Thursday, February 20, 2014

“I’m eating slowly, okay?” BSC#24 Kristy and the Mother’s Day Surprise (1989)

Guess which holiday this one covers? Several things are going on. For starters, the BSC puts together an outing for their clients the day before Mother’s Day so that the moms can have a day off. Stacey (who has no life, I guess?) comes to hang out in Stoneybrook just so she can help with the event. They take twenty-one kids to a carnival.

Meanwhile, two other Mom-related things are going on. Mary Anne’s all kindsa sad briefly on-and-off through the book because she has no mom. And Elizabeth keeps talking about babies and being mushy and weird. She and Watson adopt a Vietnamese toddler and name her Emily Michelle. And suddenly--because we all know that having a kid solves all your family problems--the Brewer-Thomases feel like a family and all is well.

Interesting Tidbits

Before I even start this one, this is something I was thinking about at work today. (You now have a vague idea of how boring my job is—I think about the BSC during work.) Kristy takes the bus to school because she lives out of the boundaries for SMS. I’m fairly certain that the school she’s supposed to be going to is called Kelsey. But who actually goes there? All of Kristy neighbors appear to send their kids to either Stoneybrook Academy (Karen, Hannie, Linny) or Stoneybrook Day School (Shannon, Tiffany, Maria, Max, Amanda, Bill, Melody, Bart). And of course, Abby and Anna go to SMS. This turns out to actually be relevant, because Kristy mentions everyone in her neighborhood going to private school.

The cover: I’ve looked at this cover probably 100 times before for various reasons. And not until today did I ever notice that the boy on the right in the green striped shirt is playing with the girl in the skirt’s hair. What an odd choice, Hodges Soileau.


Oh no, I have to stop wearing layers. I’m dressing like Dawn!

I’ve always wondered about Kristy wearing a visor at meetings. She says she likes to look like she’s in charge. But the only people who ever see her at meetings are club members and maybe Claudia’s family. And they all know she’s president, so why? (That’s totally rhetorical, because it’s just a power trip on Kristy’s part.)

Claudia spelling: Jessi finds M&M’s in a box labeled ‘pastils and charcaols.’ (Interestingly enough, M&M’s are written as M and M’s in one spot, and then M & M’s two paragraphs later.)

Kristy’s so thoughtful. Everyone’s discussing at to get for Mother’s Day, and MA says she doesn’t have to worry about it. It gets all awkward and Kristy’s like…we don’t know what to say. “Sorry we have moms and you don’t?” Could have been worse. She could have actually said that to MA, not just thought it.

This book is hella full of ham-fisted foreshadowing. Karen and Andrew and DM are acting like brats at the dinner table. Even Sam is being bratty—he tells Karen her epidermis is showing, for cryin’ out loud—and Elizabeth and Watson are sitting there talking about how beautiful their family is and how lucky they are to have all these great kids. (Humorously, when Elizabeth asks how everyone would feel about another brother and sister, the older three are all for the idea of her getting preggo. I don’t know many high school kids who would welcome a baby into their family with open arms…if only because it’s proof that their parents are having sex.)

Best ending to a family dinner ever: Boo-boo comes in with a still-living mole he’d caught. My cats can’t even catch bugs for the most part. (Dobby thinks that if he meows at them enough, they’ll fall into his mouth. Or something.)

Aww, sad foreshadowing. Kristy notes that Mimi seems slower and older these days. Ultra mega sad face.

OMG…it’s the I’m Awesome necklace! It’s one of the moments in BSC fashion that I just never forget. Because we all know that if you have to tell people how awesome you are, you’re really not awesome at all. Sorry, Dawn. (BTW, I love the fact that Kristy wonders where she got it and then says, “Probably California.” Because apparently, that’s where the narcissists all live. The cool ones, anyway.)
BTW, found this. Dawn would probably like it:

Claudia spelling: Babbysat (yay, that one’s my favorite!) waht (twice), wher, discovred , printending (pretending ???, twice), circos, thight, glas, anser, probelms. She also uses there for their, bake for back and clone for clown. The last one is pretty funny; she says that Jamie was printending (still ???) to be a clone.

What’s with AMM and little kids messing up the lyrics to songs? I remember distinctly one book where I think it is Max Delaney who keeps singing my hysle cat instead of my high silk hat. In this one, DM keeps singing about iceboards instead of icebergs. That kind of makes sense. But Jamie is singing Home on the Range and gets most of the lyrics wrong. I can understand a kid not understanding a word or two in a song because I’ve done that myself. But Jamie’s silly lyrics make absolutely no sense.

Kristy’s mom cries when she gets her ‘surprise’ invitation. Kristy says it’s like she was watching Love Story or Brian’s Song on television. Seems needlessly specific. How many ten year olds in 1989 had seen either of those movies?

Jessi’s really super excited to meet Stacey…because she sleeps in her old bedroom. To me, that would be more freaky than anything else.

Ooh, more foreshadowing: Stacey’s excited to come to Stoneybrook because her parents have been arguing.

The meeting with Stacey in it is actually all awkward. Mal and Jessi don’t know how to act around Stacey; Stacey’s all wistful for living in Stoneybrook; Mimi comes wandering in, looking for a cow. (I did not make that last part up.) Finally, as a distraction, Kristy says, “I wonder what my mom will look like when she’s pregnant.” And Dawn replies, “Like she’s going to tip over.”

And we’re back to talking about how Claudia and Stacey met by running into eachother again. I like that version of events better than the one in last week’sbook. Although, at my middle school, it would have been more like, “Bitch, don’t be trying to copy me!” and then a cat fight because they were wearing the same outfit. Kristy even suggests they were mad at each other because each was trying to be the coolest.

Funny moment (to me): When they get to the carnival, Karen of course wants to go in the haunted house. It’s decided that Andrew, Archie, Suzi and Gabbie are too young to go in. Jenny opts out also, because the house is dirty. Last time I checked, she’s the same age as Andrew and Archie and Suzi’s actually older than she is. I guess Kristy (who didn’t want to invite Jenny and keeps saying EW in regards to her) just wanted to point out how prissy she is?

Mallory refuses to let Margo ride any of the rides because of her motion sickness. She finally relents and lets her on the merry-go-round. Margo repays her by barfing all over her shoes. (When they eat lunch, Kristy tells her to eat slowly. She says the title line about half an hour after everyone else is done eating.)

Poor Shea. Karen has a crush on him. Run, Shea, run!

Interesting. Mal knows a lot of songs that she uses to keep the kids focused on something. Many of them were ones we sang at Girl Scout camp, but quite a few didn’t seem like songs little kids would know. I always knew tons of kiddie songs growing up, and songs like “The Ants Go Marching” (which Mal starts with) always work best because you don’t have to know all the words, just the general gist. We used to use that one, “Herman the Worm” and “Found a Peanut” for that purpose. But “Hey-ho, Nobody Home”…I used to sing that whole series in a round with a bunch of seventh graders at camp, but I wouldn’t expect seven year olds to know it.

Claire’s Mother’s Day card says Happy Moths Day.

Mary Anne’s thirteen and she just thought of giving her dad a Mother’s Day present? You’d think some adult might have suggested that by now.

David Michael, after finding out about Emily Michelle: “But I guess a little sister will be okay. I mean, I’ve already got one, and she hasn’t killed me yet.”

Okay, here it comes. My rant.

I have two adopted cousins. One of them was adopted in much the same way EM would have been, in the same time frame. She was two years old and adopted from Korea in 1987. And my aunt and uncle paid thousands of dollars, were on a waiting list for things to clear up—legal issues, etc—for several years before they were able to adopt. And then they had to fly to Korea to claim her and spent several weeks there before even more legal red tape was sorted out.

Watson and Elizabeth have been married for less than a year. They never left the country—someone brought Emily to them. And while there are countries where you don’t have to go to pick the child up, you’d think they’d want to if they could. And even though they claim they’ve been trying to adopt for a while, they find out about Emily one day and get her the next. My aunt and uncle found out about my cousin and went to get her several months later.

Now Dawn’s in on the act of misheard song lyrics. She sings Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” as “the girl with colitis goes by.” And while, according to a book I own, that is actually a commonly misheard lyric, how has Dawn ever heard of colitis?


Mallory: SMS sweatshirt, jeans with zippers on the legs (remember when those were cool?), gold hoop earrings

Jessi: jeans, leotard, gold hoop earrings that match Mal’s

Mary Anne: black and white checked skirt, matching hair bow, (no shirt I guess? Way to go Mary Anne!), necklace with her name spelled on it (and probably her number…after all, she’s shirtless!)

Dawn: dress, plaid high-top sneakers, I’m awesome necklace, four different sized hoop earrings

Claudia: dress, red tie, socks that were red, blue and purple, spider earrings; blue shirt, blue and black leopard print pants tied at the ankles, purple high-tops, mega accessories

Kristy: jeans, sneakers, turtleneck, sweater; jeans, collie hat, t-shirt with a picture of Beaver Cleaver on it (REALLY?), SHS sweatshirt

Stacey: pink jumpsuit, white t-shirt, jellies (for chasing kids around in? Bitch, please. Those things would chafe your feet raw. There’s a reason no one wears them anymore!)

New characters:

Emily Michelle Thomas Brewer (2)—27

Next week: #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger, where we get to delve into the problems of a family we don’t get to see too much—Logan’s.

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