Friday, February 29, 2008

Oslo Mommy Brigade

Kayleigh has been writing and illustrating a book about trolls. We decided today to go to United Bakery for treats a needed coffee for me and to work on her book while I read. I'm reading To Kill A Mockingbird. It is such a good book.

The weather is sunny today after a Portland like day yesterday. As we neared the bakery the stroller line-up in front was never ending! I really wish I had my camera for a photo of this scene. You'll just have to visualize it for yourselves.

I turned to KJ and remarked, "I wonder how all the mommies and their babies can fit inside?" At the same time I was thinking to myself, maybe we should go to another bakery since there are many other options.

We entered and easily found a table, maybe everyone was scared off by so many babies. There was a large table of them to the side of us. We were planning on a chocolate chip cookie and there was only one left. KJ spied some large yummy looking brownies instead. We got one and I had a double latte. I've decided while I'm in Europe, no low fat lattes for me. They are so much better with whole milk or whatever they use. (My sister is right about that.) It will be hard to go back to my usual. I do miss my soy lattes not to mention decaf coffee. Kent says you can find anything you want here for a price and we've found decaf and for a price I'm not ready to pay.

Back to the mommy brigade. We returned to our table and enjoyed our snacks. Suddenly, we noticed the noise level of the mommies and the babies socializing. We also noticed different groups of mommies and babies were scattered throughout entire back room of the bakery! KJ was actually able to concentrate and work. She must take after her father. I was busy eavesdropping and watching all the action, not that I could understand any of it.

KJ commented that there were only two men who came to the back room, looked around and left.

We were told when Norwegian women have babies they get a paid year off to take care of their babies. What a deal! However most Norwegian women work so when kids are older like KJ, you don't see moms hanging out with their kids. Most children go to after school care. In Frogner, which is our neighborhood there are lots of new parents all over the place with their little ones all bundled up. It is a very cute sight. One day we saw a mom carrying this huge cushion like baby carrier. The baby was all wrapped up in a bundle of blankets and pillows. We were amazed by the strength of the mom carrying it.

Back to the scene at the bakery. It was kinda like a party. The mommies wondered around socializing with other tables. This must be a mother's group. KJ actually understood them talking about if their babies were walking yet. We also heard some of them singing and saw others nursing too. We finally decided to go not because of all the action but because we'd been there all afternoon. I didn't get much reading done but it was very entertaining.

Walking home I thought, I never had a mommy group to hang out with and it looked fun. These women have it pretty darn good. I decided if I ever have another baby Norway is the place to do it. (Oh, darn, I'm too old.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's okay to always drink full-fat lattes. They're just better!!

Gretchen has a friend who moved to a little town in Norway last summer. They had a baby shortly after they arrived. The wife (she's some kind of music instructor) is working, but Phil is getting paid to stay home for a year. Europeans sure have a lot of nice family-friendly traditions.