We are in our second year with our au pair, Adriana, and we could not have a better childcare
arrangement if our biological family watched our kids. In the time she’s been with us, Adriana has truly become part of our family. From joining in our silly antics to sharing inside jokes, we couldn’t have hoped for a better match.
Our 3-year-old was so shy, at first he refused to warm up to her. But I can still remember the first day she sent me a picture while I was at work: our son, curled up in her bed with his favorite blanket. The picture was captioned with the message, “Look who finally decided to cuddle with me.”
Now, he says he loves Adriana because she plays Legos with him and takes him to his friends’ houses, PlayPlaces, and “wherever I want.” He says she’s nice because she plays tag and chases him around the house.
Our 5-year-old took to her quickly and has become so enamored with her, he says “When I grow up, I want to get married in Colombia, so I can have yummy food.” (She makes Colombian food for the kids daily).
She calls the kids, “Mi Vida,” brings them little gifts from her travels, and dotes on them like they’re her own.
Throughout the day, she texts me jokes, isn’t afraid to show us her sense of humor and sarcasm and sends me pictures and videos of her playing with the kids. Our daily lives are so much smoother because of her presence. Not only is she flexible with schedule changes and communicative whenever she has a question or concern, but she has made a regular habit out of daily clean-up time with the kids. Her attention to supporting the development of their habits has been invaluable, as the kids now refuse to go to bed without cleaning up toys, quoting her with phrases like, “If we don’t clean this up now, it’ll take foreeevvvver.” Though we wouldn’t mind a perfectly clean house, we’re much happier with imperfect cleanliness, knowing the kids have been cleaning up their messes largely on their own.
She has also been a huge help when it comes to supervising homework time. My husband and I don’t make it home until an hour after school gets out. Adriana ensures that our 5-year-old does his reading homework immediately after school, eliminating the frustration that so often comes with being tired later in the evening. He’s learning quickly and has been enjoying reading much more because of this.
Adriana’s bond with our family even extends to the dogs. When she comes home, they wait for her at the door (they even seem to know she’s coming inside before we do). She speaks to them in rapid Spanish, calling them, “Mi precioso,” and feeding them scraps whenever she cooks. When we leave for work in the morning the dogs often go into her room and curl up on her bed.
We truly have the feeling of an international family. When our kids caught the flu, Adriana’s dad texted her every day to ask how the kids were. They Skype with our kids and speak to them in Spanish (even though the kids only understand a little).
But more than anything, we know we’ve made a friend for life. When Adriana leaves the U.S. to
continue her studies, we know it won’t be long before we visit her, and I know we’ll keep talking even after her time in the program is done.
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“After years of stress and frustration, and many different nannies, we decided to look for an au pair. When Veronika arrived on January 2, 2016 our lives were forever changed. We had no idea that a real life Mary Poppins had just arrived!”
“I can honestly say that bringing her to live with us as our au pair has been the best decision we could possibly have made. She has afforded us so many priceless “intangibles” during her time here that I can’t begin to quantify her contributions to our family.”