Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cool Factoids about Norway: 1

I think it is only fitting that I keep track here of the many cool things about Norway. So, for observation number one: Lots and lots of men here are wheeling their children around in strollers--and not accompaning their wives. It really struck me yesterday how cool and odd that is. Sure, I have seen men strolling their toddlers before--maybe on a weekend outing with the family or at the park. But here you see as many men as women strolling their children every day.

Part of this phenomenon can surely be credited to the generous paternity leave policies here in Norway. But this is certainly not the whole explanation for the daddy strollers. You see all sorts of men out and about with their kids too. It's not just hipster alternadad, but blue collar worker dads, business dads, football lover dads, dock worker dads . . . you name it.

I was noting this to our friend here and she started telling me about her male coworker, who took his paternity leave in Barcelona and broke the hearts of all the Spanish ladies as he strolled his young son around town. Spain is still too macho to stomach the stroller dad.

Why is it that American dads are still unlikely to be out and about with their children? Or, am I just being unfair?