The Tuck home and the Foster home are definitely worlds apart. The Fosters micromanage Winnie. They confine her to the yard and control what she does and when she does it. They allow her very little freedom. Everything is neat and organized within the house. It must feel like a museum: very pretty and neat, but you are not allowed to touch anything.
"Come in now, Winnie. Right away. You'll get heat stroke out there on a day like this. And your lunch is ready."
"See?" said Winnie to the toad. "That's just what I mean. It's like that every minute. If I had a sister or a brother, there'd be someone else for them to watch. But, as it is, there's only me. I'm tired of being looked at all the time. I want to be by myself for a change."
The Tuck household, on the other hand, is worlds apart from the Foster home. It is not neat and organized. Everything is a bit haphazard and strewn about the place. But what amazes Winnie is that the place feels like a home. It feels like a place where people can be themselves without another family member making a correction every moment. The Tucks also treat Winnie differently. They don't treat her as if she is made of glass and needs to be protected for every second of the day. They treat her like she is an integral part of the family. Winnie is somebody of equal value to them, which is why she falls in love with them and is willing to break the law for them.
Winnie had grown up with order. She was used to it . . . So she was unprepared for the homely little house beside the pond, unprepared for the gentle eddies of dust, the silver cobwebs, the mouse who lived—and welcome to him!—in a table drawer. There were only three rooms. The kitchen came first, with an open cabinet where dishes were stacked in perilous towers without the least regard for their varying dimensions. There was an enormous black stove, and a metal sink, and every surface, every wall, was piled and strewn and hung with everything imaginable, from onions to lanterns to wooden spoons to wash-tubs.