This past Monday, I took my younger niece to the hospital. Her insurance only covers the lab work done at that lab, and she needed x-rays and blood work done. You see, she's tiny. Super tiny. And given certain current circumstances, there is a chance that if she can't grow at least eight inches in the next six months, she'll be classified as a dwarf for life, having reached her maximum height. Since there is reason to believe this is hormonally charged, if we check her out, there's a possibility that she won't be saddled with the additional hardship of tiny stature in her adult life.
I chose not to leave the older sister behind, and I made her come with us. I discovered that as much fun as we have together, we are apparently unusual in the amount of laughter that we generate. I don't think this is a bad thing. I think it's sad that others don't have the same propensity for levity in their lives.
Anyway, our conversation with registration went like this:
Registration Lady: What's her date of birth?
Me: February 15, 2000/
RL: So she's eleven?
*Niece2 and I exchange looks. She starts giggling.*
RL leaning over thoughtfully. "And what race would you classify her as?"
*again with the giggling, because our family is extremely pale, blue eyes, and only our hair color suggests we aren't actually albino. I try to get serious.*
Me: Um, gee. I'd say white.
*N2 and N1 start laughing again.*
RL: So your primary language in the home, is it English?
*RL blinks at me, smiles without amusement. N1 cackles. She pulls her little sister onto her lap since there are only two chairs.*
RL: So that's a yes. *she looks up at me* Are you the ones who were laughing in the waiting room.
Me: We were the only one's in there.
RL: We could hear you from here.
*The nieces and I shrug to each other as the registration lady taps away on her keyboard.*
RL: Does she have any physical disabilities?
N1: Yeah, she's short.
*N2 makes a horrified sound which is completely lost because she's already laughing with her sister about the automatic response.*
We finished up and returned to the waiting room.
Me: Shh! You really have to be more quiet. We're in a hospital waiting room.
N1: No one is here but us.
Me: I know, but they seem to be lacking a sense of humor.
N2: How unexpected.
N1: *giggling* She has a terminal illness of shortness.
Me: *deepening my tone* Ma'am, I'm Dr. Watts. I'm so sorry to tell you this. *dramatic pause* Your sister is dying of shortness.
N1: *carrying the joke* We only see her surviving for another 86 years at most.
Me: There's really nothing else we can do for her, except... Ma'am, we can offer her stilts.
N1: Or a pogo stick.
N2: *grinning, she taps her lip thoughtfully.* Your family will suffer side effects. *She starts bobbing her head up and down* Neck cricks.
Considering that she had x-rays and a needle jammed into the back of her hand, I'd say she handled that very well. :)