Her name is Miss Ola. And I'm not giving her up. Ever.
Fairly soon after we got settled into our apartment here in Gdynia, it became obvious to everyone that I had gone a little nutso (the exact clinical diagnosis). I was angry those days my friend. "Like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli."
In an effort to save the children from too much time with a person on the edge of hating a whole country out of loneliness and anxiety, Michael suggested I get someone to help me out at home. Of course, this led to more anxiety because I had no idea where to start looking. In Texas, we had a Mother's Helper after my surgery last summer. Her name is Hannah, and she too is the most awesomest person ever. At 15 she already knows how to deal with a Jack and keep an Alex safe. If we could have packed her up and moved her here, I would have. (Just an FYI, she is home schooled and therefore super easy to get in the middle of the week in the middle of the day. If you are looking for help, I highly suggest this kind of arrangement. I found her through my dad's church. And also I think God sent her to me.)
As luck would have it, one of Michael's coworkers has a fiance who is studying to be a teacher. A kindergarten teacher. (Kindergarten here means ages 2 to 5 or 6.) At first, I asked her to help me find a nanny. She told me she had friends who live here in Gdynia and are also students. I crossed my fingers and hoped for a lead. Well, she couldn't find anyone but offered to do it herself. I was thrilled since I'd met her before.
It was kind of crazy trying to figure out her schedule and how much we would pay her. The language barrier was a bit tough even though she does speak English. She just doesn't speak crazy, Stephanie, fast, made-up words English. I was also worried that she may not want to do this for too long since it takes her over 2 hours to get here on days she doesn't come straight from school!
The first couple of sessions were rough. The boys really wanted me to be in the same room the whole time. They were not used to her Polish accent and her fairly abrupt way of talking to them. She don't take no sh*t. But, pretty quickly it became obvious to me and them that she adored the boys and really wanted to do right by them. They warmed to her and she to them.
She brings games. She brings candy. She brings CD's and sings all the songs with them. She plays soccer and chases balloons. In a word, she's super! Super cute video after the jump!
We had planned to only use her until the boys got settled in school. I had first set an end date of April. Then May. Well, how about still once a week in June? Um, please don't go?!?!?!
I've convinced myself the boys would be terribly upset if they didn't see her again. I've also convinced myself that working with my boys is awesome practice for her real job. She needs us too, right? Also, when would I blog? The people need the blog!
She is interviewing every week now and should have a job soon. I'm guessing she won't want to come over after teaching all day to then play-teach my kids. Even though they are funny and totally learning Polish from her.
So, for now, I'm listening to my boys giggle and play with Miss Ola as I cram cookies in my face and