RETURNING home from Princess Ella’s 3.5-year check with the child health nurse yesterday, there was great relief in being able to log into social media and ease some of my fears. Fear? What fears would I have?

She’s ahead in her development. Her vocabulary is beyond what it should be (I only actually discovered this yesterday). She has great talent in creative pursuits. Physically she’s capable of all manner of activities. She’s mastered the alphabet and counting. She’s fit and healthy. In the words of her favourite movie character Mary Poppins, she’s practically perfect in every way.

Except for her eyesight. During the test she was thrilled she got to look like this (well, the eye patch part):

Ahoy, me hearties!

Meanwhile, I had other things racing through my mind. Both eyes together aced the test (she even got praised for picking up the letters so quickly) and the right eye was spot on. But the final two letters to test the left eye were off – all three times. To add to that, she kept turning her head to the side to try and see better. We’re now on the path to getting a referral to see a specialist.

There were some wonderful comments on Facebook and Twitter. Among them were mums whose little ones:

  • had temporary eye strain so wore glasses for a short period of time;
  • showed signs of eyesight problems during the initial test, but aced the specialist’s test;
  • wore glasses from 11 months of age (imagine the fun trying to keep them on!);
  • fooled their parents with incredible memory recall, but actually had bad eyesight.

In all, the main message was it’s natural for us to worry but it’s a minor challenge in the scheme of things. And if she does have to have glasses, they’re now far cooler than they were in our day. One little boy was even chuffed he was going to look like Holden driver Mark Scaffe. Very cool.

I had fears Ella would end up looking like this:

Now that you’ve finished laughing, I should probably tell you that four-eyed little girl with the coke-bottle glasses is…


I’m severely long sighted. Thank goodness for contact lenses, you say! On a positive note, it’s congenital, not hereditary. So she can’t blame me. Anyway, we’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Does your little one have glasses or eye sight challenges? How did they cope?

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20 Responses to FEATURE: I can see clearly now

  1. Sonja Greenwood says:

    My 3 yr old has recently been given her perscription to get glasses. We noticed she started to get a ‘turn’ in her left eye when she was tired and tried to focus long distances.
    After many trips to eye specialists, and many pirate games later (plus a really fun game maching letters of the alphabet) Miss 3 is excited to be picking out her own glasses…but only if they are pink and purple with fairies and glitter on them 🙂

    • Kel says:

      Oh, pink and purple with fairies and glitters, of course Sonja!! Can’t wait to see her in glasses. She’ll look so cute! 🙂

  2. Barb says:

    Gosh, how cute Kel!! Tough when you’re a parent and you suspect something is not 100% right with your little one, but eyesight is an easy one. Lucky for Ella it has been picked up so early (if there is a problem of course) and her development and confidence has not been affected by it.

    Our nephew’s massive eye problems were detected when he was 3…he already showed signs of problems with co-ordination and confidence which he struggled to regain for ages. His glasses with the thickest of thick, made it nearly impossibe for him to go swimming unless he had custom made goggles etc. Then when he became a teenager and decided to try out contacts….we all wanted the specks back!! Glasses just became a part of who he was. Kids are not as cruel as they used to be…mainly because so many kids wear glasses now days….you hardly stand out.

    Anyway, good luck with the specialist….all will be ok. Your Little Princess is amazingly talented and beautiful and a pair of glasses has no hope in hell of changing that 🙂

    • Kel says:

      You make some really great points, Barb. Having glasses seems to be the “in” thing these days – so different to my day. It’s funny you say about his glasses becoming a part of who he was. I think that was very much the same for me, because it wasn’t until Grade 10 that I finally got contacts. I still have all my old glasses, complete with arms that curl right around your ears!! 🙂
      Thanks for helping ease my worries! xx

  3. Well, you already know about Isabelle from Tweets last night! But just wanted to add…

    Good on you for sharing that photo! There are some photos from my childhood I don’t want ANYONE near. Ever. Kudos to you!

    • Kel says:

      LOL!! Thanks Alyce. It took quite a bit for me to upload it – I changed my mind about 10 times!! Even now, on days when I decide to leave the contacts out and just wear my glasses, I refuse to answer the door! Hehe! 😉

  4. Melissa says:

    Naaaw we all had our moments through high school *cringe!* but look at you now 😛 I’m very much the same but always wanted glasses. I even tried lying in the eyesight test but they saw right through me (lol, pun not intended!!) but I guess if I had of I think I think I may have looked A LOT worse than you, trust me your picture is kinda cute! 😀

    • Kel says:

      Hehe!! Thanks Melissa. I think you’re being rather kind though!!! LOL!!!! 😉
      It’s funny how these things go in cycles! I was actually really young when I got them (younger than 5, I think). The only memories I have are of a trip to hospital for surgery and wearing eye patches quite a bit (which were super itchy!!).

  5. Julie says:

    Well, you’ve just reminded me that I need to get my son’s eyes tested again. We thought he had a turn in his eye at birth. He was tested at about 9 months and they said he seemed okay, but to re-test at 18 months. He is now 23 months old. He doesn’t *seem* to have a problem, but I should probably make sure…

    • Kel says:

      Glad it’s been a good reminder for you, Julie. With so much to think about when it comes to our kids, it’s easy for these things to pass by.
      And my fingers are crossed for you that all is well with his sight. xx

  6. Leonie White says:

    Nice look Ella, you make a great pirate.
    Kellie you forgot to mention the corrective surgery on your eyes when you were about 5 and how the nurse made you eat your pea’s before you were allowed to go home,”what a moment that was”, and it wasn’t just you that was crying. As your parents that was a very sleepless night having to leave you in hospital by yourself a five year old baby girl and not being able to be there before you went into surgery early the next morning. Thankfully it all went well and “yes” look at you know. So for our little princess Ella hopefully she won’t have to eat peas or nan could be crying again, and fashion will always be a changing thing. I’m sure when Ella gets older she will look back at the weird and wonderful things that you {her mother}, made her wear.

    • Kel says:

      Hmm… this is the first time I’ve heard this!
      And I remember the broad beans and throwing them up all over the other kids’ plates. I still don’t like broad beans!!

  7. Kirsty says:

    I have heaps of glasses experience (apart from my son having them from the age of 11 months!) Got my own pair when I was 5 after an eye test at school – my parents were ‘scolded’ by the optometrist as he couldn’t believe they hadn’t noticed I had such bad sight in my left eye (I had a lazy eye, the other has always been stronger).

    So I wore a series of unattractive frames throughout the 80’s and 90’s, had contact stuck over the lens on my right eye so my left one could be strengthened (very sexy look!) and had to do a series of eye exercises each day which really didn’t do too much in the end. I still wear glasses (have never been able to stick contact lenses in my eyes *shudder*) but at least they make me look knowledgeable at work!

    There are definitely worse things that can happen to you but you obviously want the best for your child. I certainly didn’t want my 11 month old to have them but he survived and quickly worked out he could see far better with them on! Whatever happens with Ella, at least it has been caught early and fashion these days is far better than when I was 5!

    • Kel says:

      Kirsty, this is so much like my story. My left eye is also extremely bad and so lazy it turns in. And yes, plenty of unattractive frames throughout the ’80s and ’90s here too (as proven by this photo!!) I had the eye patches over my actual eye (super itchy and frustrating for a kid). In Grade 10 I started out with soft contact lenses (took a little while to get used to – the sand paper feeling does eventually go) and now wear hard lenses. But you’re right, there’s definitely worse than can happen. Thanks for sharing, Kirsty. 🙂

  8. My son got glasses a year ago (he is now 8) he was unsure at first about them but everyone thought they were so cool, he was quickly used to them. He had been squinting of an evening while reading, he may need them all through primary school.

    • Kel says:

      Thanks for sharing that, Nicole. I should try and keep an eye on Ella when she’s reading to see if there’s signs of her struggling to see. So far I haven’t really noticed anything.
      How great is it that kids are now cool for having glasses? I love that! 🙂

  9. tatum says:

    Hi Kellie…my eldest daughter has been wearing glasses for over 6 years now…she’s nearly 9 and was approaching 3 when she got them. Like you she is severely long sighted. It was easy to pick she had a problem because she developed a turn in one eye when she was tired. She has had periods of patching and has, thankfully, never experienced any teasing. When she first started patching her kindy teacher at the time would draw a different eye on her patch each day for her. It was pretty hilarious.

    Instead of patching some opthamologists use drops to dilate the pupil and blur the vision for 2 months of the year. I wasn’t really comfortable with this option so we went back to patching.

    These days coke bottle glasses thankfully aren’t so coke bottle like 🙂 If she does end up needing glasses I highly recommend getting the memory wire ones, not ones with rigid frames. A glasses cord is invaluable for keeping them on little kids and if you want to be able to see her eyes in photos make sure that you get non reflective coating on them.

    Tatum xx

    • Kel says:

      Thanks so much for sharing that, Tatum. That’s actually really good to hear, especially about the type of frames. I think the drops would turn me off a bit too. I don’t blame you for going for the old patches.
      Love the eye drawing on the patch. Too cute!! 🙂

  10. […] child health nurse played some fun eye games with Ella before dropping the bomb – Ella was slightly vision impaired in her left eye. Probably not worth a whole post, but that’s what you […]

  11. […] the clincher, and the reason I’m now quickly getting over my hang-ups with her wearing glasses, is that as if her eyes overcompensate her slight vision impairment there’s a chance the eye […]

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