Sunday, December 28, 2008

turd-fest, 2008 edition





Last night Joe and I were discussing the contingency plans in the event (wishful thinking on my part, perhaps, though I think with a second child not entirely fanciful) that Cal 2.0 decides to make his debut before his due date--let's say sometime this week. We have our respective leaves from work planned out already (six weeks for me, one week for Joe), though at the time we requested them, we thought the most prudent course of action would be to request leave starting exactly on the day that we were "supposed" to deliver (in this case January 9th, which we were told could be our planned induction date--ENDGAME, if you will), and that in the event that I delivered earlier than that, I would just return to work early at the end of my six-week leave. My question (which I have to admit was sort of posted in a rhetorical spirit), was whether or not Joe could swing it with his schedule if we delivered this week--let's say on Wednesday. Not that the prospect of a tax break for 2008 has anything to do with ANYTHING.


JOE
Well, I still have clinic on Friday afternoon, so I'd still need to go in and see patients.

MICHELLE
But if I delivered on Wednesday, we'd probably be leaving the hospital on Friday morning.

JOE
Yeah. I mean, if they baby's already out by then, I think I should go to work that day.

MICHELLE
But we would just be getting home then. You know how hospital discharges work, we'd be lucky to get out the door by 10:00am. So you're saying you'd drop us off at home, turn around, and drive to work?

JOE
Just for, like, five hours.

MICHELLE
On our first day home. Just Cal, the new baby, Cooper, and anemic, exhausted, torn-up-down-below me.

JOE
I have patients to see.

MICHELLE
I am familiar with the concept. Well, what if we were delivering on Friday? Then what?

JOE
I mean, if you were actually in labor on Friday when I was supposed to be in clinic, I probably would have to work out something. Like I would have to reschedule them for the following week.

MICHELLE
"Probably."

JOE
But I just think if nothing is going on, like the baby is already out, I have to go in to my afternoon clinic. Who else is going to see my patients?

MICHELLE
I can't imagine. Hopefully if we deliver on Friday, he'll have crowned by 11:30am so you have enough time to take a peek before hopping into the car and driving in to work.

JOE
You just don't understand.

MICHELLE
No, as a physician who is nine months pregnant and working straight up until her due date, I simply can't conceptualize the idea of feeling obligated to my job. But there are limits, after all.

JOE
That's anesthesia, it's different for you. Clinic-based medicine isn't the same.

MICHELLE
Yes, I suppose it is.
(Finding this conversation eerily familiar, and realizing after nine years
that there is no utility in arguing this point, resumes reading book.)
You do what you think you need to do. I will deal with things. As usual.

JOE
Don't be a turd.

MICHELLE
Try as I might, I don't see how I'm the one that comes off as a turd in this situation.

JOE
You're being a turd.

MICHELLE
I just feel sorry for you for the reactions you're going to get when you show up at the office that day and tell them that your kid was just born twenty-five minutes ago.


Now, while I am not disputing that his commitment to his patients is commendable, COME ON NOW. However, this is less of a call of arms to all pile on Joe (though part of me last night would have really relished this) than wonderment that, three and a half years later, we are still having THE SAME DISCUSSION. Of course, things worked out fine the last time, as I'm sure they will this time around too, but it's just more a sense of incredulity that Joe sees this as a case in which I once again am trying to prove that I'm always right (mostly, though not invariably true), so much as a situation where I can't believe I have to explain why I'm a little surprised that we're having this conversation at all.

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