Wednesday, August 02, 2006

hot town, summer in the city

So even though I scoffed at these overachieving Manhattan moms for comparing what "classes" their infants went to ("little Dahlia is in 'Music Together', Gymboree, and she takes SAT prep on Thursdays") I recently started researching some activities in which to get Cal involved. The reason is twofold. One, he is OLD now. (See yesterday's post.) Two, he does not have any other little kids to play with. There are many other babies and toddlers in the building, but given that many or most of the other moms are part-time vs. stay-at-home types, it's been hard for us to really meet them and infiltrate their elaborate social network. Maybe if I had a notebook and hid in the tall grass observing them, a la Diane Fosse. Yes, if I were some super schmoozy type, I know that I could just start up a conversation in the elevator or at the annual Halloween party in the lobby so that we could Get Our Kids Together, but seriously, I am just not good at that kind of thing. What can I say, I'm SHY. But I also don't want Cal to grow up to be some maladjusted loner, sitting in the corner of the lunchroom counting his Magic cards, so Gymboree it is.

He's been having such a good time at Gymboree that I actually feel guilty that I didn't sign him up for it earlier. But I didn't KNOW about such things! Who knew they had the big foam tunnel and the play balls and the big rainbow parachute and songs and dances and bubbles? This place is like baby heaven! Except you don't have to be dead to go there! And also, you have to wear socks at all times! (In real baby heaven, you could go barefoot.) So yes, yay for Gymboree, even though their mascot is a potentially evil clown named "Jimbo" ("Gymbo"?) and even though they insidiously insert the word "Gymboree" into all their songs for advertising purposes. The itsy bitsy spider went up the Gymboree!

Anyway, yes, so Cal now has Activities. Now if only this miserable heat wave would break so that we could actually leave the house to attend said activities. I don't think walking thirteen blocks in the sun with a heat index of 110 degrees is the path to happiness.

* * *

So July came and went, which means I'm now starting my fourth year of residency. AND I'M STILL HERE. I hit an admittedly low point in June, when I realized that my original classmates in Peds were all graduating, moving on to fellowships and attending positions and other such grown-up things, and there I was, doing intern-level work in the SICU. I felt like a sister in the Church of the Perpetual Residency, except less chaste, and with more cursing. But I'm OK with it now.

I haven't gotten a chance to meet many of the new first-years yet, but I will when I get back to work on Monday. First years, I feel for you. Reflecting now, my first few months of Anesthesia residency were probably one of the most professionally stressful periods of my life. I think we were into winter before I really stopped having dreams about work every night, and I can still remember every day feeling like the stupidest person in the room. But it does get easier. It's of little solace to hear that now, I know, but it's true. It's almost exactly like arriving in a foreign country when you don't speak the language. At first, everything is a struggle. (Give my patient a unit of blood? Not only do I not know where the blood transfusion tubing is, I don't know how to set it up, where the blood is, how to check it, or how to use the fluid warmer! And my IV just stopped working!) But then you start learning a few key words and phrases and this enables you to at least understand the words coming out of your attending's mouth. (Well, unless the have a really heavy accent, in which case you may never understand anything that they say.) You start to figure out some things for yourself, from your reading and from your VAST experience. Twelve whole months! Well, eleven for me, I guess, less maternity leave. And things just get exponentially better from there. Not that I still don't feel dumb fairly often, or that I don't make some really boneheaded mistakes...but at least I don't worry anymore that I'm going to kill someone just by being in the same room as them.

(Actually, that would be a pretty impressive trick.)

* * *

I know it's all in the news and everything already, so duh, but--man has it been hot here these past few days. It's the kind of hot where you can't even remember what it was ever like to feel cold, like winter was some strange hallucination you had once.

There are many, many things that I should be doing right now (studying, writing thank-you cards, making phone calls), but I just can't summon the will. It's too hot. So instead I'm just going to lie here next to the air conditioning and wait for Cal to wake up so that we can go play in the sprinklers. Stay classy, San Diego.

Currently listening to: "Peter Paul and Mary: Around the Campfire." I wanted to get some kiddie-music for Cal to listen to, something outside the standard classical music repertoire, but I just couldn't bring myself to jump on the Raffi bandwagon because it just sounds like some sort of punchline. I mean, have you seen this guy?