Any unexplained whooshing noise you happened to hear emanating from my neck of the woods around 6 p.m. on Wednesday just gone was probably the sound of my heart plummeting as my husband informed me, following Jamie’s ophthalmology appointment, that it has now been decreed that he is to go back to the daily eye patching routine. Whoa! Wasn’t this something that was merely being floated as a possibility for a comforting few months further down the line, with the prospect of all sorts of potential Jamie-maturation occurring in the meantime and the consequent hope that he might actually be capable of grasping the concept of this being something he needed to put up with in hopes of future benefits, rather than just a random parental-inflicted torture? Well, apparently not – since the ophthalmologist has checked his eyes and confirmed that his lens prescription hasn’t changed and that his vision with his current glasses is as good as we’re going to get it, apparently the orthoptist concluded that there wasn’t any further point waiting to see how things went and that we should just restart the patching now. While I was still attempting not to reel too much from this (patches? Again? Back to those struggles? On top of having a new baby to deal with in a couple of months?), I heard Barry mentioning to his parents on the phone that we were also supposed to go back to the initial regime of two hours patching per day rather than the one hour to which we had grown accustomed, an additional blow of which I had been previously unaware. I spent quite a lot of that evening grimly repeating to myself that Worse Things Happen. Or trying not to think too much about it at all.
Fortunately, patching technology seems to have moved on somewhat in the months that we’ve spent out of the game. Instead of having to stick disposable adhesive patches directly over the eye, we now have the option of a sort of cloth sleeve which we can slide over one lens of his glasses. We tried this out last night, and, while I really do not want to jump the gun/tempt Fate/count chickens, I will very cautiously say that he does seem rather less bothered by this one. He was still removing it unceremoniously and dumping the whole works, glasses and all, on the floor at regular intervals, but he did seem resigned to me promptly plonking it back on his face again each time with a reminder that glasses stay on, Jamie. It just didn’t seem to cause him the same level of distress as having a patch stuck directly on his skin. And, of course, since it’s a reusable patch, it’s a lot easier to put back on straight away than a disposable would be. (I used to put several spare patches in my pocket at the beginning of each patching hour so that they would be handy for rapid replacement when the inevitable need arose. I would then forget about the unused ones until later on in the evening when I would empty my pockets of small change and the like prior to going to bed, find a crumpled patch or two still there, and be faced with the decision over whether they had crumpled to the point where it wasn’t really worth trying to get them to stick on Jamie’s face and therefore might as well be thrown away or whether we should try to salvage them. I think I still have a few somewhere in the clutter on top of my chest of drawers.) So, I am feeling very cautiously optimistic about the situation right now.
Meanwhile, the latest dispatch from nursery life is that apparently Jamie had a number 2 on his cup so he had to take two teddy bears, but Courtney had a number 5 on his cup so he (Jamie is still hazy on both pronouns and gender) had to take five teddy bears. One cannot really dispute such logic. I hope to find out more of the finer details about whatever this game is when he goes back for next week’s session, although, of course, there is always the possibility that Tinky Winky may choose to inform us on the subject in the meantime.