Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Aurélie's coming, look tidy

I'm standing in the kitchen, somewhat at a loss, holding a long stick with bristles on the end. Some kind of long buried folk memory has enabled me to locate this item and I am ineffectually poking it at the piles of filth and icing sugar on the floor. If memory serves, my mum used to corral the filth into small piles, and then forget about it, so that the Space Cadette and I could then tread in it and spread it around again. Maybe I should try that? I have aready shoved all the dirty clothes I can find under the duvet in my room, prepared a meal not involving crispy crumb coating on any of its constituent elements and shut the tortoises in a cupboard. Lashes' stinky rag, 'Vieux Doudou' is hidden under his pillow. I can't do anything about the glitter explosion in the back room. Damn, that glitter is tenacious. I've been coming to work for a week looking like I've spent the night at Studio 54.



This can only mean one thing - the babysitter is coming.



The babysitter is lovely. She really, really is. She is blonde and beautiful and seventeen; clean and wholesome and well brought up. She can't babysit on Fridays because she has hockey practice (that's real hockey practice not "hockey practice" that means going secretly binge drinking whilst wearing not many clothes). When we come home, the kids are in bed, the house is peaceful, and she is always doing her homework. She makes me want to be a worthy babysittee, or at least for my children to be. Hence the flurry of inept domesticity.

Unsurprisingly, the eurospawn adore her. Lashes surgically attaches himself to her side and puts his head on her chest in a studiedly casual fashion. He does this with all female babysitters, admittedly, but Aurélie is the prettiest, even if ideally I think he would rather she had larger breasts. God, that child likes bosoms (no, rest assured I do not breastfeed my six year old. He just seems a bit fixated). I am telling myself that perhaps this means I have a future Rufus Wainright on my hands. Wouldn't that be great? Though maybe it will be more Benny Hill. Hmm. Fingers flirts mutely, dancing, fluttering his eyelashes, and putting his head on one side like a small pixie geisha. They wave me off indifferently without even looking up, snuggling closer to her compellingly shiny Timotei hair.



It's a humbling thing when the 17 year old babysitter seems more together than I do. When did young people get so neat? And sensible and articulate? I am sure it wasn't like that when I used to babysit. In fact, I feel confident in asserting that I did not form a whole sentence between the ages of 13 and 17 except "I hate you". My abiding memories are of how cold and dark it always felt in other people's houses, how the damned children would never go to bed and how rubbish the food was. The hazards of babysitting for hairy academics in the early 80s included snacks made from carob and hemp, and feral children with incredibly filthy, precocious vocabulary. At least there wasn't much scope for incurring parental disapproval - none of the children had bedtimes, and the parents always came home hours later than promised, stoned and smelling of home brew.


Tonight, I am not even going out for fun. No, it is parents' evening, a time to marvel at how long it is possible for a group of seemingly rational adults to discuss whether plastic water bottles should be allowed in the classroom. All this cleaning, just to drink wine out of a box and listen to the headmaster (my wrong, wrong crush - he's like a tiny, spiky goblin) tell us (like every year) that this year is the most important in our children's lives EVER and that my failure to provide the right brand of crayon is condemning my son to academic failure, alienation, criminality and an early death.

I'm back after a couple of hours to the children's disappointment. Aurélie takes her modest fistful of Euros, kisses us all and heads home. The charmed hiatus of peace and order she brings dissipates instantly. Do you think perhaps I could pay her to actually move in?

13 comments:

justme said...

LOL! She is probably a demon at home with her own parents.......I think thats how it works!

Mom/Mum said...

Adopt her and can I have visitation rights please?!

katyboo1 said...

She sounds great. I used to have a nanny. She was wonderful but totally dippy. We all adored her, but she did things like drive off with all the post on the top of the car, which then got mashed by juggernauts on the motorway. She never lost the children, and she is now one of the extended family. I loved her, not because she was uber organised, but because she made me look uber organised, and that's hard...

Persephone said...

Are you familiar with the song The Baby-sitter's Here by Dar Williams? This was playing in my head as I read your entry. Oh, good babysitters are like gold, whether you're a parent or kid...

Love Loud0n Wainwright III; he's so twisted, something he passed on to Rufus evidently. So gay guys can have a boob fixation? I guess it's the other place that gives them the heebie-jeebies. Stephen Fry claims that, when he was born, he declared "I'm not going into one of those things again..."

Persephone said...

Poo. Messed the link again.

Kitschen Pink said...

I loved babysitting! In a rural area it is a seller's market - I stuck to my fave families - the best parent I went to would always leave out the bottle of bourbon... imagine that - encouraging a young teenager to get blotto whilst in charge of your little darlings! It certainly made up for the lack of a minimum wage! t.x

Nikki said...

Awww... how lovely. We're fortunate to have my mom nearby, so we haven't ventured into the world of the high-school aged baby-sitter yet. I have tremendously fond memories of my childhood babysitter, Elaine. I wanted to BE Elaine. Ah, well... my mom folds the clean laundry pile on the couch-- a lovely fringe benefit.

tartetartan said...

What a waste of a babysitter - that's what I say! How I hate parent/teacher meetings. I always get the feeling that while they sit there smiling,telling me how wonderful my son is (and luckily for me he is!)they are also thinking: which is surprising really, considering he has you as a mother! Last year I was constantly in their bad books: I forgot about the trip to the zoo - we turned up as the bus was leaving and my son burst out crying; I kept forgetting to put an afternoon playtime snack in his bag;I always forgot to sign the 'Cahier de Liaison'; and I never bought enough dinner tickets...there is more, but I am too ashamed to go on.

blogthatmama said...

I would, she sounds bewitching..

Jaywalker said...

Justme - I do hope so.

M/M - I fear she wouldn't be so keen. She's seen my cooking.

Katyboo - oh wow; she sounds great. I think my sister could make anyone seem organised. She should definitely be a nanny (sorry Space Cadette, but is true and you know it)

Persephone - Am off to chase that song down. Is it wrong that I really hope at least one of my kids is gay? So they look after me when I am crabby but fabulous?

KP - that certainly wasn't on offer in York! If you searched through the cupboards for long enough you might find the odd 'shroom but that was as good
as it got.

Nikki - mmm, folded clothes. I am drooling slightly.

TT - we should take this off line so I can tell you about all my crimes against school - you would feel much better. I am in constant trouble and worse, so is my eldest son. We are the trailer trash family of the area. Seriously - mail me.

BTM - she is! And I just know I was never ever like that.

Léonie said...

You can totally make your children gay. A friend of mine said that all it took was his mother taking him to Amsterdam and allowing him to get drunk with East 17 (he was thirteen at the time).

I'm not sure why that would be such a pivotal moment. Certainly I would have thought the propsect of pashing Brian Harvey would have swung him firmly the other way.

Anyway. I loved babysitting. I am intimidated by Aurélie and hope that soon she sheds her hockey-playing enthusiasm and turns heartily to scattiness and Internet obsession like the rest of us. All that wholesomeness is not healthy. Well, technically it is healthy, but it is not right.

Jaywalker said...

Hey Léonie
This is excellent news, I am sure a visit to Amsterdam could be arranged. East 17 might be harder, didn't one of them manage to run himself over?

black said...

bridal online shop bridal gowns wholesale wedding dresses high quality bridal gowns wholesale custom wedding dresses wedding apparel wedding dresses top sellers wedding dresses2010 new arrivals 2010 new arrivals wedding dresses beach wedding dresses Luxury Wedding Dresses plus size wedding dresses wedding party dresses bridesmaid dresses junior bridesmaid dresses flower girl dresses mother of bride dresses wedding shoes wedding bags wedding accessories evening dresses prom dresses cocktail dresses quinceanera dresses little black dresses