Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Return of Shit Au Pair

So. When I went to my au pair job on Thursday, there was nobody home except the dad and he asked me if he could talk to me. He said the mum was 'going crazy' because she had to keep telling me to do things over and over again. I asked what he meant and he said she had asked me to wash up the baby's plate three times, yet I still continued to put it into the dishwasher. He said "We can't put it into the dishwasher. Do you know why? Because we only have one plate for him and if we put it in the dishwasher it will not be done in time for his next meal."

He also said I'm 'like a shadow around the house' and that I'm too quiet and that I'm not smiley. He also told me 'My wife says about you, your head is not on your shoulders.' He then brought up An Incident last week where the girls thought I'd left the park without them, but I hadn't, I'd just gone looking for them because they ran away to the opposite end of the park and I was getting worried. (It's a really big park we go to after school on a Friday, and it was dark.)

I didn't really say much during the conversation other than the occasional 'Of course, yeah' and 'Right, ok'. I agreed with him and apologised, and we kind of ended the conversation, so I went off to start the dinner. But five minutes later he came into the kitchen after me. "It's expensive for us, you know. The money every week, and your food, and your room. We don't ask a lot from you, we are asking like ten hours a week from you (actually it varies between fifteen and twenty, but didn't see the point in correcting him), you told us how many hours you did last year, you know you don't have a lot to do. You could at least concentrate when you are here."

I felt quite upset, because everything he was saying was right. I had no recollection of anyone ever telling me about the plate thing, so I must have lost the information somewhere in my cloudy brain. And I know I'm too quiet around the house, but it's so difficult knowing how to behave when the mum and dad are there, all the time. I try and talk to the girls and be cheerful but recently they have just been point blank ignoring me or replying with a cynical rise of the eyebrows or a shake of the head. Even though they are only kids, it wears you down, constantly being ignored and made to feel stupid.

As the dad was talking, I debated whether to tell him the reason why I have been a bit quiet and miserable. I haven't said anything to them before it feels like I'm using it as an excuse, but really it is the reason why I have been so quiet and miserable, in my au pair job and at the restaurant. I just don't have the energy to keep bouncing back from snidey eight year olds. I don't have any words in my head to form a conversation with people I don't really know.

I don't really want to say what happened on here but basically something happened at home. I started to tell the dad I spluttered into tears. I didn't want to, it just happened. He kind of patted me on the shoulder and said "Well, if you have a problem in your life, we don't know. You need to tell us."

After that the mum and the girls got home. I tried to be bright and cheerful and 'concentrate' and the evening went really well. I left a bit later than usual, but I was really pleased with how everything had gone. The next day was the ten year old's birthday and I was really worried about giving her the Benefit lip gloss I had bought her. She was turning eleven, not twelve and all of a sudden it seemed like a ridiculously inappropriate birthday present.

Shit, I've just re-read what I've written and it's really boring. So to quickly sum up what happened next:

- she loved her present
- the family arrived and I made awkward conversation
- I realised nobody was going to suggest I leave and that the night would go on forever, becoming more and more awkward and awful for everyone involved...
- ...so I told the mum I was going to go but I said goodbye to everyone and wished them a good soiree

And that was that. Yesterday everything went really well. I think the eight year old was being so horrible with me because she could tell her mum wasn't happy with me and she's a really anxious child. The baby has inexplicably started loving me again, following me around and telling me sit down next to him all the time. The eleven year old even asked me to sit down with her 'to talk'. It was so lovely, she has never shown any interest in me before but she suddenly wanted to know what fashion houses I likes, whether I watched French X Factor...

The sad thing is, I have learnt since moving to Paris is that if you want kids to like you, buy their affection. buy them presents and Easter eggs. Buy their love. That is why I am never having kids, because I only want to spend money on myself.

Speaking of which, I had a Huuuuuge Dilemma about whether to get the Eurostar back to London for New Year's, or the coach. I asked on Facebook what I should do and the majority of people said I should get the Eurostar, even though it was £182 and the coach would be 82 euros. I decided on the Eurostar, because it's quick and easy, but my French card wouldn't work. I took this as A Sign.

I booked the coach.

It takes SEVEN HOURS but remember, seven is my lucky number.

And now I don't have to feel bad about spending money on myself, because I've made this huge, incredible financial sacrifice by getting the coach, therefore I can do whatever the fuck I want.

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