Just had to write about what has happened these last few weeks. I got a call from one of my au pairs from Hungary living in Bolton to tell me that she is alone with 2 autistic teenage boys and she was not happy.
When calling the father who is a widower he told me that he was away at a conference and would speak to the girl on his return on the Sunday.
I was not very happy about this as the poor girl had just started with the family, didn’t really know the boys and the father shouldn’t have gone away and left them all alone.
A day later the poor girl called me again and told me that one of the boys had gone mad and had gone into the cutlery drawer and thrown a large spoon at her head. Her agent also called me to take her out of the home as she was scared of the boy who had been taken away by the police kicking and screaming. The boy could have reached for a knife and then things could have been worse. She had a very large bump on her head as it was.
I collected Dalma and she came to my home for 8 days before we found her another family, one which I did know well and I knew that the family treated the girls very well. She is mailing me that she is now very happy and I am glad that she has finally settled down.
This reminds me of my own experience in Paris many years ago when I first went out. I was placed in a suburb of Paris with a family who had a 2 year old and a baby of 7 months. I was not to know then that au pairs should not take care of small babies as of course they are not trained.
The mother was a teacher and went out to work leaving me with the 2 young children who were not the best behaved of children. The 2 year old kicked my shins on a daily basis, I was black and blue and when speaking to the mother she didn’t do anything about it.
The family did not want me to go out in the evening time so the only place I could go to was the English church on Avenue Hoch near the Champs Ellysee, this turned out to be a place not too bad at all as, after the service we all had a cup of tea and the priest played the guitar and we had a sing song.
We all later went onto the Winston Churchill pub for more guitar playing and sing songs. That was the thing that kept me sane for those first few months of my au pair stay but I couldn’t go home as the family and friends had given me a leaving party and I couldn’t go home having failed as an au pair !!!!
My father wrote to me often, there were no computers nor mobiles in those days, he often would put a tenner in the envelope and when I spoke to him one week he asked me if I had received the last money which I hadn’t !!! On asking the mother she was quite shifty and I knew then that she had been taking my money, she also did never pay me on time so I felt that it was time to move on.
When going to church that week I spoke to the priest who was a lovely Irishman and he came with me to the home and we got my luggage and l stayed in the church for a few nights until he took me to a Paris agency where I got the position with a famous perfume family but that’s another story.
Many families are nervous at first on taking on an au pair but I do get more bad families than bad girls and if you treat the girl/boy fairly then all should be well.