How do you explain doing the “wrong” thing for the right reasons to your kids? I ask, because I faced that dilemma yesterday. My mom, for those who don’t know, is in a specialized nursing home approximately two hours from where we live. She’s been there for over a year now, and is not ambulatory. This means she has limited options for entertainment. Those options are limited even further because she cannot see very well.
She needs new glasses, but getting them is challenging at best. The doctor would have to come to her, and she has no insurance. Husband Fixture suggested that we pick up a pair of reading glasses from the drug store, but she has an unusual prescription—she’s near sighted in one eye, and farsighted in the other. As fate would have it, I have the same problem. It only just occurred to me this week to have her try on my glasses to see if they helped her at all. They did, though she’ll need a stronger prescription. It was decided that I’d go to the vision center and get an extra pair of specs for my mom to use.
You can probably see where I’m going with this by now (pun intended). I had to bring the offspring with me when I went to the vision center. It was challenging enough finding inexpensive frames that looked like something I’d wear, but that my mom would like at least a little bit. And of course, I had the additional challenge of Princess Gingersnap and the Prince of Distraction questioning me about why I couldn’t just pick out “old lady glasses” for their Nana, and why I planned to tell them that the glasses are for me.
I have, of course, taught my children that lying is a bad thing. They know that doing so will result in a punishment ten times worse than any other transgression—including, but not limited to, a bar of soap in the mouth. This method must be working, as I got lectured on how thou shalt not lie. I explained the situation, but that didn’t fly with them. They felt I should tell the people at the vision center the truth.
Thankfully, they managed to keep their mouths shut as I went to the checkout counter and told the sales associate that I needed an extra pair as a back-up in case I lose mine on vacation. Gingersnap even agreed that I have a good reason for needing another pair. I’ll take that small victory . . . for now.
*NOTE: Lest anyone think I’m committing insurance fraud, you needn’t worry. This was completely an out-of-pocket expense.