Monday, March 17, 2014

BSC #24: Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise

By Ann M. Martin. Published May 1989.

Y’all, the ridiculousness is super strong with this one. There are a lot of ludicrous situations in the series, but this one is right up there. I don’t know much about international adoption, but I do watch The Little Couple. And I have common sense. This is not how shit goes down.


Did y’all know Kristy has a big family? She does, and she’ll go on and on telling you about it. It always kills me when they talk about how it’s a good thing they have mansion with so many people, when the Pikes have an even bigger family, and live in a normal four bedroom house.

Mother’s Day is coming up, and none of the girls know what to get their moms. Then Mary Anne says she never has that problem, and totally guilt trips them. Way to be a Debbie Downer, Mary Anne.

Then Kristy has one of her patented great ideas for a present. And it wouldn’t just be for her mom, but for all the kids they sit for. Because you can’t do anything without them.

Her idea is to take the kids on some sort of field trip, to give the mothers a day off from being a mom. They’ll do it the day before actual Mother’s Day. The girls all love the idea, and it helps Jessi and Mal out with their presents, too. Dawn and Claudia are shit out of luck. And Mary Anne just sits quietly.

They don’t know what exactly they’ll do with the kids, though. That is until Claudia sits for the Newtons, and sees a flier on their refrigerator for Sudsy’s Carnival, which will be in Stoneybrook Mother’s Day weekend.

The girls all agree this is a great idea, and their plan begins to take shape. They’ll go to the carnival just in the morning, and each of the kids can do three things. They’ll have lunch at a playground, and then it’s back to Claudia’s backyard for stories and crafts. They make a list of kids to invite, and end up with twenty-nine. Even if they don’t all come, it’s a lot of kids. So Claudia has another idea, and invites Stacey for the weekend.

They have a huge, happy reunion at the meeting before the outing. Stacey caught an early train, and Claudia’s so happy she cries. It’s pretty sweet. Stacey and Jessi are a little awkward, because they’ve never met, and Jessi is living in Stacey’s old room. But they get over it pretty quickly.

Everyone meets early the next morning at Claudia’s before going to the carnival. There are a few criers, but it’s no biggie. Stacey surprises Charlotte, and it’s a really nice moment.

The carnival’s not really that big of a deal, but the kids for the most part have fun. Karen gets freaked out in the haunted house, and has to be let out by a worker, who tells her some of the secrets of the haunted house. Margo, of course, gets sick on the merry-go-round.

The group goes to the nearby playground to eat their brownbag lunches, which Mr. Kishi and Mimi have kindly brought. Kristy tells Margo to eat slowly, and she takes it a little far, eating really slowly. Jenny makes fun of her, and Claire almost gets into a fight with Jenny over it. The boys find two water fountains that spray into each other, and Nicky gets Claire to stand in between them, soaking her. She thinks it’s hysterical. And Karen tells a bunch of the kids the “secrets” from the haunted house.

They walk back to Claudia’s house, and Mallory gets everybody singing. Once they’re at Claudia’s backyard, they split the kids into two groups. One makes Mother’s Day cards, while the others listen to stories. Then they switch. All goes well, and the dads start showing up to pick up the kids.

Ok. So. Kristy and her brothers and sister arrive home, and Elizabeth and Watson are standing there with shit-eating grins on their faces. They sit the kids down and tell them their news. They’re adopting a little girl from Vietnam, and she’ll be arriving the very next day. What. The. Fuck. So the parents don’t go to her home country to meet her and pick her up, there are no home visits from an adoption agency. Nothing. It just…happens. Imagine if this were set now. They could probably just order up a kid online.

Kristy, Sam, and Charlie are excited right away. David Michael and Karen are a little hesitant, but come around. But poor Andrew is totally confused, and doesn’t understand adoption at all. Later he cries, “It’s so bad.” This is a lot to throw at a four-year-old right away.

The next day, Elizabeth and Watson leave to pick up Emily Michelle at the airport. Because it’s just that easy. Kristy, in her infinite wisdom, calls the BSC over, so they’ll be there when they get back from the airport. Good job, Kristy, you don’t think this should maybe just be family time? That this might be super confusing to the poor kid?

Half of the assembled group makes cookies for Emily Michelle, and the other half makes a welcome sign. Poor Andrew just wanders around confused. Once they’re done with the projects, Elizabeth and Watson arrive, with Emily Michelle. She’s asleep, thankfully, so she doesn’t get overwhelmed by all these people. Of course, Elizabeth and Watson don’t seem to mind that they’re there. My parents would have been fucking livid.

Kristy waxes poetical about how Emily Michelle is not a Thomas or a Brewer, but belongs to them all. But this whole situation is just so ridiculous that I’m just done with them all.

o   Mal says her dad really loves little kids, and asks why do you think there are eight Pike kids. Gee, Mal, I could think of something else he probably loves…

o   Kristy wears a shirt with Beaver Cleaver on it. That’s…really random.

o   Mimi’s memory is really starting to go, and she gets confused very easily. It’s really sad, and not snarkable at all.

o   Claudia, Dawn, and Stacey end up making their moms brooches, with miniature items representing the moms’ interests, mixed with glass beads. Claudia’s idea, of course.

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