The We Love Kids Club gets an unusual phone call. The Carters need a sitter for their daughter Whitney, but they don't want Whitney to know she has a sitter. She has Down's Syndrome and they're taking her out of a special school and putting her in public school. Since she wants her parents to treat her like an adult, they decide to hire a sitter and pass her off as a new friend. Dawn gets the job.
Dawn quickly realizes that Whitney is a pretty cool chick. She likes going through magazines, hanging around with other kids, and shopping. They have a few good days together, and Dawn even introduces her to Sunny, Clover, and Daffodil. Dawn does learn that it's hard to be someone's friend when you have to be a sitter too. Whitney complains about a few things and she has to bite her tongue not to say she's a sitter.
She decides to go shopping with Whitney at the mall, but she's appalled at how people treat her. The women at the makeup counter act like they can't be bothered to help her, and other people stare wherever they go. One woman even flips out because Whitney accidentally touched her.
While all of this is going on, Jack decides to get back on the dating horse. He goes out with a bunch of different women, and on the second or third date, he brings along his kids. One woman is a total priss who lectures them on how to eat and drink, and another woman brings along her super smart daughter who hates Dawn and her friends. One date goes pretty well until they run into Whitney. The woman makes a bunch of rude comments about how looking at her will ruin her appetite.
Everything kind of comes to a head when Dawn and Whitney have a fight. The parents told her not to let her have any snacks, but she really wants an ice cream sandwich. She and Dawn fight, and Dawn lets it slip that she's her sitter. Whitney, who previously gave her a best friend necklace, flips out, locks her door, and won't talk to her except to demand her necklace back.
The Caters try talking to her but nothing works. They basically decide to just let Dawn keep sitting even though Whitney won't talk to her. She takes a sitting job with Clover and Daffodil and lets them play outside. When she goes to check on them, they're gone. She ends up calling everyone she knows and the police launch a search.
Dawn randomly asks some kid on the street, and he tells her he saw the girls with some lady. She then sees them on the ferris wheel at the local carnival and discovers they were with Whitney the whole time. Whitney wanted to prove she was grown up, so she basically just took them to the carnival without telling anyone. Carol is randomly there and is super nice to everyone, and she even gives Dawn a hug.
Dawn tells her dad that he should just call Carol and wonders if he went on so many bad dates because he was just looking for her. The We Love Kids Club decides to make Whitney an honorary member of the club, and she's super excited to learn about it. Dawn also helps her make a list of grown up things she already does or can do to show her parents.
Jack goes on a few dates and always comes home in a good mood. He finally admits that he's dating Carol again, and he asks the kids about proposing to her. Carol comes over for dinner, and when he gets too nervous to pop the question, Jeff does it for him. Carol says yes and they all start celebrating because it's clear that they got over their past issues. <insert sarcasm here>
Back in Connecticut, the BSC has some problems with the Barrett and DeWitt families. Buddy and Suzi go back to hating the other kids, and they booby trap the house when they come over. It leads to a huge fight, but then their parents announce their engagement. Everything gets cleared up when the kids bond over their parents shopping for a new house.
*On the first page, Dawn mentions that Sunny is one of her two best friends in California. Does that mean either Jill or Maggie sucks hardcore?
*Who the hell takes their kids on a date with someone they just met? I know single parents who won't even let their dates see their kids until it's clear things are serious. Jack literally makes his kids go on family dates with these women days after meeting them.
*The Carol thing is such a cop out! They broke up because she didn't think he had time for her and that she didn't fit into his life. They go on a few dates and suddenly things are perfect between them.
*Teenage girls are complete bitches! That's one of the things I hate about these books. They're always so understanding of new people. In real life, I'm sure Dawn would take some time to get used to being around Whitney.
*I also hate that almost everyone they see is rude to Whitney. If this is the way people act out there, remind me to never move to California.
*The Caters weren't very smart. Dawn was a sitter, not a friend, and they should have explained that to Whitney. What was she supposed to do if an emergency happened?
*I love when other people eat hot dogs and crap because it shows that Dawn's wrong when she talks about how "everyone" eats oh so healthy.
*Jack buy hot dogs at the game, and he and Jeff both eat them. Dawn says that they don't really like hot dogs, but earlier in the book, Jeff makes a comment about liking them.
*Does Whitney ever pop up again? I know Dawn moves back to CT for awhile, but I can't think of her ever actually going on any sitting jobs.