Monday, February 1, 2010

#78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches


There's big news in the Kishi family: not only are Russ and Peaches (Claudia's favorite aunt and uncle) finally having a baby, but they're moving back to Stoneybrook! Since their new house won't be ready for month, they're invited to stay with the Kishis. Claudia is really excited about both the move and the new baby; she even asks Mary Anne to give her knitting lessons so she can make a blanket for her new cousin.

At first, Claudia loves having Peaches around. They go shopping for baby stuff together, and then decide to go to the movies on the spur of the moment. Claud is more than happy to put off doing her homework to spend time with her least at first. Then, it starts to happen all the time. First, Peaches wants to cook a gourmet dinner for the Kishi family, and she wants Claudia's help with the grocery shopping, planning, cooking and serving. Then, Peaches needs Claud to look at baby catalogues with her, and to help her with pre-natal excersises. Claudia's worried about her grades, but she just can't say no to Peaches. The last straw comes late one Friday night, when Peaches wakes Claudia up at 11:30pm and asks her to go for a pizza. They go, but don't leave a note for the Kishis. When they get home, Claudia's mother is up and FURIOUS. The bulk of her wrath is directed at Claudia, about not only leaving in the middle of the night without leaving a note but for her slipping grades as well. Claud finally snaps; she yells that she's trying to keep up with her homework, but that every time she tries to sit down and study, Peaches needs something. Claudia runs off to her room without giving anyone a chance to reply.

Things are cordial but tense between Claudia and Peaches after Claudia's outburst, but Peaches doesn't really stop asking Claud to do stuff with her. Peaches can see that Claudia is stressed out, and calls her a "sulky teenager" and tells her to get over herself. After that, Claudia doesn't even want to finish the blanket she started, but Mary Anne encourages her to keep working on it, even though she's mad at Peaches. After all, the blanket is for the baby, and Claud isn't mad at him/her.

Claudia eventually realizes that she's not being a particularly good friend and niece to Peaches, so she comes home from a sitting job, intending to apologize. When she gets there, she finds the house empty except for a sad Janine. Mr. and Mrs. Kishi and Russ and Peaches are all at the hospital; Peaches had a miscarriage. Claudia feels awful; she's sure her outburst made Peaches so upset that she los the baby. When Peaches comes home from the hospital the next day, Claudia apologizes to her. Peaches assures her that it's not her fault, and that those things just happen sometimes, as sad as it is. Claudia shows her the blanket she'd been working on, and tells Peaches that she'll save it for the next baby.

Subplot: the BSC has just started sitting for Natalie Springer, who has friendship issues. She doesn't seem to have any her own age, and she clings to the members of the BSC instead. The club comes up with ideas to help her make friends, but when they watch Natalie interact with other kids; it's obvious why she can't make any friends on her own. Natalie is bossy and demanding, and tends to get shut out of activities because of it. The girls come up with some ways of helping Natalie overcome her bad friendship habits, and by the end of the book, she's bonded with Becca and Charlotte.

Rating: 2.5

Thoughts and Things
  • The company that helps Peaches and Russ move into their new house is Bohren's Movers. Kristy wore a Bohren's t-shirt way back in #7. There's some continuity for you!

  • I had to have pizza for dinner last night after reading this book.

  • When Claudia first tells Mary Anne that she wants to make a blanket, Mary Anne tells her that a blanket is too tough and that she should try booties instead. I don't know much about knitting, but wouldn't a blanket actually be easier? After all, you have to knit booties into an actual shape; a blanket is just square. Maybe someone out there who knits can set me straight....

  • When Claud tells the BSC about Peaches' pregnancy, they all decide they're going to help her by taking her for walks, playing classical music for the baby, and speaking French to it. Do they really think a pregnant woman that most of them don't even know is going to want the help of a bunch of 13-year-olds?

  • Are Peaches and Russ supposed to be rich? It seemed like Peaches spent an awful lot of money in this book...


  1. I think Mary Anne has strange ideas about what is easy to knit. A blanket is way easier than booties!

    In one of the first books (1-4...don't feel like checking) Mary Anne mentions that she's just learning to knit. Her first project is a hat for Richie Spiers. Her next, more advanced project, will be a scarf. That is not how the knitting hierarchy works!

  2. I wanted pizza whenever I read this one, too.

    Also, did Ann M. have a hate-on for Natalie Springer? They always make her seem so annoying. Esp. the Karen books where Karen is always eye rolling at Natalie to pull up her droopy socks. Karen, you are SO in no position to judge.

  3. Karen made me absolutely crazy with her eye rolling at Natalie. She was so mean.
    Love the post.

  4. Natalie = Younger Mallory if she were a single child. Mallory and Natalie seem to be Ann's female equivalents of Charlie Brown.

    I love reading this book because of all the good eatting in it. Same thing for "Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever".

  5. I believe Peaches was way too quick to quit her job and stay home. Really? Immediately after you find out your preggers you quit and move?

  6. What I always wanted to know is why Peaches was so bent on Claudia looking at baby stuff and doing antenatal exercises with her. She has a husband - you know, the baby's father - wouldn't he want to be doing that stuff with her? (And antenatal exercises that early? Really?)

  7. Whoa, good catch on the continuity with the moving company!

    Yes, you're right; booties are harder than blankets. Although Claudia seemed to have picked a complicated design, so Mary Anne may have been meaning that rather than a large complex project she should start with a smaller one.

    Incidentally, the first thing I ever knitted was a lavendar baby blanket (but it was just garter stitch).

  8. Yeah, ditto BSC AG...I thought it was the particular pattern Claudia wanted to try that prompted Mary Anne to tell her it would be too tough for a beginner.

  9. I remember Natalie Springer from the Karen books. She was the girl with the lisp and the droopy socks. There was even one Karen book where Karen met Natalie's parents and narrated that they both looked like her and wore droopy socks as well (I think?) But I didn't remember the part about her being bossy and demanding.

  10. I knit and from experience, blankets are way easier than booties. My first knitting project when I was a kid was a blanket. I only started making booties when I was a teen!

  11. I am not a fabulous knitter but I am competent. My first independent knitting project was a scarf. Blankets are easier unless you do one of those ones that requires sewing the squares together by hand (My hand sewing skills are on par with Neville Longbottom's potions skills in Harry Potter!)