Reading Diary: BSC #11: Kristy and the Snobs by Ann M. Martin
"You guys, those kids are terrors . . . They are spoiled rotten. They're demanding, they're rude, and they're snobby. We're watching TV, right? And at the commercial, Amanda says to me, 'Get me a Coke.' Just like that. 'Get me a Coke.' No please or anything. And so I say, 'What do you say?' . . . And she gives me this look and says, 'I say, "Get me a Coke."' Can you believe her nerve? Then Max says, 'Get me one, too.' So I do, but Amanda says, 'Where's the ice?' and I get ice and then Max doesn't want it. And then later they order me to put the empty glasses in the dishwasher and to answer the phone. Which I would have done anyway. But you don't expect an eight-year-old and a six-year-old to order you around."
"Why did you let them?" asked Stacey . . . "[There] are ways to get around those kids. Believe me . . ."
If you were a baby-sitter, would the income level of your clients be a factor in whether or not you take a job? When I think about what a holy terror I was as a child, when my family lived in a two-storey 750-square-metre house that I thought was small because we didn't have our own swimming pool and had to park most of the cars outside the garage, I really wouldn't blame anyone from drawing a class line in the sand.
Kristy Thomas's real problem is that the rich kids aren't just the Baby-Sitters Club's newest clients, easily palmed off to more amenable members, but also her new neighbours.
"Nice outfit," called the one non-blonde, putting her hands on her hips.
I blushed. Too bad I'd chosen the jeans with the hole in the knee that day.
But if there's one thing to be said about me, it's that I have a big mouth. I always have. I'm better about controlling it than I used to be, but I'm not afraid to use it. So I put my hands on my hips and said, "Your outfits are nice, too. You look like clones. Snob clones."
When Kristy narrates a story, there is usually a business spin to it. Kristy's Great Idea is about the founding of the club; Kristy's Big Day covers the problem of how to keep it running after she has to move to a new neighbourhood; and this one sees the established baby-sitters of that new neighbourhood accusing her of taking away their jobs, and then sabotaging her when they know she is working. How can you fit in when the people in your new home won't make room for you?
The key, as the cover suggests, is a shared love of dogs. And the subplot with Kristy's faithful collie Louie is a lot more emotional than I thought a BSC book could be.
But the baby-sitting is great, too. The next time the snobby Amanda and Max Delaney need a sitter, Stacey McGill takes the job--and it makes sense that she'd be the one to tame the shrewlets. Remember her favourite film? Well, the scene in which she gets them to clean up their room is definitely a Mary Poppins moment! I also liked seeing that the Delaney children's first baby-sitter, a fellow rich kid, has her own highly effective way of handling them. Baby-sitting--like, you know, tutoring--is a mix of personal style and savvy strategy.
And it's not just rich kids who can be demanding, as Claudia Kishi learns when she has to watch over the seven youngest Pike children, five of whom are down with the chicken pox. They run her ragged without ever meaning to, and I think I myself would rather look after two snobby brats than a small army of sick kids who ring little bells whenever they need something. "I felt like their maid," Claudia writes in the baby-sitting record book. It certainly makes an interesting parallel! Which job would you prefer?
Image Source: BSC #10: Kristy and the Snobs by Ann M. Martin