If you recall Pepe was going to be going away and I had to find someone to replace her while she was on annual leave.
The problem is that at the mere mention of Pepe not being available my heart starts to race, my pupils narrow, and breathing becomes difficult.
I realize that there are thousands if not millions of woman that cope without the aid of a maid, but I am not one of them. It appears my DNA was designed differently, and I need help – as I already have psychiatric assistance I might as well get some household assistance as well.
In the early years I roughed it without a maid, and now that I have a maid/nanny/house keeper – which ever is more politically correct for you – and I look back now at my previous life, and wonder what the hell I was doing!
Later for that.
Pepe keeps me sane(r).
Because of Pepe I get to skip off to work, reasonably guilt free. I get to wear clean ironed (oh the luxury) clothes. I do not have to wash the kitchen floor, and pubes collecting behind the toilet are no longer my concern.
More importantly I do not have to get irritated when I look at dried Pronutro left on the kitchen table.
The fact that I have a Pepe allows me the opportunity to work full day. There is no way I would be able to do that – and keep a semblance of my sanity – if I did not have her managing the house and keeping my kids reasonably clean.
My kids go to school with packed lunches, and Oros in a bottle – if it was left to me we would do a MacDonalds drive through on the way to school. I get to kiss Isabelle good by each day knowing she is well cared for in our home, and she spends her days with someone who adores her only slightly less than I do. Isabelle gets to sleep in her own cot and has the delicious opportunity to destroy her sister’s neat bedroom. It is all heady bliss.
When Pepe announced she was going on annual leave, I felt a bit of despair as I know that without her my life would start to crumble. I anticipated the pain and the anguish, and started planning for the inevitable “sky falling down.”
I am wise enough to realize that “we cannot cope without Pepe” by relying on our ability to wake up early enough to prepare lunches, and calling on assistance from nearest and dearest to help us over this month.
The unfortunate situation is that we do not have the quantity of “nearest and dearest” needed to pull off this coup. Often, even with the best will in the world, we are dropped when we rely on someone else.
To avoid the usual panic stations, I approached an agency to assist me with a replacement for Pepe. To be honest I was not filled with much in the way of hope, but plenty in the way of despair and horror.
Anyway after much backwards and forwards I found an agency, I did some interviews and I met Fortunate and decided to give her a whirl.
A try-before-you-buy plan shall we say. I will confess that I was a bit reluctant to “try” Fortunate. There was something there that was setting of a small red flag in the distance, and I could not put my finger on what it was, or why it was going off.
<but I balance my mothering intuition with the fact that it also told me in no uncertain terms that Georgia was a boy, so it has been faulty in the past>
Fortunate came in for two days while Pepe was still with us – and I thought, great that seems to be working. Pepe left on holiday and Fortunate stayed to fill her large shoes.
I was understandably nervous and suspicious and thought maybe Fortunate was going to steal Isabelle. Have you seen how cute Isabelle is? Totally stealable. Totally reasonable thing to worry about. Totally consumed my days.
Besides my two days of total paranoia, once I got over that part then it was great. It was better than great. What is better than great? More great? Greater? Greatest?
It was that.
The month zoomed by and it was brilliant. Fortunate is such a great find. I seriously did not even notice that Pepe was gone – which I felt a bit guilty about, as I felt like I was “cheating” on my Pepe.
But it was seriously brilliant – like giddy curl-your-toes-while-wearing-shoes brilliant.
Pepe came back this week, and I could not face letting Fortunate go – I think anyone who has attempted to find someone to care for their children (and their house) knows that often you really have to put up with something awful because you can’t find someone really good.
But I have found great – and yes I am gloating.
We have decided to try out a bit of colonial and have two house staff, yes, you go ahead and tut-tut, you do that if it makes you feel better.
Pepe is going to help us out during the week, and Fortunate is going to be there over the weekends. Having Fortunate also means that if Pepe is ill or has to go to Home Affairs, or what ever, I can just call Fortunate in.
Damn life is good.
Listen, I have no idea how we are going to afford our staff complement and buy bread, but we can cross that bridge later, today I get to click my heels together three times and go whoop-whoop!
Pepe, with the kids, at our wedding - and no you cannot have our home telephone number to poach her.