven year old home alone without a babysitter...never mind in charge of five small children.

Mallory has to deal with an accident and a flood and five grumpy children, so she does the smart thing and calls Jessi to help. Unlike other times when there was an accident and a second sitter was called, Mrs. Marshall refuses to pay Jessi. Mal ends up splitting her pay with Jessi (which was the right thing to do.)

Kristy says she loves everything on her pizza, including anchovies. But in other books, she and all the other babysitters refuse to eat anchovy pizza.

Watson quits his job and takes over all of Nannie's form duties, like making dinner, cleaning and looking after Emily. There's a big brouhaha over one night when both Watson and Nannie make dinner, and Nannie's been quiet and depressed. And yet everyone's shocked when Nannie moves out.

Claudia misspellings: emberessing, expekting. And she writes reel instead of real and burrrrr of brrrr. Not too bad. She uses 13 words and only gets 4 of them wrong.

The BSC makes an executive decision to send two sitters to the Marshalls the next time Mrs. Marshall call, and says one can go home if it's just Nina and Eleanor they're sitting for. Instead of, oh, I don't know, ASKING MRS. MARSHALL HOW MANY KIDS WILL BE THERE and explaining that the club rule is two sitters for more than four kids. That would have been more professional.

That said, Stacey handles herself very well. She tells Mrs. Marshall that if there are going to be five children there, she can't responsibly take the job on her own. When Mrs. Marshall says she won't pay a second sitter, Stacey and Claudia leave.

Jessi is the first one to point out that, even though it's a club rule, they've never told clients that it's two sitters for more than four children.

THE BSC SCREWED UP!!!!!! Shocking.

Okay, flash back to #50, when the BSC was sitting for Norman and Sarah Hill. As I said in that blog, by this book here, it's Norman and Sara Hill.

When things go wrong in the Brewer house, they go really wrong. EM gets the flu. Sam forgot to buy bread, and there's no money for lunches. Everyone misses the bus and Charlie's car won't start. Andrew injures himself with a hammer and Karen spills jam all over the floor. And no one remembers to pick up poor DM after his play practice.

As soon as Kristy asks Nannie to come back, she's like "Hot shit!" and moves back in. Doesn't she have a lease she has to honor?

Kristy says Watson packed Karen and DM sardine sandwiches. Come on. He can't be that clueless.

Even Watson calls Nannie Nannie. Shouldn't he call her by her first name or something?

Lame-o. Kristy's whole family cries at DM's play because he's so wonderful.


Claudia: long red underwear shirt, pinstripe trousers, black and white suspenders, ruby slippers

New Characters

Moira, Bryant and Tyler Phillips (7, 6 and 3)--24, 23 and 20

Next Week: Super Special time! Probably #1.

1 comment:

  1. My granny goes by "Granny" to almost everyone. That said, her sons- and daughters-in-law mostly call her by her first name, like Grandad does. But pretty much everyone else one generation or more below her calls her either "Mom" or "Granny."

    Good catch on the Sara/Sarah!