by Céleste | May 23, 2015
Some time ago I found a babysitting job on Nounou Top which consisted of watching children during a wedding reception so that their parents could celebrate (and drink) at the reception. This finally happened this past weekend, so I wanted to leave some impressions here on our blog regarding how it went.
A cab picked me up, along with two other women who were working as nannies during the wedding as well. One of the women was a friend I had met at a previous meet-up, and the other was her friend. They are both also fluent in French and English (and German, as they are Austrian!), so they were able to provide care to the children, who were a mix of francophones and anglophones.
The cab took us to Puy-Sainte-Reparade, a small town outside of Aix, for the wedding reception. The wedding had happened earlier in the day, and we were needed to watch around 25 kids during the reception. There were maybe 10 kids under 3, 7 between 3 and 6, and the rest were preteens. We stood around for about an hour before any children arrived, wondering what we should be doing in the meantime. Once they started arriving, they started arriving fast. Within 20 minutes, there were maybe 6 kids there.
There were maybe 4 or 5 French-speaking kids total, and the rest were British-English speakers. It was quite a task to have to switch back and forth between languages, and remember which kid spoke which language. I ran after two French toddlers for much of the night, trying to say kid-friendly phrases like, “Don’ t touch that!” and “No more eating rocks.”
We took turns either watching the babies sleep (after 9pm the parents wanted them sleeping in either Pack-n-Plays or strollers), playing yard games with the elementary-aged children, or watching the preteens from afar as they talked about whatever cool preteens talk about (I heard the words “selfie” and “hashtag” a lot). I liked watching the babies most. It was quieter, though there was one French toddler who did not want to go to sleep, and would not allow the other kids to sleep either. Any time I would look away from him, he would shout for attention or shake his crib. Eventually, I won. He fell asleep, as they all did.
I was glad to have this opportunity, because I made €140. But also because it was an interesting opportunity to see parenting differences between English-speakers and French-speakers. There wasn’t much difference, though it seemed to me that the French children were much more attention-seeking than the British ones. That could just be these particular French children, however, so I wouldn’t make any generalizations based on this.
Since I work with kids back home, I was glad to have this opportunity to be able to help out and work with the kids here. We got done around 2am and I came home to a patiently waiting Vincent, he wanted to make sure I made it home safely! Thanks Vincent.