Yesterday we enjoyed the delights of Beckenham and had some lunch at the local Pizza Express, taking advantage of their Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal – no shame for me!
Not long after we arrived and had ordered, a young woman came in with four kids, varying in age from around 10 down to a 2-year-old girl.
We probably wouldn’t have paid them much attention if it wasn’t for the fact that she couldn’t get the youngest out of her pushchair and blocked lots of people for a while, before I gallantly (!?!?) went over and unhooked the toddler’s foot.
It was only when I went back to our table and looked again, I realised that this young woman was actually only a teenager and was looking after these 4 kids as an au pair.
Now, I’m not against live-in help per se – after all, for the rich and well-heeled they serve a useful purpose – not having to do all the dirty work, for starters.
And when you’re jetting off worldwide doing multi-million pound business deals, your kids take a back seat, don’t they?
OK, so I’m taking the mick, but I know that many rich parents make use of young women during the week, while they’re at work.
But this was Saturday. Lunchtime on Saturday. And these poor kids – who actually looked pretty used to the experience – weren’t being taken out by their parents, but a teenage au pair.
Righteous indignation, I know, but not exactly the model way to parent in anyone’s eyes.