Tuesday I had a lapse in judgement. Actually, the lapse occurred last week when I scheduled an eye exam for 2:00 in the afternoon which is normally rest time at our house. The boys and I had an excellent day together. We went out for lunch where they sat nicely at the table and enjoyed their food without having to be corrected for bad table manners. We went and picked up Stephen’s new glasses from the eye-glass place and then headed for my appointment.
Upon check-in I began to question the wisdom of my decision. The receptionist gave me the usual, “You have your hands full” comment. I then realized this comment can have two very different meanings depending on the facial expression and tone in which it is delivered. It can mean, “You have a lot of children. I don’t know how you manage, but good for you.” Or it can mean, “I can’t believe you have so many children and that you would bring them to a doctor’s appointment with you.” The older boys were certainly restless in this waiting room with nothing for children but a Highlights magazine, Gabriel was tired, and Sebastian tired and hungry and wanting to not be confined in his stroller. The wait wasn’t long though before we were called back.
The doctor’s assistant didn’t seem much happier with the size of our clan, making a comment about finding an exam room big enough for all of us. This as Gabriel was crying that his shoe was unfastened and Isaac and Stephen were sword fighting with each other. We were given a room about the size of a walk-in closet. The noise of five children in a room that small, even if they talk quietly, is rather deafening. Again the wait wasn’t long, and the doctor came in. He smiled at the boys and said he thought he’d heard some young voices and knew he should hurry in. He was very understanding and went out of his way to put me at ease with my restless bunch who were lined up on the wall, draped over the one chair in the room, and lying on the floor under the chair. He even commented that it would make a good Norman Rockwell picture, which should have prompted me to take one but it didn’t. I informed the doctor I had one babysitter for the week and a dentist appointment on Friday so the dentist won out over the eye doctor. We completed the eye exam with a crying Sebastian in my lap as the doctor looked in my eyes, checked out with the same receptionist who checked us in, and didn’t consider stopping to look for new glasses. Note to self: don’t schedule my appointments during nap-time. You would think I would have already learned this by now.