Sunday, January 28, 2007

Au pair - what an experience

We hired an au pair this year for day care. Our toddler was so aggressive he almost got kicked out of the center he used to go to. Then we had another and with a traveling husband, well... it made sense to have some one here to have as backup when he is away.

There are many terrible problems that you could encounter with an au pair and I admis that we don't have the worst of these. She could have run away, or been a druggie or liked to party til all hours. But she is nice, we get along, she is a homebody and she takes good care of the kids.

Still - weird problems we have seen. First we were worried that she was on the computer all day instead of watching the boys like she should. So I checked the temporary internest files. It was full of adult sites. Cookies saved in there showed (yes, the pictures were in there) of all kinds of bodies, body parts, positions, closeups, et cetera.... I don't care if people want to look at that - I have before, but we have kids. What is they saw that stuff? She is supposed to be working. What if you did that at work? You'd get fired.

She finally went out with some other nannies to a club one night and came back with pictures of her and all these guys. Safety for my kids is #1. So we had a chat about safety and how we didn't want her to tell anyone where we lived and that she was alone all day with kids.

So then I got even more suspicipus and did something totally unscrupulous: I logged into her e-mail to see what was there. All in her foreign language, I couldn't read any of it - except the ones from an Internet dating service where she'd signed up as a "girl seeking girl." Not that anything's wrong with that. She had told me she had a boy friend back in Europe.

A month later we find out that she has been "phone dating" a native of her country who lives in the US now. She said a mutual friend introduced them. They are talking on the phone all the time. Like 5 hour marathons from 9 pm to 2 am(we pay for her cell phone and get the bills). Then we are with another au pair and she asks Martina how she met the guy. She says (right in front of me), "Chat room" I confronted her about lying to me or the other girl. She told me she forgot. Oscar Mayer Bologna.

Next she wants to fly to Minnesota and meet him. So I charge a ticket on my credit card (she paid me back)- long story short - after all kinds of worry that her dad will kill me, that she will just take off on us, or that he'll be a serial killer and she's dead somewhere - she comes home engaged. Going to get married before her visa expires and get a green card. Seems mighty convenient, right? My mother thinks it is an arranged marriage, but her culture isn't like one of those countries that regularly does that. I don't know. Whatever.

Ok so check this out. She went away for the weekend and my dear old goes in to her room to vacuum and he says, "Uh, sweetheart...have you been in here lately?" I went to the door and see this hole in the carpet. Not a hole - a patched hole. We nose around and find a piece of carpet about 12 inches by 14 inches in her closet that she had cut out - it had 2 big bleach stains on it. She had gone into the basement and found some carpet scraps and cut a patch to fit. But it didn't fit too well. It was really obvious - ruined. Dear old was so mad. I was just bewildered. Why on earth would you do that?

More updates as they happen.