I was downstairs early this morning, in quiet reverie folding laundry. When I dragged the fitted sheets out of the dryer and started the elaborate and effective semaphore choreography that gets them folded into tidy piles, I was reminded of all of the crazy little things that I have taught my au pairs over the years: how to fold a fitted sheet, how to hang party streamers, how to get the black, burned stuff off the inside of the pasta pan you forgot what still on the stove, etc. etc.
It’s a little embarrassing sometimes to think about the sheer number of household tasks I have taught my au pairs the "right way" to do. Because, you know, there is a reason why you fold towels into thirds…. because it’s less lovely if the seamed edges show. There’s a reason why you cover the blanket on the bed with a second flat sheet… so the blanket stays clean and you have a fresh layer of pretty linen to tuck under your arm.
My au pairs could tell you another hundred similar tips, not only about how to do something around the house, but also how to do that something well, and even further, why you’d want to do it that way.
I probably have an overdeveloped domestic sensibility, but it runs in my family. Not only from my nana to my mom to my sisters and me to my daughters, but also to my au pairs. Which leads me to wonder– what skills have you taught your au pair? Anything from homemaking to adventure-making….? Do tell!