Complete candor up front - growing up, I had a difficult time relating to Stacey McGill. I had something in common with every other baby-sitter. I was Asian American and a daydreamer like Claudia Kishi and a west coast girl like Dawn Schafer. I had the responsibility of Kristy Thomas and the social awkwardness of my favorite Mary Anne Spier. My sister and I seemed like Abby Stevenson and her sister, although I was more Anna than Abby. I always had my nose between the covers of a book and wrote stories that I kept with me wherever I went like Mallory Pike. And finally, Jessi and I shared a sense of humor.
Stacey, on the other hand, was beautiful and boys liked her - neither of which were true about me. Stacey was distant and foreign to me - a gorgeous nymph in a waterfall that I would never reach with my misshapen body. Or, at the very least, she was a popular girl in my class who would never speak to me in the first place.
As I got older, the only thing I remembered about her was that she had diabetes. When I thought back on the series, I said to myself, "Diabetes must have been a bigger deal back then."
After reading The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy Crazy Stacey, I still think, "Diabetes must have been a bigger deal back then." But I also see something in Stacey - her unwavering belief in the best in people and vulnerability because of her belief.
SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON!
My copy of The Baby-Sitters Club #8 – Boy Crazy Stacey by Ann M. Martin – Someone wanted this to be #3 instead of #8.
The book opens with Stacey and Mary Anne promising the other members of the BSC to write every day and send them postcards. The Pikes are going on a trip to Sea City, New Jersey and they hired the two as 24-hour babysitters for the eight Pike kids.
Eight kids. Mrs. Pike doesn't work. Two-story suburban house. Beach front vacation house. Seven kids and Mr. Pike's mystery job.
He is clearly in the mob. He offed some stooly and his mob boss paid for a trip to Sea City, which is close to Atlantic City. That is the only explanation for his ridiculous life, even during the halcyon days of the 1980's. How can a ten-person family where the mother doesn't work possibly afford this vacation with two 24-hour babysitters? Illegally, that's how.
But I digress. There are eight Pike children that Mary Anne and Stacey have to corral around Sea City. The youngest is Claire, 5, followed by Nicky, 8, Margo, 7, Vanessa, 9, the triplets Jordan, Byron, and Adam, 10, and finally, future BSC member, Mallory, who is 11. I had to write down all these children's names, but Martin does make it easy for the reader to remember who is who. Mallory is the most mature one. Jordan, Byron, and Adam are little jerks. Vanessa rhymes all the times. Nicky wants to emulate his brothers, Claire is obnoxious, and Margo is miscellaneous. That's how I kept track of them.
Stacey goes over a few of the items she's bringing along with her to Sea City, one of which is something called "Sun-Lite." Apparently, if her parents found out she had a "Sun-Lite" bottle, her Mother would murder her. I had no idea what "Sun-Lite" was and I still don't. A Google search brings me to a lighting company. When I modify my search to add "hair" I get a Florida hair salon. From context clues, it seems to be some kind of bleaching agent. Ann M. Martin fails to explain what it is and this isn't the last time I came across something I had never heard of.
Chapter 3 starts with our first handwriting section. Stacey asks if Kristy likes the postcard, which is apparently, "wild." I don't know about you, but I've never seen a "wild" postcard. Maybe if it had a nude lady on it. To be fair, there isn't a description of the postcard, so I guess it could be a nude lady. If you've seen a "wild" postcard, let me know in the comments.
YOU ARE READING
Rereading My Childhood: The Baby-Sitters ClubNon-Fiction
I am revisiting my favorite old books, and I'm starting with The Baby-Sitters Club.