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5 things I'd have liked to tell my son's paediatrician

Aug 17, 2015

When Oliver had fever for the first time, after a day and a half of 39 °C, I decided to take him to the paediatrician and had one of those "never trust anybody—not even doctors" experiences I very much hate.

The paediatrician visits him and confirms that ears, mouth and chest are fine. We need to exclude a urinary tract infection.

"It's a very easy and painless procedure. We put a catheter up the penis to take a pee sample from the bladder."
"That does not sound painless to me! I'll have to think about it. I'll be outside feeding him."

I google the procedure. Many parents confirm my first feeling and describe it as, extremely painful, screamed to the top of his lungs, if they tell you it's not painful they have no idea what they're talking about. I also find another procedure that consists in attaching a bag around the penis, wait for the baby to pee, transfer the pee with a syringe to a container and analyse it. Now, this is painless. I decide to ask the doctor.

"Can you use the bag instead?"
"Yes, but it's as painful as the catheter because it's taped onto the skin. Anyway, they only cry because you hold their legs and they don't like it."
[I'd have liked to tell him, "Ok, let's first try the catheter on you, and if it doesn't you—you big guy who can rationalise pain—then I might consider doing it on my two-month-old son"]
"No, I prefer the bag, thank you."
"But it's not reliable. And if the result is positive we anyway have to redo the test with a catheter."
"But if it's negative, then there's no need for the catheter, is there?"

I shut him up and he introduces me to the nurse with a "this is the mum who doesn't want the catheter" and a look that says "these new mums who think they know more than us". Long story short, we use the bag, it works perfectly and the result is negative. No need for a stupid and painful catheter.

So these are 5 things I'd have liked to tell the paediatrician:

  • I was right, na-na-na-na-na!
  • Your job is to help the patient in the least invasive way possible. If you give me a dictionary, I'll show you what "invasive" means.
  • I come to you because you're supposed to help my son, not to judge me as a mother.
  • You paediatrician should stop once and for all to tell parents what hurts and what doesn't hurt our children. For tow reasons: 1. You don't know it, even I don't know it because in case you haven't noticed, babies can't tell us. 2. Because everybody has a different pain threshold.
  • Believe it or not, very often we modern parents know more than you when it comes to our babies' health. Because we have the whole internet with millions of experiences and diagnosis and symptoms at our fingertips. But mostly, because, unlike you, we care.

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
"Stop crying!" doesn't work
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

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Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
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I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.