Thursday, 1 March 2012

Babies and Work

Paris is warming up, twirling into Spring like a dandelion seed* and I'm worried, because Paris is a seductive city in the springtime. I can't remember the exact moment I decided to stay in Paris for another year, but it was definitely some time in May, when we spent every weekend sunbathing in the Bois de Boulogne and our evenings drinking two euro bottles of wine along the river. It was such a lovely, happy time but as my Role Model  and Spiritual Guide Pocahontas says: 'The water's always changing, always flowing.'

This spring will be different, not just because our group has changed (although Amy and Laura have been back so many times it feels as though they still live here), but because I won't have any time for sunbathing or picnicking; I'm working every Saturday and Sunday at the resto for the next few weeks, which means I don't have one day off, ever and I'm not sure if this is a temporary thing or not. 

The thing is, I need the money for moving to London in September, but it seems a shame to sacrifice this year. What's the point in living in Paris if I never get to go to museums or parks? And I am DEFINITELY not going out raving while I've got so many long days of work to get through; I learnt my lesson a few weeks ago...

The night after Showcase Julia took me, Georgie, Kayt and Laura to a house party in Versailles. At first we felt a little bit awkward, but after a while we livened up and started chatting to everyone, eventually we even joined in the dancing to ridiculously cheesy french pop music...

The weird thing is, Kayt had her phone stolen at the party!! Not a good weekend for mobile phones.

Another highlight of the evening was when one of my friends (I can't tell you who because they'll kill me) disappeared for an hour with a delightful young man I nicknamed Druggie Steve* and we couldn't work out where she'd gone without her coat, because it was snowing outside.

(It's weird to think that there was snow on the ground that weekend, whereas now you could venture out without a scarf if you wanted to... although this is Paris we're talking about, so you'd have to be prepared to get tutted at on the metro for daring to expose your collatage to anything less than 30 degree heat.)

My earnest intention was to get the last RER back to Paris, as I was working at 11am the next day, but somehow one gin and tonic turned into eleven and we ended up getting back to Julia's at half seven in the morning. Needless to say, the next day was HORRIFIC. I'd had one hour's sleep and was still wearing my clothes from the night before. When I first arrived at work I was still a little bit drunk- I kept yelling random things out and I started sobbing when someone told me Whitney Huston had died. As the long day wore on I became more and more hungover and confused- I kept smashing things and mixing orders up and my vision was blurred, like someone had smeared Vaseline in my eyes.

I am NEVER doing that again. Which is a shame, because this weekend is Kayt's birthday and Julia has invited us all to another house party, with Real French People. Then on Sunday there's an event that looks a bit like Fuse- a Sunday afternoon rave- but as it starts it finishes at 10pm there's probably no point going after I finish work. Click here if you'd like to take a look.

Damn. Wish I wasn't working so much. But at the same time, I have A LOT of things I need to save up for: I owe a couple of people money AGAIN; I need to book flights to Ibiza and save up spending money; I need to pay my overdraft off and my credit card; I need to save up a deposit and at least a month's rent for when I move to London; also there is the small matter of my Crumbly Tooth which I didn't manage to sort out in England and which probably means I need a root canal.

When I saw my mum I'd already been in England for six days and she said: "I can't believe you still haven't sorted it out!"

I replied: "But it doesn't hurt at all, mum."

AND THE VERY NEXT DAY I woke up to the worst tooth pain I've ever had and it's been hurting on and off since then.

Sorry, this blog post isn't very amusing is it? I've just got that panicky feeling where I feel as though I have loads and loads to catch up on and so I'm just typing out my every thought and whim. Ooh! In other news, my friend Anna has had a baby!!! How exciting! I saw her last week with her bump for the first time and it was so strange, if only I'd been visiting England this week I would have got to meet the baby. She's called it Amelia. Altogether now: Awwwwwwwwww.

I can't imagine having a baby now. This week the girls aren't home (the eleven year old is at her mate's house all week and the eight year hurt her knee and couldn't ski for a week, so she's catching up by staying on another week with her grandma) which means I've just had the eighteen month year old baby to look after.

Actually, I've just realised he's probably a lot older than eighteen months now, as I've been calling him that for a while. Oh, it's just easier to pretend isn't it? Let's keep calling him 'eighteen month year old baby'.

What was I saying? Oh, nothing. Well then, let me say this: it's harder than I realised, looking after Little People, you can't leave them alone for a second. Also, I put his nappy on back to front and the next time I changed him he had poo smeared all over his back. Oops.

I took him to the park yesterday and I had to follow him around for an hour, not daring to tear my eyes away for a second to even check the time in case a large bird or dog carried him off while I wasn't looking. I do like babies, but it's probably the only job where you can feel bored out of your mind and sick with worry at the same time. At one point a massive wasp landed on the top of his balaclava and stayed there for about ten minutes. I didn't want to scare the baby so I didn't say anything, but another nanny kept pointing it out to me, so in the end I had to flick it off and then grab the baby and run away before the angry wasp attacked us. Oh the life of a nanny- how thrilling! How action-packed!

Another highlight was when he was trying to climb the ladder up to the slide, but there was a Less Able Baby (a polite way of saying that this baby was as sharp as a teething ring) hogging the ladder. This Less Able baby was taking up the whole ladder, but wasn't old/clever enough to actually climb it, so it just jiggled around, grunting and not getting anywhere. Babies have no spacial awareness or social skills. 'My' eighteen month year old tried to climb over the Less Able Baby and then three or four other babies joined in, so there was just a wiggling mess of frustrated babies at the bottom of the ladder, all trying to climb up to the slide without realising this grandiose dream of theirs was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

I started to get really agitated, watching the babies flail around, moving as though they were underwater.

"YOU CAN'T ALL CLIMB THE LADDER!" I wanted to scream, "You need to all LEAVE the ladder, trouble shoot some ideas and then return, WITH A SOLID PLAN!"

But I held my tongue, because babies just don't care for talk like that.

Me and all the other nannies were looking around wildly for the nounou/parent of the Less Able Baby, who was the cause of the Hideous Baby Pyramid. They were like zombies in a video game, I felt that if I swept them all away, ten more flailing babies would replace them, trying to climb the ladder and never reaching the top because their brains aren't developed enough to overcome large obstacles.

I was seconds away from drop-kicking the Less Able Baby away from the ladder when his nounou suddenly came running over, her half-smoked fag still dangling from her hand. Ha! I'm not the worst childminder in the world!

Anyway, the eighteen month year old baby is cute and I can't believe how well it's worked out this week- I thought I was going to have to call in sick to the restaurant, but because the nanny looks after the baby during the day, I've been able to do the lunchtime shift like I normally do. Tomorrow, however, will be different, because the girls are back.  Uh-oh.

Look how cute my friend's baby is!!!!

*If it makes you cringe when I use imagery, just be thankful that I don't inflict my 'poems' on to you anymore.
**If you saw him you'd agree that the name 'Druggie Steve' was perfect for him.


  1. LOL your posts make my day. The zombie baby scene was described in such detail, I felt like I was there (and I hope to God I am never in such a scene).

    Thank goodness you are blogging again :)

  2. Thanks Crystal! I am happy to be blogging again, just need to go out and get into mischief now so I have something interesting to blog about!

  3. The zombie baby scene amused me too, I laughed so hard! And two posts in one day? You spoil us :D

    1. Well it had been so long, I thought you deserved at least two! : )