the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Transformations

Several weeks ago Leta’s school conducted eye examinations, and some of our concerns were were confirmed when we found out that she did poorly both times she was given a test. The teacher pulled us aside, gave us the news, and said that Leta has a hard time reading the message board from far away. So it turns out she has her father’s eyes. This is news to no one.

I’ve had great eyesight my entire life, but Jon has had glasses since he was five years old. This was one of those times when I was like, look, I don’t know anything about what this means other than that our six-year-old is now going to need glasses. A six-year-old who refused to touch grass for the first four years of her life. A six-year-old who thinks cake is gross. A six-year-old who won’t pet her own dogs because it feels weird. And now she’s going to have to wear equipment on her face all day? This isn’t going to be difficult at all!

Kind of like coaxing an alligator into your lap so that you can brush its teeth.

And this is where the band/chorus geek in her parents blossomed into true parenting genius. Because we played up glasses as if they were the second coming of Jesus Christ. Hoo boy! GLASSES! GLAHHHH-SEHHHHHS! Like, Oprah welcoming a pair of glasses onto her stage, and guess what? Everyone in the audience is going home with a set of their own!

Guess who wears glasses? Grandmommy. Grandpa Rob. Grandma Della. Actually, each one of her grandparents wears glasses. (Let’s leave out the part about how it’s because they’re all OLD.) Daddy wears glasses! She was starting to warm up to it, and then we broke out the winner: her ten-year-old cousin Rachel wears glasses. The cousin Leta wants to be when she grows up. The cousin who once told her mother after spending a day with Leta, “I’m not sure I can take much more of her bossing me around.”

Oh, Rachel. Welcome to my life.

Turns out she’s near-sighted, and when we let her pick out the frames she chose — wait for it — the pink ones. With sparkly flowers on the arms. If it’s possible, she looks even more like Jon than she did before. The only thing missing is a mangled mess of USB cables trailing behind her as she leaves the room and occasional irrational outbursts wherein she refers to conservative friends on Facebook as “total effing nutburgers.”

Which reminds me, I accidentally referred to Marlo as an “effing turd” last week when she wouldn’t take a second nap, and Leta was all, “What does effing mean, Mom?” MINUS TEN POINTS FOR ME.

I told her it was a term of endearment that we only use at home. Ahem.

So, the same week she gets glasses, she also asks to get her hair cut. I’ve let her hair grow so long because I’ve wanted her to be a part of the decision making process when it comes to what her hair looks like. And she’s always wanted it long, at least, until she realized that all her best friends at school have shorter hair. I asked if all her friends eat broccoli, too, and she was not amused.

Oh come on, Leta! It’s a peer pressure joke! GET IT?! Ok then, let’s try it this way: Knock knock. Who’s there? A best friend who eats broccoli. MOM, THAT IS SO STUPID.

So I got her an appointment with my hairstylist, and we did it. Or I guess I should say, Leta did it. She was so incredibly brave in the face of some potentially horrifying circumstances: the place swarming with people dressed in black from head to toe; someone other than a parent soaking her entire head with water; SCISSORS EVERYWHERE. It was like walking into Tim Burton’s mind.

I held her hand through most of it, and she courageously survived the almost twenty minute blow dry. Twenty minutes! That kid sat still for twenty minutes, and she wasn’t even reading a book! Okay. Full disclosure: I promised her ice cream if she cooperated. Ice cream with syrup. That’s all it took.

I think I just figured out how to get her to fix Mama a hot dog.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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