A Nanny Diary and Why I'm On the Pill. April 2010
I arrive at work - calm, ready to face the day. It's the last day of work before a week's holidays! I'm so excited because late last night, someone called to rent my apartment for the week so that pays for the trip. Easy peasy, right?
Well shit - gotta get the place in shape. After all, this person's about to pay 300 euros to stay here. It ought to be nice. I call my cleaning guy. Haven't seen him in a while. Money's been tight. I've also been lazy. There's a lot to do. Good news. He can make it. Just have to meet him at the apartment at noon. I'll need to bring the baby but it's doable if I play my cards right.
I stayed up until 2 am last night, cleaning for the cleaning guy. I want things to be perfect. Still, I've got it all worked out. Go to work, pick up the baby. Buy fruit at the market (lots of it for a basket I'm giving someone as a gift today), stuff for lunch - take the baby back to my apartment, let the cleaning guy in - voila! Head home with the baby after that for his naptime, wake up and take him to the train station. Easy, right?
With the 100 pounds of fruit in the back of the stroller, I'm struggling to get up the hill, Oberkampf isn't really steep but I shouldn't have bought the pineapple. There's too much and the baby is already heavy enough. I push. I can do it. I just need to get to my place and open the door for the cleaning guy and my holidays practically begin.
I pull into the courtyard - out of breath. Let the baby out of the stroller. The keys aren't in my bag. Or my coat. Or in the stroller. Holy mother fucking shit.
FLASHBACK TO THIS MORNING:
Julie and Michael sit and laugh, giggling over coffee at the fact that holidays are about to begin. Julie asks Michael for his keys so that I can give them to the guy who is renting the apartment for the week. We have a conversation about what to do with the third one. I decide I'll leave it with the neighbour. I put the two extra keys on the kitchen table with instructions for the cleaning guy and head out for work - thinking nothing of it.
RETURN TO PRESENT HELL:
Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God. The only other key is in Canada - the other two are in the apartment. Wait! I left the windows open. I'm sure I left the windows open. Maybe I can scale the walls and get in through the window?
I look up from the outside. They're closed. All of them.
Michael closed them this morning on the way out.
"You shouldn't leave your windows open if you're not home, you know? It's dangerous!"
Wait! I have an idea! I must have left them at the baby's house. I'm going to call the cleaning guy. Paris is a tight-knit community and he's the cleaning guy of the family I work for too! (I sound upper class but I'm so not...read on).
"Hi Ed, it's Julie. Listen, there's no point in you coming over here. I've locked myself out of the house and I think I left the keys at Zac's."
"I have a key for that place. I could go get them and then bring them over."
"Oh my God, could you? You're amazing! I'll pay you for the extra hour, you're really saving me. I don't know what I would have done without you!"
I take Zac (he's almost 2) out for lunch and wait for Ed to show up with the keys. So much for all the lunch stuff I just bought. It's melting.
CROWDED RESTAURANT - ZAC DUMPING STUFF EVERYWHERE. PHONE RINGS. IT'S ED:
"Julie, I'm sorry, I've looked everywhere. They're not here."
"Oh well. Don't worry. I'll call a locksmith."
LOCKSMITH WILL COST YOU $800.00.
The joy of living in Paris is that they make funny doors with funny locks. After being thieved, I learned my lesson the hard way and swore there would always be an extra key at my disposal. I'm such a moron. I deserve this, seriously. But I can't afford it. $800.00 is insane.
"Don't worry. I'm going to climb up and break the window open. Are they double paned?"
"Shit. Then they're unbreakable."
"Maybe you left one of the windows open?"
"Indeed, I did. All of them. Someone closed them, though."
I HAVE TO TAKE THIS BABY HOME TO SLEEP:
This poor child has been waiting this out with me for hours. He's been so patient and sweet. He's so tired, though and he's starting to whine and cry.. It's naptime and he needs a bottle and a diaper change. I didn't bring either because we were supposed to be home hours ago.
Shit. The key for their house is on the keychain too. No worries, his dad's office is not far from the house. I call.
Dad's gone to the countryside for the afternoon.
No worries, the neighbour has a spare key.
Shit, he's gone to Toulon and won't be back til Monday.
The baby's mom has a key. But she works on the Champs Elysee. It's miles from here. We'd have to take the metro. That means I'll have to carry this fucking stroller full of fruit up and down at least 8 flights of stairs. Fuck it. I don't have a choice.
Listen, we're going to have to break through the windows. It's still going to cost a few hundred euros but it's cheaper than a new door. Stay calm. Don't freak out. It's just keys.
I realize I don't have a spare key for the mailbox. I will never get mail again. I start to cry.
SURFACING FROM THE METRO
I don't know the Champs Elysee area at all. I've got the address of the mom's office but I have no idea where rue Lincoln is. Fuck me. 45 minutes of looking. A woman tells me to cross the street, a waiter tells me it's on the other side, a bellhop tells me it's just past that streetsign. A banker tells me he's not sure. I'm losing my mind. I try to call Zac's mom to ask for directions but I'm out of phone credit and spent my last dime on buying the kid a second lunch. Tears are streaming down my face. I'm so hungy. So tired. So frustrated and I'm going to be up all night sorting this shit out. What do I tell the guy who's supposed to pick up the key from my place? Huh? What am I supposed to tell him? Sorry man - you know how I said you could rent my place, well, I can't get in. I've already packed my bag for camping! I can't even go on the trip! FUCK!!!
Thank God for the Concierge. He knows what he's doing. It's right there.
We arrive. I cry some more.
The baby and I re-coop the keys and head back down the metro stairs. My pass gets stuck. The stroller gets stuck. No one offers to help me down a flight of stairs. I'm so tired I could cry. We get back to the street. I drop my cell phone. It explodes into a million pieces. Whatever. At this point, I'm seriously thinking about taking the two of us into on-coming traffic.
We arrive back at Zach's place. It's almost 4 o'clock. At least the baby's in a good mood. He's laughing and smiling. When I start to cry again in the elevator, he asks me if I have a BOO BOO and kisses me and hugs my legs. He's so sweet, right?
Open the door and come into the house and take one more quick peek around for the keys. Nowhere. Michael calls - he's parking the car in front of my place to burst through the window - whatever it takes. I say 'okay.' I can't afford this trip at all anymore. And this guy's not going to rent an apartment with a broken window. I'm devestated.
I go into the bathroom. I've had to pee all morning.
The keys are in the toilet. THE FUCKING KEYS ARE IN THE FUCKING TOILET!
I look at Zac. He smiles, giggles and shakes his finger the way I do when he's in trouble and says 'No, no, no...'
I can't believe it. What a little devil.
I call Michael. He's hanging by a ledge about to break through.
"I found them. I'm sorry."
A couple hours until I have to leave for the train station now. Unreal morning. Just wanted to share and let you all know that I am never having children.
Posted by Julie Jolicoeur at 9:29 AM