Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eye Care for Dummies

I realize that the blog has gotten a little...morose of late.

Between complaining about my weight, boo-hooing over career disappointments, and reminiscing about lost children it's been rather a perma-downer around these parts.

And I'm aware of it.

But unfortunately for us all, the only thing of note that has happened in the past week is that my three-year-old had eye surgery. AND IT SUCKED. Which means I must subject you to one more slight bummer of a post, and then I'll try to write something a bit more amusing next time. Deal?

Turns out the Snood had a condition which is medically known as strabismic amblyopia, but is often referred to by its more common name, "googly eyes".  I had the same thing when I was a kid, which meant that as soon as I started to notice one of his eyes going rogue when he looking at books, I high-tailed it to the opthamologist.

We met Eye Doctor #1 when Snood was around two years old. It didn't go all that well. Eye Doctor #1 kept us waiting for over an hour. And I get it, things happen, but it meant that by the time we saw her my kid was HIGHLY CRABBY. When we were finally seen, Eye Doctor #1 told Snoodie to get up into her giant chair and then without warning began shoving large object towards his face and asking him to identify them. Snood was displeased and slightly terrified and reacted by flailing about like a caged baboon before making a concerted effort to punch Eye Doctor #1 in the face.

It was not our finest hour.

It was also not Eye Doctor #1's finest hour as she began shouting and saying highly unhelpful things like,

"Your son has a serious eye problem but I'm not going to work with him if he can't get it together."

You know what two year olds aren't the absolute best at Eye Doctor #1? GETTING IT TOGETHER!

She went on to add,

"He's not scared, he's just being a baby."

The entire appointment was firmly off the rails by the 90-second mark. Eye Doctor #1 continued to berate us for our grotesque conduct and at one point it is possible that I lost my head and threatened her with bodily harm.

About two and a half minutes in I grabbed my son and high-tailed it out of the office with no verdict on Snood's eye situation.

After telling my husband my sad tale of woe he did two totally awesome things:

1. He told me that I was totally right and the eye doctor was totally wrong and also mean and dumb.

2.  He found us a new eye doctor who was super awesome, saw us promptly and had all these fun puppets and videos that he used to help the kids get their eye exams done without being psychologically scarred.

Which was great, except that after some adventures in patch-wearing we found ourselves in the surgical ward last Thursday having my kiddos eye's repaired.

To be honest, the procedure was fairly simple. Also, to be honest, there is nothing on Earth that prepares you for walking into a recovery room and seeing your little guy in a hospital gown with tubes coming from all directions, an IV, and an oxygen mask.

Then you take him home and he asks you the soul-crushing question:

"Why did that doctor have to hurt my eyes?!"

thirty times a day.

But we got through it and now we're on the mend. The only lingering difficulty is the ointment that we are supposed to squeeze into the Snood's eyeballs three times a day. I though it might be helpful to explain to him that even though he didn't like it, the medicine would eventually make him fell better.

Which has resulted in my child running from me in terror and screaming, 


Whenever he sees me rounding a corner.

Yeah, so back to the drawing board on that one, I guess.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When It's You

When I was three years old I got lost.

My entire family was at the beach in Milford, CT visiting my Grandmother who had a house that sat right up against the shore. On the morning of "the incident" my brother and sister and I were making sand castles under the watchful eye of our babysitter LeAnn until I decided that I was ready to head back to the house. LeAnn watched as I walked across the beach and onto the front lawn of my Grandma's house, and then went back to supervising the other kids.

At that point, for reasons unknown, I abruptly decided to pull a u-turn and managed to walk off down the seawall that ran the mile-long stretch of beach.

Off I roamed. The beachfront at that time was almost entirely undeveloped and so I was able to wander away without anyone taking notice. I only remember flashes of the day, but I distinctly recall turning around to look for the house and then, not seeing it, I turned again and again until I'd completely lost my orientation as to which way was home.

I chose a path and marched off in the exact opposite direction of the house. Confident that my Grandmother's blue house would surely appear around the next bend, it never occurred to me to stop and ask the few people I passed for assistance.

Meanwhile, back at home my mother had come home from a game of tennis to discover that she was, most certainly, a child short.

She immediately called the police who arrived and set a search into motion. As my grandmother high-tailed it to church to make some fervent appeals to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, my description went out on the radio and my parents' friends and neighbors began to comb the beach (and the water) in search of me.

It wasn't until several hours that later that my walk of doom finally ceased when the seawall hit a dead end at a small marina. Finally accepting that I must have chosen the wrong direction and that my Grandma's house was nowhere to be found, I sat down on the dock and started to cry. 

Luckily a couple sunning themselves on the deck of their boat spotted me and came over. The husband picked me up, smiled, and said,

"I think you must be the little girl that everyone is looking for."

He and his wife called the police and then waited with me until they came to take me home to my overjoyed parents.

Last week my own three-year-old got lost. 

He was due home on a bus home from school between 1:20 and 1:40. Because school was just back in session and there had already been some confusion with the buses I wasn't that surprised at 1:50 when there was no sign of him. But then I called his teacher who informed me that his bus had left on time at 1:15. 

The school is less than a mile away and our house is the first stop. I couldn't figure out where he could be. By 2:10 I called the transportation supervisor who said she would try to call the driver and call me back. By 2:20 no phone call and I was pacing on my front porch craning my neck for any hint of a yellow school bus headed my way.  By 2:35 I was back on the phone with transportation, screaming about my missing toddler and vowing to call the LAPD if I didn't have him in my hands by 2:40.

Two minutes later the bus arrived. The very apologetic substitute driver explained that he'd accidentally driven the route in reverse and then he'd gotten lost. My son was happy as could be, thrilled to have gotten extra time on the bus. I brought him in for his nap and made myself a nerve-calming afternoon cocktail.

And I understood the "Time You Went Missing" story from my childhood in a different way for the first time. From the Mom's side.

And I called my Mom and told her for the first time that I was very, very sorry for wandering off.


She said it was alright.