So far, I have found most people in Tbilisi to be quite friendly (unless in traffic…) and more often than not will want to stop and give you advice about your child (which I can’t understand anyway and so I smile and nod, ‘Madloba, Nahkvamdis”) .
Every single time that Bubba and I are out walking, with him cuddled up to me in the Manduca carrier, I have numerous old ladies come up to me, talking and gesturing at Bubba and trying to lean in and kiss him – while he is strapped to my chest!! I try and fend them off, as I don’t really want him catching anything! Bubba also helps deflect this, turning his head from side to side as they try and get at him. Poor boy.
Additionally, in any shop (supermarket, café, clothing store) if he is walking away from me or running around, people will just pick him up to give him back to me – which he HATES – he is in a very clingy stage for Mumma and hates other people picking him up!
So, Bubba and I went out for a walk on Saturday, down to Rustaveli Ave as ‘Dadda’ was away for a few days. So I did my usual Pram juggle down the stairs, and had a lovely morning walk down to Entrée, cosying up with a coffee and croissant for morning tea (and Wiggles on the iPad for Bubba so this Mumma could feel like I was also getting a break). The lovely girl at Entrée (who Bubba loves) ran over and helped carry him up and down the stairs while I carried the pram in.
Afterwards, I took the pram back outside and attempted to wrangle the excitable Bubba back in the pram. Wellllll…. He wasn’t having a bar of it! This little mister has one helluva temper on him and a massive set of lungs, kicking and screaming and arching his back – anything but going into the pram! So Tbilisi being Tbilisi, I had one dodgy looking man stop and start talking and pointing at the pram…. I don’t know what he was saying, maybe he was even trying to buy it off me, No idea… but I think my death stare scared him away pretty quick… Sooo, rather than fight it, I let Bubba walk alongside the pram, and of course, straight away he ran the other way… So then a couple of old men tried to run after him – which scared him even more – although at least it made him run back to me “Mumma!! Mumma!’’ !!
We eventually got moving in the right direction, (stopping & trying to pick up dog poo that is all over every sidewalk here – Bubba, that is, not me..) and I decided that since he wasn’t in the pram anyway, we would go through the underpass to a park with a playground over the other side of the road near the Marriott Hotel. So I carried the pram and bubba down the stairs, wheeled pram over to other side and was about to carry pram and let bubba walk up, as he LOVES to walk up stairs.
He didn’t even get a chance! ….. an old lady had come down the stairs, saw us, grabbed Bubba, and proceeded to “run” with him up the stairs, with him kicking and screaming and me running after her with pram saying “What are you doing!? He can walk!!!!”. She got to the top, put him down (with him running to me crying “Mumma mumma”) and just toddled off back downstairs again.
I do realise she thought she was helping me out, but when you come from a culture where just picking up random kids is a bit of a no-no, you do get a bit panicky when someone just runs off with your baby without saying a word to you!!
In all, it is nice living in a place where people just give you a hand without you having to ask – I no longer worry about heading out with the pram as I know that if needed, random people will just give me a hand lifting the pram up and down the few stairs that we go up.