A Spectacle about Spectacles

(…or Flying Solo in Triplicate)

She is two, and although she may be able to fool the general public into thinking she’s pure as the driven snow, her mommy and daddy know better!


Julianna manifests the age of two by whining, by tugging her hair out of its restraints, and especially by pulling off her glasses. She knows how much we hate it, and she knows our ears are tuned to the noise, even if we’re on the opposite side of the house. So any time she wants attention, or is mad at us, off they come. She takes one earpiece in each chubby hand and starts testing their limits. AUGH!!


Saturday we took a family walk. By the time we got home, Nicholas was starving, and very mad about it. J So I left Christian to unload the other two while I grabbed him, ran through the garage and landed on the couch to nurse.


Christian was trying to finish painting Alex’s new sword and shield, so he brought Julianna just inside the house and left her there while he went back out to the garage. Almost immediately, I heard the glasses hit the floor, but I couldn’t do anything about it. And then I forgot.


Presently Christian walked into the house. The next thing I heard was…well, not repeatable. Not content with merely dropping her glasses in the path of traffic, Julianna had covered them with a piece of paper to make sure they were good and invisible. And now, misshapen.


Yes, go ahead and laugh. In eleven months, we’ve demolished three pairs of frames and one pair of lenses. We’ve seen so much of Mike, the guru of glasses, that I know how many kids he has and how old they are, and Julianna thinks he’s almost as much fun to flirt with as her grandpas.


So Monday morning, I set out for my first solo adventure with three children. Stop 1, the eye doctor for a quick adjustment. Stop 2, Sears Portrait studio, to take yearly shots of the two older kids.


I really should have known better. I’ve been overdoing it this postpartum period…it’s different now; Christian can’t do it all anymore, not with two other kids needing attention. So I’m cooking and doing dishes and laundry—otherwise no one would eat or have clothes to wear. And now that I’m flying solo, I have to get Julianna in and out of the car.


I brainstormed that for most of a week. I put a Medela nursing stool in front of her captain’s chair, and walked her out to the van holding onto my fingers. Then I bent her knees up onto the van floor one at a time, and helped her climb up into her seat. First hurdle cleared. I’m still lifting too much, but at least I’m not lifting her entire weight. (Necessity is the mother of invention. Of course, that doesn’t get the double stroller in and out of the van, but c’est la vie.)


Well, Monday morning we started getting ready to go at 8:40. It was 9:15 before we backed out of the driveway. By the time we reached the optometrist’s office, Alex was pouting and sulking because I had closed the van door myself instead of letting him do it. (Note: This was b/c, when I asked HIM to do it, he said, “NO!”) Great. Sulky child half an hour before having pictures taken.


Inside the optometrist’s, Mike shook his head. “These are not fixable.” I wanted to cry. First, because we sure don’t need the expense of a new pair of frames. Second, we were on our way to freakin’ two-year portraits!


We arrived at Sears late and grumpy, but the photographer managed to joke Alex out of his funk. But Julianna…well, once before, I talked about pictures, and how she doesn’t really have the strong “look” of Down syndrome. But without her glasses, her left eye kept drifting lazy, and she stared down her nose, and in the end, there was only one pose in which she looked like herself, and in that one she was looking down at a book.


Drat that child! How the bleep bleep do you keep the glasses on them?


By the time it was all over, I was desperate to nurse, and the older two were extremely restless…and hungry…and tired…but I had promised Alex a trip to Kids Kourt. I managed to convince him to ride one of those little play cars instead. Only the machine ate my quarters. Just imagine what THAT did to his attitude!


I was shaking with exhaustion, and feeling pain again, by the time I got all three of them in the car…and only at that point did I realize that the backpack containing all the favorite toys was still lying on the floor by the play cars at the other end of the Sears wing.


It was not a good first outing.


Nor has it been a good week for writing—considering that I began this post on Tuesday the 7th of April, and only now, on the 13th, am I finishing it. Time to quit.