October 21, 2009

BSC #5, Dawn and the Impossible Three: Hey, Did You Know Dawn is From California?

Posted in books tagged , , , at 11:28 pm by Jenn

Actually, Dawn is the impossible one

Actually, Dawn is the impossible one

Summary: Dawn starts baby-sitting for the Barrett kids, whose mom is going through a tough divorce and is having a difficult time taking care of her children while looking for a job. Dawn gets annoyed by Mrs. Barrett’s tendency to seemingly ignore her kids, let housework pile up, and not give her the information she needs about the kids. It all comes to a head when the oldest child, Buddy, disappears, having been basically kidnapped by his father as revenge for Mrs. Barrett forgetting that it was his turn to have custody. This gets Dawn to sit down with Mrs. Barrett and come up with some guidelines and rules they will follow to keep things running smoothly. Dawn is also trying to become friends with Kristy, who’s jealous that Mary Anne suddenly has a second best friend.

Thoughts: Dawn starts to show her true colors in this book. She complains about the weather in Connecticut (because it’s not as warm as it was in California), she tells Buddy he can’t play with toy guns while she’s baby-sitting, and she gets bent out of shape when Mrs. Barrett doesn’t pay her extra for doing housework. Oh, Dawn. Her books are going to get the most comments out of me.

First of all, California must be some magical place where the temperature never drops below 80 degrees, because Dawn finds 70-degree weather “chilly.” She thinks it’s too cold for May. Girl, 70 degrees in May is a dream. She thinks people will wear down jackets to her mom’s picnic. She makes a show of wearing warm clothes. If she were my child, I would give her the evil eye until she shut up. Has she never experienced 70-degree weather before? Really?

Second of all, I get not wanting kids to play with toy guns – I’m a Sunday School teacher, and I don’t let the kids play with pretend weapons in class. But that’s because it’s Sunday School. If I baby-sat for a kid with a toy gun, I wouldn’t forbid him or her to play with it, because that’s not my kid. The parents say it’s okay, so it’s okay. It’s their house, not mine.

Third of all, no one asked Dawn to do housework. She thinks the Barretts’ house is a mess, so she takes it upon herself to get the kids to clean it. Well, good for you, Ms. Schafer, but you’re the baby-sitter, not the housekeeper. Let Mrs. Barrett clean her own house. You watch the kids. Also, as for her not paying extra for the cleaning, Mrs. Barrett is a newly single mom with no job. She doesn’t care about what’s in Dawn’s piggy bank. She has three kids to keep fed.

Though she does go shopping an awful lot for a woman with money issues. Just sayin’.

This is the first book where Mallory Pike really makes an appearance. She briefly showed up in Mary Anne Saves the Day, but this book is where someone mentions how good she is with kids. There’s even foreshadowing about her joining the BSC someday.

Speaking of Mallory, she unknowingly highlights a big mistake in this book. She tells Dawn that Marnie, the youngest Barrett kid, is allergic to chocolate and will get sick if she eats any. But earlier in the book, Dawn mentions Marnie eating some M&Ms, and nothing comes of it. Oops! Also oops – Dawn the anti-sugar queen eats saltwater taffy in this book. Shut up, hypocrite.

And while Dawn is by far more annoying, Karen Brewer’s dreadfulness starts to rear its ugly head in this book. While she, Kristy, Andrew, and the lovely Hannie Papadakis are playing “Let’s All Come In,” she starts ordering people around. Why doesn’t anyone tell her to cut it out? Everyone always mentions that Karen’s bossy, but no one does anything about it. To me, that’s worse than kids playing with toy guns.

Also worse than kids playing with toy guns: Mr. Barrett basically kidnapping Buddy, then not getting arrested for it. Nowadays, he’d be in jail. Things really were different in the ’80s.

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