Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Final Face Off

So, the last thing I wrote was about how Super Au Pair took the kids off me all day on Wednesday, making my dreaded nightmare school holiday week a lot easier...

In the evening when I went back to the house, Super Au Pair hung around for a bit and we chatted about going out in Paris. She said asked me about the friends she'd seen me with earlier on in the day, and I told her how we met in the park. Super Au Pair said she didn't make many friends while she was here, but that she had one of her best friends from home here. One - nil to Shit Au Pair, even though the mum of the family is always going on about how Super Au Pair made lots and lots of friends while she here- 'When she left, she knew everyone!'

We chatted about clubs a bit, she said she likes Le Batofar- good, she also said she is going to Ibiza in the summer- good, then she said she is going to see David Guetta there- bad.

I asked her about the South of France and what it’s like being on holiday with the family. I’ve heard from the mum that Super Au Pair went out every night until 7am and that kind of enraged me because now they’ll think I’m weird when I stay in crying every night- I don’t speak French and I can’t make friends and I’m a Shit Person as well as Shit Au Pair.

Anyway, Super Au Pair confirmed everything I’d heard about her wild, ravey ways; she said that she made friends with all the locals while she was there and that they took her out every night and then she had to get up at 7am with the kids to help the mum get them ready. I might have the English au pair friends, but she definitely gets a point for assembling her own little rave crew in the South of France, so at this point I'd say it was a draw.

On Friday, I got in from picking the five year old from school and Super Au Pair was there with the girls. I'd had a bit of nightmare day with them, because the mum had wanted me to take them out for the day, unsurprisingly because it was a beautiful, hot summer's day and they are on their school holidays. The girls however, were boringly predictable and wanted to stay indoors all day, watching telly and ignoring me. So I wasnot feeling particularly warm towards the girls and I was actually glad Super Au Pair was there to liven them up a bit.

Then, at half five, the mum came home, two hours early. She and Super Au Pair were chatting away in French and I was shuffling around doing household chores like a mute girl they’d taken in off the lanes of Limerick.

Then the mum asked me if I wanted a drink. I didn’t know if she meant a drink of water, or a drink of alcohol on the bar, or a coffee, so I just stood there frozen to the spot, trying to figure out what she was asking me, then I stuttered and mumbled about staying behind to look after the kids if they wanted me to but I would like to go for a drink if they’re sure I don’t mind what what if if are you sure I could I don’t mind-

She said “Be simple. Do you want to come for a drink or not?”

I said yes just because I knew if I didn’t go I would go back to my room and feel like I’d been ostracised from the Family/Au Pair Meet-Up.

We went and sat outside a cafĂ© in the place de marche and it was quite nice, we had a chat about Paris nightlife and the South of France etc etc and when it was time to go I said to Super Au Pair ‘It was nice to meet you’ and I meant it.

So. All in all, a kind of drawer. From what the mum and Super Au Pair were saying, the kids were a lot easier last year, I guess because they were younger and also because Super Au Pair spoke to them in their own language, she could communicate properly with them and they grew quite close, whereas I am just the stranger in their house, who eats all their Easter eggs, breaks all the plates and then yells at them in a foreign language.

Still. If we were in a graphic novel, I can imagine the last page would be Super Au Pair and Shit Au Pair on the top of a building, with a dark cityscape in the background, and sheets of rain shining white against the black background. Super Au Pair would be stood on the edge of the roof, facing Shit Au Pair who has just thrown open the door of the fire escape.

"We're not so different you and I." Super Au Pair says, then she turns and disappears with a swish of her cape.


  1. oh my god I need your help/ advice
    I just started an au pair job in annecy for 9 kids 3 days ago. Its for a whole year. I don't speak any french, and for my first 2 nights here the 2 eldest daughters keep having these huge parties where the mom tries to make me come down stairs to chat with the snobby french teens who don'tt even aknowledge me. SHe told me that I could do what i want during the day and that they would ask for my help if they needed it. But i just feel guilty sitting in my room and i'm home sick. what should i do?! just stay in my room. Do I have a right to say no when they ask me to come down stairs and chat

  2. By the way i'm a shit au pair too so dont feel to bad. I dont even really like kids I just took the oportunity beacuse it was in france, and my life back in the states was going to shit

  3. You have a right to say no, but it might be kind of awkward if they are expecting you to be a part of the family, it sounds like they are just trying to intergrate you, which I would hate and would freak out about, so I understand why you don't want to go downstairs and talk to the snobby teenagers!!

    Have you actually tried going downstairs? Are they younger than you or the same age? Hmm. As for sitting in your room all day, don't worry, in your free time you can do what you want, but do you like sitting in your room? Is there anywhere you can and sit and read a book, a park or a little cafe?

  4. yha there my age and i went downstair and tried to talk but they hardley even aknowledge me, and i do like my room. thanks for backing me up i guess thats what I needed, im a hell of alot more relaxed than yesterday when the baby through a fit in front of 30 people and they all watched while i had to try and handle it

  5. That sounds awful! And nine kids?? Hm it's hard when they are your age because I guess they are quite snobby and au pairs are after all 'the help'. work it to your advantage by making friends with all the local ruffians and then you can pass them in the street and look them up and down, letting them know you are bad ass and they are spoilt, posh dickheads who need an au pair. That's what I would do, either that or sit in my room, watching TV on the internet and eating cake.