The challenging life of an aupair

on August 10, 2010

I've now been to New Zealand for almost a month and would think of myself I have settled in well. The hardest thing to adjust to has been the getting up early in the morning - 6.30am day after day - and the spiders. There are heaps here and I don't think there has been a single day where I've not seen or killed one. I know they aren't dangerous. But compared to Germany these things are HUGE!

Philip actually found one in the house a few weeks ago that he now keeps as a pet spider. There's plenty of food for this monster as I seem to attract spiders like a magnet. I don't want to kill them and only do so if I really have to. When Philip's around I just call him and he takes them either outside or feeds them to his "pet". Last time I just put a glass on top of the spider and waited for him to take it away. I would say that is a good agreement.

As I said - I don't want to kill them. But my room is kinda like a spider haven. When they "enter" the house via the hallway they always keep to the wall and just crawl along the floor. Too bad my room is the first one to come so they simply turn right and make themselves at home *grrrrrr* Did I mention I suffer from arachnophobia? It's a miracle I don't scream every time I see one of them...

But enough talk of that. Another challenging thing of course are - or can be - the kids. I have been working in summer holiday camps for kids seven years in a row. And trust me, I've had my share of complicated, naughty, bad behaving kids. I've also had lots of wonderful experiences - otherwise I wouldn't be doing this job right now. But no matter if kids are good or bad, it is different whether you can give them back to their parents after a week or two or whether you're "stuck" with them in good times AND in bad.

Most of the time Lukas, Eliza and I do get along very well. It doesn't take much to make them happy. Just a little bit of creativity and imagination. Lukas, for instance, was thrilled when I took him on a dinosaur hunt the other day. I simply hid all his dinosaurs in the lounge and sent him off to find them. He's also more than happy searching the kitchen for any utensils that might help him make some pancakes or waffles. Once again, it's all about imagination.

Eliza is happy when you copy a dolphin out of a book for her. Or color in a picture with her. Or make a little tablecloth with a sheet of paper and some scissors. Reading stories is always a big hit with both of them - and the most exciting thing is the big trampolin at aunt Louise's place. Jumping on it with five kids surely is an adventure ;-)

However, as always in life, there are the few times when things don't go as smooth as you'd wish them to. Especially Lukas, being only four years old, gets the weirdest ideas. The other day he actually put broccoli in his ear - it was amazing how much Pia got out!

Today I "survived" the first major fit that he threw around me. It was all about not wanting to go home but yet wanting to have something to eat. In only a few seconds that little boy was up to 180 - or more. Screaming, yelling, whining, crying, tearing at my clothes. Talking was impossible. In the end I had to put him outside for a time out and make sure he stayed there until he had calmed down.

I did feel a litte helpless and was glad that first of all Louise was around and confirmed my action and that second I have had enough time in the past few weeks to watch Pia and Philip solve the situation when Lukas was having his tantrums. Fortunately that doesn't happen too often.

Later on Lukas apologized, asked me to be his friend again (on Pia's suggestion - thanks a lot for helping me!) and I even got a kiss on the cheek. Everything's forgotten now. I wish everything in life was that simple ;-)

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