Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Day

Ha. Haha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha....

Sorry. Crazed laughter over.

So, I started my new job this morning. I am nannying 40ish hours a week, taking care of a two-year old girl, only child of a young Indian couple. Those 40 hours began at 7:30 this morning. (Rather, they were supposed to. More on that in a moment.)

My wonderful husband got up early to walk me to the bus stop. It was a lovely morning, if a little cool, and he made that walk much more enjoyable. I got on my #14 bus and was on my way. Until the driver missed a turn, drove a couple miles out of the way, circled back around to get back on her route, and made me twenty minutes late for my first day of work.

Thank goodness the people for whom I'm working are very understanding and flexible. I called them and they told me not to worry about anything and just get there ASAP. When I got to the apartment, the husband was at work and the wife was ready to walk out the door, leaving me alone with their daughter and their eighty-year-old grandmother. Did I not mention her before? She lives with them. And she speaks no English.

The little girl--I'll just call her "Prita"--is a squirrel. She doesn't sit down to eat; she runs back and forth and you have to reach out at just the right time to get the food into her mouth. At least today, the grandmother did most of this. She would cajole her for 5-10 minutes (at least, I'm assuming it was cajoling...it sounded like it, but I really have no idea what she was saying) and finally Prita would back up against the far wall, lower her head like a bull, and charge. About the time she pulled even with the grandmother, she (the granny) would force a handful of food into her (Prita's) mouth.

Prita spent much of the day reciting her ABCs to me, or having me write them out one at a time on her Magnadoodle. Prita doesn't actually converse in English--she talks mainly in whatever Indian language the family uses--but she knows a number of English words that she can shout out. She especially likes cats and I cannot number the times she yelled, "C is for KITTY!!!!!"

Prita is on a set schedule of meals and naps, although her mother was out the door before I could ask what time the nap was set for. It took granny and I several tries at gesturing and trying to find mutually-comprehensible words before I could find out from her that Prita goes to bed at 2:00. Well, come 1:00, granny scooped her up, beckoned for me to follow, and carried Prita off to her (granny's) room. She set Prita in the middle of the bed, laid down on one side, and gestured for me to lay down on the other. Uh...come again? I have no problem cuddling with a child who needs to be coaxed into sleep, but cuddling with a child and an 80 year-old woman who I've never met before and with whom I can't really communicate? Weird. I tried it anyway, but Prita was having none of this napping business. We gave up and let her run around for awhile. Several tries at putting her to bed were unsuccessful, so I let granny know that I was going to take Prita out for a walk in the stroller, to see if that would get her to sleep. Don't ask how I got that across, but I did somehow. Granny was also able to tell me to make sure Prita was wearing shoes and to keep the sun out of her face. Bethany and Granny: 1, Language-Gap: 0. That walk was the best part of the day. That that's despite my congested state which made the entire endeavor completely exhausting.

Anyway, Prita never did get a nap, but she did get increasingly moody and clumsy with every passing minute. By the time her mother got home around 6:00, she was mood-swinging like a manic-depressive and running into walls, but she would NOT sleep.

There are so many more quirks in this job, most of them will just have to wait.


Adriane said...

There is nothing that's not to like about this post.

Jane said...

It will settle down. That will make for less interesting blog posts, but calmer days.

Susan said...

Labeled "wage slavery." Oh, Beppers. I'm glad you're going to get a revitalizing break in Indiana soon!

Bethany said...

Don't worry, Susan, that's just me being a jerk. :o)

Katsuke said...

Hope it goes better once you figure out her schedule. She sounds like quite the bundle of energy.

How was the smoke over in the mad town?

Lauren said...

This was hysterical and I cannot stop laughing. I'm sorry, Bethany, but it has to get better, right? Right?!

Elephantschild said...

It will get better. Yes, it will. Hang in there.