In August 1992 Vlad and Anna turned one and had their first birthday.
As I’ve already mentioned, I returned to work two months earlier, but to be honest, it didn’t mean much. I was a research associate in the Mathematics and Mechanics Research Institute of the University, which meant at this time that nobody expected anything to be done, except showing up in the University from time to time. I will get to this when I cover my work in the USSR. For now, let’s say I did almost nothing and was paid virtually nothing. The salaries of those who worked in science and education were below any living wages. Many people had some supplemental income; others relied on their spouse’s wages or were barely getting by.
On September 1, Igor started his first grade at school. It was one of two city boarding schools for blind and low-vision children. There was no other option at that time for children with vision problems to be educated. He was four weeks short of being seven, the official age of starting school. However, the curriculum of the school was adapted for slower learning of the special needs children and thereby had one extra year, so it was OK to start earlier.
By design, it was a boarding school; students were supposed to stay there from Monday morning to Friday late afternoon. But the year Igor was starting school, they had some remodeling going on, so there was no room for overnight stay. Besides, it was strongly recommended for the first-graders to go home every night. Which was fine, except for the fact that travel to the school was over an hour-long by public transport. My mother was working full-time, and I was not mobile with two toddlers to make these daily trips. My mom ended up doing all these travels, but this came with a high emotional price for both me and Igor. Also, he had to leave the house at 7 AM and was only back by 8 PM, so it was not that he could spend any significant time with me.
It was tough to find a babysitter at that time; it was just a completely foreign concept. I managed to find one girl who could come for several hours a week, but my mother made her life miserable, besides even without my mother, she was not reliable. Not to mention that I didn’t really have that money. I had to let her go, and started to think about municipal daycare.
My historical posts are being published in random order. Please refer to the page Hettie’s timeline to find where exactly each post belongs, and what was before and after.