Last week I took H for an eye-test. The ophthalmologist's clinic was packed and we had a good one hour wait. H had taken along a book. It was another one from the Captain Underpants series. (On that note - When exactly do kids outgrow potty humour? I must remember to do a post on that someday) Yet, I was grateful. One, because at least it was a book and not the iPad and two, because I was spared endless rounds of word games and Atlas (H sits poring at the world map picking out places, mostly Chinese, ending in X so Atlas with him is no joke).
Mercifully, he read his book quietly, asked the receptionist how many people before his turn then sat counting. In, with the doctor, he sat through the eye test, read what he was asked to and generally behaved impeccably.
We've been going to the same ophthalmologist for quite a few years now and as we were leaving he commented, "H has matured a lot." An innocuous enough remark considering that the kids are growing up. But I remembered the nightmare of the first few visits.
H was a little over three years old when I noticed he had an affinity for watching television sideways. He was also bending too close over his textbooks (which is a habit I'm still struggling to get him out of). The eye-test was simply a precautionary measure. As it turned out he needed glasses.
Then began rounds of eye tests. He refused to sit on that chair, when he did he wouldn't sit still, he would scrunch his eyes, or blink rapidly or simply keep them shut, despite our repeated entreaties. Worse, he'd break into the ABCD song when asked to read the alphabets on the monitor.
The first time round it was funny. Then on it was just frustrating.
The most unfortunate part was that the doc couldn't give him a hundred percent accurate pair of glasses. As a result his eyesight deteriorated further. I changed doctors many times over until I finally found this one who could handle him well.
That is why the compliment was such a huge deal. And I came home feeling very optimistic as I thought that maybe things will fall into place as the kids grew up.
Earlier in the day the kids had been exceptionally rowdy. Tired and upset as I was, I wrote a distressed post wondering where I was going wrong. And now I'm glad I didn't publish it. That eye-test sorted out my day.
Seriously, doctors are useful people in more ways than one :-).