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).
So far, Dawn has worn a T-shirt that says "Genius inside," and a necklace that says "I'm awesome." What the hell, Dawn? HATE.
My captcha word by the way, is cheent. Like how Claudia might spell Cheat?
I love your blog! Keep it up! :-)
I liked Dawn in the earlier books.
I remember that Karen played a game called Let's All Come In, but what was it exactly? I definitely remember the part about going outside in bathing suits when it rained, to splash around. My parents never let me do that!
"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."
I am a native of southern Arizona and I can tell you that 70 degrees is cold! At least is is to us! :)
I grew up in southern Minnesota, and a seventy degree Memorial Day was shorts weather! In fact, for several years my high school group of friends and I went camping for Memorial Day Weekend. Mostly it rained, but we didn't care. (The beer didn't either.)
I totally need a necklace that proclaims my awesomeness! 'Cause unlike Dawn, I am awesome.
My word is "sallyng" - how Claudia would spell "sailing", I imagine!
I kind of remember Let's All Come In - wasn't one of them 'Bruce Springbeen'? Or was that another book?
I remember liking this book - I like the Kristy/Dawn bonding. TBH, I think the two of them have more in common than either of them have with Mary Anne!
I've missed reading this blog! I'm trying to catch up on as many blogs as possible tonight, so I'm sorry if you get tons of outdated comments from me. :) I also just recently read this book when I couldn't sleep one night, so it's cool that you recapped it. What is weird to me is how Dawn goes on about how tiny and dark the rooms in her farmhouse are, but in later books I feel like it's described as pretty spacious and large, aside from the narrow low doorways. Maybe I'm wrong though.
And Zanne, Let's All Come In is the most obnoxious game ever. I hate how Karen thinks she's so imaginative because she thought it up. Basically it involves whatever baby-sitter is in charge being the front-desk manager while Karen and her friends dress up as odd characters and take turns "checking in" to the hotel. It's really just a stupid excuse for her to play dress-up and boss around Andrew, who she makes be the bellhop or her character's little kid or dog.
Shameful confession time: Inspired by the Little Sister books, my friend and I used to play Let's All Come In whenever I went to her house. It was a lot of fun when we were seven. We took turns being hotel manager though, and our little brothers got to be guests too, so looks like I'm a better person than Karen
This is unrelated, but the poll on what the babysitters are best at, I would totally have voted for "making up fliers" if that was an option, as I swear in just about every book they seem to be doing that. "Making fliers" seemed like it would be such an exciting thing to do, I thought, when I used to read these. Ha ha!
Ooh, making fliers, I didn't think of that. You're right, they do that all the time.
It is actually funny, because I think most of the fliers are just handwritten signs. Now, I think even something kids do would be done on a computer.
Love the blog!
I recently re-read this book and it scared the crap out of me: Buddy Barrett disappears out of the yard, Dawn can't get ahold of Mrs. Barrett and suddenly 12 year old Dawn is in the middle of a custody battle.
I have to say, Dawn is totally a kick-ass babysitter in this book, not only in her dealing with the Impossible Mother, but the cute things like the cleaning games and the puddle walks, too. Waaay mature for a 12 year old.
One of my favorite Dawn books. I really liked her with the Barretts and trying to be friends with Kristy.
The recap made me wonder do we ever hear from the Porters after this book or any time after the wedding? They made such a big deal over Dawn's grandparents not liking Richard it seems odd that it never comes up again.
I might be wrong here, but I think the Mary Anne wearing jeans thing was a reference to the fourth book, where she stands up to her dad to get more privileges. She previously was only allowed to wear skirts.
grew up in Illinois 70-degree weather is summer
Again, this is three years late. Lol. Anyway, I wanted to comment something about the book #9: The Ghost at Dawn's House (since I couldn't comment). Is it REALLY surprsing that the names of Dawn's favorite charges in California are Clover & Daffodil?! You'd think their names are so ODD and shocking, I mean, I loved Dawn, but isn't that more of an unusual name? (I think). God. Anyway, I totally remember Let's All Come In because of the book of Beware, Dawn! Dawn was Ladonna, the beautiful singer (I know it's just a game, but I think Dawn was kinda conceited there), and Bruce Stringbean, the rock and roll star lol. I remember something about Darryl Blueberry, the baseball player, I think. Oops, another long comment. Sorry
What is with all the jumpsuits? I keep thinking of the bright orange ones prisoners wear!
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