#45: Kristy and the Baby Parade

While making collages with David Michael and Emily Michelle (what is it with the two-name Thomas/Brewers?), Kristy sees an ad for the Stoneybrook Baby Parade and decides it would be fun to enter Emily in the contest for a prize, along with some of the other babies the club sits for. She seems to be forgetting all the times the BSC and their charges got horribly competitive about cheesy shit like this. Kristy also scores a twice-a-week-for-a-month sitting job for the Prezziosos (is “score” the right word when the Prezzies are involved?) but Mrs. P requires that Kristy take an infant care course because Andrea is still a baby. Kristy and the rest of the girls are actually stoked about that, so they all sign up.

In their first class there’s a ludicrous situation in which the mother of an infant can’t figure out why her baby is crying, but Kristy can – he needs a diaper change. Really? New Mom couldn’t think of that? SMH. There’s also a hot co-instructor named Don that all the girls have a crush on, but he’s married to Anita, the other co-instructor, and has a kid. Wait til you’re 16 to have an affair with a client, BSC-ers. On graduation day, it turns out that Kristy is one of only two students to have gotten a perfect score on the written and practical evaluations. Because of course. But classroom practice doesn’t equal the real thing, as Kristy finds out when she baby-sits Andrea and Jenny and realizes that having a four-year-old running around can complicate perfect infant care instincts. Still, no one dies, so it’s a victory. Oh, and Mrs. P wants Kristy to help her enter Andrea in the baby parade…

A lot of the BSC-ers have ideas of cute babies to enter (Squirt, Laura and Gabbie Perkins, Lucy Newton, Eleanor Marshall), so Kristy has the idea to do a BSC baby float for the parade, and show off all the cute babies they know. In the meantime, she’ll help Mrs. P prep Andrea for the Stroller Division. Kristy thinks she has a great idea for a theme: baseball! Dawn thinks it’s the worst idea she’s ever heard, and says so. Then she suggests a Surfin’ USA theme. Mary Anne scoffs, and wants to do a Three Little Kittens theme and include Tigger (ugh). Stacey says that’s not sophisticated enough, and wants to do New York, New York, with the babies in gowns and tuxes. That’s silly to Claudia, whose idea is Outer Space, and Mallory, whose idea is Misty of friggin’ Chincoteague. They finally land on The Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe, and decide they need to round up some more babies, so they call some of the mothers from their infant care class and get four random babies lined up.

Mrs. P decides her stroller theme will be Queen Andrea, so she gets a crown and gown for the baby, and asks Kristy to turn Andrea’s stroller into a coach, which Kristy does with silvery and gold sparkly material; she thinks it looks goofy as hell, but Mrs. P loves it. When the BSC all gets together to work on their Old Woman in the Shoe float, each person is so focused on their own vision that everything clashes. Plus, with only four babies in the yard, things get really cry-y and hectic. What are they going to do with nine babies (ON A MOVING FLOAT)?!  Once the big chicken-wire shoe is finished and painted and the kids have their Mallory-made (ugh) costumes, everything comes to a head. Everything looks terrible, Dawn calls Mallory’s costumes stupid and puts together a new one for Eleanor, and Claudia is annoyed that her artistic vision was compromised because she had to try to listen to everyone else. The whole thing is a shit show, and the parade is only two days away.

Come parade day, everything is a disaster. The float is hideous, the babies’ costumes are hideous, the BSC costumes are completely random and unrelated, and none of the BSC members are speaking to one another due to perceived slights during the whole parade prep.  Their parade is a hideous eyesore and they definitely don’t win any awards. (But Andrea Prezzioso… er, Queen Andrea wins first prize in her Stroller Division, so Kristy doesn’t get fired.) After the parade, everyone in the BSC realizes they’ve been idiots and they make up. They also learn an important lesson: that cooperation and communication are key when you’re working with a group. (Duh.) Oh, and they got a few new clients from their infant care class. So… overall, a win?

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