SparkNotes Blog

Squad Lessons The Baby-Sitters Club Taught Us All

Back in the day, Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club was the binge-read series of your girl group dreams because Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, and Mary Anne (and, eventually, about half a dozen others) used their combined flair for kidcare to become this force of friendship that was mostly organized, fun, and full of teamwork.

Looking back, there are still some pretty amazing little tidbits of crew wisdom that totally apply.

Kid kits: The baby-sitting bunch had this brill idea to create an emergency preparedness box for all the foreseeable disasters that come along with being in charge of tons of tiny humans, and really, this is something we can all learn from. How many times can you remember where a spare hair elastic or to-go toothbrush or a sewing kit would’ve come in handy on the fly? Why aren’t we all doing this right now?

The notebook: The girls from BSC kept a little log of their daily adventures with the various kiddos in their keeps, and it was super helpful for them to share their little nuggets of heads up experience with each other. This wasn’t exactly some Mean Girls-ish burn book meant to put people on blast, don’t get us wrong. But it did give the girls a chance to jot it down when they figured out situational hacks to deal with whatever little quirk came up. Not a bad idea for, say, that feeling when you just discovered that euchre is actually kind of a blast on a rainy day or that Mrs. So-and-so gets extra grade-generous when you throw a Shakespeare reference in on your term paper.

Leadership not dictatorship: Kristy, the founding member of the Club, had to learn the hard way that even the Prez has to learn to let others jump to the fore once in awhile. Her bossiness got the better of her sometimes, and she had to tame her spiteful side a time or two, too. But overall, she was accepting and encouraging of her friends’ individual strengths and interests and it made them all that much tighter.

Preteen and still total pros: Thanks to all their collective gumption and get it attitude, it was pretty easy to forget sometimes these girls were in middle school, and yet they were. More often than not, they were organized, polished little professionals about their group business and didn’t shirk the responsibilities they set for themselves. Going places, every one of them.

Fun and done: Sure, the Sitters were almost always on top of their stuff had kept their priorities straight — even if Trevor Sandbourne was the dreamiest dude in Stoneybrook — but they still recognized the importance of cutting loose with junk food-filled chats and festive slumber parties with pizza and Nancy Drew stories. This kept the work-ish blahs at bay for sure.

THEREness: The BSC girls’s backgrounds were all over the place, but they all stepped up to the plate in their own ways when it came to helping each other out in hard times. Like the way Claudia, who wasn’t always the best student, learned everything she could about diabetes after finding out Stacey had it, so she could be part of her support system. Or when Mary Anne’s house burned down and her BFFs rallied around her, offering whatever they could to help. These weren’t a bunch of fair-weather friends; they rose to the occasion when life got too real.

What series taught you the importance of #squadgoals?