I know that I am jumping from one point of time in my life to another with no notice, but I promise it will all be straightened up on my Timeline. Chronologically, this post follows the story about kids and me getting settled in the University boarding house.
We had a great six weeks over there. As I’ve mentioned, we had a flat of two rooms and a kitchen, all for ourselves. That was way more space than I had in Saint Petersburg. The hot water was running only theoretically, so I had two big buckets, a basin, and a huge portable electric boiler. I would fill in a bucket with cold water, immerse a boiler into the water and plug it in. I would fill a basin to the half with cold water and then using a dipper; I would pour hot water in it, to make warm water of the desired temperature. That’s how Anna and Vlad had their baths before going to bed. Igor would stay his feet inside the basin, and I would combine cold and hot water in a dipper, and poured it over him, making it feel like a shower. He was almost seven then and felt utterly embarrassed to stay naked in front of me. When everybody went to bed, I would wash similarly.
There were cockroaches everywhere, so many I learned not to be afraid of them, and kill them by a dozen. Still – I did not have to cook and wash the dishes, and life was great. We would take a bus and go to the parks of Peterhoff to see the famous fountains. We were swimming in the ponds of the University Park (former Lichtenberg Manor). We would buy raw milk from the gypsies. One of Boris’s postgrad students named Irina would occasionally babysit for free, and then I would be able to do some work outside of the babies bedtime.
It was there that both Anna and Vlad started walking. As with many other skills, Anna would be the first to master, making her steps barely lifting her feet, but beaming with happiness. Vlad would successfully hide his attempts to walk (Irina asked me once, whether I knew that Vlad is trying to walk when nobody sees him). On public, he was only crawling, moving extremely fast on his butt, and only several weeks later, he had demonstrated perfect walking.
By the beginning of August, Anna, Vlad, and I returned to the city. My Mom was staying for some more time in the boarding house with Igor. Igor was not a baby and didn’t need constant attention, so this was a vacation for her.
Boris took these pictures by our building in the city. Anna and Vlad were approaching their first birthday. I was done with breastfeeding in extreme conditions and weighed 49 kg (about 109 lb). The clothes were hanging on me like on the hanger, but as you can see, it didn’t bother me much:)