Sunday, January 24, 2010

The elusive Dr. Lisc

I write lists. I could tell you that I developed the habit to help combat the confusion of having four kids around. But in all honesty my mom says I've done it since I learned how to write. It's a good thing, though. I have an awful memory for the mundane details of life like getting milk at the store or remembering to change the sheets regularly. Writing lists of what I need to do, need to buy, need to remember... that keeps me on track. And it keeps me from being an incessant nag. I just write down what I need the kids to do and they're in charge of getting it done. But there is one thing that has been on the list for about 7 months. Dr. Lisc.

Last summer, Zaven turned 16. So I added an item to our family to-do list. Get him a driver's license. Only I always misspell license. I spell it liscense. And when I wrote it down on the list I abbreviated it Dr. Lisc. Caly promptly asked, "Who's Doctor Lisc and why do we need to see him?" And so began the search for the elusive Dr. Lisc.

During the summer months, Zaven was away at Upward Bound. No opportunity to even study for his permit.

Once he was home we kept forgetting to stop in at the courthouse to pick up a manual. But after several weeks we remembered. Only guess what? They don't print driver's manuals any more. You have to download them from the internet. And it turns out that they're a bit thicker than I remembered. The document is about 130 pages long. Printing out 130 pages is out of my budget. So Zaven would need to read it online. The job off capturing Dr. Lisc just got a lot more complicated. We have one computer in our home, several people who want to use it, and only a small window of time that Zaven has free in a typical week. He's on a swim team, in an art club, takes music lessons, etc. Add to that the fact that when you put a teenaged boy in front of a computer, studying for a test, even a driving test, isn't what he has in mind. So the simple job of reading and studying a short manual ended up taking about 3 months. And we began to refer to Dr. Lisc as 'The Elusive Dr. Lisc.'

But eventually Zaven did study the manual and was finally ready to take the written test. Only Dr. Lisc had other plans in mind. First we found out that the courthouse in never open when he's out of school and not in an afterschool activity. In fact, the courthouse in our town doesn't administer the test, so he'd be going to the next town over. So even if he left school and went directly to the courthouse he wouldn't get there before they closed. And going to get your permit is not an excused school excuse. So we waited for a day when he had a dental appointment so he would already be out of school with an excused absence. Then we went to the courthouse... only to find that you can only take the permit test from 8-10:30 AM on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Dr. Lisc slips out of our grasp yet again. He's wily, that Dr. Lisc.

The dentist told Zaven he'd chipped a filling and would need to come back in to have it repaired. He also needed to get an appointment with an oral surgeon to see about taking out his wisdom teeth. I set the filling repair up for the next Friday so that he could also take his permit test while he was out of school. We double checked to make sure he had his social security card, birth certificate, letter from the school, etc. Then we headed to the courthouse. He made it as far as the eye exam. Due to his poor vision in one eye (from a cataract when he was 5), he would need to have a form filled out by an eye doctor before he could take the permit test. They assured us that his vision was good enough for him to get a license as long as he had all the mirrors on his car. But he had to have that form filled out first. I was beginning to hate Dr. Lisc.

Our usual eye doctor didn't have any openings for a month. I called around and found one who could see him in a week, also on a Friday, but in the afternoon. The hunt was back on. Dr. Lisc could evade us for only so long. Realizing that it would be too late in the day to make it to the courthouse before 10:30 after the eye appointment, I called the oral surgeon and set up Zaven's initial consultation for the following Monday morning. If all went according to plan, Zaven would get his eye doctor forms filled out Friday, and still have an excused absence Monday morning that we could use as a cover to stop by the courthouse and finally capture Dr. Lisc.

The eye appointment went well. And it turns out that Zaven's prescription has changed. He will be able to pick up his new glasses Monday after school. Oh, and by the way, he would need to have those new glasses with him when he took his permit test. It says so in the small print on the form they wanted his eye doctor to fill out. So even though he'll have an excused absence on Monday morning, he won't be able to take the test until Wednesday morning (not open Tuesday, remember?) and he won't have an excuse to miss school then. And the school office staff is beginning to realize that Zaven is out of school a lot. They're giving me suspicious looks these days. And I've run out of legitimate excuses to check him out. He's already been to the dentist twice, the oral surgeon, and the eye doctor.

The elusive Dr. Lisc has escaped yet again, and I'm not sure how we'll manage to capture him. But I'm now muttering lines from Moby Dick about stabbing at him from Hell's Heart, so giving up is not an option. Currently I'm thinking we'll fake a case of Meningitis or Malaria or something and try it again on Wednesday. But one way or another, Dr. Lisc is going down.


Anonymous said...

Wow that sounds complicated! Love that you call it Dr. Lisc though. :)

Tara said...

LOL, Good luck!

LuckyOnce said...

Oh my gosh. What a Charlie foxtrot!! That's the kind of story that will be much more amusing after it's over. :)