as we have yet to find a pediatrician that is accepting new patients, each month we take Ayva to the PMI. the PMI is basically a place you can take your child to get weighed, measured, vaccinated, questions answered, etc. there are a couple of doctors on staff and their assistants, plus a sage femme or two occasionally. they have open office hours on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons. we always go on Tuesdays, and so have have gotten to know the doctor and his two lady assistants who work at that time. also, it's completely free. we've never had to show any kind of paperwork at all. every child born in France is given what's called a carnet de santé and that's all they ask to see.
Dr. C. is a friendly grandfatherly kind of fellow, always interested in trying to speak English (which he does horribly, but A for effort) or discuss the poor quality of English teaching in France. both he and the two ladies adore Ayva and always have loads of new adjectives for me to learn as they shower them upon her. unfortunately Ayva has recently entered a stage where she really doesn't want to be too far from me and has always been somewhat uncomfortable in the doctor's office. today she just cried and cried and wanted me to hold her.
Dr. C. saw this and suggested to me was that i need to give Ayva to people more, like to our neighbors. um, ok. we do stop and talk to our neighbors every time they are outside at the same time we are. well talking is a relative term. i think sometimes people are reticent to talk to us as they think we don't understand them. the neighbor lady loves on Ayva, but she smokes like a chimney, but reeks like bleach as she is ALWAYS cleaning something. i do understand what the doctor means though and i know that i need to find ways for Ayva to be around more children. we do go for our walks and get out and about besides that, but it's not so easy around here to really get to know people. she is super friendly with everyone we come in contact with, but those are usually just short little interactions. our village doesn't have a crèche, which is basically day care for children three years of age and under. there is one two villages away that Laetitia has Mattéo in (she only pays something like 12 centimes a day after all the medical coverage is taken into account. crazy!) that i will try to see if i can get Ayva into every so often in the fall. all the full-time spots are taken, but i'm not interested in that anyway. i've been told that it may be possible to put her in on an occasional basis which i think would work well for us.
speaking of Mattéo, he and Ayva play around each other about once a week. even though he is 10 days younger than her, he is quite a bit bigger and already crawls and climbs around. he's not a mean kid at all, but he's a boy and thus is much rougher. he's fascinated by her hair and pulls it often or pushes her over while grabbing for a toy. Ayva doesn't really know how to react to this and i'm not sure what to do either. do i separate her from him or let them somehow work it out or calm her down every time she cries because he's pulled her hair and then put her right back down next to him? any ideas?
between this month and last month, Ayva has not put on much weight. looking at her though, the doctor was not at all concerned as she sleeps, eats, poops and pees, and plays well. he asked me what she eats and i told him that she eats the usual fruits, veggies, some meat, fish, and poultry, dairy products, etc. he made another suggestion that i start feeding her cheese or egg soufflés and flans. when he looked up at me and saw my reaction (basically one of horror and confusion), he asked Henri, "doesn't your wife make soufflés and flans?" i butted in before Henri could answer that he didn't even know what those things are. i felt horror because soufflés have always sounded really freaky and difficult to make. i was confused because i had never heard this suggestion before as something to feed a baby. they are really into feeding soup, fish and cheese to babies here, but i had never heard anyone mention flans or soufflés.
overall it was a good visit (besides one of the ladies thinking i was pregnant..."oh! vous attendez un bébé? super!" yeah, it's really super lady that my belly only contains fat, no baby. ahem. only slightly embarrassing for me. she just shrugged it off like it was nothing.) even though i can see that Ayva's healthy and doing well, it's always reassuring to have an actual medical professional confirm it. now to work on making a soufflé or maybe a flan, and working on losing my gut. i know i could find myriad recipes for both on the Internet, but does anyone out there have a tried and true recipe for either? i told the doctor i would try, so gosh darn it, i will!