Extreme snow days...

>> Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Boy #2 wants to go home.

Not all the time, not completely, but every now again, the comment "I want to go home to 57 Penridge Road*" is uttered.

I can't say I blame him for it. Whilst we are fortunate enough to be living in one of the least urbanised areas of Moscow, surrounded by trees and open space, the extreme weather at the moment is keeping us penned inside for most of the time. Hell, it's even too cold to take him on the walk to Boy #1's school and back; this morning the outside temperature was -23degC.

Obviously the answer is to get him into a nursery, which we're trying to do, but sadly that isn't as simple as it might be unless we want to parachute him into a Russian-only one, and whilst I'm all for immersing our sons in the local culture the thought of Boy #2 sitting there and understanding nothing, not being able to communicate, and being the oddity is just too much. He's only 4, for pete's sake.

So we're hunting frantically for somewhere for him to go, but in the meantime it's just the two of us during school hours. He's handling it very well, I have to say. The fact that we haven't had more fallings out than we have, bearing in mind our current lack of a tv, limited supply of dvd's to play on my laptop (3, at the last count - I know, not good planning on our part), and still-small circle of friends for him to play with (all of whom are already in nursery so not available most of the time), is testament to his good-natured stoic character I think.

Right now he's lying on the sofa, chilling, and no doubt bored stupid. There's only so much Poisson Rouge a chap can take, apparantly. (Thanks Emily from Maternal Tales for that tip, by the way!) And only so much playing at airports that a mum can take, I'm afraid.

As for going outside, and playing in the snow and bright sunshine? Well,to give you some idea of what - 23degC actually means, the photo below is of the inside of our front door lock.

The white stuff?


On the inside of the door.

We're definitely not in South Kensington anymore, Toto...

* - not our real address, obviously.


Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy 26 January 2010 at 11:04  

Oh bless him. We can totally sympathise. I put my two in for total immersion (didn't have a choice here, no English speaking nurseries, no English speaking kids). It was TOUGH for the boys. It still is tough. Adam, at 4 1/2 is so excited about us coming home that he has taken to dismantling things in preparation for our move. But, they have got used to it, they have adapted and they have got an awful lot out of their time here.

Anonymous,  26 January 2010 at 11:43  

Aw bless you all, you must be frozen stiff.

I am sure that in time you will all adjust and soon the boys will be absorbing the culture and language. They are at the best age to adapt and learn new subjects such as a foreign language.

My thoughts are with you all. Please wrap up warm :-)

Nicola 26 January 2010 at 12:57  

Oh, sounds like he is being so good. I never bothered about the extremes of temps in Chicago until we had the boys. The winter is similarly cold to Moscow, by the sounds of it - and then the summer can be incredibly hot and humid - too hot to be ouside. So most of the year is spent with cabin fever....which with 2 young boys is NOT such a good thing.

I'm thinking of you (imagining you actually - that's the beauty of meeting you!) and sending love that either the cold weather/no nursery ends soon.

Tattie Weasle 26 January 2010 at 14:21  

Could you try iplayer??? I have no idea if you can get the BBC through your computer or not but I know you can in Dubai (gosh that IS helpful Tattie...) sorry just trying to help on the only 3 DVDs bit. Pack of cards? It sounds worse than my unfortunately not forgotten childhood in various far flung places of the empire. My sister and I watched a lot of Jaques Cousteau re-runs dubbed in Malay etc. As kids we thought it all normal - HONEST!

nappy valley girl 26 January 2010 at 15:19  

Oh, I'm thinking of you and sending good-luck-in-finding-a-nursery vibes your way. He sounds like he's coping very well, but I'm not surprised it's hard for him. At least my two had each other to entertain themselves last summer when we arrived. Are there any indoor classes/ activities for expats? I signed the boys up for as much as I could find to get them through the summer before they made friends and went to school. Just try to remember it's early days....I only really feel like I'm starting to settle in now.

Calif Lorna 26 January 2010 at 16:22  

I'm sure he'll settle in soon. My boys kept asking about home and friends buut it slowly got less and less. Mind you, we didn't have ice on the inside of our house, that's impressive.

Footballers Knees 26 January 2010 at 17:58  

If it wasn't for the school rules and the stupid name thing, I'd ship their cousin over for some in-family entertainment. Am thinking of you. X

Iota 26 January 2010 at 20:01  

You've been there 5 mins and you've got a circle of friends? Blimey. What did I do wrong? It took me months.

I can't quite cope with recategorising you in my mental blog map. You used to be where I'd go for my London-mummy-girl-about-town fix. Now you are in the interesting-stories-about-life-in-other-cultures list. You're really confusing me. Can I just pretend that the ice on the inside of your front door is a golf ball, hit there by Boy #2 in a bored moment? That would make me feel a little less wobbly...

Muddling Along Mummy 26 January 2010 at 20:46  

Oh my goodness - ice on the inside of the door!!

Good luck with the nursery search

Expat mum 26 January 2010 at 20:47  

Been there with the Chicago winters. It's a real drag. One thing I did was get a hold of some kid yoga videos (DVDs) and do them. The kids thought it was fun, it wasted a good hour and everyone felt better afterwards. I'm sure you could download something if you can't get the DVDs.

sharon 27 January 2010 at 05:16  

We watch a news programme in the evenings that ends with a snapshot of temps etc around the world so I have added you to my list of 'OMG look at their weather!' And at the moment OMG sums it up nicely. Poor you. Is there anything we can send to help you out with entertaining Boy #2 until a suitable nursery is found. Maybe a little package care of a local Post Office? I think it will be a while before Spring arrives in Moscow - although possibly anything above zero degrees will feel positively balmy soon.

Potty Mummy 27 January 2010 at 09:39  

Thanks Brit - I know that my two will too. It's just teething troubles. Now, bring on the nursery!

Kate, don't worry - we all resemble Shackleton's team when we step outside.

Nicola, thanks - and I'm hoping for that too! Apparantly it's warming up next week; minus 10degC. Can't wait.

Tattie, sadly no i-player outside the UK. I foresee a LOT of downloading being done when we next visit!

Thanks NVG. I know it will get better. And he is being great (most of the time - see today's post...)

Lorna, 'impressive'. I can think of another word. Like; 'wtf are d doing in this freezing country?!!' Although of course that's more than one...

Thanks FK - although not sure I could cope with a bored teen as well as bored 4 year old!

Iota, sorry for confusing you - and pretend away. I may pretend right along with you, in fact...

EPM, that's a great idea! Although I'm not sure where to start on the download thing; tried Amazon for it yesterday and struck out. Any ideas where I can start?

Sharon, thanks so much for the offer and if you can package up some Aussie sun that would be just dandy! Happy to give you another OMG moment too - who knew the public service I would be performing when we moved here! ;)

MaM,thanks - and we need it!

Suki-Lou 27 January 2010 at 13:31  

Wow - ice on the inside of your door! Unthinkable!

Has probably already been suggested, but are you able to access the CBeebies website, thats full of stuff to help keep little ones entertained, even for only 20mins or so! Or maybe downloading tv from itunes?

dulwich divorcee 27 January 2010 at 17:56  

Eeeek! And I thought it was cold in Dulwich. It's so tough at first, I really feel for you x but will get a lot easier

Pig in the Kitchen 28 January 2010 at 16:37  

no no noooo! Don't do the full immersion thing! I did that with my 4 year old for just 3 months. 3 months was all it took for a complete personality change, bed-wetting and unhappiness. Not worth it for the sake of them (maybe) speaking a foreign language. I think that was a rant. Love the ice on the inside of the door!

geekymummy 31 January 2010 at 03:16  

Dowloads: Do you have itunes? You can an use it to buy episodes of Dora, Diego and all manner of things. (assuming itunes works in Russia). Also try http://pbskids.org/sesame/#/videos for sesame street snippets and also some really good games.

Loving the tales of your adventure!

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