December 6, 2007

Unemployed in Paris?

Posted in Babysitting tagged at 11:22 am by Lauren

I thought I was unemployed, but this week has left me heartily confused. Between Sunday, November 16 and Friday, November 23, I worked no fewer than 37 hours between babysitting and English lessons. The difficult part was that more than half of those hours were on two days, Wednesday and Friday. Friday, with 14 hours and 6.5 miles of walking, just about ruined me. (Yes, on each of the weekdays, I also walked at least 4.5 miles in addition to the babysitting.)

I haven’t updated my babysitting situation on this blog since I lost the other job, so I suppose you’ll all now see that it worked out just fine. I have four jobs that are fairly regular now, and between them, I’m sure to work at least 20 hours a week. That works for me!

The first job is the delightful evening position with a one- and three-year-old. Michael, the three-year-old, has really warmed up to us, and particularly to Allen. He’s a crack-up because he’s going to a French school now so his English and French are getting all mixed up to the point of incomprehensibility sometimes. When his parents left last Friday night to go out, Michael pointed at Allen and said to his parents something like, “You go, I stay with ca?” (“Ca” means “that” in French!) Katharine, the 1-year-old, has started toddling all over the place and loves playing with grown-ups, so I fly her around the room “attacking” Michael, Allen, and her parents. (This is probably unwise since I see her right after her dinner. As long as her face isn’t pointed at me though!)

The other job that I’ve been doing since the beginning of October is the English lessons. Adrienne and Natsumi are both 7, French, and full of mischief. Most of the time, I like it! We’ve had our ups and downs as I try to discipline them only in English (while they speak no English but what I’ve taught them), but they are definitely learning and retaining everything I’m bringing to the table, which makes me proud. Allen and I also had the pleasure of joining Adrienne and her family for dinner Friday before last, and that was really nice. (It also gave me an opportunity to speak with Adrienne in French, and I teased her a little for not asking more questions of me the one time I could answer in French!) For dessert, Adrienne decorated the cake with a chocolate drizzle that spelled out, “Hello.”

I picked up the next job after my firing in early November. I work for two mothers who need time to work and do other things during the day a few days a week. They both have one-year-olds, so I’m in charge of two one-year-old girls, Roxanne and Sunniva. They are really fun to watch play with each other. I watch them three hours at a time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. The girls are full of funny surprises, always want to play with each other’s toys, and the one who’s eating always has to have the other in her sight. It can be tiring to watch two babies at once, but the three hours are broken up by feeding schedules, which makes it a little easier.

My newest job is only two weeks old now. This American mother needed someone to watch her two-year-old during the strike when her normal babysitter couldn’t come. Though the strike is over, she’s still calling on me, which is fine because her little boy Noah is adorable. I make no secret of the fact that I love two-year-olds. What a great age! (The mothers in the audience are probably shaking their heads at me right now, but I assure you that I have dealt with more than my share, as a childless woman, of vomit, diapers, and tantrums. I still think two-year-olds can be quite charming.) I don’t have a set schedule for watching Noah, which is okay with me at this point.

So, there’s the full update of an unemployed American in Paris. Now, back to twiddling my thumbs.


1 Comment »

  1. mommysquared said,

    I agree–2 year olds are wonderful!! While you are stateside, feel free to pop on over and babysit my 2 year old. ūüėČ He certainly loves you!

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