Skipper stood by the window and watched gray, gloomy clouds float slowly across the sky. "Rainy days are so boring," she sighed.
"Yeah, especially rainy Saturdays," added Stacie, her younger sister. Stacie pointed the remote control at the television and flicked through the channels. "There's nothing good on TV, either," she said glumly.
Skipper walked to the sofa and sat down beside Stacie. The two girls watched their baby sister, Kelly, happily play with a bunny on the floor.
"At least one of us doesn't seem to mind the weather," Skipper said with a smile.
Suddenly the telephone rang. Skipper and Stacie jumped up at the same time.
"That's for me!" shouted Skipper. "I've been expecting Kevin to call."
"No, I'll bet it's Whitney for me!" Stacie exclaimed.
The two sisters giggled as they raced toward the phone. Skipper made it there first.
"Oh, hi, Ken," Skipper laughed into the phone. "Hold on while I get Barbie." She playfully stuck her tongue out at Stacie as she went up the stairs to find Barbie.
Barbie picked up the phone in her room. "Hi, Ken," Skipper heard her say. "A fifties party? Tonight? I'd love to go! I even have the perfect outfit to wear. The only problem is getting a baby-sitter for the girls. I don't think I'll be able to find someone on such short notice."
Skipper could hear the disappointment in Barbie's voice. "This would be a good chance to help Barbie out," thought Skipper. "She always helps me."
Skipper went into Barbie's room. "Sis, I'd be happy to baby-sit tonight," Skipper said.
"Hold on, Ken," said Barbie. She put her hand over the receiver. "Skipper, wouldn't you rather see your friends this evening?" she asked.
"I was planning to stay home tonight," said Skipper. "Besides, we're all going to a movie together tomorrow afternoon."
"You're the greatest!" Barbie said, smiling. "Good news, Ken. It looks like I'll be able to go after all. Skipper just offered to baby-sit. See you at six-thirty."
Skipper went down to the living room and gave Stacie and Kelly a big-sisterly hug. "Did you hear that? I'm going to be your baby-sitter tonight. It'll be so great. Just the three of us!"
"You mean just the four of us," corrected Stacie. "My friend Janet is sleeping over tonight, remember? She'll be here soon."
"The more, the merrier," said Skipper. "We can watch videos, bake cookies, listen to music."
Just then, Barbie came into the living room.
"Skipper," Barbie began, "I know you've baby-sat for Stacie and Kelly before. But taking care of two eight-year-olds and a toddler can be a real challenge. Janet and Stacie together can be a handful."
"Everything will be fine," said Skipper, feeling excited and confident. "I'm sixteen, you know. What could possibly go wrong?"
"Well, all right," said Barbie. "I'd better go and get ready. Ken will be here soon."
Barbie went upstairs to get dressed.
A few minutes later, the doorbell rang.
"That must be Janet!" exclaimed Stacie, racing to the door.
Stacie greeted Janet and her mother.
"Guess what, Stacie?" said Janet excitedly. "My mom let me rent My Brother Is a Two-Headed Alien for us to watch tonight!"
"Cool!" replied Stacie. "That one's scary!"
Barbie came downstairs in her robe. While the two girls were busy discussing the video, Barbie took Janet's mother aside.
"Do you mind if Skipper baby-sits the girls this evening?" Barbie asked. "She's sixteen, and she's very responsible."
"That seems fine to me," replied Janet's mother. Then she turned to Janet. "Remember, be on your best behavior," she said. "I'll pick you up in the morning."
"Good night, Mom," said Janet, kissing her mother good-bye.
Before long, Ken arrived to pick up Barbie. He was dressed in a gold jacket. His hair was slicked back and shiny.
"Wow!" exclaimed Skipper. "You could pass for Elvis Presley, Ken!"
"You wouldn't say that if you heard me sing," joked Ken.
"Just wait until you see Barbie," said Stacie, coming downstairs with Janet. "She looks awesome!"
"You two are going to be the best-dressed couple at the party," Skipper added.
"Thanks," Ken said with a smile.
"Hello, handsome," called Barbie from the top of the stairs. Everyone smiled at her as she came downstairs. She was dressed in a pink angora sweater, a poodle skirt, bobby socks, and saddle shoes.
Ken whistled. "Barbie, you're the most!" he said.
"The most what?" asked Janet, confused.
"It's a saying from the fifties," Skipper explained. "It means she looks terrific."
"Doggie!" cried Kelly, pointing to the fabric poodle sewn on Barbie's skirt.
Ken laughed. "Even Kelly likes your outfit, Barbie!" he said.
Barbie turned to Skipper as she and Ken were about to leave. "Remember, Skipper, you can reach me at the number on the notepad by the phone. And the emergency numbers are stuck on the refrigerator door. We'll be home by eleven o'clock."
"Have a great time, and don't worry!" Skipper told her. "We'll be fine."
"Thanks again for baby-sitting," said Barbie, giving Skipper a grateful hug. "See you later."