Thursday, July 20, 2006

Glasses and the Typical 10 Year Old (or, not so typical)


Yesterday I had to take Kevin to the optometrist. The poor child has been squinting at everything and asking me to read the clock for him, so I figured that perhaps it was time to get his eyes checked again. No, I'm not a slacker, I do know that he needs to have an annual exam. This kid complains about every tiny change in his vision (including if the glasses are dirty), so if I took him every time he said, "I can't see that" we'd live with the optometrist.

Kevin, for some inexplicible reason, was beside himself with excitement at the prospect of having his eyes checked. He was almost literally pinging off the walls as if I had given him a can of Coke or something. Anyway, the optometrist did succeed in settling him down enough to look at his eyes amid the "What does that do? That machine is cool. What's those? Why are they like that?", etc. He made me tired just watching. I actually was waiting for the "does he have ADHD?" line that most professionals hit me with, but this guy didn't bother. Apparently Kevin needs new glasses, so the guy turns to me and begins going into this big long speil about how they have now come out with unbreakable lenses, which are the best things ever, and how they are just perfect for kids. Of course though, they are very very expensive-but they are the latest thing! Of course, I'm listening and nodding politely, while Kevin seizes the opportunity to exam all the machines and do-dads in the room. I practically hyperventilate as he finds a lens that is worth more then my car, and it's quickly confiscated.

Let me let all you readers in on something-all three of us wear glasses, and while my husband does have extended health coverage, can you hear the cha-ching that could be happening? I'm not cheap, but if anyone in my house is getting $400 glasses, it's me. I mean, let's be honest here-Armani glasses for a kid that can't even pronounce the name, and for all he knows, could be a small village in Southern Africa?

So I explain that while I can see the benefits of $400 indestructible glasses for a 10 year old, I point out that the optometrist just got finished saying that kids typically need new glasses every year. Isn't that...um...a bit of overkill? The indestructible, I mean. It's not like Kevin will be leading an expedition to Mount Everest or something in the next year. The optometrist snorts and says, "Ya, I've heard that one before."

In September, my son will happily trot off to school with glasses from Wal-Mart. They are decently priced, last well, and look nice. Nobody in this little town will know the difference, and besides....if they do he'll get new ones next year anyhow. By then, with my luck he'll probably start a campaign to get contacts and know who Armani is.

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