Thursday, October 8, 2009

It Finally Happened

It was only a matter of time.

The funny thing was, it wasn't a babushka.

We were walking home from school this afternoon. It was actually a little warm-ish. I wore a jacket, zipped, but no gloves, no hat.

Skittles had worn her Serious Winter Coat this morning, but carried it most of the way home until it started to drizzle. Then she put it on.

Baboo carried her sweater and jacket the whole way.

In front of our building a man about my age said something to me with a smile. Something about kids.


That's what I heard anyhow. He smiled and gestured towards the girls with his chin.

At first I thought he was saying, "Hey, lady! Your children are so gorgeous!"

Then he made a putting-on-a-backpack type gesture, and I thought maybe he meant to communicate, "Hey, those L.L.Bean kid backpacks!* Matching and monogrammed. Gotta get me some o' that action!"

But I was wrong.

The cloud cover on my brain suddenly cleared, and I realized he was saying, "Tell that kid to put her coat on! I'm a doctor! She should put her coat on."

"I know, I know . . ." I replied, trying to establish Parental Solidarity. Kids. Whaddya gonna do?

He wasn't backing down. He seemed genuinely concerned for their well-being.

"This is our house!" I said, changing tactics. I pointed at our building. "This. Our house. Right here." My Russian is limited after all.

He countered once more, "DOC-TOR."

I turned to Baboo. "What have I been telling you? You don't wear a coat, you die of the bloody flux, and that makes ME the bad mother."

He practically escorted us to the door, watching to make sure I really did usher them safely inside.

I suppose a visit from Children's Services is in the works now, eh?

*L.L. Bean did not pay me anything for mentioning them. I don't get paid by anyone for saying anything nice in this blog. I only include links so you can see what it is I'm talking about because I'm too lazy to go get my camera and take a photo of my kids' backpacks. Or whatever.


June Gardens said...

Amen to that. I never get paid for saying anything, either.

And what kind of doctor thinks you get sick from being cold? Clearly he did not attend the School of Hypochondria that I attended to garner my knowledge.

The Expatresse said...

Oh, pul-eaz! The eastern Europeans also have a fear of drafts and ice cubes in fizzy drinks. All will bring a painful and untimely death from the bloody flux.

I also had a Doctor friend there once say, "I feel a cold coming on, so I'm taking antibiotics."

Tina in CT said...

Their brashness really would never be tolerated here in the US.

If people were hounding me with their suggestions, I'd find it hard to keep my big mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine from Canada used to be driven nuts by babushkas telling her off for not wearing a hat in winter.

'I'm from Canada', she would shreik, 'it's minus forty there. Your winters are nothing to me. And I used to go out with wet hair too!'

It still didn't do much good.

I've obviously imbibed it though because I was horrified to see a small baby being carried around in a sling with bare arms and no hat on the first day of autumn in London the other day. Much muttering and tutting in our Russian language household over that.

Ian said...

I am envious. Often around this time of the year I wish we actually had winter in South Florida. It starting getting cooler in late September (high 80's) but it spiked back up into the high 90's again this week. Crazy hot October actually. We actually saw temps in Miami Ft; Lauderdale in the over 100.

Anonymous said...

Why do people butt into other people's business like that??

Andrew Mull said...

Yeah, Russians are nuts when it comes to illness and cold.

My girlfriend wasn't even allowed to eat ice cream or drink cold liquids until she was a very mature teenager because her doctors told her parents that she had a "weak throat".

There generally appears to be a pathological fear of ice in Cola or serving things cold. I actually had a waiter fight with me the other day. I asked him for a Coke Light with ice, and brought it without ice. I asked him for the ice and he said with great finality -- and get this -- "You don't need it, it's already cold". Well, I replied, first, it MIGHT be cold, but as I'm not going to chug the whole thing back like I've just woken up with a mouth as dry as a camel's tongue, it will probably warm up in the room. Second, Ive just touched it, and it's just below room temperature (Russian cola vendors haven't quite worked out that glass and plastic always feels colder than the liquid it contains), so I want the ice. Third, er, I asked for ice, and I know you have it, so what's wrong? He looked very upset and frustrated, and went off, appearing about 10 minutes later with a sundae glass filled with ice.


Seriously, I don't know about other Beet readers, but I seem to remember being a boy and wearing shorts until about November when I wasn't in school.

Mind you, they still do this in Australia and my girlfriend was appauled when I went there on business. "I needed a JUMPER and the had kids in shorts. Just playing. In shorts. KIDS".

She seemed to think that this was an offense punishable by having social services come around and take the kid for adoption and send the parents to prison followed by hell.

I asked what the temperature was, and she said "It dropped to 15 degrees at night, and there was a breeze."

Andrew Mullin said...

Correction, my girlfriend went on business to Australia, not me. (Unfortunately).

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Amber Page Writes said...

So are the babushkas as scary as they used to be? I haven't been there in...holy cow, 18 years...but we were terrified of those ladies.