One of the main reasons that I am self-employed and work mostly from home is that I have found that children don’t always fit in around jobs. They get sick, they have endless appointments, they need picking up, the list goes on. Well, that is how it is with my kids anyway. Some days, I really miss working in a school, but I know deep down that if I went back to work, yes the holidays are a huge bonus, but term time isn’t flexible enough.
A couple of weeks ago I had one of those days.
The teen is still adjusting to life with short-sightedness. He refuses point blank to wear his glasses to school even though they really suit him, so he is trying to wear contact lenses. It isn’t easy. He finds them quite irritating at times and can’t wear them for too long but to be fair to him, he is persisting and has managed to wear them nearly every day since going back to school.
Wednesday night, he appeared around 9 pm looking tired and one eye was red, swollen and very bloodshot. “I can’t get my contact lens out.” He was quite distressed which is very unlike him. I had a look in his eye and couldn’t see anything. He said he could feel something and kept poking around in his eye and then complaining because it was so painful.
It is so hard to watch because you can’t physically do anything. I shone a torch in his eye and said that I thought it had gone but I would take him to the opticians in the morning to check.
So at 9 am Thursday morning, we were trudging to the optician. The eye was still really red and bloodshot but it looked a bit better. As we were walking, I looked down at his feet as he was walking really strangely. “Are your shoes too big?” I asked. “A bit.” came the reply.
Judging by the way he was walking, I think that it was more than a bit.
“Did it not occur to you to tell me?” Clearly not. He said it was fine but as he had also acquired a nice set of blisters, it really wasn’t. As we sat in the opticians, I said that we would have to go and get him another pair of shoes. The current pair were the same size as his previous pair, a size 10. I knew his feet were a 9 but they are wide so I always go bigger and the pair he had in the summer term were from a different shop and fitted perfectly.
After half an hour, we were told that they were just too busy to see him without an appointment but that the optician had agreed to see him in his lunch hour so could we go back at 1:45.
Next stop, the shoe shop. Feet measured, I had to part with a mere £59 for the teen’s second new pair of school shoes in less than a month.
I drove him back to school and he was just about to get out the car when he realised that he had left his school bag in the shoe shop.
Back we went again. I was meant to be teaching between 11 and 1 but I had to ring and rearrange as I was running so late by this point. Finally, I get him back to school with his bag and wearing shoes that actually fit him.
I went off to teach for an hour and then went back to pick him up. The optician was amazing and after a really thorough check, there was no sign of the rogue lens. He had, however, scratched the lens of his eye but that would heal. Not surprising really as he had been quite literally trying to poke his eye out the evening before.
As I am driving him home, I realise that I am due at my daughter’s school for a meet the teacher session in less than ten minutes. The teen was kicked out of the car fairly close to home and I zoomed to my daughter’s school.
The one good thing that came out of this crazy day was that we discovered that apparently contact lenses do get stuck, it is quite a common occurrence if they dry out and it is important to go and see the optician if you are in any doubt as they are happy to check that everything is as it should be.
I did wonder if the teen would ever wear lenses again but he has gone back to them this week and so far no dramas. As for the shoes, he is complaining now that these shoes are too small and he doesn’t like them.
I give up.