January 16, 2012

BSC #94, Stacey McGill, Super Sitter: Show Me the Money

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 6:06 pm by Jenn

Stacey's sweater is cute, but those shoes...ick

Summary: Stacey wants to take Robert to a Broadway play for his birthday, which means she needs to babysit as much as possible so she can buy tickets. A job comes up for a family named the Cheplins; they need a sitter every afternoon right after school until 5:30. Even though it leaves her little time for homework, her friends, her mom, Robert, and other sitting jobs, Stacey takes it.

Mrs. Cheplin is hesitant at first since Stacey’s only 13. But Stacey wins her over with the fact that she has diabetes, which Dana Cheplin has just been diagnosed with. Mrs. Cheplin gives Stacey a bunch of household work to do along with watching the kids and helping them with their homework. Though she claims she still isn’t comfortable with the arrangement, only extending the deal two weeks at a time, Mrs. Cheplin keeps giving Stacey more and more responsibilities and paying her more for them.

Stacey’s happy with the money, but soon realizes how much time and energy the job is taking. She has to miss out on plans she’s made with Robert, her friends, and her mom so she can complete homework and do other things she isn’t able to do during the week. Dana has a diabetes-related emergency one day, and though Stacey handles it very responsibly and maturely, Mrs. Cheplin is still clearly not impressed with her.

On Valentine’s Day, things really start to come apart. Stacey forgot to buy Robert anything and finally tells him why she’s been working so hard. Then, after she has a particularly hectic day at the Cheplins’ but still only gets a two-week extension of the job, Stacey tells the BSC girls about all the chaos. They note that the money she’s been making isn’t as important as everything else in her life. Stacey realizes that she’s turning into her workaholic father and tells Mrs. Cheplin she can’t keep working for her every day. Robert may not get to go to Broadway, but Stacey’s still happy.

In the B-plot, Logan wants to buy Mary Anne a ring for Valentine’s Day. He asks Stacey for help picking it out, but she’s busy (of course), so she suggests that he ask Kristy instead. Charlotte and Becca spot Logan and Kristy ring-shopping together, and when they see him put the ring on her finger, they think Logan’s a two-timer and Kristy’s a home-wrecker. They spread the news to a bunch of other kids, and suddenly Kristy starts getting hate mail from eight-year-olds. She has no idea why kids are mad at her; her only idea is that some of the Bashers are mad at the Krushers.

When the news comes out and Logan tells the kids what was really going on, his sister Kerry admits that she canceled his and Mary Anne’s Valentine’s Day reservations (thinking he was going to take Kristy out instead). To make things up to them, the kids make them dinner, which is actually really sweet.

Thoughts: Kristy actually wants Stacey to turn down the job at the Cheplins’ because she won’t be free for other jobs. So she wants Stacey to say she can’t sit so she can…sit. Kristy, you’re a horrible businesswoman. I get her not wanting Stacey to sit every day, but can’t the girls split up the job? Turning it down completely would be a huge loss.

…Although Mrs. Cheplin is a huge bitca. I would never be able to handle working for her. She leaves Stacey two- and three-page-long lists of chores, such as doing laundry and starting dinner, which she’s expected to do in just over two hours, while helping the kids with their homework. She questions Stacey every time she can’t complete some task, like she’s testing Stacey to make sure she can handle everything. But they’re the sorts of things that a stay-at-home mom or housewife would complete over the course of a whole day, not in just a couple of hours. Then when Stacey finally tells her she has to quit, Mrs. Cheplin says it’s because she’s not mature enough for the job. Girl, please! She was more mature than any 13-year-old should be expected to be!

Mary Anne and Logan bring their own pencils to the bowling alley to keep score. Cough nerds cough.

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