Monday, December 7, 2009

Which Day?

I have no adequate way of selecting one typical day to post about, as part of the joy is the variation inherent in a career of education, research, and clinical care, and two ever changing kids and a supportive husband. If I was a better writer, could be a memoir instead of a post!

Awoken by happy child, other child wakes, was happy but she wants more snuggle time, downstairs for breakfast, play some music, make some music, move lunches from refrigerator to car, socks on, brush teeth, pee, finish getting dressed myself, get in car. I take one to school, husband takes other to daycare. Off to fight traffic.

Or, should I describe a typical day where I take the whole morning to go on a class trip with one of my children? Or take them to the dentist? Or pick them up early for a special concert performance?

There’s the occasional day where I have to leave so early to lead a morning meeting that the kids are just waking up as I kiss them goodbye.

And the day that where I use my “administrative” time to be academically productive, surfing PubMed, online journals, checking personal and professional emails, catching up and making plans scholarly and otherwise? Attending noon conference, meeting with trainees.

And when I spend the afternoon at our pediatric health center with (in 5 to 30+ minute intervals):
· a teen who doesn't think she’s pregnant and is;
· a teen who thinks she’s pregnant and isn't;
· a newborn, it’s his first visit but we know the family as the 8 other siblings come to our practice as well;
· a mother who wants H1N1 vaccine for her child, but we’re out of the supply;
· a mother who doesn't want H1N1 vaccine for her child (once we have a good stock in)
· a former resident’s baby for a well check
· quick: what’s that rash
· not so quick: a teen who is about to be kicked out of school, needs residential treatment for his addiction, in my office with his mom, both wanting help
· pre-op physical and can you see the sibling too for her cold
· phone calls and school forms intermixed with above
· and a few others

Rush home. Finish my electronic medical records securely, but from home, after the kids go to sleep. Will this be a good commute day or a bad one? Often depends on the weather.

There’s the periodic 5pm meeting that I phone in to so I can commute home in time to make dinner.

And twice monthly when I am on call, which means I answer my pages by phone in the presence of the kids from 5pm-8pm, so they know as well as I how to respond to a parent of a child with a gastro or the appropriate Tylenol dose for fever.

Some arrangement of the village picks up the kids, quick dinner prep, not real cooking but is healthy enough, kindergarten homework, all eat together (wow!), competition for who gets to hold a conversation with whom, try to make tomorrow’s lunches while doing dishes after dinner, reading books, playing music, 30 minutes of video time, get in the bathtub, brush teeth, books books books, pee again, one more book, one child to bed, more books with older child, pee again, finally both are sleeping.

Rest of evening:
Catch up with spouse, more online time, maybe a little bit of TV, crossword, finish something for work, finish electronic medical record notes, read residency program applicant’s interview for the next day, maybe take shower, more spouse fun time, sleep…


  1. T - what a full day. Despite this, typical day seems to include some good quality spousal time. Nice.

  2. I, too, have those "occasional days" which seem to repeat themselves quite often.

    Wonderfully amusing post! I feel so very normal now!

  3. T, thank you for sharing your day! I'm a medical student and considering pediatrics, and I'm surprised you have so much flexibility in your schedule! That's wonderful!

  4. KC: I see your day is quite full too!

    FD: Glad we're both "normal"

    Anna: Good luck to you! I think we find ways to create, mold, seek, and obtain that flexibility and opportunity.

  5. I, too, am impressed with the flexibility you have created. Mornings can include concerts with your kids and field trips? I have a lot of work to do. Looking forward to making partner next year so I can try to create some flexibility of my own.


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