Upping the Geek Factor?

Before I forget - the winner of the JumpStart giveaway is ... Angie! Congratulations!
Check back soon for another fun giveaway. :)

It's Wednesday. Colin's school gets out early on Wednesdays, which pretty much jacks up my whole schedule. The rest of the week, I've got things running (relatively) smoothly - right down to the time I leave the house to take him to, and pick him up from, school. But come Wednesday, it seems like I have to restructure everything. And I'm not sure why other than I'm an anal-retentive, scheduled, orderly freak ... it just really throws me off-kilter for the entire day. I walk around feeling like I'm one step behind, in a constant state of "duh." You'd think that since I've had a Kindergartener for a month and a half now, I'd be used to this middle-of-the-week upheaval. But I'm apparently unable to adjust.

So yeah. Wednesdays. Booooo.

Colin brought home a letter the other day that says he didn't do so well on the school-administered eye test, and that we need to get him to the eye doctor for an examination. This makes me nervous. Let's forget for one moment the inevitable hassle of having a kid with glasses: losing them, damaging them and whatnot. I'm most worried about what this does to up his "geek factor," which is already dangerously high.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my eldest son's, um, quirky personality and preferences. And I encourage them every chance I get. When he went through his praying mantis phase, I allowed one to live in my house. I sacrificed the tray of my barbecue grill to a volcano experiment gone wrong. I have nodded and "uh-huh"ed my way through endless explanations of each latest obsession: the skeletal system. The urinary system. Hitler. Venus fly traps. Crocheting. Ammonium dichromate, which I actually had to look up. And yesterday afternoon, he was eating some grapes, held up the stem, and said, "You know what these look like, Mommy? Alveoli. Like in your lungs."

And sure enough ... they really do. For those of us *coughcoughmecoughcough* who need a refresher as to what "alveoli" are, here's a handy illustration:

See? Total grape stems.

But unfortunately, the things I love about Colin can be really off-putting to other kids sometimes. Especially the older they get. And I'm scared that having glasses will further catapult him into the social fringes. Because, y'all? This is what he looks like in glasses:

Okay, so we'll get him frames that fit his face, but you get the idea. I think it's adorable. But combine corrective eyewear with his penchant for all things scientific, and you've got a recipe for geekdom. I mean, I'd much rather him be a little on the nerdy side than, say, some thuggish little troublemaker. And when he's an adult, as far as I'm concerned, bring on the geekiness! (As long as it's, like, finding-a-cure-for-cancer-geekiness. I'm not down with the Star-Trek convention-going, living in our basement at 35, never-having-a-girlfriend type of geek).

It's just that, you know, he's got so much longer to be a kid. And other kids can be so mean. And as his mom, I want to protect him from everything that might hurt his feelings. I want him to be who he is, and be comfortable in his own skin - but I'm worried that he won't be so comfortable if he gets teased. What if he ends up changing who he is, just for the sake of fitting in?

Deep breath, Rita. I'm probably overreacting, right? It just sucks because, as my oldest, Colin's like my guinea pig. I wasn't sure what to do with him the day we brought him home from the hospital, and I'm not sure what to do with him now. Every new stage is a first for both of us, and all we can do is bumble through it, fingers crossed.


  1. I know exactly how you feel. With my son it is not because of potential geekiness (is that even a word and if so did I spell it right!) but because he has so far in life been shy, quiet and overly sensitive. Basically just as I was as a child and I had a miserable, horrible school life because of it. He started preschool last week and I have had nights where I literally have trouble sleeping worrying about this, because you are right, kids can be so cruel.

  2. Other kids can be mean. I know they were to me. I didn't wear glasses until high school and nobody seemed to care about glasses then. But I liked things other kids didn't, and I just didn't fit in.

    But I'll tell you what. Your kid is *smart.* In 20 years he's going to be graduating medical school, or working in mechanical engineering, or whatever it is he loves most. And those kids that made fun of him for being smart and interested in the world around him? Well...they're to be working middle management at Wal-mart or something because they spent their school years being more concerned with how cool they seemed instead of enjoying learning.

  3. No one ever made fun of me for glasses. Although when I got contacts (for better peripheral vision in marching band...) I had this annoying girl ask if my eyes were really blue or if they were colored contacts. I'm obviously not as vain as her, so obviously my eyes are really THAT blue.

    But, I will tell you that students that can't see do worse than students that do ;) And doing well in school is never something to not be proud of :) But this is all coming from a geek (come on, I'm a SCIENCE teacher!)

  4. It's okay. Tavi got glasses in Kindergarten too. Surprisingly, he has never been teased and he is in 5th grade now. Oh my, I suddenly felt very old! Anyway, I think kids now are much more accepting of others. Remember, get two pairs and buy the insurance for them. It has definitely come in handy more than once!

    By the way, thanks for the JumpStart!

  5. I don't know how my husband did it but he wore glasses from the first day of school. He always was secure in his smartness and it ended up bringing in a "cool factor" and I think Colin is going to be the same way. He is way too secure in himself to let the others get to him, I think. Big breath and hold on, they all get bullied. Everyone thought Morgan was the coolest and most secure girl in school. Guys were even afraid to ask her out. But her dad and I knew she was shy, insecure, and felt like a horrible misfit. But look at her now, it is temporary and horrible, but they do make it through. Especially yours with the love and support they are lucky to have.

  6. I wore glasses from the age of 3 until I was about 12. There is definitely a way to actually make the other kids envy him and it sounds like he is confident enough that it's definitely possible. I think glasses on kids are a lot more common nowadays than they were when you and I were kids...so I think that helps, too.

    In the end, it's worth it. My dad had the hypothesis that if he treated my eyes just like an Orthodontist treated my teeth, that just like my teeth "learning" the right way to be, my eyes would, too. Ultimately, at the age of 12 I had perfect 20/20 vision and at this stage of my life, it's 20/10 (better). EVERYONE in my family had to be in glasses for good at some point in there 20's and I'm still going strong at 35 with not needing them.

  7. For what it's worth - oh my gosh he is adorable! In glasses, too! And I think kids tend to care less about glasses these days. I really do. I'm sure there will always be that one little kid or two that are jerks, but as long as you help him feel confident and he doesn't feel like glasses are an odd thing, I bet he'll be just fine. I know that doesn't really help ease mom worries and fears. We all want the best for our kids - nothing wrong with that!


  8. Glasses are all good. I've had glasses since I was 7. I have a BA in Theatre and MA in Creative Writing. I'm also an accountant by day. And I play video games whenever possible. And read religiously (but not about religion). Okay, so other than the accounting job, the video games, the useless trivia, and the books...screw it, I'm a nerd.

  9. oh that is funny! That picture is super cute and funny how the same issues come up it seems with all kids. I just took Anthony to the eye doctor yesterday because his teacher thought she may have detected some tracking problems. You were worried that your smart kid would be geeky, I was worried that my kid would be the dumb geek (the kid hates school). His eyes are fine. It turns out he just doesn't want to look at anything related to school work.

  10. I think you should go with the huge frames. They would get so much attention for how silly and cute they make him feel.

  11. My 3-1/2yr old just got glasses within the last month. I have people stop me ALL the time when we are in public telling me how cute he is in his glasses. I did put my foot down when he picked out the purple colored Dora glasses. I told him he would definately be teased if he wore the girl glasses. So we settled on Spongebob instead. Not a whole lot to choose from...but, for what it's worth...I think Colin looks absolutely adorable with or without the glasses!

  12. What is it about early release that completely throws us off? We had one today too.

    I hope he doesn't have to get glasses. Even though I think he will be adorable in them, I get what you are saying. Especially since we are almost a month into school and when I ask my kindergartener about friends, he says "Not yet, Mom."

  13. First of all...he is adorable. Just adorable, glasses and all.

    Secondly...he is crazy smart. How does a five year old even know wierd words like that? No really? Do you read the encyclopedia with him? Or did he just pick this crap up by osmosis. Impressive. He's probably board TO DEATH in the land of kindegarten colors and letters.

  14. That smart little geek is adorable! And I think he looks very handsome in glasses!

  15. OMG, that is the cutest little geek I've ever seen! Of course, this is coming from a geek married to a geek that spawned a geek. My eldest is 10, a geek, and wears glasses. I've never had an issue with him being teased about his glasses.

    Getting him to accept himself as the incredibly smart geek he is and not reinventing himself as Brandon the Goof is a whole other ball of wax exploding over a Bunsen burner...

  16. For an uber-nerd with glasses, that was NOT one of the things I got picked on for. (well 99% of the time, at least) Kids will pick on you if you are pickable. With that said, I wouldn't trade it now because it made me who I am today. Okay, maybe I would trade it, but then maybe today I'd be a bitchy snob and would have a totally different life. So, it turns out okay in the end.

    I know that doesn't really put your mind at ease, but at least he'll be smart and look adorable in glasses!!!!


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts