If you have never seen one of these it's because your child has passed their vision screening.
Or, you were ahead of the game and recognized that your child had problems seeing without the public school becoming involved.
Or, you might be neglecting the take-home folder.
I believe Cole's form resided in that folder for at least three days before I realized it was something I was supposed to notice. This is one of my biggest fears post baby - if it takes me three days now, I assume after the baby I'll never notice pieces of paper meant to spur me to action.
People repeatedly asked me, "did you know he was having trouble seeing?"
We had no clue.
Cole has been sitting approximately 2 feet from our 52'' television for the last few years. So naturally Alex and I had been very concerned with his...hearing. That's right, we never once thought of his eyes. We logically assumed he had some sort of issue hearing because we're very intuitive parents.
Once I got him to the eye doctor, who surprisingly was not concerned about his hearing when I mentioned how close he sits to the TV, there were several aspects of Cole's eyesight issues that were addressed. The doctor spoke to me like I had actually been around my child for the last year or so.
As you can imagine, it was pretty insulting.
For example, she suggested that I knew his eyes crossed when he read for more than a few minutes. She also alluded to how frustrated and tired he must get by the end of a school day after having to strain all day....which I had noticed but had obviously attributed his inability to behave exactly as I ordered.
Needless to say it seems Alex and I had missed a few "signs."
Perhaps we are in need of some type of parenting goggles?
You know who else missed it? Aiden. This might seem obvious, unless you know that Aiden isn't interested in letting anything about Cole's inadequacies go unnoticed.
During Cole's eye exam, Aiden was appalled that Cole was mistaking "s" for "b" or unable to guess a letter at all.
I had to repeatedly remind Aiden that he couldn't tell Cole what was on the eye chart. He was beyond control, continually blurting out the correct answers whenever Cole gave a moment's hesitation.
Finally he agreed to be quiet but couldn't resist poking me, rolling his eyes, and throwing his thumb in Cole's direction with a, "oh my Gosh he is blind!" expression.
There was even some holding of his head in his hands while he shook it and looked at the ground.
How could HE have missed this issue for so long? We have come to rely on Aiden's critical skills in the analysis of all of us.
Aiden also felt it was important to inform the doctor of how exactly Cole found himself in this most unfortunate position of horrible vision.
"He gets his bad eyes from our Dad. He has a lot of my Dad's traits and I have a lot of my Mom's. Like, my Mom and I have normal width feet and Cole and my Dad have really wide, square feet. Cole and my Dad have really little teeth and my Mom and I have bigger teeth. And my Dad has to wear contacts so Cole got his horrible eyes, but my Mom and I can see just fine."
I swear I haven't brainwashed Aiden in to thinking he scored genetically by favoring me...it just really seems like it because we haven't been able to figure out the positive things Alex contributed yet.
Kidding, of course. For the record Alex does contribute a LOT now that they are here.
(Stella also looks identical to him so he does make a beautiful little girl.)
After 2.5 hours, yes TWO AND A HALF HOURS, at the eye doctor I was told that Cole has VERY poor vision. He is very far-sighted, has a stygmatizm and definitely needs glasses all the time. She actually couldn't believe he had gone this long without glasses.
The doctor felt the need to repeat her disbelief about our missing his eyesight troubles many, many times.
I can't describe how confident I feel about taking on another child....it was almost as big of a parenting boost as when I straight up forgot to pick up Stella from school.
Didn't even think about her.
I think I'm totally going to rock this Mom of four thing.
After a tedious week and a half of waiting for his glasses to arrive, we picked them up and Cole went from looking like this...
to suddenly looking like this...
I mean, is there anything cuter?
As of today he also is missing both front teeth....no words for that level of 7 year old adorable.
I must admit my stomach flipped and my eyes filled with tears when he put them on at first. His glasses are so thick his eyes are these adorable, huge, brown circles. I immediately worried about him being teased and simultaneously wanted to hug him because he looked so innocent and sweet.
Watching other kids react to the glasses though has been inspiring. No one, that I know of, has been unkind in any way. When I've heard kids ask him about them they are more curious and factual.
One of his friends said, "Your eyes look really big!" I cringed when he said it, but he wasn't being unkind he was just observing and Cole wasn't offended at all.
One of his friends' big brothers also taught him to punch anyone who calls him a nerd.
This was less helpful, but it was done in a super sweet sort of way.
We had to amend that advice after Cole practiced on Alex's stomach, but I think we're all good now.
After wearing the glasses for a month or so now I will say Cole is MUCH less likely to fall apart after school. He doesn't seem as perpetually exhausted and he is owning the glasses look.
The whole thing does make me wonder though...what else am I missing that my children need and I'm just ignoring? You think one of this has some sort of disorder or missing digit I've just not noticed yet?
Don't tell me until after the baby arrives please....I'm anxious enough.
17 days and counting!