Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Was Really Patient Today, and Other Things

Today is Wednesday. Today is the day of an au pair's life when things stop making sense and all you do is wonder why, exactly, did you offer, nay JUMP AT THE CHANCE, to take this job when you are actually an adult and you have more interesting things to do with your life than argue with a not-yet-four-year-old. And yet, here we are, on this random day of the week when Paris just decided, oh, we don't need to have school this day, let's have a holiday in the middle of the week EVERY WEEK! And make the au pairs work under their eyes cross and they seriously brace yourself whenever the kids say their name, or anything similar-sounding.

Honestly, today wasn't THAT bad. But Wednesdays are the day we all work ALL DAY and it can be a challenge. A lot of parents overschedule their little ones on this day off with all the extracurriculars you can't fit into the other days (in two weeks it will be dark when I pick up my kid from school). They go from tennis to swimming to music lessons to sculpture class. But for me, we have only music class in the mornings and the rest of the time it's my job to wear him out.

Today we did music class, then we played at the playground for over an hour. Which involved falling no less than 3 times and getting bonked in the head by his friend's head and then holding a grudge for an hour or two. Then we went home and played with stuffed animals. After lunch, Natalie pulled out her old "paint your hand, put it on paper, and look a turkey" trick--seasonal, easy, minimal mess when the ratio of kids:adults is 1:1. Then we went to the library, a different playground, and read some very confusing Dr. Seuss books. Dinner, watching Kipper, a few meltdowns, and the kid is zonked by 7:45. Not bad.

The only really trying part of my day, besides when he (like usual) got into an argument about after-dinner DVD watching and when the elusive "5 more minutes" was actually over, was after the first playground. Sometimes he decides he no longer wants to hold my hand on the street, and seems to think it's an acceptable solution to hold his OWN hand. No amount of explanation can convince him otherwise, so instead of dragging him along or trying to reason with a kid who may not really understand what I'm saying, I pulled out my favorite I-am-definitely-going-to-win-this-battle tactic: stubbornness. Don't want to hold my hand? FINE. Then we can't go anywhere. We will stand here until you decide you're ready to hold my hand. Also, no talking. 3 minutes of that, and we were on our way. Au pair for the win.

In other news, children at the playground here (or maybe these days?) are incredibly badly behaved. I see older children on the stuff designated for the littles, I see kids standing on top of the REALLY HIGH REALLY DANGEROUS equipment, today I saw two 9 year old boys actually punching one another. Also, today I had sand flung into my purse. INTO. The parents/nannies/au pairs are mostly sitting on benches chatting. Ahem, excuse me? I get it, this is like "break time" for some of you, even though I continue to follow my child around because he still can't touch playground equipment without me being within arm's reach. DISCIPLINE your child, or so help me, I'll learn the phrases in French and ream your kids out at the park. I will do it. Fait attention aux petits!! (Watch out for the little ones!!)

When I was walking to music school today, chatting with my kid, a man walked past and said, in English (with a French accent), "Here you have to speak French on the street. This is France. English is illegal." And walked on. I said, to his back, in English, "It's my job to speak English to him. MERCI." How rude.

So anyway. How was your day?

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, I remember that "no hand holding' thing. I would sweep you off your feet and onto my shoulders. A few minutes later you would be back down holding my right hand with your left and your right thumb in your mouth. It still makes me smile. I plan on treating your little ones the same way if that day comes.