Tuesday, June 10, 2014

To See Or Not To See? (I Really Don't Want to Talk About It, Thanks)


I witnessed the most Oscar-winning performance from Miss A at her first routine eye test last week.

I should have known. I should have been more switched on given she was broadcasting to everyone with great excitement even before the big appointment, that she was "definitely" getting a pair of pink glasses. While I know she can be pretty convincing when it comes to getting her way, I certainly didn't expect the performance she put on for the lovely optometrist who was thankfully able to see through A's dramatic interpretation of  'Stevie Wonder - The Early Years'.

It began with the eye chart. Upon being asked to read the single enormous 'L' perched at the very top, she gazed in its general direction,  slowly tilted her head sideways in a Princess Diana-like fashion and muttered in her saddest voice, "No. I can't. I can't see any letters." *sniff*.  Holy shit, I thought as the subliminal violins responded with their melancholic tune. She's really going to do this! And she did. She maintained her newfound blindness for the entire God-forsaken appointment.  After several unsuccessful eye chart attempts, that method was quickly abandoned by the optometrist who assumed at this point that Miss A hadn't yet grasped the alphabet despite my polite assurance that she was able to read quite confidently. Instead, she pulled out a booklet of symbols, numbers and circles which she held up not three inches from A's face. Alas, poor blind Princess Di was again unable to extract even one image or number. (Kill me).

She then tried colours, dots, and Disney characters without any further success. Truthfully, if she wasn't my child I probably would have found her performance pretty amusing but given the effort I'd put in to get her the appointment in the first place, I was in no laughing mood!  It became quite obvious at that point there was no way of righting the ship; my silent glares in her direction just gave her fuel to step up the Oscar-winning performance in order to convince me of her sudden and unfortunate affliction.  The session ended with a wry smile from the optometrist, her assurance that all was well as far as she could tell, and the suggestion that we should test again in twelve months when she's not a total "pain-in-the-arse-time-waster" (she didn't really say that bit but I wouldn't have blamed her). I thanked her for her precious time and shot a quick "wait until we get to the car" glare at Miss A who was deflating like a balloon as she realised her performance was not going to end in her desired result.

When we finally escaped,  I turned to her in the car determined to discuss in no uncertain terms what had just taken place and before I even had the chance, with one palm outstretched she simply responded with, "I really don't want to talk about it, thanks." (Really? I'm pretty sure a five year old doesn't generally get to choose whether a lecture is required or not?!). Nonetheless, after a few words from me about honesty and the boy who cried wolf, I soon figured that from her perspective, walking away with a clean bill of eye health after all that effort was punishment enough - this time!

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