People have been asking “How is Janie?” in that probing- it’s kinda weird, you have a teenager living in your house who doesn’t speak English, kind of way. To answer your question, it’s going splendidly. However my husband and I have developed a list of what we jokingly call “Au pair problems”, they’re like first world problems but worse because no one in their right mind would ever complain about them.
- My house is consistently cleaner than it’s ever been my entire life
I’m not a dirty person. Actually that’s a bald faced lie; Janie asked on her third day here (after having her third Canadian shower) “You shower now?” To which I replied “No, it’s only been four days” and then walked away with flies buzzing after me.
My house is a different story. I’m responsible for tidying, our house is generally tidy and well organized and before we got an au pair, I even thought it was clean. Occasionally Tex would have some time off work and scrub the hell out of random corners of the house that it never occurs to me to clean, you know like the microwave and then our house would be really clean. But then Janie arrived. And now our house is spotless, always. And I feel super lazy because not only did the house never look like this when I was home full time, but I don’t even contribute to maintaining its pristine state now- I just come home and I’m smack dab in the middle of a Town and Country magazine shoot. Janie even organizes all of Mini-Tex’s toys into funny tableaus.
- Sometimes I can’t cook fast enough
Along the lines of our super clean house, Janie cleans as I cook. Before the food even hits the table, the counters are wiped, all dirtied items are in the dishwasher and the kitchen looks awesome. One night, I was about to plate some asparagus. I pulled out a bowl, rested it on the counter, turned to stir something else, and by the time I looked back, the bowl was gone. Realizing, that Janie had already whisked the bowl into the dishwasher assuming that it was sitting on the counter because it was dirty, I extracted another bowl to plate the asparagus. Then I made the mistake of checking the pork in the oven. Again, the bowl was gone when I reached for it. Not wanting to say anything, and embarrass our hard working au pair, I reached into the cupboard and saw there was one bowl left. This was it- unless I was going to shake down the shelves for another serving dish, I was going to have to keep my hands on the flatware or risk eating asparagus out of the pan. I plated the food, and within seconds Janie had transferred the plate to the table.
- Our linen closet is too small
We have a lot of towels and a smallish closet. This is normally not an issue because most of the time, a third of our towels are waiting to be washed. The first couple of weeks Janie spent with us, the primary job we gave her was bonding with Mini-Tex. We figured out an average weekly wage to pay her so she started receiving money immediately despite not actually working. Janie possesses the kind of work ethic that makes an ant look lazy, which meant that whenever we explained a part of her job- laundering the towels for example, she did it with gusto. Every other day, the towels were washed, dried, folded and shoved into a seriously packed linen closet. If a towel had so much been in the near vicinity to something dirty, it got washed.
Thankfully, as we’ve given Janie more hours, she has eased off on the daily washing of towels which is good because that combined with the immaculate surroundings, I might mistake my house for a hotel. This would make things awkward when the neighbours found me wandering around trying to find my home after leaving the super nice hotel where my house once stood.
- My house has become like one of those bug zapper lights but for men
On top of being hard working, lovely and amazing with children, Janie is gorgeous. Initially I had hoped to hire a chunky uggo to nip the whole “Ben Affleck taking off with the nanny” thing in the bud as much as possible but Janie was the most qualified candidate by far, hence how we ended up with a petite German supermodel.
Not surprisingly, the men in the area have taken note of our au pair’s arrival. At least one man has already asked her out. Luckily he did it in a teenage boy fashion meaning he was both shy, off putting and she had no idea what he was saying because of the combination of the language barrier and the mumbling tone. Unfortunately the drunk that followed her home wasn’t as easily shaken off. After talking her up at the park, this inebriated fellow decided that accompanying Janie as she walked Mini-Tex home in the stroller was the key to winning her heart.
A notice to all potential suitors of Janie– the bug zapper isn’t her refusal, it’s my Taser that I keep in the front hall closet.
So in response to all the interested inquiries- that is how things are going- they’re exceptionally clean, organized with a faint of aroma of one hundred disappointed men. And of course Mini-Tex adores her and thinks that Janie hung the moon. Thanks so much for asking.