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A post about a day out of my life that turns into a rant

We had a big sun yesterday. Yesterday was my laundry day. I hung clothes outside for the first time this year. Even the jeans were dry in a little over an hour. All of this meant that I finished all my laundry before five pm. Everything was folded and put away since I gave up ironing three months ago. I realized that only a few of the Swiss mothers ironed. No one really cares if you do or don’t. So, I don’t.

In my humble opinion, life is too short for something so silly. If someone wants to judge me by whether or not my clothes are ironed then they are not someone that I am going to get along with anyway.

I am tired. Don’t be surprised if this post is all over the place. That is how I feel today. All over the place.

Boy Blue fell off a fairly high platform for his age at the train station yesterday. He didn’t have a bump and barely cried. His arm was pretty skinned up so I think he caught himself with it. However, that didn’t keep me from waking up all night long to check on him.

I took him to the village doctor to get a looking at. He hadn’t thrown up and was running around like a monkey so I figured he was ok. But, just in case we went. I regret going now.

We sat for over an hour in the waiting room. My kids were pretty good considering the length of time we spent in a small room with little entertainment. Boy Blue was already wound up from waiting and he was tired. Finally, we got to see the doctor.

Boy Blue is the type of child that hides behind his mother’s skirt. He hates going to the doctor and screams. I admit that he is terrible with doctors.

He will not let any doctor look at him without putting up a fight.

Our village doctor was a little aggravated and grabbed my son up not quite slamming him on the table but definitely not placing him on it either. He then held him down with a bit of force. Instead of looking like a doctor examining my son it looked more like he were wrestling him.

What bothered me wasn’t that he had to hold my son down. All doctors do.

It was how he did it. It wasn’t professional. It seemed personal. It made me uncomfortable.

He then grabbed my son’s arm after he placed him on the floor pulling up on his arm so that it was held taunt high over my son’s head. He made my son walk beside him to the door of the room. I honestly thought that the doctor was going to take my son into another room to spank him. The doctor stopped at the door yanking my son to stand next to him as he again held my son’s arm taunt above my son’s head.

The doctor looked at me and said that my son needs to understand he doesn’t always get his way.

I took that personal as well. What right does this doctor have to make assumptions about how I am parenting my son?

My son is shy. He is with me all day long. He will not be three until the end of June.

I do not let my son get his way.

Boy Blue is put in his room to lay on his bed when he is having a big fit or hits or bites one of his sisters.

My son is not the little king of our house that this doctor made him out to be.

If we let Boy Blue get his way and this is why he acts like this I would admit it here and now. But, it is not true. If reality he gets in trouble all the time. He gets put in time out and even if I hate to do it…he does get the occasional spanking on the bottom not hard enough to cause pain but hard enough to grab his attention.

I discipline my children.

It made me question whether I should go to this doctor again or perhaps this is another part of the Swiss culture that I don’t understand.

I honestly feel in my gut that this doctor while very nice and professional on the surface may not be what he seems and it is not a cultural misunderstanding.

The last time I took my son to a doctor it was at a Swiss hospital since it was the weekend and he was too sick too wait until Monday. The doctor had me hold my son down while she looked him over. She wasn’t bothered by his fighting her. A few times she had to hold him down as well but she did so professionally.

She didn’t make it about power.

It was not personal.

She professionally took control of the situation and examined my son even if he wasn’t happy about it.

Afterwards, she told me it was normal that he acted like this and he would grow out of it. She didn’t attack my parenting but instead soothed my concern away. I hadn’t asked for her opinion about his behavior but she had seen by my face that I needed reassurance that his behavior was normal and that he was not a social freak.

She was a Swiss doctor who was professional and observant without being judgemental.

I think that is the biggest issue I have with living in a small village. People are so very judgemental. This is the one observation I have from living in this village that is a fact and not a misinterpretation of mine as an expat. I understand that it is the same in every country. That is why I am happier living in larger cities. People in cities mind their own business and live their own lives.

Each day the need to get the hell out of this village nags at me. I am happy living in Switzerland but I hate living in this village. I hate it!

I have no patience for the small town mentality. I would not live in a small town in the States for the same reasons I am not happy here in this village. I wouldn’t. So, why should I do it just because we are living in another country?

I told Vilay last night that we have to find a solution to move to a larger city because I will not raise our bilingual and tricultural (American, French and now Swiss) children in this ignorant village.

I want my kids to be in an international environment filled with culture and not judgemental people who are so bored with their own lives that they have to meddle in the lives of others.

This village doctor was my breaking point.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Connie K May 6, 2008, 5:27 pm

    My goodness I would have flipped out and taken my kid running! I had a similar run in with a doctor… she told me “This is really an unpleasent child!” Keep in mind she was being seen as a follow up from extreme reflux, so bad that it burt her esophogus, and was throwing up blood. I picked up my kid, and left. The doctor actually came to my house to apologize but I refused to go back to that office, and went to a different doctor who was further away but our original doc when we had Thea. SERIOUSLY…. you take your kid somewhere for help, and for whatever reason (bad day, misunderstanding, tired, generally a nasty person anyway) you don’t get “help” and walk away feeling like crap – Who wouldn’t feel as you do? Boy Blue is 2…. 2 year olds, in all cultures can be a general pain in the ass when at doctors offices. Its not a news flash?! They are scared, they don’t understand, and anyone can read a child and development book and learn about what it really means to be two… or have a two year old would know this.

  • Lisa May 6, 2008, 6:34 pm

    There are some people that should not be allowed in pediatrics or teach children at all. I had a pediatrician like that once. I left her services (her whole office sucked too)and a lot of other people left that office as well. A two year throwing a tantrum (especially at a doctor’s office) is understandable. An adult pitching a fit in response (that doctor’s reaction to your son) – not so appropriate. He should find another line of work!

  • Katie May 7, 2008, 12:39 am

    I think that you have EVERY right to be upset. You are his mom, you will always be protective of your child.
    I know it is pretty hard, but try not to take it personally. As you said, this is all about small village mentality. Your child is very young and there is nothing wrong with him if he is scared of strangers and doctors- most kids his age are.
    Hopefully you guys can move to a bigger town soon where you can get a job and find a better doctor for the kids.
    I would have probabbly tried to hold my daughter (who is very scared of doctors, too) myself, so the doctor can check her up.
    Keep up the great work youre doing with the kiddos and don’t sweat the small stuff :-)

  • Pumpkin May 7, 2008, 8:37 am

    I don’t blame for not going back. I can’t believe she said that about a child.

    What is funny is when we were leaving the receptionist had a look of horror on her face. I think she was shocked by what she had heard the doctor say.

    I was going back and forth about whether or not to stay in our village because there are people that are kind here as well but in the end I do think that we would be happier in a larger city. There are just too many people here that are a close minded and judgemental for my taste.

  • Susie Vereker May 7, 2008, 1:08 pm

    Blue’s fall must have been very frightening for you. He sounds like a typical small boy. I’m shocked that the doctor treated a baby in that fashion. The Jura has its charms undoubtedly, but maybe you could change doctors or move nearer Geneva.

    I meant to say before, I like your photos.

  • Pumpkin May 7, 2008, 2:58 pm

    Susie Vereker,
    His fall did scare me. I was shocked that the doctor behaved in this manner. He is an older doctor and maybe he is close to retirement?

    I have decided that we will have to find another doctor. I will never go back to this doc again.

    You are right the Jura does have its charm and that is what is hard. I love our mountain walks and the view from our apartment. I don’t have to worry about my kids playing outside and many other things that are important to me. However, I think that we can find those things in a larger city as well.

    Once I start working we will have many choices we don’t have at the moment. This summer will bring us changes that I think our family needs.

    I do love living in Switzerland and I think it is just about finding a larger village or city that fits us better.

  • Mom May 7, 2008, 5:39 pm

    You are a good mother. That Doctor is lucky I wasn’t there with you or I would have told him.
    If he is to old he should retire before this grandmother makes HIM need to see a DOCTOR. ;)

  • Mad William May 7, 2008, 8:42 pm

    How rude! Doctors and their God complex. I so dislike them in general. I would have thumped him.

    I totally get your village thing. I live in a small town. Not for long anymore. We are moving back to the city for those same reasons. I don’t know what posessed me to move here. Small towns are a strange place I don’t get. And don’t really want to. My thoughts are with you.

  • Pumpkin May 7, 2008, 9:20 pm

    Mad William,
    My husband said the doc wouldn’t have done that with him there and I am sure he wouldn’t have. :)

    I have been reading about your adventures with moving even if I haven’t been commenting much. I think in the end both our families will be all settled into new lives by the end of this year. :)

  • expatraveler May 8, 2008, 2:45 am

    P has had his share of bad doctors lately so I know where you are coming from on that angle. Glad you’ve decided not to go back because it is in fact your choice…

    I think the more you travel around your Jura village area, the more you can maybe figure out which villages you tend to like more?

    I certainly knew which areas I really loved.

  • Pumpkin May 8, 2008, 1:36 pm


    We have hit about every village around us either by walking or by train. There are some villages that are larger and very nice that I think would do. However, Vilay and I are looking at finding a larger city to move to since that is what we prefer. We would like to live close to a large city or in one. Of course, we will still visit all the villages on weekends but we are city folk at heart. :)

  • Jessica May 8, 2008, 8:23 pm

    Whew, what a situation. I don’t have kids yet, but if I were in your situation, I would definitely change doctors. Keep your chin up and I hope your next doctor is more professional and understanding.

    Please do post a follow up after the next doc visit!!!

  • sissi May 8, 2008, 11:28 pm

    I think you will find the village mentality everywhere, not just in Jura.
    In Savoy, we lived in a tiny village, my family is from this village, so everybody “know” me and boy, they sure talk a lot!!! The thing is I never participate in village talking, I say hello and that is about it. People think I am snob, this is not true, I just live my life and I don’t care about the gossip. People are going to talk anyway…

    I didn’t need their approval or friendship, I have a life of my own, if they don’t have a life and need to point the finger, well, too bad for them… I think you should do like me. Do not care about it, small village mentality will never change, just stay polite and say hello but keep on movin’…

    BTW the weather has been GORGEOUS!!! How great!!! On they day I moved here,
    I drove by your village,I got lost, the road was closed and I drove around not knowing where to go, I took this BEAUTIFUL road along a crystal clear lake/river, GORGEOUS, somehow I ended up in France!!! I had to drive back until some worker told me where to go:-)

    My village is small too ( 400 people ) but it is so close to a larger city that it feels we’re in the suburbs and not in a “real” isolated village.

  • Pumpkin May 9, 2008, 9:22 am


    I wish I would have known you were here I could have ran and waved!!! :)

    It is beautiful here. I am amazed each day with the beautiful in Switzerland.

    It isn’t that I care what people think about me but I do care when it comes to my children. I need to calm the mama in me. Plus, we have our neighbors wagging their tongues. If Vilay and I have an arguement which married couples do half the village knows about it before the end of the week. If we have to stay in this village we will still be moving out of this building. Some of the people in this building are mean people. We have NO PRIVACY. None.

    I have noticed that there are people in our village that don’t associate with others and are polite. I am sure it is for the same reasons.

    I really enjoy many things about living in our village but in the end I am a city girl. So, we will end up back in a city or really close to one like you.

  • Pumpkin May 9, 2008, 9:25 am

    I asked another mother where she takes her children. She went to the doctor in question as a small child but now she takes her kids to another doctor in another village. I think that says something even if she never said anything bad about our village doctor.

    I will try her doc in the neighboring village. :)

  • might i add ... ? May 13, 2008, 11:57 pm

    I am so angry reading what happened to you. I cannot, cannot believe that someone like that has a) chosen to work with children b) is allowed to work with children c) has any patients left.

    I probably would have lost my temper with him, which of course, would have only fed his fire. But someone needs to take him down a peg or two!! How dare he! Really! How dare he treat a baby like that.

    I really dislike doctors like this. I think some of it may be the generation. Younger doctors tend to treat their patients like they are partners in the process, whereas the older ones tend to act like they have the right to do whatever they damn well want, and you better sit down and shut up. I dislike them, and if I’ve got my act together, I tell them not to touch me until they explain exactly what they are planning to do.

    Grr! Makes my blood pressure boil. And then the nerve to say all that nasty stuff to you, when it’s obviously him who has the problem.

    I would feel no qualms about choosing another doctor. I would probably also write him a letter telling him exactly why I was not coming back and how inappropriate he had been.

  • Pumpkin May 14, 2008, 5:42 am

    might i add,
    I thought about writing him a letter. Vilay told me to drop it but maybe I will still write that letter.

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