Tuesday, October 21, 2008
G-D bless Argenida
I have enthusiastically praised the hard work of our Au Pair many times but I have yet really explain why she is the perfect choice for our family. For those of you with more than one child, or even multiples, you know that finding someone trustworthy and responsible is half the battle, but finding someone who is creatively helping your children thrive and grow is a whole other ball game.
With Argenida it is like they have an older, Spanish speaking sibling- someone who truly cares for and loves them like a blood relative. They don't consider her a babysitter or nanny- in fact, Natalie calls her "Argenida Slutsky" which I find absolutely adorable.
I know that all Au Pairs are not created equal and that we have been lucky to have had brilliant experiences so far. I am a firm believer that you get from the situation what you put into it, and hosting an Au Pair is a prime example of that philosophy. We treat Argenida the way we would want Amanda treated if the tables were turned. Argenida lovingly spends her time with the kids as if they too were her own. It works for all of us. Some families think having a live-in child care provider means compromising on privacy and adding living expenses- that would be true if we had one baby and were then adding another adult (meals, utilities, etc) to the tab. In our case we already feed at least 7 mouths so what is another one? I don't think we have even noticed an increase in our water bill or electricity as a result, and when Jeff and I got married, we were a family with Mitchell who was 8 and Amanda who was 12- so we have no idea what it is like to live as a married couple, alone, without kids or noise. For us, adding Argenida has only had positive benefits.
I love sharing our cultural differences and watching the eyes of both my children and Argenida when they experience something new. I enjoy introducing them to special foods, religious customs, holidays, and of course my hair brained, crazy field trips. Taking Argenida to pick apples was an all time high because she thought the trees were fake. When we drove into the fields she believed the apple trees were not real. She could not imagine that apples grew so beautifully and in mass at the orchard just 11 miles down the road from where we live. She had only seen orange trees before and had no idea apple trees were so plentiful with fruit. I made her plunk an apple from the branches and take a bite to show her I was not pulling some kind of weird prank. Argenida was taking photographs in bewilderment of nature.
She could not wait to send the images back home to Panama because she was sure her parents had never seen anything like it! Her enthusiasm for nature was evident both when we picked apples and yesterday when I took the crew back into the Metro Park for a hike through the Fall Forest.
Sure, the leaves were at 3 days past peak, but alas, they were still unreal and boldly breathtaking. Again, sharing this with her made it more special for me.
I could not possibly work, blog, travel, socialize, and stay sane if I did not have Argenida at home picking up my slack. In addition to being awesome with the 4 under 3, she would rather clean up then cook, which is the opposite of my preference, so we gel there. Also, she has a passion for shopping, fashion and all things pretty and it is great to have her as my partner in crime when we are out and about.
The best endorsement for Argenida comes from the smallest family member, Baby Charlotte. Argenida arrived when Charlotte was less than 3 months old and they have bonded ever since! Argenida takes care of "her baby" while the triplets are at Temple Beth Chanel, and they get plenty of alone time to play. At 14 months Charlotte could say, Argenida. Not because we taught her to say it, but because she wanted to be able to call for her when she could not find her. The love they have for each other is obvious.
The purpose of this blog post is to just thank Argenida for everything she does to make our family run like a well oiled machine. We would be lost without her. Finding Argenida has been a true blessing and already are really blessed. GOD BLESS ARGENIDA!
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- Charlotte's Words- and a call to Lilly Bee
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- G-D bless Argenida
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