We needed to get our eyes checked, Daughter and I, so we went. I’ve been wearing glasses since about fifth grade so this was an annual event for me with no real cause for excitement. Daughter, however, had had only one eye exam under her belt and she felt like this one was going to be memorable for her. She wanted glasses pretty desperately. I’m not sure if it is because they’re a great accessory or because she feels older with them on. Either way, she was feeling good.
Watching Daughter with the doctor was pretty fascinating. A lot of thoughts ran through my head as I watched her up on that chair. “Wow. Those flip flops are gross… Those are some long toenails… Yikes! That’s a 2 not an S! Oh, sure, now is a great time to pick your nose… Nope, still not an S… Why is she so serious all the time? She’s agonizing over this.. OH MY GOD IT’S A 2!” There was a lot of back and forth with Daughter and the doctor about what looked good as she tried to read the lines of letters. You know the kind: which looks better 1 or 2? More or less blurry? Better or worse?
After a while the doctor asked me if it was ok to put drops in her eyes. I said it was fine but asked why it was necessary. Apparently Daughter was so concentrated on her eye exam that she needed to have her pupils dilated so that she would relax and the doctor to get a correct number for her prescription. “Prescription?! I get glasses?!” She was so excited but I was hung up on the fact that my daughter is so intense that she couldn’t relax enough to get an accurate read on her eyeballs. I was baffled. I was shocked. I was sort of upset. Why was this happening? And then I remembered myself.
Oh yeah. Flashback to that series of thoughts while she was in the exam chair. I had no reason to be surprised that she is so intense, but it did upset me. A whole new batch of thoughts started racing though my brain. But this time I stopped them. The only way to help her be less extreme was to start by teaching myself to calm down. I am going to learn how to slow my anxiety thought train. She deserves it and so do I.