Friday, 12 October 2007

Things I won't miss

Tra la la! We are Elizabeth Hurley free! What a lovely Sunday morning feeling on a Friday! For the first time in weeks I don't feel obliged to rise early to get the milk out, which Hurley reminds me about if I do not do. Sometimes for a good fifteen minutes. She claims breakfast is very important and if she doesn't get a pint of milk by 8am she may pass out. I have tried suggesting the corner shop opens at 6am, but strangely, at this point, her English fails her.

Come to think of it, there are several things now that I will not miss.

Elizabeth Hurley's dreadful washing up. This was so awful that I routinely crept back into the kitchen after she'd done any washing up and stick it in the dishwasher. I discovered why all items came and left the washing up bowl looking untouched. Hurley does not use hot water because it hurts her hands. And that applies to the washing up liquid too.

Hurley's reminders that more home-made jam is required. These reminders have been given in the same way as reminders about milk or bread or anything else. The empty jam pot / milk bottle / packaging is lifted up and wordlessly waved at me.

I will not miss either the fact that Hurley, with supreme laziness, never put anything away. From things she washed up ('I do not know where zey go') to personal items like make up and books ('Where eez my mak-up? But I left it ici on zee table in zee kitchen next to zee cereal').

Neither will I miss the way Hurley interpreted five hours work each day to mean disappear to her bedroom after breakfast to reappear for lunch and then sit on the sofa and read a book. And when asked to help with the housework, reply 'my book it is very good.'

In fact, when Hurley did do anything, it was so horribly wrong that sometimes it was preferable when she didn't do it at all. Not only did she block the vacuum cleaner so we had to dismantle it to clear it, she routinely blocked the conditioner tray in the washing machine with powder so that the final rinse was with a rather hefty helping of Daz. Fortunately on this one, she never did any laundry for us, just for herself.

Neither will I miss the tartes. Now I know this sounds odd, and for the first week it was quite a novelty. But there's only so much fat and sugar I can stuff down my throat without feeling like a foie gras goose. Last week we reversed the torture and the children made steamed puddings and custard which Hurley dutifully ate. After her third helping of golden syrup pudding at 2000 calories a slab, Dig suggested our parting gift to her might be a pair of English thighs.

And if that were all, it would be quite good. But no. There was the constant demand on Dig to fetch and carry, the constant demand on Grit for shopping essentials, the way the entire household seemed to have to reorganise to orientate around her, and the effortless way her very presence would send Tiger into orbit.

If there is a finally, which I suspect there isn't if I thought about it, there's Hurley's complete lack of sensitivity and awareness to her surroundings while she lived with us. In particular Grit's birthday, when she told Dig off for allowing the kids into the flat to blow up balloons at breakfast.

Phew. That was therapy. I hope she never comes back to wash up the saucepan of left-over rice she's placed in the sink from her lonesome dinner last night, or for the one sock and the pyjama top I've just thrown into the bin.


Sally said...

Ohhhh, EH had 'deterrent technique' down to a fine art!
Have you had a teenage daughter yet????

Combine EH's techniques with 'create uproar and exit stage left with a loud slam of the front door' and there you have it! (And don't go thinking "Well, at least I won't be paying them for the privilege." Believe you will!)

Sorry Grit, it is an expression of the wicked streak in me for me to say it!

Maybe you can send 3 teenagers to au pair for EH in about 12 years time? Divine justice!

I promise it isn't just common-garden teenager bashing. Can't bear that! (emoticon needs to be a sort of chin-rubbing, but sincere, yet slightly dubious and ashamed, yet really quite sincere one).
Just living through it, and the EH stuff just felt too close for comfort. (There goes that emoticon again!)

(nervous, wobbly mouthed, shifty eyed emoticon!)

Michelle said...

I've been wondering if any of the au pairs have blogs where they have been chronicalling the eccentricities and more of a family with triplets in middle England family. All au pairs manage to link up in cyberworld and voila! A best selling book is published. Tv rights are secured etc etc.

Trevor said...

Ah, seperating the house into sections sounds like a stroke of brilliance. One, small (tiny, really)problem - there's only two of us, who looks after the third station?

Somehow I fear that three stations covering reading, crafts and sitting very quietly by yourself in a corner, is unlikely to catch on...

Anyway, I have finally managed to track you via google (by this I don't mean you were hard to find, but rather that I've finally had time to find you)and have bookmarked you for frequent reading. Should I ever manage to find more time (under the couch, next to the half-eaten bit of toast ,perhaps) then I will also link to you.

Cheers for now

Allie said...

Hooray! Enjoy life without EH. Hope the psych is useful. We once spent a whole summer dithering about getting such help and then hit a good patch and wondered why we'd ever considered it. I was very edgey that they'd blame all our woes on home ed.

Brad said...

As Nanny alway said "Good riddance too good rubish"

Sally said...

Been there with Lani too, Allie. It's a bit scary. It's not just the home ed you think they may blame. It is all the other stuff that my Father-in-law (very sweetly) comes up with to 'help' explain things .... long term breast feeding, co-sleeping, punishment free discipline, allowing them to ever think to question your decisions/ideas/authority at all, ever reviewing a 'no', etc. But the big culprit is ALWAYS the 'deprivation' that comes about through not 'allowing' them to go to school. Like kids in school don't have psychological issues (I'm afraid I have to have a very loud cynical guffaw at that one!)

Scary stuff Grit, but I hope it works out because sometimes it is just really needed and unavoidable. Hopefully, if they don't start off enlightened about Tiger's life style you may be able to help them out with a bit of recommended reading. It sometimes even works on my FIL and he is in his late 70s and ostensibly very set in his ideas.
best wishes

Sally said...

Ps: We resorted (quite happily and successfully, I think) to trying homoeopathy instead. Lani seems to have sorted a lot of anger and fears and learning/thinking issues, as well as physical ones with that sort of (pretty long-term) help. But it is certainly not everyones cup of tea, I know (my DH and I agreed a monthly 'snake oil' account!)

grit said...

thanks for the comments folks! i am dreading the teenage years now and will probably need to go into further training... and as i embark on the next unknown and scary stage of tripletdom i may have to drop the mother persona and narrate life from a fictional au pair perspective just to secure those publishing rights.