Alice Douglas: If Only Mary Poppins Could Look after My Kids

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), September 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

Alice Douglas: If Only Mary Poppins Could Look after My Kids


Byline: alice douglas

OH no! Jane the au pair is leaving, and I've had to fight off a hearty degree of panic. An extra pair of hands, an extra soul to help spread the load... and then there's all the time, effort and money I've invested in trying to settle her in.

Cementing a relationship between her and the children has been an uphill struggle, and it's only in the last few weeks that she has started to inspire some affection in Hero. Tybalt had even become fairly ambivalent to her presence and had almost stopped playing tricks on her like the memorable slug in shoe incident - although my son reliably informed me they crawled there of their own accord.

The reason she's abandoning her post isn't far to find: cherchez l'homme. She is totally lovesick for her boyfriend. The root cause of those puppy dog eyes came to visit for a few weeks over the summer and, in terms of tallness and handsomeness, it wasn't difficult to understand why he made her heart beat that little bit faster. He is very sweet and a good cook which is always welcomed in my kitchen.

He has charm to sell and they only got together a few months before she left the Czech Republic for Wales. In their hometown they live in adjoining flats.

Ever since she's been here there's been a virtually unbroken flood of texts and e-mails flowing out from her little room in Capel Curig. Occasionally she will sit late into the night waiting for a reply. He once told her that his family thought she looked like a gypsy girl. I said that it was very fashionable now, but that didn't stem her tears as they ran down her cheeks onto the kitchen floor.

Of course the most trivial comment can become dynamite when hundreds of miles apart. It's no surprise really that she wants to flee back home where she can spend all her free time with Vlasta.

It's easy to be cool-eyed and reasonable when you're not the one who's suffering in the throes of passion, but it's regrettable that she's ditching the opportunity to live and study here for a year. She needs English for her chosen career. But there's nothing to be done and her heart says she must be with him and that it is their only chance of staying together.

I know she's only 21 but couldn't she have thought about that before heading here? …

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