I had managed to secure a job within a week of moving into our own place, in Salford Road, Newlands. The house itself sat on the side of a hill, quite a climb from the road: with a fabulous view over Wellington city and on clear days – we could see right across Cook Strait, to the South Island and the snow covered Kaikoura ranges! The work I had found was as a Nanny, caring for 2 pre-school boys: 3 yrs old and 21 months old. The parents were employed at LTSA,( the Land Transport Safety Agency,) an important part of the NZ government as it is they who decide the Law of the land, for vehicular traffic and every other law connected with the use of and the regulation of NZ roads.
The 21 month old boy was still in nappys, (diapers – for our American friends.) and still being fed milk as his main meal. I consulted with his mother concerning this feeding routine and she was prepared to continue feeding him this way for the forseeable future. OK! The boys’ nursey was upstairs, the master bedroom was down stairs. I thought that unusual, but said nothing.
My job began at 7am each morning, and ended at 5pm each evening; a ten hour day. Nothing unusual considering I had come from Special Needs Schooling where I was sometimes still going on Saturdays & Sundays. I would receive a pay packet suitable to the number of hours I worked. As well, as the Nannying job, I had also secured work for 2 hours each evening as a cleaner of one of Newland’s Kindergartens. I figured that it could be done by my girls to earn money after school. At least I’d know where they were & that they were safe! David couldn’t seem to find full time employment, and he was getting a little worried.
Four weeks into my job, come the time of my second pay day – Nothing! I asked my employers what the problem was? They hummed and haahed, and said they’d get the money to me tomorrow evening, …….. I went home a little depressed because we were depending on my wage to carry us through each fortnight.
The next morning, I was bright and early for work – but I had barely got into the house, when my employers were up and out the door, off to work!! David barely had time to turn the car around to go home. I gave him time to get there before I called.
“Come back,” I said. “They left at the speed of light.”
“Did you see them shoot out the door?”
“Yeah! They were tail-gating me all the way into J’ville. I thought it was unusual – where are they going so early in the morning?”
“Huuh!” With a shrug of the shoulders!
The baby was fretting and crying and I thought Oh! he’s hungry. I took them up stairs to their Nursery to change them out of their pj’s. Their beds hadn’t been slept in, I thought, “Oh! They slept with Mum & Dad last night.” Then thought no more about it. Meanwhile David had arrived back at the house. We went to let him in.
I fed the children their breakfast, the baby wouldn’t eat – but he drank his bottle. I changed his nappy, giving him a bed-bath at the same time. He was still grizzling. Something was wrong, but I didn’t think too much about it. He didn’t have a temperature so I assumed that he was crotchetty because he was cutting teeth. The three yr old was just beginning to string words together into half sentences. He danced around the lounge chanting, ” Nanny push baby down stairs, nanny push baby downstairs!” I asked him to, “stop that! ” wondering where he would have learned such a silly chant. I set the little one in his bouncenette, the 3 yr old watched something on TV, with David while I buzzed around tidying the house and hanging out the washing. We decided to go shopping. Went to visit David’s half brother, then went home to our place for lunch.
The baby fell into a disturbed sleep. I held him the whole time. At 3pm we took the boys home, prepared their dinner, fed them – bathed them and got them ready for bed. At 5pm my employers were home. They gave me half of my fortnightly pay packet, promising the other half tomorrow.
David & I left to go shopping, then head home, relieved that at last, we had a bit of cash.
T0 Be Cont……… Emmi