Slice of Life, Day 20: Eyepatch

When I was little, I had to wear a patch on my eye for a few hours a day to help strengthen the muscles in my “lazy eye.” I hated it. Back then, the patch was like a band-aid made to go over your eye.  The other option, which I preferred, was opaque contact paper that stuck to my glasses lens. I remember my mom tracing my lens and carefully putting it onto my glasses. I still hated it. It was hard to see, uncomfortable and all around just not a great fashion statement.  I remember I had to do some other kinds of eye exercises too, but I don’t think I was very good or consistent at doing my “eye homework.”

Interestingly enough, my  husband also had a lazy eye and had to wear a patch when he was little.  I haven’t asked him how he felt about it, but I’m sure he hated it. Unless he felt like a pirate, and then, in that case, maybe he liked it.

Both my children now also have to wear eye patches for 2 hours a day.  Their patches are much more fashionable:  made of felt with embroidered pictures on them like hearts or dinosaurs, they slip on and off of their glasses easily.  I have to admit though, that I’m having a hard time enforcing their “eye homework”.  I know they need to wear the patches to get their eyes stronger and I know it will help. I also know that the younger they are, the more likely the patching will help.  I try to patch them when we are home or in the car.  Sometimes they are good about it and wear it for the entire two hours.  Most often though, they wear it for a while, find an excuse to take it off and don’t put it back on.  I try to find the strength, the encouragement, the patience to coax them to wear it for just a little longer.  Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t – somehow it seems too close to my own memories to make them go through the same discomfort – even if in the end the results will be worth it.


  1. Leah said,

    March 23, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I like this anecdote a lot because it rings so true of parenting. We pass so much down to our own kids, and I can see why you’d want their experience with the patch to be different from your own.

  2. Cathy said,

    March 23, 2011 at 1:51 am

    At least they have a parent who can empathize! And yes, they definitely have cuter eye patches than even just a few years ago!

  3. Kim said,

    March 23, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I remember my sister had to wear a patch too. I hadn’t thought of that in years. There are some things that just hit so close to home as a parent, huh? Having these experiences make us who we are as parents and as human beings. I am sure your kids appreciate the fact that you can relate to them on this…

  4. Barbara Weisbart said,

    March 24, 2011 at 12:43 am

    I remember all too vividly the patch trauma when Jodi was little. At times I even had to take her to my friend Brooke who was a nurse for her to enforce the time. Now with Olivia and Max. my grandchildren, I also struggle to be strong enough to enforce the wearing of their patches. However, I see the good results for Jodi, so it should give us reason to be stronger.

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