When the ophthalmologist asked Josh to cover his left eye and identify the shapes on the screen, the little guy gave it his best effort, squinted, half-heartedly hazarded a guess or two, then slumped and sighed: "My eye ith just too lay-thee right now."
Turns out that's exactly right, and exactly all there is to it. Garden-variety lazy eye (a term the endearingly German-accented doctor still used, so I will, too) brought on by asymmetric astygmatism. His left eye is fine; his right eye, not so much. He will need a corrective lens for the right eye and a lens that slightly blurs the vision on the left, which should, at least theoretically, encourage the right eye to pull more of its own weight. Then, in four to six months, we add in an eye patch, buy him a flowy white cotton blouse and teach him to greet his friends with, "Ahoy, Matey." Too bad Archimedes didn't live to see it--she could have perched on his shoulder to great effect.
Tomorrow, we go to order glasses, preferably in a nice swim goggle-like rubber frame that straps firmly onto his pea-sized head. Not exactly the handsomest option, but clearlythe most difficult to break or lose. (Jeff's optometrist today suggested a $199 pair of Juicy Couture children's frames in a supremely delicate red and orange wire; I laughed with hearty hilarity, assuming she was joking. She was not.)
So, all is well. No crisis, panic over. Whew.