I really loved being a kid during the 80s and 90s. What other generation can say they had Zack Morris, Debbie Gibson, New Kids on the Block, She-Ra, and Garbage Pail Kids? If you’ve read any of my Lessons from a Sweet Valley Reread blogs, you’ll know that I am all about nostalgia. There’s something so fun about rereading my childhood favorites, so this week, I decided to dip into another series I loved. I decided to say hello to my friends in The Baby-sitters Club.
After rereading Kristy’s Great Idea, I can tell you this with complete certainty: The BSC stands the test of time. Yes, the outfits on the front cover are totally 80s. Yes, it’s hard to believe that this book only cost $3.50. Yes, it’s funny to think that it was such a huge deal for a 13-year-old to have her own phone line when kids today are practically texting in the womb, and yes, I’m extremely curious to find out what would happen if I sent in this membership slip right now.
But all that aside, this book is timeless. The girls from Stoneybrook are as awesome as I remember, and I still really want to be in their club even though I’m probably older than their parents. Here are some other things I realized on my trip down BSC lane.
Kristy Thomas is a genius
In case you’ve forgotten, this is how The Baby-sitters Club gets started: Kristy’s mom can’t find a baby-sitter for little David Michael. Kristy and her older brothers are busy (the boys have after-school activites, she’s already baby-sitting). The rest of the usual suspects—Mary Anne, Claudia, some random high school girls—are also fully booked. Kristy realizes it would be a great idea for parents to be able to call, say, one service during scheduled hours and book a baby-sitter. In one night, she’s got a full-on business plan outlining marketing, potential dues, a meeting schedule, and possible members.
She’s 13 years old.
I don’t want to make assumptions, but I’m pretty sure Kristy Thomas becomes a CEO and lands a spot on the Forbes power list by age 25.
Claudia Kishi is still THE COOLEST
The first time we meet Claudia, she’s wearing short, baggy lavender plaid overalls, a white lacy blouse, a black fedora, and red high-top sneakers without socks. Later, she’s wearing a baggy yellow- and black-checked shirt, black pants, a bracelet that looks like a telephone cord, skeleton earrings, and—wait for it—RED JAZZ SHOES. Where is she buying these clothes? I don’t remember 5-7-9 being quite that funky. And on top of her fashion, guys, Claudia has her own phone line, wears magenta and gold makeup, and has that never-ending supply of candy stashed everywhere in her room. She’s only 13 but I still want to be Claudia Kishi when I grow up.
The kids in Stoneybrook have a lot of responsibility
Clearly the adults in Stoneybook all have much more active social lives than I do, because they rely on the tweens and teens for everything. It’s like the world stops when the local teenagers aren’t available to watch the kids. During the first official meeting of The Baby-sitters Club, they book appointments like crazy! Sure, one’s for Kristy’s little brother and one, as it turns out, is for a pair of dogs, but what did the people in this sleepy little Connecticut town do before Kristy’s brilliant business venture?
Mary Anne has a deep inner life
Mary Anne Spier. Always so quiet and reserved, with her braids and her strict father and her penny loafers. But you know what fascinates Mary Anne more than anything? New York City. She’s blown away by the fact that Stacey lived in New York and she wants all the deets. Do you think Mary Anne moves to the Big Apple when she grows up? Do you think she works at the New York Public Library? DO YOU THINK SHE MARRIES LOGAN AND RAISES GENERATIONS OF TIGGER’S DESCENDENTS? I’m getting ahead of myself.
But do you?
Janine is the actual worst
Remember Claudia’s older sister Janine, the genius with an IQ of 196? She’s as awful as you recall. She’s constantly correcting everyone’s grammar and can’t stop herself from telling people that they use words like “hopefully” wrong. Even when there’s nothing to correct, she feels the need to butt in, like asking the girls if they really meant Baby-sitters Club or did they mean Baby-sitters’ Club? GO BACK TO YOUR BUNSEN BURNER, JANINE. We all know you’re just jealous of Claudia’s kickin’ wardrobe.
Stacey’s handwriting is everything
When I was a kid, I spent many years trying to perfect a certain style of bubble-sized handwriting. Every “s” was topped with a straight line, every “i” dotted with a heart. I think I know where I got that from.
Kristy is the queen of one-liners
Full disclosure: As a kid, Kristy was my least favorite of the original BSC members. (She got bumped up when Mallory joined the crew.) I liked Kristy and all, but she seemed so bossy, and let’s be honest, she wasn’t nearly as glamorous as Stacey and Claudia. But you know what I realize now? Kristy’s a riot! She nails the dry remarks, like this one about Janine:
“Her best friend is a fourteen-year-old math nerd who’s going to graduate from high school in the spring. Her second best friend is her computer.”
Or this one, on her mom’s boyfriend, Watson:
“Watson’s always bringing over food. You’d think he owned a restaurant.”
And this one, which really just speaks for itself:
“You really haven’t lived until a dog has stepped on your face.”
You keep doing you, KT. Those jokes are going to kill in the board room one day.
There’s so much more to discuss about The Baby-sitters Club that I may have to keep these rereads going. What do you think, friends? Should I get buck up and do a reread of Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls? If for no other reason than to find out what Claudia is going to wear next?