Sooo some of you will know that between September 2001 and Sept 2002 I lived in the USA as an Au Pair. I lived with a family and looked after the children, did some housework, cooked for them etc etc. Now the family I lived with were going through a transitional stage. The Children were Jeff who was 7/8 while I was there, and Matt and Alex who were twins 4/5 while I was there. The Mother was Jean. Jean had split from the Children's Father who was called Bill. He lived in the next state over and visited every week. Jean was engaged to her new partner who was called Brett.
Now Brett had three girls from a previous relationship who's names I have forgotten. They were between the ages of 4 and 8 though. Financially both Jean and Brett were well off. Jean a top flight financial auditor who went in and signed off some top company accounts (Harley Davidson and Puma were 2 I knew about) and Brett was a sales manager for some firm or other. The whole year I was there they were having a house built for them, every week or so there was a meeting or phone call about one aspect or other of the new house. They got married the final month I was there, and then a couple weeks after I left Brett, Jean, Jeff, Alex, Matt and the three girls moved into the new house. I never did get their new address or phone number and so from this point I pretty much lost all contact with the family. I did still have their Dad's (Bill's) number. However being as I never really knew when the children would be there with Bill as that was a rare event, on the days that Bill would visit, 95% of the time they would go out somewhere and not really go to his house. I spoke to them one time at their Dad's place. I felt kind of weird just calling him up. So yeah I lost contact and for a decade it was the biggest regret I harbored.
In my opinion, the "step dad" Brett was a colossal cock! He had an air about him that the children were more an inconvenience and would talk over them and brush them off constantly. I'm sure anyone with a modicum of intelligence would realise that the situation was a massive upheaval for a lot of children. While not a bad thing, it clearly caused lots of emotion and stress for the children. They needed reassurance and care. I felt a lot of the time this was left to me. I got on well with Jeff but I wasn't their dad or mum or anything. The twins I also got on well with, save for the usual upset you get with any child you have to say no to now and again. Jean I also saw as a good mother. She worked hard, but she always had time for the kids, would call up to say goodnight to them if she had to work late. Looked after them when she was off work and took them out for meals etc.
A few events struck me that year. Both I wrote about in this journa. The first wasl on Aug 1st 2002:
Brett really annoyed me last night. It's like he's acting like a baby. The kids went out with their dad last night and I had gone out for a drive and got home a few minutes after Bill arrived to drop the kids off. I walked in the door and Matt and Alex were playing with some toys they'd just got and Jeff was out on the porch with Bill talking. He's been having a hard time and really missing his dad and so I knew he was upset that his dad was about to leave. Anyways where was Brett? In the playroom watching tennis. What an idiot. I mean he's about to marry Jean and so Matt Alex and Jeff are his responsibility as well now. Is he going to spend the rest of his life avoiding their dad? Every time Bill comes to their house to pick the kids up is he going to run away? He's done it so far. It's pathetic. But what annoyed me most is once Bill left Jeff was in tears. I had to comfort him do all I can to make him feel better. After a while he was alright. But all this time where was brett? In the playroom watching tennis. Oh and the nail in the coffin? When Jean came home she asked "how was Jeff when Bill left" as I drew in breath to answer Brett said "oh he was fine". AHHHHH damnit you don't even know he was in tears because you were to busy being a pansy ass prick who won't show your face to your step children's dad. I hope Jean kicks his ass sometime soon. I mean it's only a little bit bad right now because I'm here. I'm a good middle man. But seriously I'm here for another 26 days. I feel so bad for these kids. Brett's not a totally bad guy but he's really not thinking about what the boys are going through. I'm worried he's going to turn out like one of those mean step fathers who is distant from the kids and never really listens to them but expects the kids to respect him when he tells them what to do.
The second was the previous Christmas eve:
the kids had been at their dad's house that previous night and were home already with their toys from their dad already opened and strewn over the living room floor (you know how it is) and Jean seemed fine.
then the kids started getting all stressed out and fighting and throwing tantrums and Jean lost it... I mean _lost it_ She didn't know what the heck she was doing... the kids were hungry and they wanted pizza and I swear Jean couldn't even use the phone properly to phone for pizza... and then when she did get a pizza place she was like "yeah can I have two pizzas... just normal pizzas bye". I seriously thought she'd had a breakdown because the kids were acting insane ya know. So I went to call Jean's b/f to come around and while I was doing that the thought suddenly struck me... she must be drunk. I mean it's not at all like Jean to get drunk but the more I thought about it the more I was sure she was. So yeah I called Brett up to come around and then I had to figure out what to do. It sucked because the kids didn't understand that Mummy really wasn't in a condition to think straight. So when I suggest we all go to mcdonalds and 2 kids say yes and one says I'm not going mum says I don't have to... what the heck do you do? In the end I was like okay I tell you what lets all go to dominoes and pick up the pizzas. So all the kids were okay with that. So we went and got some pizzas leaving Jean alone still totally on another planet. When we got back I saw Brett's car was there and he was actually inside taking care of Jean. Apparently she'd gone to bed but was now puking.
So yeah we're all sat down having pizza and the phone rings... who was it? The other pizza place where Jean had ordered from before. Muwahahahaha. Yeah the guy was like "Hi I have an order here for 2 flatbread pizzas and they've been sitting here for about 45 minutes I'm wondering when you're going to pick them up?" I really wasn't in the mood to explain the situation so I was like "no one ordered any pizza from here" and then the guy was like "well _your wife_ called and ordered 2 pizzas" My obvious answer was "I'm 19 and single... I'm just the babysitter" so then the guy was "Oh well one of the kids must've called up" So I was like "You thought it was my wife... I'm looking after 3 boys" so yeah then he got pissed and said something along the lines of "look someone called from your number and ordered 2 pizzas... I'm gonna call tomorrow and speak to the kid's parents because you just don't do that" I didn't know what to say considering it was the kid's mum who ordered the pizza so I was like Okay you do that... you spend Christmas chasing up 2 pizza orders... bye"
Heh I was really pretty mean but I guess I can be excused with all that I'd been expected to do that evening.
On Christmas Morning Jean told me she hadn't been drinking at all and she had no idea what came over her. I dunno if I believe her... on the night of the 23rd Jean opened a 2 litre bottle of white wine and her and I each had a glass from it... I couldn't find it the next night so yeah. I'm not sure what I'd prefer... if it was alcohol then at least I'd feel like it wasn't something to worry about too much. If it was alcohol then it p***** me off that she drank so much and got herself into such a state.
So yeah. Not exactly the end of the world events, but they did annoy me and made me feel sometimes like all was not well. I always felt guilty about loosing contact with the kids.
Anyways over the next few years after I left, I looked for them online, wondering if they were using their birth names, changed them to their step dad's last name etc etc. About a year or so ago I finally found them on facebook. Well Jeff, Matt and Alex at least. Said hi and stuff, Jeff remembers me, not surprisingly Alex and Matt don't as they were still young when I left. Anyways I've kept up to date with Jeff's FB, he's in the Marine Corps now, no longer the 8 year old lad I knew. Smokes, drinks, talks about girls etc etc. Anyways tonight I commented on a post he put up saying that he had spoken to his dad for the first time in a couple months, so remembering how I liked Bill I said something like "say hi to him for me, hope all is well with everyone" from that Jeff sent me a message
Oh my word. It's filled in the last decade and yeah. After I left, as I said they moved into the new house. All three boys were apparently practically ignored for the girls and basically neglected. The boys were subjected to seeing things they shouldn't, such as their mother taking drugs, slipping into alcoholism and sleeping around. It went on for years but all came to a head a few years ago when Alex was apparently sick and Jean refused to acknowledge him. Jeff ended up taking Alex and Matt to his Dad's house and hasn't spoken to his mum since.
Now obviously there is nothing I could do about this, but when you look back I could see this happening, I wish there was something I could have done, I still do. I am not sure what to think and I probably will end up making this entry private because I don't want to air someone else' private problems across the internet. Still though... in shock!