#18: Stacey’s Mistake

All of the adults in Stacey’s apartment building in New York City are attending a meeting about how to help the homeless in their neighborhood, and ten kids need a baby-sitter. Stacey can’t take care of them all by herself… unless the BSC comes to town for an all-day baby-sitting adventure, like when the girls all baby-sat fourteen kids leading up to Kristy’s mom’s wedding. Stacey’s parents say yes, and also say that Stacey can take the Friday before the weekend off and throw a party for her NYC friends and her Stoneybrook friends. Sigh. Stacey really lives the life.

Stacey hair update: she’s stopped getting perms, so now her hair is just thick and fluffy and blonde.

Stace meets the rest of the BSC at Grand Central Station and they immediately begin embarrassing her: Kristy is loud, Claudia has a giant suitcase, Mary Anne goes into uber-tourist mode, and Dawn is paranoid as hell that they’re all going to get mugged and murdered. After checking everyone before they wreck themselves, Stacey gets the girls to her apartment building to drop off Claudia’s school bus-sized suitcase, and then they head back out to the Hard Rock Café (Mary Anne’s choice). Kristy orders the “fill-it mig-nun” (filet mignon) and Stacey almost dies.

They survive, though, and go back to Stacey’s to get ready for the party. Mary Anne wants Stacey to pick out everyone’s outfits so they’ll be perfect, but settles for Stacey just picking out her outfit. But then she goes in another direction: “Little House on the Prairie”, according to Stacey. Everyone ends up dressed nicely except Kristy, who literally only owns turtlenecks and jeans. Laine, Stacey’s NYC BFF, shows up early to meet the girls and things don’t go so smoothly – there’s definitely some jealousy between Claudia and Laine.

Mary Anne, though, won’t get off Laine’s jock. She’s freaking out that Laine lives in the same apartment building as Yoko Ono, where Rosemary’s Baby was maybe set or filmed. In fact, everyone thinks Mary Anne is kind of a weirdo because she keeps rattling off New York trivia. Dawn is still freaking out and asking about fire escapes, and then she overhears Mary Anne making fun of her to Stacey’s New York friends (about how she’s scared of everything). Kristy actually hits it off with one of Stacey’s athlete friends named Coby and they start dancing… until Claudia cuts in. (Come on, Claud, the one time Kristy’s actually into a dude?!) Overall, things are preeetty awkward… especially when everyone except Laine and the BSC leaves. Then the actual fighting begins. Claudia and Laine are mad at each other, Kristy is mad at Claudia, and Dawn is mad at Mary Anne. Stacey is mad at herself for thinking this would work, but after Laine goes home she makes the members of the BSC agree to a truce for the next day – after all, they’d be baby-sitting ten kids in the big city.

They manage to get their shit together (for the most part) and get the kids to the American Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs. They lose one of their sitting charges, Henry, for a brief moment, but manage to keep their cool and track him down before the authorities have to be alerted. They eventually leave the museum and head to Central Park, where Stacey’s friends finally see her get excited about something – a bearded dude riding a tricycle pulling a wagon filled with cats. She’s a little bit “been there, done that” about NYC (kind of like Dawn was at Disney in the first Super Special).

The BSC and the kids visit the Delacorte Clock and the children’s zoo. They get ice cream and popcorn and the BSC finally starts to gel again and get back to their usual friendly-with-each-other ways. (Phew. We have, like, two hundred more books ahead of us.) They ride the carousel and visit the boat pond and climb on the Alice in Wonderland statue, and return to Stacey’s apartment building in good spirits. Then they get good news – Laine’s dad has gotten them primo seats to a Broadway play at the Gershwin Theatre and he’s sending them in a stretch limo. Totally boss. Mary Anne has to change her underwear.

The girls have an amazing night and back at Stacey’s they stay up talking – things are back to normal! (Claudia and Laine are even on good terms.) The BSC catches Stacey up on some Stoneybrook goings-on, like Jeff Schafer moving back to California and the craziness of the Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant. And then the next day they have to say a teary goodbye at Grand Central Station. Stacey, being amazing and witty and borrowing a phrase from her mother, yells:

“Have fun and be careful!”

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