Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our new German Nanny

We have a new nanny for Astrid and she is German. Her name is Beate and we are thrilled to have found her! I think she is very happy with the arrangement as well, since she lives up the street from us in our neighborhood, has 2 kids that go to our neighborhood elementary school, and to watch/play with our 3 year old (Astrid also plays with her kids) I'm sure it feels more like a playdate than work.

Previously we had a nanny (Jill) for 2 years who was always reliable and always on time. We got so used to our Friday night date nights as a result. Jill is a PhD student in Psychology and we came to rely on her and think of her as an extension of our family. So when she let us know she was moving away for work, we were sad to see her go, and wished her well - but immediately found another nanny. But after 2 1/2 months, it was clear the new nanny wasn't working out and we had to let her go.

So we immediately put out another ad on craigslist and found Beate the perfect candidate for the job. The fact alone that she speaks German is such a plus! We've been looking for a German school for Astrid to attend and were even willing to spend $400 a month for 1 class a week. Now with Beate, Astrid has her own personal German tutor 3 to 4 times a week. And Beate told me that it's also been great for her because her kids now speak more German. Her daughter Claire told her and her brother Noah, "Well we have to speak German now, because Astrid is here." Beate has a collection of puppets and they have puppet shows in German, and she also reads German books to Astrid. So now after just a couple weeks, Astrid is now picking up German and understanding more - and more importantly trying to speak in German. Love it!

And Beate is pretty crafty. She makes soap and sews and does arts and crafts projects. Every time Astrid sees her they make things and she brings gifts for her - like handmade soup with a picture of a toad that says, "You're toad-ally cool!" When Beate comes to our home there are no tears when we leave. If Astrid tells me she is felling sick, I just have to say, "Well I better call Beate and tell her not to come because you're sick." Astrid will shout, "No! I'm all better mama! Call Beate and tell her to come!"

Astrid had been cooped up with me in the house under quarantine with Chickenpox for two days, so the next day while U. stayed home to be with her -Beate offered to take Astrid to her house to play with her kids in the afternoon - which was perfect so U. could get some work done. U. dropped her off just to make sure everything was okay and Astrid couldn't wait to jump out of the car and run inside Beate's house.

On Friday night I set out some ingredients for Beate and Astrid to make pizza together. Whole wheat pizza dough, tomato sauce, cheese, broccoli, salami. When U. and I got back from our date night, Beate told me she loved the pizza and was going to make it with her kids. Fun for kids to make and healthy!

It's such a relief to have a good, reliable nanny for Astrid - to take her to her extra-curricular activities after preschool twice a week (music & swim classes for now), and to be there on Fridays or the weekends for U. and I have to have our date nights. And now the German instruction which I am over the moon about! And she's so close and is a stay at home mom, so if we ever needed her to watch Astrid outside of our normal schedule, she's open to that as well. So the flexibility is nice as well.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I envy you for this vivid gragslist scene you have in the US ... in italy it is still all done by 'i know someone who knows someone' ... interWHAT?

Good time for Astrid to get her German up and running.