Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby (The Baby-Sitters Club, #97) [ePub]

by Ann M. Martin

claudia is chillaxin' home alone when she gets the call she's been waiting for: her aunt peaches is in labor! that was quick, huh? didn't peaches just have a miscarriage like three months ago? how is she at-term with a new pregnancy already? anyway, despite having been a professional babysitter for the last seventeen years & an accredited infant care specialist, claudia does not realize that birth usually takes a while. she runs out to the garage when her family gets home & demands that they all caravan to the hospital post-haste. this is where i mention that i used to attend midwifery school, until i attended my first birth & realized that it is really, really boring for everyone other than the person giving birth. i don't know why claudia is so determined to make her family sit around in a hospital waiting room for god knows how many hours. newborns are just not that exciting.

anyway, they wait around, & eventually the baby is born. it's a girl & peaches & russ decide to name it lynn after, claudia (lynn is her middle name). they also ask her to be godmother. claudia is beyond ecstatic.

a few days later, peaches & lynn are released from the hospital & claudia chivvies her family into the car to go over for a visit. everyone coos over the baby & they eat dinner together. mrs. kishi then says they will be leaving, because the best visits as far as new parents are concerned are short visits. but claudia asks to stay longer to help out with clean-up & any baby surprises. mrs. kishi is reluctant, but peaches & russ are like, "sure! sounds great!" so claudia stays for a while longer, admiring lynn, washing the dishes, & offering various baby care tips.

the next day before school, claudia rushes back to peaches & russ's house to check in. russ is trying to make coffee & the baby starts wailing. claudia offers to handle the coffee-making while peaches & russ attend to the baby. she doesn't understand how the coffeepot works, so she kind of wings it & then runs upstairs & look at lynn. while she's up there, everyone smells burning. turns out claudia put the coffee & water into the back of the coffeemaker, where the electronics are, & now it's broken. russ sighs heavily & heads out to get convenience store coffee. claudia leaves for school.

she stops by that after school & stays pretty much until bedtime, fussing over lynn, thinking she's helping the new parents. & she does this pretty much every single day into perpetuity. mrs. kishi points out that having claudia around all the time may be stressful for peaches & russ, & that they need time to get used to being parents without other people hovering around, but claudia blows her off. she thinks she is being very helpful & that russ & peaches wouldn't be able to get by without her.

so when she finds out that she's going on a lass trip to philadelphia for a weekend, she is nervous. will the new little family still be alive by sunday? how are they going to make it without claudia breaking the coffeepot every morning & "accidentally" waking her up from naps? but she is excited to visit philly. she hopes to check out some art museums, especially the rodin museum. the only hitch is that melissa, a classmate of claudia's, is kind of crowding her. she wants to room with claudia, but claudia would rather room with abby & stacey, who are also going on the trip. claudia throws her a bone & invites melissa to the mall with some of her BSC friends, but it's no fun. melissa tries too hard to get claudia to like her & having her around is really more of a chore than a pleasure. but claudia is reluctant to say anything because she doesn't want to hurt melissa's feelings.

do you see where this is going yet?

in philly, melissa connives to switch rooms so she can be right next to the room that claudia is sharing with abby & stacey. she follows claudia & her friends around all the time & totally ignores her own roommate. it all comes to a head at the philadelphia art museum, when claudia admits she'd like to see the rodin museum but they don't have time. melissa suggests sneaking over & looking around for a few minutes before coming back to meet everyone else on the school bus. claudia agrees, but of course she & melissa get lost on their way back to the philadelphia art museum. melissa unhelpfully bursts into tears. they don't have enough money to take a cab to the art museum or the hotel & they didn't tell anyone where they were going. finally a passerby takes pity on them & points them to another nearby museum, where the security guards have been instructed to keep an eye out for a missing 13-year-old who likes art. the security guards call claudia's teacher, who comes to pick them up in a cab. they are in BIG TROUBLE...& claudia is pissed at melissa. she blames melissa for the whole mess, until she starts thinking about how she has been behaving in the same needy, clingy way with peaches, russ, & lynn. she resolves to give them their space & thinks that maybe she could be friends with melissa after all if melissa did the same.

B-plot: the arnold twins are sneaking scary movies & freaking themselves out until logan arranges for them to watch a documentary about how special effects are done. they decide to make their own horror movie using some of the techniques they learned. borrrr-ing.

i love claudia but she was so obnoxious in this book. if i had just had a baby a few years ago & someone came over before i was even out of bed & BROKE MY COFFEEMAKER...i would quite possibly kill them. & if i were tried by a jury of my peers (other new moms), i would get away with it. claudia also bosses peaches around in all these other ways, suggesting alternative diaper lotions & swaddling techniques & shit. i guess it's realistic, in that pretty much no one gets as much needless unsolicited advice as a new parent.



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