Tuesday, March 24, 2009

worrying and waiting

Pook has been holding in a lot of worry, which finally started spilling out the other day. He came to me to say he can't see the board at school. Another boy, actually a good friend, teased him saying "You need glasses". And he's a wreck. He's ashamed. He's embarrassed. He's worried. He's obsessing.

I've made a vision appointment for him, but it isn't until April 2. Since he's dwelling on this so much now, I called the school nurse and arranged for her to do a vision screening sooner. Now he's afraid everyone will find out, and that he'll "fail".

It's hard to know which issue to approach first. He's got to deal with the teasing problem, adjust to having others find out, ask his teachers to make a seating change, and make the next few weeks bearable while he waits. And realize that he may very well need glasses.

After settling him down after school when he came to me in tears, we talked about the options. He says he's already asked his teacher to move his desk, but he'll need to ask the specialists to do so also. He asked me to email them to explain, so no one would hear him talking to them. This seemed like a good start, and I received a reply from one right away.

Twice in the afternoon and again over dinner, we talked about what to do or say if someone teased us. We even did some role playing at the dinner table. Just for demonstration Bug called me The Meanest Mama Ever and I answered him "Oh" and turned my back. A book Pook heard read aloud at school called a child "Four Eyes". We practiced hearing words like that. I suggested he respond "Four eyes are better than two". If his friend tells him he needs glasses, he might respond, "You need manners". He might even just tell his friend to please not talk about the issue because it hurts his feelings. Soon the practice turned into giggles for both boys, passing insults back and forth and each turning their backs and blatantly ignoring the other. Good stuff that role play.

This morning I gave Pook a little smooth rock I had. He put it in his pocket for confidence. He's going to tell his Spanish teacher to move his seat, himself. He says it's easier now that he's said it to us and he thinks he can do it, but maybe still needs to make it private.

I think this is the first time he's had a big issue like this to solve at school. His stomach hurt, he didn't want to attend and the whole thing overshadowed the rest of his day. I'm having the "I want to fix it for you" feeling, as a mom, but I know he can do this himself. Someday it will be a real bully and he'll have to stick up for himself. I can't be there.

When we first discussed having children, we decided that they should have CD's hair and my eyes (thick, wavy blond hair with great vision). We got Pook with red hair and eyes that look like all the blue-eyed members of both families, and Bug with hair and eyes that look like mine (won't know about the vision for 40 years!). So much for family planning.

1 comment:

  1. When Mike and I had the kid conversation, we went in the opposite direction. We were SURE our kids would wind up with Mike's eyes (a couple steps short of needing a seeing eye dog) and our combined fair skin, which would render them translucent.

    So far, they have the fair skin thing down. And they took the mild to moderate seasonal allergies we both have and raised them to a whole 'nother level altogether, which resulted in a fabulous asthma/allergy combination that has me tearing my hair out. Ugh. We'll see what happens on the eye front as they get older. We're pretty sure at least one of them will wind up with glasses.

    Ain't genetics grand?

    As for Pook, maybe you can point out all the smart people who wear glasses in the course of his day. Dunno, might help.