To have gone into my room and cried before I killed the aupair

(149 Posts)
Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 21:33:31

I've had the worst weekend in a long time !
DD1 has ASD and ADHD she has a strict list of no no's as in what she can and can't eat, the smallest thing on the donts list and she's the devils spawn !!
So I get in from work Friday and I can see just by looking at her she's had something, so I asked the aupair what she's had and "nothing" was the reply, so I asked DD and she said sweets after school !! Arghhh the aupair has been told time and time again about this, there's even a list stuck to the fridge of things to avoid and if we do she's fine.
So we've had the weekend from hell because of this.
I'm still moaning stick with me !
Then DD2 who is 10 months is crying for a drink so I get her sippy cup and go to give it a wash and find MOULD inside it, all in the bottom and all in the lid !! Apparently the aupair didn't realise it was mould !! WTF !! She could have harmed poor DD2 ! I was horrified !
I try not to get cross with the aupair she's 26 so not a kid she just seems to have ZERO common sense ! She's leaving in a few weeks thank goodness but my DH is ok nights, I'm 8 weeks pregnant, work full time and I'm shattered, so I've shut myself in my room for an angry cry.
Feel much better now grin

Rosa Sun 24-Mar-13 21:36:41

I would get cross..... Sorry but for your dd it affects her badly she should do as she is told....

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 21:36:51

Ahh, sounds like a PITA weekend, glad you feel better after a cry. Make sure she knows that your DD can't have sweets under any circumstances.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 21:39:24

I'm sick of telling her ! It's just not just sweets its all sorts but we don't have it in the house and I think we are lucky in the UK that things are labelled so well. She just doesn't seem to get it !! I'm so glad she's going home !! Lol she just thinks I'm being a mean mum !! She told me so too shock

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 21:42:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WaynettaSlobsLover Sun 24-Mar-13 21:42:37

Is your au pair stupid, ignorant, rebellious or both?

I'm at a loss tbh. I would have her out on her ear because of the total laziness and lack if respect for you as her employer to follow the rules of the house and look after your kids. You must be exhausted thanks hugs to you and I hope you have a form word with her. I would be ashamed to be 26 and have that attitude.

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 21:44:03

Take no notice, she's leaving soon and it doesn't matter what she thinks about you not letting her have sweets.

Get a good nights sleep, things always seem better in the morning.

ReallyTired Sun 24-Mar-13 21:45:03

An Au pair is not a trained childcare professional and should not have sole responsiblity of a child with special needs or a ten month old baby. It sounds like you need to employ a PROPER QUALIFIED nanny rather than a clueless cheap girl from abroad on £70 a week.

MsVestibule Sun 24-Mar-13 21:45:46

Sweets, no, YANBU. But as for the mould - surely it's not the au pair's job to wash up every dish, every time? Mould takes a while to build up, so that cup's been left unwashed for quite a while. Don't you and your DH ever wash up?

cantspel Sun 24-Mar-13 21:46:29

You are using cheap care for your children yet expecting high standards. The two rarely go hand in hand.

HollyBerryBush Sun 24-Mar-13 21:46:30

Judging by the mugs the science teachers at work use, mould will not harm anyone, I would not put it to the test though!

trustissues75 Sun 24-Mar-13 21:47:27

I'm with reallytired....

blackeyedsusan Sun 24-Mar-13 21:47:45

have you seen what some asd children can do when they are "the devils spawn" lisad? limited impulse control and unawareness of danger may just kill them. <shudder>

hwjm1945 Sun 24-Mar-13 21:47:59

Agree with really tired.if u are leaving
Her with ten month ought not to.she sounds as though not up to job of looking after ten m old.

pansyflimflam Sun 24-Mar-13 21:49:00

I have to agree with ReallyTired. Peanuts=Monkeys

justmyview Sun 24-Mar-13 21:49:42

I'm also wondering about the sippy cup. Is the au pair the only person who uses it? How come mould hasn't been spotted previously?

Also I'm working with a client whose son has ASD and ADHD and I've never heard of a "no sweets rule". What's the problem with sweets (other than the obvious, tooth decay etc)?

MajaBiene Sun 24-Mar-13 21:50:41

You are getting cheap, untrained childcare and expecting her to care for a child with additional needs and a small baby? I think you have to accept she is a babysitter who helps out, nothing more.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 21:51:10

I thought aupairs weren't supposed to have sole charge of kids under the age of 2 because they have no formal childcare training?

Or have I dreamt that?

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 21:51:41

I figured I'd be up for a flaming from someone !
1. She is never in complete care of the kids (I'm not that stupid)
2. My Dd is fine unless she eats or drinks something with certain ingredients in.
3. We do wash up, but seeing as she is paid to do it, and gives dd her meals during the week you would figure she would have washed it not just filled it back up like she told me she has been doing !

She does have a bad attitude and is very very lazy, she's told me herself she gets paid a lot more and does a lot less than any of her aupair friends !
We've learnt our lesson anyway !
I'd rather pay triple for proper help.

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 24-Mar-13 21:53:04

What really tired said

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 21:53:29

It's not just sweets its certain ingredients, it took us 3 years to get it under control, the doctors couldn't believe the change once we had rules a lot of things out

NaturalBaby Sun 24-Mar-13 21:53:34

Good job it wasn't a serious allergy - where did the au pair/your dd get sweets from?
Au pairs are not recommended for 0-3's are they?

8 weeks pregnant with dc3 and working is more than enough to deal with, have you had chocolate yet?!

MajaBiene Sun 24-Mar-13 21:55:14

If the au pair is never in sole charge then how did she sneak your DD sweets?

You must have not washed up the cup for a long time for it to get mouldy - don't think you can just blame her.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 21:55:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maddening Sun 24-Mar-13 21:55:49

The mould must have been there a while - assuming the au pair is not the only one in charge of all the household chores either yourself or your dh must have been involved in cleaning the sippy cup in the time required to grow mould.

I think you need more qualified childcare

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 21:56:25

Does the aupair work 7 days a week?

If not, why is she the only one responsible for cleaning the cup?

I don't get how no-one else cleaned it on her day off?

OneLieIn Sun 24-Mar-13 21:58:05

How old are your DC's? 10 months and something else I think.

Are you mental having an au pair for kids that age???????

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 24-Mar-13 21:58:33

I sympathise but you have an AUPAIR looking after a child with SN. It is not on. She's not qualified and it's not fair on her or your child.

MintyyAeroEgg Sun 24-Mar-13 21:58:34

Mould in the sippy cup: how can you blame the au pair? Surely you put it through the dishwasher every day?

Sorry you've had a shitey weekend.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 21:58:45

She gave them to her after school as she picks up her some days !
She only thinks she's being nice, it's just so frustrating for us all, us because we have to deal with Dd and Dd because she can't help the way she's behaving !
I've calmed down now and maybe am a bit harsh ! It's just so annoying having to tell her over and over again
She's been with us since November, you would have thought she would have caught her !
Well I can be thankful her 6 month long holiday is coming to an end soon wink

dearcathyandclare Sun 24-Mar-13 21:59:11

Surely you have more than one sippy cup? One in use, one clean in the cupboard and one missing in action. Seriously though you sound exhausted and better to have a weep and a rant here. I also feel a bit sorry for your au pair as I doubt she was being malicious. Did she witness the consequences of giving your dd sweets?

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 24-Mar-13 21:59:36

So if she is never in complete care of the kids, why didn't the person who was presumably incharge veto the sweets?

I would pay more for proper help, yes. Or alternatively, look after your kids yourself? Just a thought

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 24-Mar-13 22:00:06

New you've got an Aupair looking after a child of 10 months and one with special needs. Your attitude stinks.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:01:19

She isn't looking after her ! She is just there to help me and DH out.
Like I said a few posts up... She is never left in soul care of them
Well apart from driving DD to school and back some days !!

Eurostar Sun 24-Mar-13 22:02:46

justmyview - worrying that you have never heard of the effect that certain ingredients or E numbers etc can have on some children, ADHD or not, if you are working with children. I have seen exactly as described happen to friends' DC who are sensitive and I thought it was pretty common knowledge.

Meanwhile - OP - honestly, you really should not have kept this person on once they gave sweets for a second time (you say it has been time and time again), it was clear they do not have the right mindset for the job.

I too think, I am sorry to say, that you should not be using an au pair given your family's needs, it is naive at best. Your DH needs to be taking responsibility for hiring better help too, why are you so exhausted that you have let an inappropriate person be looking after your DC? Time to reassess life and priorities? It is mightily unfair on them.

HildaOgden Sun 24-Mar-13 22:03:38

I suggest the next time you employ someone to take care of your kids,you pay the extra and hire someone who is qualified or experienced (preferably both).

Regarding the sippy cup,you are as much to blame as she is (if not more)...why didn't you wash it at all this week,I presume the toddler spent more time in your care than that au-pairs???

wrongsideoftheroad Sun 24-Mar-13 22:03:39

so you work out of the home in the day, dh works nights and the au pair looks after the dc while your dh is around/sleeps. what did dh say/ do about it?

noclue2000 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:05:26

Well if she is not the soul carer why is she the one being blamed?

MsVestibule Sun 24-Mar-13 22:05:27

Lucyellensmum95 I don't think the snarky comment about a woman daring to outsource some of their childcare was really necessary hmm.

Lighthousekeeping Sun 24-Mar-13 22:05:51

You have done well to only have one dippy cup in use! It would take ages for mold to grow.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:06:32

She works about 3 hours a day at most, does the school run once or twice a week, gives DD2 her meals during the week (that ones her choice as she likes doing it) she runs the Hoover around every now and again.
She was just there for an extra helping hand !
I'm not stupid enough to leave an aupair in complete care of my 2 kids all day every day !
She spends the majority of her time out with her aupair friends helping them with their kids..

idshagphilspencer Sun 24-Mar-13 22:07:28

lucyellensmum of course yes your right op should look after her own child
what a stupid comment

fluffyraggies Sun 24-Mar-13 22:07:43

People moaning on MN about their domestic staff always makes me come over a bit hmm i just cant help it.

Why would let this carry on for 6 months anyway? She's either unsuitable or unqualified to do the job. You employed her - stop moaning about your staff and do something about the situation.

MsVestibule Sun 24-Mar-13 22:07:48

New who does actually look after your 10 month old, if you work full time, and your DH is (presumably) sleeping for much of the day?

ApocalypseThen Sun 24-Mar-13 22:08:31

As far as I know, washing up isn't really an au pair's job. You need to get real about what you expect here. If you're prepared to pay three times as much for appropriate care, do it. But don't whinge and blame when hiring someone under qualified and under paid leads to a job inadequately done.

You've no-one to blame but yourself.

AmberLeaf Sun 24-Mar-13 22:10:40

Eating sweets won't make your child Autistic.

Not eating sweets won't make your autistic child not autistic.

Iggly Sun 24-Mar-13 22:11:06

Who looks after the baby then if not the au pair?

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:12:28

Omg why didn't I think of that !! Your right I should look after my own kids, ill quit my job tomorrow ! shock

I wish I didn't have to work and could look after my own kids, unfortunately DH and I work to put a roof over our heads and food on our table, we arnt entitled to benefits and dont live near any family. so its the way it has to be.

wrongsideoftheroad Sun 24-Mar-13 22:12:57

amberleaf - the op said that her daughter had adhd as well. i dont know much about it but thought additives can make it worse?

i dont recall the op accused the au pair of making her dd autistic by giving her sweets hmm

cumfy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:13:29

Who is responsible for the mold if she's doing less than 3hrs ?

<thinks hard>

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:14:30

you've got an Aupair looking after a child of 10 months and one with special needs. Your attitude stinks

^ this^

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:14:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:15:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wrongsideoftheroad Sun 24-Mar-13 22:16:06

leaving the thread now, op i think you just needed to vent and thats ok.

im not hanging around to watch people savage a tired, pregnant woman who has had to deal with her asd/adhds problems being exacerbated by carelessness.

good luck op

SW1XMother Sun 24-Mar-13 22:16:14

Do you know that your aupair gae her the sweets?

HoliHoliHoliday Sun 24-Mar-13 22:16:31

Agree with really tired et al.
Also who looks after the baby? Your au pair isn't allowed to work 7 days a week and she can't be doing all the washing up, so not all her fault.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:16:46

DH doesn't work nights all the time he works shifts, as do I ! We fit it around each other so one of us is always here !! We just figured an aupair would be an extra pair of hands if needed !
Ill tell you what ! Ill think twice before ranting on here again ! A few years ago this site was welcoming, now it's gone down hill your all so nasty !

idshagphilspencer Sun 24-Mar-13 22:17:07

mumsnet at its worst
((hides thread))

AmberLeaf Sun 24-Mar-13 22:17:28

Adhd isn't caused by sweets/additives either.

Cutting sweets out won't cure adhd anymore than it would asd.

MissAnnersley Sun 24-Mar-13 22:17:40

I au paired for a while when I was much younger.

No way would I have given the DC anything the mum had forbidden.

Don't really think the mould in the cup is her fault though.

HollyBerryBush Sun 24-Mar-13 22:17:53

This a brilliant MN thread.

If the Op had come on complaining about being tired, FT work and so forth, she would be advised to get a cleaner, au pair, send out the clothes to be ironed, get a doula, use a baby sitting agency and employ a gardener.

But if you actually do any of those things, it's like a Downton Abbey reversal and everyone gets all Upstairs Downstairs about things and 'domestic staff'.

OP, if you are old enough to remember the Brittas empire, I suggest you do as poor Carol with no childcare did, keep them in a cupboard behind her desk grin

Mumsyblouse Sun 24-Mar-13 22:18:01

Is doing the washing up and doing the school run not normal tasks for an au pair then? What should they be doing? (given they can't look after the children for long periods on their own)

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:18:02

as an alternative, hire qualified "help" seriously, i am stunned that you can leave a child with SN with an au pair, one who you don't think particularly highly of too.

I have no problem with folk "outsourcing" childcare, in fact I think nannies are a great solution, especially if more than one child. Au pairs too if children not too young and no SN. The OPs attitude seems to be that this poor woman is lucky to have house space for her "holiday" but moans that she hasn't done the skivvying washing up properly. A qualified nanny, i presume would know not to give a child with ADHD sweets. Is there a language barrier?

MissAnnersley Sun 24-Mar-13 22:20:02

I also washed up and did the school run.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:26

Seeing a my child has this I know it doesn't cure it.
As I said before. We worked for 3 years on what food triggered her outbursts and have it down to a fine art.
If she avoids the things that trigger her she's perfectly fine.
Aspartame for one sends her through the roof !!

BonaDrag Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:29

Stop rounding on the OP you sad, nasty bullies.

wrongsideoftheroad Sun 24-Mar-13 22:22:20

where do you keep getting 'caused' from amberleaf? no one is talking about the cause of these disorders - they are talking about foods which can exacerbate symptoms

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:22:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wrongsideoftheroad Sun 24-Mar-13 22:23:11

what bonadrag said.

I think some posters are being really unfair to the OP with regard to the SN. It doesn't sound like the OP is asking the au pair to do anything particularly difficult - JUST DON'T GIVE HER DD SWEETS! I think a 26 year old woman should be able to follow that quite easily.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:24:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissAnnersley Sun 24-Mar-13 22:25:03

I agree haventgotaclue.

Some really horrible posts.

Having been an au pair I dont think the OP is asking too much.

MsVestibule Sun 24-Mar-13 22:25:11

So, if one of you is always there to look after your DD (and presumably feed and water her), why is it your au pair's job to wash her plates and cups? I'm honestly not trying to be nasty, I just genuinely don't understand how this dirty cup is solely your au pair's fault confused.

There might be loads of other examples (apart from the sweets incident) of where she has been lazy and useless but I don't think the Mouldy Sippy Cup is a particularly fair one.

ApocalypseThen Sun 24-Mar-13 22:25:47

Yes, she should. She probably could, too. But I'd imagine being unqualified means she doesn't really understand, and I also suspect how intensely the OP dislikes and resents her, and she's probably getting revenge.

fluffyraggies Sun 24-Mar-13 22:27:01

I hardly think the OP has been savaged hmm

Only one poster has said 'look after your own children'.

There's nothing wrong with having 'staff', but i just hate hearing people moaning about them here for some reason.

My reaction is an honest one - just get yourself a new cleaner/au pair/nanny/ if this one isn't right. Don't whinge about them. Lots of folk are struggling, lots of folk are without paid help.

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 22:27:03

Can I butt in and ask if those with ASD/ADHD children find chocolate to be a trigger?

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:27:22

Maybe some child was giving them at school out for their birthday? (sweets not moldy sippy cups)

HildaOgden Sun 24-Mar-13 22:27:33

The simple truth of it is,if the au-pair is working the hours you say,that she was responsible for the sippy cup for 3 hours a day,5 days a week. You were responsible for it the rest of the week.So stop pushing all the blame on to her for that.

The sweets...yes.If they are banned,and she knows this,she should have stuck by that.

The childcare arrangements? If you have thought,at any stage during the last 5 months,that she was incapable of common sense (and it seems like you did),then it was your responsibility to cancel that arrangement and arrange proper childcare for your children.

Don't have a hissy fit because this is being pointed out to you.Take it on board,and learn from it...children need proper childcare.Take that into consideration when you are re-employing the next candidate.

if it was black in the sippycup, it's not mould. it's dirt on limescale.
it's not harmful, but it doesn't taste very nice.

nannynick Sun 24-Mar-13 22:29:12

I think you should have posted on Special Needs or the Childcare board, not in AIBU... if you were after support, rather than general comments.

DD1 sounds as though she is old enough to have some level of responsibility for what she puts in her mouth - how old is she? She may still be at that point where she is very into following rules, though on this occasion she choose not to follow the rule - so that may be seen as developmental progress.

Au-Pair should have known not to give DD1 anything on your list, as you have discussed it with your Au-Pair. So YANBU to be cross about it.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:29:29

Your right Lisad we worked really hard on the triggers it was hard label reading at first but it second nature now ! It's obvious at first glance when she's had something she shouldn't.
She is absolutely fine 99% of the time you wouldn't be able to tell there's anything wrong.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:29:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmberLeaf Sun 24-Mar-13 22:30:38

I don't find any foods triggering tbh.

cumfy Sun 24-Mar-13 22:30:45

I'm still not clear:

Did the au pair actually confess to giving sweets or did DD just say it ?

GogoGobo Sun 24-Mar-13 22:31:29

OP, I feel your pain and if its any consolation I get things that tip me over the edge and I pay £29,O00 a year for a Nanny! I too picked up a cup filled with gunk from the cupboard last week. Nanny had emptied her bag and put it in the cupboard instead of dishwasher....arghhhhh....but these things happen. It can feel overwhelming working and juggling childcare staff so hope you feel better for venting.
As for the poster tat suggested you should look after your own kids, do piss off

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 22:32:09

Thanks Lisa, I'm working with a child with ASD at the moment and although his mum says chocolate isn't an issue and stuffs loads of it down him, I'm not convinced.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:32:41

No chocolate isn't an issue for us either ! Just anything with artificial colours, flavours and the dreaded E numbers, aspartame is her biggest trigger

Coconutty Sun 24-Mar-13 22:33:04

Maybe it's the amount he's eating of it. Sorry for hijack.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:33:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmberLeaf Sun 24-Mar-13 22:34:59

Yes lisa. Same to you too.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:37:01

Thanks gogo. Sooo wish I could afford a nanny.
I'd be hacked off with that too.
I hate having to juggle our shifts and have an aupair to make ends meet it's a nightmare but we get by !!

elliejjtiny Sun 24-Mar-13 22:37:37

DH's cousin has autism and if she eats certain foods she gets various problems, both physical and behavioural. I always triple check labels on any food I give her and then usually check with her mum as well just in case. I'm shocked that an aupair would ignore that, especially if you've made it really clear what she can and can't have. Having said that, my DS2 has SN and I find other people can be quite blase about his various needs. DS1 has started going up to DS2's teachers and telling them what they are doing wrong. You can imagine how thrilled they are about that grin. I think you need to try a different form of childcare.

nannynick Sun 24-Mar-13 22:38:45

All sorts of things can be triggers and can also affect the bowels (children on the spectrum often seem to also have bowel issues, anyone else found that?). One child I know has improved greatly once gluten was removed from his diet. Another just the removal of the colourings was enough to get things more in control.

Everyone who is with the child needs to be following whatever has been put in place to help that child, so giving the child something they should not have is unacceptable. The au-pair should have known that.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 22:39:51

Is there a language barrier OP?

Perhaps that's why she doesn't get the severity of giving sweets?

elah11 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:40:08

Re the sweets, if the mum has said the child is not to have them then thats what should happen,end of story.
Re the sippy cup, op if the au pair only works 3 hrs a day then really you are even more at fault than her because you should be washing it the other 9+ hours its in use per day. I think you know that too because you haven't mentioned it since people started pointing that out grin

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:41:25

I have a list stuck to the fridge so she knows what's not allowed.
She said she's a child, children eat sweets !! That was after the 3rd time I'd sat her down and discussed it !
Anyway, you've all been great. I'm off downstairs to turn all the lights off and the tv as the aupairs gone to bed leaving the house looking like Blackpool illuminations ! Can't get the staff these days wink

GogoGobo Sun 24-Mar-13 22:41:47

newtothisstuff you sound like you have a lot to deal with , hope the venting hasn't made you feel worse sad

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 22:43:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:44:39

Oh no Lisad what a nightmare ! It's hard when they are out of routine. I feel your pain !! Dd1 goes to her dads during the school holidays its a nightmare when she comes home for weeks afterwards

Finola1step Sun 24-Mar-13 22:46:04

Hi OP. I just wanted to add to what some of the posters have written. The way in which other, down right nasty posters have jumped on you and given you a virtual kicking has been awful.

You and your partner know your children best. The Au Pair is going soon. The mould in the cup is sorted, no harm done. I remember so vividly the sheer exhaustion in the first three months of pregnancy. I can't believe how so many posters seem to have lost the ability to empathise.

I wish you a peaceful, restful night.

ImperialBlether Sun 24-Mar-13 22:46:57

Some people are absolutely vile on this thread.

Surely to christ a 26 year old woman should understand, after being told several times, that giving sweets is out of order, given how the child reacts?

And why should the carer be qualified? It's very rare that someone's qualified to deal with specific special needs before having a child that suffers from it - should those children be taken from their parents?

Why is the reaction to employing someone always, "It's your fault for employing someone"? Would a man receive the same reaction?

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:48:55

Thank you !! smile Maybe I haven't lost faith in mumsnet after all
I try my best with what we have to work with

apostropheuse Sun 24-Mar-13 22:50:00

I can't understand why the mould developed in the cup if you and/or your husband were washing the cup out before each use. Even if the au pair hadn't washed the cup, the fact that you were (presumably) washing it out several times per day should have been enough to keep mould at bay. I think you have to take some responsibility for that.

However, I do agree that she should not have given your child something to eat that you had specifically prohibited. That's not acceptable under any circumstances. As the parent of the child it's your decision to make and should be respected.

Perhaps you ought to look at getting professional childcare before your new baby arrives. It's really not something which can be skimped on and it appears that you and your husband are struggling to take care of your children on your own, even with juggling shifts. In fact, I'm really surprised that your shifts always work out that one or other of you can be with your children. I would have thought that you would need professional childcare on the odd occasion already. Surely there must be times when your shifts overlap?

it's not mould.
it's limescale.

it happens on our cups too - if you wash it by dunking and swishing, it builds up..
you need to scrub the cup to get rid of it.
that's of course if you just refill it over the dsy instead of giving clean cup every time (or even if you use it once and leave it on the side before washing)

apostropheuse Sun 24-Mar-13 22:56:39

We don't get limescale here as the water is soft, so I've not really seen it to be honest. Perhaps you're right, unque

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 22:58:22

Your probably right unique,
I give it a soapy wash in the morning before work then (well most mornings when it's not in the changing bag) Just leave it on the drainer, it just gets filled during the day. I don't like putting it in the dishwasher I hate that gritty thing it does sometimes

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:59:19

'I'm off downstairs to turn all the lights off and the tv as the aupairs gone to bed leaving the house looking like Blackpool illuminations ! '

she sounds like she is your whipping boy tbh

Viviennemary Sun 24-Mar-13 23:02:21

The au pair does sound pretty hopeless. But I think a lot of them are like this. They are only young girls and not trained nannies. I agree that you need somebody more qualified so you can have peace of mind that your children are being looked after properly.

Newtothisstuff Sun 24-Mar-13 23:02:36

What so you would go to bed in the house you lived in,knowing everyone else was in bed and leave all the lights and tv on ?? Who does that ??

fluffyraggies Sun 24-Mar-13 23:08:09

imperial - yes, she should be able to follow instructions and understand the reasons why the OP has said 'no sweets'. But this has been going on since November! That's 5 months. I think the majority of posters without much sympathy are just a bit non-plussed as to why the OP has let this go on.

The sippy cup scenario is just a bit daft. There's 3 adults in the house.

You ask "And why should the carer be qualified", because "It's very rare that someone's qualified to deal with specific special needs before having a child?" ..... well, the OP employed the au pair knowing her DDs needs. Why wouldn't she employ (and monitor) someone who at the very least will follow instructions pertaining to the childs needs?

I'd tell a man the same thing.

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 23:09:26

You said you had 'shut yourself in your bedroom for an angry cry' not to go to bed.

ReallyTired Sun 24-Mar-13 23:10:03

And why should the carer be qualified? It's very rare that someone's qualified to deal with specific special needs before having a child that suffers from it - should those children be taken from their parents?"

I feel that someone who has sole care of a child with special needs or a pre school child either needs extensive childcare experience or qualifications. In general parents have a gentler learnng curve. Looking after a cute newborn is fairly easy compared to a child who challenges every boundary going.

Parents have time to grow into the role of a mother/father. An au pair is thrown completely in the deep end and there is no maternal instinct. An au pair has no access to a health visitor or a surestart centre for parenting advice or courses.

I feel that the OP sit down with the Au pair and decide what are her duties and what are the Au pair duties.

HildaOgden Sun 24-Mar-13 23:14:39

'I'd rather pay triple for proper help.'

They were your own words.I suggest you do exactly that.

blackeyedsusan Sun 24-Mar-13 23:14:50

chocolate is not a problem, it is a solution though. ds will behave for chocolate. hmm

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 23:19:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HildaOgden Sun 24-Mar-13 23:28:25

Lisa,I hear you...but if all the OP requires is 15 hours a week childcare (that's all she says the au-pair is working),then it wouldn't cost a whole lot extra to pay a professional.

How much does it cost to have a live-in au pair (living expenses plus wage) versus 15 hours of ,say,part-time Nanny/Childminder?Genuine question,by the way,not a smart-arsed one.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 23:30:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TomArchersSausage Sun 24-Mar-13 23:41:07

Those sippy anywayup cups are tricky to clean.

I used to use a cotton bud on them. But unless you know to look and check for gunk it an easy thing to miss.

HildaOgden Sun 24-Mar-13 23:45:17

Sticking to dietary requests doesn't necessarily equate to the requirement for a 'special/additional needs' Nanny,OP herself says that 99 per cent of the time others wouldn't realise there was anything 'wrong' with the child (again,her words,not mine...I personally think kids on the spectrum are 'right' more often than they get credit for,but I'm digressing!).

Op was happy enough to hire an unqualified/inexperienced au-pair ....and pay wage and living exchange for 15 hours of childcare.(where she wasn't left in sole charge anyway).

My point is,that for the same money,she could quite possibly get a live-out/part time employee who is both qualified and experienced in childcare.I'm suggesting that she goes down that route the next time she is employing someone instead.

thezebrawearspurple Sun 24-Mar-13 23:54:05

It's not mould if you're washing it out everyday, I agree with whoever said it was limescale, you need to scrub, you're baby will be finesmile

As for the sweets, I know the reaction I used to get to certain e numbers and other additives, swinging out of the curtains, running over the furniture screeching a million miles a minute, I don't know how bad your daughter is on them but it must be exhausting and she has additional needs so may be negatively affected in other ways. I can imagine how infuriating it must be to repeatedly tell someone to not do something because it is harmful to your child and have them blatantly ignore your wishes. How rude and contemptuous. YANBU, I think you've been very restrained in your response to that.

You sound exhausted, hope you get a good nights sleepflowers

Morloth Mon 25-Mar-13 02:09:54

Both my kids are completely bog standard, as in NT, no allergies etc.

If they eat anything containing artificial colours and flavours or sweeteners or anything like that, they definitely react badly - not the sugar, the sugar itself doesn't seem to cause any problems, but they both go a bit crazy on e-numbers. It isn't in my head, it is cause and effect.

OP, it just sounds like this aupair isn't a fit for your family, not too worry you only have a couple more weeks.

As for mould in sippy cups, it happens, it isn't a big deal.

Monty27 Mon 25-Mar-13 02:15:51

Mould in a sippy cup is bogging shock

I suggest you and your dh spend at least some time looking at the hygiene in your home.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 25-Mar-13 02:25:27

Aspartame + DS2 = DS2 literally running up and down the hallway for 3+ hours, non-stop. I have had an aspartame free house for years. I give in occasionally, certain sweets he loves have it in. Every time, sane thing. He's 9 now and still no improvement.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 25-Mar-13 02:32:22

Mind you, I'm actually properly allergic to aspartame & saccharine. Like, rash, puffy face, hives, swelling tongue, struggling to breathe allergic.

I have an epipen for if I accidentally ingest sweeteners. It's been about 4 years, but I'm very careful with label reading. I keep saying that I'd be screwed if I was ever dxd with diabetes!

Sweeteners are really bad for everyone, they are just worse for others!

babanouche Mon 25-Mar-13 02:41:46

Hi OP, just wanted to chuck my tuppence worth of support in here to balance out the nastiness you've received on this thread.

I'd sit down with the au pair and put her on a last warning. Make it clear if your dd has sweets again then it's home time for the au pair.

Oh, and I'd maybe eat some chocolate and plan a bath night for myself too wink

MidniteScribbler Mon 25-Mar-13 03:26:21

If the parent says no sweets, then that means no sweets, whether you agree with it or not. I au paired in the US when I was younger, and just because I didn't agree with all of the rules and regulations the parents made, doesn't mean I could just ignore them.

The sippy cup, well if it gets washed daily in hot water, well I'd find it very hard to believe that it developed mould so quickly, could it just have been some soapy scum on the bottom from it not being dryed out properly after it's last wash? I live in a very hot and humid climate, and even we don't get mould developing that quickly.

LondonKitty Mon 25-Mar-13 04:24:28

Oh Newtothisstuff, I really sympathise. Both with your difficult au pair experience and for the lack of sympathy some people were able to offer.
Have had lots of experience with au pairs and don't think you are asking anything unreasonable of her. Indeed, deliberately not doing as you ask re sweets repeatedly would be enough for me to offer her a lift to the airport. She's not a young girl, she should at the very least understand, your house, your rules. I've had nannies and au pair of this age... Not much difference in standards of professionalism tbh between them, but generally they were far more mature than the younger au pairs that you often get.

Mould in cup thingy... Well, it happens to the best of us, but I can understand that you see it as a symptom of her apathy.

honeytea Mon 25-Mar-13 04:37:35

So you havn't fed your 10 month old baby a meal for weeks (as I imagine that is how long mold would take to grow) and your calling the au pair lazy! Yabvu about that.

The sweets issue yanbu, I would be more angry that she lied to you.

nooka Mon 25-Mar-13 04:57:50

I suspect that the OP got a bit of a kicking from some people because from her first post it sounded as if the au pair was in sole full time charge of a 10 month old and a child with significant extra needs.

It isn't unusual for people to have unreasonable expectations of au pairs, using them for childcare just because they are cheap. I think that people can easily forget that it is not unusual for au pairs to have very experience or at times even much interest in children.

SpecialAgentDaenerysTargaryen Mon 25-Mar-13 05:49:26

stressyBessy22 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:59:19
'I'm off downstairs to turn all the lights off and the tv as the aupairs gone to bed leaving the house looking like Blackpool illuminations ! '

she sounds like she is your whipping boy tbh.

^^ This. You've thrown in insults about her in each of your posts, not sure if you realise that.

I do feel for you having a DSS (lives with us) who has complex SN. It's hard and stressful!

Alligatorpie Mon 25-Mar-13 06:44:33

Some posts on this thread are awful. Give the OP a break. She sounds exhausted. I think a 26 year old should be able to follow the 'no sweets' directions, whether she is qualified or not.

Dd1 doesnt have adhd, but sweets make her crazy.i think thats pretty normal.

I only wash sippy cups once a day ( but only put water in them) i don't have a mould problem.

Hope you got some sleep OP

Op, can you get a mothers help? Or a young nanny. That's what my bosses did and I'm still there a year and a half later looking after two with sen and their brother. I get paid less than others similar positions but they got somebody they could 'mold'.

I would be hauled over hot corals if I ever have mine sweets though O_o

The diet restrictions need to be taken seriously bt whoever you employ, whether they believe it our not. My three are on the scd and gaps diets, we've now reintroduced rice but my god their bowel movements are not present when they've had gluten by accident or something else on the list!

Rosa Mon 25-Mar-13 07:57:23

I was an au pair at 18 I stayed with the family for 15 mths and often had sole care in fact most days of a 1 yr old . I did as I was told , washed up, tidied the house and had a ball. Ok this child did not have SN . At 26 you would expect her to have some common sense and after 5 months with the family to understand why she should not give a child sweets..Imagine if the child had allergy. i am with the Op all the way.

trustissues75 Mon 25-Mar-13 08:02:42

Just get a new employee - this one obviously isn't working since she's been failing to follow instructions for some time (it's not like you've asked her to walk a tightrope while balancing an elephant on her nose or something - the instructions you've given her time and again are simply not being followed) sack her and move on.

AlfalfaMum Mon 25-Mar-13 12:36:57

Ouch at some of these replies. Apparently the op is very unreasonable for having an au pair in the first place?
Granted, there are people who take the piss with au pairs, but the op clearly isn't one of them. Also, not everyone can afford or needs a full time nanny..
She is sharing her home with an au pair who doesn't respect her parenting decisions, which is having a bad effect on at least one of the children. Of course she's pissed off!

StuntGirl Mon 25-Mar-13 13:45:53

Mould/limescale/whatever due to lack of proper cleaning was your responsibility, not hers. YABU.

Following your requests, whatever her personal feelings on the matter, is part of her job. YANBU.

Dealing with problems as they arise (i.e. disciplining/firing staff who are not capable of doing the job) is part of your job as employer. YABU.

Echocave Mon 25-Mar-13 13:56:22

YANBU. Maybe you do need to consider higher quality care for your DCs OP, but the 2 examples that you give of this au pair's behaviour make her sound like she couldn't be trusted with a hamster.
The no sweets policy is pretty obvious and the mould thing is unbelievable from a woman of her age.

I know you need child care but can't you just bin her now? I hope you'll be writing an honest reference so this person isn't let loose on anyone again.

Babymamaroon Mon 25-Mar-13 13:57:23

For all those criticising the OP for using "cheap childcare", I would like to ask how many of you are trained professionals? If one of your friends left their child with you for an afternoon would you find it so difficult to follow some simple rules or would you ask for specific training? I'm not a trained professional but I know what not to feed my child and how to wash her crockery up properly.


Catchingmockingbirds Mon 25-Mar-13 14:03:55

Argh what a nightmare weekend, DS has AS and certain foods give him a bad reaction too so I understand how frustrating it can be. Only a few weeks left and she'll be gone though smile.

Startail Mon 25-Mar-13 14:05:50

For fucks sake give up work and look after your own children or pay a nanny from a large agency so you can get a replacement if your present one dares to breath.

Crabbypink Mon 25-Mar-13 14:08:42

AuPairs are so hit & miss! I had two bad, one good. Dismiss her now, if you can. Find other help; maybe a friend, neighbour or nanny share. I nanny shared in the end, very successfully, and also regained the right to walk around in my underwear, without a stranger goggling at me in my own house. They're your children. Do what you think is right!

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 25-Mar-13 14:12:33

I'm quite shocked at the reaction of some people on this thread! Why the hostility towards the OP? I don't think what she was expecting of a 26 year old au-pair was at all unreasonable! It sounds like the au-pair was being dismissive, really nothing to do with being a professional child minder or nanny. What was asked of her was pretty simple!!


ReallyTired Mon 25-Mar-13 16:57:28

"For all those criticising the OP for using "cheap childcare", I would like to ask how many of you are trained professionals? If one of your friends left their child with you for an afternoon would you find it so difficult to follow some simple rules or would you ask for specific training? I'm not a trained professional but I know what not to feed my child and how to wash her crockery up properly. "

So there is no need for people to do childcare qualifications like NVQs etc. There is no need for OFSTED or CRB checks or anything else.

Louise Woodward was an au pair and the consequences of the Eappens doing childcare on the cheap.

Would you pay someone with no experience or qualifications to cut your hair? Yet its deemed OK to have someone with no qualifications or experience look after a child. Parents are different to paid carers in that they love the child. Parents also have help available to them through surestart or health visitors or extreme cases, social services.

I know the costs of proper childcare is horrific, but I don't understand how someone can say they cannot afford to pay for decent childcare if their children love them are precious to them. Childcare is not something that can properly on the cheap.

Babymamaroon Mon 25-Mar-13 17:06:20

Really Tired- you raise a good point. My response was in the context of these 2 particular incidents where it seemed that because the OP wasn't paying top dollar for her childcare, she couldn't expect anything in return for what she did pay. Not even the basics like not feeding certain foods and doing the washing up. They're tasks I would expect a 14 year old babysitter to be capable of to be honest let alone a 26 yr old.

DIYapprentice Mon 25-Mar-13 17:11:56

Fucking hell, this thread has me raging!!!

What a lot of mean spirited, smug comments!!!

The OP has an au pair, who is someone there to HELP her with things. Housework (like washing children's cups to stop them going mouldy) is USUALLY included in the remit. Collecting a school age child from school is ALSO USUALLY in the remit. The low salary reflects the low number of hours and them living in and having all food etc included.

FFS, give the OP a break. A 26 year old au pair should be WAY better than this!!!

OP, I seriously dont' know why you didn't sack the au pair earlier if she's been like this.

Roseformeplease Mon 25-Mar-13 17:26:50

We had a problem like this which still makes me rage! We employed an au pair to help with children. I was working full time as a teacher and DH was also, but from home, running our hotel. The au pair was paid £80 a week for 3-4 hours per day, no weekends. In addition, she could earn extra money, outside those hours, at above minimum wage in our hotel. Worked brilliantly. But there was one.... The oldest, most qualified one we had. We came back from our first night out in months to find her letting herself back into the house having spent the evening as a customer in the hotel bar - about 30yards away from the children, in a different building. When challenged, she said she was only drinking lemonade, which was hardly the point. She was sent back to Oz immediately.

We had been through everything with her. She knew the rules, the routines etc.
We didn't think that we needed to specify that she must not go to the pub while babysitting!

Get rid of her ASAP, get someone else and chalk it up to experience. Some au pairs are fantastic and I am still in touch with 3 of ours who enriched the children's lives, had a ball in Scotland and made my life a little bit easier.

Floggingmolly Mon 25-Mar-13 17:27:24

I think you got such a kicking because your original op makes it sound like you and your DH work full time and the au pair is in sole charge of both your baby and your child with sn; whereas she's actually a sort of mothers help.
If you're replacing her when she goes, can't you get someone new now, or are you under contract? If it's just a matter of a few weeks, though, it might be worthwhile paying her off. She doesn't seem to be making your life much easier.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 25-Mar-13 18:16:02

YABU about the cup, but not about the sweets or the lights.

This thread has definite nest of vipers qualities...

Fanjounchained Mon 25-Mar-13 18:59:47

I worked as an aupair and hated my boss....but I think you've got a roasting on here.

Won't bother with the YABU/YANBU debate. Sorry you're having such a shitty, stressful time. Hope it's resolved soon...

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