Since Kit recently had a birthday I thought it would be fun to feature she and her stories throughout the year (I also really enjoy having the dolls act out their stories), so here is my paraphrased version of Meet Kit by Valerie Tripp:
Click, Tap, Clickety.
Kit loved the sound of her typewriter tapping away as she composed an article from her homemade newspaper she planned to give to her dad when he came home. She was especially excited because finally, after weeks and weeks of the boring same old, same old, day after day, she finally actually had a real life story to write about! The Howards were coming to live with them! She had heard the news first hand when she and Ruthie sat and spied on Mother’s Garden Club meeting. After she and Ruthie helped themselves to the Garden Club snacks, they sat on a bench just out of sight of the ladies.
“Louise, you look tired, is everything alright?” Mother asked.
“Oh, Margaret, my husband left for Chicago to seek better opportunities and more than likely we will follow him shortly.”
“But Louise, that would be terrible if you left!”
“I know, and I’d hate it too, but that seems to be the only choice we have left.”
“No, Louise, I’d like to offer my home to you and your son.”
“Margaret! Are you sure? You are so kind! Thank you so very much! I would love to take you up on that offer!”
“Looks like you’ll be having some friends with you for a while,” whispered Ruthie.
Kit was really excited to have a boy to hang around with. Sure, Ruthie was a wonderful friend, but she would never play baseball, or robin-hood, or help her build a tree house. She was much too lady-like and would rather play Princess.
“Done!” cried Kit as she grabbed her paper and hurried out the door to wait for her father.
“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” Shouted Kit as she ran down the porch steps and into her father’s arms.
“Kit! What’s this all about?”Dad asked.
“The Howards are coming!”
“What, to dinner?”
“No, they’re going to live with us! Isn’t that great?”
Dad’s smile faded, “Hmm, well, thanks for keeping me up to date! I do love having my own personal reporter to let me in on the household news.” And he slipped up the steps and into the house.
Grown ups sure are funny about news. I thought Dad would be just as excited as me, thought Kit.
But two days later, Kit, Ruthie, and Mother were on the porch steps waiting for the Howards to arrive.
“Here they come!” Mother exclaimed.
Mrs. Howard stepped out of the taxi cab and then helped her son out. Kit’s stomach turned.
Out of the car came a skinny, scrawny, and short little boy.
“I thought your mom said he was our age,” Ruthie muttered doubtfully, “he looks like a kindergartner.”
“Mother! He’s a shrimp!” Kit groaned.
“Now girls, he is our guest and we must do everything we can to welcome him and make him happy” replied Mother as she walked out to greet them.
“Oh, Margret!” cried Mrs. Howard, “I can’t tell you how thankful we are that you’ve welcomed us into your home. This is my son, Stirling. Shake hands with Mrs. Kittredge.”
Up close, Stirling did not look any better to Kit. He was pale all over, from his eyes, runny nose, and hair to his pale shoes. Kit towered over him.
“Oh, my poor lamby,” fussed Mrs.Howard, “I’m sure this is all too much for you, poor dear. He’s going to have to lie down right away.”
Kit’s bad feeling about Stirling continued throughout the week. She learned quickly that anything the girls tried to invite him to do, Mrs.Howard was there to say, “Stirling can’t.” Pretty soon, Kit and Ruthie stopped asking Stirling altogether.
At first, Kit thought Mrs. Howard was making a fuss over nothing, but then Stirling really did get sick with a bad cough and fever. One day, Kit noticed that the door to Stirling’s room was open. Kit peeked inside to find Stirling propped up on pillows. She noticed a picture of a member of her favorite team’s baseball player.
“Hey, is that Ernie Lombardi?”
Stirling nodded, “He’s my favorite player.”
“He’s my favorite player too! Say, I have a newspaper article about him. I’ll go get it.”
Kit raced upstairs and grabbed her article with the photograph attached.
She raced back down to Stirling and… BAM!!
The door hit Mrs. Howard who was standing behind it, and the tea tray, cup, and saucer, she was carrying came crashing to the floor.
“MY LAND!”shrieked Mrs. Howard.
The saucer shattered and the cup spilled tea all over the floor.
“Oh dear! Oh dear!” Mrs. Howard fretted.
Mother came in to see what all the noise was. Kit knew Mother hated messes.
“I’m sorry Mother, I was trying to show Stirling a picture of Ernie Lombardi and I was in a hurry and –”
“Just stop! I can imagine the rest,” Mother interrupted, “Just look at this mess! Kit, why can’t you look where you’re going and keep things like this from happening?”
Kit was shocked. It was very unlike Mother to interrupt and scold her without having heard the full story. And it had been an accident! Kit barely even felt embarrassed to be scolded in front of people because anger of how unfair Mother was treating her, was taking over.
Kit stomped upstairs to her typewriter and wrote a new headline, IT”S NOT FAIR! When she was done with the article she waited on the back porch steps for Dad to come home.
Kit heard the screen door slam. It was her brother, Charlie.
“What’s up Squirt?”
“It’s not fair,” Charlie read over her shoulder.
“It’s not fair when people blame you for messes that aren’t your fault because it was an accident!”Kit retorted.
“Aw, Kit, don’t make such a big deal about such a little thing.”
“That’s easy for you to say,” she said.
“Listen Kit, I wouldn’t go showing that article to Dad. He has a whole big mess to worry about and doesn’t want to have to deal with something as small as yours…oh, it looks like no one told you…well, I think you’re grown up enough to know; Dad lost his job.”
“What!!?? But why?”
“Why do you think? Because no one has the money to buy a car anymore. Dad didn’t tell us because he didn’t want us to worry, he kept hoping he could hang on.”
“Will he move away, and we’ll loose our house like the Howards?”
“I don’t know. But I can’t go to college anymore because of this.”
“Oh, Charlie, that’s so unfair!”
“Yep. And that’s your headline, isn’t it?” Charlie said pointing to Kit’s newspaper.
Kit hid away under the porch to be alone with her thoughts. What was going to happen to them? What if they did loose their house and get thrown out on the street? Kit tried to think of something she could do to help out when she heard someone come near.
“How do you always find me?” Kit asked Ruthie.
“I just ask myself where I’d be if I were you,” Ruthie replied, “Why are you hiding anyway?”
“My dad lost his job.”
“Oh, that ‘s too bad. I’m really sorry.”
“Yeah, I’m trying to figure out what to do to help out, but I don’t know. I’ve never really thought much about money. I just wish my dad would get a new job.”
“That would sure make a great headline.”
Kit did not come up with any brilliant ideas to help out, but Mother did. She decided to take on boarders.
“We can rent as many rooms in our house as we can. And Kit, I’m sorry but you’re going to have to give up your room. We need it for the boarders. Charlie is going to sleep on the back porch and you can take the attic.”
Kit was not happy to have to give up her room.
“But you never even liked your room!” Ruthie said when she heard Kit’s news, “Why are you mad to move out?”
“Because it was my room!” Kit said feeling selfishly peevish.
Kit stormed up to the attic to scout it out. It was full of a lot of junk, but Kit was happy to see her old roll top desk hidden in a corner.
She looked at the dusty piles of junk everywhere and felt overwhelmed with all of the problems in her life that had all taken place so quickly. She felt so helpless, she couldn’t stop the tears that started to run down her face.
Suddenly she heard noises on the stairs. She hurried to dry her tears and saw Stirling in the doorway.
“What are you doing here?” She mumbled.
“Here’s a bunch of stuff from your old room, I thought I’d bring up.”
Kit saw the picture of Ernie Lombardi on the top of the pile.
“You know,” said Stirling, looking around the room, “You can put just about anything anywhere you like up here. I think you could do whatever you want.”
“You’re right!” Kit realized. She suddenly had a great plan for her new room. First, she washed the the windows, swept the floor, and piled up the junk to one side of the room. Then she got started decorating her room just the way she wanted it. She was glad Mother didn’t have time to help her since her mother’s opinion of what a little girl’s room should look like was very different from her own.
The first night being in her new room, Kit got into her nightgown and waited for her mother to come tuck her in and see what she’d done.
When Mother arrived, she sat on the bed and looked all around her room.
“You worked really hard on your new room. I’m proud of you. This isn’t quite what I’d expect of a bedroom, but I can see you have a niche for every interest that you have. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to help you with this.”
“It’s okay, I actually kind of enjoyed fixing up this room. I’m sorry I got mad for having to move up here.”
“Sometimes, we don’t realize it until later, but changes can be good. Good night, dear, and don’t stay up too late reading.”
Kit snuggled in her bed, thinking that what Mother had said about changes being good might make a good headline for a news article.
Kit and Ruthie played themselves
Note from Lindsey: So now everyone knows my secret! But hey! The three “boys” got to all play in the same skit!
Jack (Kit’s dad)…………Katelynne Claire
Note from Katelynne: Right, Lindsey, all you see of me is the back of my head! I had such a big part!
Helen (Kit’s mother)…………..Katie Gotz
Mrs. Howard………………..Carlie Cullen
Kit, shows Ruthie her new attic room:
Meet Kit by Valerie Tripp Copy right American Girl 2001.