Aiming to be happier families.

THE GOVERNESS DIARIES – Series 1, Episode 4 – Odder and odder

People often find me odd, it sort of shows in their faces when they do that ‘lifting of the one eyebrow’ thing or that ‘twisty pout to the one side of their face’.

People often find me odd, it sort of shows in their faces when they do that ‘lifting of the one eyebrow’ thing or that ‘twisty pout to the one side of their face’.

[If you’re just checking in, and haven’t yet read the preceding episodes of THE GOVERNESS DIARIES, click on the link to the right under ‘recent posts’, where you will find them. If some of them are not there, you will find them in ‘THE GOVERNESS DIARIES’ under ‘categories’, just scroll down to whichever episode you missed.]

Isn’t it funny how different people can be, and isn’t it funny how we look at others and think they are odd? Of course ‘we’ are never odd; it is always ‘them’. I know people often find me odd, it sort of shows in their faces (that NLP stint can come in handy sometimes) when they do that ‘lifting of the one eyebrow’ thing or that ‘twisty pout to the one side of their face’.  I try not to judge people, especially not by their oddities, basically, you are welcome to be odd, in fact odd is rather entertaining on occasion. The art of observing and enjoying odd is to keep a dead-pan face…

Here are just some odd things I enjoyed (it kept thoughts of infanticide at bay):

  • taking yoghurt out of the fridge and putting it in warm water before you eat it
  • eating ‘soup’ for lunch in 33o weather – this so-called ‘soup’ reminds me of dishwater when someone puts their plate in without scraping the bits off and it has miniature meatballs floating in it (it tastes like I would imagine dishwater to taste too – without the dishwashing liquid
  • dipping ricotta cheese pie into porridge for breakfast
  • putting perfume on a cut to prevent infection

Ok so they are mostly food oddities and who am I to talk when I have been known to eat peanut-butter, cottage cheese, strawberries, and jalapenos on rice cakes.

Anyway, when the grandparents arrived, I knew why I was in the laundry and not in the flatlet downstairs. However, I had now lost the bathroom. I couldn’t exactly go wandering down into their space to have a shower at night or in the morning.

The first night they were there I figured I would just have to use the laundry basin…. and the light bulb blew. Have you ever tried having a bushman’s bath in the dark? Good job I have well-developed spacial abilities. The next day I asked Katja how I could shower and she was genuinely taken-aback, I could see she hadn’t thought about it. I was given the use of the upstairs (children’s) bathroom as the children used their parent’s bathroom anyway.

They also used their parent’s bed – 4 and 8 years old (!) – and I know this because the doors to the children’s bedrooms were open every morning and there was nobody in them… maybe I was just being silly, maybe they slept in the cupboards.

So, as I said the week was reasonably short as I decided that I would change my approach. If there is one thing I have learnt about working with children, it is ‘adapt or die’ (and by that I mean the children). Guerrilla warfare was what was called for. Observe the enemy, work with what you have got, find their weaknesses and use them to get what you want. I decided to start with Nikoli because Adelina was actually the worse of the two and I knew I was going to have to work on the parents too in her case.

“Nikoli is a real boy who enjoys sports and is active” … no sh___ Sherlock, any more active and he would probably implode. We also know that Nikoli likes sweets, video games and insects (little bugger tried scaring me with a beetle until I told him that where I come from his beetle would look like an ant because our beetles roll elephant poo into balls and push it round for miles.)

I asked his mom (within earshot of him) if it would be ok for me to take him to the park to play football after we had done some work the next day. Katja was a bit neurotic about their safety, but also battled to handle both of them at the same time so I knew if it bought her a bit of extra time with only one to deal with, she would agree, besides, the grandmother would talk her into it – I didn’t know either of the grandparents names as they were never introduced to me, I just knew them as “babushka” and “derdushka” (don’t know the correct spelling but it means grandmother and grandfather). Derdushka is Katja’s father and Babushka is her step-mom. Babushka was weird, but she took no nonsense. We did not understand a word each other said, but we agreed a lot (that makes a lot of sense, but women know these things).

… and I will leave you there – stay tuned.




20 March 2013 - Posted by | The Governess Diaries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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