Love & Hate: I Love Being a Mom with Bifocals

I remember laughing at my poor dad when he struggled with reading glasses. It was always something. Either he forgot them when we went to a restaurant and I had to read the menu to him (snicker, snicker), or he was running around looking for them (hee, hee), or he asked me in exhausted frustration where his reading glasses were – and there they were, pushed up on his head (guffaw!).

It’s only fair that my kids laugh at me for doing all the same stupid things. Only difference is, I was in my 20s laughing at my dad. My kids are in elementary school, and I’ve needed reading glasses since before they were born.

You young hip moms probably have no idea how much small print there is in Mommy Land. Small products, like those little teeny baby food jars, have teensy weensy print on their itty-bitty labels. And kids’ liquid medicine bottles? Forget about it.

Imagine that stressful moment. Your kid is crying and burning with fever at 2 a.m. and once you CAN find the darn bottle of Ibuprofen, you can’t see the wee table that gives highly specific dosing instructions. Yes: By day I was running around the kitchen looking for my glasses so I could read food preparation instructions, and by night I was dashing around the house with a crying baby looking for those darned glasses so I could medicate my kid!

It was horrible.

So what did I do? Just like my daddy before me, I became a reading glasses collector. My father would buy expensive, prescription reading glasses by the dozen. I bought every cheap pair I could find.

By the time I amassed a large enough collection of glasses that I could actually FIND them, my girls were in school. So I had them, but I certainly didn’t want to wear them. Nothing makes you feel older than going to your kindergartener’s parent-teacher conference and having to whip out granny glasses to see your kid’s froggy painting.

And no matter how cool the frames are, no matter how funky your glasses chain is, you’re not fooling anyone. They are still accessories for the oldsters.

Recently I had a new gripe about my glasses. They seemed to be making my distance vision worse. Everything was a bit fuzzy. Darn glasses. I scheduled an appointment with an ophthalmologist to get a better prescription and learned, lo and behold, I now needed distance vision glasses too. I needed bifocals, which sounded even worse!! The doctor tried to talk me out of filling the prescription he gave me, saying I’d pay a fortune, then hate the bifocals and never wear them.

Thankfully, he was wrong. I got the glasses and I have been a happy mommy ever since.

Now my glasses are always where I can find them – on my face.

When the girls want help with homework, I don’t have to say, “If you find my glasses I’ll help with your homework.” When Suzi’s allergies act up right before school, I don’t have to run all around looking for glasses: I can grab the Zyrtec bottle and dose with confidence! And I don’t have to wear them at the end of my nose. I don’t look like Aunt Bertha. Hooray!

Perhaps getting the auto-darkening lenses wasn’t such a good idea, though. I asked Patti what she thought of my small roundish frames when the lenses got dark outside and she replied, “Well… you kinda look like that guy, what’s his name? Oh, yeah, Ozzy Osborn!”


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