Little Cousin Emma in her Grandparents Pram
The first time I visited my cousin in Denmark the first thing I noticed as an American were the prams. It seemed like everyone who had a child not in school had one. I saw no "american strollers". Prams carried not only the children but the groceries home. And the buses are built so that the back door is only an inch off the ground and you can enter with a pram in just seconds. You then attach it to the wall of the bus, specially reserved for prams, and go up and pay your fare. I watched this and timed it. It took 90 seconds to board, pay your fare and go stand next to the pram. They also sat outside of small stores and cafes unattended "and occupied" on the sidewalk. Note Bene for Americans: Never approach an unattended pram.
Visit polar bears' blog for a great discussion of children outside of stores/cafe's in prams in Copenhagen. Apparently in 1967, a mentally ill woman actually did take a child but later returned it when the police appealed to the person in the media. So it did happen once. Wouldn't it be nice if American values were the same? Polarbear also has the story of the Danish woman who went to New York City and left her child in a pram outside a cafe there. She was arrested for child abuse. It was later dismissed after many people in Denmark wrote letters to America. She did learn that she and her child were visiting an "unsafe place".
After dinner one evening at my cousins' home, the adults were still talking on the patio and we soon saw the grandchildren Emma and Julius playing happily in a pram that they had taken by themselves from the storage house. They organized their own activities right next to us on the patio. What was going on with them was just as important as what was going on with us. They were 4 and a half and 2 and a half.