Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com March 2, 2012 at 8:50 am 3,736 39 Comments

Va. Budget Standoff — There’s a standoff in Richmond as the 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats in the state Senate remain evenly divided over the state’s two-year budget. Democrats say their opposition stems from the budget’s inadequate funding for public education, transportation and health care. Republicans, meanwhile, are accusing Democrats of obstructionism and “Washingtonian behavior.” The budget needs at least 21 votes to pass. The last vote was 20-19. [Washington Post, Washington Times]

High School Graduation Date Moved — The graduation date for Arlington public high schools is now Wednesday, June 20. The date was switched from the 21st because the graduation venue, DAR Constitution Hall, was not available that day. The last day of school was also moved back a day, to Tuesday, June 19. [Arlington Public Schools]

Arlington Au Pair Recognized — An au pair from Arlington has been named the winner of the national ‘Ultimate Au Pair’ contest. AuPairCare, an agency that places international au pairs with host families in the U.S., says they selected Mariana Moujan, of Buenos Aires, as the Ultimate Au Pair “for her compassion and dedication to the Edwards family in Arlington, Virginia.”

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    Hmmm, I wonder what the incidence rate is for an Au Pair to become the new ‘step-mommy’?

    On a side note, I ran into many former Au Pairs while I was in the UK, most could only speak of a bad experience. I think expectation management is required for both sides before they enter into a contract.

    • Marc

      We’ve had two Au Pair, and both have enjoyed the experience and we keep in touch with them. Additionally, we have some friends who were Au Pairs overseas and they all speak highly of their experiences.

      The key is to have good communication from the initial interviewing and through the program. BTW, Au Pair (at least with the company we use) are not locked in, they can transfer families with 2 weeks notice and can even go home early if the want.

      I know probably 10 Au Pair host families well and several other casually, and I have never heard of a single Au Pair becoming a ‘step-mommy’.

      • jackson

        I think Robin Williams married their kids’ nanny and Jude Law’s marriage broke up when he hooked up with the nanny and Ethan Hawke left his wife and married their nanny.

        Maybe only famous people have this happen?

        • Tabs

          An au pair and a nanny are NOT the same thing. An au pair is from another country, is typically a lot younger than the parents, and is only there short-term.

          In the case of Robin Williams and his now-most recent ex-wife, she was ‘age-appropriate’ and I imagine his marriage was already cooked when she came on the scene.

          • OldTimer

            Can I get one of each?

      • Teyo

        two Au Pair = a pair of Au Pair…

        sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    • Chris M.

      Or you could always find the time to raise your child yourself. Just a thought.

      • Not Sure if Serious

        Chris M,

        Are you suggesting that having an au Pair, who simply provides live-in childcare, equals not finding the time to raise a child yourself? If that was your meaning, that’s an ignorant and sanctimonious thing to say.

        Most families who have au Pairs choose this option because both parents work, and the cost of an au Pair, when compared to traditional daycare facilities for multiple children, is a more affordable option. These families often also want to expose a child to a second language.

        • SoArl

          Oh good lord. My husband and I both work and my kid is in preschool and takes Spanish classes. Live in child care = someone else taking care of your kids. I’m not being judgmental, but don’t try to pretend it’s not. I have a friend who decided to give up his au pair and he was completely blown away by how much more work it was.

      • KTC

        Sometimes the cynicism and callousness in the ARLnow comments just breaks my heart.

        “Or you could always find the time” to consider that balancing childcare and work is a challenge that every family approaches in its own way by making the best of the resources that they have available.

        For goodness sake, go read that narrative of Mariana and the Edwards family and tell me those parents aren’t doing enough to raise their children themselves.

        • Chris M.

          I’m completely serious. As a parent in a household where both parents work, I’m constantly managing the demands of work and family. I would never prejudge an individual case, but I have interacted with numerous parents in this area with au pairs, and after spending time with them and their kids, the vast majority (I would say about 80%) have one of two reasons: 1. They do not want to deal with all the “inconveniences” of child care. 2. They have chosen their careers as their primary focus in life. I realize this is anecdotal, but it has been consistent from my observation.

          It’s a free country, if that is the lifestyle people want to choose, fine, but don’t try and treat it like something it’s not. You want someone to live in your house and take care of your child so you can do other things than be a parent. I not trying to be mean or callus, just honest.

          • Wow, you are serious

            I used the term ignorant before, but that was too mild.

            Our au Pair takes care of our kids from the time we leave for work in the morning until we return in the afternoon. No weekends. No evenings. In other words, this is probably about the same amount of time that your kids are in the care of others, assuming both you and your spouse work full-time.

            You impugn a wide swath of people based on your own limited experience. That’s a common logical fallacy, but hey, it’s a free country, right?

          • Chris M.

            Nope, no logical fallacy here, it’s just a generalization (we all use them) base on my observation. You’re probably a great parent who really uses their au pair like a day care provider. Like I said, I would not judge your individual case. However, the people that I have interacted with that have au pairs in their house tend to be career obsessed and as I described above.

            Maybe I have just had a bad sampling, but I don’t think so. I bet you know a few of them too.

          • Seriously

            I don’t know any au pair families, but I have met a ton of judgmental, “I could be wrong, but I doubt it” know-it-all parents. And that’s what you sound like you are.

          • Chris M.

            @ Seriously – I would be the first to admit that I don’t know everything, but if you want to call me judgmental for being upset when I see well-to-do parents treat their kids more like accessories than people that need to be nurtured, then go for it. Guilty as charged!

      • ReverseCommute

        That’s not possible if you want to afford an Arlington Single Family Home. We paid $680K, which means we’ll both have to work even when we have kids.

      • Larchmont

        You could always keep the thought to yourself when someone else has something you want. Think about that.

        • Chris M.

          Ahhh, you’ve cut me to the quick. I desperately wish I could afford to hire someone so that I can ignore my children when I’m not working.

          Ooooooor, it could be that I can afford it, and that I just choose not to.

  • Marc

    This is really a contest for one Au Pair company, not a general Au Pair contest.

    • Exactly

      That’s essentially a promotion for the AuPairCare agency.

      • bobco85

        Speaking of the AuPairCare agency, guess who just showed up as a new banner ad on this page! ArlNow has a new sponsor!

        • Burger

          I love the fact they put their price as an hourly wage…wouldn’t that wage posted be below Arlington County’s “living wage” requirement. I hope no county workers are using the above service…that would be a no no.

          • Wage +


            The hourly wage is not the full compensation. Au Pairs receive free housing, utilities, food, etc.

        • Certain ads are placed automatically by a third-party ad provider. Those ads are “contextual” — based on the content of each individual article. We have no control over which ad shows up for any given article. ARLnow.com does not have any sort of business relationship with the company that sponsored the contest.

  • bobco85

    Regarding the photo, I’m very thankful that the mirror is there. At that part of the Custis trail (adjacent to the Glebe bridge over 66), it is a T (or maybe more a “y”) intersection with a blind curve. It would be a lot more dangerous had the mirror not been put there.

    • nunya

      cool pic

      • DarkHeart

        Pyzyk Power!

        • OldTimer

          She gets my write-in vote for the next County Board election. C’mon ARLnow readers and posters… THIS IS OUR TIME.

  • Swag

    …wtf is an au pair?

  • ArlingtonNative

    Ahh – I remember the good old days of Bardo, when the local Au Pairs would come out on their night off.
    There was a group of about 6 who made it their regular venue …. those were some fun nights!

    (and it has been too long since there has been a chance to work Bardo into a comment thread!)

    • drax

      FYI Latest news: the new Bardo (or whatever it will be called) is going to open on H St NE in the District.

    • Lloyd

      The old Champions out at Tysons was another notorious hangout for the McLean area ones.

    • we

      I remember that! Weird. Buncha hot hotties.

  • Rick

    It’s a lot more important for Favola and her pals to be on TV, play basketball, and goof off, rather than do what they are paid to do and vote on State bills. Awful. The budget they finally vote on should include less pay for next year for those 20.

    • Zoning Victim

      If you’re going to be mad at them, be mad at them for holding the budget for ransom over their committee representation tantrum, but 19 them voted on the bill.

  • So the “Washingtonian behavior” of the Republican-controlled Congress that brought the federal government to a standstill last year? I think it’s lame how “Washington” becomes a bad word when you’re not the party in the Oval Office.


Subscribe to our mailing list