Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"With a newborn in the house and absolutely no one to guide them? Puh-leeze"......BSC # 97: Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby

Memory Reaction

I honestly have almost no recollection about what I thought of this book. Just that Claudia devotes every spare minute to visiting her new niece or getting her presents. I hope I realized how annoying she was being. I think I probably did like the book when I was younger, just because it had a lot of references to an earlier book with Peaches, and I loved when past storylines were referred to. It felt like some kind of reward for reading the whole series.

Revisited Reaction

Claudia’s Aunt Peaches is pregnant again, and she gives her birth to a baby girl. She and her husband name the baby Lynn (after Claudia’s middle name) and ask Claud to be the godmother. Of course, Claudia’s thrilled and thinks Lynn’s the cutest baby ever (as indicated by the title). She keeps going over to her Aunt and Uncle’s house to “help” with the baby. And be help, I mean she breaks the coffee maker, wakes the sleeping baby, invites herself to dinner, etc. Her mother keeps trying to get Claud to leave them alone, but Claud ignores her. Plus, she gives Peaches all sorts of tips about taking care of a baby…..after all, she’s an experienced baby-sitter and knows more than an adult, new mother would.

After a while, Peaches finally snaps and tells Claud to back off a little, which makes Claudia mad. Then Claudia goes to Philadelphia on a weekend class trip, where this girl Melissa (from her class) keeps following her around and asking questions every two seconds. She convinces Claud to sneak off to see an art museum, but they get lost and the rest of the class has to sit around waiting for them. Their teacher yells at them a bit, but lets them off fairly easy in the end. Later, Claudia snaps at Melissa, but then realizes that she has been acting just like Melissa with Peaches. It’s lucky that she was having such a parallel experience to teach herself a lesson. Amazing coincidence. Anyway, she apologizes to Peaches and makes up with her.

The subplot’s about how the Arnold Twins are getting a preview of some premium channel and have gotten into the habit of watching scary movies. This makes them terrified monsters are out to get them. The BSC doesn’t really stop them from watching the movies, but end up accidently letting them see a “making of….” special about one of the movies. This gets them over their fears, and they end up making their own horror movie with Kristy.


  • Claudia’s social studies teacher asks what the city of brotherly love is, and Claudia guesses “Hermosa Beach.” The teacher cracks up, which I find slightly inappropriate, but hysterical.
  • The teacher describes this weekend trip to Philadelphia as an “all-expense paid” class trip. Really? When I was in school, we had to pay for class trips even if it was just to a local museum. How does SMS get away with stuff like this?
  • Stacey talks about eating pretzels with mustard when they are in Philly, so Claudia runs and grabs some mustard from the kitchen, puts it on a regular pretzel, and doesn’t think it’s so great. Only then does Stacey tell her she meant hot pretzels.
  • Russ calls and tells Claudia he’s taking Peaches to the hospital, and Claudia gets super excited. She waits outside for her parents and Janine to get home and as soon as they do, she insists they leave for the hospital. Only later does Janine tell her they probably didn’t need to rush over. This is just the first sign that Claudia has no boundaries.
  • Did you ever notice that every baby born during the series was a girl? You have Lucy Newton, Laura Perkins, Andrea Pezziosso, and now Lynn. Did I miss anyone?
  • Isn’t Claudia a little young to be a godmother?
  • When Logan sits for the Arnolds, Mrs. Arnold specifically tells him not to let the twins watch horror movies. Then he starts doing his homework and eating in the kitchen, not paying attention to what the girls are watching upstairs. Despite them watching in their parent’s bedroom with the door closed. I don’t think he has to keep his eyes on them every second, but he could have done a little bit more.
  • When she sits for the Arnold’s, Mary Anne puts the girls to bed, then lets them get up a half hour later to watch TV. It seems weird that she would let them get away with that if their parents wanted them in bed at a certain time. I guess this is the month for the BSC to be lax sitters or something.
  • People have to stop letting Claudia make signs because even when she checks her spelling she makes mistakes. The banner she makes to welcome Peaches and Lynn home says, “Welcome, Home Lynn.”
  • The BSC all comes by Peaches’s house to see Lynn, and Russ ends up serving lunch. This is the day she gets home from the hospital. How can girls supposedly so good at baby-sitting not understand that this might not be appreciated by new parents?
  • Claudia’s really dumb sometimes. When Peaches is telling Russ she feels like she’s running a hotel, Claudia overhears and can’t understand why her aunt would think this. Despite coming to their house every chance she gets, and the fact that her mother has been telling her to stop spending so much time there.
  • Also, when Claudia hears her class is going to the U.S. Mint, she thinks, “Oh, I love mints.”
  • To try and protect themselves from monsters, the twins set up traps around their room. The traps are remarkably similar to what the BSC has used in various other books. I wonder if that’s on purpose.
  • Claudia’s really, really, annoying with the baby “tips” she keeps giving Peaches. I would have kicked her out after about a day.
  • The reason they get lost in Philly, is because this other girl says that the other museum they want to go to is four blocks away, and if the blocks are anything like NYC, it should take four minutes to walk there. That seems to be pretty weak logic, but she’s talking to Claudia so it’s enough.
  • After she gets in trouble for wandering away, Claudia convinces Stacey and Abby to sneak out of their hotel to go to a diner. They don’t get lost/caught this time, but it’s nice to see these girls do normal teenager-y things, instead of acting like perfect adults who happen to be 13.
  • The rest of the BSC meets the bus when it brings Claudia, Stacey, and Abby back from Philadelphia to welcome them home. It seems a bit excessive…..they were away for two days!


Nerd Girl said...

There had to have been something actually wrong with Claudia. There is no way anyone in the real world would be that dysfunctional and still not get diagnosed with a learning disability. It's just not possible.

Vani B. said...

You can be any age and be a godmother... my aunt and uncle were my mother's godparents at a very young age (in fact I think my godmother was six or seven, as she is almost seven years older than my mom; my uncle was younger). I know it sounds weird, but also my mother was really sick at birth and usually Catholic parents wait until their baby is two months old. Unfortunately, it didn't look like my mother was going to survive those two months, so my grandparents rounded up their kids and asked the priest to baptize my mom as soon as possible, and he ended up doing it that day and that is how my aunt and uncle became godparents. And obviously, my mom recovered sometime later.

Also, I was fifteen when my youngest sister was baptized, and chosen to be her godmother.

Bonita said...

It seems that as the series went on, the writers made Claudia dumber and dumber. I don't remember her being that thick in the early books.

noseinanovel said...

Bonita, I agree. In the early books she had some spelling trouble and trouble concentrating... understandable for a middle schooler. But in the end books they exaggerated her so much she was like this barely functioning idiot. Grr ghostwriters.

SJSiff said...

Usually in the Catholic church you can't be younger than 16, but as Vani B points out, there are some exceptions (glad your mom got better!). But I'm pretty sure that Lynn wasn't baptized in a Catholic church.

Bonita, they do make Claudia dumber. Which really annoys me because I love her early character!

dolly said...

damn did Claudia write this i can point out like 5 fucking errors

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

dolly, did you mean there are five errors in my post, or were you talking about the errors in your comment?

maria said...

Bahaha! I love your reply to Dolly!

I also loved continuity in the books. It made me feel like some kind of BSC expert.

Fran said...

Ha Ha, your Dolly comment is awesome! I will say though that I noticed this in your post "ass Claud to be the godmother" and it made me laugh :)

I agree that they made Claudia more and more dumb as the books went on. It makes me mad b/c I really did like her in the earlier ones. But there is no way this girl wouldn't be in some kind of special class.

SJSiff said...

Third on the dolly comment.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Fran, thanks for pointing that out, I'll make the fix. I was rushing to post before going away for Thanksgiving and skipped a round of proofing.

dolly said...

see smart people agree with me

SJSiff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SJSiff said...

Delusional people are funny. BSC Snarker, your blog is also very entertaining; thanks for posting all the fun reads!

Devika said...

Claudia is my fave character, so I'm glad I stopped reading the series before they began dumbing her down so much. It makes no sense at all, since in early books all the characters made a point of saying that Claudia is really smart, but she just hates school and tests.

(Unrelated, but does anyone else get totally annoyed when Claudia misspells the same word in different ways within the same letter/notebook entry? That always irritated the shit out of me.)

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