The InfantSEE program is great. The only problem is the patients: babies. Those squinty, screaming, poopy destroyers of all things calm and peaceful are a handful in the exam chair.
Mom chatters away about how Great-Aunt Lucy noticed last
Christmas that little Seymour’s eyes are “turned in,” the baby screams and
spits up, the older child climbs up on the baby, who’s on mom’s chest, eyes
That’s when Mom asks, “Do you think the baby’s eyes look
Of course, all you have seen is the baby’s backside, or
rather a droopy and poopy diaper—the third one since the baby entered your
front door. Oh, you got a glimpse at the little dickens when the baby did that
head spin that only those children given over to Satan do just before they
throw up green stuff on your transilluminator. I hate vomit on my
transilluminator, don’t you? The baby, in full screech, knew just what he or
she or it was doing. The baby hates you. Admit it.
Sure, there are the occasional nice babies. They are few and
far between. When they arrive—all bows and ribbons and baby-wiped to
freshness—you think maybe this will be OK.
That’s when Mom tells you of some obscure ocular family
history that you remember hearing about your first year in clinical medicine
class. The Internet search reminds you that your career is about to be ruined
by this child because you will certainly miss the hallmark signs of the dreaded
possible condition and they will name the lawsuit “Baby Jones vs. The Dumbest
Eye Doctor,” setting precedents for decades to come.
Oh baby, I really hate babies!
The Baby Bomb
The pediatricians are no darn help. They hate babies, too!
Well, at least their eyes. The peds make grand pronouncements that you will
spend a lifetime unteaching:
“Mom, Suzi needs glasses,” you say.
“But,” Mom says, “Dr. Little told me when she was born that
if anyone ever tried to make her wear glasses, I should just say NO.”
Thanks, Dr. Little. Did you happen to notice that everyone
in the freakin’ family is nearsighted? If you can predict the future that well
at the first healthy baby checkup, could you send me some lottery numbers?
I should have known something big was coming. For weeks,
every baby who came in was totally horrible, wicked, evil, stinky and vomitous.
The dirty little creatures were grabby and loud, with a piercing frequency in
their screams that made my kidney stones form. I prepared a policy meticulously
designed to keep all babies a minimum of 100 yards from my front door, and yet
not to offend those silly moms who, for some reason, loved their infants.
That’s when my son dropped the bomb…
I was going to be a grandfather.
Karma Comes Home to Roost
What? Me? A grandfather?
I hate children. I’m not even that fond of my own. In fact,
at the moment my son told me the news, I despised him.
A grandbaby? Not in my life.
Then, on September 9, 2009, Miss Ella Katherine Vickers was
born to Dr. and Dr. Aaron Montgomery Vickers in Louisville, Ky. Seven pounds, 5
ounces, 19 inches. Perfect right down to her notable head of hair—my color.
I was amazed to see that this was—objectively and
scientifically—the most beautiful baby ever born. Can’t wait to check her eyes!
I love to check babies’ eyes, you know.
Epilogue: After the birth, I spent the next two days with an
intestinal virus, screaming and vomiting and pooping. Seemed like karma.