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Thursday, December 08, 2005

i love you every day of the week

On Monday I felt like packing my bags.

A clash with Madame made me feel like I would never be understood in Paris. She wanted me to work on a day I'd booked a cooking class, and I took a deep breath and protested. She's been very generous with me on giving me days off when she can take the kids, and found it extremely rude of me to refuse.

I don't know French etiquette. I don't know when I'm being offensive. I don't know how to be the perfect au pair, or how to remember all my tasks of the day. But I know that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself.

Madame is a very generous woman, but she has sharp edges. She's not afraid to tell you what she's thinking, without any sugar coating. Sometimes I feel as if I'm always on tip toe, trying to say the right thing, use proper grammar, complete all my chores, and not break any of the fine china while I'm at it.

I've never had a job where my stress level rises and drops to this extent. I'm responsible for my own actions but also those of the kids. I have rules to follow, a schedule to keep, and tasks to complete. I have a culture to adhere to.

Tuesday my world started looking up. My camera started working. My Dad arrived. He took me out for dinner, where a Cosmopolitan, a steak of red tuna grilled with sesame seeds and good conversation brought back my smile.

Wednesday I found that the way to the kids heart is by pretending to be a wolf and chasing them around the house growling. (Don't worry, I never had much self-respect in the first place.) I then had a walk around Montmartre, and more savoury food and conversation with my dad. He left to the South of France this morning, where I'll be heading soon.

Thursday, today, my phone started working. The little boy told me I was his favourite au pair, the little girl told me I was in her top three, and they cheered when they found out I'd be taking on more hours in the new year when the mother starts work. I actually had to hold back the young boy from coming home with me at the end of the night.

Tomorrow's Friday, which means French class, chores, a free afternoon and then a weekend to breathe.

I guess you just can't give up on the first day of the week.


Blogger Josh said...

it's the kids' opinions that matter Gill, right? And you say this woman is blunt... if she had a major problem then, she would have let you know by now. Keep living, keep taking classes and enjoy the emotional ride. But, I mean, i guess cosmopolitans always work too.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Silvia Cássivi said...

When i was younger i used to think about beeng an au pair,but i only wanted to go to Egypt and never found a family there..... lol

Well.keep studying,think its ur future,not only the present days ;)

10:30 PM  

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