May 29, 2010

The Eyes Have It!

Take one very nearsighted Pa and put him together with one very farsighted Mama and what do you get???
A whole lot of kids with glasses! Last week was our annual check up with the eye doctor at which time Emma joined the ranks of Wachters who-can't-see-a-thing-across-the-room-without-the-aid-of-optical-enhancers. (I stole that from Kent Hovind)
How cute is she???  Which brings me to the real thought I had in mind.  People often ask me how I manage things like checkups.  I have heard moms who say they like to take one child at a time to the dentist or for their annual physical.  But I just couldn't ever get anything done if I had to make 16 visits to the dentist, 8 visits to the doctor, 8 to the eye doctor and 8 to the allergy doctor each year.  And that is just counting checkups.  That doesn't include the orthodontist, dermatologist, haircuts, nor the kid who needs a sick visit or something else unexpected that requires a trip to town. 

I have several strategies to make this all work out as efficiently as possible.  One is that I only and always schedule appointments and errands on Thursday (of course, excepting an emergency).  That way if I am scheduling 6 months in advance, I don't have to worry about what will be on the calendar because I already know that day is blocked off.  I don't know about you, but the second we have to make a trip to town, half my day is gone and I can forget about getting any school or housework done.  I plan on being busy every Thursday.  If I have the option, I combine things into two or three Thursdays a month, then I get bonus days at home to do what I need to do, what we want to do or better yet, to just goof off once in a while.   

We have been really blessed to work with professionals who are willing to block off half a day for our family so that I can condense the interruptions into our school time as much as possible.  And, by the way, yes, I mean half a day.  We start our semiannual dental checkup at 8 am and finish at 1.  Our eye doctor visits take a little less time.  We are usually in and out in about 3 hours.  Every third Thursday we spend 2-3 hours in Allison's chair as she tends the family hair needs.    

In exchange for their kindness, I make a point to never be late, not to cancel unless absolutely necessary (we're talking people puking) and being flexible myself.  I have taught my children to sit patiently and quietly and behave respectfully in their waiting rooms so that they do not mind having 7 children in their offices at one time.  My children are expected to be cooperative and not complain or whine, even when getting a shot.

This method as worked beautifully for us.  We have had the pleasure of developing wonderful relationships with these people many of who have become friends to us.  As a matter of fact, if I go to an appointment without all the kids, it is not uncommon for me to get scolded for depriving them of a visit. 

When other patrons, patients or customers come and have a seat in the waiting room you can imagine how they look around at one mama and 7 children.  When they sheepishly look at me, I no longer wait for them to finish the question forming on their lips before I reply, "Yes, they are all mine."


  1. What great insight and planning. I also go to the dentist with all 5 and get that very same question. I often save their breath by answering as you do. "Yes, they are all mine," with a big smile on my face.

    Hope you're having a great weekend! The weather here is fantastic.

  2. Hail to the all-and-ever-efficient Mom!!