No matter how many times I’m told or feel like I am a globe trotter, the fact remains that I am honestly all too domestic. I don’t accidentally set things on fire, I don’t accidentally pull out or cut off children’s hair. I can’t read a recipe or an ingredient in German, but I stick to making Mexican and then it looks like I can cook. I can dress a child, both real and fake. I can eat whatever is put in front of me, also both real and fake; and I can clean things with methods alternative to shoving it all under a bed. I’ve gotten pleasantly used to drinking beer or wine while watching the kids, but I’m starting to think that makes me even more settled into the life. I have adventures to tell you about, but this is a post about my job.
I love doing hair. I’ve ended up fixing the mom’s hair for some occasions. It took a bit for L to believe that I could braid, but once I made her a “Regenbogen Topf” (rainbow braid): more commonly referred to as a Heidi braid, I’m constantly doing her hair. Which I love.
The phrase “let’s make me pretty today” has become rather common, with the typical scenario as follows: child doesn’t want to get dressed; Claire suggests wearing a dress; child suddenly remembers how much she wanted to wear a dress the other day when it was very impractical and becomes excited; child associates necklaces, earrings, and makeup with dresses and wants all of the above to happen right now before we leave for school. It’s a process. But it’s also the life of a little girl, and so long as I’m not running late, watching her dress up never gets old. My favorite days are when she is dead set on wearing her favorite shirt with her favorite skirt or pants. They never match, and sometimes painfully so. (see photos above and below)
I like playing with it. But that’s what the candles in my room are for. We also have a wood-burning stove in the flat: the kind that you heat the house with, and I love it. It’s the kind that gives the air outside a burning wood smell and the air inside a warm cozy feeling.
I’m usually dubbed to start the fire, and the girls have started asking me to make one which is super cute. They usually want to help, which is also cute. What’s less than cute is how much they want to help. Or rather how the smallest one can say “hot” and “ow” but doesn’t seem to have quite grasped the meaning of either. Claire puts sticks in, she can put sticks in. The difference is that mine are twigs and hers are branches; I know how to not spread ashes, she knows how to fling ashes across the room. I know how to put ashes in a bag, she knows how to drag that bag around the room like I just gave her a present. (I didn’t).
I’ll make dinner every once in a while. But more memorably I bake with the 4-year old. She loves it and when she gets anything sweet in her head, she’ll be badgering me to bake until it happens. We’ve made cooked and several different kind of muffins or cupcakes so far. The other day the mom mentioned that we had a lot of carrots we should use. Here’s why we are a good pair; the mom and I. She thinks: Stir Fry. I think: Carrot cake. Her idea will feed me and make me healthy. My idea will help everyone gain 10 pounds. Go Claire. Good thing everybody liked them… although we made way too many to eat. Still getting used to not baking for my ravenous siblings.
Valentines day came and went, marked only by the baking of cookies. The mom shares loads of baking ideas with me and the nice thing about having small kids you have to entertain is that they give you an excuse to experiment with food while simultaneously justifying any mistakes you make. I haven’t decided whether showing a child how to ice a cookie is a mistake or not.
Of course throw me in with a dad who is a chef and a mom who cooks good food, when the girls play house it always includes both the intense making and serving of meals, not just the eating a an elaborately decorated table (which we ‘of course’ do in real life all the time). Often I’m taking dishes out of the cupboards for the latest 3pm meal.
I also do a lot of grocery shopping for the family. There is a department store and a grocery store that I frequent- sometimes daily- for our basic necessities. Sometimes I take the small humans with. Sometimes they are helpful, sometimes they are pulling all the candy off the shelves. Sometimes the look on a baby’s face as it wanders through the candy aisle is too priceless to not take pictures of:
Of course there’s a lot of other random things that are encompassed in my job that may not fit into any particular category. For instance the game memory: it never grows old. Especially when you play it at this advanced level- no organization whatsoever level.
…Or the Frozen board game, which also never grows old, and which possesses a strange capability of always assigning to the 4-year old the characters of Anna and Elsa, even though the pawn-drawing is always a blind selection.
Any questions on my daily life here? Please email me! I try to keep you entertained but I realize that as my life becomes more rhythmic I may forget to update you with things you’re actually wondering about. 🙂