When Mrs. Prezzioso calls the BSC needing a sitter for Jenny every day after school, Mary Anne ends up with the lion's share of the jobs. She's surprised to see that Jenny is back to her old lace-wearing, prim and proper habits. Now, though, she's taken it a step further: she's obsessed with staying clean. She's always washing her hands, and if she gets even the smallest drip of something on her dress, she has to change her entire outfit. After two days of dealing with Jeny the Neat Freak, Mary Anne goes to her dad and asks for his advice. Richard says that the behavior sounds obsessive-compulsive, and digs out some of his old psychology textbooks for Mary Anne to read. This worries her; could Jenny really be seriously disturbed?
As I mentioned, Mary Anne is only sitting for Jenny during her afternoons there. Mrs. P. is taking Andrea somewhere alone, and hasn't mentioned where. Mary Anne finally gets up the nerve to ask her, and it turns out that Andrea has quite the career as a baby model and actress. People are always praising Andrea and telling her what a perfect baby she is, so Jenny has been acting as perfect as possible to try and get more attention for herself. When that doesn't work, Jenny decides to get involved in show business, too. Too bad she doesn't seem to have her sister's talent. She kind of bombs her first audition (it's for a department store commercial), and doesn't get too many calls after that. That's when Jenny does a complete 180, and turns into the messiest kid alive. Mary Anne runs herself ragged trying to keep up with Jenny's messes, and finally gets up the nerve to talk to Mrs. P. about the situation. She's not really sure what to do about her daughter, so Mary Anne offers to sit for just Andrea sometime, so Jenny can spend some time alone with her parents.
At long last, Jenny gets booked for a catalog shoot. She does pretty well, but doesn't particularly enjoy herself. In fact, Jenny's pretty ecstatic the next time she gets rejected for a job, since it means she has more time to join the kickball team the triplets have started. Speaking of, Adam, Byron, and Jordan have decided that they're too old for baby-sitters, and they want to be completely in charge of their team; no help from the BSC allowed. It's kind of a disaster; there are no rules, people are always fighting, and eventually, everyone stops showing up for games. The triplets finally come to the BSC for advice, and things go much more smoothly after that. Also, Mallory is officially back in the club as of the end of the book.
Thoughts and Things
- The triplets actually call attention to the fact that Mallory, who's only a year older than them, gets all this responsibility while they're treated like little kids. It's about time someone asked this question. :)
- This book makes it sound like Jenny's previous fussiness was her own idea, but I always got the impression that Mrs. P. was the one who dressed Jenny up all the time.
- I agree with the BSC; Mrs. P is totally the perfect stage mother! I wonder why she didn't just try and get Jenny involved from the beginning.....
- At one point, Jenny actually calls the younger Pike girls pigs for playing in the dirt. Harsh!