with jeff out on a shoot, i had no choice but to drive raven to her eye doctor’s clinic to collect her prescription glasses for her exotropia. if you’re wondering what that is, it’s a condition wherein one of her eyes (mostly the right) turns outwards when she’s looking at a distance. it doesn’t really happen all the time, but it still happens. and from all the articles and forums i have read online, i’m petrified of her developing amblyopia (when the brain favors one eye and completely shuts down the other eye to a point where vision on that affected eye is permanently compromised and cannot be corrected by glasses or surgery).
of course, that’s the worst-case scenario. in truth, raven’s condition is pretty far off from the paranoia i hold in my head. but then again, isn’t it my job to worry as a mother? like if there’s even a 0.01% chance of it happening, should i not press my panic button and pull out all the stops to significantly decrease the possibility of its occurrence?
that is the reason why of all the eye doctors within my 10-km radius, i had to go for one in mornington. which is like, a 40-minute drive if jeff’s the one driving. with me, it could be closer to an hour because i’m special. i make the GPS work harder in finding all these alternative routes because i tend to miss my turns. that’s not to say i’m a bad driver. if anything, i reckon i’m pretty safe. wink, wink.
so, anyway, raven’s doctor is really good. he’s a specialist in behavioural optometry and when he mentioned that his PhD thesis was on exotropia and how excited he was talking about the facts he learned about the condition, i knew he was “the one.” (after going through three different doctors.) unfortunately, he also said that the more doctors know about exotropia from studies and research, the more they realize that they don’t know anything about it at all.
it’s a riddle no doctor worth his salt could even answer. as to what actually causes it, everyone has their theories but the jury’s still out on that one too, apparently. so now i can’t even properly blame myself with utmost conviction that i caused it to happen while she was still in utero.
but that’s all water under the bridge. i just wanna move forward and do what needs to be done. initially, i wanted to get raven into vision therapy straight away but she’s too young for it. and surgery is last on my list so here we are giving the minus over-correction glasses a go. he gave a comprehensive explanation as to how it works but i suck at remembering technical terms but basically, it’s to train her eyes to see straight and not to deviate outwards.
the thing is, there are no guarantees. it might or might not help. but the plan is to prevent her eyes from becoming worse until she’s ready for vision therapy.
like an opportunistic parasite, i’m taking all my chances.
my only major concern after was — should we get the pink, lilac, or red frames?
in the end, i settled for the lilac one. it would’ve been perfect if were a warmer tone with a more square-ish shape but i didn’t really have a lot of options to choose from.
substance over form, i hear myself say. repeatedly. even until now.
as it was on the way home, we stopped at sofia’s restaurant in frankston. the one right next to the beach. she wanted fish and rice. this kid is too asian, i’m telling you. unfortunately, italians don’t exactly have rice on their menu so i got her the fish and chips instead. she went for the latter and totally ignored the fish, which i ended up eating. can’t blame her. it wasn’t exactly the best.
same goes for the pizza i ordered. three-quarters of leftover i had to put in a takeaway box which i had to carry back to the car aside from my bag, raven’s big nappy bag, plus raven who just wanted “kugos” because she didn’t want sand getting into her shoes. my arms were just about ready to fall off by the time we made it to the side street where i parked the car which seemed like a million miles away. so near, yet so far.
the whole ordeal actually made me kinda miss jeff. how do single moms do it?!
at 28 degrees, the day was beautifully warm and sunny. one of summer’s last hurrahs before autumn fully crawls in and i just wanna crawl under the blankets and hibernate until the maple trees have grown green leaves again.
when i think of beaches with raven, i imagine myself sitting on the shore reading a book or writing on my journal while she plays on the sand next to me — two things that made my bag even heavier.
the reality is, she’s too young to be left on her own and i was too deluded to even think that i would be able to steal solitary moments like they do in the movies, albeit briefly. the moment i sat down on the blanket assuming she was just gonna stay right where i was, she immediately ran straight to the water and i was like, “what the — ?!” before getting up to chase her.
thank god there were some spare clothes in the bag and a bottle of her sunscreen left in my car. otherwise, she would’ve been splashing around in the shallow puddles in her dress. we didn’t exactly come prepared. the whole beach thing was an impulse on my part.
i should do it more often. it actually turned out to be a really fun day.
i rarely do selfies but this spontaneous mother-daughter bonding was definitely one for the books. i begged, bribed, and even forced her to pose with me but nope, she couldn’t be bothered.
maybe when she becomes a teenager she’ll be more manageable like i was. not.
*raven at 2 years old