1:15. After tidying the house and stacking the dishes in the dishwasher, Monique bundles Vero up to her eyes, straps her into her car seat, and drives off to the mall, the only outing possible in these Siberian temperatures. The well-heated shopping center.contains a wide variety of stores and boutiques, but Monique goes there mostly to get out and meet her neighborhood girlfriends. Vero is comfortably installed in her stroller and is not too impatient.when.her.mother.stops for her daily cup of coffee.
Despite his illness, Andre has some business to. take care of. The furnace has broken at the garage where he works and the entire system must be replaced..As the youngest of the owners, Andre cannot approve the work without consulting his father and brother..Like many retired people, his parents spend their winters in Miami and his brother is there on vacation. He will try to phone in the evening when the rates go down.
3:15. Monique welcomes her sons back from school but insists they do their.homework.before.they go out to play. The boys finish in a hurry and are about to race out the door when their mother notices that their boots are wet and makes them change to dry pairs. She orders.them to stay in the backyard so she can keep an eye on them. Monique has read too many articles about child abduction.
The boys prepare.for battle with their friends. War seems to be their preferred game. The combatants.have snowballs and wooden swords and defend.themselves.by building snow barricades and climbing trees. When darkness falls, the boys return wet and hungry, their cheeks reddened.by the cold. They warm their feet in slippers knitted by their grandmother and sit down at the table.