Tuesday, August 23, 2005


So I now have less than two weeks before I have to return to work, or "work outside of the home," as some might (stridently) insist that I call it, though I don't quite feel the same need for that level of specificity; when I say "work," one pretty clearly understands that I mean "my job, for which I get paid money to do things not at home," right? So anyway, yes, my outside-of-the-home job for scandalously low pay, which I must resume after Labor Day. And while I'm excited to go back (aside from fears that I've lost all my skillz and forgotten all the medicine I've ever learned), there is some adjusting that needs to take place.

We've been phasing in our nanny, Georgia, for the past few weeks, having her come more and more half-days a week (I'm just having her work in the mornings for now, so I still get to play Dr. Mom in the afternoons) and practice her morning commute. The problem with her morning commute is that we really do need her to come in ridiculously early, and given the pre-5:30am morning train schedules and the fact that she lives in Brooklyn on the not-so-reliable-before-6am Q line, we've had a little trouble nailing down a punctual arrival time. (She has to switch from the Q to the also-not-so-fast N train at Union Square.) I have to get to work uptown by 6:30am, and from our dress rehearsals, Georgia has been able to arrive to our house anywhere between 5:50am and 6:00am. Which is fairly reasonable, given that we asked her to come at 5:45am, but my worry is that it if it really is closer to 6:00am that she's getting here, it doesn't really leave a large margin of error for things like traffic or weather or the random unexpected event that I like to think of as [???]. For example, [???] = the car doesn't start. Or [???] = there's a mysterious van parked on the side of the FDR and the bomb squad fences off a ten block radius, trapping us between exits. Or [???] = The Boy is sick and our whole morning routine is thrown off.

I don't like [???].

Of course, you have to keep in mind that for most people, 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time to allot for our commute, because usually, that's exactly the amount of time the drive uptown would take. But you're talking about me and Joe here, two walking anuses with legs and clogs. We got to the airport four hours early for our flight to Italy. During my Peds residency, depending on the month, I would routinely get in for work half an hour before everyone else because of the threat of the dreaded [???]. As an intern on the wards during the winter, there were many, many mornings that I got in at 5:30am when rounds didn't start until 7:00am, because I really hate the feeling of being rushed through my pre-rounds. (Also because I hated fighting the med students for computers, and if I got there after they arrived, I'd be gridlocked in line behind them while they printed out articles from Up-To-Date or checked their patients labs in a particularly slow and tortuous way.)

So I guess what I need to learn now is that I need to stop being such a walking anus. I mean, I don't think it's possible to be in medicine and not be a tiny bit compulsive about how you do things, but now that we have a kid, we're going to have to accept that [???] is going to come up a lot more frequently, and while it's not always convenient, it's to be expected. I can't always count on having my extra half hour in the morning to leisurely sip my tea and pre-round. I can't always count on my pre-work routine to go off without a hitch. I'm not going to always have that 45 minutes in the evening to read my articles for work--oh wait, who am I kidding, I never used to do that anyway. But my point is that the era of ruthlessly scheduling my days and expecting to be able to keep to that schedule 99% of the time are over. I have to learn to embrace the [???].

But I still don't have to like it.

Currently reading: "Pillars of the Earth," and also for a dash of non-fiction, the deceptively succinctly titled Bill Clinton memoir "My Life". I really wanted to read it when it first came out, but did you see the size of that book in hardcover? It was like a cement block! Also, of course, reading up on peripheral nerve blocks so I won't be a stupidhead.

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