Back when I was a kid, series’ books were everywhere – as you shall see soon! Out of all of them, the BSC was probably my favorite. I loved the Babysitter’s Club. Mary Ann, Kristy, Claudia, they all felt like family. I disowned Dawn and Stacy early on, though. But hey, I’m getting ahead of myself. Suffice it to say that on a recent visit to my parents’ house, I went through a lot of my old childhood books and decided to revisit the girls. These are the things I noticed about the BSC as an adult.
1. Bad Parents
Stoneybrook is full of really bad parents. They’re never home and they leave their children with sitters who mess up a lot. Watson Brewer is who really gets to me. I never realized this, but he gets his biological children every other weekend – and every other weekend, he’s dragging some member of the BSC over to his “real, live” mansion to watch them. Of course, if Karen was my kid, I’d probably do the same thing.
2. Irresponsible Sitters
When I was young, I thought these girls were the height of mature, to the point where I tried to start my own BSC about five different times. One of the things I noticed about the BSC as an adult, however, is that these kids make a lot of mistakes. They lose kids, they go after thieves, killers, and arsonists without ever telling their parents, and they take it upon themselves to counsel their charges without ever talking to their parents. It must be nice to know everything at thirteen.
3. The Endless 8th Grade
I remember noticing the continuity problems in this series as a kid, but it didn’t matter to me much because, well, I was a kid. Time stretched on forever for me, so I figured it did the same for the babysitter’s club. The girls started out in seventh grade, then moved onto the eighth grade – and stopped. For all I know, they’re all still thirteen – even though some of their charges, like Sabrina Bouvier, somehow grew up … and ended in the eighth grade with them. What?
4. Claudia’s Learning Disorder
Okay, this is one of the most disturbing things I noticed about the BSC as an adult. Those of you who read the series are probably familiar with the notebook entries that started many of the chapters. I always hated those … but none more than Claudia’s, the club’s vice president and resident bad speller. That’s all anyone ever said about her. She’s a bad speller and she hates school, but she’s really, really smart, y’all. Looking back, however, I cannot even see how that girl made it to the eighth grade – but I can see why she stayed there for twenty years or so. I think that classifies as a learning disability.
5. Kristy’s Controlling
I was a naïve child. I believed the girls when they described Kristy as merely “bossy.” She was totally bossy! At least, she seems that way to the younger generation. Once you get a little older, though, you start to notice the tight reign she has on her sitters. Like, they’re not allowed to do anything that doesn’t have to do with the BSC – but I’ve got more to say on that in a minute.
6. Dawn’s Whining
Dawn has always been my least favorite character. I don’t know why, I just never really liked her. I finally figured it out: she’s a big whiner. More than that, she’s one of the most self-righteous characters I’ve ever seen in YA literature. Everybody always described her as being so great because she stood up for her beliefs, but in the first place, she was still pretty quick to be influenced, and in the second place, lecturing your friends and random people all the time about all the same things aren’t really great traits.
7. Mary Ann and Logan’s Dysfunctional Relationship
I confess, I loved Logan as a kid. One of the things I noticed about the BSC as an adult, however, is that he ain’t that great either. At least, his relationship with Mary Ann Spier wasn’t as great as I thought it was when I was younger. She’s all passive aggressive, he seems to think smiling cutely will get him out of trouble, they’re always subtly snarking at each other. Sometimes they seemed ten, sometimes they seemed sixteen, but very rarely did they seem like an average thirteen year old couple.
8. The BSC Cult
Finally, I have to tell you, the BSC is kind of creepy. They talk all the time about the snobby groups in their school and insist they aren’t a clique themselves, but let’s see. They ostracize others, they do everything together, they get angry if someone within the club makes a new friend or doesn’t include them in decisions. I mean, Mary Ann couldn’t even get her hair cut without it turning into this huge feud, Stacy got jacked for being friends with the cheerleaders, they weren’t allowed to have any outside interests. They just used junk food instead of Kool Aid.
Of all the things I noticed about the BSC as an adult, I realized that the series is still entertaining. Rereading the things you enjoyed as a kid is pretty funny. You pick up on things that went over your head before – and learn how naïve you were when you were young. Did you ever do this when things you read as a kid?
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