Our Au Pair Doesn’t Understand How Her Actions Affect Our Family

by cv harquail on November 21, 2010

A regular reader sent me a long email about traveling with her Au Pair over the Christmas holiday. This reader is one of those very experienced, very thoughtful host moms who takes pains to see all sides of a situation, before doing her very best to be clear, constructive, and kind when she interacts with her au pairs (and for that matter, when she shares her advice in comments).

As with many (most?) real life situations, there are layers and layers of dynamics. Underneath all of the specifics of the situation lies this problem: her au pair does not seem to understand that the plans that she makes need to incorporate the plans of her host family.

This story is a good example of how, as we start to talk with each other about the ‘presenting problem’, we can begin to see what’s going on at a deeper level. You might recognize yourself (I certainly do) as this mom explains, interprets, understands, and tries to stay fair in a situation that’s becoming a drag on her own generosity.

The whole email, and full situation, is below. As you read through, think about how the general, fundamental issue might be addressed as well as how the particulars of this unique situation might be addressed. Here’s the situation:

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Dear Au Pair Mom —

This year, we have an issue that has never presented itself in the 11 years that we have been host parents.

We will be traveling at Christmas to my parents’ home. My parents live in an interesting place that many au pairs want to visit. My parents are very generous people, and have always been willing to include our AP as well as one of their friends in our plans. It all seems to come down to a problem of communication.

Our AP, whose English is reasonably good, appears endlessly surprised at the various differences in culture between her European country and the U.S. even after 5 months in the U.S. My AP does what is asked of her and is generally a good AP, but she isn’t used to communicating and seems embarrassed about letting us know what her plans are. We are probably a little more intrusive than her own parents, but we aren’t especially nosey – we just want to know if she’s in the house or not when she’s off duty.

I told her that we would be traveling to this desirable location for Christmas and offered, if she were willing to share a double bed with a friend, that she could invite one to celebrate with us. I made sure our AP had all of our flight information. Her friend wanted to celebrate Christmas Day with her HF first, and then to travel to the desirable location.The bottom line has always been that the friend has to pay her own way and that we would not book the flight.

Last night our Au Pair told me, “X will be arriving at 5:30 on December 25.” My reaction was to raise my eyebrows in a way that probably made it clear I was displeased. My AP celebrates Christmas on December 24 in her country, and although she was aware that December 25 was the holiday here, I don’t think she had given it a thought until exactly that moment. My parents don’t live close to the airport — it’s a 45-minute drive from their house to the airport. Add in time for parking and the walk through the airport to the baggage carousel, a 5:30 arrival on Christmas Day completely interrupts dinner plans — either we eat early and have a light supper after X arrives, or we hold back on the main dinner until X arrives, by which time my kids will be exhausted.

My father will trust either DH or me with his car, but if only one of us were to drive to and from the airport, that still means the other is in charge of feeding the little ones, helping my parents prepare the dinner, and lay the table. Not to mention, celebrate being together.

I told my AP to see if X could adjust her plans and arrive on the 26th. It turns out that X’s HF selected the time of her flight because it suited their plans best (they don’t know us from Adam, so it would never have occurred to them to ask X if the timing worked for us).

What is done now is done. Our AP is now perfectly aware that we are jumping through hoops to adjust to her guest’s schedule.

And it gets more annoying: Although she never asked about what we might do as a family to see the sights in my parents’ area, suddenly she is interested.

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My question is twofold, and it’s hard to believe that I’m asking it when I’m living with AP #9 (in 11 years).

1.  How far does one need to go in conveying how Americans (or at least my family) celebrates a particular holiday in order to clue APs in toward marking their plans?

It never occurred to my AP, or X that we didn’t celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve until I made a face last night (and then my AP had an “Aha!” moment, and said, “Oh, right, you celebrate Christmas on the 25th. Everything is different here.”) It was amazing to me, but she also didn’t seem to know that the desirable location was in another time zone (despite being a 5-hour flight).

2. How does one clue an AP in to paying attention to family details when making personal plans?

You want a lift to the airport? Don’t book a flight that conflicts with the when the kids need to get on the schoolbus in the morning unless you want to pay for your own shuttle! You want us to pick you up at the airport? Then don’t book your flight to arrive a dinnertime! You want to do something on your own with your friend? Do the research to figure out if it is possible! It all comes down to one issue for me – ask questions! Be curious

    Is it necessary to lay how one celebrates holidays on the line months before they occur? We haven’t even gotten through Thanksgiving or Chanukah yet…

    (AuPairMom sent a follow-up email for more details…)

    DH agrees with you AuPairMom. We’ve asked the Au Pair friend make her own way to my parents’ house because she’s coming on Xmas Day.

    When our AP said something about visiting a particular sight, I told her “You are welcome to join us in any family activities, here are some things we always do when we visit. DH and I are not renting a car and you will not be permitted to drive while you are. Here is the bus schedule.” I also gave her the option of using some vacation days while we were there, because I know her friend will be using vacation days.

    Yes, I agree with you AuPairMom, the trip is about spending time with my parents, and we should make sure that the family has the vacation we need to have. But, I also feel like this is an important time for our AP, showing our AP how we celebrate the holidays, while listening to her explain the differences (my mother is super curious and will be grilling our AP), but also about showing her a very different part of our country.

    But these are the issues we continue to struggle with:

    1. Explaining the differences enough to the AP so that they understand how their plans have an impact on the family and
    2. Having their expectations for their own activities be sensitive to the actual holiday celebrations, so they are thoughtful about all of the activities they book when they want transportation assistance.

    Looking forward to thoughts from the community. …. HolidayHostMom

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    See also:

    { 29 comments }

    bluntHM November 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I have come to realize that I cannot assume that an AP will be thoughtful and considerate all of the time. After all they have one short year to pursue their own agenda in the US. I have learned to be very blunt and explicit about my needs and expectations. I can tell that sometimes my AP thinks I’m too “uptight” but I really hate it when I feel like my family time/vacation is being high-jacked. Resentment is poison to any relationship.

    PA AP mom November 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    These kinds of things happened to us our first year with an AP and I vowed to NEVER struggle through it again.

    Now, I make things VERY clear. At the beginning of the year, I make out a family calendar and we give a copy to our AP. It clearly marks which days are holidays, school vacations, kids’ birthdays, etc. Days that are not allowed to be taken off are clearly marked to further avoid confusion.

    When things come up like vacation plans, we add them to the calendar. She can also add her requested vacation days once they are approved and other “free” time.

    As the beginning of November approaches, I begin talking to the AP about our holiday routines. I lay out very carefully what I expect of her in terms of childcare and what I expect in terms of family time/visitation. As we get closer to the actual holiday (thanksgiving) the discussions are getting more specific. I think it helps to reiterate it over and over.

    As soon as Thanksgiving has passed, I will start prepping her the exact same way for Xmas. I make sure she understands that she is not required to buy presents for anyone in our family, but that she should expect that others will buy presents for her. I don’t want her to feel awkward.

    We have multiple family gatherings so they are all clearly marked on the calendar with the times and places identified.

    When I first started using this system last year I felt a little overbearing, but quite frankly, it’s been worth it and I’m doing it again this year. It’s already a very stressful time and I don’t want to make it any harder than it needs to be.

    franzi November 21, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    is the desirable location pictured in the post? if so then there’s plenty of opportunities for the guest to take airport shuttles to a public transit area from where she could travel (closer) to your place. by the time she’s there dinner is over and one adult will have time to pick her up.
    yes it sounds cruel but i think that your family christmas should not be messed up like this because a friend of your AP booked her flight without checking back with you. i’m sure the APs talked among each other about the flights (or maybe they did not at all, i can’t believe both of them missed that in the US christmas is celebrated on the 25th) and it would only be common courtesy to check with the hosts if the arrival is ok with them.

    sounds to me like the other host family is happy to “dump” the AP on the 25th but that cannot be your problem. ask the friend to rebook the flight or find a way that she can arrive at the house by herself.

    i am with bluntHM – be very specific and blunt about what you want and need of your AP. be blunt again and again if you have to. write things down for the AP to re-read it if necessary. you can talk and talk and talk and explain again and again and again – some APs just don’t get it but you as host family can make sure you have been very clear so that misunderstandings do not occur.

    Mel November 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    That is funny, because I just ran into a similar problem with my au pair. She wants to go home for New Year and her Christmas on January 7. The ticket home is very expensive for her, so she was really comparing prices. She found that the best priced flights in general left on Dec26, however, she would have to actually start traveling mid-day on Dec25 to travel to the airport in New York. We would have to start her out on her journey in the middle of our holiday by driving her to the train. Not to mention, traveling on the 25th may be very difficult. I had to just say no, if she actually made those plans, she was on her own. Then she “got it”. She will now travel on the 28th, which actually comes out the same price.

    Believe me, it took a lot of explaining logistics for her to understand that we would have to stop our celebrations to drive her to the train station. I had to actually set out the timeline-“We will be going to grandma’s house and we would be eating dinner around 4, but we can’t because someone will have to drive you and all of your luggage to the train”. Then, “I can’t do that, you will have to find your own way.”

    Julia November 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Hi, I am an Au Pair mum from Germany who normally hosts American Au Pairs. I have learnt over the past years that it is very important to communicate openly. Somethings are so self evident, especially after we had explained this to several Au Pairs before, that we have to remind ourselves to tell things to a new Au pair – again! Also cultural differences are not just in the way we celebrate holidays, but how we communicate. In general in Europe you have to tell directly what you want and expect. Otherwise the other person thinks she can schedule things freely. This is often very unusual for Americans and might be the problem here. When inviting her to your parents over christmas, you could have told her how the exact schedule were, when the best time for her friend would be to visit, when you expected her to help and when not. We often have the problem the other way round, that we address things directly and our AP is shocked by are detailed description of expectations. Sentences with a “you could do this” are in Europe understood as a possibility not an expectation. Here people say: “you must” – or “please do” – to get their message through. Maybe, you want to try this ;-)

    However, in the end it is your holiday and she should definately put more sensitivity and interest in your plans. In the end, you want someone who wants to share your family time and culture. If she is more concerned about her social schedule and is not worried to mess up such an important day, especially after addressing the problem and telling her how much hassle it makes, you should put your family first. Celebrate and let her friend commute by public transport (if possible) or let her wait until you are done with celebrating. There are not so many christmas nights that you have in your life with the kids and you shouldn’t waste them on a girl that is not interested in you and the kids.

    Best regards from Germany,
    Julia

    JBLV November 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    That is very interesting. Thank you for sharing, Julia.

    The OP November 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    It is interesting that people have gotten hung up on the word “could.” I wouldn’t have ordered her to invite a friend. Could is appropriate here – you have my permission (and that of my parents) to invite a friend. The cultural miscommunication, in this instance, seems to be over my initial understanding that the friend was spending Christmas Day with her family and that I assumed it meant she would be arriving after Christmas Day, not on it.

    What has been different about my last two APs is that they haven’t asked questions at all and seem genuinely surprised at the differences between their cultural experiences and the practices of the United States. Is it a shift in behavior or just a fluke? Because all the previous APs asked endless questions about use of language, idioms, and celebrations (and it doesn’t take 10 minutes in my house to understand that every question deserves an answer – my kids are never told to “shut up”).

    Aupairgal November 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I would also like to add that English has no polite “form” for certain verbs and to be polite/emphasize politeness we often use a more indirect speech(sometimes we don’t feel that just a simple please is enough). i.e. “Could you perhaps go to the store and get some bread if it isn’t too much trouble” I would say something like that to my boyfriend in English when I want a polite form of “I need you to get some bread now”

    Taking a Computer Lunch November 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    That sounds more like English English than American English to me. Although Americans, too, tend to use the subjunctive to soften a request, we limit the number of ways we say we’re grateful for it being honored. I say to my husband, “Could you go to the store now, please? We’ve run out of bread.” But if I’m miffed because I’m halfway into making a meal and discover he overlooked a key ingredient on the shopping list, I’m not so polite, “You forgot to get X. I need you to go get it now.” However, to my child I use the imperative, “Take the compost out now, please.” (And believe me, if I don’t say please, he’ll remind me that he didn’t hear it.)

    I tend to use the imperative more than the subjunctive with my APs, but then I find that I have to follow it up with an explanation so they understand that the request is not coming out of the blue: “Please take The Camel on a walk every day it’s not too hot, too cold or too wet,” and then, when they don’t because they think it’s too hot, too cold or too wet, I add, “The Camel needs to walk because she has osteoporosis. She has to bear weight or she is likely to break a bone when she is a teenager.” (And quite frankly, now our entire neighborhood knows our APs – and I get to hear how wonderful they are with The Camel when I take her for her walk.)

    The time I use the subjunctive with APs is when I want to give them the ability to opt in or out, “We are traveling to Connecticut this weekend. We would love to have you to travel with us if you were interested.” or “You may invite a friend to come over this evening while you are working.” If I were to use the imperative in these instances, my AP would think it was an order instead of a suggestion. (And despite the fact that I use the imperative, I understand that my APs don’t always get the cultural nuance, so I usually add, “Please feel free to say ‘no’ if you have plans.”

    My 2 cents November 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I agree with the others. This is NOT your problem to deal with. It’s your AP’s. They aren’t clueless, they are immature and selfish. Please continue you on with your holiday the way that best suits you. They can work around and figure it out. It’s ridiculous for you to even consider scheduling holiday dinners and plans around these two. Maybe this will teach your AP to be more considerate. Or maybe they really don’t care about spending time with your family but only want to get to this desireable location and do what they want and so scheduled accordingly? Either way, please spend no more time stressing about this. The holidays are stressful enough!

    Gianna November 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    How very nice of you to encourage your AP to invite a friend. Since things have been very nice between you and your AP and since you have a very , very good track record
    with aupairs, I am not sure that you have issues communicating. My guess is that ( as one poster has already suggested ) the other host family is behaving badly. Very likely, they figured out what worked for them. Your AP may be embarrassed by this and unwilling to say this is what happened out of respect to her friend. My own children have sometimes done this – covered for the poor behavior of their friends’ parents.

    Taking a Computer Lunch November 21, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    We, too, have had APs join us for Christmas vacation. Several APs have spent Christmas at my parents near Las Vegas, including our first AP and her friend who got to spend three nights at the Grand Canyon. I have found that being blunt about expectations (as well as a discussion about the explicit demonstration of gratitude) helps.

    The OP November 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for your advice, everyone. I usually am pretty blunt, and I keep a calendar on my kitchen wall with everyone’s schedule written out and important events circled. In the past, when APs joined us, they have asked a ton of questions, so we haven’t had this issue before. We haven’t always coordinated with other families, although in the past, when my eldest were infants, my AP’s closest friends cared for children of the same age so we saw other families socially. This isn’t true now that my eldest are older and have busy sports (and the youngest tag along), and social activities of their own.

    But I’m beginning to think it’s just this AP, for just this week she booked something else for when she would be normally scheduled to work, without first asking if it would be okay.

    NoVA Host Mom November 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I have been there, too. At which point you need to remind them that they are not babysitters, but hired to do a job and cannot just blow off the job without consequences (up to and including rematch for someone with a better work ethic). I think your AP might be lacking in that a bit, as well as in the idea that there are others in the world around her that do not revolve around her.

    Jeana November 22, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I would not change a family celebration to meet the whims of an aupair/friend that has been so inconsiderate as to arrive at 5:30 a.m. It isn’t your problem; it is the problem of the friend. One of our awesome aupairs planned a trip with two other friends. They scheduled their flights for a time that would work for all families involved, for transportation. I had talked with the girls about the space that would be available in our car, as I would be bringing my children with me, on the return trip back home. There would be a total of six seats, and we had six people. The space for luggage was very limited, and I loaned our aupair one of my pieces of luggage, which was very small, and fine for a four day trip. Our aupair spoke with her two friends. One friend showed up with a very small bag with all items. The other aupair came with a huge suitcase. When I saw it, I told her she would have to work out transportation home, because I couldn’t fit it in the car with six of us. I was still able to pick up our aupair and her other friend. I received several calls from the aupair with the huge suitcase, during the four days. Her host family was unavailable to pick her up. I suggested that she take a taxi ride, which would be about a 40 minute trip, and a cost close to $100. She didn’t want to spend the money. I held firm that it was impossible to fit her huge piece of luggage in our car which was packed with six of us. Each time she called, I made sure she had the phone numbers for taxi companies. Eventually, she was able to contact a friend who was able to transport her back home.

    Our aupairs are young, and just as we try to apply logical consequences for our children when needed, we’re doing them a favor, when we allow them opportunities to problem solve. Our three awesome aupairs have been incredibly considerate of our family, and were mature enough to avoid this type of nonsense. Our two bad experiences were with aupairs that had very little consideration for our family. One of them was angry for days, that I wouldn’t take my two sick children out of bed on a night that was 35 degrees below zero, to take her to the mall. (We were having a few days of very severe weather and schools had even been cancelled.) One of my kiddos had pneumonia at the time.

    For those aupairs who lack concern for how their choices impact your family, I would suggest that you kindly state that you’re unable to pick her up due to your family celebration, and be ready to provide her with telephone numbers of taxis. The problem is hers, not yours.

    Long Island Host Mom November 22, 2010 at 9:02 am

    This is how I do it…I tell my au pair when I need her to be there…and if its around the table for holiday dinner at the time you always have it…then she is expected to be there then. Her on duty hrs are your choice…Any other plans beyond that its up to her to make – if her friend is coming – its up to them to get her there – not yours. You are not a taxi service. If it works into your plans and you want to extend yourself – then fine – if not ? SORRY ! Dont stress about it. They are resourceful – if its such a desired place – there are options and if they are mature enough to take care of your kids – then they mature enough to find out what those are. AND if its her friends vacation – maybe she can spend some $ on transportation to the house like a taxi. It’s just not your problem if they didnt ask in advance. My au pair gets my calendar each month with dates and times and those are subject to change and I ask her to be flexible sometimes…She is reasonable and cooperative and she knows that I appreciate that attitude and express it with some other perks…SO it works out. Communication is key on both sides. But so is flexibility.

    momof4 November 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Can you give me some ideas of other perks? I had an aupair that didn’t want anything extra out of guilt for her behavior. But I think my aupair now would really appreciate it. What can I throw in?

    BLJ Host Mom November 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I agree with this. I also thought of telling the friend (if she couldn’t/didn’t want to take a shuttle) to bring her computer or a good book because we won’t be able to go pick her up 8pm, after bedtime. You OR your husband can’t be gone for a significant amount of time during Christmas, much less Christmas dinner. Maybe she can’t change her flight. But she certainly can wait for Free until after you get the kiddos to bed. It doesn’t cost her a dime, other than a few hours of her time. The same as what it will be costing you. That seems fair to me.

    In terms of her other scheduling issues. Making her pay for one change of flight fee should really nip this whole book before asking thing in the bud! Sheesh!

    used to be an AP November 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    A “German” perspective ;):
    Many German families celebrate the 25th of December as well as the 24th (the 24th is usually for the “nuclear” family, the 25th includes grandparents, aunts, uncles etc). Celebrations on the 25th usually start around 11 am and a huge lunch is eaten between 12am and 1 pm, followed by coffee and cake between 3pm and 4pm. So if your AP is from Germany or a country with similar traditions, she may have thought that 5:30 is a convenient time because the celebrations would be over at that time.

    On a different note, I completely agree with Julia on the “you could”-phenomenon. The literal translation into German means that it is that persons choice to either do something or not. If you want to make sure that the AP really does what you want her to do, be “impolite” and say “do this and that (please)”. A native speaker of German who hasn’t lived in the states for a rather long time will not perceive this as impolite. This is also one of the many reasons why Germans are often percieved as impolite and harsh by Americans, although they really are not (another issue is pronunciation).

    germanchickx November 23, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I’m German and in my family, 5:30 would also have been a bad time for the pick up. It really depends on the family. My Grandparent would not have been ok with anyone leaving during the day and missing any part of the holiday.
    I think it really depends on the AP’s family and how they usually do things. To me, she (and her friend) just sound clueless. The other family was just inconsiderate, as they should know about the christmas holiday in this country and should have made sure that everyone’s schedule was being taking in consideration, and not just theirs, to make sure their AP isn’t stranded on an airport for hours.

    NoVA Host Mom November 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I think you have a consensus here. She made the plans for her personal time, then she is on the hook for it. If she wanted someone to accomodate her or aid her in these plans, it was on her to ask the HF ahead of time if the timeframe was going to work for them, too. She didn’t so it’s all on her and her friend to make their way to the house. It might seem a little harsh, and might run counter to your impulse to be there for her as much as you can, but this is not something that is work-related. It’s her decisions and poor planning, not yours.

    There is certainly a level of frustration here with this one, I know. You want to point out to the AP that it’s not like you are living in a cave, but you don’t want to sound snarky about it. There is internet, and computers (and frequently more than one), and Google and Ask make it very simple to find answers or learn about something going on, including that dinner time on December 25th might not be a good time to have a friend pop in nearly an hour away and need a ride. If she has the access and has used a computer before, it’s to her benefit to use the resources she has available to better understand the world (and regions and time zones) around her. This one is all on her, despite the recent issue you mentioned. She planned, and made assumptions you would pick up the slack for her. Don’t. It’s her slack to learn from.

    The OP November 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I think I agree with all of you, and will go back to my AP, and say that on second thought, I really don’t want to drive to the airport on Christmas Day and pick up her friend (especially since the little ones still haven’t figured out that there is such thing as a time zone and are likely to be up at 3:00 am). There is still plenty of time for her friend to either a) change her flight to the 26th or b) figure out how much a shuttle or taxi will cost her.

    BLJ Host Mom November 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Good decision!

    Disclaimer: This is a really important, fun, loving, and hopefully stress free holiday for us to enjoy. We want you to be part of that, put you are asking too much of us. If anyone is going to have hard feelings over this, it would be better if they don’t come! i.e. NO ONE is aloud to come and RUIN CHRISTMAS with a huffy attitude over how expensive a shuttle is!:)

    franzi November 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    good decision and the best for all of you.

    E2 November 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Our au pair was recently mulling over how to get home from the airport after a vacation with friends, as her flight got in late at night. She did not ask us to pick her up and neither did we offer. We gave her the name and phone number of the shuttle we usually use. She knew the flight was late and would not have expected us to pick her up.

    The OP November 22, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Another follow-up. I spoke with my parents tonight, and their immediate reaction was, “Of course she’s not going to take a shuttle – someone will meet her.” (Which is the same impulse that opens their door to friends of our APs in the first place.)

    NoVA Host Mom December 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Hmm, this might be one of those times I mention to my parents that some of this has to be a learning experience and she needs to figure it out. More than once I have stepped in to prevent my responses (to out there requests, or “I want someone else to do it for me” things) from being nullified by well-meaning family. She needs a learning lesson. It’s part of growing up and being an adult (and thinking of others).

    Tell mom that you understand her impulse, as it was yours as well (she raised you well, after all), but that this one is really the AP’s responsibility. If mom really wants someone to pick up AP guest, then set the rule that no one leaves the house to head to the airport until after 8pm (the kid’s bedtime). Sometimes you need to remind outside family that this is not just a “family” thing, but that there is an aspect of “employer-employee relations” at work, and tough love is still love, it’s just letting her learn the hard way.

    Chithu November 25, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I spent 2 years in London as an au pair. I’d never dream to inconvenience my host parents (or any one, really) on an important holiday. This is common courtesy; I think you should be firm and tell your au pair that it’s not possible for your friend to be picked up; she has to make her own way. The friend is still going to save money by staying in your parents’ house.

    It is not your responsibility to pick up your au pair’s friend from airport/train station/or bus station. If X booked tickets without asking you, then X can make transport arrangements without bothering you.

    Picking her up now is definitely gonna screw up your xmas day, and the will breed resentment, not good for either of you in the long run. It’s better to say no sorry and get it done with.

    Laís January 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I think that all this situation, is for have no conversation before match
    I live in Brazil. Here we celebrate Christmas at midnight on 24 december
    Is our culture.

    If the au pair spoke before all your culture and traditions, I think is no problem to the HF accept some things

    All is conversation!

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