Over the summer, I did annual check ups at the pediatrician with my kids. The three of us crammed into the examining room where two of us bounced off the walls until the doctor came. At one point my son scaled my head like he was climbing a tree. Which means it was pretty much business as usual for us.
I was thinking the worst part of the visit might be a couple shots for my daughter. My son inherited his father's pain threshold and doesn't cry during shots. On the plus side, it means I don't have to feel guilty when he gets shot since he doesn't even notice (He once asked me when they were going to do the shots after they had done the shots!?). On the downside, we know the kid's an expert faker when he turns on the waterworks when we announce it's bedtime.
Lo and behold, no one got any shots. Instead, a certain six year old boy got a referral to an eye doctor to have his eyes checked. I couldn't help but laugh because we'd been in the eye doctor's office literally 3 days before. My daughter is apparently incapable of passing an eye exam at school. Every year they like to tell me she may need glasses and to please report back after we see an eye doctor. Every year the eye doctor casually suggests that I take her to Claire's in the mall to pick out something cute because those are cheaper than prescription glasses with window glass in them which is what he'd be giving her if he gave her glasses. And I stupidly scheduled this year's Claire's conversation with the eye doctor before the pediatrician check up.
So the pediatrician announces that we'll need to see the eye doctor and I'm thinking it's my daughter at it again. Or maybe the eye doctor needs a new sports care and everyone is doing their part to drum up some co-pays to help him pay for it. No such luck. Wrong kid. Back to the eye doctor we go. And what fun, greeting the doctor a mere week later! Of course, he remembers us from last week! How amusing!
Apparently one of my first grader's eyes doesn't work as well as the other. There's some big fancy term for it that I'm too stupid to have retained. But the gist is that he's wearing glasses for two months to see if that'll give the bad eye a chance to start working better. He gets an eye patch if it doesn't. My first reaction upon hearing about the need for glasses was horror. Not because I'm worried about that kid. Because that kid's A-OK. I also wasn't worried about the cost. Kids are expensive. That's life.
No. My horror was how to keep the glasses on the kid's face for 2 months without getting them broken or lost. We call that kid head-wound for a reason. He successfully gets hit in the face a lot. His aforementioned high pain threshold makes this only a minor issue. He mostly just gets right up and keeps going when he gets hit. Glasses are less likely to do that. He's also really good at losing things. Having an extra swimsuit in case he can't find one only costs me $20. I'm not shelling out for multiple pairs of glasses when he only needs to wear them for two months.
At the eye glass store, the first words out of my mouth were to ask to see their selection of galactically indestructible glasses. They call them rough and tough and you get to pay extra to call them that. Then, once they were fitted on the kid's face, I had a long painstaking conversation with my precious accident-waiting-to-happen about where he should put his glasses when they are not on his face. My daughter was looking at me like I had two heads during the part about never putting them on the floor even if you are sitting on the floor. Apparently she thinks that goes without saying. Apparently, she doesn't know what I'm up against.
A day later he work the brand new glass to summer camp. He lulled me into a fall sense of security by successfully taking them off before going to the pool. He also successfully had them on his face again by the time I came to pick him up at the end of Day 1. So imagine my surprise when I go to pick him up at the end of Day 2 and the counselor hands me the glasses in a zip lock baggie. A lens had popped out. His sister couldn't wait to give me the play by play of him getting hit in the face by a basketball, the glasses flying off his face and some kid in stepping directly on them as he's running by and can't stop on a dime. Day 2. Genius.
Out of fear of having to be the idiot mother bringing damaged glasses back 3 days after we got them, I developed some superhuman lens popping skills and successfully got them back together.
Glasses back on. We then get in another 2 days of wearing them. Then we go on a vacation that involved a lot of swimming and he wasn't wearing them much. Then we come back and the kid has his tonsils out. He's all weak and pathetic after the surgery so we don't make him wear them while he recovered.
What's that you asked? You want to know why he was weak and pathetic after the surgery if he has such a high pain threshold? Excellent question! He was weak and pathetic because he didn't want to take his medicine because it tasted gross. The day of surgery that kid ate five popsicles and four bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch despite the discomfort in his throat. He also sucked down a fair amount of soda and somehow brainwashed his father into thinking he deserved an iPad. No really. While I was serving cereal to the kid that was supposed to be in too much pain to eat for a couple days, my husband hit the Best Buy. Kid could not believe his luck. Neither could his sister who didn't even have to have surgery to get her hands on it. But I digress.
Back at the ranch, every four to six hours we'd announce that the world's luckiest kid had to take his medicine. All of a sudden he'd become a mopey puddle of tears. I'll give him the pain medicine tasted crappy. But he claimed the two fruity ones were like death, too. And yet, the kid did have actual surgery and it's completely understandable that it would hurt to swallow so what kind of heinous troll is going to call him out on being a drama queen. But again, four bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that very night? Seriously.
So ten days pass after the surgery before we finally tell him he has to start wearing the glasses again. I check on him in bed two days later and discover he's fallen asleep wearing them. The next day I notice the glasses seem lopsided on his face. So I take them off. I straighten the nose pieces a little and gently turn the arm a little. Pop. The teensy tiny screw flies out and the place between the arm and the front of the glasses has a crack.
He wore the stupid glasses a total of maybe 6 days before I had to take them back to get fixed. And while the girl was waving her magic wand to get them back together enough to hold until the replacement frames came in, she she mentioned that there were divots in the lenses, too, so she'd go ahead and order us new lenses while she was at it. Come again? Did you say, divots? She suggested that it looked like they might have hit the floor a few times. And then she told me not to feel bad because she'd seen much more mangled glasses. She forgot to mention whether those kids had been wearing their glasses for all of SIX DAYS when they mangled them.
As of today, we've successfully scraped together 14 days in a row with the glasses on his face all day. He only has to get to 60 days. I've decided we're going the distance this time. I've also decided that these are the frames that are going the distance with us come hell or high water. I don't care how lopsided they get on his face, no one is allowed to attempt to straighten them. He'll just have to be the kid with the lopsided glasses. I don't care if one of the arms gets ripped off and bent into the shape of a pretzel. We'll just straighten that sucker out and duct tape it back on. He'll just have to be the kid with ghetto repair job glasses. He'll also just have to be the kid with the parents of the year that don't care how stupid they look.
Because we are going the distance this time.
P.S. My crazy accident waiting to happen was apparently aware that one of his eyes sees better than the other. When someone asked me later which eye it is that doesn't see as well, I had no clue but he immediately pointed to his right eye and announced that it was that one in a tone just short of , "Duh." I stared at him. Could have mentioned that sooner, kiddo!