I'm here to tell you that there's not much to look forward to when you have to wake up early, on a Tuesday, to prepare your family for a morning trip to the ophthalmologist's office. Having spent the previous evening partying at Cherry Hill, my children were still sleeping soundly. The idea of waking them up prematurely made my toes curl.
"Wake up kids! Hurry and eat breakfast. We're going to be late!" Their moans sound like wild animals in pain. I tell myself to stay strong. Be patient. Roll things along. This appointment is important.
Henry's eye operation has been scheduled. The hope is that it will correct the severe crossing in his left eye. His eye began to turn in when he was three. We were hopeful that with glasses the problem would self correct. Long story short, it hasn't. The younger he is, the better chance his surgery will be successful and we feel encouraged that now is the time to proceed.
His surgery is less than two weeks away. As parents, we felt it was important that Andrew attend one of Henry's pre-op appointments. I wanted Andrew to hear the medical explanations and answers to our questions from our doctor himself. Choosing to help Henry with surgery is a big decision and I want it to be something we both feel right about. An early morning appointment was necessary so Andrew could be included.
As I'm helping find shoes, the thought occurs to me that perhaps I could have called a babysitter for the other children. That's when I began to kick myself a little. Oh well. We were a few minutes late, but we made it.
The wait was quick today. Thankfully, the doctor's office is outfitted with a playroom. The kids, apart from Henry, begin to play with toys. As for Henry, he climbs into Andrew's lap and together, they flip through a magazine. It was a simple yet reassuring sight to see him in Andrew's arms.
When it came time to ask the nurse questions, I was the one with the list. I gathered as much information as I could and felt pleased whenever she'd reply:
"Good question!" I miss being in school sometimes. Anyway, I thought Andrew might speak up or ask a question that I neglected; but he stayed quiet. However, when Henry's nerves became obvious, it was Andrew who slipped in a joke to make him laugh.
"Is your son on any medications?" The nurse asks.
"Other than stinky pills?" Andrew asks in return. "No, he's not. Just the stinky pills." Henry burst out laughing. I was glad that Andrew was in tune with Henry and knew just what to say to reprieve him of the the tension.
However, the biggest laugh was born of Eliza. But first: a little background on the ophthalmologist who will be performing Henry's surgery. He is mild mannered, calm, kind and serious. He's been our children's eye doctor for three years. After additional recommendations and through prayerful consideration, I trust him with my child's eyesight.
As we are waiting for him to come into our room, Eliza randomly asks this question:
"Hey Dad! Would rather fart rainbows or sneeze out glitter?" Andrew doesn't hesitate.
"That's easy. Fart rainbows." Our serious, mild mannered Doctor is just outside the door. I turn red as I hear a sudden outburst of laughter. He comes in, trying hist best to collect himself, but is still wiping tears from his eye. He is laughing hard. And although, I was embarrassed I was suddenly quite satisfied to see a more jovial side of his personality.
It was an appointment I hadn't been looking forward to, but it ended up being quite memorable. I had expected Andrew to be inquisitive, concerned and serious. And while he is concerned, he proved to be the comic relief and support that Henry needed. It would seem that I have the 'stress case, let us over prepare,' role covered. I'm lucky to have other Fleglets near by to help keep things light and provide distractions; even when they are in the form of rainbow farts and glittery sneezes.
Here's a peek at our trip to Cherry Hill. Andrew was stuck at work and Forrest was left behind with the babysitter; a decision I felt bad about it until we got there and I realized that I have a lot of kids to keep track of.
"Eliza, if you had to choose between buying a brand new beanie boo or a cute new pair of earrings, what would you pick?' And because her answer is always, a beanie boo... she remains my child. :) Tween-hood officially arrives when she goes for the earrings.
We've been so lucky to have had the past five weeks to make more memories with our cousins. We miss those Alaskans like crazy but are happy they are having such a positive experience living up North.