Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It just got interesting . . .

I've had a full time maid here in China for two weeks now, and I had seriously starting thinking this thought, "I don't really need someone full time." She comes to my house every morning at 8:30 and leaves by 4 - most days before 4, unless I have cooked up some extra work for her, like cleaning the curtain rods in my new apartment (yes, I really had her do that). Even then, several days she has come to me at 3:30 or so and said, "Is there anything else you need me to do?" and I am at a loss so she leaves.

So I told Erik maybe I didn't need someone and he tried to counter by saying that this woman saves me so much time. But the reality is, if I didn't have her, my house just wouldn't be this clean. I wouldn't sweep and mop every day, or do laundry every day, and I'd use the dryer instead of hanging everything up, and I'd probably not make my bed every day either if I'm really honest. When my kids were little, I needed someone more because if I had to go out my kids needed someone to actually watch them. Now, I head out the door and say to my maid, "I'm leaving. The kids are somewhere in the complex. They might come back." Yesterday I even sent her across the street to the market while I went to Carrefour and the kids both stayed home for about 15 minutes. They just don't need the same level of supervision they did back in the day.

But I'm holding on to her for now because I know that when school starts my time will be quite different than now. In the meantime, I'm trying to think of things for her to do. Today I thought I'd teach her how to make some honey whole wheat bread. As we were making it, she commented that she knows how to make tortillas. And cornbread. And coffee bread. And she can teach me how to make dumplings. So now I'm thinking a daily baking order might be good. This is the blessing of having someone who already worked for an expat family! Things just got more interesting. What else should I have her make?

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