Family circus

Yes, that is the circus train, going through our closest little town. It was impossibly long, and seeing it was one of the highlights of an otherwise pretty tense week.

We told Dido tonight that B is leaving. He cried, he sulked, he hid, he acted out and I wanted to die. Ok, not really; that's melodramatic (see where he gets it?) But it was awful...I think it drove home for her that her departure is going to have a big impact on all of us, which I guess I was sort of horribly glad about, but I felt sad for her, too. No one wants to make a six year old boy cry. She didn't know (I hadn't told her yet; I didn't want to complicate her departure plans, which I knew she had already made based on the supposed arrival date of the girl I will forever think of as the Czech flake) that the Czech had, uh, flaked. As for the Babe, who has finally, I think, started to accept B (she's liked her the whole time she's been torturing her, as only a two year old can do) she was sad for about a nanosecond and then start gabbing away on her horrible new purple Barbie cell phone.

Have I mentioned that I think our (fifteen year old) dog might be on his way out, too?

Oh, and right, the writers' strike starts in, what, six hours?

Good times.


Alto2 said...

I am sorry you're having such nanny troubles. I don't know a soul up in your neck of the woods; I sure wish I could help. Perhaps if you accept that this week will be a big pile of poop, life can only improve from there.

Jen said...

so sorry about the au pair stuff! but aren't you glad the czech didn't flake AFTER she got to you and the kids got attached? don't give up....but maybe you can get one who isn't transfering from another family? those ones make me a little nervous. xoxo

Paige said...

Yes, yes, yes--you're right, Jen--way way better to bail now, than in six weeks! The only reason I'm focusing on the transfers is because they can get here now, and they've already dealt with some of their own transition issues (getting a SS card, homesickness, blah blah blah) which sucked up a lot of time for me with B. If I bring in a new out of country au pair, I'm looking at two months before I really have someone up to speed...and really, after January (when P goes to preschool!) I need them mostly to help after school and for occasional night and weekend babysitting--much easier gig than right now, when little She Who Must Be Obeyed is running roughshod over all of us.

rebecca said...

I'm gonna go stamp me some little au pair toes, if'n I can find 'em!!!

monika said...

...why can't I seem to leave a comment?

monika said...

hmm, that worked, but I did the same thing 3 times, and just lost my comment, unposted...?

Okay, take 4.

To quote Cyndi Lauper, girls just wanna have fun. I dare you to find an au pair who *doesn't* say she "loves to dance and have fun with friends" on her spec sheet... They are in it for the experience, not the money (especially Western Europeans).

I'm betting the Czech girl told her mama of her plans, and was persauded that banking on the unknown yet ungain (after a less-than-positive first experience) was too risky. She really did want her to come, but her mama didn't.

As for SwissMiss, well, did you know that Starbucks pays over 19 SwFrancs and hour here? Heck, that is pretty much the going rate for babysitting (a friend was charged 20 a couple of weeks ago; when she protested that she wasn't asking her to teach them the alphabet or anything, just put them to bed and sit there watching tv for a couple of hours, the girl gave her a break, and only charged 18. And this is why we never go out...). The unions here are so powerful, they limit retail hours to 6 pm, keep stores shit on Sunday, and thus, there are no few people who work. There is also a very different approach to customer service here than in North America, or even then in France, which I still find surprising.

Have you given any more thought to hiring locally? I really believe that your offer of employment would be snapped up, and you would get better respect as an employer. Plus, you wouldn't have the stress have a stranger living in your house, nor allthe hassles of hiring an au pair.

p.s. Have you given the book "Raising a Spirited Child" a try? A friend of ours, a psychologist who has a similarly spirited daughter to ours, recommended it, and it has helped us.

monika said...

eek! Sorry!

I meant to say " they keep stores SHUT on Sundays" and "there are few YOUNG people who work"!

I should always preview, I know, but everything has gone German on me in Blogger since I am in Switzerland... not smart enough to figure out that I am in the FRENCH part of Switzerland.