What I learned from “The Baby-sitters Club

Nora Taylor

Everything I needed to know I learned from the BSC:
As graduation begins to approach with an unnerving amount of speed, I’ve started to think about the academic lessons and life lessons I have learned here. The academics have been appropriately challenging; I’ve become a free thinker who has taken it upon herself to delve deeper into the world of education, yada yada yada yada.
When it comes to socializing, that’s another story. Lawrentians are notoriously awkward and strange, so I’m bracing myself for a rude awakening when I enter the real world.
What? You didn’t grasp my entire conversation based on references to season two of “Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”? Where am I?
Turns out, everything I needed to know about life I learned from the youth fiction series “The Baby-sitters Club.” From the ages of 7 to about 10, I read more BSC books than I care to remember. “The Baby-sitters Club” introduced me to numerous things and generally broadened my worldview.
I learned that babysitting was not only a lucrative career for a girl under 16, but generally included snacks, a bonus I look for to this day. After reading two or three books out of the series, I learned that sometimes you just have to skip the first chapter or two. This is a lesson I may or may not have applied to “Jane Eyre” (if your name is Tim Spurgin then the aforementioned bit about chapter skipping was totally a joke).
Lesson No. 1: All of my friends will have distinct personality traits and interests, which will rarely intersect, but we will still have endless things to talk about. For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, there are seven main babysitters: Kristi, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey, Dawn, Mallory and Jessi.
While Claudia was my personal favorite, I learned the most from Kristi. Kristi’s the athletic one who founded the group; she can be a little bossy sometimes, but she sure knows how to get things done! What I learned from Kristi is this: being good at sports makes you good at organizing and also good at shouting. Though you may only wear stripped shirts and denim coveralls, you can most certainly get a boy to like you by just being yourself.
Lesson No. 2: “Baby-sitters club” served as an introductory course into the all-important female trait of aligning oneself to a fictional character. Kristis and Jessis grew up to be Mirandas. Marry Annes and Mallorys turned into Charlottes. Claudias and Dawns turn into Carries, and lord knows Staceys turned into Samanthas.
Lesson No. 3: There’s no obstacle friendship can’t overcome. Diabetes, check. Scoliosis, check. Racism, double check. Having your secrets spread by a deaf 5-year-old who can read lips, check that too.
I like to think of my girlfriends as a babysitters club without the babysitting. In the words of Kristi, “We’re a great group. I’m not bragging, I’m just being honest. We’re all different, but our differences work together to bring out the best in each of us … which, of course, helps make us good baby-sitters.” Replace babysitters with drinkers and we’re in business. We could call it Baby Drinker’s Club.

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