My younger son needs new glasses. Not urgently, not desperately, but he needs them.
He’s had his current pair for 18 months and, from my extensive experience of children wearing glasses, I know they are on borrowed time. There’s a small mark on the left lens which no amount of polishing is going to shift. Oh, and his prescription has changed. Just a little bit. Not a massive YOU MUST GET NEW GLASSES NOW kind of change, just a small change. He’s as long-sighted as he was before, but he’s also currently got correction for a slight astigmatism which he no longer needs.
Regular readers will know my younger son is my angel. Of my three kids, he is the least demanding. I suspect I write about him less because less challenges mean less blogging material. But he’s not perfect. He can be a stubborn little so and so when he wants. Try and get him to do something he doesn’t want to do and he will dig his heels in and refuse point blank.
And he really, really doesn’t want new glasses. He knows what he likes. He likes the colour yellow. He likes warm, fleecy jumpers. He likes Tshirts with Star Wars Lego characters on them. And he likes brown plastic, rectangular glass with thick arms. And NO OTHER GLASSES.
Unfortunately, Boots don’t make these glasses any more. So we’re at stalemate and have been for several weeks. Because he is refusing to get new glasses.
Somehow the glasses he wants just don’t seem to exist any more. Plastic glasses are smaller and rounder. And usually pink or blue. Yep, they’re girls’ glasses. Boys’ glasses tend to have metal frames, but he really, really doesn’t want metal frames. He looks lovely in them, but that doesn’t matter. He doesn’t want them and he WON’T HAVE THEM.
And there’s another problem. The size. He’s a size 50. Now, I’m not an expert, I don’t know if that refers to the width of the frame or the width across the nose, but it seems to be pretty universal sizing that everyone understands. To give you some idea of what size this is – it’s the size I wear – a slim, 39 year old woman. Kids’ glasses do generally go up to a 52. BUT NOT PLASTIC ONES. Plastic ones stop at a 48.
‘He could try them?’ suggests well-meaning opticians.
He wore a 48 when he was 5. He’s had a 50 since he was 7. They do not fit him.
What about the teen ranges? Oh, they START at a 47 – only one tiny size bigger than my daughter’s toddler-sized Disney Princess glasses.
We could buy adults’ glasses of course. Ladies’ ones. They cost loads and he’d still be sulking.
So we’re stuck. A boy who doesn’t want new glasses. Opticians who don’t stock glasses in his size.
We’ve tried Boots, Specsavers, Vision Express and Sainsburys. There are still more, but I’m fed up of the opticians who are intolerant of us and the stubborn boy who won’t budge.
Do I give up or do I keep trying? Eventually his glasses are going to be break. Eventually we will have no choice.
Who’s in the wrong here? A stubborn 9 year old boy who knows what he wants or the opticians that don’t stock enough choice in their children’s glasses?