Monday, March 21, 2011

Saying farewell to our maid

Well, after a spate of horrid tales of domestic helpers that were practically half-deaf, or perpetual hypochondriacs, or with sticky fingers, we finally struck “gold” with our domestic helper, Umah. She was a good worker, helped so much with Jay, and because of her, Nic & I were finally able to concentrate on our work & ministry.


But all good things must come to an end.

When she dropped to bombshell on us some six weeks back, that she would not be able to renew her contract, our perfect universe collapsed a little. And the worry-wart in me emerged big-time.

  • How would we cope?
  • How would Jay react, having known Umah as a caregiver for the past two years? While we’d sent other maids back, she was the first he would remember well!
  • Would the new maid be as good (or *gasp* possibly better)?
  • How would we cope???

And accentuated by the raging hormones within my very pregnant body, the anxiety index was cranked up a few notches higher. Make that many, many notches higher.

But my primary concern was in trying to get Jay used to the thought of Umah leaving. And this started almost immediately after I knew she would not be renewing her contract with us. I would tell (and remind over and over again) that Aunty Umah would be going “home,” that her family was back in Indonesia, and how her family would miss her. I would draw the analogy of Nic & I at “work” and how we would come “home” after work and how she was at work for the past 2 years without going home at all.

His reaction?

Well, in this sense, he is such a son of mine. In other words, he doesn’t take well to change! Haha! He would cry and wail that he doesn’t want Umah to go home, or that he wanted to go with her… but we would always calm him down by stating it as the “obvious”. No matter his reaction, this day would come. And as it came closer, we also made the concerted effort to spend more time with him, and also to remind him.

I hate goodbyes. Always have, and I think, I always will. Hated saying goodbyes even during my NON-pregnant times, and with this belly on me, it makes me 300 times more emotional, and tear-ducts more active than usual. Even when Nic was going to Sydney for further studies, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve contemplated NOT sending him off at the airport. Great girlfriend material, eh? Haha! Of course, each time I would still draaaaaaag myself there, but would never fail to cry. Each. Time. Even when talking to friends and hearing their sad stories make me tear up. Great counsellor that makes me! But oh gosh, being preggers makes me cry MORE. If it were even possible. But apparently, I have proven the bottomless depths of my tear-ducts.

This morning, as I got Nic to get Jay to say his goodbyes, it was the expected very teary affair. We had to let Jay say his goodbye at home, and then Nic & I sent Jay off to school. Where he initially carried on his crying streak, but was thankfully distracted by some new toys the school brought in.

We picked up the new domestic helper that afternoon. While times are a little early to tell how she’d be, I must say I am optimistic for now. Haha!

But the litmus test… how did Jay react?

Well, we picked him up from school (with the new helper), and proceeded to Parkway for dinner. To Jay’s favourite restaurant – Toby’s. Where Daddy decided Jay could have an exception and have his dessert before the main course. As you can see, we pulled out all the stops. Jay was silent at first, refusing to acknowledge the new helper, biting his lower lip, with just that hint of tears welling up… But chocolate ice-cream and yummy pasta later, topped up with some book-time at Borders quickly warmed him up to his new “play-mate” and by the time we got home, he was happily telling her and showing off his many toys and animals! Success!

Well, we can’t say so soon how well he would react, but I suppose we’d done as much as we could have, and tried to prep Jay as best as possible. We have no illusions about this maid… but may she last the full two years! My heart (and our wallets) cannot take another bombshell!

No comments: