Tuesday, August 12, 2008


About six months or so I took the Adrenaline Junkie in to get her eyes checked, as one of those innumerable routine doctors' appointments that seem to come all the time when you have three kids.

And, of course, the kids always ask the big question every time you load them up to take them to the doctor: is there going to be a shot today? Well, this time the answer was no. But she was going to get some drops in her eyes, and judging from the volume level of the unhappy victim, that was nearly as bad.

Basically the doctor threw a whole bunch of images up on the wall via projector, and had the Junkie try to identify them: house, airplane, etc. They have to do this with the youngest kids, since they don't necessarily know their letters well enough to tell you that the top line says "E".

And... the results were that the Junkie was developing a little near-sightedness in her right eye.

Thus the drops; the doctor wanted to dilate them to take a look inside and see if there was anything wrong.

His diagnosis at the time was that the left eye was fine, but that the right eye was borderline myopic--just over the edge from what is considered "normal". But he did say that kids are born myopic and often grow out of it; so we scheduled a six-month follow-up appointment to see if her eyesight would spontaneously fix itself.

Well, last week Tonya took her back in. The good news was that it hadn't gotten any worse. But the bad news was that it hadn't gotten any better, either.

So the doctor prescribed glasses. Basically, at this point the goal isn't so much to help her to see better; the goal right now is to get the eye working harder, in hopes that it will correct itself as she grows. So this set of glasses are basically reading glasses--the kind that would be used to help a far-sighted person see better.

Now, we have a bit of a fashion problem here.

The trouble is that in our family, we all have really small heads.

No personal jokes in the comments, please. There's nothing wrong with having really small heads that a well-adjusted family can't handle. And, as they keep telling us, it's not the size that counts, it's what you do with it....


But start with a three-year-old, and then figure that this three-year-old has been skimming the 5th percentile (or less) for head circumference ever since she was born.

Now try to find a pair of glasses that fits her. Good luck with that. Practically everything they tried came out looking horn-rimmed.

Ultimately they picked a pair of frames that was just about the smallest that they offered without having to be special ordered. (And they were pink. They had to be pink. Even three-year-olds take their accessories very seriously.)

Well, today the glasses were ready. What do you think?

Here's what I think.

Most of us, when seeing a picture of a kid, can make a pretty good guess how old the kid is. And even if you're not able to get it to within a year or two, you can at least tell that this one is a toddler or this one is in late elementary school or this one is in high school. To do this, we pick up on age clues. The most obvious of these is, of course, height.

But in a photograph, that clue often isn't there, and our guess of the age of the kid relies much more on the shape of the face, and the bodily proportions. In particular, large heads and tubby bodies tend to be more typical of younger kids; heads that are proportionally smaller, and bodies that are leaner, and legs that are proportionally longer, tend to clue us in that the subject of the picture is older.

The trouble is, our kids are:
  1. Tall for their age. The Adrenaline Junkie is about 85th percentile for height; and
  2. Slender. The Adrenaline Junkie is about 30th percentile for weight, and that's counting the fact that this weight is distributed on a taller frame; and
  3. Small-headed. As I said above, the Junkie is 5th percentile on a good day, and often measures less.
Basically, they have the bodily proportions of much older kids. I sometimes wonder what they'll look like when they get to be teenagers; I suspect they'll have the build of magazine models, much like their mother did.

Now. Put a pair of glasses that's almost too wide on such a face, and it makes the face look longer and thinner, and thus--when you're dealing with a preschooler--much, much older.

Well, when I first saw my three-year-old daughter in glasses today--and especially when I took those pictures and looked at them without all the size context--I nearly freaked.

That three-year-old girl looks like a teenager to me. Especially in this one:

I'm thinking I need to get that shotgun now rather than later....


Jarrod J. Williamson, Ph.D. said...

Obviously fantastic children you have.

I'm thinking I need to get that shotgun now rather than later....

Remington 870 or Mossberg 590. Or skip the shotguns altogether and do it right with a Springfield SOCOM II M1A.

A good rifle will do anything a shotgun can do.

The .308 cartridge of the SOCOM M1A will let you "reach out and touch someone" hundreds of meters away (with a decent scope).

BTW, you're not a good dad unless your daughters learn to use it well. ;-)

Chris said...

1)Try as you might, my brethren, I won't be dragged into a "size doesn't matter" discussion. Maybe unusually large heads just run in my family, or tend to show up on the east coast.

2) I'm in the same boat. Belle regularly channels Audrey Hepburn; Tink channels Jane Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe and every other gorgeous blonde you can think of; and The Boy is just a stud. For the first two, shotguns abound. For the latter, I just hope I teach him to honor fathers in all families!

3) Given that both parents and 3 of 4 grandparents wear glasses, it's amazing that our kids haven't required glasses yet. We'll see how long that lasts.