Clearly (hah) something was amiss with what he was seeing, but I couldn't really tell what it was from my vantage point on the chair in the corner. I could see the letters Dash was trying to read - they were pretty small, but not tiny. He'd read the first one and then hesitate. The doctor would swipe it away and put up a different one, click a new lens into place in the machine, cover one eye and reveal the other, asking quick decisive questions and letting Dash's unceasing monologue fall over him like gentle snow.
The verdict gave me a certain sense of vindication: he needs glasses! But not because he's long-sighted or short-sighted. No, I like to think that in fact, my boy's eyesight is an overachiever. His eyes are overcompensating when they focus together, and in consequence, things he tries to look at appear blurred. (Please forgive my layperson's understanding of it. I think that's the gist of what he said; I don't think there was any technical term mentioned.)
So Dash will have glasses to wear for the classroom and for reading, or any close-up work. In six weeks we'll go back and the doctor will be able to tell if they're helping. So they might prove merely corrective, or a more long-term thing - we don't know at this point.
And then we went back outside into the store and chose some groovy blue frames with arms that flex 180 degrees and Dash got marginally pleaseder about the notion of having glasses, so that by the time he found out that he'd get not only a free case to hold them in but also a free wiping cloth thingy he was pretty much very excited. He listened intently to the fact that they would take 5 to 7 days to arrive, and every day since he has been telling me how soon they will be here and asking if they might be here sooner than that.
I'm sort of delighted, I have to admit. I know the proof of the pudding will be in the reading; but I can't help assuming that if whenever you tried hard to look at something and read it, it went all fuzzy, you wouldn't really be able to imagine ever doing that for very long, and certainly not for fun. I think it answers a lot of my questions about why reading takes Dash so long, why he doesn't seem to recognise the same word when he sees it again in the next line, why he's great at spelling but hates writing, why he won't do his damn homework. (Okay, maybe not that last one. But let me dream, for now.)
Maybe it won't change anything, or anything much, but I'm really looking forward to finding out. Watch this space.