Monday, March 12, 2007
Nora came home from school with a report that she had flunked the mandatory vision screening and wouldn’t I please follow up with either (a) a professional eye exam, or (b) the DIY chart that came with the too-bad-your-kid-can’t-see report. I scheduled the eye exam, but put her through the DIY test just because it sounded fun. She didn’t miss a beat, her little hand moved up, down, left, right, with amazing speed, and even though I only play a doctor on TV, I concluded that she could see just fine.
But I took her to the optometrist anyway (who knew Costco had optometrists? Five pounds of frozen peas, a pint of roasted garlic hummus the consistency of mousse, so yummy, and vision testing, score). I took her to the eye technician because (a) I know she can see, and (b) I know Ellie’s ophthalmologist is booked 9 months out (and I always love that they test Ellie without her pop-bottles on and send her home with a flunked the vision test report every year too, d’ya think?). If the technician found a problem, the pediatric ophthalmologist would be the second stop on the vision train.
Nora is a quintessential class clown, and with her three sisters in the exam room for a captive audience (teacher ladder day? What the hell is teacher ladder day?), she was in her element and had them all snickering pretty good. I’d try to explain what was so funny, but a lot is lost in the effort to translate 5-year-old humor (a line drawing of a jeep was loosely interpreted as “a snake or stumfing”and got big yuks). When the lights were flipped on and the laughing subsided, the very patient and kind optometrist declared her vision to be sound, a smidge nearsighted, but certainly not anywhere near bad enough to need glasses to navigate her world each day. Hell, my younger brother Clark is navigating the interstates and driving his family (not my family, ever, forget that, blind boy) around town with myopic eyes and should wear glasses, thick glasses, but is proof that you can be very near-sighted and stupid and still get your car in and out of the garage every day.
So, after trying to keep Nora on task and stem her crazy nervous giggling long enough to finish the exam, the optometrist said, with laser-like perspicacity, “I think she probably didn’t co-operate with the eye testers at school.” D’ya think? And that’ll be $45, please pay at the desk.