Friday, July 13, 2012


We've had a number of firsts in the past two weeks.  Baby Oil started at nursery school, and the following day, came down with the chicken pox.  Which meant that we had to call the nursery school and say, "We are so happy that our son has spent one lovely introductory hour with you, and by the way we exposed your whole school to the chicken pox." 

The most common response I've received to explaining that my child has the chicken pox is, "But didn't he get the vaccine?"  Here is the honest, not-winning-any-mother-of-the-year truth:  I don't know.  The chicken pox vaccine is not regularly given in France.  It is possible that Baby Oil received it anyway, since our pediatrician knows that we are American.  So I consulted our Carnet de Sante, which is this little book that all parents in Paris receive from the city government, and which basically serves as your child's medical records that you keep.  Every time we go for a check up, the pediatrician notes Baby Oil's height and weight, any vaccines given, and anything else.  You take a look at this and tell me whether my kid got the chicken pox vaccine:

That's right - completely illegible.  At a certain point, I also realized that it doesn't really matter if he got the vaccine or not, because he definitely got the chicken pox.  You might be wondering why I did not ask the pediatrician when we got the pox confirmed.  To this I remind you of one my absolute all-time favorite things about France - SOS Medecins.  It costs less out of pocket (and is reimbursed by insurance anyway) for a pediatrician to show up at my apartment within 30 minutes of calling than it does to shlep to the doctor's office. 

We are now officially pox-free, so we started again this week with our "adaptation" at the halte garderie (which I'm calling nursery school, but you could also call glorified day care).   I spent 20-40 minutes for a few days with Baby Oil at the school to get him adjusted, and what I learned is that two-year-olds speaking French give me a headache because I really don't understand them.  Baby Oil, on the other hand, is utterly unfazed by the fact that everyone is speaking in French.  Which is why he will be bilingual and I will still get confused between passe compose and the imparfait.  It is definitely beyond adorable to watch all these adorable French children (and at least one American, of course) sitting around singing adorable French songs, and making adorable French toddler conversation (which, since it's France, probably involves the merits of camembert versus brie). 

To end our week of firsts, I discovered this week that our kosher butcher makes a ready-to-cook kosher chicken cordon bleu, which we ate for dinner tonight. Delicious!