My Daughter Needs Glasses

***This post was originally written as a Guest Blog post for Momstown.ca.***

We made a trip to the optometrist last week and were told that my daughter likely needs glasses.  She’s just turned two…. 25-months-old, only a toddler, still my baby girl.  And she needs glasses.  I was floored by this, as I never suspected a problem with her vision and I was simply bringing her in for a routine check-up.  It’s been on my to-do list for far too long, along with dentist appointments and well-baby exams.  But it seems that Spring signals annual appointments around here, and so off to the eye doctor we went.

I’m told that her eyes see very differently, and that we want to give her left eye the best possible chance of developing optimally, for which glasses will help.  She will likely need these glasses throughout her childhood, and perhaps forever, depending on how her vision changes as she grows.  There were lots of lights, lots of lenses, lots of machines, and lots of tests; and more tests will come in a few weeks when we get her ‘double-checked’ before going the glasses route.  But the optometrist was steadfast, thorough, and concise, and told me to prepare for a glasses fitting at the end of April.  So prepare, I shall.

Emotion swirled around me as we left the clinic, and I’ve been struggling to make sense of what I’m feeling.  Sad?  Worried?  Nervous?  In fact, it’s all of the above and then some.  I’m sad for her, as she’ll now need to navigate the world visibly different than her peers- but we will celebrate those differences.  I’m worried about potential teasing and bullying- but we will celebrate self-confidence and self-esteem.  I’m nervous that her vision will worsen- but we will celebrate the vision that she has.

And then perspective shifts and I see how wonderful this news is- wonderful that it’s not worse, wonderful that it’s treatable, wonderful that she’s healthy.  We got an awful cancer scare when she was only a few months old, ironically also involving her eyes, and I have counted my blessings and remembered that dread every day since.  She’s my ‘make-me-worry kid’- she was late to walk, she’s late to talk, and I can only imagine what her room will look like when she’s a teenager.

She’s teaching me new lessons about the big picture.  Hopefully I’m learning.

AshleyW0018

 

 


148 hours per week

I work part-time, about 20 hours per week.  Right now, at this stage in my life, that’s about all I can handle.  But what do I do with the other 148 hours per week?

I am a parent.

I wipe children’s faces and noses and bums.  I’ve caught spit-up with my hand and pee with my t-shirt.

I don’t go to the bathroom alone or shower in peace.  If little hands are not reaching to be picked up, they are wiggling fingers underneath the door or rattling the knob to get in.

I rarely sit down, and when I do, it’s usually to make a grocery list or fold laundry or do some online banking.  I wake up at 5:30 to have some gym time and I go to bed late so that I can have some couch time.

I prepare three meals and many snacks every day.  I rarely get to enjoy my food hot.  I dole out vitamins and prunes and fish oil.  I clean up the table, I wipe down the highchair, and my dishwasher is always full.

I put shoes on six feet in the morning, hats on three heads, and sunscreen on twelve limbs.  I can pack a diaper bag in two minutes flat while carrying a baby in my arms.  I can leash the dog, open the garage door, and unfold the stroller while simultaneously tracking down keys and bringing in the newspaper.

I take my kids to swimming lessons and skating lessons, playgrounds and playgroups, library programs and parks.  I get their teeth checked, their eyes checked, their spines checked, and I get them weighed and measured.  I teach them about manners and sharing and taking turns.  I teach them to play gently with the dog.

I make sure they’re hydrated, fed, and rested.  I make sure they’re getting enough exercise and fresh air, and not too much screen time.  I keep their 20 fingernails trimmed and their 20 toenails clean.  I brush their hair and their teeth and help tidy their rooms.

I read countless books and play countless hours in the playroom.  I walk miles through wood-chipped trails and point out the birds and the trees and the squirrels.  I smile when my daughter points out every airplane that flies overhead and my son gets excited at every big truck that we see.

I practice the alphabet and numbers, I sing songs and make up rhymes, and I tell more stories than you can imagine.  I take pictures often and videos sporadically, and I write down their milestones in a baby book.

I am also a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, a niece, a cousin, and a friend.  I’m a chiropractor, a runner, a Crossfitter, and a foodie.  I love travelling and reading and coffee and chocolate.  I love being outside, getting up early, and taking naps.  I’m organized and loyal, a perfectionist, and a to-do-lister.  But to my kids, I am a mom. 

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On an adventure at Bronte Park.


Happy Father’s Day: A Letter to My Husband

Dear Chris,

For the past four-and-a-half years, I’ve seen you grow and learn and thrive as a father.  I’ve seen our children grow and learn and thrive with you as their father.

Last Father’s Day, our baby daughter was only three months old, and I found myself reflecting on the father/daughter relationship that I have with my dad.  This year, with 15 months of being a father-of-two under your belt, I’ve noticed some amazing things about your relationship with our children from my vantage point:

-You are their hero.  They watch everything that you do, learn from everything that you do, and want to do everything that you do.  You are, and will continue to be, a big player in their self-esteem.  You’re teaching them to be confident, self-assured, and proud.

-Little girls are just as capable as little boys, and little boys are just as capable as little girls.  You are teaching our daughter to have strength, and our son to have sensitivity.  You are ignoring gender roles and raising our kids as people.  You’re teaching them equality.

-They’re watching how you treat me.  They’re watching how you never leave or enter our house without kisses and hugs.  You’re teaching them how to be a great partner.  You’re teaching them about the important treasure that is family.

-The kindness you show to other people rubs off on them.  They see you help others and give generously.  You’re teaching them compassion and respect, manners and appreciation.

-Your humour is a staple in our lives; how quiet our house would be without laughter!  They expect tickles with your hugs and whiskers with your kisses.  You’re teaching them to smile, to find joy, and to feel happiness.

-The father/daughter relationship and father/son relationship are both unique.  One is not better or worse, more or less, stronger or weaker than the other.  But they are different.  You are providing both of them with what they need.  You’re teaching them to love and to be loved.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  We love you!

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