Ultimate Au Pair

The Ups, Downs and the Little Bits in Between!

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.“They tested me by trying to eat so much chocolate that they reminded me of Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…” 


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– “I ran in here to get out of the rain”

It doesn’t take long to realise that being an au pair is somewhat like being on a roller coaster ride. Personally I hate the Big Dipper or any roller coaster with a larger than normal dip in it, but I guess becoming an au pair is kind of like getting on that Big Dipper. You start the ride slowly moving up to the top, you get excited but nervous all tangled into one. You sort out the details with your chosen family, sign a contract, book your transport, pack your bags and there you are at the top…awaiting the dip and essentially the start of your journey. You take a deep breath and boom, you’re off!

In that first dip you are thrown all kinds of information from learning a routine, food, likes, dislikes, working hours, school times, to trying to establish how to drive on the other side of the road in an automatic car (country of origin depending). The first dip can be scary, you can make mistakes, forget things, or even nearly kill the kids, braking too hard when you haven’t yet adjusted to the sensitive brake pedals in the car (no one was seriously injured in this event. Oops). The truth is being an au pair is full of these roller coaster moments.
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I would say I endured the loop to loop stage with this past week being a particular test for me as the first full week of school for the boys (one 6 years old, one 10), and a few parent-less evenings were to be endured. By testing, I literally mean testing. At this stage the boys wanted to see what they could get away with when the parents weren’t around. After all, as an au pair you are somewhat seen as a big sister or brother, and a little less formal than a nanny. My tests went like so:
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1. They tested me at snack time by trying to eat so much chocolate that they reminded me of Augustus Gloop (greedy and unhealthy) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Under strict rules and a common knowledge that chocolate is not good in large amounts, my no chocolate rule was met with tantrums, cries and demands.
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2. They tested me at bedtime by trying to add another five minutes every time I said ‘Ok bedtime’ and shouting NO at me anytime I tried to get them in. *Cue more tantrums, cries and demands.*
3. Finally they tested me at meal times by refusing to eat, or even sitting at the table but still wanting dessert. *Again, cue more tantrums cries and demands.*
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Does this sound awful? Well unfortunately yes, it was awful, and my head was so sore from the arguing, the fake tears, and the continuous debate over something that shouldn’t be so difficult. The funny thing that came out of this was the youngest Louis told his mum that he didn’t like it when I put him to bed because I didn’t give him more time when he asked for it. The mum gasped and told him that she will just have to fire me then (joking of course). His face dropped, and he began shouting no no no! I laughed thinking despite all the drama and the times when you wish you didn’t have to deal with each other, the kisses, the cuddles, the laughs and the jokes would always make things better, and remind you that this may be a bumpy ride, but you will have a hell of a good time on it. And perhaps going to bed on time is worth it to make sure that your amazing au pair can stay ;).
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So keep enjoying the ride guys, with all of its dips and loops!
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Rachel

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