Monday, March 21, 2011

Language is a Virus That Comes From Outer Space

Of all the developmental stages the development of language is one of the most fascinating, I think.

This little person who has been relying on us to pick up his cues now has the ability to direct us to pretty much exactly what he wants. Oliver is undergoing a language explosion currently: I noted last evening between 6 and 8pm he picked up two entirely new words ("pop" as in his grandfather, and "thunder" (thunna) as in the meteorological phenomenon). If I stopped to count he probably has several more every day.

Up to about two weeks ago he was only using single words. For example he would point at Ernie's tail and say either "Long!" or "Tail!", but never the two together. But then at dinner one night we could hear a bird squawking loudly in the back yard (I think it was a cockatoo). "Noisy!" He said

"Yes," I say "It's a noisy bird, isn't it."

-click, whirr, clunk-

"Noisy. Bird. Noisy. Bird"... "Noisy, bird. Noisy, bird."

Now pretty much everything he says has a modifier of some sort- eg "Up bird" was a bird he saw on top of a house, and he loves his "rainboo pants" (a pair of rainbow-striped leggings I bought on impulse).  He also comes out with some pretty complete sentences- as in subject object verb. A week or so ago he led (at different occasions) both MrT and I out of the house (holding our fingers) saying "Catch train?". Two nights ago as I zipped up his Grobag he said "Bye bye feet" and then in the morning "Fank- oo bag". "Ope(n) diss" is a command he repeats with alarming regularity (toy boxes, peanut butter jar, pencil boxes).

There are a few words that he uses that I'm pretty sure weren't in his big brother's vocab at a similar age. Things like  "MINE!" and "turn" (as in, I want my ~), and "Soww-ee" (Sorry). He also has Ollie-isms, like "Yup" for yes, "No-way!" when a plain old "No" would do. He says Pleas and Fank-oo beautifully, as well as "Oh dear" and "Whoops" like a pro.

And he sings. It's gorgeous:
"Tinkle star, tinkle star
Howwai wonda wa- aa- aar
Appa buvva worl-la eye
La la dii-man dinna sy
Tinkle star, tinkle star"

Tinkle star. From now on, for me, stars tinkle, not twinkle.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Fucking exam is doing my head in.

It's like this:

To be an anaesthesiologist (or an anaesthetist as we say in Aus) the mandatory training consists of

1. Medical School (somewhere between 5 and 7 years depending on where you do your degree)
then as a "qualified doctor"-
2. Internship
3. One year (at least) of residency
4,5. Two years as a Basic Trainee of Anaesthesia
during which you have to pass the "primary exam"
6,7.Then two years as an "advanced trainee"
8. the "final exam"
9. One year as a provisional fellow

and at some point complete a research project (10.)

I'm just about to undertake step 8. If I'm successful, I'll then have to do the fellow year (9) and do some research project (10).

To say I'm not feeling very confident would be a MASSIVE understatement. I have been studying for a long time but a) nothing seems to stay in my head (I have an incontinent intellect that leaks, it would seem) and b) it seems that much of my effort has been a little misguided- instead of studying the topics related to my everyday practice as I was, I should have been doing the old exam papers.

My study group consists of five women from my hospital who are all in approximately the same stage of training as me, but have not taken off huge swathes of time to, you know, have children. Only one other is married (and she is married to an already certified anaesthetist),  and she has no children. The others are all in their early 30s and have no commitments apart from themselves and their job. It has been incredibly hard to watch them all improve their knowledge at the rate of knots over the last 3 months whilst I am left behind. At the start I was at least on par with probably all but two- ie in the middle of the group knowledge-wise, but now I'm just so far behind ...

I am seriously considering pulling out. I don't get any of my $4600 back, but I couldn't face the humiliation of being the only one in the group to fail. People keep telling me I have nothing to lose by just sitting anyway, but there is a massive massive blow to the ego and intellect when you fail at something you have tried very hard to do, even though you know you were borderline to begin with. What looks worse? A non-starter or a loser?

I'm also concerned that if I do fail, I will have to spend another 6 months in this type of intensive study where I don't get to see the kids, don't get to do anything else in my spare time but sit here in this fucking room pushing pieces of paper all over my desk and eating myself to an early grave. It is a huge stress on MrT and the boys- it breaks my heart when they come to the door and literally wail "Mummy! Please PLEASE come and play with me! PLEASE!". Patrick is convinced I don't love him anymore because I need to study more than I need to spend time with him. Friday has been our day together, but I haven't been able to do it because of this stupid thing, and it is killing me.

So, please. On Friday the 25th March and Saturday the 26th would you all send some smart thoughts my way, or pray for me, or whatever you feel. Because I need all the help I can get to get my life (such as it was) back.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Not so much news as just wasting time at the computer

Well I checked and Mum and Dad flew up with about 2 hours' notice. God bless them. THEY care about their grandsons.

I think my M-I-L is still pissed off at me for blowing up at her over Christmas, and I can't say I really blame her for being annoyed at me. But don't do it at your grandchildren's expense, lady. I'm not going to let you play that game. If she comes here and totally ignores me I couldn't be happier, really. But don't give me the "I can't see my grandsons because my D-I-L is a bitch" crap. Grow some balls. (Or ovaries. Something.). Build a bridge, get over it. I don't really care, but don't let ME be the excuse for never seeing them when it is your own laziness, bee-yatch.