How I disqualified myself from the Mother of the Year Award

Did I mention here that my 8-year old daughter wears glasses now?

When Grace was in kindergarten, her teacher would explain to me that Grace complained about her forehead hurting.  I would say things like, “Yes, she does that sometimes.  I think she needs to drink more water.”

Grace herself would complain to me about her forehead hurting and I’d say something helpful like, “Yes, you need to get more sleep,” or “Really?  Maybe you should eat more protein.”

The truth is I was convinced she was a hypochondriac, complaining about her head hurting because she didn’t really want to go to school.  I didn’t believe her at all.

So, earlier this year Grace informed me that sometimes her eyes didn’t work quite right.  I quizzed her and she explained that she couldn’t always quite see the board at school.  I didn’t believe her.  At all.

With much internal eye-rolling, I made an appointment for her to see the eye doctor.  I intended to rule out this so-called vision problem, confident that she just wanted glasses for the thrill of owning glasses.

She answered all the questions, got eye drops and endured the rigmarole involved in the exam.  Finally, the eye doctor turned to me and asked me a few questions.  I explained about the board and how I was there to rule out problems.

Then he informed me that my blue-eyed girl is far-sighted, meaning she can see distances quite easily but cannot see close up very well.  Since she is young, her muscles compensated for her vision deficit, but the doctor said she didn’t really need glasses since she had no complaints.

That’s when I remembered the headaches–the same headaches she still complained about but that I had totally dismissed for two years.

“Uh, well, she does complain her head hurts during school.  Would that be related?”

I’m pretty sure the eye doctor rolled his eyes at me.  “I gave you an opportunity to mention any problems she was having . . . ” he said.

“I know, but I never connected the two things . . . ” I said.

So.

My daughter got glasses.  Her forehead doesn’t hurt at school any more.

I disqualified myself for the (non-existent, I hope) Mother of the Year Award.

And about once a week I have to take her forgotten glasses to school when she realizes she doesn’t have them with her.

Now.  Don’t you feel better about yourself?

I bet you haven’t let your baby suffer with headaches for two years because it never occurred to you to have her vision checked out.

8 Responses to “How I disqualified myself from the Mother of the Year Award”

  1. judy February 16, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    I have TWO YEARS worth of pictures of my daughter with her face all screwed up – one eye opened the other closed – in what can only be called a grimace. I thought she was just a goofy kid. Ends up she is TERRIBLY near-sighted. I think I know how you feel.

    My sister once ran into a wall during gym. The school suggested that my mom take her to the eye doctor, who examined her and then turned to my mom and said, “Were you waiting for her to go blind?”

    I’m telling you this just so you will know that it happens.

    ;D

  2. Esther February 17, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    I love your way with words: “…internal eye-rolling”.

    When I grow up, I want to learn how to write like you do. Amazing ability…………

    I squint an awful lot and my eyes hurt in the light, so perhaps I ought to take myself to see an eye doctor. Perhaps………..

  3. poet February 17, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    From the time I was a small child, I have had ‘the squint’ and the ‘screwed up face’. I never really could see the board in school, but no one really paid attention. (what’s with that?). Thinking back, I had ‘sick headaches'(migraines) as long as I can remember. Related? Ya think? I finally got glasses when I was in Gr.9, but it was not until I was much older that I actually had an eye doctor who diagnosed my vision issues. My left eye was called “lazy” but there is actually a medical term for it. My right eye compensated for the left eye, and it was not until that doctor put two and two together for me that the constant pressure and strain in my head was relieved. Eventually, with the aid of proper corrective lenses, and eye muscle exercises, it is a little better. My glasses are thinner now with out the 10 pt.prism for the left. I also want to add that I am blue eyed. If I am tired, my left eye will wander and creates double vision. fun times. Sunlight and florescent lighting have always been horrible for me. My current glasses are permanently tinted to 30% to counteract the effects of lighting brightness. I will always have those One Eye pictures, even all these years later.
    Make today GREAT~ poet.

  4. Chelle February 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    A friend tells the story of her sister who was 10 or 11 when she got her first glasses. As she and her mother walked out of the eye doctor’s office she commented “Look Mom, there are leaves on that tree.”

  5. Michelle February 18, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    I think there’s a big club of us who’ve had to renounce our Mother of the Year status. . .isn’t that what therapy is for later?

    My Grace has the same issue, her’s was diagnosed in a lions club sponsored vision screening at school in first grade. Had we waited another year and just had the regular vision screening I don’t think we would have known about it because those screenings just test for distance. I’ve sort of given up on the reminding because I figure she’s in 6th grade now she should be more responsible. However, there were many days of dropping off her glasses with the school receptionist because she’d forgotten them. There was also the replacement pair that I paid too much for because she gave them to her teacher to hold and somehow they got lost. Just after that I discovered Walmart has kids frames for $29.

  6. Maureen February 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    This is why schools need school nurses; complete screenings and advise on professional exams based on what a professional (second set of eyes) has observed in the daily routine of a student. Some students even “fake-out” the screening. Do not feel bad. Now is the trick of getting her responsible to remember her glasses. Good luck! Still mom of the year for taking her in!!!!

  7. Tom February 21, 2011 at 5:28 am #

    Sometimes you err on the side of caution and it turns out to be nothing at all but attention-seeking or getting-out-of-school-seeking. And other times this happens. On the plus side, you did make the appointment that made it all better. So… maybe your award will be delayed a little.

  8. Rachel February 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    My 9-year-old son just got glasses a few weeks ago for the same reasons your Grace did – – mainly headaches. :) The eye doc at first said he didn’t need them, but after we pressed the doc, he dilated my son’s eyes and found that he did indeed need a small prescription.

    Good job being an advocate for your little girl, even when the doc said she didn’t need glasses!!

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