Some months ago, we had a letter from Freyja’s school informing us that all of the Reception children would undergo routine eye and hearing tests. We had had no concerns about either, so I was shocked a few weeks later when Freyja had not passed either. The hearing test would be done again in school, but she was going to be referred on to the hospital for an additional test.
Freyja loves reading and writing and we had not noticed anything amiss. Surely it must have been a mistake. She probably didn’t understand the instructions. I made an appointment at the hospital, expecting that we would turn up and Freyja would have her eyes tested and to be told everything was fine.
When I told Freyja about having to go to the hospital for an eye test, her first question was could she have glasses. I wondered if she actually wanted glasses and so pretended that she couldn’t do the eye test. Would a four year old think to do something like that? Despite being excited about going to the hospital (which was where she was born), she was also very nervous. She didn’t want a man to look at her eyes. Just a lady. I said that she would be needing to have some drops in her eyes. She didn’t want an eye test. She said her eyes were fine and that she could see everything.
We were called in for the first part of the appointment, to see an optometrist. She checked the health of Freyja’s eye – all fine. But then she carried out the sight test. Freyja had to cover each eye and say which letters she could read. Freyja knew the letters, and she loves “doing letters” at school and was eager to get them right. I was shocked that at one set she couldn’t read all of them. It dawned on me that there really was an issue.
It was only a very slight prescription but at that moment so many thoughts went through my head. Why hadn’t I spotted this before? Have I made this more of a problem by not picking up on it before. Rich and I have good vision – where has this come from. How will she cope with glasses? Will she get teased at school because of it?
The next day, we went to our local opticians and chose some frames. Freyja was telling me about some of the other girls in her class that wear glasses. I felt relieved that she wasn’t going to be the only one wearing them. Freyja was really excited to try on the glasses, and Emily was desperate to have some glasses too. Freyja chose some pink, metal frames with flowers on the arms. She told me that she was going to look “so pretty” in her “pretty glasses” and I felt happy that she was so excited to be wearing glasses and had found some that she really liked. She also looked fab in them – and a bit more grown up.
Freyja was a bit miffed that she couldn’t have her glasses there and then, and I explained to her that she had just been trying the frames and that she would need the right lenses for her to be able to see properly, and that meant that her glasses would have to be made up especially for her.
This morning the opticians called me to tell me her glasses had arrived. We immediately stopped what we were doing and went straight there – which for me involved Emily playing hairdressers by tugging at my hair, so I was glad to put this game to an end! The optician ensured Freyja’s glasses fitted her. She was positively beaming in them. In fact, I didn’t think she could be any happier until she saw the case that she had to put them in – a pink case with a dinosaur on.
For the rest of the day, she has been excitedly showing of her glasses, and cleaning them with the little cloth that came with them. She has been sat at the dining room table with pens and paper showing me how good she is with her handwriting and reading now she has her glasses. I thought she was great before. My girl looks older, but most importantly she is looking happy and confident in her new glasses, and I hope that she continues to do so!