This cover would be
Better if Mal was wearing
A party hat, too.
Mallory has a steady sitting job with the Arnold twins twice a week for 8 weeks. Things go pretty well at first, but it all kind of falls apart when Mallory makes a comment about how cute the girls are in their identical outfits. Marilyn and Carolyn start giving Mal a lot of trouble. They take off their name bracelets (the only way that Mallory could tell them apart), they ignore her, and they spend most of Mallory's afternoons there speaking in their own personal secret language. At first, the club thinks that Mallory is the problem, and that the twins are probably okay kids. Then, Claudia sits for them and they give her just as much trouble as they'd been giving Mal. Actually, they give her more. Marilyn has a special piano lesson that day, but when her ride arrives at the house, Carolyn leaves instead. Claudia doesn't know the difference until the piano teacher calls, wondering where Marilyn is. Later, Mrs. Arnold has the nerve to blame Claudia for the mix-up. What exactly could she have done about it???
The next time Mallory sits for the twins, she decides to fight fire with fire. When the twins ask for a snack, she responds in pig Latin. She keeps it up until the twins are so frustrated that Mal finally gives in and offers to teach it to the girls, as long as they don't use their secret language around Mallory anymore. The twins agree, and they even show Mal how to tell them apart without the bracelets. It isn't until after the twins' birthday party that Mallory finally learns what caused things to go so wrong with the twins in the first place. Mal gave each girl a very different present (unlike everyone else who gave them each identical gifts), and Mal's gifts end up being the girls' favorites. The twins just want to be treated like individual people, not like two of the same person, and when Mal made her comment about how cute Marilyn and Carolyn were, they thought she would just lump them together like everyone else. Mal apologizes, the girls apologize, and they decide to talk to Mrs. Arnold about letting them dress differently and more to their own tastes.
The conversation with Mrs. Arnold goes well enough that Mallory decides to have a similar talk with her own parents. She's tired of looking like a baby and a freak (her words, not mine), and she wants pierced ears and a decent haircut. Her parents agree, provided she pay for half her haircut and all of the ear piercing. Jessi gets permission to get her ears done as well, and Claudia gets permission to get another hole put in one of hers. Kristy decides that the club should make a day of it, and the first group mall trip is born. :) While they're there, Dawn also decides to get her ears done. She gets two holes in each ear, because she is, after all, an individual. A few weeks later, Mal gets her hair cut, and she feels less like a baby. At least, until the next book where she complains about how she looks. ;)
Thoughts and Things
- My favorite BSC books growing up were always the ones that involved mall trips, makeovers, and boyfriend stuff. Is it wrong that I liked those books more than the "Very Special Episode" books?
- In the book, it says that Mal writes on the twins' birthday cake with pink frosting. So why is it blue on the cover? The girls' dresses aren't exactly like they're described, either. At least they got Mal's goofy expression right.
- I can't believe that it took Mal so long to figure out that the Arnold twins got upset with her for not treating them like individuals. I mean, they were perfectly fine until she made her "you're so cute and you look like bookends" comment. Mallory isn't usually that dense about baby sitting stuff.
- I KNOW I'm not the only one who wanted a moon-and-stars sweatshirt like the one Carolyn got during their post-birthday shopping trip!
- I totally remember when pig Latin was a big deal.
- At the very beginning of the book, Mallory is completely fascinated with the mall. I remember being like that when I was a kid, but once I grew up and could go whenever I wanted, it kind of stopped being that fascinating.