We are absolutely in love with Ana as a person, as a caretaker of our baby, and as a member of our family. Our son absolutely adores her and Ana loves him as her own little brother. Ana is energetic, honest, responsible, willing to learn, open to constructive feedback, and proactive. She is very patient and kind to our son. She is also a very positive person. It has not been easy for her to come to a new country, suffer and recover from COVID away from home, stay quarantined, and not be able to get a lot of US experiences that au pair program used to offer. She occupied her time with studying English and Psychology. She also practices guitar with me and taught me how to play the ukulele. Her efforts are doing wonders to develop my son's interest in musical instruments and singing.
We want to particularly mention how empathetic and helpful Ana is. I went through an ankle surgery and was not able to be as available for Mithras throughout the day as I was before during Ana's duty time. Ana filled that gap wonderfully for Mithras. For example, she became very flexible with her daily schedule so that she can tend to Mithras's needs better while still working within the 45hour/week limit. She picked up on preparing his lunch and dinner which I couldn't make anymore. She put Mithras to nap which I was doing before. She even did Mithras's grocery since I couldn't go out. All the Mithras duties that Fauzul and I was helping her with was taken care of by her by effectively managing time within her scope and routine of work.
Overall, she is always a positive attitude around the home and has made this quarantine period easy and enjoyable for Mithras and us.
Ana's kind and patient behavior has taught our son to be kind and patient too. For example a couple of months back, our toddler started frowning at us. Ana bought her a book called "Smile, Pout Pout Fish" and every time he frowned, she would say "Smile, Pout Pout Fish". Now whenever he feels like frowning, he himself says "Smile, Pout Pout Fish" and flashes us a smile. Ana has also taught him hand-washing, many useful new words, and new songs.
Ana has taught our toddler a number of Spanish songs and the names of body parts in Spanish. She has taught us about Spain's family culture, tradition, holiday celebrations, Spanish (the language), and food. With her help, we had a very Spanish Holiday Celebration this year. We secured special holiday supplies and she shared the wonderful chocolates and desserts her family sent her from Spain with us and our friends. She has also taught cooking classes for us and our friends where she has taught us how to cook authentic paella and tortilla de patatas. On the other hand, she has also been very interested to learn about our culture. We celebrated Eid with her - she wore our country's traditional outfit and tried our traditional food.
We coordinated with Ana's family back in Spain and our friends here to give her a surprise birthday party. Our toddler and Ana both enjoyed the event very much. In the summer, we went to an island and spent time in a nice Air BnB. Ana was off-duty at that time but she still made special Spanish omelet (tortilla de patatas) for us which we enjoyed very much. She also baked us a surprise cake on her two month anniversary with us. Finally, as a Christmas gift, she has gifted us a hand-sketched beautiful mother-son picture of Nawsheen and Mithras - this was a sketch of a photo from the time when Nawsheen was recovering from surgery, could not move, and Mithras was cuddling with Nawsheen and listening to a book read by her. This will be a precious memory of Ana to us forever.
The Sharfuddin Family