Thursday, October 16, 2008


The other evening, Jason and I found ourselves staring at each other from across the dining table. The kids had already finished what they ate, flung the rest on the table and floor and were swinging from the ceiling as they waited for their bath. The table needed cleared of dishes, dishwasher loaded, kitchen cleaned up and kids hosed down. Should we do rock, paper scissors to see who gets what? Neither one of us wanted to do any of it. You know how it is at 6:00 p.m. You're tired from the day no matter what your day job is. It could have caused bickering, whining and murmuring, but instead we just spontaneously called for Juanita.

Juanita is our au pair. An au pair is a foreign-national domestic assistant working for, and living as part of, a host family. Typically, au pairs are girls or young women and take on a share of the family's responsibility for child care as well as some housework. The title comes from the French term au pair, meaning "on a par" or "equal to", indicating that the relationship is intended to be one of equals: the au pair is intended to become a member of the family, albeit a temporary one, rather than a domestic servant. In the best circumstances, both parties benefit from learning about the other's culture. Friends of ours have an au pair, from Bolivia I believe it is, and they just adore her. She is a true part of their family.

So, Jason and I just got up from the dinner table and instead watched a recorded episode of 24-hour Design. Meanwhile, Juanita cleared all the mess from dinner, bathed the kids, read them each a book and we kissed them goodnight.

A girl can dream right!?

It really put a light-hearted humorous spin on the usual annoyance of life's chores. The kids think we're crazy when we call for Juanita. "Jua-ni-ta!....The kids are done eating, could you please get them ready for bed while we do some office work?" "Juanita...would you mind cooking your yummy pork loin tonight, Jason has requested it." "Juanita, would you take the kids outside and push them on the swing while I put away this laundry?" Abram looks at me like a deer in headlights, but it makes me laugh.

So, take a go at it. You'll be surprised at how into it you and your husband will get. Then you'll realize you're shouting out to a fictional character and there will be an awkward silence as you both get up to tend to your assigned responsibilities.


Promises Fulfilled said...

hysterical...funny...and a little nutty! :) We have done a similar thing once in a while - it is funny, makes us laugh!

Livin' Life said...

That's just too funny because I can actually picture you two doing it. I usually just shout out "Calgon Take Me Away!" or "Let's just blow the house up."

That's funny too because I knew an au pair officially from France.

Natalie said... really don't have a Juanita? I'm confused. B/c if you do, I wanted to see if she'd come and visit us for a few days.

ElaineG said...

You are so funny!

Thrills said...

Oh don't we all wish we could have one. That would be so nice. Gosh life would be so much easier - so we think.

Hands-Free Heart said...

Thanks for the laugh!

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle said...

This reminds me of how we used to blame the cat for everything.

Me: "Who left the milk out on the counter instead of putting it in the fridge?"

Husband: "That darn cat; I keep telling him to be more careful!"