This week has brought back the return of my "normal" work schedule (is there really ever "normal" for au pairs?) which has also brought back some of the characters that haven't been around since I returned to the land of chocolate and cheese.
First up, T.B. She actually remembered me! I was surprised because it had been three weeks that she hadn't seen me, but I guess I'm just so memorable. She's sitting up by herself which is a nice change of pace, and she still sleeps with me (thank goodness). Today her mom hung around for a bit and she would not take her nap despite all the thumb-sucking and eye rubbing which signifies her nap time, literally two minutes after her mom left the house T.B. was asleep. Thank goodness America didn't take away my Baby Whisperer status.
Second, The Mom of T.B. I was wondering if I only really like TMoTB because I get to leave every day (clearly I'm a big fan of separation between work and home now) but every day I find myself leaving later than when I actually "finish" just so I can hang around and talk to her. Yesterday we were talking about The Biggest Loser t.v. show (not that she would need to know anything about losing weight) and today we were discussing jobs and my current situation (en français bien sur). She was incredibly helpful and its just nice to bounce ideas off of some one who has worked before. When I told her that, "Uhh I think my dad would be mad if I stayed to au pair for another year," she burst out laughing saying, "Sure! Blame it on your dad!" (So maybe I'm not such a good actress!) I realized that I don't like TMoTB because I get to leave but because I think she is the first adult who treats me like an adult. I know, there are plenty of adults who treat me with respect and dignity (thanks, by the way) but she doesn't have to. Even in a position of power and authority she is great. It's good to be back.
Next up is my French teacher. I was glad to see her because I get to practice my French AND (more so) because Girl isn't taking swimming lessons until March. So I don't have to see her son! My homework over the break was to write the end to a story about a neat-freak family with a disorganized son. Well in the first half of the story (that I didn't write) the son ruins the family dictionary and tries to hide it. In the original ending the parents start using the wrong words and get into a huge fight until he admits what he had done. In my version his family pesters him about why he is so flustered until he makes up that he has a girlfriend. When his dad sees the dictionary he blames it on the imaginary girlfriend and the dad says their relationship is over. My French teacher said I must have watched a lot of American t.v. while I was home.
Today marked the return of the cleaning lady, C.L. C.L. has been on "maternity leave" since about August and her mother-in-law has filled in. Her mother-in-law is perfectly nice but only speaks Portuguese, bits of French and German and no English. Since I speak English, bits of French and German and no Portuguese we've managed to have conversations, albeit broken ones. The one thing the mother-in-law never could understand? My name. She always, always called me Jana (not like you, T, but more like Yaaaa-naaa) even when the kids called me Jill in front of her. Anyway, happy C.L. is back, she is lovely and practices French with me. And whoever said "Cleanliness is next to godliness" must think C.L. is bordering on sainthood (clearly, I missed that memo). The woman can iron and fold fitted sheets so well that you have to take it out and open it to see whether its a fitted or a duvet cover--amazing really. When I got in this afternoon C.L. said to me (in French) "Oh Jill! There's a surprise downstairs! There's a man, in your bed!" I love C.L. and her new baby can sleep on my bed as much as he likes--I just hope my sheets are clean enough!
Lastly the return of a person I don't particularly care for: Jill on Monday and Wednesday around 5:41 (European time). At this time I am wrestling with hockey goalie equipment, trying to put it on a lump (Boy) before his practice at 5:45. Now I know I've lamented putting this equipment on before, but seriously? Seriously!? I didn't grow up in Minnesota so, sorry to say, I have no allegiance to hockey. In fact, now I am pretty sure I dislike it. I was next to another flustered American mom yesterday and I looked at her and said, "If I ever have children, they will not play hockey." Maybe regular hockey isn't so bad, but all that goalie equipment? I'm the one getting a work-out just by putting it on Boy!
All in all (well maybe not all) it's good to be reunited with some great people.