Monday, 11 March 2013

Facing genetic glitches: A month of parenting

Image from here
Imperfections are one of life's challenges. Coming to terms with flaws gives one the opportunity to 'accept what you cannot change'. It isn't easy, but it has to be done if you want to live a confident life with your self esteem in tact.

While the Geege and I awaited the birth of our first child, we used to make up our 'worse case scenario' baby. You know, it would have my teeth, your hair line, my skin and so on. I always offered my eyes (I am severely myopic), my thighs (they need their own post code), and my heart (there is a strong family history of heart disease). Mostly everything else was fair play.

Our kids turned out to be beautiful*.

Last Friday, I had to face the first real genetic glitch in our spectacular programming. Both Nugget (nearly 8) and Doo Dah (6) need spectacles. They have both perceptual and focusing issues. Not the same issues, but both requiring glasses.

Nugget took it in his stride. He said there are others in his class who have glasses and people "still recognise them". Doo Dah said that it will be good not to have headaches at school but wasn't keen on the idea of looking like "Harry Potter".

I of course, picture a life time of dealing with rain drops on your glasses and scratches on your lenses and swapping between sunglasses and glasses and fogging up when you take a steaming dish out of the oven. A life time of being 'four eyes'. Of having 'nerd' stamped on your face.

Parenting becomes especially hard when your kids become like you. You can see their future facing the same hurdles that you faced. You want to save them the pain, humiliation, embarrassment and frustration that lies ahead. But you can't. The same lessons that you learnt through the school of hard knocks will be learnt by them in their own way. In their own time.

As we work our way through the maze of visual therapy and prescription glasses for young children, we will continue the process of supporting our children to develop self-acceptance. Once again we feel inadequately briefed for thisstage of parenting. Inadequately prepared to help our children embrace their inner 'glitch'.

Have you uncovered a glitch in your children? How have you managed it?

* Of course, I am biased.


BK said...

We have just found out our 6 year old daughter need a hearing aid for one ear. She seems fine with the idea at the moment though things might change when she has to actually wear the thing. I'm just hoping she escapes any teasing or bullying in relation to it and that having permanent hearing loss in one ear doesn't hold her back in any way. It doesn't seem to have done so thus far (hence us only finding out now that she has hearing loss). I'm not upset about it all. It just feels... to be honest I don't know how it feels. I guess it is just something we have to get used to and live with. No big deal.

allison tait said...

It's a mini-glitch to be sure. I have been thinking of getting the boys' eyes tested, just to check. And Mr6 could do with a hearing test, though his teacher assures me it's only my voice he's not hearing...

Sarah said...

It's funny but I was talking about a similar thing not so long ago. My daughter has a brace. When I was at school they were few and far between and kids used to get called all sorts of names (metal mouth being one of the more polite)but these days almost every other child has a brace like a fashion accessory.

You can get loads of funky frames and they will probably find that it adds to their allure.

ScottJJ Murphy said...

Master 4 is deaf and has 2 hearing aids. He is also using a FM system. I think I have more problems with it then him. Mater 6 has Eczema and asthma.

Michele @ The Hills Are Alive...... said...

Ahh yep - one with coeliac disease and one with asd. I guess you could call that a double whammy genetic glitch. My husband and I have joked that maybe we shouldnt have bred or at very least checked out each others family genetic code before getting into the baby making game (in only that dark humour way you can when they are your own kids). Love both my "glitches" to death. And honestly dont see them as glitches they are beautiful kiddoes.....just wish for their sakes too ..that we had better genetic material to pass on down the line to them. At least they didnt get my big nose and heart condition : )

Kymmie said...

So true, so true. I see my youngest son at his loudest, clumsiest, doing before thinking, bad attitude with the cheekiest smile, and can't help but think he has gotten it all from his mother. Poor boy. What does the future hold for him (apart from lots of black eyes and hospital visits)?

Seana Smith said...

I used to be so envious of the kids who had glasses all through my school career. Look, they simply do make you look more intelligent, I swear it. Anyway, I have them now, but no miraculous improvement mentally.

My son got glasses aged about 11 but was very happy as he could see again!!

We did get the ASD glitch like Michele, but honestly, these days I look around and am very comfy in the shoes I am walking all my miles in.

Maxabella said...

What? Really? I'll call in the morning.

Goggs are ok. x

Juggler said...

My own two have the same gentic glitch - Cystic Fibrosis.

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