Monday, January 07, 2008

Of Birthdays and Households

Ali Baba had a fine fine weekend. Saturday was his actual 7th b-day and he ordered spaghetti and lots of Pokemon on the telly. He was a happy boy, and his sibling's went along for the ride. His birthday party was to take a bunch of friends for bowling and pizza. Go figure, but whatever makes him happy. It was actually a good event. 13 boys under the age of 8, all having a hoot throwing balls and arguing about the scores. Boys are boys. Pizza and ice cream were a perfectly acceptable finish, though we did have to intervene to stop a food fight. Today is the first day back at school for all three, so post holiday normality begins to resume.

The process of finding a new housekeeper has begun. LL, as expected was not surprised, and not exactly unhappy. The relationship had not broken, but had been deteriorating. SN says she's changing because, having looked at all her options, she wants to stay nannying, but misses taking care of a baby. Clearly a shift towards either part time work, or taking on more housekeeping just wasn't what she wanted. I suspect the tension between her and LL was part of it, but she's being good and not making that vocal. It means we can all part good company.

That's all I'm wanting. SN still does babysitting for her previous family, she spends quite a bit of time with those kids. I'm hoping she'll do the same with ours. I don't think the boys will be too upset, but Princess will be. We haven't told them yet. In a way, that's the toughest bit.

I've now been in touch with various agencies. Its a tricky transition. Finding a "live out" nanny (one who has her own accomidation), is fairly straightforward. Finding one that's willing to take on the odder position of kids at school is harder. Most housekeepers are "live in" (you have to provide a place to live in your home). Its not our first choice, though our house is a good size, we don't have a separate flat, so they would be actually living with us. That could work well or horribly.

Other options are finding a woman in the village wanting a part day job. There may be a someone like that, and we're carefully feeling a few people out. Its delicate, because you don't want to insult anyone by implying they are "staff" rather than "friend". Our society has become so odd about domestic positions.

Going down the childcare route just isn't going to work. We've talking it through to death, and we just don't have jobs with regular enough hours. Having to be in early and often stay late means we need to know the kids are in good hands. Clock watching just doesn't work. I know many families struggle through with this, but thankfully we're just that bit better off to be able to look at the more flexible options.

So, we'll see. The clock has started to tick, and though SN will be flexible if we have trouble finding someone, at the end its inevitable she'll look to her own career if we take too long. Sad, but true.

Now, in closing, a quick poll. Amongst our friends we are quite unusual in home baking birthday cakes. I have an opinion on what's going on in society, but I'll keep it to myself at the moment. If you have kids, I'm curious, do you bake or buy birthday cakes and why do you go down the route you do? Until next time...


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