Eyeballs and teeth

I am a true blonde!

I learned this from none other than my eye doctor. This is the first time I’ve ever been to this actual eye doctor—I haven’t been to see an eye doctor in years and years and years—so to call her my eye doctor is perhaps a little forward. However, I totally dig her style, so I’m more than ready to call her my doctor. Heck, she’s going to be the whole family’s eye doctor, should I ever decided they need one.

one of the twelve blue eyes that light up this house
photo credit: my little bro

Anyway, at one point in the hour-long session she peered into my eyeball with a laser lens do-hickey thing and then sat back and said, “Huh. You’re a true blonde, aren’t you?”

“What? Uh— Um… yeah, I guess so,” I stammered, confused.

She rushed to explain. “Most people have pigment in their eyes—I can see it with this lens. But with you there is no pigment. That’s how I know.”

Seriously? I’m pigmentless in my eyeballs? Wow.

She explained that fair people like me are more sensitive to sunlight and that sunlight can actually physically damage the eye. For example, light-skinned people are more susceptible to cataracts, and cataracts are partially a result of sun damage. I should be wearing sunglasses, she said, and not just for a fashion statement, either. (Also, most sun damage happens before 18 years of age so it’s a good idea for kids to wear sunglasses, too.)

I came away from her office with a diagnosis of a stigmatism, farsightedness (hard proof that my body is going to pot), and a recommendation that I find myself some reading glasses (I’m going for the cheap drugstore version) and a couple pairs of sunglasses.

The same day I had my eye appointment, all four of the kids had dentist appointments.

Remember the last time that Sweetsie went to the dentist? Yeah, me too. Not a good memory at all. After that failed attempt, I took Sweetsie along to the next scheduled appointment but told her that she couldn’t get the prize bag if she didn’t sit in the chair and do what the dentist said. When we walked out of that office, the other three children merrily brandishing their new toothbrushes and floss, she sobbed.

This time she said she’d sit in the chair and she wanted to be first in line. Ahead of time, I had secretly asked the office to do an abbreviated cleaning for her, and they played their part to the hilt, explaining everything, cheering her on, brandishing the prize bag, and generally keeping her mind on other things. Sweetsie sat on my lap, and though I could feel her trembling and shaking down to her toes, she minded her manners (did I ever tell you about the time she kicked her allergist?), followed directions, and even flashed some smiles. This time when we left the office, every single one of my children had new toothbrushes and Sweetsie was glowing.

Sometimes kids just need to grow up, you know? Back then, in the midst of those horrible appointments, I suspected that was the case—she was just terrified and stubborn and needed a little space to mature. Or at least I hoped that was the case. I really didn’t know, but I went with my mother’s intuition, decided that there was no danger in waiting a year or two, and tried to take a relaxed approach. It took nearly two years for her to grow up, but my patience finally paid off. I’m thankful that’s the case, but I wish that myself of one year ago could have had a peek at last week’s appointment. It would have eased my anxiety tremendously.

Makes me wonder what worries I have now that are just as unnecessary…


My friend, Thy Hand, is doing a giveaway for Yo-Yo. If you want to toss your name into the bag for the chance to win one of three pieces of jewelry (you’ve got options!), head over to her blog and leave a comment.

(It was my idea that he do a giveaway, but Yo-Yo had to help come up with the plan, write the initial email, and do some of the follow up correspondence. It’s all made for a valuable lesson in advertising, communication, and business economics.)

This same time, years previous: a rant against the boob tube


  • Jennifer Jo

    Little bro, I was trying to remember who took that picture…

    Margo, thanks for the advice on sunglasses. I'll certainly keep that in mind. (Ha! That the title would make this post appear a continuation of the pig butchering—that never crossed my mind!)

  • Margo

    Oh, I wanted to say, that you do have be careful to get proper sunglasses because sometimes the cheapy dark kinds can just open your pupils wider to more sun damage instead of blocking the bad rays. I learned this from my uncle who has macular degeneration.

    And now, thanks to you and your eye doctor, I understand why my blonde cousin and his blonde wife always have sunglasses on and their three blonde children do too.

  • Margo

    ok, when i saw the title, i really thought this was a continuation of the hog butchering post. and i hesitated to read on because ewwwwww.
    Nice that Sweetsie can handle the dentist now.

  • Anonymous

    I've got lots of pigment in my eyes…at least they are brown, but I still really want a pair of sunglasses.

    Glad you all have sparkly teeth! My daughter just asked when she is going to dentist again. I think they like it. Odd.

  • Camille

    Gorgeous eyes in your family! And, interesting that she could tell you are a blonde! Have a wonderful, uneventful (in a good, restful sort of way) week. 🙂


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