Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Medicine Anyone?

Took M to the doctors this afternoon. I was pretty certain the spots on the back of his legs were Molluscum Contagiosa for which there isn't any cure really (they go after a few months even though they are contagious, hence the name!), but A wanted me to go check it out, just to be sure.

Its the first time M has been to the doctors, ever, apart from routine checkups, so it felt a bit strange, like we'd broken our record.

Anyway, there was a stand-in doctor there, who's there every Wednesday afternoon and he was much better than our usual one, who is a bit standoffish (although that could be a language thing).

We came away with 5, yes FIVE, treatments.
- cream for the spots if they get scratched to prevent infection
- drops to put in water and drunk if the spots get too itchy (can make you drowsy)
- spray for M's snotty nose
- cream for the tip of M's nose where its a teensy bit red from lots of blowing
- cough mixture for his cough (can also make him drowsy)

I don't think we'll be using everything. Seems a bit excessive, and people wonder why I don't take M to the doctors for what I see as everyday stuff.

Thank god the insurance is paying, is all I can say!

A Swiss Friend

Today was a first. M had a Swiss friend to play. This may not seem like such a big deal, but the Swiss have their circle of friends it seems, and within them they stay. Obviously this relates more to the parents than the kids, but it is very common to be going to the same playgroup for 3 years and still only know all the mothers as the "maman de *".

So, this historic breakthrough came about because of M's apparent unhappiness at atelier. A couple of weeks ago, both times when I picked him up and we were walking home, he declared that he "didn't like atelier because I don't have any friends". Near broke my heart, particularly as he has several english-speaking friends outside of atelier and I was already beating myself up a bit as they all seem to be going to the same school either this year or next.

So I spoke to one of the educatrices at atelier, C, who will happily speak in English to me, and does the same with M. Explained that I was concerned about the language barrier, and asked if there were other english-speaking kids there that maybe he could play a bit more with, or I could invite round to play (obviously without wanting to force 2 children together!). She said that she would do what she could, observe him in particular and her and her colleagues would meet up to discuss the matter.

Anyway, the same day I spoke to her, on the way home we saw E and his mum at the bus stop. I just casually asked M if he would like E to come round and play and the answer was an enthusiastic yes! This is the little boy that M complains about at the end of almost every session to me - "E hit me", "E pushed me", " E took my yellow spade". Naturally I thought that E was the devil himself and that the pair of them should stay well away from each other. How wrong can I be?

Taking a deep breath and oceans of courage I spoke to E's mum. My French is never that good under pressure but she got that we wanted them to come round and play, and was happy to do so. Apparently E is always talking about M!

So that brings us to today. I was terrified. The house was, well, not spotless, but passably tidy and M was under strict instructions to watch the television until they arrived (I figured that at the very least it should start tidy).

They arrived 20 minutes late. I was imagining all sorts of things, mainly revolving around "she doesn't like me", as the Swiss are NEVER late.
As soon as they arrived, E and M ran off and E's baby brother S tried to follow.

I decided it was time to introduce myself properly. "Je m'appelle Clare" I say, knowing that there is a proper, formal way to say these things, but I'm buggered if I can remember what it is. She obviously gave the formal reply which involved the words "presente" and "vous" and her name, S. Phew! No longer is she the "maman d'E"

Coffee made (only instant something which is sooooo English!) and we settled down for a chat. I surprise myself sometimes at how fluent my French is, but I think in everyday situations I get myself flustered easily whereas sitting down chatting to someone the conversation just rolled off my tongue.

The kids played nicely too, even though they don't speak the same language, although thank god "pirate" is just about the same!
A few disagreements, normally resulting in M overreacting and crying for a good 5 minutes like the world was about to end, something that I either need to get in quick and head off, or deal with better than I do now.

Eventually all 3 children were flagging as the disputes became more frequent, so they swaddled themselves up against the cold and rain, and went home, with the promise that we will organise another playdate very soon at their house, which is only a few bus stops away. Hurray!!