I’ve come to dread the annual eye test.
Because the one word Mia seems to focus on in that sentence is ‘test’. As in she feels the need to test the optometrist constantly, thoroughly and with absolute vigour.
The last time we visited the optician she was awkward. Or Awkward I should stress.
Pretending she couldn’t read the letter boards (she could); asking for an alternative text to read because the wording they were giving her wasn’t suitable (it was); asking the optometrist if the machinery was working properly (I’m presuming it was).
I sat there begging the ground to swallow me up.
She was 6 and I was mortified.
As the special glasses designed to test sight were slipped onto her nose and over her eyes I could actually see the spark of an idea light up behind those big brown eyes.
“Can you read the letters on the wall in front of you Mia?”
She squints a little; tilts her head slightly and purses her lips slightly like she’s being asked to solve a physics problem. I SWEAR I see the hint of a smirk.
“I’m not really sure. Is it a V?” The ‘sure’ is long and drawn out.
It’s an F and I totally KNOW she’s faking it.
This goes on for what feels like forever. The optometrist gives me a look and a smile like she’s seen this type of thing a million times before and I’m not the only one with an Awkward Child.
So this week we’re back there again.
And I’ve prepared Mia by giving her a talk about the importance of these tests and how they can’t help unless she’s totally honest with them and blah blah blah (because I’m aware of that is exactly how that sentence will have played out in her head).
All I can do is sit there tensed up like an over-inflated balloon ready to burst.
She sits in the chair and the special glasses are slipped on and she is helpful and delightful and grateful at the end of the exam.
Yes. Helpful and delightful.
Then she glances over at me and gives me a knowing wink. Like she sensed exactly how clenched I was through the whole process and she is perfectly aware of power she wielded prior to that wink.
And I think to myself, my god, this girl totally has me in the palm of her hand at SEVEN. SEVEN for heaven’s sake. How the hell do I make it to the teen years?