My soon to be 8 year old daughter, Iris came home complaining last week that she couldn’t see the board at school. They recently got one of those new fan dangled Smart Boards in her classroom that is basically a huge computer hanging on the wall. I’m sure it’s wonderful but I am a little sad that my children will never experience the daily chore of clapping erasers at the end of the day and being lost in a cloud of dust as they sputter and choke to get the erasers ready for another day of learning.
I made Iris an eye appointment for the next day that was scheduled directly after school.
I picked Iris and my 5 year old son, Bency, up from school and along with my 2 year old, Cesar, we headed off to the optometrist. As soon as we arrived I could already smell trouble. For one thing, there is not really a waiting area. There were only two chairs in the corner amidst all the racks and racks of sample eyewear. There was one little basket of magazines and nothing else for two little boys to occupy themselves with.
I encouraged each boy to pick out a magazine and plop themselves on the chairs while Iris and I strolled around looking at the various options for glasses. Cesar chose an issue of Birds and Blooms while Bency began perusing the latest copy of Good Housekeeping.
Problems started to arise as the wait went on forever. The boys tired of reading about the newest bird feeders on the market and cleaning tips on how to remove lime scale from your bathtub. They started in on impromptu games of leap frog and seeing who could conceal themselves in the tiny basket of magazines. I tried my best to keep them under control but even when they were still they would make silly faces at each other and erupt into fits of laughter.
I soon glanced over my shoulder and noticed the lady doctor drinking in this chaos with a disapproving look on her face. She beckoned for us to come back to the room but did so with an eye roll and a huff. I asked Iris if she wanted to go in by herself but she adamantly shook her head “no” and really I couldn’t blame her for not wanting to be left alone in a room with a lady with such a sour look on her face. As we entered the room the doctor flippantly told Iris to sit in the examining chair and said, “I guess the rest of you can find somewhere to sit over there” as she motioned to the one chair against the wall and spoke in a tone that was laden with rudeness.
Bency and I made our way over to the one chair while Cesar made a beeline for the doctor’s swivel chair. I immediately began to tell Cesar that he had to come by me but the doctor interrupted with shouting at my poor 2 year old exclaiming, “This is my chair! No one sits on here but me!” At this point I wanted to get up and leave because there is nothing that gets my goat more than someone yelling at my child when I am already trying to remedy a situation. Somehow I managed to hold my tongue and the eye exam proceeded.
The doctor asked Iris a few questions and then asked her to read the eye chart on the wall ahead. Before Iris could get a letter out my 2 year old, Cesar began reciting the letters in a sing-song voice, “E-R-V-B-S-U-W-A-T.”
Needless to say, this sent the doctor into dramatic sighs, huffs and under the breath muttering as she made it clear that Cesar had ruined everything and she would need to push a button to change to a different chart.
After what I am sure was a streamlined short exam the doctor made the diagnosis that Iris has weakened her eyes by too much reading. She has perfect eyesight but apparently since her nose is always in a book it causes her eyes not to be able to focus on things faraway.
She sent us away with a prescription that Iris has to wear glasses while reading and after a sigh of relief she said, “Good bye you monkeys!”
I made a silly face and the boys and I burst into fits of laughter as we leap-frogged our way out of there!