I had read Dr. Seuss to my kids when they were little. Mostly, I read Dr. Seuss for me, but they seemed to enjoy it as well. Recently, while sitting in Emerg. with my wife, awaiting the Doctor, I began playing with the medical equipment. Its something I have always done. I check my blood pressure, look through the opthalmoscope, and have at times, attempted to look into my own ears, using an otoscope and a series of precisely arranged mirrors. It drives my wife crazy. She thinks we will get caught and then, oh, hell no, embarrassed. No matter how many times I tell her to relax, she continues to ask me, no, tell me to stop. “Just sit down, and behave”, she quips. More often than not, I ignore her.
To be fair, many years ago, while we waited at The Hospital For Sick Children, I somehow managed to break the opthalmoscope, and when the Doctor came into the room, my daughter threw me under the bus. ” My dad was playing with that thing, and he broke it”, she squealed. My wife turned all kinds of colors. “Shit happens”, I suggested, and left it at that. The Doctor said nothing. I suspect that moment of mortification has been etched indelibly in her mind.
And, as we continued to wait for the Doctor, I had finished playing with the equipment, and had moved on to opening drawers, looking to see what they kept in these rooms. My wife became increasingly agitated, but before I could put her mind at ease, the Doctor arrived. “Good afternoon”, he said. “I’m Dr. Seuss. So, what’s going on with you?”. I looked up. “We’re glad you came, we’re glad you’re here. My wife hears ringing in her ear”.
“Excuse me?”, he replied.
“I’ve read all of your books.”, I informed him.
“It’s Dr. Seuss”, he informed me. “S-o-o-s. Soos”.
“Well”, I told him, “that’s okay. A doctor is a doctor despite his name.”
I was asked to leave the room by the now somewhat irritated Dr. Soos, so he could examine the patient in private.
The ride home was a difficult one. My had a slight ear infection, and was given a prescription for drops. She would be fine. Her mood, however, was another story altogether. Shew was eerily quiet. “Thank you”, she said.
“For what?”, I asked.
“For always surprising me”, she added, “and for always making me laugh”.
“Listen”, I told her, “to paraphrase the real Doctor Seuss, ‘sometimes it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we’ll always have lots of good fun that is funny’.”