Jet’s brothers Oboe and Jem wear glasses. Grandma and Papa wear glasses. Jet’s Aunt and Uncle wear glasses. “I need glasses, “ Jet declared, “‘cause my eyes don’t work too well.”
“You have some sunglasses.”
“I need real glasses to help me see.”
The natural inclination of course, is to assume that she could see perfectly well, but the boys’ ophthalmologist suggested that based on family history alone, Jet should have her eyes checked too. So, I took her for an exam while mommy and daddy were at work. Jet was thoroughly prepped for the appointment with admonishments and instructions about proper behavior. She understood that she would be expected to do exactly as the doctor directed.
Jet climbed into the big chair. The doctor asked me if she could read the alphabet. “For the most part,” I assured her. The first letter was a very large E. Jet declared that she had absolutely no idea what it could be. Something about that chair must have rendered Jet unable to remain still. She wiggled and twisted and moved her legs to the side of the chair.
The doctor ignored the wiggling and moved her legs back in place. “That’s all right,” she assured me. “We’ll just use pictures. Can you tell me what this is?” A birthday cake appeared on the wall.
“A spinning wheel!”
“And this?” A horse and rider appeared.
“That’s a cow!”
“What about this?” A telephone blinked into view.
“A bed.” I began to wonder if she could see at all.
“How old is she again?” the doctor asked.
Jet didn’t like my answer that she would be four in a few weeks. “I’m not four in a few weeks! It’s more than that!”
The doctor held the pictures right in front of her face and asked the questions again while Jet made exactly the same responses.
“And… the silly kicks in,” sighed the doctor. “At least she is consistent. I can work with that.”
When the doctor pulled out some 3D glasses to test depth perception, Jet demanded purple ones and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Unfortunately purple was not an option.
“I’m sorry, she isn’t normally like this!”
I remained quiet until Jet refused to let the doctor put drops in her eyes. “It will only sting for a second,” I assured her.
“Grandma!” the doctor admonished me.
“Oh, sorry, I guess we don’t say that?”
“No we do not! That is not at all helpful.”
Poorly behaved Grandma and poorly behaved Jet went to the waiting room where she pretended to be an airplane flying into the chest of another patient and the end of her Grandma’s patience was reached. I pulled Jet close and whispered through my teeth, “I don’t know what got into you young lady, but it had better get right back out! You will sit still and do what the doctor tells you or you will be in time out the minute we get home.”
A subdued child returned to the exam room and sat relatively still despite the bright light being shined in her eyes. “She’s plus 4,” the doctor announced.
“Are you saying she needs glass?” I asked.
“Purple!” shouted Jet.
“It will be up to your mommy to come back and pick out glasses for you,” I said.
“I think that would be best,” the doctor agreed.
Back at home, Jet returned to her perfectly behaved little self. Really.