Do princesses wear glasses?

Our first baby was born with her eyes wide open, taking everything in. As she grew those sparklers remained her most amazing feature, closely followed by her mop of sun kissed curly hair. Eyelashes to die for, and big brown ‘chocolate button’ eyes as deep as the ocean. 

The Christmas before her second birthday, she was really knocked for six with a nasty virus. She barely touched her Christmas dinner, had a horrid rash, and was a poor little scrap with a mouth full of ulcers unable to do much other than cry. The docs said it was viral (shock) and we snuggled her up until she was back to her old self. 

The virus passed, but it did seem to leave two side effects. She had, since tiny, been a thumb sucker. But, since being unable to bear anything in her mouth, she had dropped the habit. Sad as we were (it was super cute) we could see the positive that we wouldn’t have to face any later attempts to kick the habit.

The second side effect was somewhat more dubious. We noticed, just very slightly, that one of her eyes was struggling to stay straight. I mentioned it first to Mr G. he hadn’t noticed so I tried to ignore it. But then, my mum made a comment about it. Soon, it was unavoidable. The poor little thing seemed to struggle to focus looking across the room, and photos sealed the deal…the camera never lies.

We made a GP appointment and anxiously waited. In the meantime lots of people (family, friends, nursery) all picked up on the newly developed squint and questioned whether we’d noticed. She certainly hadn’t and was her happy little self, oblivious to the worry we were carrying for her.

We googled all sorts, as you do. It just seemed to come out of nowhere, and she had never had any problems before? In all honestly we were terrified this was an external symptom of something awful going on. We pushed for our appointment, and was referred to the local eye specialist hospital.

As we waited, Daddy rang almost every day to chase up our referral. The usual admin chaos meant referrals had to be resent, found, etc etc but we eventually got a date around her second birthday, in March. 

The GP had ruled out any more sinister problems, but that didn’t ease our anxiety so about what we’d find out that day. I suppose it’s just so hard to believe the perfect little person you have created has…well, an imperfection? 

As unrealistic and ridiculous as it sounds now, I was praying for them to tell me the squint (which had become somewhat permanent) could be fixed with some kind of non invasive high tech treatment. I was terrified they’d say she needed surgery. Devastated that her eyesight might be deteriorating. Dreading any mention of eye patches. I was hoping too, if I’m honest, that she wouldn’t need specs.

The specialists were amazing and after a series of tests said that she had very poor long sighted vision. They didn’t feel the virus would have caused it, but would have always been waiting to present itself. Her body was starting to ignore the use of her worse eye and as such it was becoming lazy. Some of the information was confusing, and we came away believing she’d maybe need glasses for a year or so and all would be fixed. If, that was, we could ever get a two year old to keep them on?!

Armed with her prescription, we trotted off to spec savers with ideas of putting her in some cool frames that would make our 2 year old ‘geek chic’. How wrong we were. 

The kids section at specsavers, and boots, was pretty lame. In the same manner as Clarke shoes, the girls pairs were all pink and flowery. The heavier frames swamped her tiny face and we ruled them out immediately. First lesson in kids glasses is to go for the teensiest, thinnest frames you can. We learnt this very fast! Subtlety is the way forward.

What I found so hard, was that her beautiful little face that we knew so well, was so different wearing its new furniture. I hated myself for feeling so rubbish about it, after all lots of people wear glasses. But she just didn’t look like our little girl.

We praised her for being so good, picked up a treat toy and headed home. We popped back a week later to collect the prescription and began lesson number 2. How to get a two year old to wear glasses All day. It involved a lot of tough love, sheer bribery, and a load of fuss and praise. She wowed us with her adaptability and within 3 days was keeping them on; morning till bedtime. I thought my heart might burst with pride. It helped her squint amazingly – the lenses straightened her eyes so that encouraged us that this was the best for her.

It’s amazing how quickly we got used to seeing her newly furnished face. She did look super cute, and so many people praised how someone so tiny was wearing them so beautifully. I can’t tell you how many people likened her to the girl version of that gorgeous little boy from the film ‘Jerry Maguire’.

The first follow up appointment was a blow, when we learnt her eyesight is so poor that she’ll never lose the glasses. Until and if she chooses to wear contacts that is. We also started a course of patching: 2 hours a day over her good eye. We’d only just got past the first hurdle, and now we were bribing, rewarding, sticker charting our way through the first months of being ‘Pirates’.

We tried a few combinations of best time to patch. 2 hours meant before or after nursery wasn’t going to work on my work days. It didn’t take long to get over any fear of being looked at, and we patched first thing, giving nursery the ‘take off time’ depending on when she’d woken up. Again, she was an absolute star. 

The next appointment the patching was reduced to 1 hour, then the next, we stopped altogether as her eyes had evened out in terms of  vision. The squint did and does remain, being kept straight only when the specs are on. Her type of squint is not operable, something I still don’t fully understand now. It’s to do with the reason the eye squints (driven by the brain, not the muscle).

Now, almost two years later her quality of vision remains consistent. 2 pairs of glasses and some prescription sunglasses Later, we have a feisty three year old with a very strong mind of her own. She fell in love with pink all by herself, discovered a love of all things Disney. She has entered a new phase and we have a challenge on our hands.

Self realisation.

I noticed a few weeks back one day the glasses were off more than on, for the first time ever. As I pulled her up on it she told me ‘Isla doesn’t wear glasses mummy. Bella doesn’t either.’ 

‘No sweetheart, but you’re special so you do’.

‘Mummy, am I more pretty without my glasses on?’

‘No absolutely not. I love you with them on, or off’.

She seems to have noticed she is different, Even though she has nursery classmates who wear them like her. Well, one anyway. Im sure there are a million parents with kids who feel different, encouraging them through every day. Wearing glasses is really getting off lightly compared to some heartbreak parents of some very brave, poorly children! I know this, and I am so great full for her good health. I’m just sharing our experience. It all makes me realise how those role models to kids are all so picture perfect? Stereotype?

The next day they were down the back of the sofa. 
‘Mummy, do princesses wear glasses?’

‘Mine does’

X MMT

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23 thoughts on “Do princesses wear glasses?

  1. Becky Pink Reply

    Ah bless her it sounds like she’s doing brilliantly! And also glad she didn’t have to go through any surgery – that would have been really tough on you all. I’m always in awe of kids (and their parents!) who wear glasses as we have so much to keep track of, I don’t think I could cope with another thing! Wouldn’t it be great if Disney brought out a film with a glasses-wearing heroine? You should write to them and suggest it! My eldest has red hair and I’ve always been thankful that Ariel and Anna do too, so I have that for back up in case she one day gets teased (I know it’s inevitable) Becky x #bestandworst

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Thanks Becky. Thats such a good idea! Your daughter also has Merida to rely on – shes a cool heroine 🙂 My little one might not being likened to Mr Potato head, the only disney spec wearing character I can think of lol! x MMT

      1. Becky Pink Reply

        I just googled ‘princess with glasses’ and in the image bit there is one of Belle with glasses and it says ‘real princesses do wear glasses!’ You could print it out for her wall ☺️ There is also a cover of a book called “Princesses wear Glasses.” She might like that too! Xx

        1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

          Cool, thanks hun I’ll do that! Xx

  2. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) Reply

    Aww this was a lovely read. She sounds like such a trooper and I bet looks so cute. My brother was the same – he had a squint and was in glasses very early on and always has. Would be weird to see him without them really. I sounds like you have done an amazing job getting her to wear them and I love the tips from Becky above about Princesses and glasses. Thanks so much for linking up to #bestandworst and see you soon xx

  3. thehollyhockdoor Reply

    Two little girls in my son’s playschool have had glasses in the last little while so I’ve watch how they and their parents and struggled and adjusted … it’s not easy is it? It sounds like you’re helping your little girl feel normal and pretty with her glasses. I so agree there should be more instances of princesses and other role models with glasses and other physical “differences” if only because we all have quirks! My baby has a birth mark on his cheek and I’ve had some terribly intrusive comments about it. Like you I’m worried about how he’ll feel when he learns that people see him as being “different”. Great post! Thanks so much for linking up on #bestandworst (I’m following you on WP now!)

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Thanks so much for reading and the new follow. She is such a little character, I really hope she continues to take everything in her stride. And she loved finding rapunzel wearing glasses! X MMT

  4. awesomeausterity Reply

    I feel really moved by your post. I know glasses don’t seem like that much compared to all the health problems you could be battling but I completely understand that they changed your little girls face and my heart was breaking for her when she asked if she was less pretty with her glasses on. Your girl sounds like a complete star, I’m glad you’re so proud of her. I’m trying really hard to think of a princess who wears glasses, I can imagine it looking really cute with her pushing the glasses up her nose – we should start a campaign! Great post. #bestandworst

    1. mummuddlingthrough Reply

      Thank you for reading and taking time to comment. Being a mum has surprising twists and turns with different emotions along the way doesn’t it! X MMT

  5. therealmilitaryhousewife Reply

    I too, was really moved by this post. I wore glasses from around four years old … contact lenses by 11. I wonder if what you have written is how my mum felt? Or how I will feel if our daughter needs glasses? Beautifully written. xx

  6. Sadia Reply

    Oh, sweet, sweet, girl. My daughter M was diagnosed with amblyopia at 6 months old and patched for several months. It really worked! She hasn’t needed glasses yet, but I remember the fears I had for her eyesight. Then I met our little neighbour, 10 years old and completely blind (not even light perception) since she was a few days old. As wonderful and able as she is, I felt completely silly about my reaction to M being potentially shortsighted. It is hard, though, to know that our littles might struggle, and there’s so much pressure on women, in particular, to look a certain way. I hope she always knows that she’s beautiful. Here from #bestandworst.

  7. 4128miles Reply

    Lovely post and beautifully written. It is a shame that more cartoon characters, especially disney don’t have their ‘stars’ wearing glasses. That said, glasses in real life as she gets older, are super cool. I don’t wear them myself, but hubby does and I much prefer him with them on as that’s how I first met him. How weird is that! I also distinctly remember going for an eye appointment at 12 with the aim of getting glasses and being gutted when I wasn’t allowed them! Maybe I have bit of a fetishism! Ha, ha. Oh dear me! I bet your daughter is just gorgeous. #picknmix

  8. jermbarnes Reply

    poor thing. As she gets older more of her peers will be getting glasses and she won’t feel so different. I’m sure the whole situation is much harder for you than for her

  9. Carlyakamummy Reply

    Its funny you have written this, my friend only the other day was saying how in teen movies the geeky girl always starts out wearing glasses and when they give her a make over, htye just take her glasses off and slap on some makeup! lol. There needs to be more positive role models for wearing glasses. #picknmix

  10. Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk) Reply

    Such lovely writing. Love the last bits. A sweet post that I am sure your daughter will love to read when she is ready! #pocolo

  11. acornishmum Reply

    Oh bless her, I hope she accepts them more soon. It is hard for them feeling different, I’ve been through that recently with my Type 1 Diabetic son, he just wants to be like everyone else and when you can’t do anything to help that it can make you feel awful as a parent!
    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie x

  12. Mummyandmonkeys Reply

    You write beautifully! She sounds just perfect bless her. It really is hard as a parent when there is something not totally perfect with your child. My eldest has a stammer and my baby has allergies, not the same I know but it’s hard to know there is something not right. It must have been such a worrying time for you waiting for the specialist. Thanks for linking up to #PickNMix

  13. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops Reply

    Awww it sounds as if you wonderful little girl is doing amazingly well. And well done you as well. I wear glasses as does my husband and we have notices a little squint in one of Boo’s eyes, which we have had looked at and we have to go back in a few month because they couldn’t really say – Boo was 18 month old and struggled with one of the things they did, so we are just waiting to see.
    Thank you for sharing your journey, I teared up at the last two lines – so beautiful

  14. mummuddlingthrough Reply

    Reblogged this on mummuddlingthrough.

  15. lyliarose Reply

    Oh bless her! 🙂 I hope she gets used to wearing her glasses soon and I’m sure she’ll forget they’re even there, they’ll just become habit 🙂 And, of course, princesses wear glasses! xx

    1. MMT Reply

      Thank you she’s had them two years now and it’s definitely part of her… Although, just noticed, they’re not on right now! X

  16. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Reply

    I remember feeling sad that my eldest had to wear glasses (her squint appeared at seven months but we were watching out for it as hubby and his mum both had one) – as you say, it does change the character of their face and it made me sad that the beautiful little face I looked at every day would change. That said, I’m so used to her with her glasses now and she is just as beautiful with or without them, Surgery is an option to correct her squint although I don’t think it will fix her long-sightedness (we’ve been told it’s mostly cosmetic and I don’t fully understand it all) – it’s a road I’m reluctant to go down at present as surgery is so much more risky for her because of her heart and would have to be done in a hospital with children’s cardiac services anyway just in case. I wish there were more positive role models for girls with glasses though – the geeky girl suddenly becoming beautiful as soon as she takes them off is something that always infuriated me (as a geeky girl who wore glasses throughout her childhood and beyond!) We definitely need a specs-wearing Disney princess!

    1. MMT Reply

      Jessica looks such a sweetie in her specs, much like Tigs. We have our next appt next week to see if we need to go ahead with the op…apparently her squint has worsened, even with the glasses. It’s such a tough decision to make for her. I totally agree that poor little Jessica has enough going on without worrying about her squint. Nice to get such an understanding comment, Thank you Louise. Have a lovely weekend xxx

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