Friday, August 28, 2009

Compare & Contrast

There's nothing like a little comparison to make you appreciate (or resent) what you have.

Tuesday I had to take Stephanie and my French tutor's son, Peter, to swimming lessons. I had taken Stephanie to her last lesson, my first week, and she was really hesitant to go because she didn't want to be in class with Peter. "Peter is all the times splashing me," she would say ("All the times" is something that she says all the time), "I don't want to go because he's all the times splashing and he won't stop." I assured her that if she asked him to stop nicely, he would stop. Well that was clearly before I had met the kid. Peter, would undoubtedly be referred to by my father as either a "booger picking spaz" or a "butt-monkey."

This five year old boy reminded me how capable, alert, and less-annoying Stephanie is than other children, it almost (almost) made me feel "motherly pride," because my child was the least annoying and best swimmer of the bunch. Lucky for Stephanie too, for she passed out of his level while Peter did not, so they aren't in the same class anymore--because he is most definitely, a splasher.

After they had showered and re-dressed we walked out of the pool to see that it was pouring down rain. Wonderful--we had no rain gear, and we had parked further away (so I could avoid a teeny-tiny parallel parking spot). I couldn't leave two 5 year olds by themselves while I made a mad dash for the car (although I had thought, quite a few times, that I should just make a mad dash for the car and leave them there and drive away and never come back--but, then I remembered that all my clothes were at their house, and of course the need for my clothing won out over the need for my sanity!) so the three of us ran through the storm towards the car. I dropped Peter off at home and immediately felt bad for their nanny. When she opened the door Peter ran in and started yelling while his naked younger sister ran out the door like a wild animal. I felt for the poor nanny but was happy to be rid of Peter, until next Tuesday! Of course when I picked up Mark he was in a foul mood and incredibly rude and surly--what goes up, must come down.

Wednesday at the weekly "English Speaking Au Pair Meeting" in Z├╝rich (I met a girl from my hometown in Maryland--I haven't met an au pair from Minnesota...yet. I'm sure it's bound to happen) I was talking with two girls and one asked "So how long does it take for you to get to your family's house?" My ears perked up, "Wait what?!" I asked. "Yeah, we're live-out au pairs," they replied. My ears burned. Live-Out au pairs! Why the hell didn't I do that?? They have their own place to live? And set hours? And own place to live? I keep kicking myself for not doing that--I thought that I would have to set up a place to live but it turns out that most family's do that for you. Shoot. Granted these girls had already spent one and two years living with other families before learning you could be a live-out, so I guess it's a slow learning curve! I also work half the time that they do... God bless school.

This weekend I plan on going to a lacrosse clinic/camp thing in Bern--I'm not sure if it will be a learning experience persay but it will definitely be fun to play all day! I'll let you know how it goes

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I've been following your blog for a while now.. not sure if I was following publicly though. You actually got here only 5 days before me! I'm with a family near Nyon- a town about half way between Geneva and Lausanne.
    I just wanted to let you know that there are other MN au pairs here! I was living in the burbs of the Twin Cities before I moved here. I grew up in Green Bay though.
    You are so lucky up in Zurich! I have only met one other American here so far :(