Friday, March 13, 2009

My grandson...

... already wants a do-over on the year 2009.

And at least one of the reasons should make you sit up and take notice if you have a child below the age of six.

On January 4, he and my son were horsing around (reading wrestling, struggling, fighting, shooting at each other, whatever) in the basement area of the house set aside for childhood mayhem.

Shane jumped from a couch cushion eighteen inches high onto a heavily carpeted floor ... and broke his leg.

Six weeks in a full leg cast.

The day he got the cast off, we also scheduled him for a routine visit to the eye doctor. One reason: why not bunch as many appointments on the same day as possible. Second reason: his mom had only recently gotten a full-time job with healthcare benefits. Third reason: we'd recently gotten one of those routine notes from the school nurse that his vision check suggested he might need a follow-up.

If you have kids in school you get those notes on a fairly regular basis.

So he's got the cast off for all of forty-five minutes and the eye doctor tells his mom: His left eye is not focusing at all. He's going to have to wear and eye-patch over the right eye for the next five weeks, and special glasses for the next several years to avoid going blind in that eye by the time he's nine.

Not a great day at the household. Fortunately, little kids are resilient, and now the patch and glasses have become part of the normal routine. His vision seems to be improving, but what the hell do I know?

Two lessons I learned from this:

1) Little kids don't know that they don't see well because they have no reason to think whatever they see is not normal. And the smart little kids--according to our eye doctor--often cheat on vision tests because they think it's a game. So if they can't read the chart from a distance, they will actually sneak up and memorize it before their test. Sometimes they even get other kids to tell them the answers.

2) People are boors. It's amazing the number of unfriendly (and, yes, I mean that word) stares and intrusive, obnoxious questions you get from people if you are with a child wearing an eye patch. Did he put his eye out? Can I see under the patch? Is he going blind? I've even experienced people picking up their kids and shuffling them away, because apparently an eye patch and glasses are indications of virulently contagious junior leprosy.

So if you've got little kids, think strongly about that vision check-up.

And if you see me out with my grandson, act like you've got some class.


RSmitty said...

Oh man, if one of my kids has to go the eye-patch route, it's gonna be a Pirate Party until he or she tells me I am boring the hell out of him/her. There's an opportunity in just about anything.

pandora said...

Steve, my son, at the same age, had the same problem. I am happy to report that by the age of nine the glasses were gone and his vision was corrected.

Good luck!

Hube said...

Manoman, Steve. Best of luck, mi amigo.

Cripes, I feel quite blessed that our daughter, now almost 15, hasn't suffered through anything worse than the flu!

Shirley Vandever said...

My reaction to a kid and eye patch would probably be "Coooooool" ! Probably not the best response either.

Good luck with this. Kids are pretty resilient, much more than us old folk.

Anonymous said...

Steve, just keep his spirits up. We dealth with similar issues and my son is doing great.

David said...

You all need to move downstate. We don't shuffle our children away from kids with an eye patch or wheelchair or whatever else.

My he have a speedy recovery

Delaware Watch said...

I wish your grandson a speedy & complete recovery.

Bowly said...

My little brother went through the eyepatch thing when we were kids. Watch him, he will peek when he thinks he can get away with it. But lil bro has long since been OK, and here's hoping your young'un has the same luck.