Today, I cried. In Ikea.

By, Rebecca of Mommy, Ever After

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve grown to love my baby girl’s glasses.

They help her, they are a tangible solution to a small problem, and they look so darn cute.

I’ve learned to love them so much, that I have stopped thinking about them.

I have accepted them.

They have become a wonderful, valuable, treasured part of my wonderful, valuable treasure.

And then, today happened.

It all started innocently enough. I went to Ikea with my mom and sister (a fellow life-long member of the glasses tribe). We joked our way through the rows of Hemnes and Karslbad  and were having a great time until I came upon a family who was hovered by the Klippan sofa display.

It happened in slow motion.

As I saw the six year old boy spot my daughter,

who was sitting peacefully in her stroller, munching on a soft prezel,

I noticed his hand start to raise as his index finger jutted towards her.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!” I wanted to scream, as my ears filled up with the noise of my pounding heart.

“Look at that baaaaaaaaby!”

He shouted, as he pointed, wagging his finger at my daughter’s heart shaped face.

“She has glassssssses! Why does that baaaaaaby have glasses?”

And he did not say it in a nice way.

In fact, he said it in about as mean of a way as someone who wears Spongebob Underpants could muster.

His mother scolded him, and commented how he was being “rude” (Okay, mom. I’m sure he feels terrible about his “rudeness”.) and how he was wrong, that she actually is so cute in her glasses.

Yes. Just like that.

And then my heart shattered in 80 grillion pieces.

I did not say a word. I did not scold the little boy. I did not preach to him. I did not “kill them with kindness”.

I, instead, sought refuge in my sister’s arms,

somewhere between the Kivik chairs and my own personal hell.

And I cried.

My heart ached for my little girl.

This was the first time that she was teased for wearing glasses.

And she had no idea. She just sat eating her pretzel, happy and smiling.

And that made it infinitely worse.

But, my sister, being the wise baby sibling that she is, talked me through it.

She has been wearing glasses since she was two, and she assured me that she has never felt ashamed or bad or silly because of her glasses. Never. Not once. She told me that they are an accessory. That she loved her specs.

And I had no choice but to believe her.

That is what survival is all about.

And so,

I went on with my Ikexcursion, and as I pushed my happy little glasses wearing girl, my heart began to piece itself back together.

And I realized that I will never be able to control what people think or say or how they act. All I can do is to take care of my daughter’s needs, both physical and emotional, in the best way I can.

When she is old enough,

I will not tell her, “Yes, you are bespectacled.”

I will tell her “You are you. You are Bespectacular.”

So when we reached the cash registers

and the nice, young lady behind us made goo-goo eyes at my little girl, I held my breath, but knew I could handle whatever comment she threw our way.

She told me that she loooooved my daughter’s glasses.

I told her that I love them too.

And I do.

So, with dried tears and a full heart, I bought us $1 cone of frozen yogurt. Always be spectacular, I say,

and always treat your little girl to dessert.

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20 responses to “Today, I cried. In Ikea.

  1. Rebecca, awesome once again. I too have had children point out to their parents that “the little girl has glasses on, why is she wearing glasses mum?”. It is definitely hard at first but now, I really don’t take any notice at all and as she is growing up (She will four in November), we really don’t get those comments half as much. I think the first couple of years are hard when your little one gets glasses so young (Paris was one!) and it really is unusual to see a little tiny one like that in specs but as they grow, not only do you adjust to the glasses but more and more kids also get glasses as they reach school age and so it really does become less of an unusual thing! You are doing an amazing job and it is such early days for you with the glasses. Hang in there you are a brilliant, kind, big hearted mum! Love Ingrid and Paris x

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  2. Awww, you poor thing! I just wanted to let you know that my Daughter is 3.5 and is the only one in her preschool glasses so far that has glasses. Honestly, all of her friends tell their parents they want glasses. They love hers! It was so hard for me when she was 2 and had to start wearing them, I kept thinking what a long life it would be for her to have to deal with people “picking” on her for being different. Since, I have noticed SOO many more young kids wear glasses now than when I was growing up. The bus let out in my neighborhood and out of about 20 kids, 7-8 had on glasses. This was Elem. school too! I think it is becoming much more normal and that our sweet beautiful little four eyed girls will probably be picked on at 1 time or another growing up, because, most kids do, but I don’t know it will be for their glasses 🙂

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  3. I agree Melanie. Although Paris is also three and a half and the only one who wears glasses in her kindy, not one child has ever mentioned them! They dont even seem to notice. I really thought Paris would get lots of questions from kids and I thought I would get questions from parents but no one has mentioned them to me either which is great. They do just say how adorable she is and all the kids seem to know and love her, I am so proud. You are right though Melanie, I have two older kids at school and there are tonnes of kids in glasses at school. They all wear very trendy frames these days and they are more of a fashion statement! Nothing to worry about there. It definitely does get easier…. 🙂

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  4. Your post brought me to tears because I feel exactly the same way. My son is 12 months and has been wearing glasses since 3 months. I know what you mean when you brace yourself to see what people say when you can see their minds ticking. Just yesterday, someone commented on how cute his goggles were. Sometimes I can take it, sometimes I get angry and sometimes I get sad. No matter what, though, a little piece of my heart breaks every single time.

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    • Lindsay–thank you for the beautiful comment. It means so much to me to hear your story and to know that we are bonded in this way. As hard as it is, our children are lucky to have us as concerned, loving, compassionate parents…and I bet your son is more handsome than ever in his cool specs 🙂

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  5. Thank you for this! I just found out yesterday my 18 month old daughter needs glasses. I could cry and smile while reading this post. And it totally speaks to my fears.

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  6. I know exactly how you feel. I was born with bilateraql cataracts and have had glasses or contacts my whole life. I went through the teasing and everything. When I found out my daughter inherited the same thing I was devastated. Every time we went out and someone looked at her I just knew they were going to say something and some did good and bad. I finally realized I love her the way she is and I can’t stop everybody from saying something but I can teach her to love herself and to have as much self esteem as possible because we can’t change the world. And all the time I spent worrying what everyone else thought at the end of the day there opinion didn’t matter. My daughter needs the glasses to see and its not the worst thing that can happen. She is almost 4 and this realization didn’t happen over night it came with alot of crying and feeling sorry for her and myself. And I know the next hurtful comment will feel the same but I have the power to change how I respond to it, they can only hurt us if we let them. Honestly we live in a world that can be vain so if it wasn’t glasses it would be weight, height, our hair, our teeth or something else. Love her and teach her to love herself and it sounds like you are doing a really good job.

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    • What a great perspective, Amanda! Teaching our kids to love themselves, and to know how to appropriately respond to comments is a really powerful thing. It sounds like you’re doing a wonderful job, too!

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  7. Today…. I cried reading your post. A few weeks ago we had a 50th wedding anniversary to go to and although I had his glasses in my purse… I didn’t put them on. I know– most people will think my adorable 14month old little guy looks adorable in them– I just didn’t want to have to talk about it. I felt like a really horrible mom and still feel guilty about it.

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    • Thank you for sharing this with such unabashed honesty. This is all SO hard, and I am grateful for your solidarity here. And yes, your little guy looks adorable, I am sure, but it doesn’t make it any darn easier sometimes. Thank you!

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  8. …Every time my daughter chooses to dress up like Aurora I am told that Princesses DONT wear glasses! My first reaction was to reassure Isabelle that princesses wear glasses when they need glasses. Over the last couple of weeks as the princess phase has begun full force I have been told that NO princesses wear glasses.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this. My 5 year old daughter fell about 2 months ago and I brought her to the dr just to make sure all was ok. Well, it turned out that falling was a fortunate thing for her.. it was determined that she has amblyopia. She starting wearing glasses and I patch her for 3 hours a day. In any case, we love her new pink glasses! However, just as we were getting comfortable with this, my 1 year old baby boy now needs them. I am very sad about this….but reading your story and all of these comments makes it a little better.

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  10. Just got my 4 year old fitted for his first pair of glasses today. He cried and told me he didnt want children to tease him. I held him while he cried but that comment broke my heart and later when i was in the bathroom cried for him!!!

    Thank u for this story, it made me happy to know that we are not alone. We must just build their self confidence so no one ever tears them down xxxxxxx

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