children, eyesight, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Eye Would Do Anything

DSC_8519At the beginning of summer there was an incident at the ocean.  It involved a massive wave and T.Puzzle’s rec-specs.  Thankfully, only his rec-specs were lost at sea.

Here within lies our dilemma.  Both my boys, and more so T.Puzzle, have highly specialized lenses for their glasses and rec-specs.  So, what seemed like an innocent mishap on the beach has left T.Puzzle without rec-specs for months.  I may not mind so much if he wasn’t a crazy beast on the soccer field, or any field for that matter.  We’ve been putting him in his spare glasses and praying that he and his glasses remain intact while he thunders down the field.

I decided for his eye health and safety, to explore some options.  His eye doctor recommended that contacts might work.  Not only would they be safe for sports but the bonus is that it would improve his vision.   She didn’t have to ask me twice.  If improved vision is possible, we are going to go for it.

Fast forward to now.  The boys have been sized and fitted with their very specialized and expensive contacts.  The only kicker is, I actually have to get them on their eyeballs.


I’ve tried many tactics.  We ‘practiced’ for weeks while I pulled and yanked on their eyelids and placed imaginary contacts on their irises.  The hope was that once the contacts were created and ready, they would be so use to me fiddling with their eyeballs, it would be a breeze to pop the contacts in.


I’ve tried tough love.  I’ve tried straddling them to keep their arms from swatting me in the face.  I’ve tried to coddle them and it only seems to make them cry louder in frustration.  I’ve tried humor.  Loads of it and granted, we laugh a lot, but no contacts come anywhere near where they are supposed to go.  Unless you count Full Speed’s upper lip as placement, I’ve had zero success.  (No contacts were swallowed or harmed as a result of this incident)

My personal favorite tactic was being reasonable with them.


“Once you get the contacts in you will see better and therefore be better at sports,” I said in a probably very annoying and very pleading tone.

“Mom, I’m already really good at sports so I don’t need them,” replied T.Puzzle.

And, just like that, I was back to square one.

Do I give up?  Do I let the pipe dream of improved vision and ease of turnaround time for prescriptions go?  Do I kiss hundreds of dollars worth of contacts goodbye?

I am so ready to throw in the towel and the contacts right along with it.

Unfortunately, parenting doesn’t work that way.  You keep going and keep trying and keep doing all you can to make things better for your kids.  Even when they fight you.  Even when they cry and fuss and scream.  Even when all you want to do is cry and fuss and scream, too.

I keep imagining the future.  My boys are grown and handsome (naturally).  They are confident contact wearers who will look back on this time with humor and love.

“Hey, Mom, remember when you tried to gouge our eyeballs out when we were six and eight?  Thanks for trying so hard to make sure we had awesome vision.”

Then, they both will hug me and I will cry some more.  This time the tears will be ones of gratitude instead of frustration thank god.

children, eyesight, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, tantrums

Glasses. Wear Them. Love Them.

T.Puzzle’s new glasses had finally arrived.  There was only one minor problem.

He refused to wear them.

As I sat facing him in the optometrist’s office with his new glasses neatly folded in my palm, I ran through possible actions or threats to get him to comply.

I could validate his sense of injustice at having to wear glasses that actually fit snug on his head (as opposed to his very old, very stretched out former pair).  Maybe if he felt ‘heard’ he’d be open to reason.


I could square up my shoulders, look him dead in they eye and say, ‘Put the glasses on.  If you don’t, you will go to your room when you get home and you won’t come out until you decide to where them.”

I assessed the people milling about the waiting room.


They looked like the judgmental lot that we mothers are so used to encountering.

I knew I was going to look like a Mom-with-no-soul (T.Puzzle’s baby face and dimples make him look like an innocent lamb) but I went for the second option anyway.

As my threat of being sent to his room reverberated through the office and T.Puzzle wailed, a ripple of compassion went through the air.

I heard things like, ‘bless his heart,’ and ‘he doesn’t like how they feel, poor thing.’

The technician who adjusts the glasses swooped into the room with his pliers at the ready.  “I’ll loosen them for him.  Maybe that will help.”

Since I already had long surpassed the coddling route I decided to go all the way with it.

“Nope.  They fit just fine (they honestly did).  I have dealt with stubborn boys for years.  He will wear them as is.  Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but he WILL wear them.”

I took the glasses and dramatically placed them in my purse.

“Well, T.Puzzle, we better get home so you can go to your room.”

“Nooooooo, Mommy!  I do wear them!  I do wear them!”

And simple as that, he did.

Not five minutes later away from prying eyes, he was perfectly content and proud to wear his new ‘big boy’ glasses.

T.Puzzle sporting his new glasses just minutes after his adamant refusal.

So at this point, Mom sent herself to her room and will be refusing to come out until further notice.

children, eyesight, kids, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

Hold My Hand

This week’s beautiful weather has afforded me the use of a bike to pick up Full Speed from kindergarten.  Mad Dog’s bike has a nifty trailer attachment that turns any regular bike into a tandem.  Full Speed loves it and so do I.  Whenever I greet him outside the school the first thing he says to me is, “Bike, today?”   His face lights up when the answer is yes.

As I grabbed his hand he shared some about his day as we headed to our bike.  He loops his hand through mine out of habit.  He doesn’t need to because we only cross through a crowd of people to reach our bike.  I don’t tell him not to.  I know my days of holding his hand are numbered.  I do my best to memorize the weight of his hand in mine and note that it feels fantastic.  Oh, how I will miss this.

“Mom, I had a vision and hearing test at school today.  I think I did really good for the hearing and I did just okay for the vision.  There’s a paper in my backpack that tells you all about it.”

I can’t help it.  My stomach lurches a little at the thought of reading his vision test results.  Just because I think his vision functioning is more than sufficient for school, doesn’t mean that the school nurse will agree.

When we get home I open his bag with trepidation and read the results.

20/50 for both eyes.  There’s a note attached that he needs an eye exam pronto.

Now my job will be to delicately explain to the school nurse that Full Speed’s had regular eye exams since the tender age of 20 months old and 20/50 vision is downright spectacular for him.

When I speak with the school nurse later I tell her only a slice of Full Speed’s vision history.   Over time I’ve learned that once you have a label, especially one with a medical diagnosis attached, it is hard for people to classify you as anything other than that.

So far I think I’ve been able to strike a balance for Full Speed.  I send him into new situations without disclosing any of his vision issues, and let everything unfold in its own time.  Right now, all he is to the world is an inquisitive and bright kindergartener.

And I’m the lucky lady who gets to hold his hand.

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children, eyesight, happiness, mommyhood

The Rec Specs

How many times can an overly active five year old boy pop the lense out of his glasses??

To infinity and beyond.

After the 137th lense pop it was time for a change.

Our optical technician has now used industrial strength glue to hold the lense in place. Our other option was to doggedly pursue the possibility of rec specs for Full Speed. Rec specs are essentially safety glasses that should hold up better during karate sparring and soccer (in theory).

The issue with rec specs is Full Speed’s extremely specialized lense prescription.

The solution? Rec specs that are high-powered yet not as specialized. All parties involved (eye doctor, optician, crazed Mommy and matter-of-fact Dad) said let’s give it shot.

Here is the result:

I’m sorry, but have you ever seen anything more insanely adorable than that?

Then again, check out T.Puzzle’s enthusiasm about Full Speed’s rec specs. He didn’t know why we were celebrating but he was more than happy to jump in the fun:

A good afternoon, indeed!

children, eyesight, mommyhood, surgery

Eye Know

Our day was a success. Full Speed had his best eye test to date and little T.Puzzle has the greenlight for his lens removal surgery for his left eye.

I also uncovered the secret to getting exceptional behavior from little T.Puzzle. Simply send his big brother to spend the night over at Grandma’s. Little T.Puzzle is relishing the spotlight without his brother’s extremely strong presence to shift my focus. Of course I am being overly attentive to his every move, need and breath. I guess that’s what a pending surgery for your youngest kid will do to a mom.

I have a good feeling about it all. Then again, having seen his big brother attain 20/40 vision in his stronger eye (20/50 in his other eye!) when he was initially considered legally blind, I know anything is possible.

Possibilities are what will get us through this. For that I am certain.

Good luck, little T.Puzzle. We love you and wish you a speedy recovery!

I will post updates when I am able. Wish us luck!