The moms here also eschew strollers for prams. You know, old-fashioned four-wheeled baby carriages (most of them are fancy modern jobbers, but I can't say I've seen a single umbrella stroller in this joint, and I'm pretty sure I have the only BOB in all of Yekaterinburg). I'm curious to see how these strollers handle the sidewalks in winter. (I'm also curious to see how the stilettos handle the sidewalks in winter...)
But mostly, the one thing that's really stood out to me so far is the fact that Russian children are bundled up like tiny Michelin men in snow suits, hats, mittens, and snow boots, in September. And no, it's not already snowing here. It's in the fifties and sixties. At home, I'd have Jack in a sweater and a light jacket, maybe a newsy cap if I was feeling particularly jaunty that day. Snow suits, in my humble opinion, are only to be broken out in the SNOW. But on Jack's first outing with our nanny, K, it became abundantly clear that sending my child out bare-headed simply wasn't going to cut it. Of course, I had no winter apparel in our unaccompanied baggage, so the only hat I had available was John's beanie. I held it up questioningly to K, who seemed to think it would suffice if I had nothing better, and off we went to the park. The first child we encountered was wearing a puffy jacket and a hat with a massive pom pom on top. So was the second child. And the third. I believe the fourth was outfitted in full-up Arctic expedition gear. I knew then and there I needed to buy Jack a hat, stat.
|Jackie sports his new hat (and a black eye, bc I had to give the locals something to stare at).|
The next day, I went to the mall and purchased a warm hat with the biggest pom pom I could find. I knew I was golden when K approved. Jack christened it on our trip to the Europe/Asia border (for the record, we live on the Asia side, so I really don't think this should count as an Eastern European post), when the weather totally didn't warrant it but I felt like I was that much closer to fitting in with the natives regardless.
I just pray the weather doesn't take a turn for the worse in the next two weeks before the rest of our crap gets here, because I don't think I'll ever live it down if it gets into the forties and I don't have gloves on this kid. In the meantime, Jack better get used to wearing that hat, because it's not coming off until the local kids' do.
Which should be some time in May, by the look of things.