After a long weekend of 'settling in'. I started my job as Housekeeper/Nanny-soon-to-be-Governess.
The mother is giving us a week to get to know each other before she takes the youngest out of school. Just in case the child changes her mind.
Over the weekend I moved into the youngest child's room. Her things were dumped into the spare (storage) room. She sleeps in her parents bed so they thought it would work, but of course she is used to coming into her room when she wakes at the weekend. And now she doesn't have anywhere she can call her own. This is only a temporary arrangement until the father gets back from China on the 8th March and sorts out the room downstairs for me. At present it has a running and rowing machine and a sauna in it. And now it has my bicycle in there too because the garage needs sorting out before that goes away. That room isn't as big as it sounds. The rowing machine does not have it's own floor space.
So I got to know the girls a little. None of the doors in the house are ever closed apart from (presumably) when the adults go to the toilet, so the closed door to my room didn't signify to the girls. The eldest girl did knock each time she wanted to come in but always expected entry, and the youngest just opened the door and walked in. The mother wanted me to explain that I wasn't always available to them because, she said they wouldn't take any notice of her.
So how do I explain to a 5 year old that I want some privacy without making her feel rejected?
The eldest girl, aged nine, I'll call Sunshine in this blog. She chose it for her blog name when I talked about her starting a blog, but she could easily be called Princess.
The youngest I could call Boy, because she wants to be one, or Spiderman because she's keen on him, or in fact any aggressive adventure hero. I could call her Monkey because she loves climbing and is full of energy. Or I could stick to the meteorological theme and call her Storm because she is so forceful. But all those names have a negative connotation in my mind and I don't want to label her negatively. I'm wondering what her Higher Self would like me to call her? Well, as I haven't got that answer yet I'll not call her anything until I'm clear what to do.
Today I didn't have the hours of school to myself as the mother, who'll I'll call Emma, predicted because Sunshine, who was not too well all weekend had nearly vomited on Sunday night so she stayed off school.
She watched a DVD in her parents bed first thing. (She doesn't sleep much in her bed either.) And then I read her some of Born to Run by Micheal Murpogo about a greyhound dog. I got it out of the library on Saturday using one of the girl's tickets. We got up to page 43 when I sensed she'd had enough. I wondered how we could remember the number and suggested we visualised the 4 being a door. Sunshine suggested the 3 was lips and so we thought the lips could be kissing the door. In the evening when she was recounting her day to her mum, she remembered the page number and mimed kissing a door.
Then she wanted to look at a new book she's got on the human body. We put the height chart poster up and measured her foot, hand and height, against it. Then she chose certain pages to look at in the book.
I then went downstairs to do my laundry and started ironing. She asked to iron and so, with a little trepidation on my part, she ironed several items of clothing. She then had something to eat and played with the kittens.
She was feeling a little better so we decided to go to the garden centre because I wanted to get a Boston Fern plant to purify the air in my room. The carpet was still giving off formaldehyde and the Boston Fern is the best plant to purify that substance. The rest of the house of course has the same problem but it isn't so apparent as the other doors are all kept open. I bought a Peace Lily on Saturday but even with the window permenantly open, I was still waking up with achy muscles, a sure sign in my body of toxicity. The Peace Lily possess half the efficiency of the Boston Fern in the formaldehyde transmutation.
The car seat was in Emma's car so we visited her at work and transferred it to the Jeep, which they've given me to drive. This is another temporary situation. When the father, I'll call him Craig, comes back he's going to sell the tiny Ka and the enormous Jeep and get a medium sized car. I will be more comfortable with that. Driving a large vehicle is fine in the USA with the wider roads and larger parking spaces but it's not so easy in Britain. Also a more economical car will be easier on my pocket when I use it for private trips at weekends.
I haven't found the Tom Tom SAT NAV to be very good. On Sunday, it tried very hard to get me to go though a pedestrian walkway. It never gave up the fight until I reprogrammed it to go home. Two community police officers were very helpful. This afternoon it wanted to take me on quite the wrong route to the garden centre. I know it was the wrong route because after the walkway fiasco I bought a map. Well, I wasn't much better than the SAT NAV and I went on a long detour of villages before we eventually arrived at the garden centre. Unfortunately the stock had run down very low due to the bad weather and so I bought all the Boston Ferns they had; 3 tiny pots, and a tiny ivy.
Sunshine's money was burning a hole in her purse and she bought two pots of Primulas.
Arriving back at Corby we were in time to pick up younger sister from school, and called into the office again for the other car seat. Arriving at school, Sunshine started coughing again, and I told her that she didn't have to be ill to stay off school. She could just tell her mother she wanted to be home-schooled. But she said she would miss her friends and wasn't convinced that having them home to play after school would work. so, maybe her mum's right and she won't be joining us for education at home.
Back home the youngest helped make fried egg on bread for herself. Then the girls made Turkey Korma under my direction. Sunshine laid the table very fancy-like and changed into a posh party dress. this was a special occasion as they don't usually eat at the table. She asked me if I had a dress, and on getting a negative answer asked me if I had anything smarter to change into. I did, so I did.
So it was into the lounge for a game of football with the youngest until Emma came home.
Earlier in the day Sunshine was asking if what we were doing would be what we'd do if I home-schooled her. Of course I said yes, and she insisted in labelling what we had done with school subjects. She couldn't think what lesson the ironing would go into so I assured her that there was much more to life than school subjects.
On the way home we made up many different verses to the song 'Thank You Lord for this Fine Day'. I suppose you could call that Music and Religious education.
At the dinner table Sunshine surprised her mother because she wanted to sing that prayer she had learned before we ate, so we sang "Thank You Lord for this Fine Food". Well, the parents did advertise for a person who shared their faith.