December 18, 2015

The Ugly Truth

I’ve always been very open on this blog. I wasn’t going to share this, simply because it’s been weeks and I’m still mad beyond belief, but a lot of people have asked me what happened with Matthias, so here is the (long) story. And maybe one day I’ll be able to look back on this and laugh about it, although I highly doubt it.
We terminated Matthias’ contract at the end of November. While it all happened very sudden, there was a long built up to all of this.
We almost terminated Matthias’ contract in early June. We had recently gotten security cameras in the house, which Matthias was aware of, but it was shocking to see that he ignored Fox for three straight days. We got the cameras because we had a feeling that something was going on while we were at work and it was sad to see that we were right. Back then, we had a meeting with our community counselor, where he told us that he was not acting himself and he will do better, so we gave him another chance. He was also taking Katie’s car without permission and breaking curfew and lying to us on several occasions about curfew. Looking back, we shouldve kicked his ass to the curb on this day.
In September things changed drastically with Matthias. We smelled marijuana in Katie’s car and also in our house and confronted him about it. He denied it, but half an hour later came out of his room and said that the smell was marijuana, but that it was his friend. Which we could see on the cameras, that his friend had never been in our house. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, even though he came out of his room with red bloodshot eyes on multiple occasions and sleeping all day and the smell of marijuana was in the car for over a week. I don’t know why we were so stupid and didn’t get a drug test or kicked him out. He assured us it wasn’t him, and we wanted to believe him, but there was always doubt in our minds.
He disrespected our house rules many, many times. He didn’t clean up after himself or did the chores we gave him for Fox’s stuff, came home late when he was working the next day and didn’t treat Katie’s car nicely or with respect. We had to pay $500 because he caused some damage to the car, we had to get the car towed one time (another $100), after he had driven it, he got multiple speeding tickets, which even caused our insurance to increase in premiums by over $600! Matthias was covered under our car insurance and we just found out that he never paid the speeding tickets and now had to go to court and has 12 driving points on his record which is near the legal arrest limit, again, under our insurance. Speeding is unacceptable, especially with a little child in the car, and the fact that he would not take care of his dues/tickets and make our insurance increase, was very upsetting. After he promised us he would take care of these tickets and he did not.
After we noticed that he wasn’t treating the car nicely, we told him that he wasn’t allowed to drive his friends in the car anymore, it was only for him. Katie has a sports car (Camero) and I know he thought he was cool driving it with his friends.
Our community counselor actually advised us to take the car away for good, because it’s not his right to have one, it’s a privilege, but we didn’t want to do that to him. Turns out, that he disrespected this rule many times and still drove his friends around, we had multiple people see him and even found cigarettes in the car. He also lied to us several times that he was not driving with people in the car however, we have proof that he was and only when we told him we saw him did he actually confess. Another rule with the car was, that Matthias was supposed to let us know when he took the car overnight, in case Katie had appointments in the morning and needed the car. One morning, the car was missing and he didn’t tell us he had it overnight. We called him because Katie had an appointment that she was now missing and he told her that he was right around the corner and will be home in a few minutes. He came home six hours later, with no explanation. He only said he was in Mesa, which is 1 hour away, so certainly not “right around the corner”.
Matthias was caught in lies many, many times, we always tried giving him the benefit of the doubt and thought it was just his age, but the lying became quickly out of hand.
Mid November we were away for the weekend. During this time, Matthias decided to have his friends over at the house without asking us. We had made it very clear, that his marijuana smoking friends are not welcome, but he not only had them over, but they also played soccer inside the house, called us very bad names, went into our private bedroom and stayed the night. All this was captured on our security cameras.
Right before we fired him, we were on a cruise and we gave Matthias extra time off, but asked him to take care of our dog while we were gone. He was getting paid for this. We told him that Cosie needed to be let out at least every 8 hours, because we don’t have a dog door and we were devastated to see on the cameras, that Matthias didn’t let him out for over 16 hours and didn’t come home to take care of him. In addition Matthias took Katie’s car with multiple friends around town and drove over 400 mile in just one week – this is simply just unacceptable as he assured us that he understood that he was not allowed to drive the cars with people. At this point, he was lying to us and telling us what we wanted to hear just to shut us up. Absolutely disrespectful. When we asked him, again he lied until we told him we saw him on camera and again he then told the truth after being caught on camera. He knew we have cameras, but the sad thing is that we wouldn’t have to watch them if we trusted him. And for him to still act like this even though he knew about the cameras, was simply shocking.
Something had drastically changed with him and we didn’t know what it was, but we assumed that he was taking drugs and that this changed his behavior. We just couldn't explain his change otherwise. The worst thing was that he wasn’t treating Fox the way he should be treated. Fox had a bad ear infection and was crying inconsolably. Fox does not cry a lot, and when he kept screaming in pain, the only thing Matthias did, was to yell at him to “Stop it!” multiple times. It was so aggressive that Katie came home to remove Fox from his care. One afternoon, Fox was supposed to take a nap and was playing in his crib for a while, which isn’t unusual for him. All of the sudden, Matthias went in there and pinned him down on the mattress and told him very aggressively to go to sleep. We don’t know why he did that, when we asked him, we didn’t get an answer. Fox was playing and didn’t cry, so there was no need to do that. Again, that was not the Matthias we had known for all these months, something was not right with him. All of this has been captured on our cameras again, we even showed it to friends and everyone was very shocked to see what was going on. We have been advised by the Au Pair Agency to terminate his contract immediately. In fact, they advised us to terminate in September after the marijuana incident but we decided not to because we wanted to believe him so desperately and offer him another chance. It is very clear to us that this was the wrong decision and we should have terminated back in June to avoid all these additional lies and being disrespected so intently.

The exit meeting with our agency was simply ridiculous. He didn’t have anything to say to us, no apology, simply that he does not care. While he still denied drug use, he admitted everything else to the counselor, although we found out a few days later that we were right and he was taking drugs, because Matthias had my phone while he was here and when he had to give it back, we still received text messages with offers to smoke pot with his friends, apparently he didn’t tell them that this was not his phone anymore.
He complained that we didn’t give him enough vacation time while here, although he received 5 weeks in 10 months, even though the contract states we are only required to give him two weeks and he also complained that we didn’t take him on enough vacations with us. What the heck? I dare you to find an employer who takes you on three vacations a year, because we did take him to Disneyland, set him up in a Suite, paid for everything, and he didn’t even say thank you. And while he is right, we did take two vacation without him, host families are not required to take their au pairs on any trips and we did pay him extra vacation time to stay home. It just seemed like he took this experience as a vacation, not a job.
The state he left his room in was simply disgusting. Lets just say he didn’t change his sheets for the 10 months he was here and never vacuumed or dusted. There was so much food and trash under his bed, it’s a wonder we don’t have rats. Some furniture was damaged, the floor was sticky and it’s been three weeks and we can’t get the smell out of the room, no matter what we do. 
It was such a relief when he left and while I am so happy that he is gone and Fox is safe, I’m incredibly mad about the whole thing. How he abused this opportunity and was so disrespectful and deceiving. Thinking about what he might have done with Fox when there weren’t any cameras is making me sick to my stomach. If someone acts like this even though they know there are cameras, how do they act without them? And driving him around while being under the influence of drugs…I can’t even get myself to think about what could’ve happened. 
I hope he grows up someday, being a parent himself and understanding what he did to us. We thought we are gaining a new family member for life, but it is safe to say that he will never hear from us again or have contact with Fox in any way. 
While this entire experience was disappointing, we are still trusting in the agency and the program, which is why we are hosting another au pair starting in January. We are very excited for her to arrive, but of course, our previous experience has made us worried as well, but we feel confident that we picked the right person and hope we will have a great year. 
Her name is Hannah and she from Germany. She’s three years older than Matthias and has lived on her own, but the best part is that she has been an au pair before, so she knows what to expect and has experience. We have been in contact with her since early October and have emailed and skyped many times and we love her already! She was supposed to arrive in early February, but when everything went down, we asked her if she would be able to come early and luckily she was! 
So there you have it, the entire ugly story. Being a working mom is hard, but in these kind of situations it makes it so much harder. It’s always hard to leave your child and we though we were leaving Fox in great hands. I hope we have a great year ahead of us and that Fox will bond with Hannah quickly and love her!


  1. That must have been a nightmare for u guys? Did Fox change his behavoir towards Matthias in the weeks? I mean those kids do usually sense stuff like that earlier than we do.
    I hope that Hannah is the right person this time. And she is the one that enlarges your family!

    1. He did, that's why we got the cameras in the first place. It got better for a while until it went downhill fast and again, Fox totally didn't want to be with Matthias, when before, he loved him. I hope so too, we are excited for her to arrive!

  2. I feel so sorry for your Family :-( I hope you have more Luck with Hannah.

    Merry Christmas


  3. This is just awful :( thank goodness you two kicked him to the curb and Fox can start to heal with a new and more caring Au Pair. So sorry you guys had to go through that and for so long.

  4. Thanks for sharing this story and good luck with the new one!


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