My Life As a Toddler: The Beginning Of 1964

I am moving back to the beginning of my timeline – to the first four months of 1964.

In the previous post, I showed the pictures from my first New Year, when I was just nineteen days short of my first birthday. As I already said, I remember some parts of that day, and I remember that I was learning to walk, and the walls were not exactly straight and reliable – sometimes they would suddenly start slipping, and I would end up on the floor :).

The first five pictures were taken in January. On the first three of them, I am in my crib, where I was placed so that adults could do something without me constantly falling on the floor. I have a couple of my toys there, but apparently, I am not interested in them.

In the next two pictures, I am on the floor with all my toys. Back then, I guess this indicated that I had a lot of toys, but I am not sure how it goes by today’s standards. 

I had this large cardboard box, and all my toys were inside; in order to find something specific, the box had to be emptied on the floor. 

You can see that all the toys are either simple plastic dolls or animals or inflatables made of very thick resin. None of them were of bright colors. None were in any way educational. I didn’t even have any stacking wooden rings. Piramidka (little pyramid) was a “deficit”. 

I loved the boy doll, which I hold in that picture. His name was Edik (short of Edward).

As for the next set of pictures, I am not sure which of them were taken on the same day, so I am giving my best guess.

Although there is still snow on the ground, this has to be March because I made it walking all the way to the Alexandrovskiy Sad, and I only learned to walk in January. I remember some parts of this day, and I do not remember a stroller, although I know that I had it. Possibly there was not much use of a stroller when the sidewalks were partially covered with snow.

I remember this girl with her grandma. The girl was older than me, and I believe I just walked to her and initiated some interaction. I was jealous that she had a belt :); I was always jealous of belts. Speaking about clothes, this blue coat was absolutely not suited for winter. It was very thin; it just looked pretty, and also, that was all my mom could “get” at that time. I wore multiple layers under it, including vatnik.

Just a random person sitting on the bench – I was often walking towards strangers 🙂

Here, I am dresses the same way, but looks like I do not have a vatnik under the coat, so it might be a different, warmer day. Also, I am standing on a sidewalk of the Trade Unions Boulevard, which is close to our house.

This one is most definitely the same day and almost the same place. Although it is warmer, I wore valenki (felt boots) with galoshes, because I didn’t have anything else to wear outside.

Here, I am in the courtyard of the house where we lived with my nanny. That was when I had a new nanny every month or so, and I do not remember their names, except for Nanny Katia, who appeared later and stayed longer. Like Nanny Katia, this nanny was most likely somebody’s relative who came to Leningrad to study in a vocational school

All these deteriorating walls were not staying in this miserable state since Leningrad’s siege; the houses were just poorly maintained since nobody owned them.

In the last picture, my mom is feeding me. For some reason, she didn’t even try to teach me to use the spoon for a very long time. The bottle contains diluted tea; even babies were given it to drink, not mentioning toddlers.

I am not sure what my mom is reading. On the one hand, she must be reading something to me to break my resistance to feeding. On the other hand, it does not look like a children’s book, so I am not sure

The next sett of pictures will be from summer 🙂

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.

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