I sometimes think that it would be easier to endlessly walk into a brick wall than be a parent. In fact, at the moment, it does feel like I am walking into a brick wall, several times a day.
I guess that is the joy (if you can call it that) of living with a teenager.
Coming back from rugby training a few weeks ago, the teen mentioned to me that his left eye had been aching for a few days. He has a slight squint in his left eye, so I said to him I would book him in for an eye test and get it checked out.
We have already been through numerous appointments to an optometrist with his squint, but as treatment was an operation that wouldn’t guarantee the squint would improve and could make it worse, we decided to leave it and let him make up his mind when he was older. It isn’t awful and you only really notice it when he is really tired.
When he mentioned the ache, I knew the eye test was overdue but imagine how awful I felt when the optician said it was four years since his last eye test. Cue one of those moments when you want the floor to swallow you up after you have collected your ‘worst mum of the year’ award.
Within a few minutes of the test starting, I knew what was coming. Sadly the teen didn’t. I mouthed to him that he may well need glasses. Cue the absolutely no way face from him. I mouthed back that we could talk about contact lenses. This was met with a shrug of general indifference.
Sure enough, his left eye is pretty weak and not only is there a squint but also astigmatism so the vision in that eye is much worse than the right eye. He has me to thank for that genetic malfunction, my eyes are exactly the same.
He was not happy. When the optician guided us out to choose glasses, I was quietly subjected to a tirade of reasons why they were wrong. He was still recovering from having lights shone in his eyes, he was tired, etc. No way was he going to wear glasses.
He reluctantly tried on a few pairs but picked the first pair and said there was no point spending time or money on glasses as he was not going to wear them. The poor assistant who was helping didn’t know where to look and I was quite embarrassed. By this point, the teen just wanted to leave. But of course, there is fitting and measuring to do before they can order the glasses. I did wonder if he might spontaneously combust. When they mentioned a second pair or
When we left, he stropped off to see his girlfriend and was not willing to give the subject anymore discussion.
When he later came home, he had given it some thought and said that he did understand that he needed them (although he was still adamant that it was their fault for shining lights and blowing air into his eyes before the test) but that he might wear the glasses at home but no way was he ever wearing them at school.
A week later, the glasses arrived and I think they really suit him in spite of the lack of time spent choosing them. He has worn them a little and some of his friends have said how much they suit him, so he has actually left the house wearing them a couple of times.
The contact lens trial was the next traumatic event. I think he thought it was going to be easy to put lenses in and take them out. Sadly, I know from experience that this isn’t the case, particularly to begin with. He really struggled with it. I felt so sorry for him, he spent an hour in the optician trying to get them in and out and his eyes were so bloodshot, I was almost at the point of telling him to stop and that this wasn’t going to work. To be fair to him, he didn’t give up and eventually did the whole process three times.
A couple of weeks on and he now has three months worth of daily contact lenses which are sitting in the kitchen unopened and his glasses have hardly been worn this week. Every time I mention it, I get the dramatic eye roll but I will keep nagging as I want him to realise the importance of looking after his eyes. I know that contact lens wearing gets easier over time and he just needs to be patient with them, but generally, teenagers and
As for me, you might find me walking into a few brick walls as I am sure it is easier than parenting a teenager.