I have a vivid memory of Dawn and Kristy hanging out in the hayloft of her barn, and Dawn saying they were not supposed to go in there because it was not a safe structure. I think I only remember that because I thought of that scene in later books when the girls used the barn for their BSC parties and events. Even as a kid I was bothered by bad continuity.
All right, so this is Dawn’s first book; it is right after she joins the BSC. She gets hired by the Barretts to sit, and finds Mrs. Barrett ridiculously disorganized. She is also annoyed because she thinks the house is always a mess. But, instead of mentioning this to Mrs. Barrett, she just cleans the house all the time. So, of course, Mrs. Barrett thinks Dawn is the most wonderful person in the world and wants her to sit all the time. After a few weeks of this, Dawn gets annoyed that all the Barretts are too dependent on her. Well, if she doesn’t want them to be dependent on her, she shouldn’t have done everything for them. Anyway, Dawn also wishes Mrs. Barrett would give her more baby-sitting instructions and get a little organized. But of course she doesn’t tell Mrs. Barrett this either (although, I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to say anything when I was twelve either).
Anyway, Mrs. Barrett is also always screwing up her custody arrangement with her ex. Mr. Barrett is annoyed with this, so one day he decides to pick up Buddy without telling anyone to teach Mrs. Barrett a lesson. This happens while Dawn is sitting, and she thinks Buddy was kidnapped and gets the whole town to help look for him. Of course, as soon as Mr. Barrett realizes that Buddy was with a baby-sitter he brings Buddy home and everything is okay. But this makes Dawn tell Mrs. Barrett that she doesn’t want to sit anymore. Mrs. Barrett convinces her she will try harder to be organized.
Subplot: Dawn thinks Kristy doesn’t like her, but realizes that she is jealous of her friendship with Mary Anne. They talk and bond a little. This is when Kristy officially makes Dawn an Alternate Officer instead of just a member with no title.
§ In this book, Mary Anne wears her first pair of jeans. But I thought jeans were not stylish in BSC land. They give Kristy a hard time about it. So…why is this good?
§ Dawn gives Mary Anne a bunch of stuff from her old house in CA to redo her room. This includes a poster of London at night that was in their kitchen and an astronomy chart. First: They had a London at night poster in their kitchen? That is not how I picture Dawn’s CA house. Second: Why would they have this extra stuff? I thought her dad still lived in their old house…wouldn’t he want to keep some stuff? Third: When Mary Anne doesn’t want the astronomy chart, Dawn keeps trying to talk her into it. It is not her style, Dawn. Let it go.
§ Suzi wets her pants while Dawn is sitting, but Dawn says she won’t tell Mrs. Barrett. Shouldn’t a baby-sitter tell parents stuff like that? I mean, I don’t know if they should agree to keep that stuff secret. Maybe Mrs. Barrett needs to know because Suzi has some kind of problem.
§ Karen’s game Let’s All Come in sounds really boring. It is really an excuse to play dress up, but why does she need a reason to do that?
§ Why does Kristy know what Fennel and Coriander are? She doesn’t strike me as the kind of girl who spends time in the kitchen.
§ Stacey outfit: “A simple pink T-shirt under a baggy jumpsuit with big pink and red flowers all over it. Her premed hair bounced over her shoulders.” Pink and red?
§ Dawn outfit: “Blue jean shorts and a white T-shirt that said GENIUS INSIDE.” Dawn sure has a high opinion of herself, doesn’t she?
§ Seventy degrees on Memorial Day weekend is not cold. It is beautiful, wonderful weather. I live in NJ, which has weather comparable to Connecticut and people love 70-degee weather. Dawn is such a baby.
§ So the Schafer’s have a barbeque on Memorial Day and Dawn decides their guests won’t like Tofu. So, she encourages her mom to buy meat and pre-made potato salad. I am shocked.
§ So, Dawn’s grandparents didn’t like Mr. Spier back in the day, and Dawn is all worried about what they will say to him today. They ask a bunch of questions and it is obvious they know nothing about his life (because Dawn’s mom never talks about him). Which is kind of weird when you think about it. But he impresses them because he is a big shot lawyer now.
§ Look foreshadowing: When Buddy is missing, Mallory helps watch Suzi and Marnie. So, the BSC talks about how great she is with kids and that maybe she will be a sitter some day.
§ The BSC does really lame activities with the kids, but they all seem so familiar to me. Like, a puddle walk: When it is raining, they take the kids outside in bathing suits and rain jackets to splash one another. That must have been in more then one book, because I remember it happening a lot.
§ This is super-familiar too: Having races to clean up a room to get excited about cleaning.
§ Wow, I can’t believe this. Dawn uses a huge stack of paper towels to get Buddy to clean. I guess this was before she learned about the environment.
§ This book is called Dawn and the Impossible Three, but the Barrett kids are actually pretty decent kids, for Stoneybrook. It should be called Dawn and the Impossible Mother (as in Mrs. Barrett, not her mom).