Friday, 27 July 2007

Je ne sais pas

This is Ermintrude's last full week with us. She's at the safari park with Shark, Tiger and Squirrel, getting angry and shouting in French while sitting in a plastic pedalo shaped like a swan. I'd like to say they're in the middle of the lake, but actually they aren't because they cannot leave the lake side. Shark and Tiger are sitting in the front of the swan, fighting with fists and claws because they both want to pedal and steer, at the same time, and in different directions.*

Meanwhile, it's time for Grit, who is at home and in miserable arse mood, to start weighing up the pros and cons of this au pair business.

On the plus side:

1. The washing up gets done.

2. The kid's rooms are tidied.

3. I set books and earn money.

4. We are still going out, visiting theme parks and pretending to home ed.

5. Ermintrude has taught us how to say 'Push off you donkey' in French.

6. Dig clearly feels he has achieved something in terms of household management.

On the minus side:

1. Because I've no excuse to hang about the kitchen, clearing up, I spend all my free time in the office. Not down the gym, note. Not hitting the charity shops looking for a new pair of jeans. Not reading interesting stuff. Not doing anything in the way of self-image, self-improvement, self-anything. And worse of all, not reading stories to the kids. Just more work. In the office. Which is a depressing place to be at all times and especially when it is not raining.

2. I have to manage someone else in the house and tell them how the washing machine works and whether it is time to dishwash yet. This is hard work. I don't like it.

3. I won't get paid for ages. This is the crap thing about working without a regular salary. You do the work, put in the invoice, it doesn't get paid. It doesn't get paid some more. Then it doesn't get paid on the reminder. Hey! What are we all supposed to eat? Grass? (I know I offer it to the kids, but I am joking.)

4. I feel obliged to find interesting places to go so that I can give the au pair a fun time of it. What I should do is shove a vacuum cleaner at her and go. Actually, Ermintrude has not shown much interest in the vacuum cleaner since her attempt on that direction on 4 July.

5. We will say 'Push off you donkey' to some little kid who is being irritating at the safari park, and then discover, when he starts wailing and fetching mamma, that he's French.

6. Dig seems to have taken having an au pair in the house to mean there is no excuse to come out of his office now at all. Not ever. Except for meal times, when he is summoned by Shark. Keep this up, Dig, and I will post a photograph of the dining table.

So is this au pair malarky worth it? I don't know. Ermintrude is leaving next week and Sasha is arriving. Then, apparently, there's Amanda arriving for autumn.

On balance, I'm not looking forward to it.

* Experience leads to the conclusion: never put Shark and Tiger together in the front of the swan.


HelenHaricot said...

can't help with au pair dilemma, but think that half and half of the fun session more fun than you sitting at home and doing the working all the time.
i hate being the one that does the work all the time.
my girls were on swans at a wildlife park with grandparents today. obviously the day for it.

Michelle said...

How do you say "Push off you Donkey!" in French? It might come in useful someday!

grit said...

va-t-en, tu es un ane.