*warning, contains coarse language*
“MY name is Izzy and I wear glasses like Whiff”
At the start of this year, we took Miss I to the doctor as she started to develop a lazy eye. 6 weeks later and numerous specialist appointments we came to find that not only does she have a “partial squint” but she is also incredibly long sighted (which you wouldn’t have thought judging by the way she got around and read books) thus the need for glasses. She’s so long sighted, that she has the strongest prescription you can get for a child. In between the initial specialist visit and her getting her glasses, I was racked with guilt. Did I not take enough iodine and folic acid while I was pregnant? Did I not eat enough fruits and veggies? Too many cups of tea? It was all my fault and I felt like I had failed.
My kiddo is two. She’s not the first kid in the world to have had glasses at a young age. She wears an eye patch for an hour a day on her non lazy eye to try and strengthen the one that is. We hand over the credit card to the optometrist every once in a while to replace her $380 pair of glasses (more expensive than mine!) because we don’t qualify for any subsidies (sometimes I wish we did!!!!). We decorate numerous eye patches so that when she goes to pick one each day. They aren’t fancy because I suck at drawing but its fun and she feels special. We both wear our glasses even when we don’t need them so that she doesn’t feel odd. We searched high and low for Whiff the train from Thomas the Tank Engine because she knows that like her, Whiff has glasses. Its her favourite toy. Every six weeks we go to the hospital to see a specialist. Eventually, she will need surgery to correct the lazy eye because its muscular and no amount of eye patching or glasses wearing will fix it.
The day that she got her glasses, I felt even worse because it was “real”. I hated them. I hated her wearing them because it was a reminder that I didn’t do enough to prevent this.Â She didn’t care one little bit about anything. She could see clearly for the first time in 1.5 years. The day she got her glasses, was also the same day I realised how fucking horrible people can be. I had to quit the “woe is me, its all my fault my kid has glasses” bullshit (turns out, its kinda genetic! Didn’t find this out until a few months after getting her glasses) and protect her from the world of bullying. Not just from kids but also from adults. The adults are the fucking worst.
Every time we go out in public, without fail, people stare, not just quick glance either. They act as if she had five heads and someone has something to say either out loud (if they have the balls) or its whispered to the person next to them. I can take the stares and weird looks, but the words.. the words are NOT OK. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”- Words do hurt people and although they do not affect my child, they affect me. They make me angry that the world is like this- completely and utterly non accepting of something slightly different.
“THAT kid has glasses. She’s too young. THATS AWFUL!” – said in disgusted tone, woman, mid 50s in the middle of a crowded supermarket.
“Are those cheap jobbies? *points at glasses*”. Me- “errr no?” … “oh so they are expensive? Is that to correct her MASSIVE *emphasise on the word massive” lazy eye?”- guy, late 50s/early 60s in the post office.
“MUM! WHY DOES THAT BABY HAVE GLASSES?” *mum yanks kid away with a disgusted look on her face so he’s not near Miss I incase its contagious* (Don’t worry love, its not! Your kids safe!!!!) N as we walk past- “BECAUSE GLASSES ARE COOL!!!!!!!!”- young kid at the park. Kids are kids, his question was acceptable, the way the mother handled it was not.
*whispered to friend who was standing next to her on the escalator* “oh my god, that young child has glasses… thats not ok” – middle aged woman.
Coming out of the supermarket and a lady GAWKS at Miss I. Like….Â actually stops and takes a decent look. Turns around and walks a bit further. Turns around for a second time, stares then carries on waking. If that wasn’t enough, she turns around a THIRD time stares even more then finally finds enough balls to say something- “Those are cool glasses… same colour as mine *insert weird annoying fake laugh” ………. she had on black glasses.
*whisper whisper whisper* “she really shouldn’t be wearing that thing (eyepatch)” – woman, 30s (maybe older) at the mall.
These are just a few of the many many comments we get each day. What I would really like to know is… whats awful and why is it not ok? She NEEDS them just like all people who wear glasses. The thing that is awful andÂ not ok is that a 2 year old is getting bullied by a bunch of grown ups for being slightly different because she needs some assistance to see. I need assistance to see, are you going to bully me too? Glasses or no glasses, kid or adult- bullying is not fucking ok.
Right now, I am pretty thankful that she doesn’t understand the context of which these words are said. She hears “glasses” and “eye patch” and she’s all bloody smiles. Miss I is a confident little human being who LOVES her glasses and eye patches and this makes us incredibly happy. Aside from explaining to her that there are some horrible people in the world that say silly things, I have NO IDEA what I am going to do when she’s older. Locking her up in her room and not exposing her to the big bad world seems like a great idea at the moment!
To all of the idiotic twats who think its ok to bully… here is a big FUCK YOU from me. I’m sticking up for all the glasses wearing kiddos who can’t do it for themselves! Instead of making stupid comments, try one of these two sentences- “HEY! I like your glasses!” or “You look AWESOME!”. You will pop a freaking smile on their face instead of brining them down.