"Can you see the chalkboard at school?" I asked.
"Not really. That's why I sit in front."
The next day, I asked Mrs. N about this and she confirmed he seemed not to be able to see. I had absolutely no idea.
Given end of school year activities and the tight schedule at the optometrist's office, another month passed before we got Sky's vision evaluated. By then, I figured we should check Pink P's, too. If nothing else, it'd save me a trip later.
You know how the chart has a big E at the top and then gradually gets smaller? Well, Sky could kind of make out the E and then nothing else at all. As I realized just how little he could actually see, I wondered why he never mentioned it to me. I mean, he always seemed to be able to make out the details of television shows and movies with no trouble. Then it occurred to me that he probably didn't know he couldn't see. Which made me feel worse.
|The chart on the far right approximates what Sky sees without glasses. Whenever I need to feel guilty, I just refer to this image.|
The doctor wanted to know if the change in vision happened suddenly because apparently that matters. Of course, I had no idea. I mean my kid's only seeing 20/100 and if I hadn't picked up on his headache comment, I may have never known. We (rather arbitrarily) decided it must've happened gradually (to make me feel better).
When Pink P realized Sky needed glasses, she started to whine, "I want glasses, too!" She even added a stomp of her foot for effect. Of course, I wanted to tell her that glasses are a pain and it's much better if you have naturally good eyesight. But since one kid was already on his way to getting them, I decided against it.
Thirty minutes and four eye dialations later, we left the optometrist with two new eye glasses prescriptions. Myopia for him and an astigmatism for her.
On Monday, we brought home two new pairs of glasses. Sky's, which he'd picked immediately and perfectly on the first try, look like they have always been there. His ability to choose the right pair of glasses so instinctively was kind of amazing. Pink P chose purple but only because they didn't have pink. She inherited a particularly Japanese nose, so her choices were limited to the glasses that stand even the slightest chance of staying on her face.
As we drove home from the optometrist, we discussed proper eyewear care. I learned the hard way that it's important to be specific about the care of new support devices. If your shoe falls off at the park, for example, you should always make sure your arch support is still in the shoe when you put it back on. Always. Otherwise, your mom gets to spend 45 minutes baking in the sun as she combs every inch of the playground, dodging filthy, rabid-looking children in a desperate search for a tiny black plastic thing that costs approximately $50 per square inch. Not that that actually happened to Pink P last week or anything. And not that she said to me afterwards, "Mommy, you never told me I needed to check on them before."
Anyway, these are the eye glasses rules:
- Leave them on your face unless you are bathing or sleeping.
- When you take them off of your face, put them in the same place every time.
- Never place them lens down.
- As much as possible, try not to get hit in the face when wearing them.
Honestly, if I could get Ren to follow the first two rules on this list, I would not have spent approximately a month of my life looking for his glasses. Luckily, the kids hate looking for his glasses as much as I do, so I think these rules might actually stick with them.
With the rules clearly articulated, things seemed to get off to a good start. The first night, when I got into bed, I found two small pairs of glasses, properly cased, and sitting on the window sill where I put mine. The next morning, when a nervous Pink P went to her old preschool for summer camp, the awesome teachers there handled it perfectly. She came home proud of her glasses and fiddling with them much less.
|The first (and--spoiler alert!--last) night|
For the briefest of instances, I thought this whole glasses transition might turn out to be no big deal. But then we lost a pair. It only took 32 hours (which is about 8 hours more than I thought it would take). It turns out Pink left hers at Grandma and Grandpa's, but it required several conversations and several grown-ups searching for close to an hour to finally find them.
The conversations went something like this:
"Pink, did you have your glasses on when we got into the car?"
"Do you remember when you took them off?"
"No. I didn't take them off."
"Do you think you left them at Grandma and Grandpa's house?"
"Do you remember where you took them off?"
"No. I didn't take them off."
"Pink, we really need to find them. New glasses cost a lot of money."
"Hundreds of dollars."
"No, not a thousand."
"Oh." (Totally unimpressed)
Apparently her glasses mysteriously disappeared right off her face, but that's okay because they cost less than a thousand dollars, and everybody knows if it's not a thousand dollars it's practically nothing at all. On the bright side, we probably won't have a chance to get those glasses back from my parents until least next week, so for a little while anyway, I know exactly where they are.
I went out with a friend last night. When I got home, I saw this placed perfectly at eye level right as I walked in the door:
So, yeah, these glasses are going to be a lot of fun. I can tell already.
Image: Eye chart from http://strabby.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/chartblur.jpg