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Ramona and Her Mother is the fifth book in the Ramona Quimby series.


Bob Quimby has just gotten a job at the market, so the Quimbys are having a brunch party to celebrate. The Kemps are among the people invited, so Ramona feels she must find a present for Willa Jean Kemp. She decides on giving her a box of Kleenex so that Willa Jean can pull out all the tissues, which she does, but the Quimbys have to use the tissues. Throughout the party, Ramona feels jealous of Willa Jean because she gets called "her mother's girl" whereas no one has ever said that to Ramona.

On a rainy morning, Ramona tries to sew a pair of slacks for her elephant stuffie Ella Phunt, but they don't work as part of them is loose, while part is tight. Ramona feels jealous again, this time of her mother and Beezus because their sewing projects did work. She goes into the bathroom to sulk and ends up squeezing out all the toothpaste as catharsis, so she has to keep all that toothpaste for herself.

A while later, she has a bad day-- her family keeps telling her what to do, and at school, she has trouble spelling, and when she tells Mrs. Rudge that she can't spell, Mrs. Rudge says that "there's no such word as can't". After school, Howie and Ramona try to play checkers, but Willa Jean derails the game and turns it into a stacking game, then Howie and Ramona try to make a toy boat and float it in the laundry tub, but when they try to get some bluing to dye the water blue (to look like an ocean), it spills all over them.

When the Quimby sisters arrive back at home, they find their parents arguing because neither of them turned the Instant Pot on. They decide to have pancakes instead, and while initially the family has trouble deciding when the pancakes are done, they eventually manage to cook them. However, the girls have insomnia that night as they're afraid their parents have stopped loving each other and/or will divorce. The next morning, the girls berate their parents for fighting, but the parents reassure them that adults are imperfect and that just because they fought doesn't mean anything serious.

Later, the sisters are about to get their hair cut, but Beezus wants hers cut at a salon because it's trendy. The parents, however, think it would be too expensive. Eventually, however, they take the girls to the hair salon, but Beezus, due to getting her hair done by a new worker, ends up with too much hairspray, making her hair look like, as she puts it, "a cheap wig".

Ramona overhears part of a conversation, and worries that she's in trouble as they sounded serious and they heard her name and the word 'school'. She gets some new pajamas, which she wears to school under her clothes (making her look fatter than normal), but due to her clothes feeling hot, is sent to the nurse. The nurse, Mrs. Miller, sends her back to class and, after learning of the situation, Mrs. Rudge allows her to change out of her pajamas (despite Ramona being concerned at first because she's going commando), promising to keep the secret.

When Ramona goes back to class, she learns to write in cursive and becomes distracted, so she forgets to take her pajamas home. When the girls are cleaning the house the next day, Ramona overhears Mrs. Quimby talking to Mrs. Rudge on the phone, assumes that she's talking about the pajamas, and accidentally spills her secret. She then becomes angry at everyone, even herself, and goes on a rant about how no one likes her, prompting an argument between the sisters. Ramona tries to run away, but Mrs. Quimby tricks her by deliberately making the bag too heavy. As it turns out, Mrs. Rudge phoned because she mistook Ramona's habit of twitching her nose (actually doing a bunny impression) for fear, and the serious conversation was a discussion over whether Mr. Quimby should go back to college.