Friday, 14 September 2012

Chilly, Squirmy Idiot

YESSSSS. The au pair mum just texted me to say that the girls are staying with friends tonight so instead of picking them up from school, I just have to go to their house at half six, to look after the toddler for a bit. I'll probably be able to leave at 8pm.

I don't know whether to have a nap or not. It's been a busy morning- I was in the bilingual school from 9am until midday, when I had a meeting with the French actresses about the drama lessons. We decided on themes for each week and discussed how each lesson should be structured. It sounds like things will be a lot easier this year, mainly because the Mental Kids from last year have moved up to Big School, but also because we have a set idea of how each lesson plan should look. This doesn't really affect me however, because- and here's the thing, old chap, bit of a sticky wicket you understand- the classes I was supposed to teach aren't happening anymore.

There aren't enough kids to fill the lunchtime classes which are the only classes that fit in with my au pair schedule.

To be honest, I'm not bothered- at least Anabelle has sorted me out with two private tuition jobs and she's the reason I got the job at the bilingual school. I should be able to earn the same amount of money that I earnt in the restaurant last year, except instead of carrying plates and taking orders, I'll be playing with lego and reading stories...

I love the bilingual school! The kids are so cute, I could eat them. I don't know why really cute things make us want to eat them, perhaps it's an evolutionary thing. Although I can't see how the human race would benefit from consuming tiny, silly creatures in adorable, miniature Converse and teeny tiny, skinny jeans... (The kids might only be three years old but their parents dress them like they are achingly hip teenagers.)

Anyway, this morning we played with toys, did some 'sport' (they did a roly poly and then crawled through a tunnel) and then it was Story Time. The French teacher wondered if perhaps I would like to read one of the English books? I literally leapt off the ground and jumped into the chair- there's not many things I like more than The Sound of My Own Voice.

Now. I'm not being arrogant, I'm just being truthful when I say that my dramatic reading of 'Night Night Baby' was stunning, perhaps the Greatest Moment of my career and it saddens me that only a small group of three year olds and one other teacher bore witness to it. I've always known that Sight Reading was my only Gift and Talent (apart from washing up, but I have recently decided that my aptitude for dish washing is neither a Gift nor a Talent, merely a manifestation of my sad, strange eagerness to please people). I used to think that sight reading was a useless skill to have ('Wowza kid- you read that Microwave Instruction Manual like you'd read it a thousand times before! You gotta take that talent to Broadway! You're gonna be a HUGE star!') but now I know that I can use it to read books to little kids. My life's work has not been in vain.

Jeez Louise! I'm a bit full of myself today, aren't I? Maybe I will start winking in the mirror, pointing one finger at my reflection and clucking out of the side of my mouth. Go get 'em tiger.

Since I'm in such a positive mood, let me give you some more good news- yesterday I did flyering again and this time I got there on time, without getting lost!!

The night before, I spent ages on Google Maps in 'streetview', noting down REAL DIRECTIONS for myself like: 'Turn left at cafe with yellow awning.' The only problem with Google Maps is that sometimes, since the satellite photos you're looking at were taken, that cafe with the yellow awning could have become a cafe with a red awning, but at least in Paris cafes and restaurants normally remain cafes and restaurants... Even if they do change into something completely different, like an Islamic bookshop or a Thai massage parlour (haaaa- imagine either of those sprouting up in the sixth arrondissement), Paris is so serious about preserving itself that everything except the sign would remain exactly the same.

Uh-oh. I've just remembered, nobody likes it when I'm happy and confident. People mostly read my blog so that my sad, paranoid ramblings will make them feel better about their own life.

But yesterday was just such a lovely day- in between handing out flyers and my au pair job, I met up with My Newish Friend Ruth, who I may as well just start calling Ruth, and we went to the Pompidou Centre. (They've recently changed the permanent collection so if you've been too many times in the last two years and you're a bit sick of all those videos with the dead chicken, now you can go again!) How very cultural and productive of us.

Things took a slight turn for the worse at my au pair job- there was a really awkward moment when the toddler was insisting that the dad kissed me goodbye, so the dad leant in and made a really big deal out of it, trying to embarrass me...

The thing is, in Ibiza when I say goodbye to everyone, I accidentally kissed somebody on the neck. Yes, it was awkward. Oh my God it was so awkward. Every time I think of it I have to sing loudly to drown out the sound of my own voice bleating 'Oh God, oh God'... so don't blame me for being a little apprehensive every time someone kisses me hello or goodbye.

I reckon the mum and dad think I am a 23 year old virgin, because I'm so weird and squirmy. Maybe when I leave I should say:
'Look, just to make myself feel better, I must tell you that I'm actually a massive slag. I just don't like faire-ing the bisou.'

Or maybe:
'I may have the social skills of a plastic fork, but I'm an atrocious whore, just wanted to let you know."

Hmm. I think if I ever get married, it will have to be to a very quiet, shy man who doesn't try and touch me in any way, unless we are doing You Know What, in which case it is fine... I'm not a robot, you know. I'm just very, very cold, apparently... I got told I am 'so cold' in Ibiza. I asked somebody else for confirmation and they said 'You're chilly.'

So I'm chilly, am I?

I'm a chilly, squirmy idiot who can't read maps.

Not so cocky now, am I? What happened to that big-headed sight reading superstar from the beginning of the post? I think I can see her out of the window, leaping about like a dickhead and doing jazz hands. Maybe she'll come back later. Maybe I'll pretend to be out.

Ok. All this talk of Ibiza reminds me... finish blogging about it! I'm going to make a cup of tea and then I will.


  1. This post just cracks me up! You are hilarious!!! Keep up the good work!

  2. Well, i found your blog by accident/chance and must admit any aupair wannabe should read it before taking the decision. The "thinking of being au aupair" post says it all. Congratulation for your writing skills and humour. You should compile your posts and make a book out of it.
    A parisian host Dad.

    1. Ha! A Parisian host dad? Don't tell your friends about my blog because one of them might be my au pair family! I am happy you like my humour, thanks for commenting!

  3. If i found the blog so easily, there is no reason why other should not. You just have to know there may be cruel disenchantements on both sides, au pair and host family. In case the relation does not work out (which happenned to us recently), it is hard to know who is to blame. Mutual cultural shock or global misunderstanding, "too intruvive family" or "willing to party" too independant au pair ?

    1. As long as the au pair is nice to the children and does her job, there is no reason why she shouldn't be 'willing to party'.

  4. You may be right