Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Life is sometimes a joke that I just don't get

I've rarely been one of those people who needs jokes explained to them. I have a damn good sense of humor. But this week The Universe (or God, or whatever you call that power greater than ourselves) has been messing with me and I swear I can hear her laughing. Maybe someday I''ll laugh about this week too, but right now I just don't get it.

I started working with a family on a regular s basis, which shouldn't be confused with "on a regular schedule." I will work 13 days a month alternating with the other nanny, who I need to coordinate the as  yet unset schedule with as soon as she comes back from home.

Has this ever happened to you? You have oodles and oodles of free time (in other words unemployed) and no one seems to want you. Then by some strange miracle you get some work and suddenly offers start coming at you left and right?

My referral angel Kate continues to give my name out to friends and family who either live here or will be visiting. A couple of days ago I had a couple of moms I've worked with in the past contact me for work. Within five minutes of each other. One of them I haven't seen in a year and only sat for her once. To quote her text "Do you have a friend to recommend for next week? When you are free I would rather have you :)." I have no idea what I did in those few short hours I spent at her house last year to inspire such loyalty.

The parents of the little girl that I do watch regularly keep asking me questions. Why would I want a contract job? I have to work twenty years to get that pension...why would I do that? Wouldn't I rather just get the cash right now? I know that they're motivated mostly by fear because it took them forever to find a babysitter that Mia likes and now that they have me they think I'm abandoning them. Which I'm not. They don't use me that much anyway. But it's comforting for them to know that when they do need someone that Mia is happy and content instead of crying and worrying the whole time.

It really didn't help that yesterday when I watched Mia she got all affectionate on me. This is a new development in the last couple of weeks. She likes to pretend that there's a mean wolf chasing us (like in the three little pigs) and we hide under a "magic" blanket in her room together. Yes, in the middle of all this summer heat I huddle under winter blankets with a three year old for hours while she whispers "help, help" and I snuggle her into me and tuck the blankets tight around us so that the wolf can't see us.

Yesterday we were under her loft bed wrapped in in a quilt, nose to nose. She took my face in her little hands and said "love you. Like daddy." Well, she said it in Italian, butt that's the gist of it. Mostly she was saying that she loves me as much as daddy and a little less than mommy (because in Italy love for mothers is the greatest and purest love of all). A Hollywood screenwriter couldn't have scripted it better. Even though I'm not leaving them, I felt like a heel.

Then I had to tell a friend who asked me to work with her at her restaurant that I had part-time work and probably wouldn't be able to work with her. It was like she didn't hear a word I said. "But you'll still come work with me, right? You have your papers? Just a few hours a day?"

The week's only half over....the laughter continues to echo in my head. I can hardly wait to see what kind of emotional appeal I'll get in the coming days. I still haven't heard from the people I dog sit for or the moms of the kids that I tutor in English. Yup, the Universe....she's a funny lady.

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