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Visite médicale

I stand outside the doors to my daughters school. I am peering into the window to see if someone is around to let me in because like in all French schools the doors are locked at starting time. A wide smile greets me. I like this particular woman because she has a beautiful smile that even her eyes reflect. I walk into the school and am told to wait for Petite Clown to be brought to me. She is eating and a child is before her. Today she must see a doctor that comes to the school to examine the children ages 3-4. The doctor is more for catching social issues (language, eye sight or family problems such as abuse or neglect) more than medical.

Petite Clown is brought to me early because the mother before me forgot to bring the carte medical with her and had to run home to get it. I don’t think the doctor was amused by this. I don’t blame them because it was clearly stated on a paper sent home that this was to be brought to the visite medicale (medical visit).

Paper is put in front of Petite Clown and she is asked to draw. She doesn’t want to. She is very shy. I put on my lap and hand her a marker which seems to calm her. She begins drawing a circle(as close as a 3 year old can) and then coloring the inside of it with the same marker. Many of the markers are dried up. I am asked questions which I am able to answer with little trouble. It was difficult to explain Angel to the nurse but finally she understood that Angel’s father was not the father of my other children.

All is well until the nurse asks Petite Clown to tell her what various objects are in a picture. The woman points to a bird and asks her to tell her what it is. She said it was o.k. in French or English as Petite Clown wished. Petite Clown hides her eyes and refuses to cooperate even a little.

The doctor takes Petite Clown to a desk and asks me questions about her development and language skills. Thankfully, the doctor can understand English. It wasn’t easy for me to explain such complicated things in French. It took too long. I answered in French when I could and English when it was absolutely necessary.

The doctor pulled out a book and asked Petite Clown to tell her what an object in the picture was. It was a car. Petite Clown again refuses to answer. The doctor understands that she is shy and it is only her second week in school. I tell the doc that Petite Clown can name most objects and all her colors in both languages. She can count to ten in French and in English. She can add up to four.

The doctor tells me that with time and regular attendance Petite Clown should mature and by the next visite medicale she should be able to talk with her. I hope so!

We leave and I collect Sweet Bear. We all walk home. I am thankful that Boy Blue was well behaved through all of this. He didn’t take a nap as I had planned. Vilay was helping the mother of a friend by taking her to a hospital visit. She hurt her leg and there was no one else to take her. So, I went alone to the visite medicale and I survived.


I will receive a temporary paper until my titre de séjour comes. I never really have trouble dealing with administration like most expats. Well, with the exception of my driver’s license. Since I now have a valid Ohio driver’s license I hope I can get a French one. I have to find the paper that was given to me at the préfecture stating that I had one year to do it from the date that we were in the préfecture to complain about the big mess up. If I can’t find the paper then we will go and try it without.

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  • barbara February 19, 2007, 9:30 pm

    Hello Pumpkin,
    Well, at least that “visite médicale” is over with !
    Everything is still new to your daughter, and she is adjusting. How nice of the doctor to use English with her.

    Nice of you to give the update with your titre de séjour.

  • Pumpkin February 20, 2007, 9:38 am

    Actually, the doctor only spoke in French with Petite Clown. Petite Clown was allowed to answer in French or English; With me she spoke in English when needed. I wish Vilay could have come. It would have made me feel better about the whole thing.

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