Rebecca Johnson: Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Young patient: “Are all doctors bald?”

Me: “No, just the smart ones.”

— Carlton Edwards

Management advice from Rebecca Johnson

A selection of favorite conversations with young patients visiting the eye doctor

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of INVISION.

There is nothing better than a conversation with a child. I asked ODs on Facebook members to share funny conversations with their young patients, and the responses were hilarious. Below are a few of my favorites of the more than 100 I received:


I asked a 5-year-old to look at my ear. He asked, “The pointy one?” Mother was super embarrassed. I laughed hysterically. When I asked him to look at the other ear I asked, “Is it pointy too?” His response. “Oh yeah!” — Michael Ciszek

My 5-year-old nephew said “If you’re such a good eye doctor, then why are you wearing glasses?” — Alisha Freyberger Seger

A 4-year-old little girl ... couldn’t wait to tell me, “At breakfast daddy said you were hot and mommy smacked him.” Silence. (Mom and dad are both in the room.) — Ashley Marie Mastrine

I was called a “dentist of the eyes” by a kid who said I was as mean as the dentist because I used drops. — Joanna Davis

“Are you a boy or girl doctor, or maybe the new type that are both?” — Susan Miyabe


Asking about medical history for an 8-year-old boy: Mom: “He is a little autistic.” Kid: “Nuh-uh, I’m very artistic!” — Andrew Shum

A 7-year-old: “I can see fine in the distance! The problem is, the nurse kept making the letters smaller, even though I kept asking her to make them bigger. I think she thought it was Opposite Day!” — Kelly Ann


I was taking keratometer readings on a boy. He asked me what the instrument was called. I told him a keratometer. He then asked, “What are you measuring? How many carrots I’ve eaten?” — Donald J. Seiler

I had a 4-year-old at the end of the exam say, “That’s it!? That wasn’t bad, I thought you were going to take my eyeballs out!” — Kailey Marshall

(Pointing at the back of the phoropter where you place your nose) “That looks like a butt!” — Terry Ellington

I was trying to find out from a sweet little 5-year-old boy if the letters looked less blurry now, but he had no idea what I was asking. His mom, helpful, asked, “Honey, do you ever see things fuzzy?” Exasperated, the child blurted out, “Well bears are fuzzy, but I’ve never seen one!” — Susan Haney

When I refract I say “1 or 2, 3 or 4, 5 or 6, 7 or 8.” Then I start over at 1 or 2 again. At the end of refraction an 8-year-old boy asked me if I knew how to count higher than 8! — Cathy Deede

Dialogue with an 8-year-old patient: Him: (after I finished shining lights in his eyes) “I’ve heard eyes are flammable.” Me: “Don’t worry. I won’t catch your eyes on fire.” Him: “Good. ’Cause you could get fired for that.” Me: “Duly noted.” — Terri Wiles Gossard

REBECCA JOHNSON is an enthusiastic and motivational ophthalmic staff trainer, a nationally recognized speaker and author, and executive director of GPN. Her honors include the AOA Paraoptometric Special Service Award and VisionMonday’s “Most Influential Women in Optical.” Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..