Mary Anne, along with the rest of the 8th grade Baby-Sitters Club members, are assigned to write their own autobiography. They may include photos and other memorabilia, but the majority of the project must be written. Mary Anne chooses to write about a variety of events in her life, but the overarching theme is how her mother's death shaped her as a person.
Well, we all had to do it. Write our autobiographies, that is. And this is mine. I dug way back in my memory and came up with lots of stories. There was the fateful time in kindergarten when I didn't know whom to invite to our Mother's Day tea party. There was the time I desperately wanted glasses, and of course there were the adventures with my friends Kristy and Claudia. But mostly, I remember my father, because he's always been there for me.
Mary Anne wakes up on a Saturday morning to a quiet house because her father and step-mother had gone grocery shopping. She enjoys the quiet as she makes breakfast and begins to pour over the contents of a box her grandmother Verna Baker sent her from Maynard, Iowa. The most precious piece from the box is Mary Anne's baby book, which her mother started and her grandmother finished. Sharon and Richard come home to find her in tears as she pours through memories she wishes she could remember. After drying her eyes, Mary Anne goes upstairs and begins to work on her autobiography
Mary Anne reveals that her first memory is from when she was three and she remembers greeting her father when he came home from work. She recounts small memories of her and her father together. When she is around three or four, she starts nursery school where she is in the same class as Kristy and Claudia. She later attends Stoneybrook Elementary School where Mary Anne, Kristy, and Claudia are all in the same kindergarten.
Mary Anne, Claudia, and Kristy are together again (along with Alan Gray) in first grade with a teacher named Mrs. Frederickson, who yells a lot. Mary Anne likes school but is scared when Mrs. Frederickson yells. In May, the class throws a Mother's Day Tea Party, which brings the issue of not having a mother to the forefront. Mary Anne at first invites her dad, but when Alan Gray laughs at her for wanting to bring a boy to a girl's party, Mary Anne decides to invite Mimi instead. She doesn't tell her father when the party is, but he finds out anyway through a school newsletter. Mary Anne gets very nervous, wondering what everyone will say when she has TWO people show up. Both Richard and Mimi show up and things go smoothly after talking with Mrs. Frederickson. She would have been fine inviting her father because her father has to take on the job of both father and mother.
Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne are all enrolled in a summer ballet program through the local YMCA. Mary Anne does not like dancing in front of people and gets very nervous during class. The morning of the recital, she gets sick and admits to her dad that she hates ballet, hates crowds, and does not want to perform. Her father says that she doesn't have to go on stage and so they go home and have a barbecue.
The three girls are split up for fourth grade, with Claudia and Kristy in one room and Mary Anne in Ms. Elison's class. Mary Anne really likes Ms. Elison and the way she teaches. In class, she meets a girl named April, who quickly becomes one of the most popular girls in class. April wears glasses and looks so cool so Mary Anne decides she wants glasses too. When vision test day comes around at school, Mary Anne fails the test on purpose so she can get glasses. However, she didn't realize that she would have to go to another eye doctor for further tests. At the new eye doctor, she finds that she needs glasses only for reading.